I know you are probably thinking, “Wait. ‘Back’? What do you mean you got your office back? Where did it go??” So… let me explain.
If you’ve been reading Swoon Worthy for a while, you may know that back in the Spring of 2015, I was invited to be one of the 20 bloggers chosen to take part in the One Room Challenge. We were in the midst of building work for our 2nd bedroom and so I decided it was the perfect kick-up-the-arse to get the room finished. I had only just gone freelance full time and so a dedicated office space was something that was very high up on the priority list.
And finish we did – we worked SO HARD to get the room totally complete in the 6-week timeline and it was amazing to see the room transition from a rubbish ugly storage area to a working office for me. HOWEVER. Here’s what happened next.
Now, the room was completed in early May 2015. The following month, we got a puppy. Of course, we wanted him housebroken as soon as possible and I was doing little doggy training exercises with Quito on a daily basis. He was also being crate-trained to make everything easier for us and that worked really well. What didn’t work so well is being upstairs in my office while the puppy needed my almost constant attention. So I decided to move my work down to the dining room so that he could run about, I could keep an eye on him and we had easy access to the back garden for potty breaks and training.
This continued for nearly a year and happily, he was house-broken at about 5 or 6 months old – hurrah! We were still using the crate at this point (he’s transitioned out of that now) and the crate was in the dining room so I continued working out of that room. It was only once he hit a year old that we felt we could trust him to have a bit more free reign about the house which meant I could move back to my office more regularly.
Around this time, however, (Feb 2016) we started the work in the dining room. This meant the office – which wasn’t really being used at this point yet – became a dumping ground for storing furniture and accessories from the dining room that needed to be moved out whilst we took on the work but also for things like tools and materials. It wasn’t exactly an area I could concentrate in. It was messy and full of things so I continued working out of the dining room during this time which at least was clean!
Once the dining room was completed (May 2016), something else came up. Wayne’s mum needed to move out of her rented house. It’s a long story which involves trying to get her on the council list (she’s in her late 60’s on a meagre pension) and we realised that the best option was for her to move temporarily into Wayne’s sister’s home, while we tried to get her a flat through the council rather than a less secure private rental. What we didn’t know at the time was that we’d be waiting for 5 long months before the council was able to place her into a suitable flat. During that 5 month period, we were storing all of her large pieces of furniture. Where were we storing them? Yep, in the office again. It was only in December of this year that we finally moved her into her own flat (yay!) and of course, this meant her furniture moved with her.
So all this to say, aside from about 6 weeks just after the room was finished, in the more than a year and a half since it was completed, I’VE NEVER PROPERLY USED MY OFFICE. I want to cry just thinking about that.
The best news? I have my office back now. Over the break between Christmas and New Year, I had a huge clearout. Of course, the room became a bit of a dumping ground over the last year or so and I had so much crap in there – even after the dining room stuff, the furniture, everything – was cleared, it needed to be organised and cleaned properly.
I also treated myself to a piece of furniture that I’ve wanted FOREVER. This gorgeous 1970’s Pierre Vandal brass shelving unit was found on eBay and if you follow my Instagram Stories, you’ll know we travelled down to Crewe to pick it up in the week between Christmas and New Year. The original shelving unit I had was from Ikea which had been spray painted gold and it was fine for a while but I really wanted to upgrade it to something a little more special. At the time we’d remodelled, my budget was really stretched so the Ikea piece was a great stand in but I knew I wanted to replace it eventually.
I adore the piece and almost feel as though it’s far too nice for my office! Ha! The reason for this is because it is not just a display unit – this room is not just my office in fact. It’s actually my storage area for all the smaller accessories that I use when I do my little room refreshes. You know how I always say you should shop your house? Well, I think of the office as a sort of ‘shop front’. It’s the area of my home I store things I’m not currently using but still love. So when it’s time to give a space a little shake-up, I come here first and see what I’ve not used for a while and swap things out into other rooms.
So this unit (as well as the sideboard in here) is really for storage of extraneous items. Of course, I have tried to make that storage look nice too but the truth is, it’s really a bit of a workhorse. A really pretty workhorse, mind you, but it does have a very practical purpose. It stores my sewing machine and fabrics, interior design coffee table books, vases and candles, lamps, accessories, and more. If it were, say, in my dining room or my living room, it’d be styled to perfection. In here, it’s essentially a pretty storage spot! #keepinitreal
Of course, it’s also my office and needs to be a great area for me to concentrate on writing and planning blog posts and work on client writing pieces that I do. I have updated a few of the bits on the desk, using the little gold wire basket from H&M to store all my notepads as well as a little dish to store washi tape and paperclips.
I also keep my blog awards in this room – to remind me of what I can accomplish when I set my mind to something. It builds me up and makes me feel good and encourages me when my self-esteem is low! On the console table, my DIY wallpapered file holders are still here but I’ve added a gold wire magazine rack as well as a file folder.
I also swapped out the art on the desk and have included the gorgeous print that I co-designed with The Curious Department (another reminder of cool things you can do when you collaborate!). It works so well in this space! Also, just a side note, this is a limited edition print so you can still get your hands on one here! Plus, you can get 25% off on either the framed or unframed print using the code ‘eclecticbohoglam’ :)
I’ve changed some of the artwork around the room too. I often swap out the art in a room to give it a new look so some of the pieces moved into other rooms or were being stored. A colourful print, the black and white canvas as well as the woven animal head that were all in my bedroom were swapped to this room. I also moved prints from my dressing room onto the gallery wall to give it a little shake up.
I’m also now considering selling my hanging chair. I really love it because it’s gorgeous but it’s rarely used in here and I could actually use more storage in here and perhaps include smaller chair in that space. (If you’re local to me and you’re interested, please do just leave me a comment to let me know if you would like to buy it!) **UPDATE: The chair is now sold! Well, that was quick!**
So anyway, that’s the very long story of my office and why you haven’t seen it in over a year! I’m so happy to have it back and no doubt I’ll change things up another 20 times before I’m happy with it but until then, at least I have a nice clean space to work again – hurrah!
Have you done any home office organisation this January?