When we moved into our home and began renovating, our spare room was very unloved. Before we arrived, it was the bedroom of a teenage boy – with a Black Sabbath sticker on the window and woodchip wallpaper under black paint. After moving in, this room became our laundry space and general dump as we got to grips with this new home project. It was a sad and sorry place, and this is the only picture I have to share:
So where to start? With ripping off all the textured, dated and painted-over woodchip wallpaper! In our first stage of decorating, we paid a professional handyman to remove this wallpaper from the whole property. You can remove the woodchip yourself, but if you’re new to DIY I really recommend finding someone who can do this work for you. Doing a good job at this stage saves you the cost of re-plastering various walls later if you’re going for a smooth, painted wall finish. We had a plasterer come in to board over the artex ceilings of our home, and he also smoothed over the more damaged walls. You can read all about this stage of the renovation here.
After the plastering was over, the home office was the first room that we started painting. We did all the interior painting ourselves, and this room is where we had a false start with a dodgy undercoat (all horrifically detailed in a previous post!). However, we learnt and improved! We have used Farrow and Ball paint throughout our home, keeping to a colour palate of creams, teals and mustards.
The aim for our home office was for it to feel like an inviting and creative room, that has plenty of space for my partner and I to work side by side on our own projects, and the flexibility to turn it into an extra guest room when needed. This room is very bright – south facing with a large window, so it can take bold colours. As a nod to its Gothic past, this is the only room in the house where we have dark woodwork (the shade is called Railings, in other rooms we have used Wimborne White, to match our ceilings). We have used two tones of wall colour to encourage different zones for the room – Shaded White wraps around the desk/office side, and Inchyra Blue creates a peaceful and reflective area around our reading chair.
Shaded White is an off-white shade, forming a warm stoney colour against the Inchyra – which changes hue from blue to green depending on the time of day and weather. The massive advantage of Farrow and Ball paint is that the colour on your wall feels natural and alive because of this variation. The paint is also very easy to work with and non-odorous. I have no affiliations to this company but I genuinely believe their paint is worth the extra cost!
For office furniture, we got our tables, trestles and filing drawers from Ikea. Our matching office chairs (Flynn) are from MADE and our desk lamps are from John Lewis (no longer in stock it seems, but there are loads of retro lamps on their website!).
On my side of the desk, we have hung a grid mood board – a more stylish alternative to the traditional pin board. This was originally from the Talent Lab section of MADE’s website – where new designer’s pieces are presented to see if there are enough interested buyers for it to go into production.
These photos show the office in use by the way, keeping it real here!
In the Inchyra side of the room, we have created a cosy space to write and read. This chair (which doubles as a single guest bed), standing lamp and waste paper bin are all from MADE.
A great advantage of our home office and living room are the period picture rails. In this room (living room update to come!), we have hung production posters for my partner’s theatre work, and other artwork we have accumulated over the years. We were really keen to make practical use of the rail, and it’s a luxury to be able to move pictures around rather than commit to hammering into newly painted walls! We have used a bronze toned coil and picture hooks (available from Amazon or any DIY store).
This room is still a work in progress, so I’m saving the full view photos until we have cleared a few boxes, brought in a vintage bookcase (which is hiding in storage at the moment) and installed a few small details like a ceiling light and a door… But it’s all about process rather than perfection here on the blog, so I hope these small glimpses are of interest.
You have to agree, it’s an improvement from what we started with…right?!