You can, so I’ve been told, tell a lot about a person from the state of their home office. If you happened upon mine unprepared, beware, you would likely find a mass of papers, magazine cuttings, boxes from brands, diy items not yet put back in the mammoth cupboard, and perhaps the odd toddler toy or two! Is this how I like to work? No, but it is sadly the reality of how our space has often looked this year. What do you think all of this mess may say about me psychologically (other than I have kids!) read on as I have been tasked with a special styling challenge this week which delves into my subconscious motivations (don’t worry, it doesn’t include anything to worry about or write a case history on!).
A few months ago MADE got in touch to ask if I’d like to work on a piece (alongside fabulous fellow bloggers Swoon Worthy, Gold is a Neutral & The Girl with The Green Sofa) where my desk style would be interpreted by a psychologist. As I’m more than slightly interested in psychology (I may have read almost all 26 volumes of Freud) I was super intrigued by this and I thought I’d better up my game and begin clearing the space to something that didn’t resemble a pig sty if the psychologist wasn’t going to find too many skeletons in my (metaphorical) closet. In the past I’ve always been quite good with the study as I need a clear space to think, but this year it’s defeated me becoming somewhat of a dumping ground and the last space to get cleared, like ever, almost as an afterthought than the last rung on the cleaning ladder. I needed to get on top of it, add to that the domino effect of the imminent arrival of a gorgeous and much wanted dining table downstairs (the Edelweiss very kindly gifted to me by MADE) the sofa from the cocktail room now needed a new home and the upstairs study was the perfect spot. So I’ve had a bit of a re-think in the study and the space you can now see looks quite different from my Study reveal last Spring. I have moved quite a bit of furniture around, a bookcase has gone downstairs, the huge mid-century cabinet has gone to the other side of the room next to the desk, leaving a far more streamlined area opposite which now houses the old sofa. It works so much better, I like that there’s an actual area to take a break in here and the whole space feels far more streamlined.
Looking through MADE’s desk selection was anything but laborious, there were at least five desks that I absolutely loved, but which to choose? The one that spoke to me most was the Zeke, and I chose it for the study primarily because it reflected the masculine aesthetic of the space. I am a bit of a maximalist in the home collecting objects from all over, but in my workspace I try to be in a more austere environment with clean lines and less distractions (when it’s actually tidy, and I’m pleased to report I’m getting better at this since the change up!). Our study has very dark grey walls and it takes inspiration from the Modernist movement for style, the new desk fits in perfectly here with its sleek lines and understated luxury, it’s bigger than my previous desk and it feels like a serious item which is exactly what I need to focus my mind, whilst the curves of the structure soften the look and stop this large desk from feeling too imposing in the space.
It’s very utilitarian too, I love the piano style fold up shelf which I can use to arrange the initial brainstorming and moodboards for clients, and the three concealed drawers underneath are really handy for concealing the less attractive essentials that then don’t need to clutter up the desk space. My keyboard slots nicely away under the central shelf of the desk leaving the desk free for me to spread work out when I’m not using the desktop.
I have styled the desk with a number of simple stylish items from MADE that are produced from classic materials – brass, marble, stone etc. I love the marble pot, it’s both weighty and tactile, the brass desk tidy adds a hint of glamour to the space and the pink vase is my concession to having something a little feminine amongst the rest of the austerity of the room. Whilst I like to keep my office space pretty clear and a little serious, I also think it’s important to add a little luxury since I spend so much time in here, the Cubist diffuser is a perfect way of introducing a beautiful aroma into the room without cluttering it up and the bottle it is held in is just beautiful. I have chosen a simple task light in darkest grey which allows me to work on detailed drawings or plans in the evening without disturbing my sleeping three year old across the hall.
What The Psychologist said:
Alongside my desk, MADE asked fabulous fellow bloggers Kimberly of Swoon Worthy, Jess of Gold is a Neutral and Nicola of The Girl With The Green Sofa to style their office spaces. I’m so struck with how different all of our spaces look, we all share some common design aesthetics in our homes (and we all chose pieces from the brass range) but our desks couldnt look more different, reflecting all of our different styles and personalities. I was really interested to see what Senior Psychologist Anna Sagredou would say about my choices and also those of my fellow bloggers. I know that I need something clutter free which verges on the auestere side to focus my brain, but I was really struck that she noted my love of physically writing ideas. As a person who is far happier thinking on a piece of paper than a computer screen, I have endless notebooks with ideas and prose. I rarely write at the desktop, most posts are in fact composed on my phone and then edited from my desk, writing straight onto a big screen feels a bit public and daunting to me.
Here is what Anna said: “On Ruth’s desk, there are only a few items which all appear to serve a specific and obvious functional role. For example a reed diffuser, desk lamp and stationery set; this approach is indicative of a person who is very focused and efficient in their work. Ruth has carefully considered her stationary pot, suggesting a person with strong boundaries at work but who values their personal privacy. The journals reflect a creative person who enjoys writing by hand
as means to promote their critical thinking.” What is your desk story? How does your workspace reflect both your work and personal style? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
All images: Design Soda.
This post is a collaboration with MADE, though I wasn’t paid for the piece I did receive the items you see in exchange for my thoughts and review. I only ever work with carefully chosen brands that I love and think you will too.