Home office galleries – Spare room home offices
Where do you work in the house or garden? Would you like to share your own workspace in our home office galleries?
Just email us a photo of your workspace, along with about 100 words on what you like (or maybe dislike) about it and the URL of your blog or website.
Or maybe you’d like to show us the view from your desk, the objects that inspire you, or some essential piece of equipment.
Below is our gallery of spare room home offices. Click on the arrows at the bottom of the page to move on to the next gallery, which is outdoor and mobile offices.
Spare room home offices
These are the ingenious red desks/table designed by Carrie Ballard’s husband for their office space at home in the Netherlands.
‘Sunniest spot in the house’, tweeted Carrie, ‘half of the open space that makes up front room/sitting room. The table is a bit higher than desks, and can slide in over the desks when not in use.’
Carrie Ballard, VESTRI OPTI, business English for business people
This is the office of the Virtual Assistant business I launched in Dec 12 after leaving the military (after 22 years). Here, I provide a VA service to those in the wellness industry (coaches, trainers, complementary and holistic therapists). The office was the very first thing we did when we undertook a major house renovation in 2013, so I was able to run my business while the builders renovated my house. It doesn’t always look as tidy but as a bit of a control freak – I do like things to be put away but easily accessible and since I help clients take their businesses from chaos to calm – its important my working space has these elements in it.
Amanda Johnson, Your Executive Secretary
“I’ve been running my business Live/Work Network from home in Penzance, Cornwall for over 15 years so I’m a bit of a UK home working pioneer. I’ve written numerous national reports on the subject of home working and I’m an expert live/work consultant.
This year my company launched a new service for home workers, www.workhubs.com. Workhubs are ideal second offices for home-based businesses who sometimes need to network with others, and use high quality meeting spaces and equipment. We all know the advantages of home working. Workhubs tackle the downsides – isolation and low visibility. We think they are the next generation of workspace.”
Tim Dwelly, live/work consultant, www.workhubs.com
‘This is the home of Nexus Publishing. Well the spare room of our bungalow here in Telford. This is probably the best office I have ever used as previously I was squeezed into whatever free corner we had available. I’m now able to run my business from a dedicated space, which is just the right size for my beloved Mac and the mountain of books I have around me. Also I now have a view! Staring out of the window is essential in my line of work. Not a great view, but certainly better than the brick wall I used to see.’
David Howell, journalist, writer and publisher, Nexus Publishing
‘This is one of my treatment rooms and it’s the one that is most special to me. As a holistic massage and bodywork practitioner working from home presents interesting challenges, outweighed by which is the opportunity to create a space I think is perfect for my work. It is a space of balanced energy which I share with my clients where they can deeply relax and de-stress. My clients often comment about how relaxed they feel when they step inside. It is in this room where many realisations and changes take place and I love being a catalyst for that.’
Leora, holistic massage and bodywork practitioner, www.freemyself.net
‘This office is a shared space, which means sometimes I work here and other times I ‘hot-desk’ to the dining room table. Colour is important to me so I like to think that the rug, storage units and knick-knacks add a touch of style to balance all the stark technology. The bright screensavers and lava lamp lend some visual movement and creative inspiration to an otherwise still room.
If you work from home I can recommend a dog like this one; he is a quiet companion when I’m busy, but because he insists on regular walks he also forces me away from the monitor screen and out into the fresh air for well-deserved breaks.’
Sara, freelance writer, www.sarabarrett.co.uk
‘In 2007 I was desperate for space of my own, a private sanctuary to work, to dream and to write. I was tired of finding a corner here and there. My husband and I decided to convert the two spare bedrooms into his and her home offices.
This was a HUGE undertaking. It took a year to sort through decades of books, papers, and junk, and to clean, patch, paint, stain and decorate.
But, in the end, I had my dream office, a sanctuary designed by me, for me…thick, deeply colored carpeting, light colored walls, exposed, natural wood trim, natural light, glass and steel accents, pictures, art and books.
PS I wish I had some ‘before’ pictures to show the dramatic change. Couldn’t talk my husband into sharing his office pics. Bit too messy and manly.
Sandy Dempsey, www.thedreamingcafe.com, where self-discovery, self-expression & self-employment come together
‘My home office is one of my favorite rooms. It’s in a spare bedroom and has a clothing closet that I’ve outfitted with shelves to hold supplies, files and various products I sell. I adore my L-shaped, cherry wood desk. It has plenty of drawers for storing files and supplies, and my all-in-one machine (printer, copier, scanner and fax) fits neatly in the corner where the two work surfaces meet.
‘Behind my desk are two bookshelves that hold home office and interior design books. The upper shelves are perfect for displaying the many art projects my sons made when they were younger. I recently replaced my boring, wood blinds with beautiful woven blinds, which have been the perfect backdrop for filming videos from my home office.’
Lisa Kanarek, home office expert, www.workingnaked.com
‘This is my latest home office. It’s the smallest bedroom, but it has the internet connection and my Mac is the centre of our network so I needed to be in here. The good thing about a small room is that it warms up quickly and this faces south so I benefit from the sunshine, although it’s been rare this winter. I use the Mac for most things, including my work on clients’ blogs and composing music on Logic, but also have a laptop PC for my training clients who use PCs. The large mug of coffee and toasted bagel are essential home working items in the late morning to keep me fuelled.’
Andy Britnell (also known as A), trainer, coach, & blogger for the terrified, www.andybritnell.co.uk & www.seeamanaboutablog.co.uk
‘I had been meaning to do a huge clear out in my home office for months but, with one thing and another, somehow it became the last of my priorities – a bit of a mistake because things got worse, to the point where I actually abandoned my then chaotic office in favour of pretty much any other room in the house. At the end of the day, I can pretty much run my business with my laptop and a phone, so with wi-fi and multiple handsets throughout the house, it wasn’t difficult to keep going.
But I do run a fashion-related business and, being surrounded by fashion and everything to do with it, does create the perfect ambience, putting you in the right frame of mind to do your job satisfactorily.
So finally last Monday, I rolled up my sleeves and tackled the clutter. A few hours (and several bin liners) later, my office became a beautifully organized space, with a desk I could actually see and, overall, a welcoming area where I want to spend time and work. Bliss!’
Marisol Douglas, online jewellery store, www.caradiaz.com
‘Judy and I share two characteristics. We both have a destructive influence on web-based technology and we both hate winter. However, even I was forced to admit that Tuesday’s weather was spectacularly beautiful, as depicted in this photograph taken from my office window. Now that I am a free-range business mentor, at this time of year I am inclined to preface meeting arrangements with ‘weather permitting’. So when a friend suggested I borrowed her whippet so that I could enjoy the beauty of walking in the winter countryside, I politely declined. Sounded like a cunning ploy to avoid going out in the cold herself.’
David Wike, business mentor, www.davidwike.co.uk
‘I am setting up my own event management business, so most of my work at the moment consists of meetings, emailing, updating the blog and research. I hate mess and wires so I try and keep everything under control. I prefer to work late at night (sometimes till 4am!) and my routine has got a bit messy since I started working from home, but I think you need to work when you work best otherwise it just isn’t productive. I like to keep things colourful (I am obsessed with Paperchase), and I am a bit obsessed with my blackberry and ipad which I keep close to me at all times. My room feels a bit like a hotel room (but personlised), but when you go to hotels you instantly relax, and that’s the atmosphere I wanted to create.’
Abi Saffer, event management, www.ascnetworking.blogspot.com
‘I’ve been an IT homeworker for about 18 months. Within about 3 days of setting up a simple office in the spare room my desk had become covered in clutter. As I look at it now almost all of it doesn’t need to be here (particularly not the swimming goggle?!) But as long as I can get to the keyboard and see the screens the junk doesn’t bother me. I do a clear out when I reach project milestones and certain paperwork isn’t needed anymore. There are a few glorious days when the desk is clear. Then the surfaces are quickly filled, with generous help from the children.’
Paul Graves, software designer, http://cyteen02.wordpress.com/ And see more of Paul’s thoughts in Home offices – the reality
‘In 2005 I went to IKEA in North London to buy a new desk. As I checked out the options, the words, “Big desk, big ideas,” came to me. So I bought this big desk and love working in my world headquarters. I also take my laptop to local coffee shops to write, and with my Blackberry, I am pretty mobile. I took to heart a quote from my hero, Steven Pressfield, who said in The War of Art, “The professional is on a mission. He will not tolerate disorder. He eliminates chaos from his world in order to banish it from his mind. He wants the carpet vacuumed and the threshold swept, so the Muse may enter and not soil her gown.” I do my best to keep my office clear, clean and tidy so I don’t waste time and energy, and the Muse feels welcome to visit, and she does often, gladly.’
Nick Williams, www.inspired-entrepreneur.com, UK expert on unifying work and love
‘I use the spare bedroom and during the day pull out the table and chair so that I sit in the room by the window and not tucked in a corner. I work on my MacBook and have my intray next to me (which is perched on top of a laundry basket!). You can also see my black file which has all my business paperwork- luckily most of what I do is stored on the computer so this is just for bank statements and official paperwork etc In the cupboard behind me is my printer and other bits and pieces I need for my work. At night the file and inbox get put away in the cupboard and the table gets pushed back in the corner with the laptop folded up. That’s it really.’
Francesca Geens, technology consultant for solo-entrepreneurs, www.digitaldragonfly.co.uk
‘Although my workspace is in a tiny room (4ft by 7ft) it suits me fine – it has that most important thing, a door separating it from the rest of the flat! I live in central London, in earshot of Big Ben, and partly work from home. Three walls of the room are covered in maps (I am a travel addict) above which is a full ring of shelves for files, with a ladder to get up there …. That way I don’t have to stare at paperwork. One thing I love about my workspace is the sixties chair. A few years ago I found it abandoned on a street corner, dragged it home, then got it recovered in brown leather. It is compact, yet very comfortable!’
Matthew Turner of www.buildingonarchitecture.com is an architect and career doctor at Building Design magazine.
‘I love my office! It looks out over the valley and has a lovely view. I’ve even seen a foal being born during my lunch break.
One of the best parts of setting up my virtual secretarial and administrative support business 6 years ago was being able to furnish my office in exactly the way I wanted. I remember going to look at desks and examining the traditional office type desk complete with drawers down one side then I caught a glimpse of this one… it is a glass trestle with images of butterflies, flowers and leaves on it and I just thought, you know what, it’s my office and this is what I want!
My clients are all pleasantly surprised when they see my office; it’s fully equipped with everything you could need. There’s even a spare desk if anyone fancies joining me for a change of scene one day….’
Sheena Russell, Executive PA, www.sheenarussell.co.uk
‘I work as Clerk to my local Parish Council so I can work from home and be there for my young daughters. At first I used the dining room but when we moved house five years ago, a seperate home office was one of our priorities. It is not as stylish as some of the home offices I covet on your pages, nor do I have a great view (unless I want to see what the neighbour is up to!) but it is a space just for me and it gives me the opportunity to walk away from work when I need to. Don’t be fooled by the neatness. The overcrowded filing cabinet with filing pile on top and the notice board are both out of shot. I took the pic with the “Work from Home Wisdom” facebook page on the monitor! A regular indulgence!’
Rosie Smart, Parish Clerk, Earls Barton, Northants
‘Having worked as a producer, I’m used to the hustle and bustle of an open-plan office environment, but there’s nothing like having a quiet room of your own. The room overlooks the garden – perfect for day-dreaming.
‘Storage is really important (God bless Ikea), and I crave good light so I like being near the window. I compromised on style for comfort when it came to my chair – I need proper back support for the hours spent editing at my computer. It’s not the prettiest of chairs but comfort wins. I got it from a company called Milan Direct.’
Rosie Bray, photographer specialising in family and children, www.rosiebray.com
‘I love my home office! We live in a tiny, peaceful, Wiltshire village so it’s ideal for my work as an editor and project manager in the field of English Language Teaching. I also run training sessions for new editors and project managers.
Having a room as a dedicated office is really important to me – I like to be able to shut myself away when I’m busy, but it also means I can close the door behind me at evenings and weekends.
I love the views – the neighbours’ horses and chickens in one direction, and the top of Woodborough Hill the other way. I also love my huge desk, which is long enough for my two monitors as well as several (reasonably well ordered) piles of books and papers. When I’m working on proofs I can clear the piles on to the floor and spread the pages out. I also love being surrounded by books and photos of family and friends as a reminder of life outside the office walls!’
Karen White, editor & project manager, www.facebook.com/WhiteInkLimited
Gwenn Seemel is a French-American artist, painter and portraitist. In this short video she talks about the outdated perception of work done in the home and gives us a tour of her new home and studio in Portland, Oregon. www.gwennseemel.com
‘I love my home office and studio space. It’s where I create, write, dream, connect, plan, work and play. One of my favourite items in the space is my art table, seen here in its full messy glory (I had pictures of a clean table, but they just weren’t as much fun). A simple Ikea table with adjustable legs, it allows me to take part in creative play, which in turn feeds the rest of my work and life. I am grateful for a dedicated space in which I can make as much of a mess as I want, allowing my right and left brain activities to happily co-exist and complement each other.’
Stephanie Guimond, artist, visionary, avid left-brainer, www.creativelivingexperiment.com
‘Believe it or not, my home office is this tidy all the time! With a business called Let Me Organise You – It has to be! I wanted my office to have clean lines, and be a place I could be productive, motivated and creative all at the same time. The desk was a great find from Ikea and has a little lockable compartment (with a very cute key!) so that I can dock my little MacBook Air into. My iPad is never far away either – Great for Skype conversations too!’
Rebecca Harvey, freelance Virtual PA, specialising in new media
‘My office in the 2nd bedroom is light and bright and full of pretty and inspiring things and I love it! I’ve struggled to find my flow working at home, but I’ve found that setting challenges to get tasks done and having rules for when I can work, when I have to concentrate on my girls and when I can do housework helps to keep boundaries. I don’t do well under other people’s rules, but my defiance can work in my favour when setting my own. I keep my vision board, goals and daily challenges on the wall in front of me to keep me focused and positive. Oh, and I can’t live without a bit of radio 1 in the background to keep me company!
Claire Dowdall, marketing trainer, www.clairedowdall.co.uk
‘For a long time my husband and I shared the smallest room in the house as an office. Launching a takeover of the spare room was definitely one of the best work-related decisions I’ve made; second only to deciding to work from home in the first place! Now I have a beautiful airy space which serves as both office and playroom. That big monitor you see pushes flat to the wall and the keyboard is wireless, so when work is over and I want to play with fabric, yarn, or paper and pen, I can effect a two-second transformation.’
Liz Proctor, charity fundraising consultant
‘I am a Reiki Master/Teacher and Colour Therapist and I work from 2 rooms within my art deco inspired house; my Reiki therapy room upstairs in my spare bedroom (see above) which is a haven of cosy, candlelit comfort and my little office downstairs (see below) which is my creative hub (theoretically!)
Colour is a very important ingredient in everything I do and so the colours chosen for each of these rooms (and all others) were very carefully thought out to provide a nurturing environment in the Reiki room and inspiration and creativity in the office. I love the harmony that both spaces provide.’
Lisa Eden, Intuitive Reiki Master/Teacher, Colour Counsellor, Lifestyle Coach, Raydiance Reiki
‘I’ve worked in three different locations, running Cottontails. For the first few years I had a little high street shop, then for three years worked from a garden office, and now we’ve moved home, I am currently working from the spare bedroom. It’s only temporary (but 10 months and counting….) I love that it’s a hop across the landing ‘into work’ and that my little companion (Rudolph the rabbit) can simply trail me into the office. The downside is I can actually *see* my bed from the desk… imagine the will power required during an afternoon slump!’
Charlotte Evans, owner, buyer, marketeer, designer, parcel packer & tea-maker
‘Having started my own brand strategy consultancy recently it was imperative that I get a home office set up both to work and also to spend down time. Years before, my dad had a home office in our family home but since he passed it had become a dumping ground (see above) so I set a brief to myself to create a space that I could enjoy, be comfortable, be proud of and that inspired me to create and get my consulting work done. I installed a wooden floor, Chesterfield sofa, resorted my father’s desk and created a design-led room that is now the hub of my business, as you can see below.’
Greg Dillon, brand strategy consultant & author of freelance blog, www.Strat-Talking.com