Now that we are finally cracking on with the work, I’ve been spending hours dreaming of home office inspiration. Having a dedicated home office this past year has been great, sort of. I had a desk space, the only real purpose for the room was my office, but it certainly didn’t feel like an office. We had basically dumped boxes of law books (which I need to get rid of), tech stuff, extra furniture and anything which didn’t fit into one of the more organised rooms in the rest of the house into there. It also became a holding space for power tools when we were working on things, so I often had to step carefully over drills and circular saws just to get to my desk. It wasn’t really the tidy, organised space that I need to focus. And my current office set up in the dining room of chaos (our new dumping ground now that the office is out of action!) is not a lot better.
We are getting so close to the fun bit now though, we have actual walls again after spending last weekend installing insulation and then starting on the plasterboard. We need to finish this and then we can get a plasterer in and finally cover up the bare stone all over the place! This is how it looks right now, so much better than in my last post, I think you’ll agree.
I simply cannot wait to have a room dedicated to work and hobbies. I plan to make it my sewing and crafting room as well as my office, and Ste wants it also to be his gaming room so that long nights playing Halo don’t interrupt my quality trashy tv time. (Joking, he is very good and usually plays after I’ve gone to bed, but it would be good for him to have a gaming set-up he could leave as he wanted). Of course, multi-purpose means lots of stuff, and in the case of the gaming part, kind of ugly stuff! So my first port of call is some built in bookcases and cabinets.
Built-in bookshelves are a bookworm’s dream and I have wanted these for as long as I’ve wanted my own home. Ideally a panelled library with shelves on three sides and an open fireplace on the other. You know, this kind of thing:
Well, we’ve got an old miners’ cottage, so I’ve had to scale it down a bit, but I am still planning one entire wall of built in shelves, with the bottom (and possibly also very top as it is a tall room) section being big cupboards for my craft supplies and files and other ugly stuff. We are planning to DIY this (of course) and I can’t wait to get started. Obviously my ‘Home Office’ board on Pinterest has been going into overdrive, so you can head on over there for some more home office inspiration and some of my more OTT thoughts, but these are the kind of shelves I hope to end up with, though with slightly less ornate trim:
I am really torn about the colour scheme. I love dark and moody palettes and an almost industrial look, but I have to be realistic given the small size of the room and distinctly cottage-y nature of our house. Besides, we won’t be here forever, and not everyone will be a fan of dramatic walls, and in terms of re-sale value (something we are trying to bear in mind throughout our renovations) other than the built in shelves, this room still needs to be able to be described as a bedroom, so dark navy walls might be a little off-putting for some! Aesthetically I also love the sleek, scandi look, with clean lines and raw wood, but again, it wouldn’t work in our house, so I have to find a compromise.
I already have the two main furniture items for the room, an old Queen Anne wingback chair I plan to re-upholster which will form a snug reading corner, with a lamp and small table, but my desk has to be the starting point for any scheme. It is an inherited piece passed down through the family from my great-great Grandfather, and now it is my pride and joy – a carved oak pedestal dating from the early Victorian period, so around the same time as the house was built. It is big and dark and moody (just look at those faces!), so I need to lighten the rest of the room a bit, but keep some dark wood in there to complement it.
So my thoughts at the moment are to paint all the woodwork and shelves a light, muted tone, and have a dark carpet to up the mood factor without drowning it, and with the added bonus of not showing muddy pawprints and dirt so much! The walls will probably also be quite neutral, but with an accent wall either end, or possibly just one. I am minded to go for burgundy, because it complements the beige-y shades on the wood well, as well as the dark wood of my desk, and also the gold and brass metallic highlights of the lamps and hardware. I kind of wanted navy, but I think it is hard to make it feel as rich and homely without feeling very dark. What nobody told me about buying a house was how hard it is to choose the colours! I feel like I am flying blind, and just crossing my fingers it turns out with a cohesive look, but I hope that I have some sort of ability in these things and it will all be fine in the end. Does anyone else have these decor doubts? Please say it’s not just me.
In terms of wallpaper, I’ve always wanted to use some toile de jouy, and if we’re just having one small wall of it the office seems the ideal space. I initially found the amazing horsey one in the image at the bottom from Sanderson, but then I discovered www.wallpaperdirect.com and have ordered some samples (which arrived in super quick time the next day) and now I am genuinely torn. Maybe a toile will be too busy in there? What do you think of these? I’m leaning towards bottom left. Or maybe top right?
Anyway, so there you have it. The look is rich and tonal but with a calm background, metallic highlights and a traditional yet homely feel, with a nod to the equestrian (I love me some horses). Or something like that.
Ha, easy! Obviously none of this has been done yet, so fire away with the comments if you have any suggestions or alternatives or just want to tell me how much of a nerd I am for thinking about this in so much detail. I can take it.