Article: Alison Miller, Produced by: Anne Turner Carroll
An underused home office gets the ultimate promotion with added storage, organization, and style.
1 of 9Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
Functional Office Space
When Birmingham landscape designer Scott Glenn and his photographer wife, Laurey, invited guests to their home, an apology for the living room usually ensued.
Homeowner: Scott Glenn, Gardenscapes, Inc.; 205/365-6938. Contractor: James Clayton; 205/492-7047. All building materials: from Lowe’s.
2 of 9Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
In the otherwise pretty space, Scott’s home office, along one wall of the room, created an eyesore of mounting paperwork and bulky equipment. Not only did the desk and cabinet disrupt the design, but the desk wasn’t big enough for him to work.
3 of 9Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
In stepped Associate Decorating Editor Anne Turner Carroll to help Scott tackle his makeover to-do list: maximize space, introduce organization, and add style. They tackled the challenge by first knocking out one of the built-in cabinets to allow for a longer desktop. Next, a coat of paint on the remaining built-in, in the same color as the walls, better unified the area with the room. Anne Turner chose magnetic chalkboard paint for the back wall, adding color and functionality.
A longer desktop, raised to countertop level, provides more elbow room and a comfortable height for Scott to draw. A metalsmith cut and shaped a sheet of stainless steel to fit like an apron over a plywood desktop and affixed it with glue. “If you have a countertop you want to transform, this is an easy upgrade with little construction,” says Anne Turner.
Lighting is key for a well-functioning home office. For maximum light in Scott’s space, Anne Turner paired a hanging ceramic fixture with a distressed-metal task light. “The pendant is great-looking, and he can have it on all the time. But when he needs some serious light, he can position his task lamp to focus down where he’s working,” she says.
Love it? Get it! Light fixture: Cosmo Stepped Pendant in Natural Bone China; available through lightingmatters.co.uk. Task lamp: Vintage Inspired Distressed Metal Task Lamp on Stone Base by Vagabond, Vintage available through Mothology.
6 of 9Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
A shallow wraparound wood shelf above the desktop keeps office supplies within arm’s reach. Additional floating shelves along the right wall provide storage for the gardening encyclopedias and reference books Scott uses most.
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Globe: vintage, for a similar look, try Globe on Stand (5425) from Everything Furniture. Model form (holding rubber bands): Jointed wooden body form on stand from All Dress Forms. Stapler and tape dispenser: Nickel-plated, also from Pottery Barn. Glass canisters: Stackable Container with Lid (0590-C) from Couronne Co..
7 of 9Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
Easily accessible tracing paper scores major points with Scott, who still draws all of his garden designs by hand. Anne Turner’s idea to mount a swing-arm curtain rod as a paper holder cleverly puts the rod to work in a new way.
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Paper roll holder: Ball Swing Rod Set, 20-36" by Umbra.
8 of 9Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
The remaining built-in cabinet gives Scott the storage he needs, behind closed doors. Anne Turner worked with a carpenter to equip the cabinet’s drawers and shelves with sliders to enable easy access to files.
Love it? Get it! Cabinet & lower wall paint: Manchester Tan (HC-81) by Benjamin Moore.
9 of 9Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
To create a chalkboard and bulletin board in one, Anne Turner layered colored chalkboard paint on top of three coats of magnetic paint. A handwritten days-of-the-week calendar transforms the wall into communication central.
Love it? Get it! Chalkboard paint: Chalkboard paint in Deep Ocean (#24) by Hudson Paint. Magnetic paint: Specialty Magnetic Latex Primer (115535) by Rust-Oleum, also available from Lowe’s.