Location: Silver Lake, CA
Size: 6′ x 3′ Closet
Around this time last year I was happily enjoying working in a newly renovated home office I had designed and optimized for my workflow, furnished and accessorized with small space living in mind. It was a bright, cheery and ample space in an otherwise small studio apartment.
And then we moved.
I knew when we moved I was in for a drastic change in regards to my work area, since the 1 bedroom apartment we were migrating into was a space I actually photographed and toured for an Apartment Therapy Los Angeles house tour in late 2009. Our friend Alysia had used a portion of the living room as her home office, but I wanted to do something a bit different and use the closet as a work space. The option to close the door (and reminders about work) was partially the reason for this decision, but also because I prefer having distinct spaces for specific tasks, even if it meant downsizing into a much tighter fit (thankfully, there’s small window, a detail common to these 1900-1930′s units).
The biggest decision made was a stylistic one: going from bright and cheery decorated space to a darker, more sophisticated finish. I wanted just as much utility (though obviously not as much storage would be available) as the previous home office, so this required some planning and help from a contact at The Container Store, alongside hours of researching online about other closet home offices. I had several cinematic inspirations to work with, and when I saw a tech-stylized black wallpaper and purchased a wolf-shaped wall lamp, I knew I had the foundation pieces of my new work space.
The inspiration for my home office/home theater: Three of my favorite movies heavily influenced what I had envisioned for this tiny space: the Symphony No. 9 In D Minor/Ode To Joy scene in Immortal Beloved (staring up into the infinite stars, floating on top of water), the organized perfection of the residence in Tom Ford’s A Single Man, and a little of the mod-ultraviolence aesthetic of A Clockwork Orange. If anyone out there has a Kozik UltraViolence Ludwig Van Beethoven Bust they want to sell me, please contact me!
Favorite element in your space: The Graham & Brown black checker wallpaper. I first saw this geometric textured wallpaper at this year’s ICFF show, and it laid the foundation of doing something completely different. The wallpaper’s character changes throughout the day, as light hits different corners of the wallpaper’s relief; it also feels nicely on the fingers (guests are drawn to touching the Tetris like shapes).
Biggest challenge in designing my space: Installing, painting, organizing…just about anything inside such a small space is a challenge (especially during hotter days). Just getting the IKEA Besta Burs desk from my previous studio home office was a challenge, requiring removing the closet bars and diagonally angling it inside carefully, as not to rip or ruin the black paint or wallpaper.
What friends say about my space: Only a couple of friends have seen the home office in person thus far. I tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to designing and decorating spaces, so I’ve kept it mostly under wraps and only now decided it was “okay” enough to share. But a couple of friends noted it was “masculine” and “glamorous”, another mentioning it seemed cozy, while my fellow Unplggd contributor, Sonia, called it “S&M dungeon chic”!
Area where there is room for improvement/future projects: I’ve got three main goals moving forward: 1) to reupholster my office chair with a fabric which better complements the rest of the office; the Steelcase Leap is comfortable, but the upholstery has seen better days ; 2) repaint the white trim; 3) add a piece of artwork on my right side (it’s currently blank and crying for something).
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By Gregory Han.”
This story appears in partnership with Unplggd, a site for people who embrace technology and design in their home.