Organising my home office :: Before & after (+ a giveaway)

I have a confession to make: although I am a bit of a neat freak, when I’m busy my workspace ends up in all kinds of a mess. While I’m at it I may as well confess to something else. As a creative I am not fond of doing admin or office organisation. As a result things tend to get out of hand in my tiny home office. I was at that point when I was asked to do this sponsored post for Officeworks on the theme of mastering my workspace. So I set about getting organised and decluttering both my space and my head space. I have a $100 Officeworks gift voucher to giveaway to help you with your workspace too – details are at the end of the post.

This is what my desk usually looks like when I have a lot on – there are notes scribbled on bits of paper, a heap of mail, piles of paperwork that need my attention, receipts and a general mess.



This is how it looks now:

the red thread home office makeover


I have a document tray, folders, a stack of small notebooks that I’ll use one at a time to write everything in – no more scraps of paper, and just one small pen cup. Did you notice the two big pots I was using to store pens – and everything else – before? It just confirms to me that the more space you have the more you accumulate. I didn’t need all those pens, textas, scissors, knitting needles(!), etc on my desk which is already too small. Best of all it looks like the workspace of a designer… being organised doesn’t have to mean a boring aesthetic.

The top of my desk may have been a mess, but it’s the shallow drawer under my desk that became the dumping ground for anything and everything. I’m embarrassed to show you this… but I’m excited to show you the ‘after’ shot.



All of Roxy’s bits and pieces were banished to her room and everything except office supplies went somewhere else. I bought two clear trays with compartments to hold all the bits and pieces and now the drawer is a neat freak’s dream!



My old ‘to be filed’ system consisted of this orange carry bag that sat under my desk or on a shelf, which I sorted out every quarter in time to do my BAS. I now have a system of folders in the document tray on my desk and in white storage boxes in the cupboard. The before and after:



I used to stick things randomly on the wall next to my desk, now a I have a much more practical magnetic whiteboard – I use it for important notes, as a moodboard and for inspiration. I discovered that Officeworks has a Print and Copy service and you can order online, so I’m going to get a few more photos printed to include on my whiteboard. The filtered water jug is another addition to my workspace that I love because I’ve found that I am drinking a lot more now that I have water close at hand. The black folders appeal to me as a designer as well as being super practical – one for each day of the working week. So organised!

the red thread home office makeover


A white document tray houses a stack of clear A4 and A5 wallets that I’ve labeled with washi tape for fast and easy filing of everything that lands on my desk. I have no excuse now to go back to piles of paper, and the little ‘to do’ list notepad is perfect for a quick visual of things to do first thing in the morning. I used to have my vast stash of washi tape in a bowl and now I have it colour coded and neatly stacked in a storage box.



One of the other useful things I’ve done is stock up on supplies like A4 paper, envelopes, batteries (it’s such a pain when the mouse batteries die and I have none at hand), notepads, staples and markers. I’m usually racing out to get something when I really need it – it’s such an inefficient way to work. Next I’d like to get myself a shredder, and to update my old chair to a more ergonomic office chair. While I was shopping at Officeworks I checked out their range of furniture and tried out a few comfy chairs. I must write a list!

I’m inspired now that I have my home office has good, simple filing systems and storage solutions. It’s a fresh start to keep me sorting, filing and organising on a daily basis and not let things get out of hand again, and I love having an empty white desktop to work on. I achieved all of this on a budget of $200 at Officeworks and I’m feeling like admin may not be such a formidable task in future. I’m not saying I’ll enjoy it – I’d much rather be making something – but it’s going to be so much easier!



I have a $100 Officeworks voucher to giveaway to one reader to help you create a workspace that inspires you to achieve your goals. Just comment below, answering this question: How will you master your workspace with Officeworks? The giveaway ends on Tuesday 29th July. Full terms and conditions. For other ideas, check out the Officeworks video How to Personalise Your Workspace. You can also share your workspace inspiration #MasterMyWorkspace.


This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Officeworks. I only partner with brands that are a good fit with my blog, my aesthetic and what you, my readers, enjoy. All images are by me, Lisa Tilse,  for the red thread blog. All words and opinions are my own.


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Etsy and abcd Sydney craft party this weekend

Join us this weekend for a fun afternoon giving your old photos new life with collage, embroidery and watercolours. I assist Steph (of Bondville) in hosting abcd socials for creative folk and this Saturday we are excited to be collaborating with Etsy for their worldwide Craft Parties on Saturday 7th June 2014. Bring copies of old photos, share a pot of tea and conversation with other friendly creatives, and get your craft on. As always, abcd socials are free to attend.


abcd etsy Sydney craft party

Tara from Dudley Redhead, Fiona from Fiona Kate and I will help you with techniques and ideas to transform photos into works of art worthy of framing.

Saturday 7th June from 3pm – 5pm

Erskineville Town Hall
104 Erskineville Rd
Erskineville, NSW 2043

RSVP is essential – head here to order your free ticket. If you can’t make it, look out for the #abcdsocial and #craftpartyAU hashtags on social media.

Our always popular abcd social goodie bag will have a craft twist for this event. Bring along some craft supplies from your stash to include in the goodie bag – your small crafty pack could include paper, yarn, fabric, tags… anything that will inspire others. Everyone who participates will go home with a bag full of crafty goodness. To participate in the goodie bag fun you must RSVP by this Thursday 5th June.
We will be just down the road from the Sydney Finders Keepers market, so you can walk on over after you’ve done some market browsing.

Be in the running to win a $100 Etsy gift card.
Simply share your Craft Party pics on social media using the hashtags #CraftParty and #CraftPartyAU and you’ll go in the running to win one of three $100 Etsy gift cards. This competition is open now until June 13 so start sharing your Craft Party prep pics today! Full terms and conditions

Hope to see you at the Craft Party!

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LOVING :: The everyday luxury of linen bedding

I’m a recent convert to 100% linen bedding and I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to cotton now. Currently on my bed is a white linen doona cover, linen sheets in natural and extra linen pillowcases in a beautiful soft dirty pink colour. I love the those tones and colours together, and the feeling of sleeping in linen is – as dramatic as it sounds – life changing!

I was interviewed by Adairs as their May Style Editor and I shared, amongst other things, my thoughts on the everyday luxury of linen bed sheets and essential oil linen spray.


the red thread linen bedding love

the red thread loving linen bedding


Disclosure: I already owned and loved the Vintage Washed Linen pillowcases in pink, and the white linen doona cover. Adairs kindly gave me the Vintage Washed Linen sheet set and essential oil linen spray. I only ever accept products that I genuinely love and will use and that I know you, my readers, will be interested in too.


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My bedroom mini makeover

Technically summer is over and although it doesn’t quite feel autumnal here in Sydney yet it’s bound to fairly soon. With the change of season in mind I’ve given my bedroom a warm mini makeover with Freedom’s new autumn/winter collection.

I often like to change the colours and arrangement of my bedroom but it’s always based around white bedlinen. I know that it might not sound very wintery, but I love to sleep in white bedlinen all year round and it makes the perfect starting point to easily update the look and feel of the room. The Scandinavians lead the trend so well with their fresh white on white interiors.

My idea for the cooler months was to revamp things with luscious warm textures and a minimal soft colour palette.

Freedom bedroom makeover via the red thread

Freedom textures via the red thread

Freedom winter collection via the red thread

It all started with the stunning copper Metro Table Lamp and the copper topped The Professor side table that I couldn’t possibly live without! I adore dirty pink (I already owned the linen pillowcases), and it goes perfectly with copper and a dash of soft grey. To achieve a cozy and interesting feel I layered textures: crumpled linen, lush velvet, chunky wool, and metallic copper.

This is a long post! Click the link below to see more…

read more

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Temple & Webster’s artisan handmade market

Online shopping destination Temple & Webster launched their handmade market this morning featuring the beautiful work of seven Australian artisans. The collection of makers is curated by Jacqui Fink of Little Dandelion and includes Georgina Brown, Beth Emily, Gemma Patford, Kylie Johnson of Paper Boat Press, Alison Fraser of Slab and Slub, Kenya Paterson, and me.


Temple and Webster handmade markets


I’m flattered to be included in this group of talented women and to have my work so beautifully shot with theirs. You can read more about all the artists on the Temple & Webster blog.

Temple and Webster artisan handmade markets TandW-HandmadeMarkets via the red thread TW-HandmadeMarkets via the red thread


I created a small range of limited edition decorative vessels for the artisan’s market which feature ceramics together with tactile textured elements of leather and raw edged linen which are stitched, woven and crocheted. I enjoyed experimenting with the ceramic element in combination with the texture and contrasts of the other materials and techniques, and I love how they have evolved and turned out.

Lisa Tilse POD vessel via the red thread Lisa Tilse ROCKPOOL vessel via the red thread Lisa Tilse decorative vessels via the red thread Lisa Tilse  - Acorn Vessel via the red thread Lisa Tilse Acorn Vessel via the red thread

The Temple & Webster artisan handmade market is online for this week only, and the featured items are available at a reduced price during this time. This is the first in a series of handmade markets that Temple & Webster will be running this year, so sign up for their newsletter and stay in the loop. I have no doubt the talent in each themed market will be amazing. A huge thank you to Temple & Webster for supporting and showcasing handmade in this way, and to the always lovely Jacqui Fink for asking me to take part, for her love of handmade, and for seeking out and championing talented Australians.



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