Get their look: Shop owner’s home office

Shop owner's home officecredit

We don’t really have a dedicated work space here at H is for Home – the whole house gets used for various activities! The photo above shows another shop owner’s home office… they seem to keep things a little more contained. It’s the domain of Estela, a Spanish homewares blogger and owner of deco and living.

It is furnished with numerous items available for sale in her shop, all set out in a tidy and uncluttered fashion. There’s ample storage to neatly conceal those mundane requisites of day-to-day business such as paperwork and packaging materials.

The white String modular shelving and cupboards appears to merge into the wall behind it. Keeping the colour palette to white & wood gives the space a simplicity and calmness. The utilitarian trestle table triples up for working, packaging and dining.

With more and more people setting up their own cottage industries and working from home, this space is a real lesson in how a chosen area of your house can not only be multi-functional, but very attractive too.

  1. String shelving
  2. Orla Kiely Scribble pear scrapbook
  3. Bloomingville natural seagrass basket with handles
  4. Recycled demijohn bottle
  5. FLUNS magazine files – 4 pack
  6. KNUFF set of 2 plywood magazine files
  7. GERTON beech table top
  8. FINNVARD trestle table
  9. Wood storage baskets
  10. Hübsch grey chair

Get their look: Shop owner's home office | H is for Home

The dos and don’ts of shared office space

Co-working spacecredit

Shared office space can be a hoot – it can be great for networking, creativity and for saving money on the monthly office rent. It’s also good socially; anyone who works from home on a regular basis will tell you how isolating it can become after a while. However, if you go into a shared office space with the wrong attitude, that office space in Surbiton can easily become a war zone and going to work will become a nightmare for everyone. Here are a few dos and don’ts to help you to guarantee a harmonious – and productive – workspace.

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Do be considerate

Get to know your co-workers so you know how they operate. If they need peace and quiet in the afternoons and you’re loud on the phone, go outside when your BFF calls. If you’re a compulsive communicator and your phone and laptop ping every two minutes, set them to silent.

Messy office deskcredit

Don’t be untidy

This is an extension of being considerate and is equally important at your own desk and in shared areas. There are people who simply can’t work in a mess and so your litter, messy shelves and rows of unwashed mugs will actually affect their productivity. They may also feel compelled to clean up after you and that’s just not on. Clean up after yourself!

Working together at a computercredit

Do talk to people

A huge benefit of shared office space is the chance for interaction with people. You can chat, share a coffee and ideas, head out for drinks and maybe even collaborate.

Man shouting into a tin can phonecredit

Don’t talk too much

Keep chit-chat to reasonable levels – no blow-by-blow accounts of drunken antics, TV spoilers or inane jokes, especially if it looks like others are busy. If you’re dying to catch up on some gossip, head out for lunch instead. Also, if someone looks busy, leave them alone.

Office deskcredit

Do make it personal

You can make your desk and space your own. Of course you need to check with the leasing agent what you are and aren’t allowed to do, but a few photos won’t hurt. Don’t, however, think your favourite oil burner fragrance or your pet scorpion will be hits with everyone.

Small meeting roomcredit

Don’t just huddle at your desk

Use all the amenities – that conference room is there to be used, as is the break-out room and even that patch of garden. If you need to have an awkward conversation with someone, either over the phone or in person, take it away from your desk. If you’re having a meeting, use a meeting room – your desk isn’t the best place for a frank exchange of views.

'Put your money in the kitty' money boxcredit

Do chip in for the kitty

Give some money to the tea and coffee fund, and stick the kettle on now and then. Bring some biscuits or home-made cakes in once in a while and encourage others to do the same.

Hopefully these tips will help you to create a harmonious atmosphere in your office space. You could also use them to help others to get along, especially if they’re breaking one of these golden rules. We all want harmony at work, right?


Design ideas for a stylish home office

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Courtney Adamo's home officecredit

Working from home is living the dream for many people. You can crawl out of bed, put the coffee machine on, and be at your desk in less than five minutes. It really is perfect for anyone who would rather not suffer the daily commute or office politics. It’s also great if you like to work flexible hours because you can pop out to the supermarket or walk the dog whenever you feel like it.

The only disadvantage of working from home, apart from the fact that home and work boundaries can sometimes become rather blurred, is that you do need to have a space set aside where you can work in peace. If you’re lucky enough to live in a spacious dwelling, all is good, but if space is at a premium in your abode, you’re going to have to get a little bit creative. So what are your home office options?

Minimalist under-stairs officecredit

Workspace nooks

When you can’t afford to lose a room, your only option is to create a workspace in a corner of an existing room. This isn’t ideal as there’ll be a lot of distractions if you have other family members at home when you’re trying to work, but it’s better than working on the kitchen table.

Workspace nooks can be slotted in anywhere, but if you have some extra space under the stairs, this is the ideal place to fit a desk and chair. Build shelves and add a small desk lamp so you have a cosy little corner where you can work in peace. Alternatively, install a desk in the corner of a room and build a partition using bookshelves to screen it from view.

Attic office with Velux windowscredit

Attic offices

Attics make great home office spaces as long as they’re well insulated and you install windows for ventilation and light. Velux windows are perfectly designed for sloping roofs, but if installed at height, they can be difficult to open. One solution is to fit an electric window opener from Teal Products – that way you can continue working instead of looking for a chair to stand on to open the window.

Spare room being used as a home officecredit

Turn the spare room into an office space

Spare rooms make useful offices as long as you swap the traditional bed for a futon or sofa bed. You’ll also need to vacate the room if you have guests come to stay.

Garden officecredit

Build an office in the garden

If you’re the type of person who wants complete peace and quiet, building an office in the garden is the ideal solution. Wooden sheds can easily be converted into home offices with the right insulation and heating. If it isn’t too far from the main house it should be easy to install a telephone line. You might not need planning permission if the structure isn’t very large, but do check before you build.

Working from home is good for the environment and your sanity, but you’ll need to be disciplined as it is very easy to waste time watching TV or tackling household chores instead of working!


Pick of the Pads: The Egg Man

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'I am the Egg Man' article title page from the April 2014 Homes & Antiques magazine

We’ve got a slight twist for this month’s Pick of the Pads. It’s more a work space than a living space, but with Easter round the corner, the egg theme swayed it.

Homes & Antiques April 2014 magazine cover

It’s the studio workspace of Tony Ladd – the ‘Egg Man’ that was in the April 2014 issue of the Homes & Antiques Magazine magazine.

Tony Ladd's studio workspace featured in the April 2014 Homes & Antiques magazine

He’s a wildlife artist specialising in British birds. He creates stunningly realistic, hand-cast, hand-painted egg specimens.

Tony Ladd's hand painted egg collection featured in the April 2014 Homes & Antiques magazine

His workspace is a self-built, oak-framed wooden studio situated in his garden on the Sussex coast.

corner of Tony Ladd's studio workspace featured in the April 2014 Homes & Antiques magazine

We love all the wooden banks of drawers & shelving…

corner of Tony Ladd's studio workspace featured in the April 2014 Homes & Antiques magazine

…filled with jars, brushes, books, artefacts and references to nature.

four details from Tony Ladd's studio workspace featured in the April 2014 Homes & Antiques magazine

It’s both homely & fascinating – such an inspiring space!

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Bookmarks: Creative Space

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"Creative Space" book in the H is for Home work space

Today’s book review features a fascinating little read.

cover of "Creative Space" book

Creative Space – Urban Homes of Artists and Innovators by Francesca Gavin.

wall covered in art with a coffee table stacked with art and interior design books

The book takes a peek inside the homes of creative types – artists, designers, writers, photographers etc.

plastic dinosaur figure

…and explores the style of the spaces they inhabit.

large loft type living space with huge poster of a girl with flowers in her hair

Some people combine work & living space, whilst others keep some degree of separation between the two… but even in these cases, the taste & influences of the occupants is very interesting. How their interior spaces affect their work –  and how their work affects their homes & contents.

shelves with books and a framed portrait with the words "After Death What?" written across it

The homes featured are located all over the world – with their unique cultural & social influences, environment and climates.

anglepoise lamp in front of a pine chest of drawers

The book is quite a backlash against minimalism.

cardboard boxes made into seating

The rooms are filled with an eclectic array of furniture, completed and ongoing work projects, pieces by  fellow artists, flea market finds, collections of objects, reference material and so on.

shabby chic leather club armchair

In fact, quite the antithesis of the cool, white spaces much loved by many glossy interior magazines. These spaces are inventive & spontaneous, less staged perhaps – less pristine and more chaotic in many cases.

live/work space with bare cast concrete walls

They’re full of interest & colour.

wall of shelves holding books and toys with a red Belgian brasserie sign above

In addition to the photos of each space, there are also Q&As from the occupants.

mid century modern furnished sitting room with huge floor to ceiling windows

The narrative delves a little deeper into what makes them and their homes tick – why they’ve chosen to live where they do, any alterations they’ve made, details of their work, how they use the space etc.

loft apartment with rope swing hanging from the ceiling

There are 30 creative spaces featured – in cities such as Barcelona, Berlin, London, New York, Paris and Tokyo.

workspace with bright orange painted walls

Just to highlight a few of the occupants:

  • Fafi – a Paris-based artist, illustrator and designer
  • Nicola Formichetti – a fashion director and stylist living in Shoreditch
  • Leah McSweeney & Rob Cristofaro – a fashion label couple who’ve made a New York loft apartment their base
  • Julia Schonlau – an illustrator and character designer who lives in a two-bedroom flat in Berlin
  • Juan Redon – a Barcelona-based architect, curator and pop collector
  • Yukinori Dehara – a figure illustrator, toymaker and animator in Tokyo

workspace with bright orange painted walls

It’s certainly a great little book to dip in & out of – you’ll notice something new every time.

white-painted work room with two large windows with bright red curtains

The photos full of ideas & inspiration…

man working at a large wooden table with a huge red painting in the background

…but having said that, we wouldn’t choose to live in all these homes, although there are a few that we’d definitely quite fancy!

workspace with one wall decorated with various masks

If you’re thinking of getting yourself a copy, the book’s available from the Laurence King website, Hive and Amazon UK or USA

[Many thanks to Laurence King Publishing for the review copy]