My husband and I started sharing an office late last summer. For several years, he worked at the dining room table while I had a small room on our first floor to use for blogging, finances, and crafts. Finally, my husband agreed to set up a space for himself in the office which is now our office.
Even though we’ve renovated and updated most of the first floor in our home, we’ve never renovated the office. It’s a big undertaking since the walls have paneling from the 1970’s. To make everything look right, we’d have to remove all the molding around the window, the two doorways, and the baseboard molding. Hopefully, the walls behind the paneling would be in okay shape; it’s possible they aren’t.
Limited Budget for a Shared Office Space
Since a true renovation wasn’t in the budget or possible time-wise, we decided to spend money on creating a coordinated look in the office (shelving and accessories), 2 new chairs, and a desk for my husband. We set a budget of $500. We ended up spending about $650 after we included additional items like computer cables, a power strip, new curtains, and a second monitor for me. My husband’s monitor was paid for by his work.
I switched the shelves from wire to white laminated boards, and added a 3rd shelf.
Re-organize the Existing Storage
First, I re-organized the existing storage to make space for my husband’s desk. I took out a dark brown laminated book case and put it down in our basement in the kids’ video game space to store their video games. We took out the craft table and stored that in the basement until we made a decision about whether or not to keep it.
The shelves in the office were a mix of brown and white ones. I took out the brown shelves and bought new white ones to replace them. Then, I added more shelves to the shelving unit on the wall next to my desk.
Hers and His Desks
Since I like working by the window, we kept my desk, an Ikea one, in one corner. My husband preferred to set up his desk, also from Ikea in the corner to prevent distractions. We put our shared network printer on a filing cabinet between the 2 desks. My husband’s inkjet printer for larger paper sits on a shelf on a wall next to his desk.
With only the ceiling fan for light, I kept my desk light, and my husband found a desk light at Staples with a similar nickel-plated finish. During the day, I keep the curtains open on the window by my desk to make use of the natural light instead of my desk light.
Sharing the Space
My husband and I are comfortable sharing the office space. We both like to work quietly. Our work hours are similar – early morning, not late at night. If we want to listen to music or watch something online, we use headphones to minimize the noise.
Overall, I wish we had shared the space sooner. It wasn’t expensive to add another desk and chair. We’re also finding we have lots more serious conversations because both of us are wide awake early in the morning, and not falling asleep in front of the tv at night.
Shared at The Dedicated House