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If you have unexpectedly worked from home for a year, you will know how absolute luxury it is that we have enough space to create a dedicated home office. Like many of us, we spent the first six to nine months of locking in, which for us meant a small dining table and chair in the guest bedroom. However, when it became clear that more lockdowns were underway, we made the decision to turn our spare bedroom into a real home office.
I have to say this has turned out to be the nicest room to hang out in, but it’s one of those spaces that doesn’t look particularly good on camera (and trying to get decent photos was a nightmare because it is such a small room!). My goal was to make it an extension of the rest of the house rather than giving it too much of an “office” feel. I wanted it to be warm, comfortable and welcoming and it really is all of those things. Even though he doesn’t look shiny and organized in photos and doesn’t follow any trends, he feels and looks so good in real life and that’s what matters. Don’t get left behind by what you see on Instagram and try to create someone else’s style – choose what you know that will make you happy and feel good at home.
I actually wanted to paint the walls a plaster color – I love Stony Plaster by Atelier Ellis – but Jules didn’t have one and insisted on an off white so I chose Slipper Satin from farrow & Ball for the walls and glued with the Shaded White wood paneling. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know the whole cabinet saga and the fact that I painted them Treron Green which looked really good but Jules wasn’t sure so we went back to Shaded White. Like I said at the time, I was looking for an excuse to lock myself in a room on my own for some peace and quiet, so repainting wasn’t a problem for me!
We moved the single bed that was in this room for guests to Mimi’s room while we gave my niece her junior bed. This meant that we had room for a good sized desk. Bisley has launched a new range of home office furniture, which is fresh and simple with great colors, and we chose their new Poise desk. The white top makes the desk very practical and bounces the light around the room, but the wooden base adds warmth and makes it less ‘new’. The olive-colored steel pocket under the desk is shiny to help us keep a desk top clutter-free and adds a healthy dose of green (would have looked good with my green cabinets, right ?!). if you don’t have as much space for a desk as we do, take a look at Bisley’s other home office options that have been designed with home environments in mind with space saving options as well as smart storage solutions.
The other big difference with this piece that saved our necks and backs from a lifetime of misery is Ergonomic home office chair. We spent nine months in a dining chair and it was really bad! Often Jules would become so uncomfortable that he would move to the sofa or bed if there was no one there, but it was also terrible on his neck. However, again, this was one of those things where we had no idea how long the situation was going to last, so we didn’t immediately get a home office chair (we should have had it). make !!). Home Summit offers a range of ergonomic chairs and you can choose the one that best suits your situation (as well as your favorite color). We chose the Ovair office chair in Futurist Natural fabric. Jules and I can use it comfortably because it is fully adjustable and it has made the biggest difference – we are so happy with it.
IVAR Cabinet Hacking
As you may know, I bought two IVAR cabinets for this room some time ago when they were still mainly used for guests. I did a great IKEA IVAR cabinet hack on one of these which has been my most popular blog post to date – it’s been pinned and shared hundreds of thousands of times. However, I had failed to make the other cabinet so I had to do it and wanted two more cabinets to be added to the existing two to make an entire wall of storage. IKEA had major inventory issues during the pandemic combined with Brexit issues so there was none available but someone who lives five minutes away saw my Instagram stories at this subject and offered to sell me two that she had to get rid of – amazing! Thanks Ester! I hacked all the cabinets and stacked them on top of each other and they not only provide much-needed storage but I love how they look and the texture they give the room.
I wanted the room to be soft and warm so that Couture Living’s existing linen curtains would look perfect, especially in the winter when we were drawing them at nightfall and working the last hours of the day behind large, thick curtains with the lamp on. – so good. The way they lightly blend together on the mat is everything. For the sunniest months we have a blind panel to give some privacy and stop the glare from the sun.
The carpet is my new pride and my joy. I was hoping the lovely Anna, who I met a few years ago on a home tour, was going to be able to find me a vintage kilim because I found it hard not to be able to go to the market or shops. Anna is based in Amsterdam and buys beautiful vintage handmade pieces for her shop We are here now and I was looking for a vintage kilim with some pink or greens to perfectly fit the size of the room. Since this is such a small room, a rug as large as the floor space was essential to make it look as large as possible. Unfortunately no kilims came during the time I was looking for and I came across a Dwarf Trading which I loved and couldn’t pass up on because it’s vintage so I bought it instead. It adds so much warmth to the room and the colors reflect off the walls and furniture giving everything a warm glow. I know it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but this mat makes me very happy and the room very relaxed (and the dogs don’t show any marks so Otto can lie down at my feet while I works, which is an added bonus).
I moved the tub chair from our bedroom to the corner of the office when we built the cabinets and it is such a luxury to be able to sit here with a cup of tea. Previously we had always dried our clothes in this room on a drying rack, but with the addition of a wall rack we instantly got half the room back. Being able to use part of that space for a plush chair is just lovely.
Additions to the room
I still need a few things to make the room feel complete like some pictures on the walls and a new lamp base for the Matilda Goad lampshade I offered to reopen the schools and started working again. But to be honest, the point of this room is that it’s not a perfectly organized room because that’s what makes it relaxed and a nice place to work.
I hope everyone who works from home has adapted as well as possible. Like I said, we are so grateful for this space and so happy that it has finally found a good purpose.