A Detailed Perspective on Office Design


A couch. A coffee table. A bed. A dining room set. These are the mainstays of a comfortable living environment. But the true character of a home isn’t expressed through these items alone. Most often, our living experience is enhanced by the surrounding details—colors, plants, artwork, architecture, and more. The same can be said for the workplace environment.

As Editor-in-Chief of Remodelista, Julie Carlson’s expertise ranges from home renovations to choosing color palettes. And when it comes to the office, she understands that difference is in the details.

“Our office in San Francisco is a large, loft-like space with small conference rooms and offices around the perimeter,” she said. “In the center, our designers and engineers work in individual cubicle areas. My favorite feature is the undulating acoustic paper tubes that are suspended from the ceiling and cast a soft glow.”

As for a way to enhance any office environment—and do so on a budget—Julie offers a simple suggestion.

“Colors are important. Some people find brighter, saturated colors inspirational, while others prefer muted, calming colors—that would be us,” Julie said.

Using color to cast energy over a space may not be entirely unexpected. But Julie goes on point out something that is—a detail you’ll find (or smell, rather) in her current space.


“Our San Francisco office is relatively small. Surprisingly, what’s elevated the space for all of us is Santa Maria Novella potpourri—an ancient Italian mix that has a spicy, astringent aroma. It makes our small office smell lovely and creates a sense of wellbeing.”

Whether you adore the details of your office, or you would change them in an instant, it’s important to know that they truly have an impact on our work experience. Of course, you can create your own type of experience through the details of your personal space. Julie concluded by telling us a little about hers.

“I have a large pin board above my desk where I pin fabric swatches, cards, drawings, photos, etc.—anything that’s catching my fancy at the moment. I’m constantly adding and subtracting; it’s a continually evolving mood board.”