During half term I am able to work from home, which previously meant working from the kitchen table. I would have to carry the computer down from upstairs and then move each day to tidy up. This naturally led us to decide planning a home office. This would mean an addition of an extra room in the house, plus a place to work and do my blogging….my own little happy place. So the beginning of this year we made a home office with a semi garage conversion.
Originally we was planning on converting the garage into a playroom but we also needed space to store normal garage items such as the freezer, bikes and the normal garage items that you never use. This is when we started thinking about converting half of the garage instead but this would not be a huge playroom that we originally planned. Then it came to me like a lightening bolt, what about a home office. The size would not be an issue as the main part would be a desk which you can get any size, so I knew I could work with what size we had after the conversion.
We started planning the room towards the end of 2018 and hired S J Carpentry to look after the job for us. We have used Stewart many times and he always does a high standard, so we booked in a date to start the conversion. Excited was an understatement.
Work began in January this year on the office and the whole job took just under three weeks to complete. We experienced some problems which was mainly with building control. I don’t know the technical terms but at one point they wanted us to raise the roof which would have been out of our budget. Luckily instead of this mammoth task we was allowed to continue if we installed a fan, also we had to agree sound proofing the external wall and have a raised floor. Needless to say the job was signed off by the building regulations officer who was a happy bunny with the work.
Working in an office as my day job meant I felt strongly about having a home vibe, I didn’t want the home office to feel as an office as such. I wanted a space that felt like an extended part of our home, a space that us and the kids can also go and sit and relax if needed. Still I needed to be able to sit and concentrate when working, for this I wanted the room to feel relaxing and minimal.
I was left solely for designing my new space and was adamant about having an occasional chair of some sort. Antony took some convincing on this but since I have a seat, we use it daily (told you I would Antony lol). I knew adding a chair would make the room feel homely and less of the office feel. I also decided against grey for the visitor chair (as we call it), mainly as the computer chair would be grey and to also take this opportunity to inject some colour.
I struggled trying to find a chair in budget and that would meet my needs. I decided on a darker colour, mainly as we have 2 children, puppy and cat which I thought would not get dirty as easy. I finally found the perfect chair in Dunelm which was the Isla occasional chair in midnight, and can confirm it is super comfy.
This is also the item that has had the most compliments since the renovation and one of my favourite areas to sit, either when hiding from squabbling children or to read. I also love the fact the kids will come and sit in here and share the chair whilst I am working. I added a small blush cushion which also was purchased from Dunelm.
Anyone who knows me well, knows I love Meat Loaf and went twice to see Bat Out Of Hell The Musical (which was awesome) and I do love my posters. We have different favourite film posters in frames in the lounge. Mum brought me this Bat Out Of Hell poster form our first visit. Being honest I contemplated adding this to my office and was undecided. I was worried this would stand out too much in the room and looking for the minimal instagram worthy feel. But then I decided, I love the poster and the room is for me and not for Instagram. As long as I like it and that is all that matters, and I am glad I chose to add it as it has made a feature in the room for my sitting area.
Adding my Ikea favourite Kallax unit meant additional storage. We have these units in most rooms and great as cost effective and sturdy. Originally I was going to have this unit standing up but when filling the room I preferred this on the side as it fits in perfect. The Kallax unit is perfect for storing my art supplies and books.
Choosing the desk was a mammoth task as this would be the main point for the home office. I was always going to get the desk from IKEA as they are fine and sturdy, plus the budget limit. Originally I was set on the Malm Dressing Table as I liked the glass top, plus I didn’t think the office would be that big. Once the partition wall was up I was astounded at how much room I had to play with.
When working from home, I need alot of room as excess paper work which meant the Malm Dressing Table was out. I went for the Thyge Desk which was a complete bargain considering the size of the desk. One reason I loved the desk is the desk space size, but also you can easily adjust the height. I have the desk on quite a high setting.
This is my second office chair, my original one from Made.com which Antony brought me had to be returned as . unfortunately it arrived ripped. For the price I wasn’t impressed with the quality of the chair. I found the Hattefjall Chair in Ikea when we were desk shopping and it is so comfortable. I chose for the style without arms, but you can have the choice depending on which model you decide on.
The add-on unit for my monitor was a later purchase which is the Alex Add-on Unit and I am so glad I purchased this. The unit has made the desk look more interesting, provided storage and makes my monitor at the perfect eye level. This is one of my favourite purchases for my office and still has left me with an epic amount of desk space.
Recently I decided to pimp this unit and brought a cheap LED colour changing strip from Amazon for £8 which is powered by USB, and means I can change to different colours to brighten my office.
I have tried to keep accessories to a minimum at the moment, and slowly adding new purchases to the office. I brought picture ledge shelves from Ikea for my back wall. Mainly to brighten up a plain wall and add storage. Plus when I am vlogging, this gives a brilliant backdrop. One of my favourite items is my diffuser from John Lewis. It was pricey but it is lasting for ages so far and smells nice all of the time. Other diffusers I find I smell for about an hour after changing the reeds but then the fragrance disappears. The Skandinavisk Diffuser Koto smells nice every time you go into the room, plus really stands out on the shelf.
Are you even a blogger if you don’t have a letterboard?! This was originally upstairs at my original desk but I decided to put this in my office. This a fantastic way to inspire yourself with various positive quotes. Currently i have some lyrics from a Meat Loaf song.
I have never brought real plants before but now I am obsessed. They have made a huge difference in my office for adding colour. When they all go for a sunbathing session in the kitchen, the office looks so plain. All of my plants, except the trailing one on the shelf are from The Little Botanical, which can also be found in John Lewis. I love the fact the pots come with the plants. One of my favourites is my Pilea Peperomioides which sits on my desk.
I was lucky as for my birthday my mum brought me a Sonos Speaker with Alexa which I love playing in my office. I originally got one for Christmas which is in the lounge, when I am on my own I will link them both up together. I always have music on when working and love using this system. The speaker sits on my Kallax Unit, which is where my printer was meant to go but we ordered the wired one not wireless, so this is actually on a little unit hidden under my desk. Also under my desk is a basket which houses my lights and tripod.
Prints I have a couple up on the wall which I purchased, but to be honest I don’t think I will put much else print wise on the wall. I want to get some wire lettering to put above my computer and also an acrylic planner some point looking forward.
The door I had my heart set on, eventually we will replace upstairs with the same doors. We opted for a clear varnish to keep the existing door colour. I am glad we went for this door as it really sets off the room. Again this also adds some colour as everything else is white.
Overall I absolutely love my office, it is so much nicer than I expected and I never thought we would have so much room. Using half of the garage means half is available still which we had a huge clear-out before the conversion started.
I have worked from home a couple of times now and am often in here some point each day. It has made a huge difference for working from home, everything is set up ready and I can just get on and be productive. Bibi (our Weechon puppy) loves the rug I brought in Ikea, which was to stop my toes getting cold on the floor. She takes to laying on the rug, which is difficult to spot her as she camouflages.
I have really enjoyed being creative and designing the space for my office, finding furnishings and styling. I will be doing a room tour on my YouTube Channel soon, so make sure you check that out.
Long term we would love to do an extension for a snug type room on the back of our house, leading onto the garden. The next projects will be the kids rooms, we have never decorated them as have been lucky since moving in as the house was a blank canvas and liveable. Then we will be painting downstairs, this will be a huge task as all of downstairs is more of less open plan. Also as mentioned before we have planned to do the internal doors and change the staircase. I certainly have caught a bug for interiors and enjoying planning our next projects.