Emily Henderson

Creating a Space For Her...

Modern Bohemian Home Office

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Hey there – it’s Ginny again – bringing you a double home-office reveal. We were approached by a very cute husband and wife couple in Mullholland that needed help with their individual home offices. Today, I’m showing you what we did in her space.

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She wanted to make the room feel more like ‘her’ while maintaining the integrity of their mid-century house. She wasn’t tied to anything in the room, which meant we had full reign to do whatever we wanted. Her existing desk was beautiful, but was way too big to be in the room with a sofa. She spends a lot of time in here reading scripts (she’s an actress), so we wanted to keep a sofa or replace it with a big comfy chair and ottoman, making the space feel more loungey.

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We started off by pulling together some moodboard options to help start the conversation about what she wanted in the room. From the inspiration images she showed us, it was clear that she wanted a room that felt bright and airy, warm and layered. Since the client was having a hard time visualizing what she liked, we ended up doing quite a few different options. We sometimes find with clients that they think they know what they want and it’s only when we get deeper into the process that their minds and tastes begin to change and evolve, or become more clear. It’s a pretty common thing, which is why they need us to guide them in the right direction. You can see from the moodboards that we were proposing a fairly neutral palette with blue tones and black accents, giving it a beachy, mid-century vibe.

This is the moodboard that is closest to the design for the main pieces of furniture.

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And here is the end result. You can see that we completely changed the layout of the room. We moved the desk against the window wall and the sofa against the longest wall (opposite the TV). It really opened up the center floor space allowing for a coffee table. We removed the patterned shade and replaced it with simple linen drapes from Loom Decor. This helped to frame out the window and make that back wall feel much grander. The existing shade also covered up part of the window, which blocked some of the light, so adding the drapes and moving the desk allowed more natural light in.

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We started off by replacing the Moroccan style shag rug with an Abaca area rug from Serena & Lily. There was talk overlaying a more patterned rug on top – and we did try out a few vintage Kilims – but the client decided against it. Instead, we worked with Clad Home and had a custom ottoman made using a vintage indigo which helped to bring in some colour and pattern. Since the client likes to move around the room, sitting on different surfaces, we thought it might be nice to do that instead of a ‘hard material’ coffee table. We opted for a mid-toned turned wood leg to contrast against the rug. This might be one of my favourite pieces in the room.

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We scored this brass vintage chair that already had the upholstered faux fur back, which we loved. The seat pad was in a white faux leather. It was a little grubby, so we switched it out to a duck egg blue leather which is so soft and velvety to the touch. We used the good ole West Elm desk – which is a lot smaller than what she had – but it still had drawers for storage.

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We brought in this cute task lamp from Rejuvenation for the desk, which combines our black accents and mid-century styling.

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We ended up keeping the media console, since it was fairly new and went well with the overall concept. The client had a hard time deciding on a sofa, so we had this custom made again with Clad Home. They’re really easy to work with, have lots of different fabrics and styles, and will custom design things, too. If you’re in LA you should check them out. Not only that, but Melanie (one of our designers) used to work there, and put together this drawing below.

Custom sofa design

We went with a very simple shape with one long seat bench and two back cushions, slim arms with an inside waterfall edge and straight wood legs. With us opting for a white fabric, we did the sofa in a slip cover so she could remove it and get it cleaned easily.

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You might have spotted that we switched around the same 4 pillows for different shots (some formations work better than others in different angles when shooting). But the client does have all 4 of these pillows and each of them are amazing. The two indigo blue ones are from Block Shop Textiles and the other two are from one of our favourite LA stores, Nickey Kehoe.

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We waited a long long time to get these Kelly Wearstler lamps, but they were well worth the wait! It also took me a long while to get under the skin of the type of lights the client wanted and it finally came down to texture. Not only are these an interesting shape, but the iron material itself has a textured line detail. Which the client LOVES.

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The client already had a piece of furniture under the TV, but we swapped it out for something larger that contrasted against the grasscloth better. She didn’t need much in the way of storage, so we used the two felt baskets for anything that she needed to hide away. The wallpaper itself was already installed on the one wall and is featured around the rest of the house. We decided to keep it and just freshen up the remaining painted walls.

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So there you have it: Californian beachy mid-century office. What do you think of the updates we made? Tune in later this week for the reveal of his office.

Check out the before and afters and a Get The Look below:

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1. “Santa Monica Blues” Print | 2. Custom Couch | 3. Round Mirror | 4. Black Table Lamp | 5. Credenza | 6. Rug | 7. Dot Pillow | 8. Blue Print Pillow | 9. Gold Tray | 10. Low White Planter | 11. Tall Neck Vase | 12. Turquoise Bud Vase | 13. Blue Sunrise Pillow | 14. Indigo Pillow | 15. Cream Throw | 16. Mirrored Letter Tray | 17. Ceramic Eye | 18. Small Bud Vase | 19. Asymmetrical Table Lamp | 20. Shelving Unit | 21. Curtain Rod | 22. Curtains | 23. Desk | 24. Office Chair | 25. Floor Lamp | 26. Felt Basket | 27. Brass Wishbone | 28. Marble Bookend | 29. Black & Brass Desk Lamp | 30. Ivory Picture Frame | 31. Brass Letter Organizer | 32. Stone Chains

***Photography by Zeke Ruelas 

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  1. Wow, sensational job!
    Very interesting blog on a lot of fronts.
    1. Insight into detailed sketch of the custom lounge, and all the accumulate details that go into it.
    2. How you can like all of someone’s things individually, which I did of this client, yet it not work together, fascinating and probably frustrating, then one of you guys come along and get a great result via the right combination of items, plus the right proportions together.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Great office.

    1. Agree. I actually hate the gifs, but here I really couldn’t see the mood boards so I gave up and moved on. But otherwise fantastic work!

  2. Still think a shade would be nice in addition to the pretty new drapes. Block sun when it’s at a certain angle, but doesn’t cut off view all the way.

  3. Great post!! What a beautiful room! Every piece in it is so thoughtful and lovely. That detailed sketch of the sofa just blew my mind. And that killer brass desk chair!! Soooo goood!!

    P.S. What did you think of Beyonce’s performance last night??!!

  4. The couch schematic is incredible! I need Melanie in my life. The overall vibe of the room is so relaxing, yet not boring. I, especually, love the natural light this room gets by removing the blind and changing the furniture layout. Well done!

  5. Can you please share the source of the pinkish ethnic rug in the GIFs.
    Also, would it be at all possible to see an image of the layered rugs that the client didn’t opt to use?

      1. I think it was Shoppe by Amber Interiors. It was a while ago so I doubt she’ll still have it. The lighter pink rug is from Rejuvenation. xXx

      1. No photoshop this time. We did strategically ‘hide’ the lamp cables behind the drapery & rug but they’re totally there I promise :) xXx

    1. All the TV cables are hidden behind the TV and are hardwired around the house. Such a luxury to have but if you can do it then it’s totally worth it. xXx

    1. Hey! It’s from DWR – their Royal System although West Elm have just come out with a pretty affordable version called Linden! xXx

  6. This office is STUNNING! But just once I want to see a home office designed around include a pair of monstrous and ugly Dell monitors like I have…not a sleek little laptop :(

  7. I love it! Will you share why you went with such a large rug in the space? I love the rug but just curious why you didn’t go with a smaller one to show the floors.

    1. The room was a pretty long and narrow shape and we tried lots of different shapes and sizes. Ultimately we went with a larger rug so that it was more of an area than a floating rug. She also liked the idea of something under her feet that wasn’t the hardwood floor. xXx

  8. I also like the way is more versatile now. It definitely could be used just to hang out, watch TV, read a book, etc. With the big desk in the middle of the room prior, it labeled the room as ‘office’.

  9. I looooove this post Emily. It’s a multi functional SMALL room. Which is much more realistic for me than pretty much everything I find on pinterest when looking for inspiration for home office / guest room. And it perfectly shows that not squeezing in the biggest pieces of furniture that you can fit makes such a difference. Love it.

  10. Oh my gosh, the window looks twice as big with the new design! I thought you had added a patio door at first. 🙂 Wonderful work!

    1. Seriously! I can’t believe how much bigger it looks, I was so shocked at the side by side comparison! Such a perfect example of how “high and wide” window treatments can make such a difference.

  11. The office looks beautiful-I have major envy. But is it me or does the text read like a passive-aggressive dig at the client’s indecisiveness?