office

A Coastal Affair

LMB Communications

LMB Communications

My friend Laura is celebrating her 20 year work anniversary this summer.  It is hard to believe she started LMB Communications 20 years ago because she LOOKS about 25!  Laura opened the doors to her own business when Nestle, where she worked in Communications & Public Relations, relocated to the west coast.  She decided to stay in New York and began consulting with major corporations on communications, media, PR, philanthropy and special events.  Voila, 20 years later!

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As a gift to herself for hitting the 20 year mark, Laura wanted to spruce up her home office where she works 2-3 days a week.  Her keywords to me were coastal, creative and comfortable.  A space where her clients, family and friends would love to hang out.

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Laura gravitates to the colors blue and orange, so we started there.  She found two ottomans from Ballard Designs in a blue/white fabric she liked.  This solidified the blue tone we would use in the room.  The ottomans also had storage for her files inside.  Great dual purpose.

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We found a fabulous Dash and Albert indoor/outdoor rug (easy to clean since it would get a lot of foot traffic)  in a blue stripe and a bright orange fabric from Duralee for pillows.

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A couch was needed in the office for meetings and some lounging (this one is from Pottery Barn), replacing an old storage unit under the window.

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An old brown hutch in the room had a ton of storage space inside to hide office supplies, so instead of getting rid of it, we painted it white and Laura found these great knobs at Anthropologie to go with her coastal theme.  We hid the printer and many other things in the hutch to keep them out of sight!

Before

Before

After

After

There was some general cleaning up to do, so we did a little “purging” and gave the room a nice, fresh coat of paint in a soft periwinkle blue.

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Fun accents in the room make it personal to Laura.

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Laura travels overseas quite a bit for business, so I found French (on left) and Italian (on right) vintage posters to hang on either side of her new couch to give the office a little European touch. We also converted two recessed ceiling lights to round hanging lights (above) to personalize the space and make the sitting area cozy.  The two tables on either side of the couch are from Target.

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Laura LOVES Cape May, so there are reminders all around her office, including a series of beautiful black/white beach prints of Cape May that she took herself.

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Leftover fabric from the couch pillows was used for a 6″ wide band on the bottom of a white cotton duck roman shade, hanging over the couch.

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I love how the orange fabric in the roman shade matches the stripes on the shirt in the Italian poster!

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I hope Laura is happy with all the changes we made.  She did say everyone, including Sophia the dog, seems to be hanging out in there now…  We might actually have to SHUT the doors that lead into her office from the living room!

Cheers to 20 years of success.

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the wry home

Hello Office

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Contractor gone.  Punch list finished.  Our old screen porch is now an office.  It’s time for me to focus on decorating the interior.  We figured out the desk while the office was being constructed.  A 10′ long x 24″ wide space where my husband and I can both work.  We also had the contractor build a shallow bookcase unit to fill a weird space on the other side of our chimney.  This would hold the TV and any other books and office stuff we had.

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The new office is right off the living room, so I wanted to be mindful of the color scheme in the room so it wouldn’t clash.  A painting by a Block Island artist was the inspiration for the room colors I would use: blue and orange.

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I found three fabrics I liked for pillows: a Lilly Pulitzer blue floral, an orange Duralee Pavilion geometric (that I also used on the back of the two desk chairs) and a Thom Filicia blue and white dot pattern.

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As far as furniture for the sitting area, that was decided a while ago.  I recovered my old 1992 living room furniture (AGAIN!) in a basic Calico Corners blue cotton duck with white piping that I got on sale for $12.00 a yard.

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This fabulous orange Madeline Weinrib rug finished things off beautifully and helped define the sitting room from the desk area.  We painted the office the same colors as the living room, Farrow and Ball “Tallow” with “Pointing” trim, so the flow would work between the two rooms.  You can see the office (below) from the living room.  We have a little pocket door that can be closed for privacy.  Our old screen porch is no longer wasted space.  We love our new office and now have a place to hide out!

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Goodbye Screen Porch

Screen Porch Gone!

Screen Porch Gone!

Aaahhh, the screen porch.  Conjures up images of lounging around with a glass of lemonade.  Reading a thick book.  Lit votives on a summer table.  We had high hopes for our little screen porch.  Unfortunately, it became a dumping ground as soon as we moved into our house.  Boxes, excess furniture and firewood got thrown in there.  I would periodically get inspired, clean the whole thing out, yelling at anyone and everyone in my path during the process.  Once cleaned, it would sit there staring at me until stuff started piling up again.

"Office" dining room table in family room

“Office” dining room table in family room

It took eight years of feeling guilty about this unused space before we did anything about it.  Office, office, office I chanted!  My office was an old dining room table in the family room.  Loud, no privacy.  An ancient Dell desktop used by all of us sat on the table.  I frequently found Justin Bieber and Glee songs on my playlists because of the communal family  iTunes account.

Beginning of the new office

Beginning of the new office

My husband and I could really use a room of our own, so we finally ripped off our little screen porch.  The footprint was not big, so our goal was to maximize the space as an office and a small sitting room.  We opted for a 10′ long and 24″ wide desk space where two of use could sit together and work, plus an area where we could watch TV when 800,000 teenagers were in the other room.

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I wanted something other than a traditional wood desk, so for the top, I found remnant pieces of Carrera Marble (two 5′ long x 24″ wide pieces put together) which was about 1/3 of the cost of a custom 10′ x 24″ piece.  The view (above) from the two windows in front of the desk looked over our backyard, very pretty and private.  I had two old Parsons chairs that were not being used (stored on the screen porch!) that became our new desk chairs.  The office was coming along nicely.  Now I had to figure out how to pull it all together on the inside!

Our new office behind the lilacs on left

Our new office behind the lilacs on left

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