Under The Stairs Creative Office and Workspace On A Shoestring Budget

Under The Stairs Creative Office and Workspace On A Shoestring Budget

Under The Stairs Creative Office and Workspace On A Shoestring Budget


Resident: Ruth Bruten (and family), blogger at Gourmet Girlfriend

Location: Melbourne

Workspace: Under-the-stairs office nook


1. You’ve created an under-the-stairs creative office nook, tell us about it.

Until about a month ago my workspace was anywhere in the house where I could clear a space. We recently converted our roof space into an attic and built a permanent staircase leading up to it.

The under stair area has become my creative space- just for me! And I absolutely love it. It was created on a shoestring budget using ply, paper napkins & some concrete paint.

under the stairs workspace

I have always loved a creative challenge & creating spaces has become one of my favourite things to do. This project came after a very large home extension and renovation that I designed. I missed the excitement of seeing my designs come to life so it was fun to get my teeth stuck into another space. Now I never want to leave it!

2. What’s your favourite piece?

I think probably it is probably a tie between the floor mural I painted and the Marimekko wall. The Marimekko wall is kind of self explanatory for most people that know me. I grew up surrounded by gorgeous bold Scandinavian design after our family spent some time living in Sweden. Our family home in Australia had lots of scandinavian things including Marimekko curtains. Their designs are so much a part of me, I can’t believe it took so long for me to create something like this actually!

I had already painted the entire dining room floor with a giant red Unikko poppy (Marimekko’s flagship print and the one most people recognise) last year when I did the other part of the house, but reflecting back I was surprised that I hadn’t done something on a wall as well!

under the stairs office space


I looked into getting wallpaper but there are only a few designs available so I set about working out a way to be able to use more of their designs. I really love using mismatching patterns & colour. In the end, I used paper napkins and wallpapered them to the wall. It was NOT an easy task- I had about 3 seconds to get it right before the tissue paper dissolved entirely. But I think it worked out really well. I love it so much and I kind of love the irony of the entire wall being covered in kitchen equipment too.

My studio floor mural is taken from a Juan Miro painting that I LOVE called “The Smile of the Flamboyant Wings”. I wanted to paint it there to remind me to be always be myself and to keep smiling.

It makes me smile whenever I look at it.

3. How do you officially “switch off”?

I’m not really sure I ever switch off. But I am careful now to keep weekends free of ‘checking in’ on Social Media. I really try very hard to keep my online work with my followers to work hours.

My family come first and I am sure people understand that.

photo 4

4. What’s your best productivity/organisation tip?

Prioritise what is really important- and by that I mean work out what matters for you on that day. Is it work? Is it you or is it your family? Then write a list.

Cleaning never enters into these priorities.

5. Top 3 tips for creating a workspace at home or working from home in general?

  • Creating a workspace is about really knowing yourself.
  • Create a space that is about you. It doesn’t have to cost a lot.
  • Follow your instincts and you can’t go wrong.

You’ll find Ruth blogging about delicious recipes and holding popular cooking classes over at Gourmet Girlfriend.

To get featured, get in touch.


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