For the last 3-4 years I’ve been conducting my business (initially part time and now full time) from a tiny box room in my house where the desk took up half the room and elbow room was limited to say the least!
The old office/cell
Let’s just say you couldn’t swing a cat in there (not that I was never tempted)!
This summer my wife and I decided to turn our spare/guest room into an all singing, all dancing, custom built studio to give me more space and a more conducive working environment – not to mention making space for a new addition to our family, coming soon! The intention is to add a sofa bed in the new year, allowing us to continue using the room as a guest room as and when we have people to stay.
Me being to DIY what Plymouth Argyle are to top class world football, I am always glad and eternally grateful to be able to call on my father-in-law in these situations! Lizzie and I drew up the plans and quickly got to work.
Here’s a brief photo gallery showing the process of turning this…
… into this!
First we needed to get rid of the two part guest bed to make some space. Ebay. Thank you very much!
We borrowed a steamer and stripped the horrible floral textured wallpaper that covered the room!
Calling in the pro – father-in-law John installing essential extra power points.
Being a very old house (over 100 years old) the walls are pretty uneven, and with a few bodge jobs in the past, some of the walls required a certain amount of filler to help retain a semi-smooth surface for painting!
The brushes and rollers were out as Lizzie and I worked night and day to turn the room into a bright white haven. The difference was enormous and once this was done we felt we were making much better progress!
I decided I wanted one wall painted yellow to match my business branding and to add some colour to the room. We took some of my printed literature and were able to mix a custom paint to accurately match the colours (Pantone 116, in case you were wondering…).
We wanted to build a desk that would span the bay window, giving me space either side of my main workspace for drawing, spreading out and housing my printers. We begun by selecting a relatively inexpensive material (ash black laminate/melamine board) and cut the boards to shape – resting the main section in position using this keyboard stand (!) while we fixed it to the floor using white metal poles/legs.
Storage space was a key part of the room’s design, and we built shelves at custom heights into the alcoves either side of the chimney breast.
Because of the slightly awkward sizes of the windows we had to order custom built blinds to make sure they fitted perfectly. We ordered quite a wide slatted set from Blinds2Go which we were really pleased with and didn’t cost as much as we had expected.
While the finishing touches were made I was able to move in all my books and equipment and start working in my new home!
The advantages and benefits to my work have already become clear. The office is spacious and clean (most of the time) without clutter and furniture bearing down on me – much more conducive to creativity. It feels much more like I’m going to work rather than hiding away in a cupboard like Harry Potter under the stairs and the sense of achievement having conceived and built the space completely bespoke is inspiring.
I’ve had some professional photographs taken and am looking forward to sharing them – the shots I’ve taken really don’t show it off to its best unfortunately. Keep an eye out for the new pics soon and let me know what you think of the process using comments below.
Thanks for reading!