Design: How Low Can you Go?

The September issue of Style at Home magazine arrived this week, and one of my favourite features in this magazine is the high-low article. In this issue, the Style at Home team designed two versions of an office – high/low, of course!

Before you scroll down, make your guess!

Did you guess correctly? What gave it away? The rooms are so similar, so it’s definitely hard to decipher between the two! I usually look at the lighting to help me determine which room is high and which one is low.

In this feature, the magazine writes, “We set up this chic home office on both a three-figure salary and a minimum wage budget.” You know I love Style at Home, but I have an issue with this statement. First, what’s a three-figure salary? Should it be a six-figure salary? Also, if you earn minimum wage ($14/hr in Ontario) and work 40 hours a week, your weekly earnings (before tax) is $560. Would you really then spend nearly $1000 for a home office?

So I wondered if it was possible to design a similar room at an even lower cost. When I spotted an $80 vase in the low version (compared to a $60 version in the high?), I thought I could do better. So I took on the project, and here’s what I came up with.

wallpaper, $30/roll; bookends, $5 (DIY estimate); vase, $40; marble wall clock, $33; task floor lamp, $47; sit-stand desk, $240; chair, $156; storage bin ($2 each), $4; rug, $119 (all in CAD)

The total cost for this “extra low” version is $674 CAD. I know I could create an even lower cost version if I was shopping in actual stores (including second hand) rather than doing my shopping in online shops only. In this design, it was especially challenging to find a more affordable rug, so I opted for a slightly smaller size than the ones featured in the magazine.

1 Comment

  1. Silvia Del rosso July 24, 2019

    Amazing review and comparison. I agree with your comments.

    Reply

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