OK, so it’s not totally finished: I just want to make that clear right from the start.

We want to add some shelves. And some artwork. It could really be doing with – as much as it pains me to type this – that all-important “pop of colour” that’s the solution to every design-related problem. Apparently. But as of this week, the “red room”, as it was once known, is red no more! Just as a reminder, here’s what our home office looked like before.

And here’s what it looks like now, in its ‘Yes-We-Know-We-Need-to-Put-Something-on-Those-Walls’ state:

all-white home office with Ikea Alex cabinets and two desks

all white office with exposed brick wallpaper

lightbox on desk in white office

succulents on windowsill in home office

All You Need is Love: home office decor

lightbox and roses on desk

I mean, we’ll probably still call it ‘The Red Room’, to be honest. I know I still think of it as that, even although it;s now very much a white room. Or maybe we could start calling it, ‘The Purple Room’ or something, just to confuse people? Just a thought.

Predictably, most of what you can see here is from good ol’ Ikea, the contents of which we’re gradually transferring to our home, piece by piece.  The desk tops we already had, although we’d previously just used the legs that came with them – which I always thought gave the room a very ‘temporary’ feel. (Appropriately enough, really, given that it was supposed to just be a temporary setup: it’s just that “temporary” generally means “around 3 years” in this house. And, you know, TEN YEARS in the last one…) The biggest change here, then, was the addition of the three ‘Alex’ cabinets*, which Terry spent the best part of a week assuring me we would NOT, under ANY circumstances be getting, and which we picked up on Monday morning, along with the cellular blind, which we were ALSO not getting (We did have another blind ready to go, but it didn’t work out…), but oh look, there it is, fancy that!

(*These are actually available to buy without the desk, but for some reason they don’t seem to have the 5-drawer version on the website right now: strange!)

(I’m not even embarrassed to admit that picking up those drawer units was one of the highlights of my month, by the way. As well as more than doubling the storage we had in the room, they’ve also made it feel more like a “real” office to me: and given that we’ve been running our business from home for over a decade now, I think it’s about time we had a “real” office for it, don’t you?)

The other big change was the white brick wallpaper, which was painstakingly applied by my long-suffering dad, who had to line up all those bricks, while working around the strangely sloping ceiling: round of applause for Amber’s dad, please! This is actually the first time Terry and I have ever tried anything other than paint on our walls, and as fitting wallpaper looks a bit like juggling frogs to me, we had to call in my parents (who are wallpaper veterans) to assist with this one. We’re really happy with how it turned out, though: we always knew we wanted to stick with the light, bright feel that you get from an all-white room, but this adds a bit of subtle texture to the room, and what fashion blogger wouldn’t want her very own brick wall to stand in front of, I ask you?

Other than that, everything else was in the room before. The red filing cabinet (again, not available on the website in red, but they do have it in store!) dates from our last house, and it’s actually still in this one almost by accident: it used to sit under my desk, as you can see in the top photo, but once we’d replaced it with the shiny new ‘Alex’ cabinets, we were all set to retire it to  the depths of Terry’s wardrobe, where he was planning to use it to store… whatever it is men store in their wardrobes. Socks? Hankies? I have no idea.

Anyway, he happened to leave it sitting against the wall until he had time to make some space for it, and when I saw it there, I decided I quite liked it, so I accessorised it with the ‘All You Need is Love’ sign (Matalan, many years ago), and the star light, which my mum gave us last year. (I’ve no idea where she got it, but I’m pretty sure she has some kind of “staging area” somewhere where she keeps stuff like this, because all you have to do is say to her, ‘You know, I wish I had a light shaped like a star!’ and she’ll miraculously produce one…) We’re planning to use this area for some kind of sitting area, with maybe a chair and a coffee table or something, though, so the red cabinet’s days may still be numbered: or we may just leave it there for the next three years, who knows.

Anyway, as I said, we still have a way to go before we’re completely done with this room: this stage one revamp was mostly about sprucing it up a bit, adding some more storage, and essentially creating a blank canvas – well, a blank-er canvas – that we can build on in the future: whenever that may be.

Oh, and if you’re wondering where those hideous floor mats went, confession time: I removed them purely to take the photo. Thanks to Fiona, who commented on my last post, however, I currently have some chair glides on their way to me, so please join with me in praying that they work out, and we can bid farewell to the plastic mats for good!

All-white home office with double desks

All you need is love - and a cute pup

IN OUR OFFICE:

Desk tops

White ‘Alex’ drawer units

Blind

Wallpaper

Red filing cabinet

Similar desk chairs

Light box

8 Comments
  1. Hurrah for desk drawers! We recently got Elodie a loft bed from IKEA with a desk underneath it and a wardrobe on the end plus some shelves. It’s brilliant and she loves being able to put all her school work in the drawers. I’m just jealous she even had a work area that cool.

    The brick paper is fabulous, your Dad is a marvel. I think wallpapering is beyond my capabilities too. Was it just easier to paper over that red wall then try to cover it with twelve billion coats of paint?! I’ll never understand red walls tbh…..

    1. We gave it a quick coat of paint before papering, because we were worried the red would show through the paper. Just one coat wasn’t nearly enough to cover it, so I think it would’ve been a real pain if we’d wanted to just paint it! The spare room, meanwhile, has a matching wall in dark blue – NOT looking forward to painting that one, needless to say!

  2. Totally loving your new office, Amber! You guys made a good job (and yes, I´m clapping hands for your dad, my husband an I tried wallpaper without the “adult supervision” and I can´t tell you, that was the biggest disaster since… well, since probably the Titanic). Also, your red drawer looks great together with that extra decor. I was thinking, the only way to improve your already stunning home office (if looking up for the “real office look” as you said) could be a coffee/tea corner. Just a thought. I also work from home and I always find myself thinking “damn, shouldn´t I have a little cute tea cabinet or something?” But don´t listen to me, it is actually the one hundred hours on Pinterest speaking.
    That bitch…

  3. You know I saw that wallpaper and before you even said it I was so onto you – such a fashion blogger choice 😉 Oh and I painted over a dark red wall recently – it took 4 coats of white paint. So putting paper over it was a good choice… That I definitely should have thought of. Also, I need those castor things, off to check them out now!

  4. Your office is looking great, I love everything, including the heart on the white mug. It looks so clean and tidy (unlike mine. I painted a little room white, hung white semi transparent curtains (lined) and set out to use it as a photographic studio, but we had too much office stuff, so there goes my studio 😕

  5. I have the exactly same arrangement from Ikea. Here is US they also don’t have the Alexis drawers on the site, just at the store. My only regret was not choosing the lacquer finish table tops. I chose the matte one but I think the shiny ones are much nicer. And I have the same chair as well. I haven’t had the time to read blogs lately so I was very surprise when I saw the picture on instagram and it looks exactly like mine. LOL!

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