Decorator Jennifer Healey had an “aha” moment when she decided to convert a small former dining area into a home office for her family of four. Because the space opens to both the kitchen and family room, it needed to be attractive as well as efficient.
To dress up the space, she painted the entire room smoky gray (“Black Fox” by Sherwin Williams).
Before the family moved into their Ardmore Park home, Healey commissioned built-in bookcases and a functional workstation.
Light it up
Sconces and a hanging pendant highlight the books and provide task lighting, eliminating the need for a lamp on the small desk.
Books line the shelves, reflecting the family’s love of reading. Although Healey appreciates the trend of removing book jackets for a unified appearance, she knew it would make it hard to find titles.
Rather than matching chairs, she paired a leopard-print chair (“animal prints work in any setting”) with an antique find recovered in a cream fabric.
Healey thought this would be a good place to try layering rugs. The combination adds contrasting tones and textures.
Warmth of wood
The writing desk is a family antique, but not too precious. Healey’s children use it for homework and games. The lighter color is a nice contrast to the dark surfaces, she notes.
“Hanging paintings on bookcases helps break up the visual expanse of books,” Healey says. “It provides a nice pop and allows you to control where you want the eye to rest.” Similarly, a round mirror balances the rectangular art and bounces light around the room.