Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

The Styling You home office and lady room

Nikki Parkinson Life 126 Comments

If you follow along on Instagram, you would know that last week the final piece in my home office and lady room decorating puzzle arrived.

So I’m finally ready to share my new workspace with you.

It’s a bit of a milestone moment for Styling You – I started out on the lounge room sofa with a laptop in 2008. Progressed to a small computer desk in the same lounge room later that year and about three years ago managed to claim what was the dining area as my blogging space.

My work was always there. Visible while I cooked dinner. Visible while everyone watched TV. Visible every time I walked in the door.

I know in blogging and social media you never really switch off – thanks to tablets and smart phones – but having that big monitor winking at me every minute I was awake made it really difficult to step away from it.

Not any more.

One of our “requirements” when hunting for a new house in Brisbane was that it had a separate office space. One I could shut the door on at the end of the day.

What I’ve ended up with is all that and more. Not only do I have an office space but I officially have a lady room to call my own.

What’s a lady room, you ask?

It was a term unfamiliar to me too but when I first stayed with Mrs Woog in Sydney many years ago, she introduced me to the concept and it’s one I’ve waited patiently to embrace.

Well, not so patiently … if you remember my stealth-like move 12 months ago when our eldest moved out to live on campus for uni? That was the start of it all for me.

My shoes came out from under the marital bed, my accessories had an easy and visible home and I had somewhere to do my hair without having to share the bathroom with three others at the same time.

In a nutshell, a lady room is a room where you get to store all your lovelies all in one place. The fact that my lovelies are all tied in with my job means having them in the same room as my office space actually makes sense.

Kind of like a mini version of the fashion and beauty “cupboards” you’d find at a magazine. Mr SY is over the moon as he no longer has to share a bathroom “with Priceline” and I’ve given him more of our shared walk-in robe space than I otherwise would have.

So, come on a pictorial tour of this beautiful space with me.

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

I’m completely in love with the floor boards, high ceilings and fret work features in our house. They proved perfect canvas for the splashes of colour I love so much. (Chair and trolley: IKEA; cabinet: Retrojan)

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

Those hot legs on the artwork were based on mine. Kidding. Sort of. This was the original Denise Daffara painting I commissioned for the first SY logo in 2008. (Cushions: The Brown Trading Company with Kerrie Hess illustrations; red lips: The W Hotel, Seminyak)

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

I love walking in here and choosing which accessories I’m going to wear each day. More organisation needs to happen inside the drawers – I’m thinking more inserts like the velvet ones I have already – but I’m happy girl indeed.

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

I keep all my Samantha Wills boxes (free when you purchase her jewellery) as they make great stand-alone pieces. Not just for storing your pretties. (Pineapple lamp and jewellery tree: Willow and Bird, Cotton Tree)

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

I have an enviable Uberkate collection. Rarely a day goes by that I’m not wearing at least one of Kate’s gorgeous pieces (they anchor me to where I’m at and what I have to do each day if that makes sense) so of course they needed their own drawer.

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

I’m yet to meet a cocktail ring I’ve never loved.

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

Thanks to Vanessa at Style and Shenanigans for the hot tip on this piece from IKEA. It’s ideal for my hair styling and new product makeup product trialling. And looks damn fine too.

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

I have a thing for lightweight scarves. This hanger from IKEA is up to the task and hangs at the back of my door. Remember it’s always good to have your accessories easily accessible so that you actually do add at least one thing to your outfit each morning.

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

This is my second trestle-style desk from IKEA and I like that this one is longer and narrower than my previous one. I need space around my computer at all times. It looks neat here but by the end of most weeks it’s piled high with new beauty products. I particularly like the trestles on this one as they are wide enough to take the printer. (Rug from Habitat Home Collection; chair IKEA; mirror: Freedom Furniture)

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

What’s not to love about bunting … and flamingos … and pineapples? (Styling You sign custom made for me as a gift from Willow and Bird)

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

This sign is my motto. Took a while in my life to realise that (sorry, emo moment) but it’s true. When you do love what you do working life is pretty damn sweet. (Cupcakes made by Miss SY in art, owl from Typo a gift from my eldest son, poms and sign from Willow and Bird, candle by Ecoya)

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

My everyday bags are ready for the grabbing with this hat stand from IKEA.

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

My pride and joy … a shoe-robe to house all my heels. Flats are stored in the large wardrobe that came with the room. (Shoe-robe: IKEA Billy book case with glass doors)

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

IKEA’s Expedit 4×4 shelves to the rescue for books and files and trinkets. Have included a few boxes for better storage of things like my electronic gadgets and sunglasses.

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover

The Expedit 1×5 shelves holds my beauty, nail and hair products used for blog posts (I keep a selection of my day-to-day products in my bathroom drawer). The drawer system for Expedit adds even more versatility to this storage system.

Styling You's home office and lady room | office makeover


There you have it. A big, big thank-you to Mr SY who spent the good part of two days constructing ALL THE THINGS.

Tell me … if you work from home, what’s your dream office space look like? Or have you too created a lady room?


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  • Thanks for this tour!

    • You’re welcome – will need to update as have made changes since then!

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  • LOVE the drawers, Retrojan are so fabulous, aren’t they?

    • The product is great Julia but delivery to Brisbane was not as advertised on the site – it took a month, not days.

  • Emily @ The Beetle Shack

    bloody excellent space Nikki.


  • Melissa Gibbs

    Hi Nikki. I’m impressed with the rug, and checked it out on the Habitat Home website. Sorry to be a nuisance, but what size did you get? It looks like it covers only part of the room (which I like).

  • Great… how amazing to have work and life intersect so well at home… in life too! Nothing better than loving what you do.

    • It is good – especially when my work does involve shoes and makeup 😉

  • bbeingcool

    Wow. Just WOW. I am so impressed and so super pleased you have your own space!

    You are inspiring lady… really, really inspiring.

    As for my dream workspace? A desk of my own looking out at the trees with all my pretty things close at hand. The thing I would love most in my own office is TIME! Things are quickly settling down, so am very much looking forward to that!

    • Oh thanks B … a desk looking out at the trees is pretty damn special. And time? Yes, it is good to have a routine back after the first full week of school. x

  • Kalyani

    Wow Nikki! This post has kick started my day in such a positive way:-) I’ve started out from the living room and a laptop too just like you and derive inspiration from you each day..hope I can eventually “Love what I do” or rather “Do what I love”..xx

    • Oh thanks Kalyani. I think that if you can keep working towards that aim, you can make anything happen. It doesn’t mean it’s always smooth sailing but the rewards are there if you can stick at it.

      • Kalyani

        Well said Nikki, I will follow that advice and especially remember it when the going gets tough! x

  • Memybestandi

    WOW! Amazing space. I feel inspired to sit and blog just lookng at your pics! Thanks for the RetroJan recommendation- I love that drawer unit & just found a heap of stuff on there of my baby’s room.. Nikki you are living the dream with the Lady Room. I’ve just sent this to my hubby as I one day want a lady room and to work from home doing what I love – One can dream…. thanks for the inspiration xx

    • Dreams are very good things to have. This has been my dream for more than five years. I do believe they can come true. Good luck creating your baby room!

  • Jacki James

    Love love love this space. Seriously lady room envy. And that storage!, Have you ever tried those clear acrylic makeup draw systems? Am thinking of investing x

    • Yes, Jacki I had one at our old house when I didn’t have the luxury of this space and my own bathroom. They are good because you can see what’s in there.

  • Maxabella

    Superb! Now you just have to keep it that tidy!!

    I remember those legs, Nikki. It seems so long ago now, doesn’t it!?!? x

    • It was so long ago Maxabella – 5.5 years!! And keeping the room tidy won’t be too difficult – can’t say the same for my desk. By the end of the week it’s usually hidden under a stack of papers.

  • VeeVee

    All I’m going to say… That Cabinet!!!

  • Melissa Gibbs

    Hi Nikki. Love your room. I call mine my Lady Cave – sort of like the feminine version of the Man Cave. Just bought the trolley from IKEA for my make up. Love your rug too. Is the desk chair comfy? I spend a lot of time each day writing at my desk and while I love the sleek style of the chair, I wonder how comfy it is after a marathon writing session?

    • Lady Cave works for me Melissa … and Mr SY has his man cave so all good. The chair is comfy for me but I get that this is an individual thing.

  • Melinda ‘Min’ Swan

    Looks amazing Nik! So happy you finally have SPACE. x

    • I KNOW. Can you believe it? You’ve seen all of my “office spaces” and I think you’d very much approve of this one x

  • Mindy Roestenburg

    It looks fantastic Nikki! We have a study in our house which I use to do my work from home. It is currently in a terrible state which it has been in for a while. Unfortunately with two small children in the house I struggled to find places to store things in my office where little fingers weren’t going to get into them. Consequently things have been piled on my desk and over time the piles have just kept growing. It is my plan this year now that my son has started Kindy to give it a huge overhaul and sort everything back to where it should be. I really need to personalise my space more too and make it a lot more pretty. I am determined to have a space to store/display my accessories and shoes in our next house so that I will actually wear them more as it will be easy to see what I have. I will be taking note of some of your ideas for sure.

    • If you do have the time, Mindy, imagine how lovely it would be to walk into that space?

  • Sam

    Nikki, ̶i̶f̶ when I grow up, I want to be like you! 🙂

  • Kelly

    first on my list to purchase is that scarf hanger! Oh my, that’s so clever. I love love love the expedit range at IKEA. What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing.

    • The scarf hanger is so simple – you could hang it in your wardrobe too. I’ve got one for my winter scarves in my wardrobe and with switch them out with the seasons.

  • SharonT

    I love what you’ve done Nikki! awesome! A full length mirror on a lean…THE essential item in every over 40’s lady room I’d say ;).

  • Martine Oglethorpe

    I love this room Nikki. With 6 other males in my house I could certainly do with a lady room! And i must get one of those scarf hangers!

  • Housewife in Heels

    I am such a sticky beak. These are my favourite kind of posts. Love seeing people’s work spaces and how they live. I use those Ikea storage shelves to store the boys toys.- Did you buy the doors for them? Might have to invest in some to hide the contents of the shelves! I use baskets at present, but they often overflow!

    • I haven’t got doors for my Expedits – just the white boxes in some and then the grey drawers are inserts as well.

  • Love that IKEA trolley!! I plan on utilising our built in verandah/sunroom for this purpose 🙂

  • Dianne

    Oh my… That should be inspiration enough for me to take control of our office (read junk room) wow! I’m in love! Hmmm….

  • What a beautiful workspace! Sadly I have to share my office/beauty closet with my husband who also works from home, so its not particularly pretty. 🙁

    Also, I just asked on instagram where your beautiful drawers are from – never mind, should have read the article first!

    • I don’t think I’d get away with my colour scheme if I had to share the office!!

  • The Plumbette

    Nikki, this space looks AMAZING. I am moving my office into our unused lounge room to make room for the new addition of the family to have their own room. Because the lounge is the first kinda room people walk past in our house, I need it to look neat and you have given me a few ideas on how to style it.

    • Yes, that was how mine used to be … storage is the key that’s for sure!

  • Ella Spurling

    Your shoe-robe is ah-mazing and I just love your retrojan cabinet. It is divine! I have taken over half the spare bedroom wardrobe (mainly for my good dresses + wintery things). When I grow up, I would love a lady room. Enjoy yours – it is a beautiful space you have created.

    • My good dresses and wintery things are in the built-ins in this room … I love sectioning my wardrobe out that way as it’s easier to know what to wear!

  • Norlin Mustapha

    That frigging shoe cupboard!!! I’m going to steal that idea for our next house (yeah apparently we’ll be moving in the next few years – again) and have a cupboard for just MY shoes up in my bedroom!

  • Hi Nikki. Great room you have created and it has your unique style all over it. I too will have a lady room/office very soon. We are having a property built and I get to have my very own room and I cannot wait. Should all be in by April. I will share my photos with you once its finalised. Kind regards Jo

  • Nic

    It’s a beautiful space Nikki – you are a great stylist! A good working space makes such a difference, and really changes other people’s perception of you ‘working’ from home. I worked from home for 13 years while the kidlets were little as a graphic designer. I started in a very small room under the stairs, then migrated out into the family areas. Had a few small disasters with little hands trying to ‘help’ unexpectedly! Some extended family tended to not take my work seriously (suggested I get a ‘real’ job at Woolies!) Eventually I zoned off part of the formal lounge and set up a decent working space, and also ran classes from here. It worked well as clients (and eventually students) were accommodated away from the rest of the family. Easier to keep those boundaries between home and work, too! x

    • I’m already loving those boundaries Nic … although I’ll still take the laptop to the lounge at night!

  • Petra

    I think a “lady room” is almost a must-have for all women. A place to get dressed for the day, to reflect on the day ahead, and to check one’s emails etc etc in peace and quiet. I love the idea of the hat stand to hold hand-bags (I’m a hand-bag freak). I’m all about simplifying life, and making do with the minimum but I would never say no to a room like that!!! 😉

    • Life can still be simplified, just compartmentalised with a room like this!

  • Looks fab Nikki! Thanks for the link too! x

    • You’re welcome! I didn’t know how much I needed that trolley until I saw it on your blog x

  • Amanda Garven

    This is so beautiful! I now have a goal for a house with a lady room, eventually. Thank you for letting us into your space.

  • Life Living

    Just feeling plain, old fashion jealous! Nothing more to say.

  • [email protected]

    Who knew…I need a lady room. Preferably now 🙂

  • When I come to visit you and if I go missing, I will be sitting in the middle of this room, champagne in hand gazing around like a 4 year old in Santa’s Magic Cave. Bravo, Nikki!

  • Lauren Roney

    Stunning set up… Love the organisation but love that you display alot of things too…. x

    • Some parts are more cluttered than others but I do like having my pretties on display.

  • Neats

    Love it! My work from home space is a tiny elevated desk (I like to stand while I work instead of sitting) in the corner of our living room – but I love being in amongst the family chaos – that’s the reason I work from home in the first place. But as the kiddies grow up, I could be coerced into moving into a lady room of some sort I think 🙂

    • I actually think being in the lounge room was perfect for me up until now for the same reason – I could work after school or on holidays and the kids were always around me. Now not so crucial.

  • Miriam

    I think I need to do a trip to Ikea! Really want the trestle desk and have been looking at it on their website for a while now. The trolley would be perfect for me as we have a small pokey little bathroom (only downside to our new house) and I have zero storage in there.
    Just love your new room. Love the term Lady Room too!

    • If you are doing a road trip, do all your research online first – I did and it meant that I was ready to go when I got there and only got slightly side-tracked 😉

  • Being there is like shopping!!

  • Natalie Bochenski

    Really super gorgeous, Nikki. May I ask where you got the flamingo bunting from?

  • shoppegirls

    Wow what a fabulous set up with everything at your finger tips. A play area for grown up ladies. Lucky you. I am so happy that you finally have a little room to call your own.

  • Molly

    Lovely! I’ve been waiting for this post – I’m about to start a new role which will involve a good bit of working from home and a wee bit of travel (just enough to keep frequent flyer points going up, and to replenish duty-free beauty products) – I am planning to turn our daughter’s playroom into my own lady room. She’s old enough to use the rumpus downstairs now 😉 Lots of lovely inspiration, thank you!

  • wanna move in x

  • Kelly

    Lovely, lovely, lovely!! Is it like a grown up toy room – lots of lovely things I would love to “play” with!! I don’t have one though am seriously inspired to create one!

  • Jessie

    I LOVE your room especially your trestle table (because I have one too!). It’s great having a room where you don’t have to share and where you don’t step on pants or jeans because your husband left it on the floor 🙂 Love it! Keep it up.

    • Jessie we have excellent taste! And yes, I have to say it was I who was most guilty of clothes everywhere – for shoots for the blog – too many shoes – and then all the beauty products!! He was very patient.

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    I love love love your lady room ,no I don’t have one but would love one maybe when my son and his girlfriend move out???they are saving for a house so have taken over my daughters room and their own room though I do have a study with a spare bed which I call my own.
    That accessories cabinet is gorgeous and that shoe space divine Nikki what a lovely hubby you have!
    I do have that ikea scarf hanger though it’s great ,though I must clean it out!I can see why you love walking into your lady room it is an extension of your personality…..enjoy Nikki you deserve a lady room x

    • I say make your study your 2014 mission to turn it into a Lady Room Lisa … a good project and just for you!

      • Lisa Mckenzie

        I might have to wait a wee bit longer as that is the only spare bedroom we have ATM but I will get one eventually!

  • merilyn

    “a room of one’s own” … Virginia Woolf [I think]
    priceless! yes I have a studio to do my artwork, sewing bits and bobs … my books and my original bon-bon [yellow and white striped] for lounging on when the mood takes or if contemplating my navel or a painting!!! whatever it is essential for my sanity actually! love the post nikki! lol m:)X

    • Sounds just perfect Merilyn – saving one’s sanity is essential and if a room of one’s own helps, I say go for it!

  • MotherDownUnder

    I would love a lady room…such a sanctuary!

    • It is – I love that the kids have to come looking for me now – worked being out in the open when they were younger but excellent now.

  • PrincessEatsPeaSoup

    The lady room is a thing of beauty.

  • fauxfuschia

    this looks good. I LOVE that house, it is in such a nice spot and so nicely appointed. Ikea and allen keys are a lot of work so good on your husband for putting it all together. x

    • Thanks so much FF – it felt like home the minute we moved in. Mr SY thankfully doesn’t mind a bit of allen key action – I just closed the door and left him to it!x

  • se7en

    Oh I just love it… love the idea of having your own space!!! The shelves, that trolley – heaven!!! And to all my Australian blogger friends – so so jealous that you have IKEA!!! I really wish they would love Cape Town and pop a store in here!!!

  • LOVE your lady-room Nikki. Totally gorgeous and so practical with all of the storage!
    My home workspace is a section of the wall in the main living area at the new place. I don’t mind at all though because I have a beautiful cream painted french desk and black velvet covered chair to work at, which fits in well with the overall style of the room. xx

  • The Sunday Stylist

    I love it! It’s just gorgeous and so practical! The teal colour used is my fave 🙂 Thanks for sharing xx

    • It’s such a calming colour – and then I don’t mind a splash of pink as a contrast as well.

  • Workingwomenaus

    Oh Nikki, I have lady room envy! It looks gorgeous & I’m glad you have a space to call your own

  • Marnie Avagiannis

    Great room Nikki. Love your makeup storage.
    I have a room for doing all of my makeup trials and prepping for shoots that I also use as an office/blog/photography space. It has a guest bed in it atm but I have plans to ditch that asap. I get what you mean by “just closing the door at the end of the day”….it’s nice to switch off.

    • Your set up sounds perfect – I’ve actually got a really good bathroom with great light now so will do my makeup videos etc in there – plus my day-to-day makeup is stored there. We pulled a guest bed into this space on the weekend so it’s flexible like that but my space during the week.

  • I love it! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I really want to set up a lady room in my unit.
    What a beautiful home stylist you are (never expected anything less given your clothing style).

    • Thanks Carly – too kind – it’s just a hobby for me and probably too cluttered (desk etc) for most but it’s me. Do it – set up a lady room and share it!!

  • Sonya

    Awesome space you have there Nikki

  • Oh my, I am SO in love! That RetroJan cabinet especially, gorgeous! We have a spare room in our new house that is used as a spare room + my little space BUT my husband also stores all of his work stuff in the built in wardrobe in there so I’m slowly trying to phase him out and pretty it up into a lady room.

    PS. I’m so envious of your shoe-robe!

    • I’m a fan of the phasing-out process … little by little until there’s so much girl stuff they won’t recognise it!

  • Steph @ Lipstick & Cake

    I am so in love with your lady room Nikki!