Office Makeover – Before and After

You all know that I love a good “before and after” and I know that you do too!   (Before I start sharing the pictures with you, I want to apologize in advance for the before pictures.  The angles are horrible.  I took them with my smartphone’s camera, before I even decided to share them on the blog.  Also, you will notice some strategically placed squares that hide private info.)

Office Organization

A couple of weeks ago, my friend asked me to help her fix up her office space at work.  Her husband owns an automobile business and she was helping her husband with the office work…except, the office didn’t work.  The men thought that the office was perfect.  They thought that it didn’t need a thing changed.  Why mess with perfection? The thing is that perfection looked like this…

Office remodel

and this…

Office Organization

These men were so dedicated to the sales, maintenance and growth of the business, that the back office space was just not top priority.  The store front was beautiful and we needed to make the back office match. With the help of IKEA, a screwdriver, and lots of good conversation, my friend and I embarked on a mission.  To prove the men wrong To make the office beautiful.  To create a space that was welcoming and practical. We started by painting the walls with a color called “Cloudy Day” by Sherwin Williams.  We painted the moldings white.  We also purchased white IKEA furniture that would be easy to clean and to customize. Here is the “after” picture of the wall pictured above. Office organization

We chose open cubicles in the bookshelf for binders and we installed drawers in other cubicles for office supplies.  The idea was to leave out the practical and pretty and put away the practical and unsightly. We purchased new filing cabinets, a desk, and the lamp from IKEA.  I found the clock at Target. Office Organization

Of course, we had to add a little “pretty”, while keeping in mind that the office had to remain somewhat masculine.  There went all my washi tape dreams… We decorated with modern, inexpensive IKEA plants, like this one. Office Organization

And this one that I found at Target.  It was kind of short for the cubicle, so I lifted it with a car part.  I am not even sure what it is, but I loved the end result. Office Organization

I love decorating with practical items, such as these little IKEA buckets that hold all the pens and pencils. Office Organization

So one more time…We went from this,

Office remodel

To this,

Office Organization

The men at the office LOVED it and even asked for their own coffee station on top of the new cabinet.  No one misses the dark furniture and my friend is a happy camper. With a little bit of paint, some new furniture pieces and a lot of focus, any space can be transformed.  It’s important to feel comfortable where you work.  Maybe you can’t transform your whole office, but you can transform an area.  Anything to help you laugh while you work.  Actually, don’t laugh, just smile, abrupt laughter could scare co-workers. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and please share with me what is your favorite thing about your workspace.  Is it wall color, your desk, accessories, or your comfy chair?

Until next time,



  1. says

    I’m stopping by from I Heart Organizing. I love the transformation and the color you chose for the walls. I’ve been meaning to update my office and you’re inspiring me to move that up on my to-do list. Great job!
    Katy @

  2. Kathy says

    OMG!!! The before pics are overwhelming to look at. My friends office looks like that. What type of questions do you ask so you can get started? It just looks like piles of paperwork and junk to me.

    • Maria says

      Kathy, I agree that it can be overwhelming and I know that it’s not a consolation to say that sometimes it looks worse before it looks better. Since this was not my office, my friend had to stay with me the entire time so that we could sort through the items. If there is a ton of paper on the desk, my favorite method is to put it all into a basket and start taking out each sheet one by one. You should have a file cabinet and a trash can nearby. Sometimes seeing all the paper everywhere is the most overwhelming. Only papers that need attention asap should remain on the desk. If the items are larger (not just paper) then suggest that she separate them using laundry baskets: Keep, trash, donate. Hope this helps! I will be posting more about office organization soon.

  3. says

    Maria, what an amazing transformation! I personally love the use of white. To me, it symbolizes “clean” and “crisp.” Glad your clients are happy too!

    Simply Planned


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