In this last year my work hours have upped a little bit. My job at Freedom Acts remains the same but my other work with writing, speaking and Assembly has grown in leaps and bounds and required more time of me (and by more time, I mean more juggling). I often finding myself hunched over the laptop on the sofa, stealing margins in the day to meet deadlines or keep people in the loop. Dave also works from home most of the week so he has claimed one of our attic extension rooms as his office.
Up until recently, the office has existed as a ginormous old desk, a chair and a HEAP of stuff lying about the floor. You know the scene. It pained me to go up there to work because it was such a mess and my brain is not good with clutter so I thought it was high-time that we put some effort into creating an office space that we could really organise, that we both wanted to work in and could close the door to at the end of the day.
As with most things in our house - a lot of thought goes into what we buy like, a) do we actually really need it? and b) how we can buy what we need without a big impact on the environment and with the reassurance that who we buy from has a healthy supply chain behind it.
The office space needed sorting in order for us to really keep on top of our work so first up was finding some good storage solutions. We aren't fans of really big cupboards or lots of shelving in our rooms because it often means you end up just collecting more stuff to put into or onto them because the space is there. Bulky furniture tends to close in a room and we wanted to keep things light. We needed something for basic work stuff (paperwork, stationary etc) and something that would hold quantities of smaller cycling bits that Dave gives out to students when he goes into schools (bells, high-vis stuff etc).
I had been checking around for sustainable options and something a bit different and quickly came across Tikamoon who supply sustainable furniture at really fair prices. I was able to email them about their products to find out more and they sent me through this perfect metal 9-drawer piece to store all our stuff. It's not too big, has good deep drawers and has a really slick industrial vibe with the metal body and weathered wooden top that I thought would go really well in our attic space with the beams and velux windows etc.
You know I do my research, so I was super impressed that Tikamoon products are all designed by the brand, they are manufactured in cooperation with local businesses in a sustainable way with certified wood and pretty much everything comes already assembled. WINNER. They are super transparent about their sourcing and supply chain and their designs are impeccable with pieces that will last a lifetime.
To go with the industrial feel, we got the LERBERG/LINNMON desk from IKEA. It has a metal base that goes nicely with the drawers and we chose the simple white desktop which is a strong and lightweight material with a frame in wood, particleboard or fibreboard and a recycled paper filling. IKEA are so innovative and impressive in their sustainability commitments that when the budget is tight, I am happy to buy from them.
We kept our ercol chair and added in the all important plants and lamps and then decided to add some warmth by bringing in wicker/bamboo bits and pieces (including the bamboo light fixture - also from IKEA - which took myself and my neighbour a full afternoon to put up!). Next up was finding a soft rug to go under the desk.
The wonderful team at Sukhi offered to send over one of their amazing Irmak hemp rugs, made by artisans in Turkey. They use 100% hemp (a really sustainable material) and this rug is unbelievably soft underfoot and a really high standard of quality. Sukhi are such an incredible company that really value keeping traditional craftsmanship alive and supporting their artisans with opportunities to work in ways that suit their lifestyle. They don't supply copy-cat rugs that you might see on the high street or in big box homeware stores - these rugs are the real deal - coming directly from the country they are made in to you with really fair and competitive pricing as well. You'll remember we have one of their felt ball rugs in our bedroom and it is such high quality.
I had no idea how lovely a hemp rug would be but it is such a beautiful soft textile to have in the home. The more I learn about its sustainability as a natural fabric, the more I am sold on buying products that use it. The rug I was sent has a gorgeous woven, patchwork feel to it that is really earthy and neutral enough that even if we change up other parts of the room, it will still fit right in.
There is so much to love about Sukhi. They are affordable, you can customise your rug and you are buying directly from the people making the rugs so it cuts out all the middle man stuff that can take away from the makers. Sukhi even name the rugs after the people that make them. It feels like such a small but important gesture for a business to make in a world of nameless manufacturing. More and more I feel compelled to make sure that everything that comes into our home has purpose and aligns with our values and Sukhi goes above and beyond to make those kinds of choices easier. I would really urge you to check out all of their range and see for yourself.
I'm grateful we have this space sorted now - it's a much more inspiring space to get stuff done in and it's tucked away at the top of the house so it even means a considerable amount of peace and quiet from the buzz of busy family life below. I feel like when you spend such a significant amount of time investing in your job, it makes sense to do it in a space that feels comfortable and peaceful, right?
As always, it's a real privilege and pleasure to be able to work with brands that align with my values and that are doing great things in the world of sustainable living. Big thanks to Tikamoon for sending me the awesome drawers and to Sukhi for the wonderful rug. If you want to hear any more about them, please ask away!