Work From Home Revolution
The pandemic has brought about many life changes for everyone. Family dynamics have been strained; spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental health have declined; and our children have had severe learning setbacks. Whether it was having to social distance, wear masks, and/or work from home, the way we live and work has all seen a shift, one that, society may never revert back to again.
As an interior design company, a large part of our business involves working closely with our clients in their homes. Over the past two year we have seen first-hand how the “WFH (work from home) Revolution” has become a new way of life and a permanent change that no one anticipated. With this surge, people have been carving out spaces within their homes wherever they can to create a suitable and conducive work-from-home environment. For this particular project, we were charged with doing just that: creating a co-working office space in an unused loft area for my husband and wife clients.
Awkward shaped loft area: The loft area is an awkward L-shape space and was difficult for my client’s to configure furniture into.
Lack of natural light: The loft area is essentially an open space at the top of the steps surrounded by bedrooms. It’s position in the home created a dark, alcove that was difficult to work in.
Inefficient space for two working professionals : A solution was needed for the husband and wife to work in the same space efficiently. It had to accommodate dual zoom meetings, the ability to maneuver around without disturbing the other person, and space for multiple computer monitors.
Maximize L-shaped loft space: Figuring out how to maximize the L-shaped loft space without it being overcrowded or disrupting the flow.
Furniture configuration: Creating custom furniture that would uniquely fit into the work area and give my clients the surface space that they need.
Dual office needs: Additional lighting; an interesting backdrop for virtual meetings; organizational features; comfortable office chairs
The loft area before
Prior to starting the project, my clients had the idea of pulling up the carpet in the loft space and refinishing the floors to create a more seamless look transitioning from the stairs. They proceeded with doing so once we entered the ordering phase of the project. The floors turned out beautiful, however we felt like the room needed some softness. Due to the shape of the space, we knew that a traditional rug would not work. Therefore, to create the custom L-shaped rug that we needed, we used carpet tiles from FLOR, a designer carpet tile company that offers an array of options that fit any space.
Initially, my clients and I had discussed bringing in 2 separate desks. However, the more we played around with the dimensions, I knew there had to be a better solution. After searching high and low for a desk that would both accommodate my client's needs and the space, we came up with the idea of having a desk custom built. Going this route would allow us the opportunity to customize the dimensions and features of the desk, thereby allowing my clients the ability to move around as needed without getting in the way of the other person.
Turning the desk away from the wall instead of towards it allowed each spouse to have their own space to walk to and from their desk without being in the line of vision for any online meetings they had.
When it was time to have the desk fabricated, I knew the perfect company to reach out to about fulfilling my vision. Lee’s Custom Rustics, a husband-and-wife woodworking company based out of Newnan, Georgia, has become my go-to for all my custom woodworking projects. Upon finalizing the plans for the desk, Lee's begin building the main components at their shop. On the day of the install, the components were personally delivered by the duo and brought up to the loft space piece by piece, then assembled on site.
Even though we still had to wait for the desk to be completed, going the custom route helped cut the wait time down, compared to if we would have ordered something from another company. As well, this also allowed us to support another local vendor, which my clients and I both love being able to do when possible.
During our consultation, my clients expressed wanting a nice backdrop for their walls for aesthetic and Zoom meeting purposes. To achieve this, we decided upon a peel and stick wallpaper from Mitchell Black. The wallpaper was applied to the two walls surrounding the work space, leaving the last wall bare for a project that they plan to pursue a little later. Wallpaper is one of my favorite elements to add to a project because there are so many fun options to choose from that help to bring character and dimension to a space. Many people would be pleasantly surprised to see how today's wallpaper is not like grandma's wallpaper of yesteryear!
The wife of my client duo is really into clearly seeing her to-do list, so having some sort of dry erase board was a non-negotiable for her. In order to ensure that my client had the essentials that she needed for her day-to-day routine but still not take away from the new design of the space, we went with a mounted, acrylic dry erase board instead of reusing her old white baord. This allowed us to still keep the functionality of her white board while allowing the beautiful wallpaper to shine.
Despite there being windows adjacent to the loft space, the office area was not close enough to benefit from any of the natural light that came through from afar. In order to address the lighting issues that would have had my clients ultimately working in the dark, we mounted a 6 arm directional ceiling light fixture that provided some much needed light for both his and her work spaces. In addition to the main light fixture, we also brought in sconces to add some some ambient lighting.
Comfortable and durable seating was very important for my clients, as many of their days involved long sitting sessions. My clients decided on contract grade chairs from the Marriott Collection from West Elm. Going with a contract grade chair meant that they would have the best of both worlds for comfort and durability.
Work From Home Solutions Complete!
My clients love their new space and the solutions that we were able to come up with for them! Despite being given the opportunity to go back into their respective offices, their new home office has proven to be a much more comfortable and conducive workspace that they have no plans of returning to their workplaces any time soon. That in itself is music to a designer's ears and signals a job well done!
We’d love to hear from You!
Have you ever had a space that was awkwardly shaped that you had no idea what to do with? What solution did you come up with?
Do you currently have a space that is awkwardly shaped that you need help with? We'd love to help! Be sure to contact us to schedule your design consultation soon!