Our Favorite Room: Putting Style to Work
A smart home office gracefully combines furniture collected over the years, showing that an eclectic look works in any space.
If you work from home and want a space that is quiet but not isolated, then take a cue from Denver homeowner Josie Burke’s daily domain: a centrally located—yet blissfully enclosed—nest framed by giant glass walls.
When working with Beth Armijo of Armijo Design Group to furnish the study, Burke didn’t dispatch the designer to the showrooms to buy new, coordinating pieces. Rather, she entrusted her with several items, in a variety of styles, that she already owned: an antique chandelier and funky zebra print chair she’d collected over the years, as well as a traditional chest and vintage rug given to her by family.
The result is a daring mix of styles and textures, highlighted by Armijo’s favorite element: grasscloth wallpaper by Schumacher, one of the few items purchased for the room (and a growing trend this season). The wallcovering brings warmth to the space and delivers more dimension than a standard coat of paint, and a large work by artist Ben Strawn (called Conjure, from Walker Fine Art) adds a dramatic punch of color.
“Everyone should make their space special, especially if you have to be in it all day,” Armijo says—and this room proves you don’t need to buy new pieces to create a distinctive look.
- Have an office that looks more like a dark cave than a bright, airy oasis? No problem. Hunt down an interesting light fixture to brighten the space or a sizable mirror to help reflect existing light and instantly make the room feel more open.
- Butler trays, which collect and organize everything from office supplies to family photos, are a treasure in tight spaces and on tight budgets. Find one in a bold color that matches another piece in the space to tie elements together and add personality.
- If high-end wallpaper isn’t an option, look for alternative ways to add texture. You might cover the floor with a basic sisal rug, for example, which is affordable and easy to find. (Plus, a chair-on-wheels can roll across it with abandon.)