DECORATING DIANA’S OFFICE

2018 was full of so many wonderful encounters and projects with absolutely incredible clients. It was the year that I realised I really want to focus on interiors and styling and making people feel at home in their spaces; the year that I truly realised that these were the most rewarding jobs to me.

In the summer last year, the lovely Diana Casalis from Living Geneva reached out and asked if I would help her decorate her new office. We had met a number of times at events but never had the chance to spend much time together and really get to know each other, but I’ve always loved her energy, her infectious laughter, her beaming smile and her colourful wardrobe that brighten up the streets of Geneva. She’s got this incredible ability to see the silver lining in every storm and connect with people around her (online and offline) by being true to herself and so real.

She was just in the midst of leaving her full time job and jumping into working as a full time blogger and freelancer, as well as starting a Masters in Digital Marketing at CREA Geneva. We had a chat and she told me that she needed a decluttered, bright and clean space to work in. The brief was to create a space that reflected her personality, with space for her husband to work if he wanted to, that would also home most of her clothes and a guest bed for when family or friends came to stay. Most of the furniture was there, it was more about finding storage solutions for things like shoes and paper work and just re-organising the room to make the most of the space available.

The initial issue that we encountered was the amount of stuff in the room. Diana had seen my decluttering video where I worked with Eliette and Marieke from Clarity and got in touch with the twins to see if they could help her. You can read all about the experience on Diana’s blog, but I think it’s safe to say she saw the benefits of the process and is now in the midst of Mari Kondo-ing pretty much her whole life. It’s amazing and was a really great starting point for the office decor.

Once the space was decluttered, we decided what furniture we were going to keep and what had to go. Our aim was to minimise the expenses and waste, and keep as much furniture as possible. We swapped the wardrobe and the bed around to optimise space and make the most of the light and looked through her possessions picking out things she loved the most and wanted to integrate into the space. These three frames below were top of the list: a tasting menu from a particularly memorable date with her husband chez Paul Bocuse, a drawing of her husband’s great grandmother and a drawing of two birds that she picked up at a flea market.

This is how every single one of my projects start – picking out the little things that you love and want to highlight in the space.

The decor support included the initial layout of the space, picking the missing furniture pieces within the budget agreed and sending over the list of major items to buy. Once those had been bought, we went on a big shopping trip together for all the smaller decorative items like cushions, pencil pots, plant pots, plants, etc. which really brought the space together. We worked with a fairly small budget as Diana isn’t too sure how long her and her husband will spend in their apartment.

There were also huge amounts of WhatsApp messages exchanged about positioning of frames, shelves and all the decorative elements. There was a lot of rubbish finger drawing over photos sent to make sure we were understanding each other and finally, the general styling of the space.

I thought I’d include a few before and afters of the space as I don’t always get the chance to do so when I decorate private spaces.

Most of the clutter on the desk found a home in the in-built wardrobe behind the door – files, paperwork, the printer, additional framed photos and paintings, etc. and we opted for closed drawers to hide away other office necessities.

We chose a gorgeous colourful carpet from La Redoute and brought out a clothes rack so Diana could keep out the items of clothing that she wants to wear or that inspire her the most in the moment.

Diana has the most incredible wardrobe with an amazing mix of second hand pieces, vintage designer pieces and high street pieces. She is the first to spot a new local designer that needs support and visibility and show off their work to her audience. I’ve learnt about so many wonderful female creators through Diana including Vanja Jocic, Isabel Pradilla and Valerie Remoquillo-Jenni, all of which inspired the space in some way.

The room is a sort of base for Diana to work from. She has such a great eye for unique pieces that will really bring the room to life – paintings, artwork, thrifted items and designer pieces that will be worked into the space as and when she finds them.

I think it’s all the colourful clothes, gorgeous shoes and unique and meaningful artwork that really bring the space together – the things that truly reflect Diana’s personality.

We also got this great bamboo hanging light fixture from Ekkla and a lovely little marble shelf from La Redoute.

I keep hearing from Diana telling me how happy she is in the space and nothing could make me happier! On her first day back at work this year she said she was up and at work at 6 a.m. and had a hugely productive day.

Diana, thank you for being you and for giving me this little insight into your life and your work. I hope the space will continue to inspire you as you put more of your own touches on it, too.

For any of you interested, here are links to most of the things that we bought new for the office: IKEA full length mirror, IKEA Linnmon desk, IKEA Alex desk drawers, IKEA Billy shoes shelves, colourful carpet, marble shelf, marble ball coat hangers, gold desk lamp, bamboo hanging light fixture, white desk chairs, magnetic strip above desk, selection of cushions from here

You can get to know more about Diana through her personal and Geneva lifestyle Instagram accounts and blogs and read her incredibly touching interview on Mother Stories which brought me to tears.

Thank you all for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful week ahead! Big bisous. xS

Photos by Nicole Hertel

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