Work Space in Home Space

It's rare that I have to do my day job from home, in fact I don't think I've worked from home since we had a snow day in January 2013.  I like going into the office as it puts me in a 'work' frame of mind.

However, as I moonlight as a writer, having a work space for that at home is pretty important these days. I've spent years occupying a little space at the dining table, balancing my laptop on my lap on the couch, or even using pillows as a desk in my bedroom. Don't get me wrong, it's comfy but also a little impractical!

Desk Bed Love Life Lexi
All the essentials: laptop, iPad, tea, Hobnobs

Over summer I decided that I needed to take up a little more room on the planet and have somewhere to go when creativity strikes, therefore I needed to think about creating my own work space. If I have my office to put me in a 'work' frame of mind, then I need a space at home to put me in a 'writing' frame of mind. 
It's not easy trying to find space in a London flat, not at all, you really have to work with what you've got. Spare bedrooms quickly become storage rooms & wardrobes, my bedroom fits a bed in and little else and as for living rooms, well, it's generally a couch, a tv and a wall of Ikea Billy bookcases.

Ikea Billy Bookcase Wall
Who doesn't love a wall of Billy?

However there's always a corner which has potential, in my case it was the one where I put my desk when I moved to London and let it accumulate clutter on top of it. 

I say desk, it's an expandable Ikea table that I used to use as a dining table in my old flat, but it makes a great desk as you can expand it when you need to take up more space for a particular project. I've spent evenings and weekends of autumn clearing out the storage boxes underneath it, putting things in the attic and generally trying to make the space habitable.

Behold, my very own little corner of the world:

Love Life Lexi Desk
Coming to you in word form, live from West London, it's Ms Lexi!

As you may have guessed, I spent a bit of time on Pinterest looking for inspiration and as lovely as some of the desk spaces are on there, none of them really inspired me. I knew I wanted my desk clean, with a few very Lexi things on there to make me smile as I work, but that's it. Candles and flowers don't really do it for me, I really dislike clutter, so I wanted something minimal, clean and cosy.

I decided to use the whole of the table, as I knew I'd be putting kit and paperwork on it. I also wanted it to still be able to hold my laptop for the occasions when I do need to revert back to Windows (and it's forty thousand updates every bloody two weeks) so I needed to keep some table space relatively clear. 

I've had to be careful with my storage as I have lots of stuff that needs hiding away (as you can imagine from what my corner looked like before I started on this project), I love these storage boxes from WH Smiths as they look great but are strong enough to hold so much stuff. I have my entire CD collection in two of those boxes and they've been lifted and moved around a lot, no collapsing as of yet!

Stop buying satchels!
Okay Alex, no more satchels.

I don't have much in the way of stationary on my desk, save for post-its, a jar of pens and some notebooks, so I've been able to add lots of other things which make it mine. My best friend always makes me brilliant birthday cards, so that acts as a nice photo of us together. My geeky features include my Leia and Stay Puft Pop Vinyls, the magazine racks next to my screen hold my iPad, some magazines I've been featured in and my beloved Carrie Fisher autograph.

Princess Leia Pop Vinyl Stay Puft Pop Vinyl
All the nerdy cutes <3

I love my background on my desktop too. I often use different pieces of art that I like, I chose Edward  Hopper's Nighthawks as it's a nice wide print which fills a screen and it was one I saw in the Art Institute of Chicago this summer. That was one of my favourite days out this year, so it evokes a memory of a really special time. Next I need to fill a folder with lots of lovely photos of me and my friends to use as my arty screensaver.

It seems like such a simple thing to do, make a work space comfy and nice to look at, but it's so important to give yourself somewhere that's yours to work from and despite me claiming I'm always more creative on a morning, turns out I can write late at night too now that I'm in the right space. My good writing space has made me more productive. Winner winner, chicken dinner.

(Shameless plug: Laura wrote a great piece on creating a healthy work space on her site, which you can read here.)

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  1. It's funny. You have a wall of Billy bookshelves, as do I. You saw your Nighthawks in Chicago, I saw my Nighthawks at Tate Modern...

    1. I think everyone I know has a wall of Billy. It's the perfect book / dvd storage solution.