It wasn’t until I went freelance a few years ago and started working from home more regularly that I really began to understand how important it was to have a strong work space and environment.
And with renovations underway at ours, with no clear space to work and moving gradually onto the sofa, I understand it even more clearly.
So I asked a few friends, colleagues and people I admire to show me their home office and talk about what inspires them, what they can’t work without and basically, how they keep it together. And I enjoyed reading through the answers so much, it has actually kind of turned into a bigger piece than I originally envisioned.. I’ll split it up into a few posts over the next month.
Do you have an office or do you work from home? Or a bit of both?
I have a home office in my house in North Kensington, I share it with whichever guest will be landing in my house that week as it’s also our spare bedroom. But as soon as my daughters are old enough to share a bedroom, this will become my solo kingdom! Working from home is something I love, for me it’s the ultimate luxury. And feel very lucky to be able to have breakfast with my daughters, kiss them goodbye in the morning and walk up the stairs to my office with no commute ahead of me.
How do you balance work/life as a freelancer?
Firstly, I start by trying to accept the fact that there will be good and bad days, and that hopefully for every bad day, there’s a good one around the corner. Secondly, by reminding myself that being my own boss is a huge privilege. With two kids under 4, I have very little ‘life’ left, so my main balance is that of work/mother, really. When I came back to work after my maternity, a very good friend that also works as a business advisor for us sat me down to plan my days systematically: now every hour of the day is assigned to a series of ‘tasks’ – it may sound full on, but it’s literally changed my life. It means I can pack everything from ballet-watching to business meetings and responding to emails in my days. I now feel like I tick all the boxes. Most days!
How important is it that your office space are chic/ reflect your work?
It’s really important – as with most things in my life, I like them to look the part. Ultimately it’s an aesthetic, but there has to be a practical element too. As well as looking ‘pretty’, everything in my office has a reason of being and a purpose: from the pin boards I use to pin everything, my To Do lists and inspiration that sits right before my eyes, to the choice of pens I put in my pen holders!
What can’t you live without on your desk?
Apart from my laptop, I also always need pen and paper. I still love crossing off things from my to-do lists, it brings me huge satisfaction. I love Kate Spade’s big TO DO pad, I fill in one sheet per week and cross things as I go along. Lastly, I can’t live without my pile of sea salt chocolate and personalised stationery. I love nothing more than writing and receiving a thank you card!
How do you keep organised?
In two ways: I’m a real control freak, but I’ve had to learn to delegate so by having someone else deal with my work diary I make much better use of my time. Also, by throwing away the superfluous: I hate mess and clutter, they can really slow you down. I don’t keep anything that is not relevant and I have regular, ruthless clear outs.
Realistically, what is your workwear attire?
If I work from home it will be leather leggings and a grey jumper but if I’m going out for meetings it could be anything from a tulle skirt to a pair of jeans and leopard print coat. There’s no rule!
What inspires you in or around your desk area?
What inspires me are the women we featured on Wardrobe ICONS, I like to revisit what they are up to, see what they are wearing now, what they are doing next… I have a print out of the covers we’ve done so far and I find myself constantly looking at what we’ve done in the past to make it relevant today. I guess the inspiration comes more from the outside and from talking to my friends and colleagues than from anything that surrounds me in the office.