Toiling away at laptops from beds, couches and kitchen tables may have been acceptable when “work from home” became a household term two years ago — but those types of office setups are not a long-term solution.
Kristen Pawlak, owner and interior designer at KP Designs/ Decorating Den Interiors, knows the importance of having a dedicated workspace that is not only functional but aesthetically pleasing and personalized. Here, she shares three office spaces she designed to help homeowners do their best work from the comfort of their own abode.
A Hunter’s Haven
When the owners of this Beech Spring Farm home weren’t sure how to transform a dark office space into a functional workstation, they turned to Pawlak for help.
“They had a lot of faux work done in the house, so they were debating going into a multi-layer faux finish to kind of lighten this room,” she told the Courier Journal. “They were kind of stymied as to what to do to lighten it up. We (finally) decided, let’s just paint it.”
Pawlak kept some of the dark wood elements, but with the help of RK Renovations, lightened and brightened the his-and-hers office with a few fresh coats of paint. She also made sure to incorporate design elements from both parties who would be utilizing the space.
“The husband is a hobby hunter … and he wanted to display his taxidermy animals,” she said. “(The wife) loved the look of the hide over (the) rug, and she wanted some pretty finishes.”
Pawlak combined their design requests with an Italian writing desk and antiqued mirror map art, then styled the shelves with things they both love.
“He’s a car lover, they love their dogs, (and) they have some history with horses, so (we) really personalized it,” Pawlak said.
The result is a space that is both customized and practical.
Contemporary Computer Corner
The husband and wife in this home longed for a multipurpose office space in the loft area of their Buechel abode.
“(They favor) a lot of white and light gray, and contemporary looks,” Pawlak said of the end design.
She removed everything from the former space, installing a closet-system home office, which includes ample surface area, shelving, and drawers for additional storage. The space provides enough room for the multiple screens required in their industry, with the wife’s work area set to the left and the husband’s desk to the right. Pawlak also incorporated a small area with a banker’s lamp for the couple’s preschooler to have a space of his own.
There’s also a sleek, large dry-erase board along one wall, as well as tufted accent chairs with a side table off to one end for a small rest space.
“And those walls are entirely covered with a wallcovering,” Pawlak said. “It’s a textured, silvery gray wallcovering. … (Whereas) painted walls can get scratched and marred up and you have to repaint every so often, wallcovering really protects walls.”
White Roman shades and a sheen, synthetic rug finish off the clean, contemporary look, while a few houseplants add warmth to the space.
Sunny Sitting Space
After completing a kitchen remodel, the owners of this Cape Cod-style home were looking to revamp a space adjacent to the dining area.
“(It) was almost like (an) old, built-in bar off the kitchen family room,” Pawlak said. “It was (dated and) … it just wasn’t working.”
The homeowner wanted an area where she could have a small space to use a laptop, a little bit of storage, and a nice place to sit, read, and relax. Pawlak replaced built-in shelving from the former bar area with an etagere (a piece of furniture consisting of a set of open shelves)and added a console for additional storage. A small writing desk provides just enough space for the homeowner’s laptop tasks, and a chair with a matching ottoman offers a comfy place to sit.
There was also talk of an accent wall with shiplap or something similar.
“That (was) a cool idea,” Pawlak said, “but I convinced her that we could get a more unique look with textured, patterned wallpaper all over.”
The homeowner loves green, so Pawlak added green ceramic flower plates as wall accents, as well as a wool rug with hints of sage green.
“(And) we love the llama art,” Pawlak said. “It was a little (way) to add some fun whimsy. It’s a light, happy place — and she really loves it.”
nuts & bolts
Interior designer: Kristen Pawlak, DDCD, owner/ interior designer at KP Designs/Decorating Den Interiors
‘A Hunter’s Haven’
Home: This is a 6-bed, 3-and-a-half bath, traditional-style, two-story home in the Beech Spring Farm subdivision of East Louisville
Distinctive elements: Italian writing desk; taxidermy animals; hide over rug; antiqued mirror map art.
‘Contemporary Computer Corner’
Home: This is a 3-bed, 3-bath, traditional-style home in Buechel
Distinctive elements: Custom closet system for built-in work desks and shelving; low-weave gray geometric rug; light gray vinyl wallpaper; clear glass whiteboard; extended desktop/countertop area; display shelves; tufted accent chairs and side tables.
‘Sunny Sitting Space’
Home: This is a 3-bed, 2-and-a-half bath, Cape Cod-style home in the Holly Springs neighborhood of East Louisville
Distinctive elements: Textured and patterned wallpaper; green ceramic flower plates; wool rug; small writing desk; llama art.