Join 2100+ Curious Readers.
Every Sunday evening, get an *in-depth* workspace tour from a random corner of the world.
Name: Madelaine and Andrew Maddock
Location: Earlswood, Surrey
Occupation: Freelance Editor (Madelaine) and Software Developer (Andrew)
Room size: 11 m² (118 ft²)
Cost of the setup: ~$3K, including a desk, shelves, screen, keyboard, and a chair
Social media: Instagram
Hey, Madelaine and Andrew! Tell us a bit about yourselves
Madelaine: Hi, I’m a freelance editor working on books in academic publishing, and my husband is a software developer.
I have been working in publishing for twenty-one years (fourteen of them in London), and then I started working from home to raise our family.
I have always been interested in interior design as my whole family is full of artists and graphic designers.
Since childhood, I have been inspired by great designers such as William Morris, as well as more modern styles, like mid-century.
Two years ago, I took my interest in styling and decorating our home to Instagram and created an account on our home interior style.
I’ve loved being inspired and motivated by fantastic design ideas on Instagram and chatting with like-minded people.
Can you describe your home setup?
Andrew: We designed our workspace around the idea of wood aesthetics and a lot of foliage and greenery to create an organic and natural feel.
Madelaine: The Tikamoon desk is probably the most important part of our setup. We chose it because it wasn’t too deep (for spacing concerns) and had useful drawers incorporated.
The shelving unit looks great too. It has a mid-century vibe that we both adore and displays quite a few books and plants nicely.
We also put up floating shelves by Muuto on the wall so that we could hang more greenery around and above the desk.
What’s your favourite item on your desk?
Andrew: My favourite item is a mechanical Varmilo TKL keyboard with custom keycaps. It cost me about £120, and I’ve never regretted a penny.
It’s so comfortable to use, plus it’s shortened so you can put the mouse on the side and have a nice desk mat, too. The felt WorkPerch mat I got from Etsy works really well for me.
Madelaine: I love our nice and simple oak bookcase. We got it from Heal’s. The model is called Agnes and has that calming Scandinavian aesthetic to it.
Those angled lines with rounded edges and curved cutouts go so well with the rest of the room.
What does your typical day look like?
Madelaine: I normally work at our dining room table while Andrew works at the desk/office setup most of the time.
I spend from 9 am to 3 pm at my workspace, and after that, I pick up the kids and look after them for the rest of the day.
I tend to get daily admin tasks out of the way first thing in the morning so that I can spend the rest of the day focusing on work priorities. I often will use a tea break to check my Instagram account. I might post or just scroll through.
Next, it’s time to go to my desk to work on whatever academic book I am editing or proofreading at the moment.
I’ve been working freelance from home since 2011 when I took voluntary redundancy from my job as an Editorial Manager at legal publishers based in North London. I still undertake a lot of my work from the same company within my freelance capacity.
From that respect, the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t impacted my working routine much, aside from now my husband also works from home on a daily basis now, which is nice.
Andrew: My typical morning starts at 7 am with helping my wife get our children off to school. There are then a number of meetings scheduled throughout the day while I also work on several projects, problem-solving challenges, and deadlines.
I work from 9 am to 6 pm most days.
I have been working from home since March 2020 when COVID-19 hit and the first lockdown was imposed.
I have adjusted quite well to my new routine, and I’m glad to be able to continue working from home for the foreseeable future with only visiting the office once a month.
Your tips for working from home?
Madelaine: Although I do miss the camaraderie of working in an office with colleagues, I find I have never had a true problem with maintaining levels of productivity with working from home.
The tranquillity of being able to focus on my work with fewer interruptions, as well as the freedom to put music on in the middle of the day if I wish to, is something I greatly enjoy.
I set myself targets for each day depending on workload and what needs to get done before the school run.
Sometimes, if there is a heavy workload, I may have to work weekends or evenings. More often than not, however, I am able to get a decent amount done before picking up the children from school.
If there are competing deadlines, I would recommend setting a list of priorities so that you can clearly see which needs to be addressed first and then be able to cross items off the list to feel a sense of achievement.
Andrew: I just wanted to add that taking enough breaks is extremely important — to the point that you should plan them in the same way that you plan your workload.
There is a good reason behind that: when you work from home, you often find that you don’t need to move from your desk as much because there are fewer distractions than if you worked in an office.
There is nothing more vital than scheduling your rest, yet it is something that can easily be overlooked.
We’re a reader-supported publication. This article might contain affiliate links. It means we may receive a commission if you click a link and buy a product that our maker has recommended. The interview was done independently.