Home Offices: High Style Without High Cost

A deluxe home office doesn't have to be expensive

February 1, 2001

Shirley Buford’s stylish home office creates a luxurious, highly personal ambience. The silk, gilt, and granite convey a successful image—just right for her upscale clients. But many of Buford’s deluxe pieces were acquired at very reasonable costs. Borrow a few of her strategies for getting a fabulous office without paying fabulous prices.

  • Look at what you already own. The antique mirror opposite the desk was put away in a storage closet until Buford dusted it off for a focal point in her new office.
  • Go to auctions and estate sales—if you know what to look for. The Victorian writing table Buford uses as a desk cost $700, much less than the price of a new, quality desk.
  • Always be on the lookout for bargains. The wrought iron bench in front of office windows was purchased from a client who was moving to a smaller home.
  • Invest in a few, highly visible items to create the right ambience. Buford’s silk window treatments were expensive, but added a great sense of quality to the room.
  • Build in storage to reduce clutter. The built-ins that hold computer equipment behind Buford’s desk cost $600, but are practical as well as polished.
  • Combine the expensive and the low-cost. The magazine rack that holds Buford’s files was purchased from Pier One but works perfectly with her décor.

Good design at low prices takes time and a good eye for a bargain, but patience, creativity, and careful shopping can yield a beautiful home office without breaking the budget.

Mariwyn Evans

Mariwyn Evans is a former REALTOR® Magazine writer and editor, covering both residential brokerage and commercial real estate topics.

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