Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

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How To

Renter’s Style: Reinventing the Study

What does your study say about you? If I’m getting the grand tour of a home, study spaces captivate my attention the most. I feel like I’m getting a special insight into their personal style, more so than any other room.

What are their secret interests and hobbies? Are they bold and minimal or eclectic and cluttered? Is the space freakishly organised and neat? Or do they work best surrounded by complete chaos?  A study nook, a home office, a simple desk and chair to cater a laptop – my focus is always drawn to these spaces.

Last weekend, amid working on various projects, I decided to clean up a little… and two days later I finished. I completely dismantled my whole study, re-arranged it and put it all together again – to a level beyond OCD, but that’s just me.

Suddenly it’s a new space and I can’t get enough of it. I face the same challenge as many renters in that I don’t have the luxury of painting walls or adding new hooks for artwork.  My advice – think outside the box for no zone is more versatile than the study. It is surprisingly simple to add functional aesthetic solutions to reinvent your creative sanctuary without a paintbrush or hammer.

Use oversized floor standing mirrors if you want to add space and reflect light. Alternatively, moodboards are an easy DIY project. I used a standard door, applied thin foam to one side and covered it in one of my favourite fabrics from Osborne & Little.  The beauty of this is you won’t need to hang a thing, it creates scale, you can re-cover it when you want a fresh look. Behind your desk, it will provide you with an ever-evolving array of inspiration to pin. If fabrics aren’t your thing – paint it instead with Dulux blackboard paint and get drawing.

For aesthetically savvy storage, warehouse boxes from Mark Tuckey are still my number one. As an interior designer, my study is filled with samples boxes, books, bits and pieces and it can easily get out of control during a busy week or month. They come in various sizes and can be manipulated, stacked and sorted to cater for whatever is accumulating on your floor. Use two or three, or fill a wall so that all the essentials are in easy reach and visible.

If your study shares a zone like mine (within my lounge room) break them up with a rug. I love the Coco Republic Baker Rug with a simple yet striking design. It is available in multiple sizes and colours – an easy way to add a subtle splash of colour or texture.

Desks should first and foremost be functional, I have two, one is new and the other an antique timber drafting board. Both have oodles of working space, a must in my line of work. Vintage pieces always warm a space and help create a sense of history and character, which I love in any interior.

Finally, no study is complete without the perfect lamp. I suggest spending a little time looking for a design with the right lighting solution for you as it’s a critical piece. Always ensure it’s adjustable too. There are so many beautiful desk lamps available, such as the Coco Republic Stuart Study Lamp.

So the question remains …What does your study say about you?


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