Our Home Office

Interior design is not a topic I'm used to writing about but in these days of self-isolation and hours spent staring at my own walls, I've found myself gravitating towards home interior content more than ever. I've been spending hours scrolling through Pinterest, saving interior DIY Instagram posts and watching a full series of home renovation shows in one sitting (Fixer Upper is my new obsession, a home design and renovation TV show hosted by Chip and Joanna Gaines who renovate houses in their area of Waco, Texas - adorably repetitive and addictive). I've now found myself to be suddenly an expert in different shades of white (there are quite a lot), knowing how to accessorise with rattan and using the word 'shiplap' at least 10 times a day. Who is this person?!


This new-found hobby is not only timely because we're likely to be stuck indoors for an anxiety-inducing length of time but also because we recently moved house and have barely done anything since we dropped boxes on the floor. It's the first home we've ever owned and while it's incredibly exciting to decorate to our own taste without the wrath of a landlord to worry about, we're not even sure what our style is. Sound relatable?


I thought I'd start with the easiest (i.e. the smallest) room in the house: our home office. It's at the front of the house and luckily came with built-in shelves and a desk which meant that we needed very little in terms of supplies and furniture to decorate. We have been self-isolating for over a fortnight now and had to order pretty much everything online, not an ideal situation when you want to test paint colours! The risk paid off and the colours we ended up with brightened the room up exactly how I had hoped.

I had my eye on the much-coveted velvet chair from Sostrene Grene for a while but because they don't deliver, we had to make a quick dash in to the Bangor store at the beginning of our isolation. This was before most people had chosen to start isolating themselves or were wearing masks or gloves for protection. When I arrived at the storefront at exactly the time they were due to open dressed like a Ghostbuster, I got a fair few side-eyes. Fortunately for me, my crimson face was mostly hidden by the ginormous face mask I was wearing; the things we do in times of desperation, eh?

I got most of the accessories you can see in these photos from Sostrene Grene, the variety and price of the homeware range are more impressive than any other high street chain in my opinion. Other pieces are items that I have had for years and collected on travels. I was in South Africa about a decade ago and have carried beloved ornaments I bought there between countless rentals, I can't believe they finally have a real spot of their own now!

This little project took about a week to complete. I painted every surface excluding the floor multiple times, perhaps having a small tantrum when I ran out of paint when I was almost finished - these are trying (crying?) times, my friends. Despite the tears, it was exactly what I needed to distract me from my phone and reading the increasingly stressful news updates that were rolling in every minute.

It might not be the adventure content you're used to reading here but I hope that by sharing my own progress it might inspire you to tackle your own DIY project. After all, being indoors these next weeks will likely lead our gaze to the empty walls we've been meaning to fill with art or the skirting boards that are now no known colour or to the 'Monica' closet we're afraid to even open - the mini projects are endless!

Whatever you decide to do, be safe and have fun. We all need a little joy right now and we definitely don't need an accidental trip to A&E, right?!

  • Chair: Sostrene Grene
  • Lamp: Ikea
  • Rug: Sostrene Grene
  • Frayed basket: The Range
  • Mesh panel: Amazon
  • Woven baskets: Sostrene Grene
  • Decorative jars: all Sostrene Grene
  • Wall colour: Strong White by Farrow & Ball
  • Desk and shelf colours: Dulux Once Pure Brilliant White Satinwood
About Author

I'm Alex, the writer, photographer and creator of The Full Shilling. I started writing as a way to share all my favourite places in Ireland and the list just keeps growing! My aim is that you'll find somewhere new to explore and you'll make some great memories along the way. Happy reading!


  • Alex Donnelly
    4 years ago

    I hope you make that wee corner of yours just the way you want it! We all deserve a little place of our own. Isn't Sostrene Grene the best, though? It's probably a good thing you can't order directly off the website because I'd have no money left each month!

  • Wendy Hanna
    4 years ago

    Loved reading this and totally relate! I think now is the time we can do some things we “hadn’t time to do” .
    I have just claimed a wee corner for a desk area - child resistant hopefully!
    Everything looks quirky & cool - love your style! Love Sostrene Green !

Leave a Reply