The Home Office Makeover!

This room was originally the smallest bedroom (barely fitting in a single bed) in the house, before we began using it as a home office.  We got a desk and then just used whatever else what else was not in use around the house to furnish. The result was less than spectacular, and I've been dying to give it a little bit of a makeover for a while now - not so much for aesthetics (although that would help!) but to create a space that worked for what I use the room for, making the room more functional.  I also didn't want to spend a lot of money, only buying what I really needed, and reusing as much as I could. It's not 100% finished, but I thought I'd share what I've done so far since it has taken me the last couple of weeks just to get to this point!

Here's what the room looked like before (as much as I can fit in my frame anyway - as I said, it's a small room and I don't own a super wide angle lens!)  As you can see, it's not THAT  bad, but it was messy, and nothing had a home (Including my larger format printer which lived on the floor by my desk!) 

Here's a couple of pics showing the afters. It's not a major change, since the walls and the floors are exactly the same ('d love white walls, but I wanted to do this on a budget!) 

Overall it looks a lot better, but the main change is how much more functional the room is, so I thought I'd share what I have done in the room in that regard. 

The first thing I did was buy two storage units from IKEA. These are the Kallax (formerly Expedit) which fit perfectly on each side of the desk and keeps the room looking more balanced.  Cheap white boxes and matching magazine holders keep everything in place but make it look more unified.  

My best buy here was the pull out letter trays for the Kallax (top right). I use this to hold all my ongoing projects - a tray for each project. I love that when I am working on something I can just pull out the tray and take it over to the desk (or wherever I'm working)  Having two units either side of my desk also means that both my printers have a home now!

Another good buy was this kitchen cart from IKEA. I'm using it to hold all my craft stuff and other odds and ends, so it has my mini sewing machine, threads etc, plus stuff like mod lodge, glue dots, spray glue etc. The top tier has pens, pencils, highlighters, paper clips etc. Again, I love that I can just wheel it to where I'm working then wheel it back again out of the way when I'm finished.  I also used little spice jars to hold the smaller things such as pins, buttons, paper clips etc. 

As for wall decoration, I still need one or two prints up, but for now I have the big wall collage that I made above my desk (I shared how to do that earlier here), a print that I made myself above the printer on one side, and a free print from paperfelt above the other ("what if I fall? But my darling, what if you fly?" Love it)

The other wall has two cheap cork boards for pinning up stuff like invitations and things to remember. 

Now onto the large cupboard that takes up one wall of the room.  Here's the before of inside the cupboard - you can see that my background paper is falling about, and all my photography odds and ends are just on the floor. 

And the after….still needs a bit of work, but much, much better. 

My photography "stuff" that didn't have a home before (unless you call the floor of the cupboard a home) but are now stored in this hanging shoe organiser from IKEA.  It holds things like spare batteries, mini tripods, lens cleaning stuff etc etc I printed labels for each pocket, but they are not adhering to the fabric that well so I will need to think of something else for that, but I love that each thing has a place and I can quickly and easily find what I am looking for. 

The black case on top of the filing unit in the cupboard you can see in the picture above holds all my lenses - it's an engineers case with a foam insert (top and bottom) which protects my lenses from bashes and also from moisture in the air - mine was cheap and cheerful but it doesn't seem to be available, but you can find similar here (Just a more expensive version!)

The background paper (which is rarely used but I like to keep) is now stored using these plastic bag dispensers from IKEA (pic below on the left). This keeps them together and stops them from falling about inside the cupboard. You can hook these onto the wall - I've just left them on the floor which is fine. One also holds my tripod. 

I also have these large white boxes from IKEA for my larger ongoing projects (pic on the right above). One holds artwork and school stuff that I need to weed through and pare down. The other holds discs, old USB drives and hard drives, which I have no idea what's on or just needs to be cleared. (Everything will get backed up online and put onto one single hard drive….eventually).  And two more for prints prior to the digital age, which i will sort out and put into albums, and possibly back up online.  Again, having a box assigned to each task means I can just pull it out when I want to work on that particular one, then pop it back unfinished. 

And I think that's It! Certainly I feel better for having a good clear out, and finding a home for everything - in particular the camera / photography stuff, and also having trays and boxes for unfinished / ongoing projects - two things that I wish I had done months ago.  As I say, it's still a work in progress, but already i'm feeling more productive!