‘Love It or List It’ Reveals Hacks To Create a Home Office for Cheap


Hilary Farr and David Visentin of “Love It or List It” have helped a lot of homeowners find or create their dream homes, but as times change, their clients’ needs have changed too. While homeowners once focused on open floor plans and large entertaining spaces, it seems now they’re focused on finding private spaces to work from home.

In the Season 17 episode, “Work-Life Unbalance,” Visentin and Farr meet Megan and Jeff, work-from-home parents who haven’t been able to find space for the two home offices they desperately need.

These two have set aside a budget of $180,000 to fix up the whole house, and Farr knows that a good chunk of that has to go to creating two fabulous work oases.

But will it be enough to keep this couple from upsizing to a bigger house? Read on to find out how Farr carves out space to work, and how it helps this couple, regardless of whether they stay or go.

Lots of light can make even a workspace feel luxurious

This third-floor bonus room felt more like a spooky attic.HGTV

Megan and Jeff both work from home, but neither of them are happy with their setup. Their desks are shoved into corners of family areas, and they don’t even have doors to keep their spaces private.

This is a big problem, especially since Jeff likes to take his calls over speakerphone, forcing everyone in the house to listen in.

So, it’s up to Farr to find an appropriate space for both of their offices, and to make each room feel like a professional office area.

With big windows and calm colors, this looks like a great space to work.HGTV

First, Farr finds a large space for Jeff’s office in the home’s third-floor bonus room.

To make this small space feel big, she installs a long, built-in desk, and brightens the space with light-colored furniture.

She’s also able to make this rather dingy room feel extra bright by putting in large skylights that open up—providing both light and a breeze.

With tons of desk space, cozy furniture, and lots of natural light, it’s just as good as, or better than, any office building.

“This is fantastic,” Jeff says when he sees his new space.

Bring a desk to the center of a room for that executive feel

Megan had a hard time working in this awkward space.HGTV

With Jeff’s office on the third floor, Farr reimagines Megan’s existing working space on the ground floor, just off the front entrance.

Farr adds built-in shelves, brightens up the paint, and adds a door so that Megan can get some privacy.

She then upgrades the small desk to a larger one, so that Megan will have lots of room to work, and places the new desk in the center of the room, rather than in the corner.

This space looks incredible.HGTV

While Megan loves all of Farr’s changes, moving the desk to the center of the room truly transforms the space. It turns this mismatched multipurpose room into a much more valuable office space dedicated to Megan’s work.

“I have felt like I’ve spent the last eight years having to try and find places to be me in our house,” Megan acknowledges. “And I never felt like I had a space that was mine.”

Prioritize a large closet over a large bedroom

Megan and Jeff can barely fit their clothes into this narrow closet.HGTV

Megan may have a lot of renovation requests, but her most important home must-have involves closet space. While the master bedroom has a walk-in closet, she insists that it’s much too small for one person, let alone two.

So, Farr manages not only to expand the existing closet, but to build a second closet in the bedroom, too.

Farr is sure to create more space and built-in shelving.HGTV

While extending the closets makes the bedroom slightly smaller, both Farr and Megan know that homeowners want lots of convenient closet space more than they need a massive sleeping space. It’s a great change that Megan loves.

“It’s so much bigger,” Megan says. “All my shoes—they’re going to be so happy.”

A big kitchen renovation doesn’t need a large budget

This kitchen only needed a small update to brighten the color and extend the island.HGTV

Megan and Jeff want to focus their renovation on the home office spaces, so while they still care about common spaces like the kitchen, they don’t have much in the budget to fix them up.

Still, Farr is able to spruce up the kitchen so that it looks brand-new, without spending a bunch of money. She paints the existing cabinets, brings in new light fixtures, and extends the existing kitchen island to provide more workspace and make the kitchen feel longer.

Homeowners still want modern kitchens with lots of room for entertaining.HGTV

With so many small updates, the kitchen looks completely different. It goes from dark and outdated to fresh, modern, and memorable.

When Megan and Jeff see the space, they’re amazed at how a bunch of small, low-budget projects have made a big difference.

As Megan puts it, “How is this just a refresh?”

A privacy wall needn’t block out the neighbors completely

Hilary Farr knew this open porch wasn’t a very welcoming space.HGTV

Megan and Jeff want to add a screened-in porch to the back of their house, but if they’re going to be sitting out there all the time, they want to make sure it feels private.

“It butts right up to our neighbor’s yard. I’m really worried about the lack of privacy on the side, and I’m not sure how to create a solution for that,” Megan says.

The couple doesn’t want to build a solid wall, so Farr will have to get creative to give the space a more private feel.

These lattices make the space feel more private, while also adding a chic feature.HGTV

She ends up adding a lattice wall to the side of the porch, blocking the view to the neighbors, while allowing the porch to feel open. It’s a great compromise that gives them privacy, as well as a chic feature wall.

“I feel like I’m outside, not in a screened-in porch, Megan says. “This is stunning.”

Do they love it or list it?

The couple decides to ‘List it.’HGTV

Farr finishes her renovation at $180,000, which includes an updated closet space, a kitchen refresh, two fabulous home offices, and a lovely patio. Without any doubt, Farr has done an amazing job renovating Jeff and Megan’s house.

However, Visentin also comes through with great options for new homes that this couple love, too. After some serious thought, the homeowners decide to buy a new, larger house for $725,000.

But Farr’s changes still end up benefiting this couple. Although she has only spent $180,000 on renovations, her upgrades boost the value of the home by $215,000.

This increases the value of their house from $510,000 to $725,000—which means that Megan and Jeff can sell for a nice profit that will help them afford their new purchase.