The beginning of a new year always makes me want to organise things. Having my workspace set up properly really helps me get my head in gear, so I’m really careful to keep it as efficient and organised as possible.
With all three of my kids in full time school this year I’ll be working in the office full time with Anita my Operations Manager. My workroom as it stood last year was fantastic for me on my own, but wasn’t really set up for two people to work in it, and I knew I needed to make some changes so that we could both work comfortably.
It was time to accept that my workroom couldn’t function as an office and our spare room efficiently anymore. I really needed the space, so the first thing I did was to move the sleeper couch out and into the kids playroom. It’s not the ideal position, and has made the playroom a little cramped for my minimalist tendencies – but it’s the only place it made sense to put it, so there it sits till I think of something better!
What used to be my sewing desk became Anita’s desk, and I added on to my desk to create a mega desk with a computer workspace and a sewing area with my sewing machine, overlocker and coverstitch.
The plotter that we use for internal pattern testing is still in the corner and behind it we store some photo backdrop boards and my cutting mat. Every corner that can hold rolls of pattern paper does.
There is a large bull dog clip hanging on a hook above the printer and that’s where I keep all the patterns I have cut out and am currently using. It’s usually a mix of new designs we are sampling and my personal projects.
My sewing desk is where the couch used to be – covering what is actually a fireplace! We had the fireplace professionally cleaned and closed up, and then covered it with a white painted board from the hardware store. I often forget there is a fireplace behind there now. So that cute little shelf we store patterns in is actually a mantlepiece!
This new set up is working incredibly well! This is probably the best office arrangement I’ve had and I think moving the sleeper couch out was the key. Having my sewing space closer to the large window has also been a big help as I can see what I’m doing much more clearly.
There’s also a lot of room to spread out when I need to do artwork etc.
I’ve had a lot of questions about my mega desk and the various components of my office over on Instagram, so i’ve linked to as many of the products as I can remember at the end of this post. Spoiler alert: there is a lot of Ikea ;)
I often get questions about how I keep my workroom so tidy and honestly the answer is simple and not very exciting. First my not-so-secret secret weapon is that I have a massive storage cupboard on one side of the room that holds most my entire stash, pattern samples, unsightly things etc it’s huge and white and not very interesting ;) I learnt a long time ago that the only way you can have a minimalist neat workspace is if you have lots of places to store your junk.
And secondly, I have to maintain it constantly. I’m as messy as anyone else when I sew (I mean honestly, there threads all over the floor in these photos!), but I force myself to tidy up every time I sew, and everything has a designated spot it has to go after I’ve used it. I do a quick scan of the room every Friday and make sure that it is still looking neat and tidy and that everything is where it should be. If it isn’t I tidy it up ready for the next week to begin.
You can see a peek of my large cupboard below with my dressforms and the super large window of this room. The form on the right is my professional form and the one on the left is my mother in laws vintage form that belonged to her mother. It’s really special to me.
// Office decor sources //
- Ikea Linnmon table top 150cm x 75cm (computer desk)
- Ikea Linnmon Table top 200cm x 60cm (sewing desk)
- Ikea Alex drawers x 2 (one on the right of the sewing desk, and one sits at the junction of the sewing and computer desk)
- Ikea Finnvard Trestle leg
- Ikea Adils leg (provides support in the middle of the sewing desk)
- Linnmon Table top 200cm x 60cm
- Ikea Alex drawers
- Ikea large Alex drawers on castors (this does not support the desk it just slips under)
- Ikea Adils leg x 2
- Matt Blatt replica Eames chair (Meg’s chair)
- Freedom Brandon (Anita’s chair)
- Ikea Nordmyra (sewing chair)
- Pattern storage boxes – Ikea Tjena 25cm x 18cm x 15cm (these boxes are our absolute favourite for storing patterns and displaying them. They fit my patterns and most other companies perfectly!)
- Overflow storage – Ikea Tjena 50cm x 35cm x30cm (we use these boxes in our big storage cupboard to store almost everything! We even have some just sitting on the floor of the office in the corner and they look great)
- Large cupboard for stash storage, pattern samples, various sewing supplies, photoshoot props, backdrops, filing… you name it! – Ikea PAX with various drawers and hanging rods inside
- Wall shelves – Ikea Lack (though I love these aesthetically they honestly don’t feel very sturdy. I don’t think I would store anything heavy on these)
- Spool rack – this is two spool racks from JoAnns hung very close to each other using 3M hooks.
- Various Maker and sewing themed Art prints – made by us!
- Frames – Spotlight A3 Frames
- Pin bowls – Ramekins from Wheel and Barrow many years ago. Here are some similar ones from Kitchen Warehouse
- Peg Board for sewing tools – This was a DIY. The board was bought from Bunnings (a hardware store) and cut to size on site. I painted it white, built a frame and mounted it to the wall.
- Rug – a gift from my mother in law :)
- Felt ball garland – I honestly can’t remember where I bought this but there are a lot of options on Etsy.
- Paper pom poms – these are a DIY from Martha Stewart. I actually made them for Birdie’s nursery, and when she started talking she asked me to take them out of her room because they were “a mean octopus”. I mean you just can’t argue with 2 year old logic hehe. I couldn’t bear to throw them out, so i hung them on a hook in my office and they’ve been there ever since (2 years).
- Cork board (on Meg’s desk) – Officeworks Quartet 1200mm x 900mm oak frame cork board
- Slogan cards (on cork board) – Jasmine Dowling
- Wall calendar and A4 day to a page diary – An Organised Life
If I’ve left anything out you’re interested in knowing where to find let me know in the comments!
I really hope you’ve enjoyed this little look into my workroom!
photography by Bronnie Joel