Tidy desk, tidy mind

I’ve been secretly beavering away on an interior decoration project, in an effort to transform our spare room. We have been trying to create a guest room combined with a home office (for Jules) combined with a craft room (for me): not an easy task.  I will be revealing all next week but in the mean time I thought it would be nice to share with you my inspiration for the room and my tips on how to create the perfect work space.

1. Plan carefully how you want to use the space.

You need to decide whether your work space is needed for just a computer or writing, drawing, crafting. This will then dictate how much space, storage and the type of desk you will need. Be careful to select a desk that is an appropriate shape and size according to the type of work you plan to do.  Make a clear list of everything you need to store and plan a space, drawer, pot for all of these things.

Home office Ercol desk

If you only work on the computer you can be a lot more flexible and opt for a much smaller desk. In this case they have re-purposed a small Ercol dining.

2. Keep your desk as clear as possible by using creative storage solutions.

Think carefully about how you can use the wall space in front of your desk for storage, as well as the space under your desk. Could you add a storage unit under your desk or put up shelves above the desk? Also, think carefully about what you will need to use on a regular basis and how you can make these things easily accessible, whilst remaining off your desk.

Craft room storage solutions

Hooks, jars and a paper dispenser are used to great effect here. Adding this wall unit, drawers under the desk and the filing cabinet to the left means this desk can remain clear and fully functional.

3. Don’t lose your style!

It can be difficult balancing style and function but there are so many ways you can inject your work space with your own style: antique desk or chair, vintage storage pots, stylish lamp, mid-century shelves. Look for pieces of furniture and storage with both form and function, otherwise your work space will not be a nice place to be.

Vintage work space

This beautiful, antique desk adds such style to this work space. The vintage boxes, pots and tins also add personality and character to what can otherwise be a very dull space.

4. Don’t scrimp on stationery.

It’s so nice to be surrounded by things you like the look of and this can only help stimulate creativity. Nice stationery will add to a space where form and function can exist together.

stylish stationery

5. Make an inspiration board.

I love being able to see images, post cards, photos, notes that inspire me. Why not make an inspiration board that be put in front of your desk? This can be added to when you are working on something particular to help inspire you. You can also pin up business cards, reminders or post-its to help keep you organsied.

Tidy desk

What about making this washing line instead of the traditional notice board?

6. Tidy your desk every week!

I genuinely believe that a tidy desk means a tidy mind. If you can’t find what you need to do your job or make your craft you are far less likely to do it at all! Choose a particular day each week to go over your desk and put things back into place, sort paper work, recycle paper you don’t need anymore. This will definitely help the creative process.

Danish desk

Tidy desk, tidy mind.

7. Develop a filing system.

There is a constant stream of paper work coming into most people’s work spaces. You need to have a clear system in place so you don’t get yourself into a mess and miss bills or a deadline. Generally, it’s a good idea to have three different paperwork stations: Paperwork that has not been looked at yet, paperwork you are currently  dealing with, storage for paperwork that has been dealt with. Try and develop your own system that will work best for you.

Filing solutions

Dividing up paperwork is a good idea so nothing gets lost or forgotten.

 8. Invest in a good lamp and a good chair.

Light and comfort are very important whilst working. You can not get by with a kitchen chair or with a dim ceiling light!

industrial style home office

Gorgeous Benjamin Hubert lamp (and look at the old mattress springs used as a noticeboard!)

9. Be creative with the space you have.

If you can not dedicate a whole room to your home office use a cupboard, a landing, a corner of your guest room. As long as you are organised and choose the right desk and chair it does not need to be an eyesore.

Small home office in a cupboard

An inbuilt cupboard in this living room is used as an occasional work-space. They have used a great chair and lamp so even when the cupboard is shut they become a design statement.  

 10. My favourite office accessories with both form and function:

stylish filing cabinet

Make your filing a bit more stylish with this cabinet from cb2.

stylish clipboards

Rose and Grey decorative clipboards – perfect for your filing system.

Mid century string shelving

Mid-century style string shelving.


I will reveal my new work space next week…hope you’ll join me!




  1. Mary Grace
    28th April 2013 / 8:42 pm

    Is the mid century style string shelving unit available for sale anywhere? I like it so much!

  2. 20th May 2013 / 10:59 pm

    Thanks for this. I’m Organising a corner of my bedroom into an office

    • katy
      21st May 2013 / 5:53 am

      Hope it goes well, Simon. Would love to see some pics when you’re done 🙂

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