With some on-trend accessories and clever storage solutions, Lisa Weaver has turned her once cold and empty garden shed into a stylish and practical working from home space. Here, she shares the story of her home office makeover
There wasn’t an obvious place to use as an office in our house, but because we have such a good-sized garden, we decided to convert the old shed into an office space where we could both work.
We had the shed weather-proofed, insulated for warmth and hooked up with wifi and electricity, which took about three months to finish.
Once all the big jobs were done, I started planning how the space should look. I wanted a practical area where I could design and work comfortably and a cosy space where I could meet clients or have a break with a cup of tea.
Welcome to my home...My problem office We didn’t have a spare room that we could use as an office, but we did have a shed in our long garden that could be converted. I was studying at the time and knew I’d need to be away from the kids in order to do that properly, as well as give me a creative space that I could eventually work from. Thankfully, we finished just before lockdown, so it’s been a lifesaver.
How I made it work I knew my husband would never agree unless it was an office space for both of us, so I had to include two desks and a comfy area to relax in. I also included a fridge, which is perfect in the summer months. I wanted to keep it light and bright and add colour with accessories.
With that in mind, I started to play around with layouts and colour schemes, using magazine cut-outs and making my own moodboards.
The room lent itself to a long desk, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for anywhere. So, I designed what I wanted myself and a local carpenter made it up from MDF and an old kitchen worktop.
I decided to keep the walls white, but introduced colour through accessories, prints and an upcycled sideboard, which I painted. Little did we know that while we were coming to the end of the makeover, there would be a lockdown and working from home would become the norm, so the shed has been a lifesaver.
A bit more about my office...My favourite part The desk I designed and had made, which includes A2 paper storage, has worked out really well as I found it difficult to find exactly what I was looking for.
The space has been brilliant as my drawing boards would normally take up a standard-sized desk, and this means I don’t have to keep putting them up and down and can do other things on the desk at the same time.
We were lucky to be able to work in a dedicated space, especially as I felt that I was actually leaving the house to go to work. The space is so calming, and it really feels like a little retreat away from the rest of daily worries.
My style advice
Three simple tricks to try in your own home:
‘When you’re working from home, good storage and organisation is essential. I bought this old sideboard from eBay for just £40 with the intention of upcycling it. During some downtime, I was able to strip it back and update it with a lick of paint in my favourite colour and new brass handles.’
Lisa has made use of the unit’s shelves to store all her mags, files and swatches, but kept it looking stylish with lots of faux plants and decorative touches.
Opt for made to measure furniture
Lisa searched everywhere for the right kind of desk, but with a very tight budget she decided that a custom-made one would work better.
‘I was able to use some old kitchen worktops as the desk surface and the carpenter created some handy under-desk storage that was the perfect size for stashing my moodboards and sheets of paper. We even had enough materials left over to create a small shelf, which sits neatly above the desk,’ says Lisa.
Make it comfy
When you’re working from home full-time, it’s important to create a breakout area where you can relax. Lisa included a two-seater sofa with cushions and throws so she could enjoy some time away from the computer. She also made sure that she included lots of prints, plants and lights to keep the room bright and an inspiring place to work.
‘I think the space worked so well for us because I kept it practical but also stylish,’ says Lisa. ‘Even if you’re only working at the kitchen table, it’s important you feel inspired and comfy – so grab a cushion and throw for your chair and some pretty stationery to keep you motivated.’
Shop the look● Walls painted in Pure Brilliant White matt emulsion, £24 per 2.5l, Dulux ● Unit painted in Box Tree flat matt emulsion, £21.50 per 2.5l, Crown ● Prints, from £4.95, Desenio ● White desk chairs, £104 each; for a similar desk lamp, try the Leitmotiv Fit Green desk lamp, £47.99, both Wayfair ● For a similar sofa, try the Kooper Blush Pink velvet two-seater sofa, £499, MADE.com ● For a similar cushion, try the Pink Mongolian faux fur cushion, £10, George Home ● For a similar table lamp, try the Copper Angled table lamp, £12; journals, from £2.50, both Wilko ● For a similar desk tidy, try the Rose Gold desk tidy by House, £12, John Lewis & Partners ● Desk accessories, from a selection, Paperchase ● Quick-step Aquanto natural oak-effect laminate flooring, £33.03 per 1.84 sq m pack, B&Q ● Faux sheepskin rug, £20; Bear faux fur throw, £50, both Dunelm ● For a similar cushion, try the Tropical Toucan cushion, £26, Mint & May ● For a similar garden shed, contact Herts Garden Buildings Ltd ● Faux plants, from £2.99, HomeSense ● Pompom belly basket, £8.95, Rex London
This is a digital version of a feature that originally appeared in Home Style magazine. For more inspirational home ideas, why not subscribe today?