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File away!

Make a creative space of your own, get your papers sorted and ramp up the style factor in your home office with these simple tips 

Words and styling Sarah Heeringa

Whether you work from home or just need a place to file papers and pay bills it can be handy to have some sort of home office. We don’t all have the luxury of space to dedicate an entire room as a study or office – but depending on your particular workspace needs you can create a simple area in a surprisingly compact space.

To create a successful study nook or creative corner you need to first decide what you will be most using the space for. Is it a home office to be used for income-generating work or a space for your creative hobbies? Will you be working on a laptop rather than a desk-based computer and if so, do you even need a desk? You might identify your greatest need as being somewhere to tidily store away your papers, stationery or crafting bits and bobs. Take a walk around your home looking for possible spaces that could be better utilised. Is there a possie where you could put a small filing cabinet or desk – or a place where you might potentially write, read or simply sit and think?

You can make a cost effective, creative and inspiring work area for yourself using repurposed and revamped pieces of office furniture. I acquired a nasty old filing cabinet that was no longer required by a colleague and rescued the ugliest office chair from a pile of junk outside an office block – and gave them a both snappy new look using a fresh coat of paint and a piece of bright new material.

It starts with being open to the many possibilities. Here are some ideas:

  • Keep an eye out for partially broken office chairs – or ones that look tatty but just need recovering. Most companies will be only too happy to be rid of their unwanted junk  

  • A place that is visually pleasing and well-ordered can help to unlock your creativity as well as helping you keep on top of the less exciting jobs such as filing  

  • A smartly covered new pin board completes the set up – providing a place to stick up a mix of useful and decorative objects

  • With company documents increasingly being stored on company servers or the cloud, filing cabinets are not as much in demand as they once were. You can easily pick up a secondhand filing cabinet online in an assortment of colours and sizes at a reasonable price. Ask around at a few local large companies and you might even pick one up for free! 

  • Create a mood board. Mood boards collect beautiful thought provoking and motivating images together. They’re an effective way of developing creative concepts and teasing out our unspoken ideas, hopes and dreams. There’s something extra special about a physical arrangement of images, textures, materials and text. See our Mood Board craft here

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