A PEEK AT MY WEEK NO. 20: DECORATING AN OFFICE SPACE
Ever since I started working independently, my life has taken paths I would have never expected and it’s so ridiculously exciting. A few months ago, I got an email from a group of female therapists in Lausanne, some of whom follow my blog, asking if I had time to help them decorate their new office space. I was thrilled. Decor projects are by far my favourite.
We were working on a very tight budget – with less than 2’000 CHF (just under £1’500) for the furniture for two rooms. There were a number of pieces we were going to keep, but we still had a ridiculously long shopping list for the budget at hand. We needed to get paint for the wall, art work, a large sofa, desk chairs, carpets for both rooms, plants, side tables, a large storage unit and smaller decorative pieces like cushions, blankets, mugs, glasses, tissue box covers, etc. It’s just the kind of challenge I like.
I don’t normally share all of my work on my blog, but I thought there were some really nice low cost finds here, that you might be interested in for your own offices or homes.
I strongly believe that with a few little changes and a small budget, you can move things around and make a space feel totally different.
The brief was simple, the four therapists (Carey, Hiba, Julianna and Teresa) wanted to space to feel calm, simple, light, bright, homey and safe. The colour pallet we selected together was a combination of succulent tones: natural fibres, greens and a sort of grey-purple colour. You can’t really see in the photos, but the walls were painted a very light grey-lilac colour which adds a bit of warmth to the room.
Here are a couple of before and after photos of the first room:
This room is probably my favourite. I think it feels really cosy and comfortable and the natural fibre jute rug from La Redoute is probably the best find – it’s durable, suitable for clients to walk on with shoes and really softens the space.
The artwork is actually all from Etsy. We wanted something calming that didn’t insight too many specific thoughts or memories. This is from an Etsy shop called Little Valley Studio and the shop owner, Basia, produces beautiful watercolour prints that you can pay for online and just get them printed at a print shop.
It’s a great way to get different, affordable art work for a space like this.
And here is a before and after of the second room:
To ensure speedy delivery and no import taxes, we ordered most of the furniture online from IKEA, La Redoute and Conforama (all of whom have Swiss websites), and then did one joint shopping trip for the smaller decorative items. The process was really simple and it was great working with Carey and Julianna who were so willing to get stuck in.
When I work on projects like this, to keep the cost down for the client, I essentially just provide the advice, choose the pieces and then they buy, build and install the furniture following my guidelines. I then come in and style the space and move things around so they are more aesthetically pleasing and practical.
The office is called the Lausanne Therapy Space and is made up of a team of four English-Speaking therapists offering a full range of therapy and counselling services in the heart of Lausanne. Their vision is to create a safe space for psychological well-being and growth in the region.
In a recent feature in Femina, I shared my top tips for freelancing, and one of them was to have a coach – a professional coach, a therapist, a business coach, a personal coach – whatever kind of coach you think would help you the most, so working with these four women was such a pleasure as I feel like they are really bringing something new and very much needed to Lausanne.
Just as a side note, I haven’t worked with any of them personally, but I’ve had great conversations with Julianna and went to a really interesting event that Hiba hosted! Therapists and coaches are all so personal but if this is something you’ve been looking for, it might be worth getting in touch.
Plus, they’ve got an amazing view of Lausanne from their office windows!
Never in a million years did I think I would be working as a freelance decorator and all because I started this blog. I’ve now decorated a restaurant, multiple shop windows, various apartments and this is my first office space. It’s so exciting to hear positive feedback. Julianna recently wrote me a message saying that people had said how comfortable, inviting and human-friendly the space is, and nothing could make me happier.
Photos by Hannah Shan Photography
Julianna kindly sent me a testimonial. I wasn’t too sure where to put it as I don’t have a portfolio really but I thought I’d paste it here even if it’s just to have something to look back on :)
“It was so helpful to have Sofia behind our project. We knew from her other work that she has fantastic taste and just the right touch that could help us transform our office space to something warm and inviting. Mission accomplished! We were so impressed with her ability to pull together our team’s different opinions, needs, and our limited budget to make something cohesive that works for all of us. Thank you Sofia!”
I’m excited to work on more decor projects (especially DIY furniture) now that the weather is warming up! Thank you ever so much for reading and for following my journey and I hope to see you back here soon! xS