text & styling by Charlotte Safavi
photography by Robert Radifera
“It was a typical all-male home office from the 1980’s,” says interior decorator Erika Bonnell, reflecting back on the once gloomy box-of-a-room marring a Washington DC-Area family home.
Ottomans Bongo Ottoman 9045-00 in Fife Aqua leeindustries.com (available to trade only) Rug Potterybarn.com Hide Furrugs.com
Bookcase Paint Benjamin Moore PM-13 Atrium White Inside of Bookcase Paint Benjamin Moore 711 Boca Raton Blue Wall Paint Benjamin Moore 666 At Sea Bookcase Custom bookcase by Blue Label Customs bluelabelcustoms.com Two Mirrors Home Goods Chandelier Eclipse Chandelier - Brass westelm.com
Table in center of room R. Barbaree Dining Table tritterfeefer.com (available to trade only) with custom finish
The space had dirty tan walls, dark wood slatted shades, and heavy masculine furnishings. Though open to an adjacent family room, the home office was infrequently used.
“I wanted to give the space more purpose,” says Bonnell, adding, “I also wanted to create a light and airy room that the family was drawn to and wanted to work in.”
Key to the overall redesign concept was creating a space that was appealing to both husband and wife. Bonnell began by designing a large custom built-in unit against one wall, with separate his-and-her desk areas, as well as with plenty of open bookshelves and closed storage.
Hardware on cabinet Myknobs.com
“In an office, especially one without a large desk, it’s always hard to know what to do with the center of the room,” says Bonnell. “I decided to create a central focal point with a round table and an interesting light fixture that drops down above it. I wanted the table to be a versatile workspace, with pull-up stools, but also to become an aesthetic element in its own right when arranged with fresh flowers.”
Layering carpets (cowhide on seagrass), and installing woven raffia blinds and beautiful ceiling-to-floor curtains, became the room’s finishing touches.
The family is delighted and happy to clock overtime in their new home office.
“I anchored that back wall with the built-in. I really liked its sense of symmetry and the balance it gave to the room,” adds Bonnell, who popped in two barely-there Ghost chairs at the respective desktops and also hung double mirrors on each side to reflect light.
The insides of the open shelves were painted a deeper shade of the same fresh-feeling aqua hue that Bonnell picked out for painting the whole room. The darker color showcases displayed items on the shelving better, while contrasting nicely with the walls.
Woven blinds Grass Rustica Weathered Timber by Hunter Douglas hunterdouglas.com Curtain panels Custom made panels in Kravet Tousey Pool
Casper Armchair Grass Rustica Weathered Timber by Hunter Douglas LexMod.com Geometric pillows H & M Home