Annie Dornan Smith - behind the scenes blog posts

In the Studio Blog

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Setting Up My Studio

Hey remember me?


I didn't think it would take two weeks to finally feel settled and set up in our new home, but I guess things just take time. I'm just starting to feel like I am back on planet real-world after all the moving-house drama. If you didn't know, after planning our move for months, we found out the Monday before our move-in date that the Landlord had pulled out, so we had 3 working days (thanks, Easter bank holidays!) to find somewhere to live. Luckily, things actually fell in our favour and we managed to find a place that was similar, just around the corner from our old flat and owned by a more reasonable landlord and a more understanding letting agent. 


A shot of Annie's studio space - with a big, white IKEA desk and a eames-style chair

After we moved, my first priority (after setting the sofa up, obvs) was getting my brand new actual studio space in working order. Luckily I had the grace of that bank holiday weekend, but I didn't close the shop so I needed to be ready to go in time for the launch of my Spring Summer Collection. It's still missing a few bits and bobs (namely a waste paper bin, and all that art that needs hanging!) but It's now a pretty, functional space if I do say so myself. 

 Annie's Studio Space - white IKEA cabinet with books, prints and plants on top


White Lapviken BESTA unit - IKEA, White Planter - Homebase, Gold Circle Mirror - H&M Home, Gold Planter - H&M Home.

An IKEA Billy Bookcase perfectly houses various cards and prints for home office storage

In my head I'm referring to the studio affectionately as The IKEA Showroom as when I was setting up, I realised that almost everything in here was IKEA. I'm okay with it though. I wanted a clean, functional room to work from, but I wasn't about to spend hundreds on feature pieces when most of them will be used to house heavy, shelf-warping products in large quantities. It also had to be something that I could tidy away the mess into, because this room will also fuction as a storage room (gotta keep those suitcases somewhere!) and a place to put the occasional guest. It will probably take some rearranging to get a double mattress in here, but I am really happy to have somewhere to put people that is not directly in the middle of our living room, kitchen and studio all rolled into one

The Paint Swatch notebook - ready for notetaking on the desk

On a similar note - it has been so nice to have a separate room away from the rest of our living spaces to work in. At uni, when I worked from a desk in my room, I felt it very difficult to switch off, especially as Martin would stay with me a lot and play games in the evening. It felt like I ought to get more work done instead of just sitting there. I found this a lot easier once I moved home and could just relax infront of the TV with my parents, but when Martin and I moved in together, I slipped into old habits - I spent most days at my desk, ate at my desk (we had no room for a dining table) and then spent most of my evenings at my desk, too. It was hard to get away from the feeling that I should be working instead of wasting time. 

Now, the majority of my work is an entire floor away from our living, eating and relaxing space, and I have found it much easier to just spend time lazing on the sofa without guilt. 

Annie's Studio Space - eames chair at a white, ikea desk


Eames style chair - Ebay - Tabletop & Legs - IKEA, Metal Noticeboard - Ebay.

I'm hoping that this separate space will give me renewed motivation to work productively in the time I have during the week - away from distractions like what's in the fridge, or whether to put a load of washing on - and let me get more "in the zone". I also can't lie - the extra square footage has been a lifesaver in terms of having room to store products. It's so nice to not have cardboard boxes spilling out into your living room! 

Annie's studio space - using the cove beside the chimney breast for product storage on a IKEA Billy bookcase

Pink Linen Curtain - H&M Home , Trolley IKEA, Bookcase IKEA

There's still some improvements I'd like to make - I want to get a lot more colour up on the walls, replace this incredible creaky chair one day (once it gives up the ghost) and add a bit more plant life - a few more can't hurt, right? But for now we're saving pennies (London tenancy deposits are brutal) and I'm happy working away in my little studio. Let me know what you think!



Annie Dornan Smith - Setting up the Studio - a home office tour for my online stationery and homeware business