To bring a sense of movement to the room, Davis chose the patterned rug from Exceptional Flooring Concepts. The chandelier is from Circa Lighting, the round table and desk are from Old Biscayne Designs, and the chairs are from CB2.
Gail Davis has an ambitious philosophy when it comes to decorating: “Empty your soul into it.” The interior designer took this credo to heart when devising a home office for a New Jersey client, adding personal touches and favorite furniture finds to make the single-room project sing.
The client had already had the office professionally decorated, but was unhappy with the result. The space wasn’t functional. Pieces were breaking down. And she wasn’t pleased with the aesthetics but couldn’t quite pinpoint why.
“It felt like a very masculine room,” Davis says of the wood-paneled office, which needed a jolt of brightness and color to veer away from stuffy territory. She kept some of the client’s existing art and accessories but switched up the fabrics, layout, and lighting for a space that feels brand new.
Right away, Davis embarked on some surgical updates. She ripped out a built-in bookcase that felt busy and dark, and tapped a carpenter to mimic the existing millwork on the newly bare wall left behind. Next, she pulled up the beige carpet, replacing it with a rich blue rug to ground the room. “I knew that I wanted some type of texture and visual movement on the floor,” Davis says of its spotted design.
To highlight the office’s ceiling height, Davis selected long, sweeping curtains that dust the floor. Since the home sits on several acres, she picked a subtle pattern and trim to draw the eye outside. “It’s just like putting mascara on the eyelashes,” Davis explains.
The office’s layout too needed a revamp. Davis’s client runs her own business and needed a space that worked for in-person meetings. Before the redesign, she took meetings in the living room or kitchen—spaces with more seating options. For Davis, the solution was obvious: bring in a center table. Davis sourced a round wood one from Old Biscayne Designs and paired it with four CB2 chairs to anchor the ad hoc conference area. The space, which is bookended by a desk and a sofa, now presents plenty of options for all types of gatherings.
One of Davis’s favorite new additions is a white console that she’d been saving for just the right project. The vintage piece is used for storage but feels prettier than an office cabinet. “I wanted to give the client space to be able to put things away and not just be run-of-the-mill,” Davis explains.
To make a space feel cohesive, Davis typically adds a ceiling fixture in the center of a room, supplementing it with floor and table lamps to create warmth. Originally, the room was illuminated only by recessed lighting, which wasn’t bright enough for the large paneled office. When can lights are a space’s only source of light, Davis says, “it feels more like a Broadway show than a space you’re living in.” Now the room’s pièce de résistance is a sparkling chandelier from Circa Lighting.
This story has a happy ending: The client was so pleased with her office, she hired Davis to update the rest of the home. And they’re confident, unlike the last attempt at an office design, another renovation won’t be in order any time soon. “I’m one and done,” the designer says. “I want them to live with it for a lifetime.”
You Might Also Like