One of the rooms that I’ve taken quite a long time to perfect/waited a rather long time for the right desk to come along for is my office. Okay, so it’s not really an office. More like a little nook in our hallway and above our stairs. We can’t all be second-bedroom renters while maintaining a London lifestyle, alright?!
Anyway, you’ll have seen in my office edit that I was on the hunt for, let’s say, a compact desk. As long as I could fit a desk into the space, a ton of prints and a plant, I knew I’d be a happy worker. I’ve also not instantly written this post. I’ve worked in the space for about two months now and I’ve changed it up, added some new things and taken some bits out too. Right about now, everything feels pretty damn perfect.
Luckily for me, I attended an Amara workshop with Humanscale a couple of months back. It was just before receiving my desk and I learnt so much about how to set up my office. Okay, clearly I’ve still not been entirely sold on the office chair but I do keep on moving and changing my position up – just to keep that circulation moving. It’s really quite interesting how adjusting your working set-up can change your mentality. I’d highly recommend hitting up their site for advice but without further ado, here’s the final result of my new office AND all of the juicy details of what’s in there.
Having a compact desk can mean losing vital storage space and this wasn’t something I was willing to give up on. Yet somehow, it’s a rare find to come across a design that does incorporate extra shelving and notebook hiding space. Lo and behold one of my favourite places for homeware – west elm – came to my rescue with their Ladder Shelf Storage Desk*. Designed specifically as a small space solution the open desk incorporates two shelving units and a slender cubby hole for keeping the extras stored neatly. I instantly knew this was ‘the one’ for my little nook and after patiently waiting for stock to be shipped from the US, I was even more in love with the contemporary yet industrial design on arrival.
The desk comes in two options, both solid wood, but with an espresso and lacquered white colourway (as shown in my abode) or a basalt grey and oak option that would look great in a darker environment. It really provides the best of both worlds, taking up a mere 71cm in length, but making up for it in height with the extra shelves creating a point of interest for plants, books and in my case my Amara Interior Blog Awards which remind me each and every day of my reasons for blogging. At only £399, it’s also a bloomin’ bargain and absolutely perfect for fellow renters and those looking to pop a working space in their bedroom or living room.
Shop the look:
Ladder Shelf Storage Desk, west elm, £399*
I’ve said on multiple occasions that office chairs just don’t do it for me and I haven’t managed to get back problems quite enough to force me into just yet, even though I did manage to find a fair few good options in my office chair edit. You might recognise this Pols Potten chair from my living room tour – it’s a goodun’ right? When I started putting the look together I knew that the woven rattan look would work well with the colours of the office and with the curved back it’s still supportive and comfortable to sit at. Ideally, you should be around arms-length away from your keyboard and I’ve found that the wrap-around effect of the chair allows me to sit like this perfectly. I’ve covered the seat with a little grey sheepskin for some EJP flair and I have to say, I’m totally not missing any wheels or adjustable seats!
Shop the look:
Pols Potten Rattan Chair, £261, Amara*
Faux Fur Seat Pad, £40, Amara
The Desk Accessories.
Oh man, I love a desk accessory and trying to sift through all my possessions to decipher what would actually make it to the desk was a hard one. I think working spaces should be filled with inspiring objects and things that will make you smile. In my case, that means a helluva lot of plants and brightly-coloured bits with a little bit of quirk. The Little Birds* from Normann Copenhagen are my favourite desk addition. Even though they are purely decorative, they are also super adorable and fill the gaps in front of my prints and awards. I couldn’t very well leave it too minimal, could I?
For the table area of the desk, I commissioned illustrator Daisy Emerson to create me an EJP pen pot and ultimately I paired it with an old plant pot from Ay Cactus, the pink organiser* from Normann Copenhagen and a trinket tray picked up at Venner Leyton. Last but by no means least, any creatives working area isn’t complete without the pop of orange provided by a G . F Smith paper sample book – even if just to stroke the paper adoringly for a quick break.
Shop the Look:
Paper Sample Book, Free for designers, G.F Smith
Sip Cup (used as plant pot), £20, Studio Arhoj
Diffuser, £60, Max Benjamin
Ghost, £18.50, Studio Arhoj
Pink Letter Board, £46, Etsy
Little Birds, from £7.25, Normann Copenhagen*
Pink Organiser, £24, Normann Copenhagen*
Bespoke Pen Pot, Price on Request, Daisy Emerson
Truth be told, I can actually be a little bit of a stationery snob. One of my pet hates is wasting paper to make cheap notebooks. When shopping for stationery, I’m looking for a good quality paper stock as well as timeless design without any form of ‘motivational’ rubbish featured. Both Normann Copenhagen and Wrap Magazine are two brands that have featured in my guide to stationery brands previously and I’ve stuck with them here too.
Normann Copenhagen and design agency Femmes Régionales created the Daily Fiction range back in 2016 and have since expanded with new items added every season. The on-trend terrazzo prints, sporty stripes and colour-block detailing makes all of the range the perfect addition to any colour lover’s desk – even the packaging is too good to throw away. Rubbers emblazoned with “Never forever”, paperclips featuring “To Have and To Hold” as well as my personal favourite tag on the scissors advising to “Always Cut Corners”. It’s the little things that make the desk productivity happen and bloody good stationery is certainly something to invest in. I know these pieces will keep me going for the foreseeable future and nothing will come close to tempt me otherwise.
Shop the Look:
File Holders, £24, Normann Copenhagen
Large Notebooks, £18, Normann Copenhagen*
Pencils, £9.50, Normann Copenhagen*
Eraser, £2.25, Normann Copenhagen
Paper Clips, £6, Normann Copenhagen*
Busy Scissors, £36.25, Normann Copenhagen*
Black and White Folder, £24, Normann Copenhagen
Long Ruler, £12, Normann Copenhagen*
Fracture Notebook, £8.25, Wrap Magazine
The crème de la crème of any office for me is a good print. Even better if there is ten+. As I said before, I wanted my office to be a creative space and that meant filling it with some of my favourite artists and illustrators. I also decided that I wanted to really hone in on the colour pink to offset the grey walls. By incorporating different shades of Palin Pink along with some super cool black and white photographs, the final result is bright yet chic. I couldn’t resist popping in a few of my favourite pairs of trotters to act as their own little works of art. What do you think?
Shop the look:
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Fei Alexeli, £50, Print Club London*
Just Don’t Be Yourself Screen Print, £30, Mean Mail
Double Elvis Print, £130, King & McGaw*
Cow Print, £60, King & McGaw*
Leopard Pattern Print, £12.50 Hotel Magique
Other assorted prints and greetings cards from Desenio, Skull & Heart, Hotel Magique, King & McGaw, Print Club London