I always feel so fortunate to be able to work from home. I am a very self-motivated person, and being in control of my own schedule and workload suits me to a tee. It enables me to choose my hours of work, bearing in mind my children’s school routine and it gives me a great work/life balance (apart from during the pre-Christmas rush!)
At home, my office/art studio is a small nook in one corner of my U-shaped bedroom. It is under the eaves with a large skylight situated right above my desk, which is perfect, as to work as an illustrator (I create bespoke portraits of customers homes and families) it is helpful to have plenty of natural light to work under.
My day job is illustrating houses www.arthouseillustrations.co.uk
It’s an awkwardly shaped space with angular walls and a sloping ceiling, and as I often spend hour upon hour working here, I wanted to create a tranquil and relaxing scheme, full of beautiful things, which didn’t make me feel hemmed in and claustrophobic.
My desk area before re-decorating was lacking a peaceful vibe
My old desk and chair were still perfectly suited to my needs, so I simply gave my desk a couple of coats of white chalk paint (using Rust-oleum chalk white furniture paint) to freshen it up before starting on the biggest challenge, which was the cork wall.
I collaborated with a fantastic company called Boards Direct who sell their cork on the roll in 2, 5 or 10 metre options. If you are interested in creating a similar wall in your home, you can use code ‘promocork5’ to claim 5% off your order at www.boardsdirect.co.uk
They also sell pins and contact adhesive which is suitable for bonding natural cork to your wall. My husband used his DIY skills to complete the task for me. He made a template of the wall using lining paper and an adjustable set square and laid it over the cork to ensure he had the correct shape. Then he cut the cork using a stanley knife and metal metre rule. Next, he applied the contact adhesive with a roller, waited for it to dry and and adhered the cork to the wall. He found the process very straightforward, despite the wall being an unusual shape.
My home studio after its makeover showcasing a whole wall of cork
I wanted a cork wall for two reasons. I love the warmth and texture it provides, but also I wanted to be able to pin up drawings, my favourite art prints and anything else that I may pick up on my travels. Plus if I’m in a rush, I can stick up my seemingly endless amounts of postage receipts before I have time to sort them!
Inspiration found on Pinterest
In terms of accessorising, I chose some gorgeous items, gifted to me from the collection at Housing Units, Manchester’s biggest furniture and home accessories store, which also has a stylish website – packed with all you could need to furnish your home. You can shop at www.housingunits.co.uk
Below are the items I chose from their collection:
I also added a wooden peg board onto the side wall, mainly for aesthetic purposes, but it could also be useful storage for pens and paintbrushes etc (okay, who am I kidding, haha!)
I adore this wooden peg board £102 from Wayfair
My styling tips for your home office would be to start with a colour palette in mind. Most of my home has monochrome elements, so that was a given, but here also I’ve added some cream and copper to tie in with the cork, plus, of course some mandatory greenery with my faux trailing plant, topiary tree and some succulents. Keep your accessories within your chosen colour scheme to create a calm, coordinated vibe. I personally think a work area should be peaceful, serene and have plenty of storage so you’re not drowning in paperwork (or at least so you can hide it away until another day!)
Have some inspirational items around you, which make you feel happy for when you need those few minutes of downtime to de-stress. I love my ‘Just Breathe’ print from Opposite Wall and my motivational typography print from ‘A&O Design Co.’ I am quite happy to sit here and take in my surroundings – in fact it’s fair to say that I now see this area as a little haven, away from the hustle and bustle of family life.
I have kept to a monochrome scheme with touches of clay, cream and of course some green plants
I hope you like what I have done, and that it has inspired you to step out of your comfort zone and do something different. After all, in my opinion, the best interiors are those that set new boundaries!
Until next time…