Who says home offices have to be all work and no play? Whether you find yourself working in a traditional office or at home, it’s nice to have an organized space to call your own and get some work done. With the right color palette, organization and furniture, you can transform your home’s den into a space that reflects both your lifestyle and personality. Four women, each with demanding and different lifestyles, gave us an inside look at how they make the most of their at-home workspaces.
4 Beautiful In-Home Office Retreats
A TV Star’s Multipurpose Room
When she’s not on set or spending time with her two young children, actress Alexandra Breckenridge has an ideal place to energize: her home office in Atlanta. The star of NBC’s “This Is Us” and Netflix’s “Virgin River” pursues hobbies like quilting and photography, so her interior designer (and mother-in-law) Rebecca Cartwright made sure the office was as flexible as Alexandra.
“She wanted a high desk – 42 inches tall – for easy cutting and sewing,” says Rebecca. “The worktable needed to be stylish since the office is off the dining room at the front of the home.” The chic black-and-white desk was made by Aronson Woodworks, a small custom furniture shop in Iowa and a favorite of Rebecca’s. With Alexandra’s own black-and-white photography as the room’s art, this simple color palette keeps the room cohesive.
Rebecca enjoyed incorporating Alexandra’s collections and books as part of the project, reflecting a trend she’s seen for home offices with personal style. “The women we work with travel,” says the designer. “They’ve been exposed to global, good design, so they want a sophisticated office that reflects their personalities as well as their values.”
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A Professional Organizer’s Bright & Cheery Space
Like her successful brand of organizers and office supplies, Emily Ley keeps the look of her Pensacola, Florida, home office classic yet contemporary. Emily’s professional-quality workspace allows the mother of three to run her business from home, where she can be around if a child is sick or take care of laundry between meetings.
Emily put a lot of thought into the office as the new house was being built. “I wanted as much natural light as possible (hence the floor-to-ceiling windows), a beautiful backdrop for filming and ample wall space for planning and inspiration,” she says. “The white built-ins in my office have almost become synonymous with our brand.” Elegant white curtains soften the room and also act as a sound buffer for podcast recording and video filming, while brass accents and the saturated colors of Emily’s products add a colorful pop.
Not surprisingly, she’s a big fan of organizing to make life easier – and her products are mostly “old school.” Her Simplified® daily planners and teacher planners tackle everything from meal-planning to hourly appointments. “I’m obviously a big believer in using a paper planner,” Emily says. “I’ve seen trends in organizing and planning ebb and flow over the years – since I’ve been doing this almost 12 years now – but what always remains is the thrill of physically crossing those tasks off your to-do list on paper.”
A Physician’s Feminine Home Office
Interior designer Kate Hayes sees similarities between women’s offices these days and popular TV heroine “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”: we can be hard-working and beautiful. “She says in one of her bits, ‘Can we not love a red lipstick and also have a great job?’ or something along those lines,” says the Atlanta-based designer. She says that using materials like brass and other warmer tones (yep, pink), luxurious materials like mohair and silk, and antique mirrors are all ways to soften the traditional home.
Her client, Heidi Woessner, is a physician by day but wanted to go all-out feminine in her Atlanta home office, right off the foyer. Kate chose an eye-catching door with Moroccan accents to set the tone for Heidi’s getaway. The door was unfinished, but she chose a lacquered pink paint for it, then tied in an agate-patterned wallpaper and modern furnishings from CB2.
Practical ideas included installing lots of outlets. “In this office, we hide all the ‘ugly’ in a closet with a velvet drape, so it’s easy to access but everything else feels super streamlined,” says Kate. “The client primarily uses her Macbook, so as long as we can hide a cord under the desk leg, we’re good.”
A Small-But-Chic Space for the Family’s Chief Planner
Located in Highland Park, Texas, this custom-built home was the visual opposite to the couple’s previous “Old World” red and gold-embellished house, says Dallas interior designer Traci Connell. The clients were going for a light-filled soft, modern look; grown children nearby influenced an emphasis on entertaining spaces.
“For this close-knit family, a space just for Mom was a top priority,” says Traci. “We call this room the home base because Mom is quarterbacking all plans of the family, as the CEO of the home. She needed space to plan, organize and keep everything on track.”
Natural oak floors combined with black metal windows were the starting points to begin the design process of this office space, cheerful with its yellow and navy color palette. Closed storage is the secret to this room’s clever design, says Traci, allowing the room to stay tidy and pulled-together. Within the drawers are hidden hanging files, pull-out drawers and spaces to keep everything in its own space. “Home offices are continually turning more and more luxurious as they are functional,” says the designer.