Working from home became the norm in 2020, and for many, the home office remains a primary workspace. Laura Christian, owner of Laura Design and Co. offers some advice this month on how to turn what may have at one time been a part-time office space into a full-time, stylish and sophisticated work dwelling.
“For some, this state of working from home will be permanent. It is a different time we are living in, so we might as well embrace what we can control - our homes. We have the unique opportunity at this time to make our work space our own, and make us truly want to spend time in it,” Laura says.
01. Choose a color palette. “I like to stick with neutral paint colors as a jumping off point. Then bring in colors through artwork, accessories, window treatments and rugs,” she says.
02. Chose a desk wisely. “Think about your personality and the way you work. Do you need more drawers and storage or do you prefer a more minimal, clutter-free work space? This will make the decision on what type of desk to purchase. In many cases, less is more,” Laura says.
03. Create balance. “Like so many other things in life, design is all about finding balance,” Laura says. “Create a balance between textiles, wood finishes, stone, colors, natural elements, finishes and accessories.”
04. Incorporate art. “Use oversized artwork as a backdrop for those long zoom calls. It will not only look beautiful, but professional as well,” Laura says. “We are big fans of neutral, abstract landscape artwork, especially pieces that have a calming aesthetic to them.”
05. Make it personal. “Do not forget to include personal touches here and there – family photos, favorite books, etc. They serve as little reminders of the things that bring you joy,” she says.
Shelves with Style
Follow Laura’s tips below to style perfectly balanced bookshelves.
· Start with a clean slate. Begin by emptying everything off of your shelves so that you have a fresh look at them. Consider your room and color palette. Is the cabinetry backing dark, light, or open? This should affect how you select you styling elements … If the cabinetry is dark, you want to select lighter pieces in order to obtain that contrast. Are you wanting to keep it neutral or add bold colors and patterns to your decor? You can organize your items by category prior to placing them on your shelves. Overall, you want to keep a cohesive look throughout the shelves.
· Gather varied items. Only use items that you love. You want these things to make you happy when you look at them. I personally like to use baskets, greenery, geometric objects, pottery/vases, books, bookends, jars, artwork, frames, candles and wood trays. I also love incorporating personal items that have a unique value and interest to you. For example, nick-knacks, or souvenirs from past travels, personal photos of a memorable occasion, or collectables that mean something special to your family.
· Ground your shelves. I usually start by placing a set of large baskets or trays on the bottom shelf. This really helps it feel more substantial, weighted, and connected at the base of your shelves.
· Style from largest to smallest. The next step is incorporating the large items first and spreading them out over your shelves so they are not right next to each other. Then, fill in the remaining shelves with the smaller items. Here's one of our best tricks: if it feels like something is missing, add some greenery (faux works too!).
· Create that necessary depth. You can do this through the use of artwork or trays stacked against the back wall. Make sure items that are similar to each other are not right next to one another. It is all about balance.