As a full-time professional who works from home, creating a space where I enjoy being yet can be really productive is no easy task. I want my work area to be pretty and cozy, but I also want it to feel different from the rest of my house so I instantly switch into work mode when I sit down at my desk. Working from home is pretty common now, and corporate office spaces are more modern and casual and less traditional than they’ve ever been — so how can we make any space function well for both our personal and professional lives?
Interior designer James Tabb of Laurel & Wolf gave me examples of how he helped artist Carly Kuhn and food blogger Joy Wilson create functional, fashionable work spaces in their homes. Take a closer look at how he achieved the work-life balance below, then check out our slideshow with lots of home office inspiration.
1. Work-life artists loft in West Hollywood, California
Artist Carly Kuhn needed a space that would allow her to focus on her art and have more room for inspiration. “When you’re working from home and the organization isn’t right, it ends up clogging your creative process,” she says. “I’m of a generation that does everything on a screen — dating, ordering food, finding a handyman — so it made sense to me to design my home that way too.”
The result: a gallery-like space drawing inspiration from Kuhn’s monochromatic pieces and bringing color in with California-inspired plants, including cacti, other succulents and a banana leaf tree. Kuhn is now free of distractions and has more room — both literally and figuratively — for inspiration.
2. A food blogger’s bakeshop in New Orleans, Louisiana
When baker, blogger and cookbook author Joy Wilson bought her house in New Orleans, she knew she wanted to incorporate a place for her to test recipes, teach classes and entertain. But filling that much space proved to be overwhelming. “I’ve lived such a food-focused life that I’ve let my design style get away from me,” she says. “I know things that I like, but I don’t know how to put them together.”
“Joy’s style is all over the place in the best possible way,” Tabb says. “You can tell she’s traveled a lot, and she’s collected so many beautiful things. So I wanted to blend those objects with textures, patterns and colors that fit how bright, warm and fun she is.”
Joy’s thrilled with the results, which are both functional and beautiful. “I finally have the confidence and excitement to welcome people into my home. I can’t wait to have people over!” she says.
Want more inspiration for striking the perfect work-life balance in your home or office? Check out the slideshow full of ideas below.