How to convert your spare room into a home office, from interior stylist Emilie Jacob who did just that

When her business began to grow, interior stylist Emilie Jacob carved out her own space to get to work in that also doubles up as a guest bedroom

Interior Designer Emilie Jacob at home
Interior Designer Emilie Jacob talks to B Living about how she created a home office that is both practical and chic

Working from home or running your own business can be an amazing thing. But many entrepreneurs struggle with finding the ideal space to crunch numbers or get creatives. A coffee shop can be too noisy (and time restrictive) while sitting at the kitchen table will quickly remind them of all those urgent domestic tasks that need completing…

Hence why home offices are a freelancer’s dream. If you’ve finally decided to create a dedicated space in your home to tackle your workload, then take inspiration from interior stylist Emilie Jacobs. Proving you don’t need an abundance of room – hers doubles up as a guest bedroom – she lays out exactly how she transformed her space, with some handy hints along the way.

Consider your work schedule

Consider how much time you’ll be spending in your home office and how hard you need the space to work. This room was previously my daughter’s bedroom, but when my baby boy was born, I swapped the rooms around for two reasons: firstly, my business had grown so I’m now spending a lot more time in my home work space; and secondly, the natural light is better here. Meanwhile, a darker room helps the kids get to sleep. 

Maximise the space’s function

My home office also doubles up as a guest bedroom. I’ve had the sofa bed from IKEA reupholstered in monochrome geometric fabric, with yellow piping to complement the black and white striped wallpaper (from the limited-edition Omedelbar IKEA collection in collaboration with costume designer Bea Akerlund) and the yellow-edged glass shelving on the other side of the room. The embroidered, velvet cushions on the sofa and IDdesign chair are by Dubai-based brand Wear The House (@wear_the_house).

Rather than considering cabinets and drawers for filing away things that you can’t access easily, think about using organising systems, such as labelling. Check out the blog on The Home Edit for ideas.

Interior stylist Emilie Jacob's home office with tiger print wall hanging anf yellow shelves with pictures frames and plants
The smaller details ensure Emilie Jacob’s home office is far from a bland space

Design a stimulating set up

It can be really difficult to work in a room by yourself, so a bland room definitely isn’t going to create a stimulating environment. I worked with affordable online art store Drawdeck to create this gallery wall and I’ve decorated this space like I would any other room in the house, taking into consideration practicalities but creating a space that reflects my personality, including adding mementoes, trinkets and framed photos to shelves.

Install eye level lighting

In any room, I always ensure two or three points of eye-level lighting. Two Seletti lamps – a monkey and a mouse – provide these in my home office, while a string of bulbs hanging from the corner of the window creates ambience. For the overhead lightbulb, it took several trials before I found the right intensity. 

Try a money-saving hack

I didn’t have much budget to work with, so I did two IKEA hacks – I wrapped the plain white table in marble print paper and I used the same paper for the bottom shelf on the shelving unit, plus I spray-painted the metal edges in bright yellow.

Don’t commit too quick

Use the space before attaching storage units to walls. At the beginning, I had a basic set-up and the more I used it, the more I realised what was needed and what needed moving around. I knew I needed a big desk to work on, but otherwise I’ve had fun with the space so I’m happy to come to work.

Like Emilie Jacob’s style? See more from her via her Instagram page @stellaandthestars and see more tips from interior stylists and interior designers here.


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