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I have a confession. Since stepping foot in our rented abode just over a year ago, I haven’t sat at my desk once. Not for the lack of wanting to, or because there was anything wrong with the desk itself; it just simply didn’t work with my new home. It’s hard to think ahead when you’re renting, right?
The desk that came with me from our tiny one-bed flat in Earlsfield was very much made for a small space, and well, this new home of ours just really isn’t that small. I felt a little silly sitting in the middle of a room (still filled with moving boxes might I add) and getting down to a productive working day. ‘It’s okay,’ I said to myself. ‘Join the local co-working space, you’ll be grand’. Enter COVID-19 and lockdown numero uno.
Whether you are a freelancer or one of the many working from home due to Covid-19, chances are that you’ve had to take a good long look at your home office space. It’s also likely that you’re potentially sharing said space with at least one other person. With Josh furloughed and myself unable to head to my office, I decided it was time to tackle the room of doom and turn it into a beautiful workspace that is both adaptable, flexible and in tune with both mine and JJP’s needs. Here’s how we created a multi-functional home office space that worked for us both, and how you can too!
Think about function.
So, what did we need our new office to be? By day (well, normally anyway) JJP works in hospitality and hence, no office required, but by night, he’s a musician and needs space for writing, recording and editing. Throughout lockdown we carved a makeshift area for him upstairs in a corner of the loft, which will be staying for recording purposes, but I also wanted to give him a light and airy home office to get inspired and write. As I flit between writing, editing, styling, designing and everything else in-between, I’m not always sitting at a desk either. There was no point in overloading the office with furniture, so we decided to keep things simple so that we can dip in and out of the space. If we decide that we each need our own desk at some point, so be it. That’s part of working together.
Choose productive colours.
Colour choice in an office is extremely important, but it’s something that should be personal to you. What are the colours that make you feel most productive? We decided a neutral that we could add pops of colour to was the best call of action, and JJP chose the light beige – Donkey Ride by Earthborn – as the base colour. Me being me, I needed to make a statement somehow, so countered with the idea of a bright pink – Delilah by Earthborn – ceiling to keep things interesting. The mix of beige and pink is a pretty big statement, yes, but means we’re not so distracted when sitting at the desk itself. A glance up gives a feeling of total joy though, FYI.
Find the right desk.
While I said that we don’t often sit at the same desk, I did want a desk big enough for the both of us, should we decide to get down to work together. I’d say that the ALEX desk is around the same size as a desk you’d share at school (remember those?) and we could easily both sit here if required. I was drawn to this desk thanks to its beige colourway and the huge storage drawers in the front, which don’t have too much impact on the overall profile. The desk looks sleek, modern and could easily be upcycled if we ever fancy a change.
Don’t forget about storage.
I don’t know about you, but I find office storage can just be SO boring. As soon as I saw the SMARRA storage boxes, I knew I had to have them. The rattan weave is gorgeous and perfect for all of my bits and bobs, as well as leads and extra stationery. Part of finding the right storage is having somewhere to put it, so before ordering I double checked to ensure they would fit into my existing storage unit.
Light it up.
Lighting is an integral part of a good office scheme, especially in the winter months. While a ceiling light is an essential part of a room scheme – I chose the seventies style JACOBSBYN pendant lampshade in light brown – it’s often the task lighting that does all the work. At first glance, I wasn’t sure about the white NYMÅNE table lamp, but when I saw it styled up, I thought it would be perfect for our workspace. The dome shape is super current and adds to that laidback seventies feel that I’ve created with the textured rug and earthy colour palette.
Master your Spotify playlist.
As the office is also being used as a studio space, there’s no question that a high-quality sound speaker was required within the space. I listen to pop music to get myself motivated (guilty pleasure playlist on repeat) and Josh listens back to his own creations. We use SONOS in the rest of our home, so the SYMFONISK bookshelf speaker was an easy decision for us. It sits on a shelf and blends in, or you can attach it to the wall and use it as a shelf itself. As I write, I’m listening to the sweet sounds of Olivia Dean, and can confirm it’s a treat for any audio buff.
Add a combination of real and faux plants.
Plants help with your productivity and will also help to purify the air, but if you’re not naturally green-fingered, faux plants are a great alternative. I mixed in some faux options from the range at IKEA with some real ivy to instil a sense of the peaceful outdoors. You could also try dried flowers, as seen above.
Make it personal.
As well as finding the right desk, lights, storage, it’s also important to create the right atmosphere in your home office. Make it personal by filling the walls with your favourite artwork, adding in vintage pieces and objects you’ve picked up on your travels. As this space was for the both of us, I’ve added in some postcards picked up on exhibition visits, gig posters, some of our favourite album artwork and photographs from holidays. It’s these little details that will make your home office feel like yours.
Want to know how to create the look in your home office? Shop our home office space below. All items are available at IKEA.
ALEX desk in beige | £129
KRYDDPEPPAR plant stand | £29
NYMÅNE table lamp | £35
OMFÅNG blue vase | £7
KAFFEBÖNA bamboo plant pot | £3.50
ÅTERSKEN table lamp | £40
SMARRA storage box | £13
STENBAER plant pot | £15