Working Style in a Home Office Space

Want to work from home but not sure where to put your new office?  It does not need a lot of space – a corner, an wardrobe or cupboard, or even an empty Rumpus space will do.  It is the perfect excuse to clear out a wardrobe and get rid of all that stuff in there that you have been hanging onto for the last 20 years.  (I’m not joking) .  With wireless in most houses these days anywhere is possible.  What is good, (but maybe not possible) is to be able to close the door on it at the end of the day, as you don’t want to be looking at work while you are relaxing/playing so would not recommend it in your bedroom, lounge or family room areas.

MeandAliceHome Office2013-02-26


Have you got a table, chair and a couple of statement lamps to get you started?  Good, get out the tape measure to see where they will fit.  Next have a big clean out as the key to having a successful small office space will be storage.  Think about using jars, boxes, buckets, filing, shelving.  Could you hang things from a peg board or write ideas on a black board on the wall behind the desk?  Filing cabinets take up a lot of space, and are ugly, so think carefully about not using them.  I found things ended up in there never to be seen again – it became File 13.  With the www. these days you do not need all that paper and sampling.  Trust me.


Corner office at Hutton House

Also think about how you work, what you require for storage, and what surface areas you will use.  Do you need a craft table for gluing, cutting, pasting?  Or could you get away with a folding table that you have alongside you for over flow when working on a project, but then is stored away/folded down the rest of the time? Be prepared to get in help such as electrician for lighting and wiring, and telecomunications guru to set up your wireless, computer, and printer.   A handy bloke with the correct drill bit can make your favourite cupboard/armoire into your new work space if he drills a few holes in the back to put all the wires through.  As you can see from the pictures below, it does not take much to get you working in style.


Cool, masculine, vintage workspace

If you don’t think you can put it all in a cupboard, think again!

Then have a look at the inspiring ideas and home office spaces on our pinterest board.  If you would like help creating an inspirational office space for yourself click here to contact us .

For more ideas and inspiration have a look at these Related Articles, Design-Vox is well worth a look:


Kid’s Zones at Home

If you talk to your kids about redecorating the rumpus or their own rooms, you will in all likelihood be told “You are so last century, Mum”  Tech-savy kids these days want a Media Room, yes, ca-ching$, ca-ching$, but it will grow with them and they will use it for a number of years.  Be warned though: all their friends will want to be at your place so there will be noise, smells and mess.  However, it is better they are home at yours than being goodness knows where isn’t it?

So, they will want a computer, big-screen television, and games console.  Maybe even a tennis table or a pool table if you have room.  They require something to layabout on, because that is what they do.  The space needs to be bullet proof and practical.  It’s also room to do schoolwork, play games, rough-house, read, daydream, visit with friends and stockpile toys.  You can make it themed as well, but you will need to have the preceding items in there first! ( You can get them to work off their half of the cost and your half could be a combined Christmas or Birthday present for each item.)  For security reasons try to make it a shared space like a rumpus or home office- so the computer is there and not tucked away in their bedrooms.  The shared space is a good place for the TV too as  kids need technology ‘downtime’ these days, and the bedroom should remain just that.  Clever storage is also a must also you can stash away consoles and games when the big kids (parents) actually get to use the space. Baskets and draws on wheels and castors can be popped away in cupboards.  All the above is also useful to remember for their bedrooms as well.

Themes?  Well, you can create themes around where you have travelled – it is a good to use all that memorabilia and can make for a fun space.  Or perhaps junior is interested in cricket, rugby or music.  So create a “Room of Fame” and put framed prints of their favourite heroes up on the walls.  The owner of this bedroom below was a young man you adored cricket so we had some cricket nets made as bed ends and a storage unit to make him feel like he was always at batting practice.  (He is still playing at 21 years, so I guess it worked!)

Angela's Clients 0063Don’t spend too much money on the shared space or bedrooms as they simply do not care, but let your imagination go, and have something cool.  Paint it in an amazing colour or let the accessories do the work.  Do not get too hung up about it going with the rest of the house as you will have to shut the door when visitors come anyway – because the “floordrobe” is put to better use than the wardrobe!  They also grow up and grow out of themes really quickly.






This bedroom was done inexpensively with duvets, flags, and bunting around the edge of it.  The boat in the corner was found on the beach and dragged home. The lifebuoy was also found on a wharf, and inexpensive pictures all carried on the theme.  Chains, ropes and anchors where bought at the local DIY store.  Not too much expense, just time and imagination required.  We then made the theme a little more grown up by repainting a very dark moody adolescent blue.  A bit more man cave. Still used the same accessories and storage, but changed the duvet covers and got rid of the flags. The kids have left now, but the cat is still here!  


The other room had an African Explorer theme which stood the test of time and used up Egyptian art, African artefacts mixed in with a zebra print on bed cushions and antique desk and chair.  Here at the Hutton House they have become adult rooms now, complete with Queen sized beds and we are working on getting rid of the accumulated clutter of 20 years.  (Yes the timer is set on Wednesdays for one hour if you want to join in!) We are aspiring for a rumpus space that looks more like the one below…..


Via Barbara Fiorito

For more ideas and inspiration have a look at these Related Articles:


The Do’s and Don’ts of a Guest Bedroom

Please, please do not make your guest room the junk room.  The last thing your guest wants to find are your old clothes in the wardrobe or extra table linen in the dresser drawers!  Keep under the beds, clean, clutter and dust free.  Make sure the towels & sheets are clean with no stains.  None of your family photographs or other memorabilia either and no sign of the guest who was there before.  They also won’t like broken alarm clocks, lights and fans!


You know the saying “Guests, like fish, tend to go off after three days”….so when it comes to guest bedrooms it is best to find the happy medium.  You don’t want them to stay tooooo long, but  while they are there you would like them to feel welcome and comfortable.  You also want them to feel like they are getting a bit of hotel luxury too. So, a clean, neutral space with a good comfortable mattress, good pillows and empty closets (with hangers) and drawers.  Clean stain free fresh linens on the bed and fluffy towels.  Spare blankets, and hangers or pegs for their clothes.  A table or surface that is clutter free, and good bedside lamps for reading are a must.  Books, magazines. local maps and places of interest are good to allow you a few hours to yourself when they go out!  A small chair for sitting in or laying clothes on could be handy and a luggage rack/place to put a suitcase if space permits too.



Toiletries like the courtesy soaps, shampoos and lotions you get in hotels are a great way to make some one feel welcome.  A spare key and garage door opener is also good if you don’t want to be disturbed at night. You can add lavender bags on the pillows and in the cupboard. Or a scented candle is great  in cupboards as the smell is beautiful when you open the door/drawer and it can be used if they want added romance or there is a power cut!  Cut flowers, fruit,  a carafe of water and glass are all welcoming.  Anti-Mosquito plug ins, sunscreen and a fan are a good idea in summer too.  This guest basket idea is also a great to contain all of these things.  Check out

Abigal Ahern, decorator extraordinaire, is also full of how to add a bit of interest inexpensively to your guest room.  Take a look at:

Well that has given you another room to get sorted, so give yourself a deadline by inviting some one to stay. Lets hope in return for your well thought out bedroom your guest offers to cook lunch or organise drinks and nibbles before dinner.  Then they definitely will be invited back.


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Bring a Spring Display Inside

“It is Spring again. The Earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”

(Though I must admit I’m a little cynical and think we are going to pay for this glorious weather later on.)ImageAnyway it got me thinking about how lovely and nurturing it is to add seasonal displays  to your space. It is easy to bring the outside in and with it all the joys of whatever season we are in. Here at the Hutton House we have had a bowl of hyacinths in bloom on the table outside- they spell glorious so we bought them inside and they have been sitting in our hallway for the last week covering all the doggy smells! They also add a lot of texture which is needed as the wallpaper (from Osborne and Little) is very glossy and shiny. This paper was chosen because the hall lacks a lot of natural light, so the lustre really helps to bounce the light around and brighten things up.

ImageImageAlso in bloom is the magnolia so we gave the tree a bit of a prune and and put some in a vase on the hall table. (Not so good at covering the doggy smells hence the candle.)


Another great flower either cut or in pots are daffodils.  They just say “sunshine!”-shown here next to one of our Library Tables and a Hudson Sofa. Well off you go then out in the sunshine for a walk in the garden and see what you come up with to bring indoors. After all it could be raining tomorrow!

PS Did I mention anything about spring cleaning????

Display your Personal Style

Have you ever come back from holidays with pieces you have collected en route?  Not sure what to do with them? Often they are not quite as easy to mix into your interior upon return.  Need a Solution? Think about  displaying your collected treasures together in groups that have similar colours or are the same objects (eg baskets or necklaces).  Do not be afraid to group them together with other personal items that you do not want to part with. Below is a lovely idea from ‘me & alice’ a Swedish Interior Stylist and photographer. She has created a ‘memory cupboard’ in which you could include all your souvenirs along with other personal memorabilia…….MemorycupboardMe&alice

This does not have to be the main focal point of the busiest room in your house, but could add interest to other spaces – eg hallways.  They are often a neglected and uninteresting area of the house so a perfect place to add something interesting.


A tablescape like the one we have created above is also a great way to display and remember trips to Egypt, Morocco and Turkey.  All pieces collected on our travels.  Alternatively you could make your children’s or guest room into a themed one – for example a Chinese theme- add interesting bedsides, use a Chinese themed pillow on the bed.  A Moroccan themed Rumpus using cushions, pouffs, rugs and lamps ex Morocco makes for a very hip and cool place for teenagers to hang out in.  The trick with any themed room is not to add too many accessories of that theme. You only need touches to add the interest.  Do not make every last thing Chinese or Moroccan.  The majority of the furnishings should be in your original style so that it links back and relates to the rest of the spaces in the house and where you are in the world. We touched on this in a previous blog – the problem there was the lack of relating the theme back to its surroundings and the original. Below is another idea for displaying shells and personal things courtesy of greige design.   Pinterest is full of these kind of ideas – so have a look and get pinning.