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Plans for our study!

Cassie Pyle, The Veda HouseCassie Pyle of The Veda House, via Eva Black Design

One thing I’m going to sort out this year: my workspace, or study.

I’ve been looking for inspiration, and I can’t get past how staged and non-functional many of those beautiful workspace photos are. Sitting on a hard little stool for a full day’s work? Sure. No books on the shelves? Right. Giant blackboard, artfully scribbled on, behind the desktop and therefore difficult to reach? Whatever. No computer at all, just a bunch of knick-knacks, a rotary phone and a eucalyptus sprig in a vase? Haha, okay.

Those photos are pretty, don’t get me wrong, but they’re not useful. I need images of spaces that people actually work in, and The Veda House studio was one of my favourites. It’s so well put together and it looks like a lovely little space to be in.

study 1
study 2014 - ugh

Our own study hasn’t seen much action since we fixed up the walls and gave it a coat of paint. (The first two photos show what it looked like when we first moved in, when it was carpeted and floor-to-ceiling mauve; this one is from a few months ago.) It’s a nice large space, suiting multiple purposes and having enough room for storage, but you can see it needs help. I do freelance graphic design work, and I also want to get back into the swing of making prints and illustrations this year. So my workspace has plenty of stuff, but precious little organisation. It’s easier to get things done when everything has a place and materials, references etc are a snap to find.

I’ve been collecting furniture over the last few months, and since this photo was taken I’ve started to carry out my plans; the new year must have gotten me fired up. I made a detailed to-do list, looked through images of inspiring offices, and even made a basic moodboard to make it all clear in my head. In three words, I want this space to be comfortable, orderly, and inspiring.

Study/studio moodboard

  • Day-night roller blinds. The pink venetians aren’t cutting it. All three windows will have an inner sheer blind and an outer, heavy blockout blind. (Combined day-night blinds exist, but they’re all expensive and ugly, so.)
  • Steel shelving unit. I like the airy yet sturdy look of steel shelves. I’d definitely go modern over rustic (no pipes or reclaimed timber). Sam — Jamie’s brother — and I are talking about making some ourselves.
  • Flat-file drawers. (AKA map drawers.) Just like in art school. I already managed to procure one of these; Jamie’s workplace was getting rid of several and I lucked out, to say the least. It did need the rust cleaned off and a fresh coat of paint, though.
  • Functional computer desk. The major pieces all need to be corralled (our printer currently sits on the floor) and the cords drive me insane. I want it all organised.
  • Mini-workbench. A standing workbench gets used for all sorts of odds and ends. I currently have trestle bases, but no worktop.
  • Painted fireplace. It needs fixing up in general, and I sorely want to paint over the ugly, already-gloss-varnished brick.

study, before
office chair

And here’s a few more things on the list, both practical and decorative:

  • Heating element. This is the coldest room in the house and it’s unheated, which can make working here in winter an unpleasant experience. (I’m kicking myself for not getting fingerless gloves last year.) Jamie is strongly considering a heat pump for this room. It’d be perfect if we could get a floor-mounted one that would sit inside the fireplace.
  • Office chair. I already got myself one that I like, a rolling blackwood-framed chair straight out of the ‘70s with black vinyl cushions. It’s comfortable, durable and it has wheels; criteria met.
  • Filing cabinet. We were so overdue on getting one. I picked up a two-drawer one that works fine.
  • New rug, coffee table and futon cover. The futon serves as our guest bed, but mostly it’s a hang-out spot in the study. That whole area is gonna be prettier and more inviting. I’m thinking a kilim instead of the stripey rag-rug.
  • Posters and postcards. I never put them back up after taking them down for our move. I should get on that.

What do you reckon — good, bad, neutral? Any workspace suggestions or advice? I’m looking forward to sharing progress updates!

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11 thoughts on “Plans for our study!”

  1. Good! I love the inspiration and the practical plans. A good place for industrial style. The sitting and standing options are a very good idea, but as a physiotherapist, I need to see a photo of your chair (preferably with you sitting in it) before I give you the full 10 out of 10!

    1. Thanks so much for your feedback! I updated my post to show a photo of the office chair. It’s comfortable, and it’s got a lever underneath that allows me to adjust its incline. I like having a chair that’s wide enough to sit in it cross-legged sometimes; is that terrible for my joints and/or posture? (I often sit that way when it’s cold and I’ve got a rug wrapped around me.)

      1. It’s hard to tell from the pics, but I’ll give it a pass because you insist it’s comfortable. Adjustability is good, lumbar support may be lacking? Ideally, you’d adjust it so that your hips are slightly higher than your knees. As for sitting cross-legged…… if you could see the position I’m currently typing in, I’d lose all credibility!

    2. I would just start compiling your old work, tools, and knick knacks of previous accomplishments. Find a work table, nothing pretty or design orientated. Just a good practical table that can take some abuse. Then I would put up posters and art, decorate and nest the room. Forget carpets, blinds, maybe do the couch cover. Three words that come to my mind, functional, neat, focused. Good luck!

      1. Cool, thanks for your input. 🙂 ‘Focused’ is a good word to keep in mind, too.

        This is actually closer to the sort of workbench I’m gonna have – I just need to make a timber top for it. Like you said, one that can take some abuse.

        The blinds are for better privacy control (sheer blinds allow natural light and privacy during the day) and whatever level of thermal insulation we’d get out of them. It feels silly to focus on window coverings, but it’ll be worth it.

    3. I have the same thoughts about most of the staged workspaces. And yes, a comfy seat is one of the most crucial things! I like your choices. I wouldn’t forgo the textiles, as they could be used to bring warmth to what sounds like a cold room. Look forward to seeing it completed.

      1. Heya, thanks for your input! (And sorry about not responding promptly! I am terrible at this.) I agree about the textiles, warmth is good. 🙂

    4. Don’t forget lighting (as if you would). Looks like you got a bright overhead, maybe some indirect to make it easier for computer work and just hanging. Also for when it’s a guest bedroom.

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