How I Created an Office for Under $160

If you didn’t know by now, I started grad school last Thursday. Because I am enrolled in an online Graphic Design MFA program, I needed a space at home that would act as an office and a home studio. Instantly, I knew that area would be my sitting room right off my bedroom. It’s almost the size of a bonus room and allows for me to only steps away from my assignments, projects, and readings. Now I know most people don’t agree with having an office in your bedroom, but it’s what I wanted to do so might as well, right? Also, this frees up my other rooms for other purposes and I can always add something to separate the two (one day). But because of recent life events, money has become a little scarcer than usual so I knew that this would definitely be a task. After a few donations, sales, and prayers, I was able to have my studio and for less than $160 too.

First thing acquired was my drafting desk. I simply tweeted that I needed a desk and without really any hesitation, Victoria graciously offered to give me one that she hadn’t used in years. I was excited to have a desk, but after I assembled it, I realized that I needed something to prop my hunky printer on. Apparently, just one desk wasn’t going to cut it. I also needed a chair for said desk as well and the dollar signs began to float in front of my eyes. Also, bookshelves would be a nice addition as I had acquired my textbooks for the year and found relevant, related books in boxes. I really didn’t have too much money to work off of but I knew I couldn’t do this half-way. Go hard or go home.

One day, I ended up in Target and found myself purchasing a desk, a side table, and a chair. But once I got home, I found that assembling that chair was next to impossible. So the next day, my friend and I went to Office Max after lunch and I found another chair. Since it was the last chair they had in the store, I was able to take the floor model and of course that means the floor model price as well. I also saw this cute little cabinet that I felt would be perfect for the printer. (Thank goodness for the back to school season) I forgot that I already owned two bookshelves that were at my mom’s house so she graciously brought them over. Once I noticed that everything sorta came together, I started assembling, moving things around, and about five hours later, I had an office.

Bought cabinet from Office Max

Picture frames were already owned, plus the green one I painted from Rite Aid. Bookshelf was already owned from Wal-Mart.

Already owned bookshelf from Walmart, picture frames were already owned as well, except the pink DIY one from Rite Aid.

My DIY picture frames from Rite Aid as well as the 3 in 1 frame from a friend

Drafting Desk, Courtesy of Victoria from, Frames & Lamp were already purchased

And voila, my home studio/office. To recap, I got the…

All of this adds up to right under $160, excluding tax of course. And if I wanted to add in the prices of the picture frames from Rite-Aid plus the lamp, I’d be sitting under $175. Still not bad! Now, let me get to some school work… :)


  1. Emily says:

    Great way to utilize the sitting room space, I would’ve turned it into an office too. It looks great and well organized.

  2. Ayana says:

    Great post! I’m currently working on mine as well, so it’s good to see what other people are doing.

  3. Looking good. Glad you’re getting some use out of that desk. The power of a tweet, lol. I also have a TV stand that I need to get rid of if you’re interested. I’ll send you a pic, just in case. No pressure, lol

    • Ashleigh says:

      Thank you so much for the millionth time :) It’s definitely being put to use. And yea, show me the stand. I told you I’d be willing to take more off your hands :)