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Design Challenge: Office/Studio, Part I

Rebekah lives in a 1700 sq. ft. home built in 1941. It is full of small rooms and big potential. Some of the most challenging spaces can invite deep creativity and unsought, refreshing solutions. If you want a space that serves it's purpose with a strong current of design, don't shy away from the hurdles present. Follow Rebekah's journey here as she does just this.

The design challenge? How to transform a heavily trafficked room, congested with two doors, two windows and a closet, into a useable and inviting space, and simultaneously keep it from being the current catchall entryway that it is. The space was once a guest room, and was then converted into an office. It is on the main floor, and is located directly opposite the back door and kitchen area. It also serves as a hallway on the left side of the house between the back door and the bathroom. Because of the unusual layout and constant traffic, Rebekah has struggled to find a way to make this room not only useful, but inviting and warm. She is looking for a room with bold style and strong purpose.

Current unmet needs:

  • Large work space for creative and work purposes that doesn’t need to be cleaned up between work sessions (she is currently using the dining room table for her work)

  • Designated storage for arts and crafts materials and photography equipment

  • Quiet spot for morning coffee and reading

  • Mail storage for items that need attention

Functional and Aesthetic goals:

  • Comfortable work space

  • Purpose driven storage and organization

  • Intimate and inviting atmosphere

  • Design that sparks inspiration and creativity

  • Unexpected pops with classic lines

  • Cohesive color and design story that relate to the full main floor design

Rebekah loves travel, and her home echoes this love throughout, with rich, deep colors offset by light taupes and grays. She enjoys mixing patterns, textures, and metals with ornate vintage elements.

Have you caught the vision?

In order to begin this transformation, Rebekah has already completed step 1: Consider your unmet needs and how your space can meet as many of those needs as possible. Define the purpose of the room you want to tackle by asking yourself, “What things need to take place in this room? What do I need to keep in this room (furniture, storage, paperwork, etc)? How do I, or others in my house, want to feel in this room?”

It is important to open yourself up to possibilities and dream about what you want. Once you have identified your priorities, you can pay proper attention to the limitations of your space and your budget. Don't be afraid or discouraged by your limitations. Everyone has them! Good design is the art of learning how to find creative solutions that both meet your needs and create beauty and balance. Few people furnish a room from scratch. The necessity of balancing your desires and expectations as you gather inspiration, but also consider your own limitations is important. Don't underestimate how strategically choosing a few new pieces can steer the direction of a room towards what you want. Rebekah will be keeping this tension between her limitations and her desire for a beautiful and functional space in mind as she creates an office/studio space that meets her needs and feels restful.

We hope you’ll enjoy tagging along as we explore ways to troubleshoot some of the feistiest of interior design challenges. Stay tuned for our next installment of the series next Saturday!

Meet Rebekah — She resides in southern Michigan, working professionally in higher education. With her background in art and design, she has found herself designing interior spaces for her institution, tinkering with her own space, and on constant consult for friends and family who are eagerly tackling their own design challenges. She uses her keen eye and astounding sense of color to transform spaces. Rebekah is inspired by her travels around the world, art, and flowers.


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