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Home office inspiration: What's on my private design boards?


The current plan is to turn our existing dining room into my office. We're still a little way off taking action here, but I think once our kitchen and extension has been drawn up and signed off, we'll be able to start the work. At this point we have some options to work with, and before we start purchasing timber, knocking out walls or starting any of the work, I want to be absolutely confident that this layout is the most suitable, functional, and effective for our lifestyle.

My advice is not to rush in excitement. Making the wrong decision can be VERY costly, and the most important thing is to take some time to live in your home (if you can) and figure out exactly what you need from it to serve your lifestyle. It's imperative that the layout makes sense for both you and your home.

However, at this point, we can still start to gather ideas. With any project, gathering ideas always comes at the beginning of the process. It's handy to have an idea of the scale of the space you'll be working with, but any interior designer will be able to take your ideas and help create something that works within your space. It gives us a chance to get even more creative!

I've spent around 18 months dreaming of having my own office space and going TO TOWN gathering my inspiration, so I feel really lucky about having this opportunity to build a home office. The only problem is where I've had so long to dream about it, nailing down the specifics is proving quite the challenge.

This post is going to walk you through the things I'm considering, and some of the images that are really inspiring me.

The space

The intended room for the office is slightly in between a square and a rectangle - it's not completely square, but it's also not super long either. It has two long windows at the front which I love as it lets a lot of light in all day. See what the room looks like at the moment.

The colour scheme

Torn between moody and light, I think this is going to be a tough decision. Colours i'm loving for the walls are:

  • Muted greens with soft ivory

  • Sharp green with pops of taupe (perhaps in a subtle wallpaper that sits inside any joinery)

  • All white with warmth added in the desk, chair, textiles, and antique bronze hardware

  • I've also pinned a gorgeous oak desk built into joinery which is really beautiful


The doors

The plan is to open up the door frame and insert double french doors instead. This means whichever design I go for, I have to consider how it will look as you walk into our hallway. I'm toying between traditional lightly painted Georgian style french doors with glass inserts, dark painted timber doors with glass inserts (think Studio McGee Home Office - inspo pic below), or natural wooden oak doors. The only thing with using oak is it really reminds me of funerals, and I just don't want to be thinking about that all day.


The joinery

As a designer, storage is absolutely essential. Whilst I love styling, I really don't like bulky things out on display. In my old house even the toaster was put away in the cupboard. Bespoke joinery will mean I can design a custom unit that maximises the space, and helps me to function and navigate my work. Custom nooks to file away samples whilst having access to the bulky things I need regularly, but also helping me feel zen and organised in my home (not to mention it gives your home a real sense of luxury). But joinery can also be very expensive, so I'm also thinking about affordable space saving options such as furniture that can grow with us, and move with us.


The desk

A decent size desk is absolutely essential. I'm your typical creative person who uses a roll of white paper, two notebooks, digital note taking apps, and post-it notes on a regular basis, if not all at the same time. I have regular brain dump sessions and when I've got an idea, my way of processing that usually comes in various forms so having space to get creative and get what's in my head, into a working plan, often requires a bit of elbow room!


The lighting

Nothing sets the scene like the perfect lighting. There will definitely be some re-wiring needed in the office, and depending on whether we go with joinery or not will also impact the lighting. I really love mixing traditional and modern, it's one of the most fun things to get creative with when designing. Adding in floor lamps is another way to keep it comfy, casual, and laid-back.


The textiles

Soft, earthy, textures, and subtle patterns. How I feel directly impacts how I work, and feeling cosy all year round is how I like to be. I plan to mix in some custom window treatments, probably roman blinds in a subtle herringbone pattern, or I might mix it up pairing a bolder pattern and colour on the blinds with structured dress curtains to shape the windows.

The functionality

Ultimately, an office space needs to function. The reality is, as my business grows, I may need to pre-empt space for a presentation area and client chair. So, bespoke joinery may take up additional room that may end up needing to be sacrificed. How you need to function in your space has a direct impact on the design you go with. That's why I always recommend having some drawings in place to help you visualise how your space can work for you. (You could use my visualiser package to help you with this).

Hopefully this gives you an idea of the concepts I'm currently playing with for the office. I'm excited to see how it turns out, and ideally it will be soon because working from my dining table, in the hallway, throughout winter is not the most ideal solution!


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