Home Organisation: My work space

We live in a small one bedroom flat in Melbourne. It’s not tiny but it’s certainly not huge. It’s not a ‘cosy 1 bedroom apartment with en suite’, nor is it a studio. Our flat is one of twelve, there are six flats each of 1 bedroom and 2 bedrooms. We have four very distinct rooms: kitchen, lounge room, bedroom, and a bathroom (that is not an en suite!). While the rooms are large for what they are, they most certainly were not designed for two people of the 21st century. I’ve not tracked down the exact year or decade that the apartment building was constructed, but I suspect late 50s/early 60s.

As two thirty-something students, we need work spaces independent of each other. The only room in our flat big enough to hold such furniture is our lounge room. At about 3550mm x 5100mm (or 11′ 7.76″ x 16′ 8.78″), our lounge room is our entertainment area and our work area. We have a couch with a chaise, a sideboard that doubles as a TV unit, a tall slim book case, a small TV unit that holds my colour printer, a 4×4 Ikea Expedit (now superseded by the Kallax), an Ikea four drawer wire basket unit (similar to this Algot system, only older and much cheaper!), and three desks. Yes, three. One for him, and two for me. I’m female, I have more stuff. But seriously, I need versatile spaces because of my back problems, and as we can’t afford a sit-stand desk, I have both a low desk I can sit at, and a tall desk I can stand at. At the moment, my tall desk is somewhat of a storage shelf while we continue to rearrange and purge, but it is primarily used for paper crafting. It’s a one of a kind desk as my dad built it for me to my specs. I’m so lucky to have a handy dad!

The small desk, where I do my blogging and uni work, is also from Ikea (surprise surprise) but again has been superseded by a newer model. It’s needing a bit of a makeover though as it’s pretty uninspiring. Part of the difficulties of a rental is that we can’t fix anything to the wall. No shelves above the desk for me unfortunately, so I have to get resourceful.

Desk Before

My main work space.
Pardon the “I’ve dropped my phone too many times and the camera is busted” filter.

As you can see, my work space is really uninspiring. Last week, I shared a post with some images from Pinterest of work spaces I’m crushing on, and they got me thinking about what I could do to vamp up my own work space. I searched eBay and Gumtree for wooden crates, timber crates, vintage crates, crates, and possibly even storage crates. Goodness me. things on trend are so expensive! I just wanted something that would stack and double as shelves! Clearly I had to think out of the box. I tried to think of something long and narrow that would suffice as desk storage and then it hit me – a planter box! It was just my luck too that there were four (two sets of two different sizes) on eBay, upcycled from pallets of course, and the seller was only a 30 minute drive down the road. The even better part was they were affordable ($40 for both sets, thank you!) and they were just shy of the length of my desk – perfection!
The boxes had feet on them, so we’ve removed them otherwise they won’t sit flush against the wall, and now they need to be sanded back to avoid splinters of death. We don’t have an electric sander, so I’ll have to wait for the rain to clear so I can sand them outside with good ol’ fashioned sand paper wrapped around a solid wood block.

If I sand them, I might consider painting them. I already decided to get cover the backing boards with some funky paper – whether I raid my stash, create my own design, or buy something awesome from etsy is another story – so I think I’ll paint them an eggshell colour because then any paper will pop! Though the idea of a soft pink or mint resonates well with me too. Decisions, decisions.

The visions in my head of how I’ll use/decorate the boxes are overflowing – for starters, I’ll put all my smaller stationery items that I use all the time in them, plus small notebooks. I’ve got some Ikea Flyt Magazine Files floating around that I can cover in pretty paper to hold my books and folders, but I’ve still got to figure out where I can put my document tray…

And just for the record, I did not drink the wine that was in those boxes, nor are they filled with wine! Both of those boxes were grabbed from our local Woollies and are filled with craft goodies for sale! I’ve still got to list all the other stuff around them and under the little table too. So much to do, so little time!


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