Office Reveal. ooooh

As you all know I've been fluffing around with our office for quite some time.
But it is actually finito now.

Firstly, to make this big 'reveal' seem even more dramatic than the name implies, allow me to remind you of the before:

{Don't you just lurve some khaki walls with dull blue curtains...}
{the wall that made me hate black frames. Fullstop.}
 This was my absolutely least favourite room in the house for obvious reasons, and studying in there during the gloomy winter months with those dark curtains... seriously just GAH.

I nearly gave myself a hernia trying to plot and scheme a way to make it pretty. The room is tiny and box-like and all the furniture HAD to stay, which was just about the most depressing thought I could handle as I spent evening after evening doing architecture homework on the faux-beech desk, next to the faux-beech shelves, swamped by the gloomy light and poopy walls.

And then I painted it.
And used the leftover cream curtains from the Blue Room Project.
And started hanging meaningful pieces on the walls, including the Flower Bomb painting, a painting that my husband did as a little kid (the tree-in-sunset painting), and I framed a few things from my grandparents.

And even though it is still tiny and crammed full of faux-beech furniture, it's come to life mainly because of that one wall. (The rest is still very much your average office... but until one day I get my own office/studio, this is how it's going to stay.)

Interior design by Amy MacLeod - bright and light office redo with gallery wall

The view below is what you see when you come through the doorway:Interior design by Amy MacLeod - bright and light office redo with gallery wall

Interior design by Amy MacLeod - bright and light office redo with gallery wall

Interior design by Amy MacLeod - bright and light office redo with gallery wall
{the green Banker's Lamp was a Christmas gift to my husband}

Interior design by Amy MacLeod - bright and light office redo with gallery wall
What, you don't blu-tack frames and cardboard birds to you walls??

Interior design by Amy MacLeod - bright and light office redo with gallery wall

To the left of the desk is this wardrobe, and shelves crammed in beside it (below). I used some of our art in the bookshelves because they brighten it up so much... and otherwise they're just sitting on top of the shelves with all that other nowhere-to-go paraphernalia that you can see, which just lives there until I have a mood swing and start redecorating everything.

Interior design by Amy MacLeod - bright and light office redo with gallery wall
On the wall opposite the gallery wall is my lonely little pinboard. I seriously don't use this as much as I thought I would. Is it terrible that I can't be bothered always putting pins in and out of things...

Interior design by Amy MacLeod - bright and light office redo with gallery wall

Interior design by Amy MacLeod - bright and light office redo with gallery wall

So there you have it. The kind-of-feminine but kind-of-not office, that is packerooed to its capacity and quite  a lot more lovely than it used to be.

Interior design by Amy MacLeod - bright and light office redo with gallery wall

.....And I really have to do this again:

Interior design by Amy MacLeod - bright and light office redo with gallery wall


Interior design by Amy MacLeod - bright and light office redo with gallery wall

Say it with me: aaaaahhh :) Much better.

By the way, gallery walls are tricksy. Like, you have no idea how many times I created and recreated and rerecreated this over the last 6 months. But I think I learnt a few tips which made a big difference - adding in the gold and wooden frames to mix it up a bit really helped.

This project has reminded me that I actually really love the look of wood and I don't mind a few rustic touches here and there - as long as there is plenty of white and light colours everywhere else.

Black buds - flowers in our garden

black gladioli bud

A while ago I planted these gladioli bulbs in a tonne of colours to brighten up the front of our little house.
Little did I know that some of the buds would look JET black.
It was so pretty I had to get some pictures.

black gladioli bud
As you may guess, the flowers were actually dark purple when they opened a couple of days ago.

black gladioli bud

There are also hot pink and yellow flowers, and some coral-peach ones that haven't opened yet.
These are the first flowers I've actually bought as bulbs and planted and grown myself - can't wait for them all to bloom. I just hope I don't kill them!

black gladioli bud

Meaningful Design

I had the most angsty designer-brain day in the world yesterday. Do you know the kind I mean?

I trashed the whole house on an out-of-control rearranging spree, thinking 'Today is the day to learn to style this darn coffee table!' and then all my rules about styling a coffee table looked stupid and suddenly the vicious cycle of designer self hatred had begun... 

You see, when it comes to Interior Design you can follow the rules. Groups of 3, a variety of heights and textures, blahdy-blah. 
But sometimes those rules just don't feel right.
I moved to the bedroom.

We have a new bedspread that is quite colourful and for our bedside tables I tried so hard for the life of me to make the items tie into the bedspread. I tried hot pinks, bright yellows, illuminious aquas.... 
In the end I was frustrated beyond belief (and infuriated that the things that make me angry are WHICH ITEMS TO PUT ON MY BEDSIDE TABLE. Nope, no road-rage or temper tantrums around here, except about homewares. It's a ridiculous curse and one that you have to bottle up because let's be honest, it's pathetic compared to the actual real things that make normal people angry)
but nothing worked.

In the end, I found on my desk some bird prints that my Opa had lovingly pasted onto the brick walls in his workshop when he worked in there. Recently I found them and my Grandma told me to take them so I carefully scraped them off mostly unharmed.

Bird print on bedside table

I put one in an old frame I've had since I was little and suddenly it was coming together.
I learnt something really important: Meaningful design is the best.
Cheap bright coloured finds are okay.... but not many things feel 'right' unless you have a connection with them.
(And if that connection is because you grew emotionally attached to it in the shop, that's fine.... happens to me all the time;)

I then went through all my precious things and was blown away how many memories we associate with inanimate objects. I have jewellery that I never wear but means SO much to me because of it's story.

(Actually I sat my husband down and tearfully showed him each of these items and made him listen to their stories, because suddenly it seemed really important since they sit in a drawer unappreciated most of the time. But that was an overshare that you don't need to know.)

Bird print on bedside table

I'm not saying it's a perfect arrangement and I'll be honest that I hate the black lampshade right now (I want something with a mixture of wood and teal Missoni fabric. Is that too much to ask?) and anyone with 2 eyes can see that the green pot clashes with the other teal green. But all these items are meaningful for me (except the lamp. I don't love lamp) and for that reason, I am happy.
Or at least sated.
For now.

Do you get this too?
Am I losing my mind?
How do you find a balance between wanting ALL THE THINGS that are fashionable, and just being satisfied with your home? Share in the comments!

 Hope you're having a lovely week,

First Steps - part 2 of the Journey

Remember that time that I said I wanted to be an Interior Designer  And then I vowed solemnly that I would forever share with you every single detail of that journey?
I may need a few posts to catch up to myself...

That was, what, 3 weeks ago?

It was kind of a sudden conviction - if you couldn't tell - because I literally just graduated from my Architecture course and having spent the last 9 years trying my hand at various completely unrelated things in this life (commercial law, international business, a job as an office manager in a law firm, a job giving advice to people in a paint shop, travelling to Europe, studying International Economics in Sweden, and then finally settling on becoming an Architectural Draftsperson ...) I then wrapped up the year with a big smile on my face thinking: Interior Design, WHY NOT? Because that's totally the natural next stage... right. Or not, but whatever, the point is there are a lot of things I COULD do, but here's what I love: Houses.
No surprises there.

So whether it's designing the interiors - (please someone get me into the good books with Designer's Guild because I need to salivate all over their showroom and I also need a trade discount bigtime)- OR designing the floorplan and making it wheelchair accessible, fully sustainable and breathtakingly beautiful, I'm into it.

{Not exempt from both these aspects of housing is my weird and freakish love for organising small spaces. Like, in my dream house I have already designed all the built-in storage spaces and trust me, there is a space for everything including little holes drilled for lamp chords and shelves for various sizes handbags.}

Where was I....
.....right so after I decided I want to be an Interior Designer I happily took myself away on a camping holiday with the husband and didn't think about anything except how to make myself look really athletic on the beach.

..... and then after ages and ages of awesome camping-holiday-ness I came home and was immediately asked by someone if I could help them with their interiors.

Since then I've been excitedly fumbling around trying to put processes and systems in place that will help things run smoothly, and learning a LOT and keeping a journal with all these notes of what I'm learning, so that I can share them with you as I go.

I've also been making a point of getting dressed in the mornings and doing my hair and makeup, even when I'm working from home. Baby steps.

At the moment I'm getting my little mitts all over some website and biz card planning, etc. I need a whoooole lot of sleek clean functionality to happen.

I'll be back soon with more to share - is 2013 being awesome so far for you too? Is change on your radar?

Interior Design: the myth of being finished


Like many of you I've had a wee break from blogging while we went on our Summer holiday and it was amazing.
I really came back with fresh eyes and a fresh mind... including about the following topic which I've realised is kind of pivotal for me, and possibly it is for you, too!?

As bloggers, we are constantly imitating whatever the blog norm is. 
For example, many blogs post 'teaser' pictures of the rooms they are working on, then a big final 'reveal' where everything is in place, and perfect.

At the moment I have about 3 rooms in progress (as always) and am left feeling stressed at the thought of making this fit neatly into this expected blog system. 

I've FINALLY figured out why this system doesn't work for me. It's this simple: 
I am never finished.
Are you the same?
When it comes to my own house, every single room is constantly evolving. Whether it be subtle changes or my disease of changing pictures around on the daily. (I think our neighbours think I'm nuts as they are always listening to my trusty hammer pounding into any fresh piece of wall I can find).

Our bedroom, right now, (below) is a jumble of colours and things I have plopped down to see if they go.

Tomorrow some of them will move to other parts of the house. They might look better, or they might not.
I'm ok with that.

These Christmas fairy lights are pretty and I don't want to take them down.
Also the paper lanterns, which were intended for our office, have been plonked here on the easel. Until when? No idea. I like looking at them and I'm only showing you this picture because maybe you will too. It's not permanent and it's not 'finished'. And I'm okay with that...

I have no idea where to put these cute heart ramekins that my mum gave me for Christmas, but I love seeing them, so they are sitting here for now on the coffee table. Fulfilling absolutely no purpose.
(I can't believe I'm okay with that).

The plant that used to sit next to these books is DEAD (black thumb) so I put some jars on them and a 'Love' Christmas tree decoration that arrived after Christmas. I liked the old arrangement better, but until I learn to stop killing plants... say it with me... I'm ok with that.

My brother got me this flower cushion from Wallace Cotton for Christmas and I lurrrve it. I didn't know that I was going to like it better on the pouff than on the sofa, where it's supposed to be. You could consider this a waste of money since it was specifically meant to replace the grey cushion, but I LIKE it there on the floor. And I'm emotionally attached to it, so... I have to be okay with that.

Maybe one day soon I'll have an actual 'reveal' (so dramatic) of all these rooms, and the office, but I'm not going to pressure myself to rush anything.
I usually end up liking everything waay better when it happens over time rather than all in one go.

I hope someone out there found this helpful - I know it has helped me with my perspective and the ridiculous expectations I place on myself.
Take your time and try to be okay with never/rarely being 'finished'!