I was recently asked to do a cubicle makeover for Brooke Walker of Studio5 for just $50. This may seem like an impossible task, but with a little thought and a lot of effort I think it turned out awesome! I was on Studio5 today, here is the video of Brooke, Darin and me talking all about it:
Here is what the cubicle looked like Before we started.
Pretty typical. Middle of the building, no windows, basic gray and maple.
Here is the After.
Let me show you how we did it.
First, it is important to start with the feeling you want the space to have when it is finished. After communicating with Brooke, we understood that what she was really looking for was a fresh, feminine, and simple look for her space. We started with the background and found a clean and funky damask fabric with a small punch of color… in aqua parrots (available at Hancock Fabrics or Fabric.com).
Brooke mentioned that aqua and blush were her favorite colors so we used those throughout the space but also added a few other accents to our color palette like dark grayish blue to keep it interesting. To keep it bright, Amy (my sister) and I taped white stringed lights underneath the cabinetry to give a warm glow to an otherwise dark area.
Grouping is an organizers best friend. With Brooke’s space, there were family photos, awards, thank you cards, and the like that were peppered all over the space. We made an inexpensive “bulletin board” out of coordinating linen and burlap to highlight her favorite photos and cards in one place (to read exactly how we made this, click HERE).
All of her important books were corralled into a simple crate stained to match the space. They are within easy reach but for the most part, out of sight.
Two simple bags, that we embellished and personalized, become the perfect “IN” and “OUT” bags. Hung with some hooks from the side of the cubicle wall, they are easy to take off and move to the desk or hang up out of the way. We organized the random items and mostly DVD’s in the chevron boxes on top of the cabinets (chevron box tutorial HERE). Each is labeled with a number 1-4, so even if you can’t see over the top of the box, you can remember what is in each one (label tutorial HERE). The best part about grouping is taking the guess work out of straightening up. When a new photo, book, pen or DVD comes into the space, you’ll know right where to put it.
Recycle, Reuse and Reduced
I love to recycle things, especially packaging that we would normally throw in the trash. I had recently started saving the bottom of orange boxes because they were clean, a great size, and an excellent neutral colored cardboard. After a little paint and some labels (all of which I had on hand), they became a great FREE storage and décor statement for Brooke. Glass jars from spaghetti sauce now hold decorative shells and office supplies.
A mirror that I found in the garbage (yep garbage, thank you neighbors) gets a fresh coat of spray paint and now is the perfect place to check hair and makeup before heading off to that important meeting… or TV show.
Placing old Christmas lights in a candy jar really brightened up Brook’s space. A drink box from a local eatery was the perfect catch-all for small office supplies, and it was free for the asking.
When I found the two “IN” and “OUT” bags on clearance, I over looked the ugly front side and focused on the blank back-side and what it could look like with a little embellishment.
Finally, a coupon, discount, or clearance item should never be looked down upon. It is amazing how much farther your money can go by simply flashing a 40% off code from your smart phone. Now who’s the smart one!
Here you can see the mirror is hung on the inside of the cubicle for easy access. A Velcro Command Strip holds the remote to the TV so it doesn’t get lost. Blush sea shells hold neutral pens from around the office. And Brooke’s childhood letter stating her dreams of broadcasting has a place of honor among other framed photos and awards.
So where did the money go?
Mini Clothes Pins-$2
Bulletin Board Fabric-$9
In Out Bags-$6
Feather Earring Embellishment-$2.50
Damask Wall Fabric-$24.50
All other supplies were on hand!
NOTE: I shared these ideas on April 12, 2012 on Studio 5 at 11am (Utah’s NBC station, KSL)