Career StoriesPassion 14 April 2014
Career Stories: Graphic designer Toula

We’re kicking off the week with a new section called ‘The desk of…’. And if you, dear reader, are anything like us at CHAPTER FRIDAY you love raiding other people’s homes, closets and desks. Especially if those are either a huge mess (think coffee stained paperwork and an iMac covered in Post-its) or a ready-to-Pin perfect set up.

In this first edition of ‘The desk of…’ we visited the small yet sweet home office of Toula Tijssen (25). Graphic designer for big publications such as ELLE – which is where she and I (Yara) met when we both joined team ELLE in our early twenties. As one of the most talented young graphic designers in the country and with a professional furniture maker to call her fiancé, it’s clear why Toula’s home office is ready to be photographed at any given time.

Let’s have a look. Try not to drool, thanks.

TOULA: The white rack is originally meant to hang plants in, I spotted it at the garden section of Karwei. The light bulb is Aurora, the colored paper tape from De Vlieger, the silver clips come from Van Beek, golden scissors and pastel storage boxes from Hay, the Star Wars notebook is by Moleskine and the rose gold frame is from De Bijenkorf. The big black and white shot is a page from ELLE and the portrait features my mom.

TOULA: This home office corner is the once space I have entirely to myself. It’s hands off territory to anyone else! Every single thing you see reflects my style.I like it to be small and intimate – with carefully selected, personal and pretty objects displayed to inspire me when my head is spinning in between projects.

TOULA: The Andy Warhol poster and the chair. It’s a fifties classic called the Revolt chair. Some museums display it as an icon of Dutch design, but I think it looks perfectly cool in my living room corner.

TOULA: Amsterdam is packed with unique interior and stationary stores. Must-sees are &K, Friday Next, Nordic New, Restored and Orphan Socks. Shopping while surfing happens on and

TOULA: A pair of pears, April and May, Design sponge, Fjellby, Poppytalk.

TOULA: My fiancé Edwin custom built this table to fit this living room corner to a tee. The wooden plate is screwed on to the wall so it only needs one foot for support. This way it’s light and roomy, which is essential given the small space.

TOULA: My week is divided between working from home and at my clients’ offices, so for balance I try to stick to the rhythm of a real working day even when working from home. I’ll even have lunch on my drawing tablet! No couch breaks for me – I’d never get back up. I should admit that some of work days are spent in pajama’s… it’s the ultimate perk of working from my apartment.

(photography by Karen van Duijvenbode, interview by Yara Michels)

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    I would like to have a desk as this! This new section is a great idea :)

    I wish I had such a creative space like this! My drawing talbe is a mess, haha :)


    Lovely inspo!

    aaaah wat een leuke nieuwe section! Hele gave foto’s!

    Oh dear, I want a desk like that!
    Mafalda ❤

    Tell me about it! ;)

    Wauw love this! It’s a small desk but the way it is arranged makes it look bigger and yet very manageable. Love these kinds of blogposts!


    “The desk of” is such a cool feature! It’s different from most house tour posts and it focuses on what’s most important to professionals, I’m a new reader and very glad I found this site :)


    Wat een supercool hoekje! Enne, deze rubriek is wat mij betreft echt een keeper!

    This is such an amazing workspace! My desk area needs to be revamped and this is definitely inspiring.

    Ahh, mooi! Geweldige rubriek :D

    Oh I am so happy, that you’ve made this new section, because honestly I can never get enough peeking into other peoples work/home etc. places :)

    That white rack is a genius idea! Definitely going to browse some of my local gardening shops.

    Also wanted to say that as a long, long time reader of yours I’m super proud of the change that you have made with your blog. It’s truly inspiring to see how you’ve taken it to the next level. Truly can’t wait to see what next is up on your sleeve!!


    Oh I love that copper picture frame and this fun Star Wars notebook.
    xo Andrea
    Wonderful and Marvelous


    Wat een super leuke rubriek dit! Enne, wat een gave werkplek!!!


    I want her desk <3 xx

    What a beautiful home office setup. I really like that framed quote, I almost feel like heading to De Bijenkorf now to pick up a frame just like it!


    Hi Yara,
    Compliments on Chapter Friday, it really is a new and fresh extension on This Chick’s got Style! Why do I, for the first time plase a reaction? Because I’d like to say that the question ‘morning blogging routine’ is a nice one! Good to see where creative, interesting people get their morning inspiration, I’d like to hear it from you as well!
    X Renée

    Hi Renee,
    Thank you for your kind words on CHAPTER FRIDAY! It means a lot to know that loyal and long term readers are excited about the concept.

    And yeah, I love coming across new blogs that way too. Thanks for your feedback!

    My desk is a mess! I’m going to enjoy this section ;)

    Mine is too! Well, the one in my office is always empty (I force myself to a clean desk policy). But my work table at home… different story ;)

    love this post!

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