Home Office Space
Quarantined? Or has home long been your 9-to-5 HQ? Either way, here’s inspiration for an office so stylish you’ll be glad you live there.
Maybe your home office looks as if Oscar Madison works there. Or you’re banging out business emails these days in a corner of a room that does double duty. But one thing is clear: Tech has made “working from home” an enduring thing, and for many of us it will endure—at least as an option—when the COVID-19 pandemic is a mere memory. So it’s time to make your home work space work for you.
On the following pages, you’ll see how four New Jersey families created home offices (with the help of design pros) that reflect their needs and tastes. Let these “rooms” spark your own creativity—in whatever space in your home you dedicate to getting down to business.
A PLACE OF HER OWN
This home office is one bright, contemporary room in this family’s secondary residence in Sea Girt, where they spend summers and holidays. (Their main residence is in Britain’s capital.) Nine years after purchasing the “dark and overly ornate” French-country-style home, they hired Nancy Lucas of N. Lucas Interiors and Decorating Den Interiors in Monmouth County to turn this room into a “bright and streamlined” space.
This office is located in the master bedroom suite, a haven for the parents of four. But the man of the house has his own separate work area—this one is designated for the matriarch, who wanted a space dedicated exclusively to her in which she could do her finance work and also just unwind (hence the plush sofa). “She didn’t want drawers or anything like that,” the designer says. “She just wanted to be able to have her laptop and a really clean space that was bright, airy and comfortable.” Mission accomplished.
LESS IS MORE
Designer Lisa Schiller sought two main qualities when planning her own home office in Scotch Plains. It had to be “far away from the main living area” and “open, bright and free of clutter” so as not to hinder her creativity. So she transformed her sunroom, located 60 feet down the hall from the living room in her ranch-style home, into her own personal hideaway (though she admits her husband sneaks in on the weekends to watch TV away from the kids). Schiller designed around meaningful pieces—“the couch and desk were 25 years old and from my apartment in New York City,” she says—and added in stylistic elements she loves, such as a neutral palette with bursts of bold animal prints and stripes.
Her advice for others designing their own home office? “It doesn’t have to be a room with bookshelves, a big desk and a computer,” she says. “Now, thanks to technology, we can have the bare minimum of what we need to work.”
A HOME RUN
Why not make a favorite hobby or passion the design inspiration for your personalized workspace? That’s what designer Judy Sturdevant of Freeman Hall Design in Westfield did in this Summit bedroom for her clients’ 23-year-old son, who visits on weekends and needed a room where he could both sleep and get some work done (his employer is a technology consulting firm).
“Our clients requested an open plan that would create ample desk and storage space,” Sturdevant says, “as well as showcase their son’s beloved autographed Yankees memorabilia collection.” Using the baseball team’s bold blue hue as inspiration, she built a bespoke desk by the windowsill to make the most of the natural light.
“Choose somewhere [for a home office] that the lighting and/or view will impact your productivity and well-being most positively,” the designer advises. She also installed shelving units flanking the desk on both sides. Gold accents in the drawer hardware, brass fittings and lighting elements add contrast and a more modern vibe. “A clean and pleasing aesthetic was of utmost importance to our client,” says Sturdevant.
Style meets function in this blue-and-white home office situated on the main floor of a house in Bergenfield. It was designed for the husband in finance, who works from home quite often even during ordinary times. Hillsdale-based designer Jennifer Pacca says it needed to be both “handsome and pretty. We thought the navy-and-white lent itself to this; it has a masculine feel, yet the white keeps it bright.”
The clients wanted built-ins and concealed storage, which they got in the bookcase behind the desk, as well as ample seating, present in the form of two additional desk chairs and a cushioned window seat. “It’s not that big a room but we maximized the space by keeping the walls and shelving light,” Pacca says, “and just using the pieces we needed.”
By Haley Longman