Today is an exciting day as I am finally able to share with you the final reveal of my coworking space in Totnes. You may remember back at the end of January, I shared my plans and if not you can read the post here. I opened the doors in early January but it has taken until now to get to the stage where I am really happy with the final results and I hope you’ll agree that it looks pretty great.
So in my first post, I explained how the idea for a coworking space in Totnes came about and why I’ve embarked on this journey. This post will focus more on the design process and how we pulled it all together. Obviously I started where any sane person would – Pinterest! I find Pinterest such a great way to save my inspiration in a central location where I can judge how well a scheme will come together.
I’ve become a big fan of the trend for earthy colour palettes and natural materials and textures and I really wanted to incorporate those into the space to make it somewhere calming, serene and where we could feel grounded. I’ve done a lot of research into biophilic design recently and I wanted to incorporate that concept into my space by choosing colours and textures inspired by nature and by bringing lots of plants into the space.
I took a long time pondering my colour palette and even went to a Farrow & Ball event in Exeter with the lovely Rachel of Raspberry Flavoured Windows in an attempt to get some clarity. I’ve been really fond of Farrow & Ball’s Dead Salmon for the longest time now so I was desperate to use that alongside a dark green.
So I picked up the testers and did some patch tests and observed how the light changed in the room throughout the day and how the paint colour reacted. For the first few days, it was all good, the colour looked nice and I was ready to commit when suddenly we had a really grey and dark day and I realised that Dead Salmon looked like murky, boggy pond water. It was terrible and there was no way I could go ahead with that. I’m so pleased we waited and observed the paint in different light before rushing ahead with it as that could have been a costly mistake.
Thankfully, I have some super knowledgeable friends (Kimberly from Swoonworthy was on hand to offer her advice) and discovered that I needed a colour that didn’t have such grey overtones. I hot-footed it to B&Q to pick up colour chips from the Valspar counter so that I could find a new colour palette that would work in the space and with the light. We narrowed it down to Petal Grove, Dance of the Goddess and Cherry Cola, a combination that I absolutely love now. They have transformed this little coworking space in Totnes into somewhere super attractive.
Working with interior designer Caoimhe McKenna of Yellow Brick Road Design, we decided which walls to paint in which colours and we were off. December was a month of hardcore decorating. Luckily my husband was on hand to help me or it would never have been finished. We spent every day shuttling back and forth between home and the coworking space in Totnes. It was exhausting, especially when I picked up a chest infection!
I realise that I am in a really privileged position from writing this blog and that has afforded me the opportunity to work with some of my favourite brands on this project. I reached out to them to see if they wanted to be involved and help me create a space that female businesswomen would love to hang out in.
Made.com is probably my all-time favourite company for interior accessories. My style is just so aligned with their offering so it was a match made in heaven. They kindly gave me a press discount as I was buying a few pieces from them. I bought some lovely brass wall planters (affiliate), coat hooks, plant pots (affiliate), and an amazing wall sculpture (see previous post for more details on these pieces). The brass is such a beautiful contrast to the soft colours in this space.
I also reached out to Desenio as I wanted to bring plenty of artwork into the offices. You don’t normally associate artwork with office space but as I was hoping to give it a more homely feel, this was an important element for me and a way to give the space some personality. (You can read my post on choosing artwork for an office here). Desenio kindly gifted me a few pieces but I also bought some myself.
My initial plan to include a small jungle worth of plants didn’t really work out the way I’d hoped, as the first casualty came just three days after we opened. I had moved a few of my house plants from home in, purely because I knew that I could keep them alive. I also bought some new additions and it was one of those that withered and died.
Having a room full of dead plants definitely wasn’t the look I was after and wouldn’t have the wellbeing benefits I was looking for. Having worked with Blooming Artificial before and knowing the quality of their faux plants, I decided to contact them to see if they could help me out in my mission to create a jungle vibe but with plants that I can’t kill off. They very kindly dispatched a selection of artificial plants for the space which look just as good as real plants. Or in my case better as they at least look alive and arent going brown and crispy, or brown and soggy depending on which method I’ve used to kill the real ones.
I’ve had so many lovely comments about the artificial plants and most people haven’t realised that they are faux until they touch them. They look very realistic and have helped to create exactly the vibe I was looking for, without the stress and anxiety of keeping them alive.
One of my favourite pieces in the space is the gorgeous feathery JuJu hat (affiliate) that I was sent by House of Juju Hats (affiliate). It was divine timing in this case. Caoimhe, the interior designer, suggested that a Juju hat would look amazing hanging above the fireplace and I agreed. So imagine my surprise when a few days later I received a tweet from Lydia at House of Juju hats introducing me to her Etsy store and her products. We got chatting and she kindly agreed to supply me with a Juju hat.
For those of you who don’t know anything about JuJu hats, they are elaborate feathered crowns worn by the Bamileke people of Western Cameroon during tribal ceremonies. They symbolize prosperity, strength, and beauty and are created from natural or dyed chicken and wild bird feathers. However, they are now often used as eye-catching wall hangings for the home.
I opted for a grey juju hat (affiliate), 60cm diametre and it looks absolutely fabulous. It is such a lovely statement piece and really helps to bring texture into the space. Everybody who comes in comments on it and admires it and an added bonus is that it looks fabulous in photos.
I’ve also been given some lovely pieces by local friends. The beautiful gold Uashamama bag you can see on the mantlepiece here is from the lovely Wendy of Wanderlust Wares. And that chopping board you can see was from the lovely Lou at New Ember. We’ve been friends for years and she surprised me with this on her first visit. She hand-burned my logo onto the board. So this now takes pride of place on the fireplace.
I’d also like to do a big shout out to Barn Living, a local company that was recommended to me by Caoimhe, and where I bought my beautiful shelves from. They were made bespoke and we were able to choose the exact finish, shape and colour. I paired the shelves with these lovely brass brackets that I bought from Quality Fittings.
And I couldn’t end this post without mentioning the amazingly talented Tessa of Headcake. She photographed the space and took some lovely personal branding photos of me.
So that is my coworking space in Totnes in all it’s glory. I’d love to know what you think. Is this somewhere you’d like to work? What do you think of the decor? Please leave me a comment below, as I’d love to hear your feedback.