Multifunctional office guide by The Sanyas Home

As many of us are balancing work between the office and home, there’s a need now more than ever for households to have a home office space. Finding the perfect balance between decorative and practical is easy, and you don’t need a big budget either. In this guide we will share 6 tips to creating a multifunctional office to take your work from home space up a level.

We planned on turning our guest room into an office, however then had a dilemma of where our guests would stay when they came to visit. We then realised we needed a multifunctional room which we could use both as an office during the day, and a guest room when needed. In this guide we will share our top tips for getting the most out of your multifunctional office space, alongside what materials we used for our room transformation.

Multifunctional office space – the tools & materials we used:

Multifunctional office space: 6 top tips 

1. Decide on the room and what you want out of the space

First things first, you need to identify which room you can make multifunctional. Do you have a room in the house that is perhaps not being fully utilised?

We picked our guest room as the ideal room to turn into our multifunctional office, which was a recent addition to our house when our extension was built. Initially it only had a bed in here which took up the majority of the space and didn’t allow for the room to be used for other purposes, and with guests only staying on the odd occasions, we felt it was not being properly utilised.

The space before
The space to transform into a multifunctional office
The space to transform into a multifunctional office

We knew we wanted the space to be multifunctional; a place where we can work and a place where our guests can come and spend the night. Knowing what we wanted to use the room for helped us with how to maximise the space and choose the furniture we needed.

2. Compile a list of items you will need in your multifunctional room 

Measure up the room first and then plan out your space. As with most offices, it’s ideal to have a desk where you can work from. We wanted a compact desk as the room needed to cater for other furniture as well. 

Once we found the right desk, we began searching for a sofa bed – the bed element can be used by our guests and the sofa by us when taking a break from work. 

We opted for a sofa bed instead of a bed, as it takes up less space in the room when the bed element of the sofa bed is not in use. Therefore, this multifunctional piece of furniture allows us to fit more in the room.

We particularly like the idea of having books on display in the office, so we chose the bamboo bookshelf, as not only is it practical but it also looks great.

We needed a chair we could use when sat at the desk but also somewhere we could sit when recording video content, so we decided to go for more of a feature chair than the traditional desk chair.  In a multifunctional room, it is always worth picking furniture that can serve a number of purposes. 

3. Try upcycling furniture 

Prior to buying new items, it is worth having a look around your house to see if there are any key pieces you already have that might be worth upcycling to match the aesthetics of the multifunctional room.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have any suitable furniture to upcycle, and we therefore decided to get a cost-effective desk that we could upcycle to match the aesthetics of the room.  We opted for a finishing coat of while on the wood surface and then gold for the metal legs. 

When upcycling, you can follow these simple steps:

  1. Sand the wood surface as this will allow the paint to bond well to the wood 
  2. Prime the wood surface as this increases the durability of the painting job, helps protect the wood and creates a smooth surface for the finish coat
  3. Paint the wood surface to your desired colour 
  4. Consider spray painting any metal pieces to your desired colour

4. Consider doing an upholstery DIY

If you already have a sofa or chair in your house that needs sprucing up, you could perform an upholstery DIY on it and add it to your multifunctional space.  

Sofa before upholstery
Sofa before upholstery

We chose to perform an upholstery DIY on the sofa bed and turned it into a boucle sofa bed, as we currently love this material and aesthetic. This was really simple as we only needed the boucle material, scissors and staple gun. 

The great thing about how we performed the upholstery is that if we ever get tired of the boucle trend, we can easily take the material off and utilise the sofa bed in its original colour and material. 

Upholstered sofa
Upholstered sofa

5. Accessorise the room 

Adding accessory items such as plants, wall art, vases etc is a great way to bring your multi-functional office to life.

Add stylish shelving to the multifunctional office

As our main accessory pieces, we chose to add an artificial banana tree and we really love what it does to the space.  We also added the ManoMano gold metal round wall shelf behind the desk for some stylish storage.

6. Arrange your multifunctional office

Ah, the final result where all the hard work is now visible. Given you’ve carefully planned your space well, you should now be able to move the furniture in the right places to maximise the space. For our space, the sofa bed is better placed in front of the window, whilst the desk and the bookshelf were better positioned by the wall in the middle of the room.

Mulitfunctional office space
Mulitfunctional office space

We are super pleased with how the space has turned out! The multifunctional office looks inviting and with the sofa bed upholstered and the desk painted white, it makes the room feel really spacious. 

We are Tunde and Konge Sanya of @the.sanyashome. We’ve been married for 6 years and together we live in a 1930’s semi-detached house with our 9 month old daughter, Arielle.  We have been renovating our house for just over 4 years, and recently added a wrap around extension.  

One of the most fun parties of the year is coming and it’s time for the whole family to get down to work to create a terrifyingly fun atmosphere. Halloween is here! We’re here to make it easy for you and share ideas on how to decorate a Halloween party so that it will be a hit – you just have to follow these simple decorative tips. Roll up your sleeves and get ready for a spookily good article.

Star colours: Orange and black with touches of purple and white

Decorate a Halloween party decoration ideas

If there’s one thing you should bear in mind when it comes to decorating a Halloween party this year, it’s the base colours, where oranges and blacks, together with touches of white and purple, take on a leading role. From the unmissable pumpkins, to the typical cobwebs, balloons of different shapes and different scary costumes, where the kids can enjoy themselves.

The classics never fail: the Halloween decoration that can’t be missed

If there is one decoration that can never be missing at any spooky party, it is pumpkins. You can buy them in lots of shops and supermarkets and hollow them out and decorate them yourself. There are many crafts on the internet to make the spookiest faces and have a great time with the family. 

Spider webs are another must-have for any spooky party, as well as skulls or ghost garlands and monster piñatas. You can make them with papier-mâché, cardboard or old fabrics. You can also hang balloons of different shapes and sizes on the walls, as well as paper bats.

If you want to add a special touch to your Halloween party decorations, don’t forget to create a ghoulish atmosphere with good music and dim lighting – it will give you goosebumps!

A creepily delicious sweet spread

Decorating a halloween party: sweet treats

We don’t want to just focus on how to decorate a Halloween party; to make it even more memorable for the little ones, you can make original devilish snacks. From sandwiches with googly eyes, terrifying biscuits decorated with spider webs, to pumpkin-shaped cupcakes, or simply fruit that looks like ghosts or mandarins that look like pumpkins. The idea is to use your imagination and create easy, simple and especially entertaining recipes that the kids will love!

A great activity during the party is to decorate biscuits. To do this, you can have toppings in the main party colours and some sweets or chocolates to decorate them.

The spookiest fancy dress costumes

Fancy dress is key when planning how to decorate a halloween party

Always bearing in mind the age of the children you are going to organise the party for, there are a series of characters that have to be at any Halloween party. If the costumes are homemade, all the better. 

You can make the classic ghost as a sheet, simply cutting out the shape of the eyes and creating a chain tied to the children’s feet, or fold black cardboard to make a witch’s hat and a broom.They can dress up as vampires with a face, fangs and a big red cape made from scraps you have around the house. Also monsters, mummies made with bandages, skeletons… If the children are a bit older you can propose a more themed party with science fiction characters such as Jack the Ripper, Maleficent, Edward Scissorhands, the Joker and many more. The point is to enjoy this frighteningly entertaining party!

The scariest party of the year is already here! Let us know how your Halloween party looks by tagging us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

Winter is just around the corner, where it gets dark much earlier and just by having the lights on for more hours we increase our energy consumption. In addition to using our lights for longer hours each day, in order to combat the cold we also switch on the heating – this will mean a big increase in our energy consumption and monthly expenditure at home. Energy saving has become one of the main concerns in the UK, not only with a view to saving on bills but also because of the environmental impact this entails and the current fuel crisis. We have put together a few energy saving tips to try out at home and significantly reduce your energy consumption.

Top energy saving tips

Tip 1: Ventilate the house early in the morning

energy saving tips: open the windows in the morning

The house should be aired out every day to let fresh air in. Ideally, this should be done in the morning with the windows wide open for at least ten minutes. If, on the other hand, this is done in the evening when the house is warmer, extra energy will be required to recover the heat coming out of the windows, thus increasing the cost of our bill. 

Tip 2: Insulate doors and windows effectively

Good insulation is the key to preventing heat from escaping from your home through doors and windows. If you notice that your front door has a gap between it and the floor, you can fit rubber weather stripping to prevent heat from escaping. A small rug can also be useful, simply slide it towards the door and block the heat from escaping. When it comes to windows, opting for double glazing will significantly reduce energy consumption.  

Tip 3: Turn off the heating in empty rooms

If your house has several rooms and they are not being used, why have them heated? Keep the radiators on in the rooms you are in or are going to use for a while, turning off the radiators in the rest of the house. Don’t forget to close the doors once you have switched off the heating, otherwise we will lose the heat from the rest of the house.

Tip 4: Maintain an optimum temperature

Believe it or not, the optimum temperature to save energy is between 20°C and 21°C, and it is advisable to lower it by at least a couple of degrees at bedtime. Moreover, it is much more economical to keep it on at a constant temperature than to turn it on and off every time we feel cold. 

Tip 5: Wrap up warm

energy saving tips: wrap up warm

The most economical way to keep away the winter chill at home is to have warm clothes at your disposal, such as sweatshirts, dressing gowns and woollen socks. If just wearing one of these is enough to keep the cold at bay, why keep the heating on? Also, keep thick blankets handy so you can cover up on the sofa when watching a movie and have warm drinks during the coldest hours. At night, cover up with a winter duvet to keep you warm and help you fall asleep. All these small changes will help to significantly reduce your electricity bill. 

Did you enjoy this article on energy saving tips? Why not read our blog post on how to prepare the garden for winter or even our guide on how to bleed a radiator!

Are you trying out some ways to reduce your energy consumption at home? Let us know how you get on via Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

After the summer months outside it’s time to get back to the routine and put our house in order again. The bustle of people in the house with the whole family on holiday, visitors, open windows… All these things make our house suffer and we don’t have it as clean and tidy as we would like it to be. So it is time for an autumn cleaning blitz to get everything shipshape for the winter months.  

Although it is not an easy task and requires several days, we are going to give you some tips to do it effectively in the shortest possible time, although it can all be summed up in one word: organisation.

Autumn cleaning deep clean

Tip 1. Create an autumn cleaning schedule

The first thing to do is to draw up a cleaning schedule in which we divide the house by areas, tasks and days. If you don’t live alone at home, involve the other members of the family, this way it will be more effective and quicker. Keep in mind that it will not be a general cleaning but something much more thorough where we thoroughly clean things that we normally overlook. 

Tip 2. Wash your textiles

Autumn cleaning blitz: wash all textiles
Autumn cleaning blitz: wash all textiles

Don’t forget to wash all textiles as this is where dust tends to accumulate the most. Wash curtains, sofa covers and bed linen… as this is something we tend to put off and put off. Take the opportunity to give the rooms a new style by bringing out your favourite bedspread or renewing some cushions. Don’t forget to vacuum carpets, or if you want a more thorough clean, cover them with bicarbonate for a couple of hours before vacuuming. For stubborn stains, soak a cloth in cleaning vinegar and rub the surface, leave for a few minutes and then wipe with a damp cloth. In a matter of minutes you will have them as good as new. 

Tip 3. Wardrobe refresh 

Autumn cleaning: Wardrobe organisation
Wardrobe organisation

This is one of the tasks that takes up most of our time and that we put off for as long as possible, especially if there are a lot of us at home. Make it a day for yourself, put on some background music and take the opportunity to get rid of all those clothes you no longer wear. Separate them into three sections: to throw away, to donate and to keep, so the process will be easier. In a few hours, you’ll have your wardrobe organised and ready for autumn.

Tip 4. Use small household appliances

Although many people think that there is no better cleaning than the old-fashioned way of cleaning by hand, others take advantage of new technologies to get hold of a multitude of devices that make our lives easier and, best of all, save us time. If you have a robot floor hoover, run it for a while before cleaning to remove most of the dust, if you have a steamer, use it in the kitchen to remove grease, to clean bathroom tiles and even to disinfect mattresses and pillows. There are even automatic window cleaners that thoroughly clean both sides of the window. 

Tip 5. Autumn cleaning: attention to the smaller details

Clean door handles, intercoms and light switches
Clean door handles, intercoms and light switches

There are many items that we don’t normally pay much attention to, but we handle often and they are probably full of fingerprints and germs. Door handles, intercoms and light switches are good examples. To clean the latter, rub the surface with a cotton wool soaked in alcohol and if there are stains on the surrounding wall, use a cloth with lukewarm water and rub gently so as not to remove the paint, until they disappear.

Tip 6. Tidy up the pantry 

Organise your pantry
Organise your pantry

When we do the shopping we usually take the opportunity to rearrange all the products in the fridge, but when it’s time to put them in the cupboard, it becomes more difficult and we end up with everything mixed up on different shelves. With the help of a labelling machine, print out several small signs with the names of the different product groups and stick them on the front of boxes or baskets. This way you will have your pantry sorted by categories and it will also be easier to place and find what you need.

Did you enjoy this article on our autumn cleaning tips? Why not read our article on Japandi interior design or even our guide on how to remove stains from wooden flooring!

Are you doing an autumn clean too? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

Pet-friendly plants for green interiors

Not only are indoor plants beautiful and decorative, and fill with life any room in the house, they can also clean the air and improve your mood. However, some indoor plants can be dangerous for our beloved pets. Here we’re going to share our favourite pet-friendly plants so you can have a safe, green interior. 

Pet-friendly plants
Pet-friendly plants

How to regulate the temperature with plants

Have you ever heard about green roofs? They improve the energy efficiency of the building in which they are installed, due to the fact that plants absorb the heat of the sun and, in the winter, keep the heat inside the building. 

Plants can regulate temperature and humidity on their own. Have you ever walked barefoot on a grass lawn? It immediately cooled you down, didn’t it? The idea is to make use of this particular characteristic of plants, by creating green spaces both inside and outside our homes.

Create a green wall

If you cover your walls with plants, you will keep the heat away. You can do this with pots (if they are made of terracotta, so much the better) or with vertical structures that you can fill with soil and plants. 

If you are an expert DIYer, you can make these structures yourself using wood, a material that helps absorb the heat. Plus, you can make it to measure, according to the size and measurements of the wall you are going to cover. And don’t forget about balcony tiles, which will also be cooler if you cover it with wood.

Set up your vertical wall at a certain distance from the floor, to prevent your pet from reaching the plants. This way, you won’t need to worry about the plants you choose for the wall.

There is also the option of planting climbing plants and waiting for them to grow and cover the wall. But don’t even think about planting ivy, bougainvillea or wisteria, as they are toxic and are not pet friendly plants.

If you have no access to an outdoor space because you live in a flat, you can always choose hanging plants that you can suspend from the ceiling. It will be quite difficult for your pets to reach them, although one thing is for sure, cats will find it an irresistible challenge. If your plants were there before your pet arrived, and you have nice pots that you don’t want to get rid of, why not put them in macrame plant hangers? You could even make them yourself. It is both easy and fun! 

Which plants are toxic for pets?

No one knows your pet and how they behave around plants better than you. When you are planning on filling your home with plants, it is important to know which plants can cause problems if your pets chew or eat them. And when we talk about “toxic plants”, we should be clear about which part of the plant is toxic and in what quantities.

For example, the Cyclamen can cause many gastrointestinal problems in animals who eat their tuber or rhizome, which contains terpenoid saponins. Its leaves and flowers also contain these toxic saponins, but in lower quantities.

The leaves of the trendy Swiss Cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) contain calcium oxalate, which can cause issues with your pet’s oesophagus and gastrointestinal tract. 

Turning now to plants that are edible for humans, dog owners know very well that plants in the allium family (garlic, leek and onions) contain toxic sulfur compounds. What about parsley? It looks pretty harmless, doesn’t it? Well, parsley is toxic to both dogs and cats, although only if ingested in great quantities.

If you have a cat at home, you will have noticed that they like chewing its leaves in order to purge and vomit hairballs. For this purpose we recommend that you plant cat grass (Nepeta cataria) or Dactylis glomerata in a pot at home. They love the smell of cat grass, and if they get used to having it at home, they might stay clear of your other plants.  

Here is a list of some pet-friendly plants and those that are toxic, among which we can find the beautiful geranium, the ivy and other plants that are commonly seen inside our homes:

List of pet-friendly plants and of toxic plants

Did you enjoy this article on pet-friendly plants? Why not read our article on small space design ideas on a budget or our IATA-approved pet carrier buying guide!

Are you both a plant and pet parent? Share your plants and pets with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!