How to create a happy home office from just £4.50 – with Interior Design Masters star Siobhan Murphy
She came second in series two of Interior Design Masters, and now Siobhan Murphy is sharing her top tips on how to create a happy, colourful, gorgeous home – that won't break the bank!
From updating those tired rooms, to creating a happy home office to transforming a space with just a few key changes, Interiors With Siobhan Murphy will be all you need to ensure you have a happy home.
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We are spending so much more time in our homes right now,with a lot of us working from home, too. And while we might miss a few things about going into the office, there are definitely some plus points to home working, including a much shorter commute, days spent in Pyjama bottoms and a nice top, but more importantly, a chance to decorate our own office spaces exactly as we want them. I truly believe a happy life starts with a happy home.
Spare bedrooms, garden sheds, landings, kitchens and unused corners of our living rooms are now doubling up as our office spaces, which means creating a nice environment to work in has become really important for our well-being, both physically and mentally.
My own home-office space in my spare room was looking a bit sad and uninspiring (it was essentially a white box) so I decided to create a space I would feel happy to work in for long periods of time. A place where my creative juices would flow.
Colour is my happy place so I added bright pink walls and an oversized houndstooth wallpaper. And because I'm me, I have a shelf of wigs, a bonkers lighting instalment and a huge pink neon sign, so you can’t not smile in this room – it’s just pure joy! Think 1980’s Malibu Barbie mixed with the workshop in Rupaul's Drag Race and that pretty much sums it up!
If you, too, are thinking you need to revamp your home working set up, here are my top five tips to help you create your own happy home office…
Also take a sneaky peek around my home here, if you want to see the office in all its glory!
Think about your Workspace
Ideally, your desk should be large enough to house your computer, stationary and other necessary work items. If you don’t have the room for a dedicated work desk, though, and you're using the kitchen table or dressing table, then it might be an idea to have a desk tidy or something you can keep your work things in which can be moved away at the end of the day. No one wants to be staring at work whilst eating dinner and it’s also important to switch off.
This bamboo desk organiser from IKEA is handy and stylish
If you're lucky enough to have a window in the room, then ideally you should move the desk as close as you can to let in as much natural light as possible. It’s easier on the eyes when you're looking at a computer screen all day.
This Oliver Bonas desk is super fun and unusual
Top tip if you're feeling adventurous: I was looking for a large desk but the ones I liked were all really expensive, so instead I bought a solid wood kitchen table from a local online selling site for £20, sanded it, painted it black and added a glitter resin top for extra durability and et voila! I got a beautiful bespoke desk for around a quarter of the price.
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Clear out the clutter
Usually I’m a more is more kind of girl and I love a knick knack (or ten!) but my advice is to try to only have the things on your desk that you NEED. Clutter can sometimes be a bit distracting.
Well organised spaces tend to be more productive. Have things that you use close to hand. I’m a bit of a stationary addict and I love writing lists so my desk always has a few colourful notebooks and pads on the go.
These notepads from Paperchase are super colourful and cute.
Or this yellow gingham notepad is adorable.
Inject some personality
Our homes are an extension of our personalities so why not start with the home office? Surrounding ourselves with things we love can only make us happier and lift our spirits.
Add things to the walls to motivate and inspire such as Pin boards or memo boards. Incorporate things you love into your scheme such as a gallery wall full of your favourite images, photos of people that inspire you, cool artworks and empowering typography.
This Matalan wire rack is perfect!
Colour can have such an effect on our mood, so choose colours that bring you joy. Think about energising sunshiny yellows, perfect peaches, easy breezy calming greens, or zesty orange –something vibrant and uplifting to ward away the Monday morning blues.
This doesn’t have to be the entire space – I like painting windowsills in a bright contrasting colour or, dare I say it, a feature wall or ceiling.
I love this kitchen disco colour from coat paints, it’s basically sunshine in a tin.
I’m not really a naturally tidy person but I definitely work better if my office is clean and clutter free. It’s nice to have a mixture of storage solutions; consider closed storage for things that you don’t want on display and sets of drawers and filing cabinets for paperwork. I use plant pots on my desk for pens and pencils and a variety of colourful storage boxes on open shelving for paperwork and magazines.
These fun storage pots from IKEA will cheer up your desk
When space is at a premium then vertical storage solutions are your friend, using as much wall space as you can to maximise this with a variety of different storage solutions to add visual interest to the room.
I reckon these colourful filing cabinets from Ryman would bring a bit of fun to any office
And these pink ones from Oliver Bonas are to die for!
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Plant lady is the new cat lady
Not only do plants look amazing and soften the space but they also absorb toxins, reduce stress and make us feel more refreshed and relaxed. I like plants that are pretty low maintenance such as Aloe Vera and spider plants that only need watering once a week. Add some nice colourful plant pots into the mix and you have instant joy right there!
I just love these tropical planters frommade.com £39 for two
And if you are feeling like a boss after your revamp, how about one of these Boss Lady signs from Not On The High Street?
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