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Creating an Appealing and Functional Home Office

July 12, 2018

People are spending more time in their home offices than ever before, so it's crucial that yours is both appealing and effective. Your home office should boost your productivity, recharge your creative energy and provide inspiration. Don’t be afraid to create a space that’s uniquely yours to feed your mind and your spirit.

Home offices continue to be more crucial in our lives than ever. Over 40 percent of Americans work at least some of the time at home, and of those, nearly a third work remotely four to five days a week. Wow, that’s spending a LOT more time in your home, so why not define your home office space and make it be of importance? It should be more than just a folding table with chairs or your existing sofa and cocktail table.

To create an appealing and functional home office, I gathered three of my favorite office projects for inspiration.

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Like the rest of your home, your office should reflect your personality. This feminine home office in Chicago happens to be mine, and it definitely channels my inner self – I’m a fashionista and an organizational guru who loves an elegant look with a bit of glam, and of course, sufficient storage.

The focal point is the Barbara Barry Lady’s Desk in dovetail gray with nickel pulls and a protective glass top. The fluted front is a pretty textural element, and I can load a lot of office essentials in those drawers! Notice that the desk faces out, so I’m facing in? That positions the desk’s best side so it is visible from the rest of my living spaces, and it reduces distractions for me.

Remember, you don’t have to have a desk chair that looks like it came from an office warehouse. This one reflects my love for circles, and the two-toned leathers pick up the colors in the zebra rug. Instead of a desk lamp I opted for a Global Views pendant chandelier with polished nickel accents. It finishes off the space with a dash of glamour and I love the reflection it creates at night.

This masculine and sophisticated home office belongs to an orthopedic surgeon who lives with his family on Chicago’s North Shore, but loves his rugged home state of Colorado. The darkly stained cabinetry and paneling juxtaposed with the stone entry give his office a refined-rustic look that’s part men’s club, part library. The centerpiece is the Theodore Alexander desk which has a veneer of exotic West African ofram wood. The drawer fronts are made of buffalo horn and sleek chrome accents.

Behind the desk, between the built-in bookcases, we added a horse hair wallcovering. The bone-like sculpture on the shelf behind his desk is a nod to his orthopedic practice, while the quartet of paintings on metal introduce an organic element – they look like thin slices of plant life seen through a microscope. The tiny accent table, with its slab of petrified wood and angled metal legs, brings a natural earthy texture and color to that corner of the room.

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To show you just how far you can go to personalize your home office, I included this exuberant space from one of our Lake Forest Showhouse projects in suburban Chicago. We called this the “Fashion Blogger’s Retreat” and indulged our inner fashionistas by combining haute couture with sophisticated-chic interior design.

The elegant black walls make a dramatic backdrop for the white deer-legged table and the bubble chandelier, both from Oly. A pair of free-hanging mirrors of our design to hang clothes while styling and the high-gloss, white chest with its beautiful folds and exquisite bottom edge detailing hold accessories and paperwork.

Your home office should boost your productivity, recharge your creative energy and provide inspiration. Don’t be afraid to create a space that’s uniquely yours to feed your mind and your spirit.

Susan Brunstrum
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