One of the many good things that has happened in the last few years is that there are more options and flexibility to work from home. When my sweet friend turned client got her dream work from home job, she knew she needed a space she loved to spend her days in. She had the desk and an idea and she called me to help her make it happen.
Let’s be honest for a bit. I want all my clients to be happy but this particular one is extra special. Not only is she a wonderful friend and neighbor, but just one of those people who is so kind, gracious, sweet and genuinely amazing and deserving. This one had to exactly what she wanted. She deserved this space so very much.
Let’s take a look at some before and afters then dive into why this works….
Here’s what we can learn from this space:
1. All it takes is one inspiration piece: On our very first meeting about this room, she shared this art she had fallen hard for. It was special in every way and perfect for her (plus you know our neighborhood has some hummingbirds) We both agreed that the entire room could revolve around these beautiful birds. She bought this set immediately and this was the what everything else built upon.
2. Define the true purpose of the room… present and future: This plan started with tons of built ins and such that would have left it an office forever and ever, amen. When my clients saw this, a lightbulb when off for several reasons they may need to change it one day so we scaled back. She searched high and low for the perfect piece for this back wall and she found this beauty. It is gorgeous and could pretty much work perfectly in any room of their home, should their needs change.
3. It takes some risks: This desk was too gorgeous to be pushed against a wall…. but the cords! If I ever build a house, I will put floor outlets in every.single.room but that is just not an option at this point, so we had to come up with anther solution. I can still remember when we looked at each other and said “we need a hole in the desk.” These homeowners are a dream and he not only took care of this for us (I’m handy with a drill but I am to about to cut a hole in your new furniture) but finished them out to look like they’d always been there. We mounted all the equipment underneath and ran a cord down and will cut an hole in the rug to hide a single cord that is stowed away behind the curtain. They are adding an outlet to the closet so the printer can function perfectly in there.
It’s not easy to cut holes in brand new stuff, but it’s a necessary step to get where you need to be. Cords would ruin the neat and tidy view she loves so much, so it was a small price to pay for everyday beauty.
(You may see a dangling cord in some pictures and that is just because we had not yet cut the hole in the rug. We wanted to give her a few days to work here and be certain of the desk placement)
4. You need stuff: Here’s is what is so challenging about this work. I don’t want these spaces to look like “me.” I want them to be a true reflection of the homeowners who live there. I want them to feel like they’ve just always been like this because this is how they are meant to be.
This client has the best taste and an amazing style. She likes beautiful and simple and I would call her a true cozy minimalist. The issue is with a space like this, you need a little “extra stuff” to balance out the big computer equipment and really make it feel cozy. But I did not want her to feel cluttered in the least.
So I was very intentional with all the “smalls.” Her husband helped me with some of her favorite pictures so there was meaning in each frame. I added a basket to the cabinet for the things you don’t want to see plus stocked her up with gorgeous office supplies all on a tray that can be easily placed in the cabinet if she wants to clear it off.
Is there more “stuff” (aka tchotchkes) here than most areas of their home? Yes! But it all has meaning or a purpose and can go and come as she needs.
5. Be a little daring: Will you indulge me another brutally honest moment please? I’ve worked with some clients who know what they like and don’t want to veer from that. That’s perfectly fine and I feel like in that case, it’s my job to pretty much give them permission to do what they had already decided they wanted to do.
That was not the case here. She knows her style. She knows what she likes… but she was willing to stretch in a few areas and it really paid off! This is also proof that getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be too crazy. Can you guess where she made daring choices? The cabinet and the little stools! Her risks paid off because they added the interest and depth to the room. Can I just add that she picked this cabinet 100% on her own and it’s perfection!
(And I took a risk with the super glam lamps and they ended up being pure jewelry for this space! We all loved them!)
I love this space so much that I asked her if I could rent in and work here whenever they travel. But even more importantly, the homeowners love it. Pretty spaces make me happy, but clients and friends that are happy are even better! I'm forever grateful for the opportunity to work with these amazing people.