Real Rooms: Bex’s Study ‘refresh’

This afternoon it’s an office make-over for a newly married couple, which cleverly combines the colour of the moment grey, with holiday ‘finds’ and subtle splashes of orange. I love how it has all come together and I’m looking forward to hearing what you all think of it!

Take it away Bex!

This room was a bit of a dumping ground for a long time since moving in here three years ago, even more so with all of the ‘wedding stuff’ we had to store (boxed vases being the bulkiest items). We never really used this room to its full potential, especially given its good size. It had always had a daybed for extra guests, (useful when both sets of parents came to stay) and a desk for Nik’s computer, bookcases for all his textbooks and notes while he was still a student and a wardrobe which contained overflow from my own, oops, and some fancy dress items! The room was then added to with coats, wellies, boxes of things waiting to be sorted, a very underused exercise bike (aren’t they all!) and all the other bits and bobs we unceremoniously shoved in there whenever we had to tidy up the rest of the flat if guests were coming. It also housed my collection of framed prints that I used to sell at craft & design fairs around Scotland but have recently had little time for. (These have been re-homed for sale in a local cafe.)

All of the above resulted in this ‘before’ monstrosity…


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

Surprisingly, the plan to tackle this room was something I decided on honeymoon, where I was inspired to re-decorate using some of our African souvenirs as a starting point. This spurred me on through the boring sorting and organising of all that stuff as I started to think of how we could make the room useful and look nice, somewhere we would actually like spending time. It actually became the perfect project to keep me busy after all the wedding frenzy of the months before!

We had a few items from our honeymoon which gave me the basis of what kind of style we wanted, including framing some of my own pictures taken on safari, so I started a Pinterest board for ideas and colour schemes (which inspired the grey walls/white furniture plan). We decided we wanted a modern room with white furniture to match the existing Hemnes Daybed and to set if all off against grey walls. We didn’t want to go too dark on the walls as the window is tucked into a corner and we didn’t want it to end up ‘dingy’. Moving the mirrored wardrobe helped to reflect some of the light back into the room rather than being wasted in the corner. We decided on a Valspar colour, Windswept, from B&Q. Since the room has been finished, I have also made a Pinterest board detailing some of the items in it and where they were from if you like the look of anything.

So here is the ‘after’ with our stripped back room…


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

I tried not to go for green accents again, as in most of our other rooms, so we decided to mix it up a bit more and we had a multi-coloured painting from the Masai market in Nairobi. We also purchased a Masai beaded necklace so I thought I would incorporate more orange into the room with some sunset pictures.


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

Luckily the orange colour worked well as most of the African safari pictures had an orange tint to them anyway. I really liked the thought of having them all black and white but decided to make it a bit different by leaving three of them in colour.


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

The frames were Neilson frames from Hobbycraft and were £17.99 each so it was pretty pricey all together but I’m really pleased with the overall result! Mounting and printing them ourselves saved money so it was approx £174 in total. I love the fact they look good but also remind us of our amazing time on safari on honeymoon.


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

The cushions were from M&S, The White Company (15% off thanks to FF!) and Slumber Slumber. Nik sold most of his old books and recycled his notes so we could downsize in the bookcase department. We replaced 3 bookcases just one from Ikea and filled the bottom shelves with cupboards to try to make it look less square and boxy, and to hide some of the uglier books. I took the old lime green file boxes my Mum had donated when she moved and painted them grey with left over wall paint.


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

The unusual string balls were bought by the side of the road in Nairobi and were the main inspiration for re-doing the room. Nik’s conditions when agreeing to buy three was that we had to know where we would put them and I convinced him on my ‘African honeymoon study’ idea. They’re supposed to be light-shades but I just removed the metal hangings from inside as I liked the way they were hung from the trees in bunches like this in Kenya.


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

I finally got round to framing our degrees and diplomas to keep them safe and out of the way. We didn’t want them to be too ‘in your face’ so we hung them high up along the ceiling. In retrospect I wish we had stuck the map a little lower but it’s difficult to judge when one of you is holding up a huge sheet of plastic to the wall.

The amazing map of the world wall sticker is also from notonthehighstreet.com and came with coloured dots to mark the places we’ve been. We now want to try and go to more places in the middle of the big black areas to make the dots more obvious and spread out – probably not the usual way to choose places to travel to but it could be fun! We’ve mostly stuck to the coast before due to our love of scuba diving but would love to try travelling in more different places in the future.

I hope you’ll agree it was quite a transformation! We now spend so much more time in there, I particularly love my new snug corner on the daybed where I can curl up under my knitted throw with a good book while Nik’s working on his computer.

I have been dying to share this with the Florence Findettes because I need a little help. We have decided to keep and display our large apothecary jars we used at our wedding but have no idea what, if anything, to put in them. Please help!

Great job Bex – I particularly love how you have managed to make all this things I always want to buy on holiday that then look out of place in cold grey england work so well together, particularly the safari photos and cohesive splashes of orange. The map is a great way to nod to the travel theme in a chic way and I love your certificates placed so high like that – genius idea!

Do leave Bex a comment if there’s something you like or if you want to ask her anything, I’m sure she’ll be around to help you out!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS You can find Bex at her blog The Olive Dragonfly and on twitter @OliveDragonfly. You can also see more of Bex’s stunning photography on her photography website: Bex Photo.

Real Spaces: A Mini-office Make-over

Whenever I’m thinking about spaces to renovate and features to share on Florence Finds, I’m always acutely aware that some of you are still stuck in rental properties you can’t do much to or in small London flats with much less space than your average house. When Eddie Judd sent this mini-makeover my way I was delighted because its clever use of space and budget tricks for personalisation could work for anyone needing a smaller office hide-away, or perhaps the lusted after dressing table you can’t squeeze in anywhere?

Please remember your make overs don’t need to be grand designs, whole houses or even rooms. I’d love to see your furniture make overs, smaller DIY projects or simply rooms that have been freshened up with a few clever accessories. Send them in to hello@florencefinds.com with the subject box marked SUBMISSIONS.

In the mean time, here is Eddie‘s office in a cupboard!


All Photography: Eddie Judd Photography

My ‘desk in a cupboard’ was actually my husband’s idea – it used to be the ‘man cupboard’ as I called it – you know the kind – stuffed full of DVD’s, cables, remote controls, electronic things that I have know idea what they do. He gave his man cupboard up for me – that’s true love – don’t you think?! As a busy mum of two girls I needed to have an office that was part of the house – I thought about claiming one of the girls’ bedrooms but we have such a gorgeous view out of the front of the house. It means I can also work around the school runs and I’m not hiding away in another room when my husband is home in the evening. So it works perfectly – and it is the perfect size for a 27″ macbook!


All Photography: Eddie Judd Photography

So once I had claimed the cupboard I started to look for inspiration to fit my bits and pieces in and to make it look great! I wanted to keep it fairly clutter free – all my paperwork is stashed in a plan-chest behind me and my samples and kit are spread around the house so I can’t claim that everything is in that cupboard! After plenty of gorgeous inspiration from Pinterest I started to them become obsessed with clipboards. I thought this would be a great way of keeping on top of important paperwork.



All Photography: Eddie Judd Photography

The ones that you see are clear clipboards from Paperchase with wrapping paper from Urban Outfitters mounted to the back of them. Apart from that my cupboard houses my hard drives, paperwork in some huge filing boxes from Paperchase, a slightly obsessional collection of notebooks, an old Polaroid camera that was my father’s and some pretty ribbons that I use for presenting products for my clients.


All Photography: Eddie Judd Photography

And then when I’ve had enough of working for the day – I can just close the cupboard doors and (try to) forget about it! 😉

Thanks Eddie!

Have you got any small spaces you’d like to renovate or are you working from home and struggling to fit a home office space in. I hope this gave you a few ideas… I love those clipboards!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Real Rooms: A White with Brights Office make-over

This afternoon, you’re all in for a treat. It’s a Real Room and, like Juliet who is sharing her office space with us today, I reckon office spaces are amongst my favourite to swoon over when collecting inspiration online. It’s fabulous seeing where creative people make the magic happen and how they express their personality and fuel their own creativity by decorating their workspace so I hope you enjoy looking at Juliet‘s (who is a professional photographer) office renovation.

I have a little confession to make, I am utterly addicted to seeing people’s workspace. However, not some boring corporate office, no, the creative type’s home office. There is indeed a new term for it, ‘Office porn‘. There I said it, I love a good workspace, I love discovering them on line, I love pinning them in Pinterest and I have an Inspiration board to prove it!


Image Credit: Juliet McKee Photography

So anyway, I recently had the audacity to turf my youngest child out of her room and claim is as the heart of my business 🙂 Don’t worry, she’s fine and happily sharing bunk beds with her big sister in a room twice the size. For 4 long years I had ‘holed’ up in the corner of my dining room. It was cramped and lacked storage space, the room was a clutter and so was my brain. Clearly something had to change. Photographers like me can spend a great deal of time at their desk; making phone calls, emailing, planning, editing, blogging, and the odd bit of social networking – of course. For me this environment needs to be light and airy with plenty of fresh air. A comfortable seat is a must along with a desk that’s the correct height, ignore these and you’ll be well on your way to developing a very uncool ‘Dowager’s Hump’!

I decided white walls would provide a good blank canvas, with bursts of colour being provided by accessories. I couldn’t resist hanging the tissue paper pom poms left over from my daughter’s birthday party for some instant colour.


Image Credit: Juliet McKee Photography

My desk lamp is a combination of a lamp bought from Tesco sale with a custom shade bought on line. I love Amy Butler’s glorious ‘Bliss’ fabric and the way it clashes with the green lamp base. The little storage draws are really useful for lip salve, tape, memory cards and all sorts of little knickknacks I usually mislay. I would love a beautiful Mac, it would look so sexy on my desk, but for now my Iilama monitor does a great job. My Harmon/Kardon speakers are also see through providing great vibes while I work yet taking up little visual space.


Image Credit: Juliet McKee Photography

The best thing about the room is that it looks over the garden! Being south facing it’s a very bright room. This was my first attempt at fitting a blind. (It’s fine as long as no one hangs off it!).

I created the word art for these Ikea frames in Photoshop, I’d just seen Julia Roberts interviewed by Oprah on her role in Eat Pray Love and they seemed the perfect inspiration for me, with a little bit of customization.


Image Credit: Juliet McKee Photography

I now have loads of storage for paperwork, books and equipment. Everything has a place and my brain as well as my office is now less cluttered.

Before the makeover the room was the quintessential pink girlie nursery and I loved it, but time moves on and I think it’s important to use the space you have creatively. I know for a fact that I am so much happier in my work now I have this room to work from, it was the right thing to do.

Get the look:

  • Desk, book shelves, pinboard, grey filing cabinet, white frames,white storage files and boxes, all Ikea.
  • Pink and blue storage boxes on shelf; W H Smith.
  • Chair; Dwell.
  • Lamp base: Tesco.
  • Lamp Shade; ShadyLady.
  • Black and white Vintage frames; Ebay.
  • Mini desk draws, Wilkinson.
  • Files, Tesco.

Juliet
xxxxx

So what do you think readers? Do you have a home office space? Are you a fan of white with brights decor?

Love,

Rebecca

xo

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