Home Office Transformation

Okay, I admit it. I’ve been so rubbish at posting on Instagram recently, never mind actually ‘blogging’ (that’s if you can even call this blogging!). Today however, I was determined to get this post written – and I’m so excited to share some photos of our new home office and how we achieved the look.

As a background, it’s best to let you know now that we can work from home with our jobs (well, our own company actually). We run our own dance company, so work never really stops. It was therefore extremely important for us to create a space that inspired creativity, whilst being a relatively lavish and stylish space to be in quite a lot of the time.

We’re lucky enough to have 4 double bedrooms in our house (read more about our house-type in my recent What we love about our house-type – the Taylor Wimpey Geddes post). If you know us, you’ll know there’s only myself and my other half plus our two chihuahuas. This meant we could use a bedroom for something we actually needed – like a home office.

When we moved in, we decided to just make the space ‘fit for purpose’ whilst we focussed on growing the business, but in recent months I started to get annoyed with the lack of attention the room desperately needed. So in June 2018, I started planning the office overhaul.

Here’s a before photo:

As a starting point with all the rooms I style/design/decorate (whatever you wanna call it!) I always gain inspiration and ideas from Instagram and Pinterest. What usually happens initially is I see a post on Instagram – more often than not from a stunning interior designer and one of their projects – and I spot elements within the design that really catch my eye. From there, I amplify those elements, whether it’s theme (eg. coastal), paint colour, furniture style or accent colours and input them into Pinterest searches. On this occasion, @mcgeeandco and @studiomcgee on Instagram were massively inspirational for kick-starting my Pinterest searches.

For example, contemporary/modern coastal theme and pale blue paint colour were constant elements of many designs I fell in love with, so I would then head over to Pinterest and start searching things like ‘Pale Blue Offices’ & ‘Pale Blue Decor’ and ran with themes such as ‘Coastal Decor’ & ‘Nautical Decor’. I compiled lots of pins based on those searches, so feel free if you want to take a look at my Pinterest board here.

Here’s the main pin that inspired the majority of our office design: 

I was (still am) obsessed with pale blue – I find the colour timeless and completely relaxing – which was a massive benefit for what can be a stressful space at times (with work). I couldn’t find that perfect paint match to all the Pinterest finds, but as always – Helen from @decoratingcentreonline came to the rescue and mixed a colour especially to meet that perfect colour I was looking for (Helen, I actually love you). The paint was exactly what I wanted and I was so over the moon that it worked out so well. As it’s specially mixed, we’ve called it Corby Craig Office and you can buy here [collab].

From there, it was really just a case of finding items that worked within the space. We didn’t have a massive budget, but we managed to keep costs low by compromising and up-cycling what we already had.

That chair that you all loved so much – actually replaced the original buttoned chair I had bought. Basically, I’m such a bloody Homesense fiend that I’m now on first name terms with the Store Manager of the Edinburgh Fort Kinnaird branch – who knew how much I wanted a Navy occasional chair for the office. This beauty came into the store, and the lovely Store Manager contacted me and I managed to swap the original chair I bought for this baby. Best part about it was, this statement chair was £299.99. I did some research after buying it, and realised it’s a dupe of a Westelm version which previously retailed for $999.99 in the USA!!! It’s a velvetty-suede material and swivels on those gorgeous brassy-gold legs. Literally in love with it. 

The chair was pretty bare without a cushion but I had in my head that I wanted a cute little nautical themed cushion to tie in with the contemporary/modern coastal vibe I was going for. With me being so goddamn fussy, I couldn’t find anything I liked – so I was happy to pay for something bespoke. I love @countryabodes and had always looked for a reason to get something from them, so I messaged the lovely Rachel to see if she’d be up for the challenge of making me something specific – she only went and agreed, then went above and beyond to source the perfect fabric that turned into the most perfect cushion with Pom-Pom detailing. Literally over the moon with it and Rachel is a bloody cushion genius! You can browse Rachel’s products here [collab].

I wanted to keep the furniture white, in-keeping with that coastal/nautical vibe I loved so much, which worked out amazingly seeing as IKEA do pretty reasonable, but stylish white furniture. We already had the LINNMON desktop (£25) so we just upgraded the legs to the gorgeous (and practical) FINNVARD trestle legs (£50 for two), which double up as extra storage shelves too – we managed to use one side for the printer, which clears the desk-space! The LIATORP bookcases (£480 for two) were absolutely perfect for our storage needs as they fit A4 ringbinders etc. in the part you can’t see and the upper half allows you to create your very own faffing dream with pretty pieces, trinkets and decor to be on show.

Top tip to personalising your IKEA furniture: I bought these gorgeous marble/brass door pulls in Homesense (x4) for just £6.99 that I used on the Liatorp cabinets. They add a touch of class to the cabinets and make them a tiny bit more original! Subtle, but cheap and effective. Ps. Homesense ALWAYS have quirky door pulls! 

IKEA also came through on the photo frames that I literally spent ages looking for elsewhere. They’re the HOVSTA range and I went for the 21x30cm above the desk, then 30x40cm above the occasional chair. The only struggle with IKEA frames is trying to then find perfect prints to fit the weird dimensions. I gave up and actually turned down a really cool collaboration (without sounding a twot!) because I just couldn’t find the perfect fit for them – so I got creative and made my own.

I was looking for simple and minimalist but relevant – I wanted something a little personal. Since it’s a working space, I thought I’d make relevant quote prints to inspire – so made up my own quote (it’s probably someone else’s to be fair) and used the marketing software we have for our business to print the quotes on just plain old A4 card, cut to size.

Top tip for small quote prints/frames: if you have a window which causes a glare and stops you seeing what the print says (like we did) – remove the glass. More often than not the prints can look better without the glass!

For above the occasional chair, I couldn’t just print an A4 piece of card – as the frames are bigger, so I had to think of another solution. I decided on getting my own photographs (from places we’ve visited and loved) enlarged at our local printers. Funnily enough, the photos I chose are actually in-keeping with the kind of ‘coastal’ vibe of the space! For anyone nosey, the top photo was taken in Formentera Island, Ibiza and the bottom photo was taken in Kenmore, Scotland.

I finished off the space with this gorrrrgeous faux wooden blind, that I received from Make My Blinds [collab]. This room is south-facing, meaning glare and sunlight all day long – which is lovely, but not when you’re staring at a computer screen. It’s the Editions Ghost White slats, with Pure White tapes. Really fab quality and an absolute doddle to fit! I wasn’t asked to post a blog feature, but it deserves it and would definitely recommend them (think I’m gonna buy a 2nd one for the dressing room!). The window is around 123cm width x 113cm height for anyone wondering.

Styling-wise, I bought a LOT of pieces from Homesense over a space of about 2 months. As their stock always changes, I popped into the store loads and managed to pick up lots of different bits and bobs to style the cabinets. Other bits are from the Next Sale in the Summer, so honestly speaking the likelihood of you finding the same pieces are slim so I won’t tag them all. The baskets are from IKEA called BYHOLMA (£6 each) and Eucalyptus stems are Dunelm (£2.29).  The brass lamps are from Dunelm too – I got them in the sale a few months back!

I literally winged it when it came to positioning and styling though, but I’m really chuffed with how it turned out. Filling empty spaces with books worked a treat – separate blog post coming soon on how I managed to achieve the book-look!

Hope you enjoyed this post! If there’s anything I’ve not covered, please get in touch and I’ll try my best to help! If you made it this far, thank you for reading.

Craig ☺️

* No affiliate links are contained in this post nor am I earning any commission for any links contained in this post

** I collaborated with Make My Blinds [blind], Decorating Centre Online [paint] and Country Abodes [cushion] on this project

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