There are a lot of things to think through when designing a home office. Whether you use the space to work full time from home or just as an organizational hub for volunteer and household activities, it needs to be functional. BUT it also needs to be attractive - especially if it is adjacent to the public rooms in the house.Read More
With the advent of technology and our increasingly interconnected society, the possibility and plausibility of working from home is rapidly rising. Documents can be shared and worked on cooperatively in cloud applications, and meetings and brainstorming sessions can be held via video conferencing. Even if a home office is not a primary work space for you, it is likely at least a part time work space and a location from which to manage personal finances and household activities. There are many advantages of an office at home, and let’s face it, you can’t beat the commute!
But all offices, whether at home or in a commercial setting, should be both functional and inspiring.Read More
FINALLY! After years of poring over the Ballard Designs catalog and absorbing the pretty vignettes, the catalog has come to life right here in New England! A new Ballard Designs retail store has opened at the Natick Mall. It is a breath of fresh design air after years of proliferating Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware stores. While the quality level and prices are all similar, the ingredients are a bit more classical than Pottery Barn and a bit more varied than Restoration Hardware.Read More
Okay, back to our Brookline condo and one of our favorite clients! We are still working on some rooms on the first floor and we don't have those pictures yet, but meanwhile - let's head upstairs to a couple of really great spaces that show how custom built-ins can sometimes be the ideal solution.
First, the office. Givens: a great room, lot's of sunlight, high ceilings, a working fireplace, stunning millwork, and a curved wall. All in all great assets but the curved wall and fireplace presented some challenges for fitting furniture into the room for the list of activities the clients wanted to accommodate here. They wanted 2 desk spaces, plenty of office supply storage and file space, comfy seating for the fireplace and space for books, a fairly large television, and media equipment. Custom built-ins to the rescue!
A double door opposite the fireplace that had been walled off in the adjacent room, became the perfect size already-framed niche for a custom console cabinet and shelves to house the television, media equipment, and bookshelves.
The curved wall was built in under the windows with a stone countertop and white cabinetry that matched the existing wainscot paneling to create two generous desk spaces with ample drawers and cabinets for file and office supply storage.
Chairs, a table and a fluffy rug complete the seating area by the fireplace that has a perfect view for reading, relaxing, or watching TV.
Next up, the master bedroom. Possibly the most challenging room in the house, the room has few perpendicular walls and an array of assorted doors, closets, windows and alcoves. The client requested bookshelf space so they could unpack some of the boxes of books they have amassed, and the ability to make the room completely dark for those occasions when she needs to sleep during daylight hours. The only piece of furniture that she wanted to reuse was a lovely sleigh bed. Below is the design concept:
Again, the built-in solution was the best way to accomplish all of the desired outcomes. Building around a door and the headboard allowed for a wall of bookcases with integrated lighting and nightstand space. Painting the built-in, the door on that wall, and all the remaining walls a striking marine blue contributes a cozy, dark, library feel to the room.
We also made sure the dark color was not oppressive by specifying a gloss paint for a lacquer-like finish that reflects light. Blackout Hunter Douglas shades at the windows offer complete light control as well as provide insulation value.
The resulting space functions perfectly AND beautifully!