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Happy Monday! We had our first weekend of actually feeling like we were living in a proper house for the first time in, oh, four months. It wasn’t packing central, or renovation central, or party central. We’ve had a couple of people over for dinner and finally set up the couch and TV.

That said, I did spend a bit of time up in the attic sorting out my stock. As I mentioned last week, I’m no longer doing any more readymade stationery products for my business Akimbo so I am clearing out all of my existing inventory.

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I packed up a bunch more of these Lucky Dip packs (thanks to everyone who’s ordered one so far!). The piles are shrinking a little every day so I’ll soon be able to start painting the space and making it into an extension of my shiny new office!

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You can pick up a Card Survival Pack or one of the other themed Lucky Dip packs here.

Thanks for your support, everyone!

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Office makeover

Besides the kitchen, the upstairs office was the first room I tackled after we moved in two months ago (has it really been that long?).

As I showed in this post, I painted, painted and then painted some more to cover up all the wood panelling and light brown walls. I also ripped up the carpets to reveal the (pine?)  floorboards.

Office makeover

They were not in great condition so they were the perfect candidate for my plan: to paint them.

Office makeover

To prep the surface I puttied up the holes from where the carpet tacking was nailed in. I also filled in any major knot holes – I still very much wanted to retain the texture of timber so I only filled in holes that met my (very technical) criteria of ‘would I catch my socks on this?’.

Office makeover

We’ll definitely hire a special upright floor sander when we (eventually) do the floorboards downstairs. But for this smallish room where imperfections were being covered with paint I made do with a handheld sheet sander.

I gave it a thorough vacuum and mop to ensure the surface was completely dust-free.

Office makeover

I used Feast Watson’s Floor Paint which is specifically designed for that purpose so it’s hardwearing and scuff-resistant. It’s water-based so the cleanup couldn’t have been easier.

Office makeover

I poured the paint into a rolling tray and used the broom-like applicator with wool ‘sock’. The thick paint makes it feel like it’s dragging a little but once you get used to that it was really easy.

Office makeover

To achieve a seamless finish I tried to keep a wet edge… except where doing so would literally paint me into a corner. So I did the right of the room, then the left, then the centre, backing towards the door.

Office makeover

The coverage was excellent (the shots above are after just one coat) but I was after a totally opaque look so ended up doing a total of four coats. Each coat only took around 15 minutes though so it was no drama.

I finished off with a brush to do the cutting in and to paint any depressions that the applicator missed.

Office makeover

And here it is now!

Office makeover

Sadly it doesn’t show up in the photos (especially because my good lens is in for repairs so I’m using my old kit lens) but in real life you can see the planks and the timber texture.

Office makeover

Just LOOK at that sunlight streaming in! I always knew this room was going to have fab natural light but it needed some brighter surfaces to make the most of it.

Office makeover

I haven’t bought a single new item for this room. You’ll recognise the furniture from my old office, the Urban Outfitters rug was used for Akimbo‘s market stalls and the ladder-style shelf was in our former bathroom.

Office makeover

Meanwhile our old bar cart becomes a nifty craft cart.

Office makeover

I’m so excited to have an office again after months of working from the dining table, let alone one with a view!

Office makeover Office makeover

Some art waiting to be hung, amongst other finishing touches required.

Office before & after

Just a slight difference from eight weeks ago.

Product was generously supplied by Feast Watson. Opinions are my own.

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attic office progress

House progress photos as promised!

The first project I tackled was my upstairs office as I really want to get it set up as soon as possible so I can get back into the swing of things work-wise.

I started by throwing litres and litres (seriously, I used a tin and a half) of white paint at the room. I actually used an all-in-one sealer/primer/topcoat (One Step by Dulux) on all of the surfaces. Unfortunately the wood panelling and surprisingly even the walls needed FOUR coats so I was well and truly over it by the end of the week.

It was definitely worth all the neck-craning though because it is looking light and bright now.

attic office progress

Next I ripped up the golden yellow carpet. I’ve never taken up carpet before but, happily, it was easier than expected (how often does that happen?!).

I hooked a small screwdriver into the carpet itself (it has a high pile) in one corner of the room to begin lifting it up. From there it was pretty easy to jimmy off the tacking strips (using a larger screwdriver and a mallet where necessary) and yank up the underlay.

attic office progress

Instead of navigating the old carpet roll down the stairs The Man and his brother threw it out the window onto the front lawn which must have been an odd sight for the neighbours!

attic office progress

Behold! We have floorboards!

attic office progress

attic office progress

As you can see, it’s not in the best shape but it will still work for what I want them for which is painting them.

attic office progress

I still have to figure out how to patch a few gaps caused by too-short planks plus fill in all the nail holes, sand and paint.

A long way to go but certainly a marked improvement on this:

house before

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Sponsored by Target.

Target desk accessories

I’ve been back at work for a few weeks now, but we don’t properly get back into a regular routine until term starts and The Man returns to work (which is today).

This year, I’m even more keen than usual to give the desk a good spruce-up since I ditched my dearly-departed old black beast of a computer and replaced it with a sleek laptop. (I will be getting a big monitor when we move but for now I’m enjoying the simplicity).

Target desk accessories

Once I’d done a big tidy-up and wiped down the desk, it was time for the fun part: new stationery!

I picked up some of the gorgeous new-season stationery at Target, mixing and matching the colours, patterns and materials.

Target desk accessories

Target desk accessories

Don’t forget to look outside the stationery aisle: I scored the sweet faux blooms and ceramic tray from the homewares department.

Target desk accessories

Target desk accessories

As a total stationery addict, I was really impressed with the quality of the materials, like the fabric tray, timber pens and leather notebook plus all the paper items.

Target desk accessories

Target desk accessories

One of my favourite finds was this stackable in-tray with a drawer – so nifty and versatile, right?

Target desk accessories

What a cheery little spot to work now! Are you all set for back-to-work and -school?

Notebooks, pens, pencils, pencilcase, in-tray, flowers, white tray all from Target. Balloon art print from Akimbo. All other items I already owned.

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This post is sponsored by Target

Atypical-Type-A-Target-Gok-Loves-office

The new Target campaign Gok Loves is all about chic city dressing in monochromatic basics mixed with colourful on-trend accessories. I thought it would be fun to translate this into styling your desk.

Whether you are a cubicle dweller or work from home, try some of these ideas to personalise your workspace.

1. Keep paper clutter at bay with a set of stylish in-trays.

2. You may be stuck inside but you can still bring in some (faux) greenery.

3. Brighten up your work outfit with a colourful hold-everything handbag.

4. Repurpose a candle holder as a pencil tin.

5. Personalise your workspace with a framed photo of your family.

6. A gorgeous classic desk lamp.

7. A comfy and sturdy desk chair is a must.

8. Choose a contemporary desk with extra storage space.

9. Use a collapsible box under your desk to stash your personal items such as your umbrella and high heels for Friday night drinks.

10. Quite possible the cutest iPad case ever.

11. Stash some makeup in this cute pouch for a quick touch-up before heading out after work.

12. Pick up some hand cream with cute packaging.

How do you make your workspace more ‘you’? 

This post is sponsored by Target.

Storage boxes in study closet

Waaaay back when, The Man and I ripped out the doors and interior fit-out of the closet in the office. I never showed you the ‘after’ because, while the walls and shelves might have been all fresh and new, the storage was just as ugly a mess as before.

(By the way, don’t ask me why we have a Nintendo 64, I have no idea.)

Storage boxes in study closet

I did get some Ikea boxes to stash all of the small things (much of my inventory of greeting cards, for example), but the bulky storage was still a problem.

We were still using boxes I had purchased while living at home ten years ago. When The Man and I moved in together, I painted over most of the girly pink and purple boxes in my favourite greeny-yellow colour – this was only ever intended to be a stopgap measure and a permanent solution was desperately needed as the paint was chipped and horrible and the cardboard was damaged.

I also wanted to switch from cardboard boxes to plastic ones, so they would be more durable and better protect the contents.

Storage boxes in study closet

Trouble is, it can be tricky finding the perfect storage (especially if you’re on a budget). For the longest time, I had been looking for some opaque white plastic tubs (so I won’t get sick of the colour and I can hide the messy-looking contents unlike with clear boxes). I’d found a couple of options but they either had yukky coloured handles or were the wrong size for the space.

Then last week when Target asked me to put together my wishlist of favourite home decor items from their Home Sale, I finally found it: the elusive perfect white box!

After double-checking the measurements and whipped into my local store at Newton and picked up six of them. They were only $8.50ea down from $15 which is amazing value for such a versatile set of storage that will last for years and years. (Note: it says sold out on the online shop but I called my local store and they had some in stock.)

Of course, I excitedly brought them home and The Man was like, ‘yeah… they’re boxes.’ Ugh!

Anyway, I transferred all of my Christmas decorations, craft supplies etc into the new boxes and printed out some quick labels. I might make some more colourful labels later but for now I am so pleased at how neat it all looks!

Storage boxes in study closet

GIVEAWAY WINNER

I know, what you really want to know is, who won the Target gift card giveaway?!

Our winner, selected at random, is JADE WILLIAMS! Congratulations Jade, I will email you shortly to sort out delivery. Then you’ll be able to get those frames you’re wishing for.

Thanks again to all who entered my first ever giveaway and of course big thanks to Target for sharing the love!

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As you know, I run my stationery business from home. With it comes a whole bunch of packaging and shipping supplies which I keep in one side of the buffet cabinet in my office. The shipping gear on the bottom shelf was working quite well, but the packaging on the top shelf? Not so much.

On more than one occasion I had ordered more cellophane bags, thinking that I’d run out, then finding I had them all along but they were buried. Or worse, I had gone to start packaging up some products in their cellophane bags, only to find I had actually run out.

packaging storage before packaging storage after

After a quick trip to Ikea, I added a couple of the Rationell Variera shelf inserts and my cello bags, labels and note card boxes are now divided up so I can easy see and access everything.

Only a quick and cheap hack, but anything that saves me time searching for things and makes my business run that bit smoother gets a huge tick in my book.

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Studio Tour 8

Weeee! I am so excited to share this with you.

Lovely local photographer Mel Boulden was kind enough to do a shoot of me in my studio recently. I’m so happy to finally have some great shots to submit with the increasing amount of interviews and other press opportunities that come up for Akimbo.

Feeling über professional.

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Studio Tour 1

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Studio Tour 5

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Studio Tour 13

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Didn’t Mel do a wonderful job? Since I spend so much time here, I’ve tried to keep this room light, bright and airy (but still colourful of course!) and she’s captured that beautifully.

Photos by Mel Boulden Photography

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mattress springs as pinboard
Via La Maison Dannag

I don’t know about you, but it wouldn’t have occurred to me in a million years to use an old mattress spring frame as a pinboard. Doesn’t it add a wonderfully dramatic industrial edge to this Scandanavian style office? If you don’t have that much room to spare, try using a spring base from a cot instead of a full-size bed.

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file folders

I did love my old DIY file folders but there’s only so long the wrapping paper will last before starting to look ragged. I stumbled upon stationery mecca Zetta Florence when in Melbourne last year and found these funky vintage office inspired file folders. Perfect!

I was struggling to decide what to buy (not wanting to miss out on buying something great but knowing I couldn’t take  home the whole store with me!) until I found out they just opened an online store. Check out their beautiful stationery and archival storage.

A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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