Creative Hand-Painted Home Office in Bucharest, Romania

Creative Hand-Painted Home Office in Bucharest, Romania

“I used some leftover paint I had from around the house and free-handed some abstract and botanical shapes on the wall just behind my laptop and monitor”

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
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Name: Stefana Teodoroiu

Location: Bucharest, Romania

Occupation: Content Creator

Room size: 16 m² (172 ft²)

Cost of the setup: ~$1K

Social media: Instagram

Hello! Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi, my name is Stefana, and I am a 31-year-old content creator from Romania.

I didn’t really plan to become one.

It just happened when I began sharing some of my hobbies online as the YouTube/Instagram platform started expanding in my country.

It caught me by surprise, but I do try to make the best of it.

A creative IKEA hack desk setup in Romania
Stefana’s workstation stays organised with three IKEA ALEX drawers — they provide ample space for her WFH essentials

I make my living by partnering with brands and creating images and videos that can inspire people and bring extra value to their lives.

My main goal is to help people feel better about themselves, grow their self-esteem, and promote a love for nature, gardening, and climate issues.

In addition to content creation, I co-founded an NGO to rescue animals.

We have a significant issue with stray animals and animal abuse in my country, and ever since I was a little girl, I have been deeply passionate about this and trying to change things.

Unfortunately, it’s a small drop in a big bucket.

But any monetary donation and virtual help contribute to the well-being of numerous animals; for some, it might actually mean the difference between life and death.

You can find out more about this initiative on our website. It’s in Romanian, but there is a translate button.

A cosy desk setup with a hand-painted wall and some artwork
Being a passionate person, Stefana has managed to create a working environment that reflects her eco-friendly values

Take us through your setup

Item Model
Monitor Dell U2422H
Laptop MacBook Pro 13-inch M1 2020
Headphones AirPods Pro
Keyboard Logitech K380
Mouse Logitech Pebble
Chair Second-hand chair I bought online [possibly, CLP Varel]

Since my online activity is strongly related to creativity, I needed a workspace that would allow me to nurture it.

Half of what I do is actually sitting at a desk, editing videos/photos, writing texts, and responding to messages.

So, it was quite a challenge to make this into something cosy, inspiring, and not a boring desk setup.

A colourful home office in Romania decorated with plants and nature-themed art, including a handmade floral motif design on the wall
Stefana wants her home office to feel like the outdoors. To achieve that, she uses plants and pictures with nature themes, including handmade artwork on the wall

The most important part of this was choosing the room.

My husband and I live in a three-bedroom home with no kids at the moment, which offers us flexibility.

He also works from home, so we both needed workspaces. I chose the North-facing room because I needed bright indirect light, and fortunately, the room has quite large windows.

The other issue was the amount of desk space.

A well-organised desk setup featuring a soft, pastel colour palette with green accents
Stefana’s desk setup is all in a soft, pastel colour palette with green accents. Live plants blend in with hand-drawn Monstera leaves and some botanical prints. The keyboard colour matches the abstract spot on the wall. The imaginative things feel as real as 3D objects and create a calming yet productive vibe

I can be quite a messy person, to be honest, and I need a lot of space for my numerous lists, post-its, planners, and many more.

So I knew I needed a large desk.

This one is perfect for me since it has the storage and the counter space I require.

The last thing was for me to make it my own and feel at home here, so this is where the wall painting comes in.

I used some leftover paint I had from around the house and free-handed some abstract and botanical shapes on the wall just behind my laptop and monitor.

Also, I love being surrounded by greenery, so I have lots of plants that help with my mental well-being.

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My desk is 200 cm in length and 60 cm in width.

It’s the standard white IKEA desk, together with the ALEX drawers for the storage I needed. I keep all my photo/video equipment, small external lights, extra cables, hair tools, and makeup stuff here.

A storage system for photo and video accessories inside the IKEA ALEX drawers
IKEA ALEX drawers store all Stefana’s work essentials at arm’s reach while keeping her desk clutter-free

I browsed Pinterest quite a lot before finishing my desk setup and knew I wanted a simple, white desk so I could easily add all my personal touches and colours without anything clashing together.

I started building it five years ago when we moved here, but I finished everything only last year.

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I wanted to take my time and make sure the position was right for me. The size, the placement of the drawers, everything.

As for assembly, I’m a big fan of building IKEA furniture, to be honest.

I think it’s like a puzzle but on a different scale, so I did it all myself, and I loved every minute of it!

A cosy home workstation featuring a DELL monitor, IKEA ELLOVEN monitor stands, some plants, as well as hand-painted floral ornament on the wall and the Cool Lake desktop wallpaper
Download Stefana’s Cool Lake wallpaper

What’s your favourite item on your desk?

My favourite item is definitely the ELLOVEN stand from IKEA.

It’s pretty inexpensive (I think it’s around $20), but it’s the most useful item for me, that’s why I got two of them, and I cannot recommend them enough.

I can store my keyboard and mouse underneath them when I need the extra space.

They also have a small drawer for things like my planner, pens, stickers, and any other small stuff I need.

On top of it, they do a good job of hiding my cables and MacBook Multiport.

Plus, they are really easy to clean since they’re made of metal for the most part.

The wooden drawer elevates it a bit and makes it look cosier on the desk.

What apps or tools do you use to get things done?

My most used software is everything related to photography and video editing — Adobe Lightroom, Davinci Resolve and InShot are my favourites.

They help me achieve the desired looks for my content and streamline the process.

In addition, I enjoy planning ahead, so I use Notion quite a lot to schedule my posts, write texts in advance, and keep a constant source for saving my ideas.

And, since anything Internet-related is nothing without easy backup and file sharing, OneDrive is my go-to for sending files to my clients, backing up my creations, and keeping everything close.

A DIY home office setup with a wireless Logitech K380 keyboard and a DELL monitor
The wireless Logitech K380 keyboard can connect to three different devices (a computer, phone, or Apple TV). You can switch between them using the special buttons on the top left

What books, blogs or podcasts recently caught your attention?

Whenever I have the time, I like to listen to NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast.

I love their takes on different subjects regarding the human mind and our behaviour.

It’s fascinating to hear the processes behind some of my own reactions and thoughts.

If you’re interested in a more scientific approach to relationships and behaviours, I would strongly recommend giving it a listen.

Shankar Vedantam. Photo by Jamey Stillings
Shankar Vedantam founded Hidden Brain Media in 2019 and created the popular podcast and radio show Hidden Brain which investigates the underlying patterns that influence human behaviour. Photo by Jamey Stillings

Any tips for other makers who want to improve their workspaces?

I’m a strong supporter of DIYs and working with your hands to achieve your goals.

Therefore, do not be afraid to experiment, make changes yourself, and — as I have done the most — rearrange furniture until you are satisfied with the desk setup.

This can lead to surprises, and you may discover a new perspective that you wouldn’t have considered otherwise.

A collection of house plants, including the Snake plant, Zamioculcas, and Rubber Tree
Among others, Stefana’s collection of house plants includes the Snake plant, Zamioculcas, and Rubber Tree. All of them can survive with very little sunlight, which makes them a safe choice for home offices in dark corners

What does your typical day look like?

I usually wake up around 7:30 am and go to bed by midnight.

As I am not a morning person, I need some motivation to get out of bed. Checking Reddit when I wake up helps me activate my brain and gradually ease into the mindset required for the day.

My husband and I also have a morning ritual of having our first cup of coffee together, talking or watching a TV show before beginning our work.

My day usually starts with taking care of any foster rescues I have at the moment and responding to emails and private messages.

A workstation featuring a Dell U2422H UltraSharp monitor and MacBook Pro
Stefana appreciates her Dell U2422H UltraSharp monitor. It has a good set of ports, HDMI, a sturdy stand, and slim bezels

The days differ as one day I have to record something (sometimes in my office, sometimes out of the house), and other days I just spend eight hours editing and doing admin work at my desk.

I try to take advantage of days when I feel more creative, so I prioritise creating new content, while on days when I feel a bit lower on energy and creativity, I focus on the more menial tasks.

Even before I became a content creator, I would work from home, so I’m used to being on my own.

It actually benefits me a lot, as I am a big introvert.

The pandemic has been especially helpful for me in this regard, as before the coronavirus, there were many events hosted by brands, and I would have to attend most of them.

But since then, the events have sort of mellowed out, and I’ve been able to enjoy spending more time at home.

Your tips for working from home?

Keeping a schedule helps me a lot in organising my work routine.

I use Notion on my laptop and phone for important tasks, my calendar, and other reminders.

I also use a paper planner for my personal stuff to stay on top of it daily.

Since I am an introvert, I work best alone, and in my own time, so my advice would probably be more targeted to similar individuals.

Stefana Teodoroiu, a content creator from Bucharest, Romania, at her DIY home office
Stefana’s introverted nature made it crucial for her to create a comfortable workspace that would allow her to both focus and relax

To maintain good energy throughout the day, I take short breaks when my eyes get tired and listen to music.

But the thing that helped me the most, and I’m privileged to be able to say this, is being out in my garden, breathing some fresh air and just disconnecting for a bit from all the stress and pressure of work.

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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.

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