I'm excited to be sharing a recently-completed space in a home that I am gradually making my way through, updating, tweaking, and furnishing. It's a lovely, spacious home, and we're taking it to the next level design-wise. This room is the wife's home office, where she works independently but also meets with her team. My goal was to lighten it up and make it more comfortable and functional with a better furniture plan and some stand-out pieces.
Photography by Mike Van Tassell
On social media and design television, it often seems that the only way to decorate a space is with a complete gut renovation, but here in the real world, designers are often tasked with working within an existing space to create a room that reflects the client and is functional and beautiful. That was the case here. The room was covered floor to ceiling in dark wood paneling that my clients preferred not to have painted, but we still wanted the space to be lighter and more feminine and chic.
From my time working at Saks Fifth Avenue, I knew that including a round table in the center of the room would be really functional and practical for my client's team to meet and collaborate, or just share a meal together. This stunning round table by Old Biscayne Designs was one of the first purchases for the room, and it set to the tone for a furnishing plan that is sculptural and interesting, with a little bit of a mid-century vibe. The wood paneling makes quite a statement in the room, so each piece of furniture needed to have plenty of presence in order to not be diminished by the walls. The cool brass chairs were a a surprise find at CB2, and they reinforce that Dick Van Dyke feeling, and are super practical since they swivel.
This a a great shot by my friend and photographer Mike, because it highlights how all of the textures and colors work together as a counterpoint to the mahogany walls. The shiny brass, the nubby sofa fabric, and the patterns of the drapery and rug bring in lots of coziness. I originally planned to use the brown version of this antelope carpet, but the lead time was much too long, and the blue ended up being a really fun addition that pulls from the colors of my client's abstract art. Before, the window coverings were a fussy floral valance-and-shade combination that blocked a lot of light, so I swapped them for custom panels in a small geometric pattern with a wide embroidered tape on the leading edge. They feel more modern, and can still be closed for privacy, but they keep the windows open to allow plenty of natural light -- important in a room with such dark walls.
My client's desk sits opposite the green sofa. It's another piece from Old Biscayne and is a really simple Parson's style in a rich wood tone. In addition to color and texture, I used shapes to break up with the lines of the room's millwork. The round table, shapely lamp, and curvy chair introduce some more feminine lines. And of course that chandelier is the real showpiece! It's hard to see the scale here but the ceilings are are twelve feet, so we needed something that could hold its own.
This pair of armchairs (only one had arrived at the time of install -- typical of 2021!) brings in some more delicious texture and provides some more seating. They can be pulled closer to the table if needed, or they are a cozy spot to take a phone call.
For storage, I included this cool console. The light wood bounces off the dark walls and the detail on the front is sort of a modern version of the woodwork in the rest of the room. Now, that lamp! It's one of a pair that I found at a vintage shop and the client and I are both obsessed with them! The original shades are in perfect condition, and they bring a one-of-a-kind quirkiness to the room that I love. Actually, we're still negotiating where they will end up permanently as I originally envisioned them for my personal bedroom.
We set out to juxtapose elegant, feminine shapes and cozy textures with this really masculine room, and it came together to create a chic and functional home office that everyone in the family wants to use. If you would like to chat about your own space, please get in touch by filling out my design inquiry.