Hello! Long time no blog. I am sorry, I have been embroiled in a complicated edit of book 3 and I tend to get very engrossed in one thing and find it hard then to do anything else. But I’m back now, and I thought it might be nice to give you a little virtual tour of my home office. If you follow me on Instagram you might know that it’s really different from the rest of our house.
We live in a 1970s house (I have blogged about it a bit here) and everything is very light, bright and spacious. Lots of glazing (far too much in some respects - especially when it’s warm, it’s like living in a greenhouse!) and just generally a lovely and airy feel. We had both lived in Victorian/Edwardian properties before this and while they’re very charming with their period features etc, we both really really love the spaciousness you get in midcentury homes. A proper hallway, rather than a narrow corridor dominated by a staircase. Big, square or rectangular rooms that make fitting in furniture easy. Huge windows that make the most of the views. There are lots of benefits.
But as usual I digress. The point is that when we moved in we really wanted to increase the sense of light and space further, so after we had our extension done last year we painted the entire downstairs white, and purposefully chose neutral furniture with lots of light wood and plywood - it’s very Scandi throughout I guess (although we do have some cool wallpapers in the bedrooms).
However, the one room in the house that doesn’t really fit with our ‘theme’ is my office. And that’s probably a result of us keeping artwork and accessories to a minimum downstairs. I am not hugely sentimental, but when it came to putting up finishing touches downstairs I had quite a few pieces that I was really upset we couldn’t find homes for. And so I decided to embrace it, and put them all in this little room. And so my home office is the one room in our house that’s, well, cluttered. I’d prefer to say homely, but cluttered is probably more accurate.
So here it is: my little room that looks nothing like the rest of the house. It’s the smallest bedroom upstairs, and it’s at the front of the house and overlooks a load of hedging and mature trees. We’re lucky that we live down a cul de sac which only has houses on one side - opposite us used to be a running track, which has been sold for development, but we should (if the planners keep their word) still have our natural screening of mature trees and hedging to separate us from the new houses (which will be in a different road). Bit hard to explain but hopefully it makes sense!
[Gross sidenote: the downside of living in an ultra quiet cul de sac quite near a station is that taxi drivers quite often come down here to relieve themselves in the bushes opposite. It’s LOVELY. They never realise I can see them out of my office window. One day I might shout out the window at one and give him a heart attack.]
Anyway, it’s a small room - you could squeeze a double bed in if you had to but it wouldn’t be very comfortable. But it’s plenty big enough for an office.
As you can see, on the walls I’ve basically ‘gone with it’ and decided to hang every picture that ever meant anything to me, so it’s a bit of a mish mash. I’m usually not a huge fan of gallery walls, but I think it works quite well and really does make me feel cocooned and cosy surrounded by the things I love. There’s photos of me and my sister, pictures taken by my sister (a very talented photographer), a photo of my insane father flying the aeroplane he built in his garage, plus the large Clare Cutts screen print that I bought on my 30th birthday. It’s a mish-mash, but I like it.
Furniture wise, there are two really precious things to me: my desk which is from Heal’s and by Sebastian Cox, and the little bureau that was my grandparents. The desk was a real extravagance but one which I have never regretted - it’s a pleasure to work at. The bureau reminds me of my childhood, because my Nanny used to keep all the family photos in the bottom cupboard and inevitably when we stayed with her I’d ask to dig them out and we’d go through them all together. It’s actually a really useful cupboard - we keep all our stationery bits in the flap-down section, printer paper and envelopes in the drawers and then the bottom cupboard houses all my paperwork. On top of the bureau is a vintage typewriter that Oli bought me for Christmas a few years after we got together. It works and I love it!
The oak stacking shelves are vintage Heal’s and were Oli’s - we have two more of them downstairs in our kitchen which house our cookery books. Then there’s of course my dolls house (which I’ve blogged about at length), which sits on top of my childhood toybox. It’s empty (there’s no moving that dolls house easily) and needs repainting but it’s another thing I can’t bear to part with - under the lid it has my sister’s and my childhood graffiti.
The daybed is from Ikea. It’s ridiculously comfy and it’s where I do most of my writing and editing. I love the soft pink colour and I usually have my Melin Tregwynt blanket over my legs while I work.
On the walls by my desk I have my vision board (I could probably blog more about this but being a Brit I’m still a bit embarrassed that I have one) and a set of String shelving with family photos on. We’re not hugely big on having family pics everywhere - we have one collage frame in the kitchen, and then a few of Daphne as a baby scattered about but no big canvases or anything like that. And barely any of us as a couple! So unromantic, ha.
The windowsill is home to all the plants that Oli won’t let me have in the rest of the house - mostly little ones. Plus my Lucie Kaas mini sparrow (I have a bigger one downstairs) and a radio I hardly ever turn on (I can only really work in silence).
And that’s about it! This room has such a different feel from the rest of the house. It’s not purposefully styled, everything that’s in here is in here because I love it, not because it necessarily looks ‘right’ with the other pieces. It’s a bit ramshackle and incohesive but somehow I find coming in here really comforting. Even though I love the bright contemporary simplicity of the rooms downstairs, this room is a cosy haven, and feels very ‘me’. My own little sanctuary, and I’m very lucky to have it.
Desk - Sebastian Cox from Heal’s. Shelves - vintage Heal’s. Pendant light - Tom Raffield. Daybed - Ikea. Chair - Setu by Herman Miller, John Lewis. String Pocket Shelving in Ash and White, Utility Design. Blanket - Melin Tregwynt. Clock - Wild and Wolf from Amara.