How much more productive could I be if were to love my office space as much as I love my bedroom?? As with any space, presentation is key. I want my desk to welcome me home and beg me to spend time there.
COMFORT Let’s face it, you might be spending a lot of time in the office. Why not make it a space where you can get cozy, prop up your feet, and really get down to business? Use a rug to anchor the desk, and a footstool to make your space extra welcoming.
INSPIRATION At Alice Lane, we believe that being surrounded by loveliness helps us exude loveliness. Inspiration is all around us, so try harnessing some of that into the space where you’ll be when you’re in need of it! A charming light fixture, or lovely object is always helpful in keeping the juices flowing.
We also believe in the old fashioned pinboards. We change them out any time we find something innovative or lovely. This is a good way to keep our minds wide open.
CLEVER STORAGE Last, but certainly not least, is storage! Keeping a happy desk means that there is a home for each item. Keep a tray or lovely cup to store pencils, stapler, etc. Drawers will help harness the papers and other things that don’t need to be on display.
Remember that any space in your home should make you feel welcome. Make it your own. Enjoy being creative in your space!
[photos from Style Me Pretty, The Every Girl, Alice Lane Home Collection]
Adding a seating area in a home office can be an effective way to create more space for real conversations and quiet meditation. It can even make mundane office work seem a little more enjoyable. Whether it’s a chair in a cozy corner with a smart reading lamp or a lush sofa with room for friends, any office space can benefit from the perfect pillow and can make any piece look like a million bucks. Visit either of our store locations for a wide selection of pillows and office accessories.
It had been a about 14 months since we presented Rachel Parcellwith her closet design so we were pretty excited that installation day was finally here. The space was beautiful, built-in, mirrored, and the perfect sophisticated shade of pink. All of the little details we had drafted had come to life. The beautiful white shelving with mirrored backs were the perfect backdrop to house such an exquisite collection of fashion. The little gold knobs were all perfectly placed on each drawer of her custom, free-standing island.
I have to admit, I got caught up in it all. I felt a little like I was walking into a closet for SJP in an episode of Sex In The City. I was surrounded by couture labels, bold fashion like neon purses paired with patterned jackets and heels for days!
That genius shoe room idea did not go to waste on Rachel Parcell; she had the shoes to back it up. Her collection is exquisite, and so is the closet! The leopard print carpet was the hero of the room. If you are trying to decide if you should put a patterned carpet in a special place, like a stair runner, media room, or closet… the answer is yes. It’s like wearing a great pair of designer shoes, they’ll carry the rest of the outfit without trying too hard.
We brought in loads of accessories, fashion books, and trays for the install. I think accessorizing can, and should, be useful. Trays are brilliant for grouping alike items such as perfume bottles and sunglasses so for the island top we used a tray full of clutches, a large white ginger jar filled with white blossoms, and fashion books and jewelry as accessories.
We styled Rachel’s desk top with a Mary McDonald lamp in the faintest shade of pink. I could picture Rachel sitting in the evening with the lamp on writing about her latest adventures or editing photos. We left a simple glass tray on the desktop to use as a catch-all. We loaded it up with Rachel’s things that were already floating on her desk – giving items a common place to rest makes them seem more purposeful and less random.
We couldn’t resist using pink peonies on her desk. We love to use flowers – fresh or artificial – because they give the room life! In structured spaces filled with straight lines and symmetry it’s nice to get the organic shapes of something natural to loosen things up.
A great trick for accessorizing shelves is to face a large object toward you pushed to the back of the shelf (artwork works great); it attracts the eye and then you can start to play with the objects in front. In this case we used shopping bags, fashion books, designer shoe boxes, and purses. It’s also good to group common things together – it might be a color scheme, like black and white, or common shapes like perfume bottles.
In case you were wondering, this room smells like Jo Malone. Rachel had English Pear and Freesia burning on the island and it was exactly right.
When we left the closet looked like a boutique loaded with fashion week favorites. We were so pleased with the detail, quality, and function of it all, but the most important part? Rachel was thrilled!
(Photo on left by Kathryn Brookshire Brown)
What’s a girl to do after a day like that? I’ll tell you. I went home, took off my shoes and started to reorganize my shoe shelves. I put my prettiest pairs at eye level and I felt better already.
I admire people that passionately do what they love and make a career out of it – and Rachel Parcell takes fashion seriously! When the opportunity came to design a closet for the famed Pink Peonies blogger, I enlisted Christy Cook, Senior Designer, to dream and scheme with me. We imagined the perfect place to put together an outfit, a space where Rachel could showcase her beautiful shopping finds, comfortably work at her desk, and talk about what she loves while being surrounded by it. An office, inside a dream closet! That’s what we’ll do!
The space could be anything we wanted it to be! Rachel and Drew had just sold their home and they were starting to build again. We had the square footage to make Rachel’s dreams come true so we borrowed a little space to create a shoe room. A shoe room!! I can hear music playing…and see twirling dresses!!
Lucky for us at the first presentation Rachel was all yeses! We pitched custom millwork painted white with mirrors lining them. Adding sparkle to every wall in the closet would reflect light and all of the beautiful treasures layered in front of them. We drafted built-ins for hanging clothes and boxes above them for for purses, special shoe boxes, and beautiful shopping bags.
We left space in front of the picture window for a free-standing desk where Rachel could sit and write her blog. Flanking the windows with built-in shelving gave us more space to display fashion books, purses, and rows and rows of sunglasses. We envisioned tailored roman shades lined with pink silk layered with a sheer organza fabric with embroidered polka-dots. All would be set atop a leopard print wall to wall broadloom carpet. For the space in-between we drew up a free-standing island filled with pink velvet lined drawers where Rachel could house all of her statement necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and watches. We had the craftsman make the surface of the island with an inset glass top so all of her jewelry could be seen from above. And the cherry on top!? A glass chandelier made up of 3 rows of layered glass rods that looks like pink fringe hovering over the island. I don’t know who was more excited – us or Rachel!
As wallcoverings have made their triumphant return some may still struggle to find the right place for the patterns we love. A few perfect places that could be covered with a bold floral print or sophisticated grass cloth – the powder bath, the master water closet, the living room, and the office.
The office is a room that can whistle a different tune than the rest of the home. So whistle it loud and proud! Here are a few things to consider when choosing that perfect paper.
HIS OR HERS Where else can you let your hair down if you really want a feminine floral, a masculine tailored stripe, or metallic-leafed wall? Think about the person who uses the office and gear the design toward his/her tastes.
UNDERSTATED OR SHOUT-IT-FROM-THE-ROOFTOP The office is often closed off from the rest of the home and can handle something that may zig when the rest of the home zags.
“Ahem…. HELLO! Look at me!” This paneled mural wallpaper will knock your socks off.
Or choose a classic, timeless grasscloth that will be there for the grandkids.
[photos from Elle Decor, Elitis, and Alice Lane Home Collection]
Task lamps make a smart difference in any office space—like serious work is actually happening. They help your office look the part and can actually help you act the part! With adjustable arms and the ability to focus the light on the job at hand, you can sink deep into your task. Task lamps come in a wide range of shapes and sizes so they easily fit into any space. Come visit one of our stores to experience some of our favorites.
[photos from La Dolce Vita, Poppytalk, and Pinterest]