Do you dream of having space to work at home but just don’t have the one vital element: space?
Somewhere you can switch off from the rest of the world and focus on the job in hand?
Then join the club. As a stay-and-work-at-home-mum and journalist I dream of the day I can have a writing hut at the end of the garden, away from the kids and detritus and general day to day life where I can concentrate on my work in peace and quiet.
Unfortunately, living in a fourth floor flat with no garden and a six-year-old, a three-year-old and a new baby, that day is a long way off, and up until now I’ve had no choice but to work from the dining room table surrounded by crumbs and homework and kids.
But things are about to change.
Misery Guts is about to quit his job and go freelance like me, meaning he too will be working from home and I’ll no longer have to juggle work and the kids all by myself.
It also means we need more space in which to work, because two of us at the dining room table surrounded by crumbs and homework and kids definitely won’t.
The only problem is, because there’s five of us in a two-bedroom flat, we don’t have a spare room to turn into an office, and we don’t have any outside space in which to create one either.
What we do have though is an enclosed balcony, also known as a general dumping ground for dead plants, surplus furniture and beach towels (here it is in all its glory).
Until recently that is.
We might not have room for an actual home office, but it turns out we do have room for a home office space simply by giving this disused corner of our flat a little makeover.
Creating a home office when you don’t have an office
It turns out you don’t actually need all that much space to create a home office at all – a wall or a corner will do.
With a colour scheme of white and blue because a) white creates the illusion of space and b) we live by the seaside we started off with what no self-respecting home office should be without: a desk.
It needed to be space saving so we went with UCLIC’s Create Desk + Drawer from Kit Out My Office (£119) which comes in a choice of two widths (800mm and 1200mm) and 15 different colours (we went for blue).
The desk came in four boxes and was super easy to assemble (I don’t think Misery Guts swore once) and although basic (you get just the one drawer) it does exactly what we need it to and fits nicely into our corner.
Next came a chair, which we picked up on eBay for £39.99. With a white plastic seat it won’t fade in the sunlight (one of the perils of living by the sea!) and with arms it’s what I call a thinking chair – you can sit back in it and have a good think too!
It cost almost as much as the desk (£105) but it’s worth every penny: it’s a nice solid weight and swivels and bends smoothly and sleekly to every possible angle you could need. As well as being functional it’s gorgeous to look at and the colour is just fantastic.
Then came the fun part: adding bits and bobs to the desk. I couldn’t resist using my Medela ‘This Mama’s Milkin’ It’ mug for pens (I’m loving uni-ball’s offering at the moment) and I do love a traditional telephone too.
Red Candy also has all sorts of novelty desk accessories including this Cactus cork memo holder (£10) which is also fun and functional – and the perfect size for business cards!
Then the finishing touch – and continuing the blue and white theme – is this canvas print of BB in bluebells from CanvasChamp (£7.05). All you have to do is upload an image on their website and a few days later your personalised canvas will drop onto your doormat. As well as being easy and hassle free I can’t get over the price – less than £10 for a gorgeous personalised print.
So with just seven key items we’ve transformed our dumping ground into a home office for less than £350 – the only downside is I’ve got to share it with Misery Guts!
Do you work from home and do you have a home office or home office space you work from? Do you have any top tips for home working in a bijou space?
We were sent the UCLIC Create Desk + Drawer, Anglepoise Type 75 mini desk lamp, Wild and Wolf phone, Cactus cork memo holder and CanvasChamp canvas free of charge in exchange for this review. As always all opinions are my own and based on my own honest experience.