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Monday, 28 July 2014

How To Build A Home Office - The Basics

This week The Elgin Avenue is dedicated to discussing all things 'home office'. For months I was pondering my home work space, pinning, discussing, buying, unpacking . . . and finally I feel as if my little nook is coming together. SO for the next 5 days I'll be sharing pics and tips of my own home office, how you can construct your own, and a few fun items in between.
OK, so here’s the deal - building a home office is EASY. 

In fact, it is as easy as ‘desk + laptop’ - to paraphrase one of my fellow work-from-home-ers. 

That said, in order to get to the kind of Pinterest-worthy home office space we all not so secretly want, it takes a good base, and a lot of imagination further down the line. Today I bring to you: How To Build A Home Office - The Basics - laying down the foundations of an awesome home work space. Later in the week I’ll be discussing how to bring personality, colour and inspiration in to the equation. 

Here’s a list of the core items you’ll need, to get your home office started: 



Read on for my personal take on the home office, and a list of all of my favourite items and stores . . . 

The Desk
Desk - Linnmon/Finnvard White & Beech - £70 -  IKEA

I knew from the get go that I wanted a BIG desk. I like to be able to lay paper out, have files open, a coffee on the go and still see white space. A desk is the ultimate personal choice, so it is important to find one right for you. 

If you are not sure what kind of a desk will suit you, ask yourself a few questions: 

- which room will your desk be in - and how much space will you have in total for your home office?   - what kind of work will you be doing day to day? Do you need to draw? Use a computer? Lay items out? 
- what kind of colour scheme are you looking to build for your office? Your desk will be the base. 

All of these questions will inform exactly what you need to look for. Then when it comes to buying a desk, there are a few places I recommend looking: IKEA is great for simple, affordable pieces (that's where I bought mine!), John Lewis has quality stylish desks and Viking Direct has a huge selection. 

My desk is the Linnmon/Finnvard table top and trestle from IKEA, which comes in at the grand cost of £70! Yes, IKEA rocks. 

Unless you have a strong sense of colour direction for your home office, I would suggest buying a neutral desk; white, wood or black. Think of a neutral office foundation as your equivalent to jeans & the perfect tee - you can dress it up or down and accessorise whenever you want - giving ultimate flexibility. I'll be sharing my tips on personalising a neutral space later in the week.  This Hickory Desk from John Lewis is super sweet - and neutral! - and comes with built in storage. If you are looking to spend a little more money this Mira Desk is Scandi-chic incarnate.




The Chair
Chair - Idolf Style - £45 - IKEA

The importance of a good office chair cannot be overstated, you will be sat here for HOURS. When I was constructing my home office my priorities were all askew "does it LOOK good?" I'd ask myself when I should have been asking if it FELT good first. I bought completely the wrong chair for the purpose - it is way too hard and I developed a sore back. Ouch. Moral of the story peeps: prioritise comfort before style when buying your office chair.

Moving forward I am going to invest in a more ergonomic model, possibly this Malkolm Swivel Chair from IKEA. Here is a little inforgraphic on how we should be sitting at our desk - I'll be reminding myself of this when I buy my new chair. 

The Computer
 Laptop - MacBook Pro - 13.4"

I bought my computer right before my first term at University, I had heard of the 'magic' of Macs, and wanted my in on the action. Am I converted? 100% YES! If you are working with graphics, images or design a lot, I have not come across another brand which can handle the work nearly as well. My MacBook Pro has seen me through all of my University projects, my blog, external work and day to day use. The one change I am planning on making is to buy a laptop stand, attachable keyboard and mouse. Since working day in day out at the laptop I have found that I strain my neck, hopefully making these investments will help. 

Top Tip! I have had my MacBook Pro for over 4 years, during this time it began to slow down. This year I decided to have it wiped at the Apple store and reset. This removes all files, programmes and history - so make sure you transfer all of your documents to an external hard drive. I now backup constantly and try to keep my laptop as free of images, videos and large files as possible. 

As much as I love my MacBook Pro, I am on the lookout for a desktop. I am looking at iMacs, if you guys have any recommendations on which ones you have worked with and liked - I'd love the advice!
Here is a comprehensive list of everything featured in this post:

- Desk: Linnmon/Finnvard, White & Beech, IKEA
- Laptop: MacBook Pro 13.3"
- Chair: Idolf Chair, IKEA
- Lamp: Tertial Work Lamp, IKEA
- Folders: Paperchase
- Bin: IKEA Flowerpot
- Notebook: Moleskin
- Trunk: Vintage

Basics over, are you excited for the personalisation post later this week?!

I would LOVE to know if you guys have a home office space of your own, how you have constructed it, or if you are looking to create one in the future. 

Have an awesome day all!

Love, 

MB x

Friday, 25 July 2014

5 Rabbit Warren Sites To Get Lost In This Weekend


OK we ALL do it. 

Please say we all do it?!

Clicking on one link, which leads to 'suggested reads', which leads to another article, which leads to . . .

Yep,  I am totally guilty of losing myself in certain sites. Fact is, these sites are the ones which provide me with content which I engage with, am inspired and informed by. So technically it is a PURPOSEFUL use of time. Read on for my top 5 Rabbit Warren sites to get lost in this weekend:

1: The Everygirl. MAN I love The Everygirl. From Career & Finance, through to Wellness, Living and Travel, The Everygirl covers all bases which a young 20-30 something girl would want to know about. The articles are always helpful and the photography is super pin-able.

Favourite article to date: Road Warriors: The Ups and Downs of Jet-Setting for a Job - a great insight into those who travel a lot for work/ inspiration for those who want to.

2: The Coveteur. Danger. Zone. The Coveteur is my number one 'guilty multiple clicker site'. Hmm catchy name. The subjects of The Coveteur's wardrobe tours, interviews, and articles are so intoxicatingly stylish it's like being dragged through a couture week party and having Edward Cullen life-reading skills on everyone. That's a LOT of fashion noise to take in.

Favourite article to date: Nicole Richie - I actually got re-lost in this article and ended up pinning almost every image. GAH it's good.

3: Advice From A Twenty Something. I love getting to know blogs which aren't so well known -  or rather, so well known YET because I am sure Amanda's will continue to bloom/boom. Amanda's blog is, as the name suggests, all encompassing advice from a twenty-something girl. I find her articles so easy to relate to, stylish and non-dictatorial.

Favourite article to date: I Heart New York - one for anyone thinking of making a big change. Go Amanda!

4. Domaine Home. I actually found Domain Home via their equally addictive Pinterest. Seriously, I swear you're never more than 5 pins away from a Domaine Home image when looking at interiors. Domaine Home showcases celebrity homes, how-tos, makeovers . . . anything and everything stylish and interiors focused. You MAY as well grab a glass of wine and settle in to it - you'll be here for a long time.

Favourite article to date: Styling Ideas For An Effortlessly Chic Coffee Table - OK I admit that it was nigh on impossible to pin down ONE article I love on Domaine, but I feel like this one is a good start and accessible for everyone.

5. Cupcakes & Cashmere. One of the first ever blogs I read, and still one which I get lost in daily. Style, DIYs, recipes, advice, beauty . . . Emily covers it all. I'm certain her site is designed so as to make it impossible not to click on EVERYTHING.

Favourite article to date: Weekday Wardrobe series - it is SO nice to see what a blogger wears day to day. I find Emily's weekday wardrobe series inspiring, and given that she always looks office-appropriate I think most other girls will too no matter what your occupation is.

OK so YOUR turn! Which web sites do you get lost in? There's always room for more . . . 

This weekend I am visiting my family who live quite far away, I can't wait to see them!

I hope you guys have lovely plans too. 

Love, 

MB x

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Tie Waisted Shirts - Style Chat


Shorts: Zara (Old), Shirt: Vintage but Similar, Tank: Vintage, Bag: Alice & Olivia

When tie waisted shirts started doing the street style rounds, I felt it was a trend which would pass me by. HOWEVER after a couple of seasons of look-but-not-touch-ing, I fell for it. I fell hard. Born of necessity of not wanting to carry a big handbag/do the awkward jumper juggle, but knowing I needed an extra layer, I ended up tie waisting with the best of them and never looking back.
The tie waisted shirt predicates a nonchalant style, best worn in denim, checks or khaki. See girl crush Julie Sarinana for evidence. 

I for one have been rotating a checked shirt and a pale chambray. For the ultimate tie waist, do a couple of buttons up on your shirt before placing around your  waist and tie once. Placement is personal but I like the hips when wearing jeans, and a higher tie if wearing shorts. BONUS - the tie waisted shirt can demure-ify short shorts.

Have you fallen yet?! As always, leave me a comment below! 

Have an awesome day all!

Love, 

MB x

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A Weekend In Brighton

23 girls + Brighton = F.U.N!

Last Friday I packed my bags for an amazing, hilarious, wild 48hrs with 23 gorgeous girls in celebration of my beautiful friend Pandora's hen party in Brighton. A large percentage of what went down over the weekend is not appropriate for blog consumption, however the calmer moments spent exploring the beautiful bohemian town of Brighton make for some seriously pretty memories. 

Read on for a TONNE of sweet pics from our weekend, and my favourite things to do and shop . . . 


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