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Telecommuting. Working remotely. Call it what you want, but working from home is the new normal. Problem is, being productive at home is kind of impossible if you don’t have a dedicated space where you can mentally get in the zone. Lounging on the sofa (ahem, in front of the TV) or spreading out at the kitchen table (don’t mind the kids’ craft projects and those shopping bags you dropped there yesterday) isn’t exactly conducive to getting the job done—or even started. Better idea: Turn that awkward spare room or empty corner into a home office. Here, three design pros explain how to create a workspace that reflects your style and inspires you to get down to business.
1. Room to Roam
When a young professional couple decided one home office wasn’t enough, they asked designer Ashley Campbell of Ashley Campbell Interior Design to turn the guest bedroom in their Cherry Hills home into a second workspace that reflects their interest in culture and travel. “It’s kind of an homage to different traditions from around the world,” Campbell says. “Lots of travel art, lots of texture, color, and prints.”
Desk: Barton Creek Wyatt desk by Lexington Home Brands
Chandelier: Currey & Company
Pro tip: Got a fabulous built-in you need to style? “Color-coordinate your books—it’ll give an interesting flavor to the room—and don’t overdo it by cramming the books on the shelves. You also need to incorporate personal pieces and artifacts you’ve picked up during your travels,” Campbell says.
2. Glam It Up
Kim Blankenburg and Molly Bevan, co-owners of Layers & Lines Home Design, knew just what their client meant when she asked for an “inspiration room.” A busy executive with two small children and travel demands, the Golden homeowner needed “a place where she could close the door and feel totally calm,” Blankenburg says. To incorporate the client’s love of color, the designers painted the room’s dark wood paneling white, then added pieces with jewel tones and gold splashes. “It’s glam but grounded,” Blankenburg says. “There’s some coziness, too. She has a place to curl up with a book or sit and journal when she needs to recharge.”
Desk: Chrysler desk in antique brass by West Elm
Rug: Loloi’s Madeline collection in fuchsia/multi
Favorite element: The corner reading nook furnished with a Velvet Rivona chair (in mulberry) from Anthropologie and Lulu & Georgia’s Golden Teak table
Pro tip: “Start with clean lines, then carefully curate a place that’s layered with things you love—but that also maintains an open and airy feel,” Blankenburg says. “It’s OK to use bright colors, but you have to keep some things, like the walls, more neutral.”
3. Right At Home
This once-dark (as in, red paint and lots of wood) Cherry Hills Village study just needed a little revamp to make it designer and stylist Kerri Cole’s favorite room in her house. After giving the walls a coat of white paint, Cole combined found objects from her travels (see: the floor lamp, a prop for a concert she once staged, that’s refurbished with fabric and fringe from JoAnn’s) with a mix of prints and patterns to build an eclectic and chic creative space. Her philosophy? Keep your eyes and mind open; it’s not about spending a fortune or sticking to one rigid theme. “Bold blue-and-white chevron wallpaper doesn’t mean you have to be preppy,” she says.
Desk: Raw-edge wood desk with iron legs by Roost
Rug: Flor’s Mod Cow carpet tiles
Favorite element: “IF” tin wall letters from the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. “The word ‘if’ is hopeful,” Cole says. “It’s the possibility of change. Sometimes we get so stuck.”
Pro tip: “Surround yourself with things you love,” Cole says. “It’s a feeling inside: Ask yourself, ‘Do I love it?’ If not, why do you have it?”