Inspiration for Creating Live/Work Space at Home
“I wanted work to have as much weight as living,” declares the photographer Rhoda Baer about her dual-purpose contemporary home.
So starts the first page of a six-page spread on our project, Quarry House featured in the book Live/Work, Working at Home, Living at Work by author Deborah Dietsch in 2008. The Quarry House is tailored to both the work life and social life of its photographer owner with three major components: a bedroom wing, a photography studio and office, and a spacious living area and kitchen for entertaining. This integrative approach to live/work won the project four American Institute of Architects awards and led to features in multiple publications. At the time the concept was novel; developing the home’s composition to accommodate a dual purpose, with equal weight on the comforts of home and necessities of work.
While it may have been rare in the early 2000s, the last decade has shown a steady increase in the number of Americans working from home. We have witnessed this in the differences of our home design and renovation projects. When developing home office space, some clients have preferred a separation between professional and residential spaces while others, like the owner of Quarry House, desire a seamless flow.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many of us have begun to rethink these priorities and how we can share functional spaces with those designed to help us relax or entertain. As designers, we find ourselves constantly reevaluating techniques, tools and best practices to sustain this new priority. As you consider what needs you may have, our designers are here to walk you through the process, to help you determine home office style is right for you.
An open plan strategy allows for increased natural light and flow from one room to another in this Cathedral Heights residence. Functional storage and built-ins keep the space practical yet inviting.
Located on the far-side of the house, this room in the Divine House was designed with privacy in mind. It doubles as a home office and in-law suite, with a full bath tucked behind the door. A strong paint color sets it apart from the white rooms in the rest of the house and eliminates high reflection in a space that needs diffuse light for working and sleeping.
An addition over the garage in the Honeywell Renovation provided ample space for this lofty attic office and living area.
A traditional home office can occupy an independent room and is often a practical choice if lack of space is not a consideration.
The Bedroom Office
However, when space is at a premium, your office may be best suited to a place that isn’t always ideal. In this bedroom office at Heritage Row, electrical access was reconfigured to support computer use in the bedroom.
The Kitchen Office
A desk in the kitchen can perform double-duty; it serves as a landing spot for important papers and also a convenient area to work and get other essential items like meal prep underway. This office nook in the Heights House is a bright, sunny spot that suits the needs of a modern family.
Large hallways or secondary spaces can be re-imagined for the perfect desk nook. At the Maple Renovation, a small workspace, big enough for a chair and desk make use of an otherwise neglected area.