Before & After: My Home Office
I have worked from home for over three years running my own Music PR agency, Bandwagon Press, and for me, it's essential I have my own office. Having a great space that is filled with just my stuff that I enjoy heading into each morning is hugely important to me. I think your surroundings really do influence your work and a home office has to feel like your space.
When we bought our house last year, one of the bedrooms was already set up as a home office and it seemed the obvious choice to keep it as that. The room was part of the more recent extension to the house, with a sloped ceiling, large velux window and wooden floorboards, and straight away I could see it was a bright space and situated at the back of the house, I knew it would be a quiet place to work.
It was decorated simply in white with pine skirting when we moved in and the previous owners had left us a large Ikea shelving unit, which perfectly fitted along one wall in the room. The floorboards were quite faded from the light but other than that, were in a good condition.
In our old flat in London, my office also acted as a spare room when guests stayed over, and I decided to decorate it in quite a retro style with grey walls and a feature wall of bright orange. I have to confess, I only picked the orange paint as Crown released a range of Originals retro inspired paint and this was the colour from the year I was born, so I had to buy it! It actually turned out rather lovely though and already quite a light room, it made the room even brighter. I enjoyed working in my old office but for my new workspace, I wanted to go for something less retro and a bit more grown-up and sophisticated.
After many hours browsing on Pinterest, I kept seeing the colours of pink, dark grey and copper together and it really caught my eye. I loved the light pink contrasting with the dark grey and the hint of metallic from the copper, and quickly decided this was the colour scheme I wanted for my new office. During a trip to Homebase buying other paint for the house, I discovered Crown Paints Metallic range and I couldn't lift the tin of Copper Metallic paint off the shelf quick enough and into my trolley (whilst ignoring lots of muttering from my Dad about choosing an impractical paint colour!). And there began the scheme for my home office; a copper feature wall with the rest of the walls in a pale pink and the skirting in a dark grey.
For the pink walls I decided on Farrow & Ball's Calamine, as I thought it was the perfect light pink that wasn't too sugary and girly. For the dark grey skirting, I used another Farrow & Ball colour, Down Pipe, as we had already bought lots of eggshell paint in this colour for other areas in the house, and I knew I wouldn't need to use a lot of it for the woodwork in my office. Lastly, after spotting a gorgeous copper geometric wallpaper in Next, I decided to add a feature wall of wallpaper to finish the room off. I lazily kept the ceilings the plain white colour they were as they were in a good clean condition, and at this point, I was so bored of painting (this was the last room we had to finish before moving properly into the house last July) that I decided they'd just do as they were!
In my old office in London, I'd just made do with second hand or cheap office furniture so I decided that I wanted a desk and chair that not only worked in my new workspace, but that I also really loved. I thought a dark grey desk and chair that matched the skirting would tie-in perfectly, and during a big Ikea trip (where you go for two things and come out with two trolley loads), I found the perfect desk and chair, which didn't break the bank and cost around £200 for both.
As anyone that is a fan of my interiors Instagram (@dottysdecor) will know, I love a clashing print. So of course, amidst the copper, pink and geometric wallpaper, I had to sneak a leopard print rug in there! This was a bargain from Fearne Cotton's range at Very costing around £50 and I think the contrasting pattern of the rug and the wallpaper works well together.
I wanted my office to have a calming and sophisticated feel to it but I also wanted it to have personality, feel like an office and ultimately look like a space that was mine. So, utilising the shelving unit that had been left in the room, I filled this with my essential office items, such as paperwork, files, envelopes and CDs, with other office items stored away in leopard print style patterned boxes to tie into the rug. I also added a few decorative pieces, such as vases, plants and picture frames, and bought some copper wire letters to spell out my company name from Hobbycraft for £3 each. One day I'd love a customised neon or painted sign in my office from someone like Bag & Bones or Daisy Emerson but for now, the letters give my office some cool branding for less than £30.
Along with the copper lettering, I added some other copper accessories to the room, including an industrial style desk lamp (or should I say the Aldi lamp, which I've seen popping up on many an interiors Instagram feed!), pineapple lamp, candle and pen pot holder (which is actually a £2 toothbrush holder from Primark!).
I love retro furniture and accessories mixed in with modern homeware, and it's a look that features throughout our home, so I wanted this to also come through in my office. This sunburst clock was on the wall in my old office and it fits into the decor of my new workspace just as well, with the gold accents mirroring the metallic in the copper throughout the room. This botanical style wall planner is a recent addition in my office from Doodle Love Designs and it's the perfect place for me to record any important work calendar events for the year.
Above my desk, I asked my husband Steve (who runs North 6 Graphic Design) to create a couple of music inspired typography prints in copper and pink, using song titles from two of my favourite bands, The Verve and The Smiths.
Finally, in the small corner next to the shelving unit, I have created a seating area and on the wall I've covered a grey pin board with cards, gig passes, photographs and notes to create an area that is personal to me. The pink velvet chair was a bargain for £5, and even though one day I'd love to get it recovered, for now I've updated it using some cheap pink tassels along the bottom and added a patterned tassel cushion. The copper rattan plant stand was part of a £10 vintage rattan table set and it's the ideal size to display my Fiddle Leaf Fig, to add a bit of greenery to my office space.
I absolutely love my home office space. Not only am I very lucky to work for myself doing a job that I love, I am also fortunate to have a great space to work in, which definitely makes getting up for work each morning a lot easier!
Along with enjoying my own office space, I love looking at other people's workspaces too. Instagram and Pinterest are of course great for this, but I recently got sent a great book called 'Studio' by Sally Coulthard published through Quarto, which showcases a whole host of creative spaces for creative people and it's great to look at so many cool spaces in one place. Printed on gorgeous paper, it's a really interesting book and I loved reading about how other people make their work spaces personal to them, reading tips and looking at lots of beautifully photographed images. The book is released on 16th March and can be pre-ordered from Amazon now.
Want to create my office look in your own home? Here is how I did it...
WALL PAINT / £43.50 per 2.5L: Farrow & Ball Calamine
FEATURE WALL PAINT / £18.99 per litre: Crown Fashion For Walls Copper
WOODWORK PAINT / £60 per 2.5L: Farrow & Ball Down Pipe Eggshell
WALLPAPER / sold out but find similar here for £76 per role: Cole & Son Hicks Hexagon
DESK / £120: Ikea Alex Grey Desk
CHAIR / £75: Ikea Skruvsta Grey Swivel Chair
PINEAPPLE LIGHT / £20: George Home Copper Effect Pineapple Table Lamp
LETTERS / £3 each: Hobbycraft Copper Wire Letters
THE SMITHS PRINT / £22: North 6 Graphic Design The Smiths limited edition Typography Print
WALL PLANNER / £12.50: Doodle Love Wall Planners (cactus wall planner out of stock but lots of other designs available!)