Over the last 8 years or so, I’ve had a lot of workspaces. I started out from a tiny table in the corner of the living room of our attic flat in Dundee, while I used the local print studio a few days a week. Eventually I had far too much to fit on (and under and around!) the living room table and I moved into a rented studio at WASPS Meadowmill Dundee. The studios had just been renovated around then- and they were lovely crisp white cubes filled with light and potential.
I loved that studio (there’s a tour of it here) and moving my business to “proper” premises felt like the right decision at the time. I was able to make as much mess as I wanted, and then close the door on it all when I left in the evening. After a while though, I realised that closing the door on my business (and more so my creativity) was HARD. As soon as I’d get home, I’d have a terrific flash of inspiration and wish I had my sketchbook and paint box to hand.
When we started looking for our own home, I didn’t want to consider having a home studio/office space. At the time it felt like I’d be taking a step back. And it wasn’t just me- Michael had a studio in the same building- which was literally covered from floor to ceiling in oil paint and definitely wasn’t an option to house in a shiny new home.
But when we started house-hunting outside of the city, we realised that we might be able to afford a little more space than we’d first hoped. There was the option for me to have a dedicated workspace at home and there were options for Michael too- between local studio lets and potentially building a garden studio.
We decided to try to make it work. Worst case scenario- I’d have to find a new studio to rent and potentially commute.
That was a little bit over 4 years ago now- and it turns out- we both love working from home. I’ve got a nice neat office space that I use for computer work and admin, as well as a super messy and totally un-instagrammable workshop room too. Michael has his garden studio which keeps his paint splatters contained, but is close enough for me to pop in and ask for a second opinion when I fancy.
When it came to refreshing my home workspace earlier this year (See here for what it looked like before) it felt right to split the spaces into messy and neat. The idea for my office space was to keep things super minimal with really clean monochrome tones for the decor. I do love little pops of colour around me- but keeping the walls white with black fixtures & furniture is the perfect backdrop for this.
I flipped the whole space around to use the opposite wall for my desk, and swapped my old wooden school chair for something slightly comfier. I’d never really thought the school chair was uncomfortable (I’m the kind of person who loves a properly firm mattress) but I was amazed how having some slightly softer edges on my desk chair made all the difference to a day of sitting down.
The floor is still carpeted in here, with the plan ultimately being to replace this with wood. In the mean time, the addition of this beaut of a rug gives the room at totally different look from the ground up. And as well as this- the cats love it!
I decided to keep the shelves for display and inspiration, with less pretty looking admin clutter hidden away in the built in cupboards next to my desk. I read somewhere that plants and the colour green are great for creativity- so I’ve used the full height of the selves for a trailing String of Hearts as well as some little succulents and a Pilea that my pal gifted to me.
What do you think of my updated office space? I’m pretty sure it’ll change again over time (hopefully my plants will get a bit bigger!) so i’ll post some updates over on instagram over the next few months. My next goal is to sort out my messy workspace a little- even if it’s just a bit of organisation and storage for my creative mess. For now I’m going to enjoy my lovely new office work space!
*West Elm have kindly gifted me the items marked with an asterisk, which I was under no obligation to post about or review, but I couldn’t resist sharing how pretty my new office turned out!