COMPACT HOME OFFICE ON A BUDGET

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One of the great things about blogging is that wherever you are, as long as you have access to your PC, tablet or mobile you can always busy yourself in someway or another. Drafting up a post from the comfort of your own bed or catching up on your favourite Instagram feed on the bus. This can be really handy but I never feel like I’m in the best frame of mind to write unless I’m sitting at a proper workspace. For months my proper workspace was the end of the kitchen table but I got sick of the laptop constantly being there along with the homework, marker pens, unidentified crafty creations etc etc. Oh, and sometimes we even needed to eat our meals on there.

I’d been eyeing up the only teeny available spot in the house (living room bay window) as potential ‘office space’ but knew I had to move fast to get in there before it was commandeered by Barbie and Co. I got busy with the measuring tape and realised I had all of 110cm x 45cm to work with, ah. Well on the plus side, the Borrower-esque dimensions majorly limited my options so I didn’t have to concern myself with all that pesky ‘decision making’; in fact I wasn’t fully convinced I’d find anything at all to fit. To make things even more tricky the miniscule space had a minuscule budget to match so bespoke was out of the question.

As Himself will confirm once I get an idea in my head I’m like a dog with a bone – I will not let it go! I was determined that I would make it work. I simply had to create a workstation that met the following criteria:

  • Compact (!)
  • Inexpensive
  • Plenty of storage
  • Stylish

Okaaaaaay. So first up, the desk. Sourcing this basically involved ruling out 90% of everything I found online (including kids furniture) as most were too deep. Eventually good old IKEA came to my rescue with this little number (£30) which fitted perfectly and even better the glass top means the desk disappears into the space nicely and doesn’t look intrusive to the rest of the room. Being total geniuses the clever bods also offer an equally bargainacious set of drawers (£10) which fit perfectly underneath providing somewhere for me to hide my mess – result!

Luckily being quite vertically challenged meant I could get away with a kids desk chair (I considered a stool but knew ideally I would need back support). This white one (£25) has castors, an adjustable seat and fits perfectly underneath which means it can be stored away neatly when not in use. Obviously the most fun part of the whole project is the final process of prettification (P.O.P). I went for a mostly monochrome theme as I wanted to keep the space minimalist and sleek. As well as being the most exciting part, P.O.P is by far the most tempting in terms of blowing the budget so I allowed myself £20 for ‘non-essentials’ (although I’m pretty sure ‘inspirational quote’ ranks highly on the list of blogging essentials, right?).

I spied this ‘Actually, I Can’ postcard (90p) in my local stationery shop a while ago and knew it was the perfect little reminder that I sometimes need; the frame was from a nearby charity shop (60p). The notebooks were from a selection at TK Maxx (£10 for both) and these cute little pencils were from Home Bargains (99p for a pack of 4).

Now I don’t know if you’ve noticed but over the past few months Primark have increasingly outdone themselves in the home office dept making the whole P.O.P on a budget totally doable! This candle (which smell gorgeous btw but will serve merely a decoration in fear of setting fire to the curtains) was £4 and bears a striking similarity to a Tom Dixon one I saw for £55 (£55!). At £1.50 I couldn’t resist this spiky little fella to keep me company and he comes with the added bonus of me not being able to kill him due to being a 100% genuine fake – perfect!

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So there you go – a complete compact workspace including the lovely things for a grand total of £83, pretty chuffed with that I have to say. Would look better with a shiny new MacBook though wouldn’t it?

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36 Comments

  1. Oh just wow I am so envious! I am still writing at the end of my table along with the homework (!) or I balance my laptop on my lap – not good! Like you, I am more productive when I have a proper writing space – right off to hunt around the house for a space that I can call mine! #BloggerClubUK

  2. It looks fab! So stylish and neat! I had a desk in my lounge but I’ve just moved myself out into another room as it was too distracting and I needed some peace and quiet as I work from home a lot. We all need our personal space and this looks such a nice place to work and such a bargain!

    #bloggerclubuk

  3. Looks lovely. I’ve jusy turned our spare room back into an office and also looked in Primark for goodies. Unfortunately my desk is quite small so not much room for pretties!! #coolmumclub

  4. I love love love this workspace! I’ve used up every possible nook and cranny in my house already so I’m hanging out for a loft conversion this year to set something up. I totes agree with you on Primark home. I’m always popping in to see the latest and nearly always come out with something I love! Kat x

  5. Looking fab Mess and Merlot! Our house is going through a bit of a makeover at the moment and I hope to have a desk area up and running soon so will be using some of your tips. Love the fact you’ve managed to do it relatively cheaply but still look great! #CoolMumClub x

  6. Ahh it looks really lovely! I need to tidy-up my desk area and use it more. But it’s a bit out the way and in the evenings I often just want to be in the lounge with my OH. Hope you get lots of writing done now! #CoolMumClub

  7. This is so lovely Charlie! I wonder if I could squeeze it into my utility room, seeing as I basically live in there anyway!
    We purchased a desk for our bedroom last year, as the hubby works from home quite a bit. I’ve thought about prettying it up as a blogging space, but I like the flexibility and social element of blogging at the kitchen island or from the sofa! Think a downstairs office space would work so much better…must be a teeny corner somewhere?!
    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub hun

  8. Love this! I need a dedicated work space but our flat is way too small and the layout doesn’t give me one at the moment so I work from a fold up dining table (definitely not able to P.O.P it!) #BloggerClubUK

  9. Oh I love it! We’ve just moved house and I’ve been eyeing up a space to create a work space. I love this desk, its the perfect size and the fact it is glass is even better. I feel a trip to IKEA coming on! Enjoy your new space x #BloggerClubUK

  10. Ooh I do love that! I’m bookmarking this as I would love to replace my chunky wooden desk in my bedroom with something less intrusive. Good old IKEA! Thanks for sharing this. #coolmumclub

  11. I know which bit of the lounge I’m going to commandeer for my blog space and I was all decided over which Ikea desk to order but now I’ve seen your one, I’m conflicted because yours would slot in perfectly and I love the glass making it blend in. But then fingerprints, Glass is a pain. Aaarrrrrgggh PS snap! I’m getting that chair too (although I hope it’s not a back and wrist wrecker). #dreamteam

    1. The glass really does make it less IN YOUR FACE doesn’t it ? I’ve had it a few months now and haven’t noticed any fingerprints and just give it a quick dust every now and then (even with Little Miss Sticky Mitts constantly poking around!). To be honest my laptop takes up most of the depth of it so not much room for fingerprints 🙂 🙂 The chair’s fine, gives me enough support and at that price worth trying anyway as you could always use it for one of the kids rooms? Let me know how you get on! x

  12. Oh a mac book would go perfectly here & with all the savings you made creating the space I say go for it! lol Ah brilliant space lovely it’s so stylish! Well done you. #BloggerClubUK

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