Heather John, who works from her home in California, has the enviable job of writing about wine and spirits for Bon Appetit magazine. She also blogs about food, fashion and design. I asked Heather about her plans to set up a new home office in her garage. Look out for more posts from Heather in the coming weeks as her renovation takes shape.
Give us an idea of the overall design? We’re adding French doors to let in more light, built-in bookshelves for my “library” of fashion, design, food, wine/spirits books as well as an area for wine/spirits tastings. The fantasy is to set up shop with a George Nelson table and an Eames Aluminum Chair (in light blue or tan, a girl can dream!), and mix in some antique rugs I “liberated” from my parents. I’m also OBSESSED with paint, specifically Farrow & Ball. I’d love to paint the walls in Dix Blue and then do something dramatic with the bookcases, either somber with Down Pipe (the color of lead pipes), or outrageous like Incarnadine—a crimson red similar to the paint David Hicks used at Baron Court in the 1970s.
Keeping a workspace tidy is key. What will you do for storage? I’ve asked my husband to check out what kind of desktop storage is on offer at Muji while he’s in New York this week. I’d also like an industrial looking file cabinet. There are some affordable options at CB2. And some not-so-affordable options at Rehab on Beverly, specifically some vintage steel basket lockers recycled from factories and schools. Guess which ones I’m angling for?
What’s the desktop accessory you can’t do without? X-Acto Electric Pencil sharpener. I hate mechanical pencils, and nothing beats a freshly sharpened No 2!
What has the transition to home been like? I’ve been working in an office for the past 10 years, the first half of which were spent at the Los Angeles Times, and the second half at Bon Appetit Magazine. Transitioning to home has been more challenging than I would have imagined, mainly due to distractions—namely a 17-month-old toddler! Also, psychologically there’s something strange waking up in your work environment. This is ultimately why we decided to convert the garage instead of a spare room inside the home—that way I’m leaving the house and going to a dedicated work space, even if it is a few feet up the driveway from my kitchen door.
Wine tastings will move from the kitchen to the garage once the renovation has taken place.