From the desk of…

I’m not sure yet, but this could be another ‘What Went Wrong Wednesday’ piece, although I’m actually quite pleased with the finished project. I’m writing this sitting at my ‘desk zone’ – which is a small area carved out of the corridor between kitchen and sitting room – counterpart to the downstairs loo which I featured last week.

I know lots of people use a corner of the sitting room, or have a study which doubles as a spare room. But between us we now work three days a week from home, so wanted a space which was just for work. And where the wires and files could express their natural chaos without sending me haywire.

I also wanted to provide a good home for our vintage filing cabinet – found in a clearance store on the Romford Road soon after we moved to Forest Gate. In the old house it had done sterling service as a bedside table in the guest room/ office, but that had always seemed beneath its dignity. And this light from Archive Furniture needed the right sized space to shine.

The cabinet is a big beast though, and despite obsessive measuring throughout the build I got my sums seriously wrong when ordering this Robin Day 675 chair to tuck in beside it. (Or maybe I just forgot about the rather sturdy column created by boxing in the soil stack*, it’s all a blur now). Luckily the Day chair has found an alternate home in the sitting room, and our left over dining chair fits neatly, important for a thoroughfare.

That wasn’t the only best laid plan to go wrong. As you can see it’s not a big space – around a metre wide and 55cm deep. I’d asked Jan our lovely main-project joiner to create cable cutouts on both shelves so that the printer and charger cables could be neatly tucked away – one plugged into the double socket at desk level and the others underneath. This on the assumption that we’d both be using laptops, and that since all our home and work kit was either Apple or Dell, we’d only need two chargers.

A year later, two work tech upgrades and some middle aged long-sightedness mean we now have to house four chargers, a keyboard and a monitor (improvised monitor stand courtesy of Newham Bookshop). Which means hardly any free surface, and lots of competition for the sockets.  Last Saturday morning, overwhelmed by wires and remortgage paperwork, I decided I’d had enough.

So after the filing, recyling and shredding, which took half the day, we dug out a four socket extension cable from the electrical graveyard in the cellar. It’s pretty ugly but blessed with a wall mounting plate which meant it could be tucked out of sight behind the soil stack column. The little cable clips are very quick to do but really help keep it tidy.

Thence online for a monitor arm and we could send Michael Rosen and Chris Difford home to the bookshelf.

*Which reminds me that where I’m sitting now would have been outside before the project started, which is a slightly odd feeling.





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Working mum, love interiors, food and my neighbourhood - Forest Gate in East London. And my family of course...

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