Each week Mansion Global tackles an interior design topic with an elite group of designers from around the world who work on luxury properties. This week we look at how to create a perfect home office.
A home office is so much more than just a desk and chair.
“It doesn’t have to be all business,” said Donna Mondi, founder and principal, Donna Mondi Interior Design in Chicago. “The best office spaces tell a story of the person using it. Be creative when choosing colors, materials, lighting, and accessories, and you can easily turn it into your favorite room in the house.The struggle is always to address the function of the space while not sacrificing on beauty. ”
“The overall look and feel should emulate both your profession and passions, as well as be filled with what inspires you,” said Jeffrey Beers of New York City-based Jeffrey Beers International. “Don’t be afraid to surround yourself with art, objects from your travels, and family pictures.”
You also want to consider the ‘yin’ and ‘yang’. “Your floor plan and the way it’s laid out, including where you face, creates energy,” says feng shui expert and designer Amanda Gates of Gates Interior Design in Tennessee. “For example, if you face away from the door or toward a window, this can spur anger, fear, and negative mood swings,” Ms. Gates says. “The most important thing is being in what’s called, ‘command’. If you can’t see the door, then you are out of command and this will affect health and well being.”
Whether you have a small corner in your living room or a large space to play with, some carefully thought out design can inspire creativity. Here are tips from the pros to create the ultimate workspace.
— Mansion Global (@MansionGlobal) December 20, 2016
Consider all the essentials
“Natural light is the best option but it needs to be supplemented with layers of additional lighting. Overhead lighting, sconces, floor lamps, and a desk lamp can be combined. … I love to incorporate interesting sconces or art lights to add some pizazz to the space. … Always add dimmers to overhead lighting so you can have even more control. And if you have the space for a reading chair, adding a pharmacy lamp can be the perfect accent.
"Creating an electrical plan is so important in a home office. Printers and routers can be concealed behind closed doors in a custom built-in or nearby closet; floor outlets can allow for floating a desk; USB ports can be added to outlets for convenient charging stations. Defining your layout and the functional elements of the space will help you determine the best way to hide the not-so-pretty parts of an office.
"Custom built-in cabinetry is a great option to combine hidden storage with open shelving for books, accessories and art.
"Investing in a good desk chair is one of the most essential elements. The first decision is whether or not it needs to be on casters. There are far more options available when you have the luxury of choosing regular legs, but sometimes you need the ease of a chair on wheels.
"If your current chair isn’t wowing you, try throwing an inexpensive sheepskin pelt on top for an instant makeover.”
“When considering the desk chair, the flooring dilemma always comes into play. Forgo the wall-to-wall carpet in favor of wood flooring—parquet and herringbone patterns are my current obsession. You can add an area rug if you think carefully about the function of the chair and the area you’ll be moving around in.”
— Donna Mondi, founder and principal, Donna Mondi Interior Design in Chicago
Streamline the space
“When your office is part of the living room the ‘office area’ should be incorporated into the design of the room itself, not just a table and a chair or an obvious office distinctly quartered in a private space.
"I like to mix antique and modern styles. If the desk were a simple glass top, I would add more sophisticated legs or an antique chair with a Baroque twist. Or, if the desk is an antique piece, then the chair should be simple, modern, or a funky color and material. Consider adding a chaise longue in the corner that can be used for lounging with a laptop or taking calls.”
“Opt for storage that has a design point of view. Some creative options include trunks or old suitcases that, when closed, can be used as a sideboard or coffee table. Or, go for ottomans with built-in storage—to put folders and office materials—that are also comfortable to sit on or rest beverages.
"To make the office eye catching and integrated within a space, incorporate little details like flowers on the desk and artwork above it.”
—Ariela Gluck, Projects Manager, Leopard Hospitality in Tel Aviv
Unify form and function
“Shelving is not just for storage–shelves are a place to display what inspires you. We custom design our shelving to be lit from the inside–either from the bottom or from the sides–and organize the unit to showcase both books as well as art and objects important to each of our clients.
"If you have the space for a freestanding desk, my advice is to go bold; make the desk the statement piece of the room. For a linear and architectural look, I would suggest something like the Poltrona Frau H_O Desk; and for something more creative, I would choose the Rudder Table by Isamu Noguchi.
"Our rule of thumb is use neutral and timeless tones throughout the interior architecture and play with your favorite pop color for accents. Throughout my white-and-black modern office, you’ll find objet d’art in bold tones like indigo and persimmon.”
— Jeffrey Beers of Jeffrey Beers International in New York City
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