January 29, 2015

The home office makeover - part 2

Do you remember the 'before' shot of our home office? It really was horrible. And by horrible, I mean impractical, poorly organised, and not an inspirational place for my husband and I to work from at any time of day.

Now that I have the flexibility of working from home, the shared home office needed to be so much more than it was. I trawled Pinterest (find me someone considering a room makeover who hasn't), I flipped through IKEA catalogues, and we both talked for ages about what we wanted and needed this space to be.

I knew I wanted the desks to be white, and I wanted to get two side by side, instead of one too big to move; and they needed file storage. The large desk and return we had been using was ridiculously useless, way too deep and offered very little in the way of storage. In the end, the result was simply that neither BB or I used the home office. I knew I wanted desks that had at least one other matching piece (ideally a storage piece) or something that would be incredibly easy to match office furniture to in the future. After some searching, BB and I found two very simple white laminate desks and a matching console from Empire Office Furniture, and decided that they would be perfect. The best part? For a small fee on top of delivery, they would put the furniture together in our home and move them into position right where we wanted them!

The horrendous 'before' photo. I honestly don't know how BB perched all his office gear on the end of that return, while my jumbo desktop computer took up all the corner space. And yes, we have two printers!

Once we had the desks and console in the room, I set about getting organised and decluttering both my space and my head space. I was so fortunate enough to have been offered a Home Secret gift voucher for helping with this, and oh my, how it helped!

My desk can usually look quite cluttered when I have a lot going on – there are notes scribbled on multiple notepads, piles of paper I'm referencing regularly, unfiled receipts (my husband's pet hate!) and a general mess.

Welcome to my new and improved functional office!

Now I have files for all my receipts and paperwork, a stack of notebooks that I’ll use one at a time to write everything in – no more scraps of paper, and just one small jar of pens. Did you notice the big tub I was using to store pens (and everything else) before? It just confirms to me that the more space you have the more you accumulate. I didn’t need all those pens, scissors, nail polish (?), and empty spectacle cases on my desk.. Best of all it looks like the workspace of a someone who enjoys spending time there.. . being organised doesn’t have to mean working around a boring aesthetic.

The top of my desk may have been a mess, but it’s the shallow drawer under my desk that became the dumping ground for anything and everything. I’m too embarrassed to show you the junk drawer before… but I’m excited to show you the ‘after’ shot. This excellent tray with compartments holds all the bits and pieces and now the drawer is an organisational dream!

The drawer tidy makes a world of difference (so does cleaning out the random scraps of rubbish apparently!), and I love the little flat tin with all my green clips. It started out as a lovely notecard tin from Home Secret, but found new life in my drawer keeping the dreaded paperclip monster from breeding!

I used to stick things randomly on the wall next to my desk, now I'm shopping  for a much more practical magnetic whiteboard - I want to use it for important notes, as a moodboard and for inspiration. The green Aladdin carafe (with a cup for a lid!) is another addition to my workspace that I love because I've found that I am hydrating a lot more now that I have water close at hand.

Clockwise from top left: a very functional and fun water carafe with a matching cup/lid; bulldog clips can be my best friend; a divinely-scented Florence Broadhurst for Circa Home jar candle (I've seen these for well over double what I paid at Home Secret!); and the very groovy soda bottle crate - propped on one end, it makes a really unusual shadow box!

Washi tape is the best office labelling tape ever, it's almost an addiction.

The top of the printer houses a stack of A4 wallets that I’ve labeled with washi tape for fast and easy filing of everything that lands on my desk. I have no excuse now to go back to piles of paper, and the little notepad is perfect for a quick visual of things to do first thing in the morning. One of the other useful things I've done is stock up on supplies like Sharpies, notepads, paperclips, staples, and bulldog clips. I’m usually scrambling to find something right when I really need it, and that's such an inefficient way to work.

These shelves are going to a be work in progress, and I'll often play around with the smaller details. I love keeping thoughtful items and gifts from lovely friends on them. The hand bookends were one of my favourite finds at Home Secret - so kooky!

Seriously, how great are these hand bookends (and less than $20 too), I've seen them at other homewares stores for $49, so that was a huge budget win!

Important note: Thank you BB - your supremely level shelf-hanging skills are appreciated.

Home Secret pride themselves on their excellent motto - big brand homewares without the designer price tag. I can certainly vouch for that! I managed to pick up gorgeous styling and organisation pieces from Jonathan Adler, Filofax, Yankee Candle, and Florence Broadhurst for Circa Home for a fraction of what I'd have paid in other stores*! And it's not just home decor, the kitchenware section is to DIE for.

I can't imagine a home office without photos of my favourite day, so I was thrilled to find this white photo frame at Home Secret - perfect for three small wedding photos.

I’m inspired now that I have our home office well-organised. We have good filing systems and storage solutions. It’s wonderful to have a fresh start to keep me sorting, filing and organising on a daily basis and not let things get out of hand again, and I love having an empty white desktop to work on. I achieved all of this decor and organisation on a budget of less than $300 at Home Secret, and I'm thrilled with the result.

It wasn't just the desk that received a makeover, this palm-embroidered cushion is both comfy and cute. 

Remember the white console I mentioned? It's doing a fantastic job as the 'stationery cupboard' of the room, everything is really accessible, and there's extra space on top if either of us decide to spread out our paperwork. The funky owl is actually a tealight holder that BB chose from Home Secret, and it fits perfectly into this room with all the fresh and fun touches we added!

Now, that's not all... stay tuned for a future post to see how I beautified BB's side of the room with some more Home Secret finds!

Doesn't it just look so much better now? (And a scented tealight in my favourite candle votive, a gift from the sweetest colleague I've ever worked with makes it just perfect!)

If you work from home at all, is your space beautiful and inspiring, or have you let it get out of hand a little? 

For more great home office inspiration, especially if you like a little vintage style... head over to Trainee Mama to check out how she turned an old-school ironing board into a desk. Seriously.

*Because Home Secret have such high turnover in their beautiful stock, there's no guarantee that when you visit, the same brands will be available. Saying that, I've recently spotted Esprit, Country Road, Sheridan, Vera Wang (seriously!), Le Creuset, RACO, Cuisinart and Jamie Oliver stuff at less than half the price of Myer and David Jones!

**This post is in collaboration with my all-time favourite homewares store, Home Secret. As always, I only partner with brands that are a good fit with my blog and my lifestyle.

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  1. It looks fabulous hun and I bet it feels so good to sit in there and admire all your handy work. I am anal about my home office, it is my lady cave and heaven help anyone that messes my sanctuary up .. except for me ;) xx

  2. Oh my goodness, I love those hands as book ends! Genius! :)

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  4. Hey Katy! Your home office makeover looks amazing! Everything seems well-organized and pretty, and it certainly opened up a lot more space in your office. Anyway, I’d love to see what you’ve done with the rest of the room. Thanks for sharing your new cute office. Cheers!

    Frank George @ Dutch Hollow Supplies

  5. Wow it looks great! I love the tones you have used. Mine is in desperate need of a makeover, and this as provided some much needed inspiration!


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