** This is a collaborative post **
One of the things I’ve found the hardest about working from home, is the struggle to switch off from ‘home’ stuff and focus only on work stuff. For ages I have been wanting to create a bright and inspiring office space in which I can shut myself away from the house ‘stuff’, in order to focus on running my business and blog.
I’ve been self employed for nearly 4 years now, but for the first 18 months or so of that time my ‘office’ was also my living room, dining room, and Toby’s playroom. When we moved house in June 2016 there was an office! However it was all too easy for it to become a dumping ground as we adjusted to life with two-under-2, and well…
As I developed Apples & Pips, piles of stock in boxes were soon added the to piles of paperwork, which were already living alongside piles of stuff that really needed to be in either the loft or the bin. Instead of working in the office, I ran my blog, shop, and freelance work from my sofa. Distractions were everywhere and productivity simply can’t be great in that environment.
I recently got chatting to PosterLounge about my desire to sort the home office out once and for all, and they very kindly offered me the choice of their HUGE selection of prints and artwork. Honestly it took days to decide which to get; I must have had an initial shortlist of about 50 pieces! Thankfully there are categories to help you find products based on your tastes or which room you’re buying for, so that helped a lot, and because I was going for bright and fun I had a starting point.
Phil and I made a start on clearing the office out a month or so ago, and then life got a little crazy with me starting another job and a few things in our family, so it’s taken me until now to move forward with it.
I’m a coffee addict (in case you’ve never noticed that on my highly caffeinated Instagram feed…!) and I felt like I needed a designated coffee space so that I can top up on espresso whenever the desire/need arises. I found the perfect print to accompany the coffee machine that Phil bought me for my 30th birthday, added some Apples & Pips mugs, and voila!
Phil had put up a giant white board, with the intention of us using it as a Kanban board to organise our family and work ‘to do’ lists. I love the concept, but it wasn’t working and ended up being cluttered with letters and post-it notes, plus scribbles from when the children managed to get their mits on to our board markers. I got a screwdriver out and took it down, instantly brightening up the room thanks to the neutral wall that it had been hiding. I added a framed print for a pop of colour, and instantly the office felt more airy and spacious.
I’ve not sorted the shelving out or painted the walls yet, so this really has shown that even simple steps such as decluttering and using some beautiful artwork can transform a small space and turn it into somewhere I actually want to work!
I chose prints on different materials when shopping at PosterLounge, so there’s the traditional one in a frame, a canvas, but then also a gorgeous acrylic glass one (the coffee cups), and we’ve also got a huge print for the lounge which is on forex – a lightweight but durable material which holds the colours beautifully with a slight rustic look. Other material options include wood, wall stickers, and Alu-Dibond.
My productivity levels are so much higher when I’m not sprawled on the sofa with my laptop, Netflix on in the background, looking around at all the chores that still await. Creating a bright and inspiring home office space – even if you don’t have a dedicated office room – can make a huge difference.
** Thank you to Posterlounge for sending me my choice of prints,
which were given in exchange for this post. **