Design Challenge: Office/Studio, Part III

Welcome to the 3rd and final installment of our Spring design challenge series. In case you missed it, here is Part I and Part II. Remember the confused and directionless space Rebekah was living with? With some purposeful planning and curating, she managed to create a really exciting space!

Before // After

"My new space was specifically designed to be a creative zone that sparks joy. I have been dreaming of this House of Hackney wallpaper for years, and am just as thrilled with it as I was hoping. It is inspired by Greek mythology, and depicts the dance of cranes, viewed as a celebration of life in both Greek and Roman mythology. The vintage drafting table is much like the one I used to draw on as a little girl at my dad’s office, and many of the other items in the room were selected because of the places they take me and the memories associated with them. My job has provided me many unique opportunities to travel the world, a privilege I don’t take lightly, and cherish every time I am able to explore a new part of the world. My custom Joanna Dell watercolor captures a memorable, bucket-list, horseback ride through marsh lands in the south of France, the brass camel came home with me after a visit to Marrakech, and the glass tumbler holding pencils on the desk was purchased with a dear friend as we wandered the streets of Prague one summer. All these things allow my imagination to soar and remind me to continue to dream and create. These are exactly the ways I want to be inspired in my new office/studio space."


Appeal to the senses. A room feels most welcoming and habitable when you consider all the senses.


As Rebekah put all of the pieces of her Studio/Office space together, she paid particular attention to how the room appealed not only to her vision, but to her sense of touch and smell. Memory and experience are closely tied with our senses, and can be helpful guideposts as you discern what to include and not include in your environment.


As you complete your design, it can be easy to take a shortcut and rely on the staged designs you’ve seen in magazines or on blogs. Don’t sit back now! Your active participation is still needed. This part of the design is crucial in making your space look and feel right to you. Pay attention to the final details that add warmth and interest to your design, and make it the kind of space you want to live in. Appeal to all the senses and include sentimental touches if that appeals to you. Ask yourself which items will be distinct elements in your design and take the space from well-designed to interesting and a reflection of the life you are living. When all combined, these are often the signature touches that make the space uniquely yours.

Sight - Add a touch of nature to the room through greenery and flowers (real or fake). Visual texture can have as much of an impact as physical texture. Interesting patterns, use of symmetry, and the rule of odds also make any design interesting to the eye.

Touch - Include soft textures in your design. In addition to adding visual texture, a couch or chair with a comfortable throw or pillow add the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) invitation to sit down, get cozy in any space.

Smell - We’ve likely all heard of the power of smell in creating a connection with a person, its power to energize or calm, and its role in creating memories. My favorite all-natural Nectar Republic candles are always burning on rotation in my home...Rose Sandalwood, Ginger and Saffron, Grapefruit Lemongrass.


Sentimental Touches. Fill the space with items that act as reminders of what matters, joys experienced, and special days. Infuse the space in a way that enriches life and points to what matters most, like vacation photos, family snapshots, collected items, and curated words or quotes.

I hope stepping into my world for just a minute inspires you to take a fresh look at your home and encourages you to do something as simple as add a family photo to a room or completely re-think a frequented space so it can best serve your family and your way of life. This project was a big one for me, and would be for most people, but don’t fall into the temptation of boxing yourself in if you find no budget for a re-design at the moment! These principles work with everything you already have in your home. Just begin.


Wishing you a joyful journey as you seek to make your home a little happier.


Product Sources:

Rug - Lulu and Georgia

Watercolor Painting - custom commission by Joanna Dell

Wallpaper: House of Hackney

Greentree Candles: Twig and Column

Kinsey Throw: Sugartree Mill Co.

Crane Bookends: Antique, Sugartree Mill Co.

Green Depression Glass Vase: Antique, Sugartree Mill Co.

Brass Box: Antique, Sugartree Mill Co.

Brass Candlesticks: Antique, Sugartree Mill Co.

Side table: Vintage, Sugatreee Mill Co.

Silk Floral arrangement : Sugartree Mill Co.

Custom Velvet Journal: Elmo Paperstories

Drafting Desk: Vintage, Similar Here and Here

Bamboo Blinds: Amazon

Desk Counter-height Stool: Ballard Design