Room Envy: Studying meets style in this home office

Interior designer Chenault James used a mix of neutrals and brights to liven up the space

Who wouldn’t be more productive in an office this striking? At this Columbus house, interior designer Chenault James created a multipurpose room to accommodate a mother and her two tween daughters, providing a spot for paying bills and doing homework.

Pretty pendant
A frilly, large-scale light fixture from Worlds Away adds a feminine touch.

Orange twist
The bamboo desk chair is a vintage eBay find made over with orange lacquer and an ikat-patterned seat.

Base coat
James painted the cabinets and the crown molding a soothing dark color, PPG Porter Paints’ “Dover Gray.” The neutral shade establishes a sophisticated palette that’s not too girly. The wood counter has a glass top for extra durability.

Geometry lesson
“I chose the kilim rug for its delicious colors,” says James. “It’s a little bit funky but still a classic.”

Texture trick
The “backsplash” is actually oak flooring. “I wanted to warm up the room and also knock down a little bit of the modern edge we have,” says James.

Tip: File it
Custom cabinets are an efficient way to keep office clutter hidden, James says. She created roll-out drawers for the printer and files. “I fine-tune details down to whether they like to thumb through files front-to-back or side-to-side,” she says.

This article originally appeared in our September 2015 issue under the headline “Live, work, play.”