Something Special Upstairs

As most of you will already know, I work from home full-time. Our three-bed house is beautiful, it is old, it is big and yet I really could do with a much better space for my home office. Somewhere bright, airy, with lots of natural light and somewhere that no-one else uses, visits or invades with their stuff. Our house is a terraced house and a very good sized one however what our property lacks that many down the terrace don’t is a converted space up top with special roof windows to let in enough light/air.

I need lots of natural light to work.

My dream is to renovate the attic (currently, we have a big skylight high up in the landing which shows the potential light and space-wise but offers neither. In an ideal world, we would most definitely build up!

My interior design (dream) plan of action would be to:

  • Open the space up with stairs or a groovy (sturdy) ladder solution that could be pulled up or a door that could be closed off so that I really could close myself off to the world.
  • I would install Solstro roof windows for light/shade, air and warmth (I had an attic room growing up which was fab but tended to veer between baking hot or blooming freezing and so having great windows is a must).
  • I would decorate in grey and white and yellow (touches of grey) and it would be all for me.
  • Despite it being chic and new and shiny I would have soft furnishings up there to soften things up and a sofa that I could curl up on and read (when not working).
  • I’d love an old desk, something vintage.
  • I would find oxygen boosting plants that I won’t kill (I kill all our plants).
  • I’d love a chair like this one from Pinterest! It says a lot that I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to my fantasy new office…..

Basically, I want to build my own den-house!

Now all I need to do is save many thousands of pounds, educate myself on converting attic spaces and all the regulations and planning permissions that go with them, save some more money and then spend blissful days buying preloved furnishings and making it my own.

In the meantime, (back in the real world), it’s back to Pinterest for me to research more attic conversion designs and furnishings!


Creating the Ideal Home Office


One of the biggest benefits of living in the information age is the fact that it is easier than ever to work from anywhere. With cloud-based technology giving easy access to documents, email and shared projects, more people than ever are saying goodbye to the daily commute and hello to the home office.

Working from home gives unprecedented levels of flexibility, particularly if you are a working mother, allowing time to fit the school run and other household chores around your working life.

Perhaps the biggest challenge is to maintain a barrier of sorts between home and work commitments, which will inevitably compete for your attention. Key to getting this right is having a dedicated space where you can enter work mode. Let’s take a look at what makes the perfect home office.

The right location

You will be spending plenty of time in your office, so the first thing to consider is where it will be located. The box room might look ideal at first sight, but not if it means traipsing to the other side of the house every time you need a comfort break or a cup of coffee.

On the other hand, you do not want to be in the corner of the living room if there are too many distractions and other family members constantly coming in and out.

Think about natural light – a windowless corner is no fun, but if you are near a south-facing window, you might want to invest in some full height window shutters to guarantee comfort whatever the weather.

The perfect chair

In some areas, it makes sense to economise, but one area where you should really treat yourself is with a good office chair. No stinting and “borrowing” a spare dining chair; the last thing you need is to end every working day feeling like you have just completed the Tour de France!

There is a huge choice out there, and back pain experts Spine Health have published a useful guide on how to choose the right one.

Keep it cheerful

Definition between home and work is great, but this is still your own space, so it does not need to be corporate grey (use you love corporate grey of course).

Choose a colour scheme that inspires you, whether it is a vibrant primary colour or a soothing pastel shade, and have some nice pictures and accessories around. The advantage of the home office is that it is yours to create, so make it a place where you want to spend time.

A place for everything

For some people, it is easy to create a beautiful home office, only for it to be covered in stacks of paperwork within a matter of days. If organisation is not your strongest point, make it easy for yourself by thinking what sort of system works best for you.

Cube storage can be an attractive alternative to traditional shelving, as any space that you do not need for paperwork and office equipment can be home to pictures, books or knick-knacks.

Enjoy the benefits

There is no doubt that remote workers have the perfect opportunity to find the ideal work-life balance. However, achieving that balance does not happen by itself. Creating the right working space is a huge step towards enjoying the benefits and avoiding the pitfalls that working from home can bring.

What is your must-have office essential or top tip?

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