Tuesday, June 12, 2012

~ Home Office - Get The Designer Look For Less

No room for a home office? Here are a few hints from a talented designer.

In this lovely home in Austin,  designer Sara Scaglione made excellent use of a very small area. This is one end of the sunroom which she turned into an office. I would guess that they have another area where the computer is, or there is usually a laptop or wireless computer being used here. 

She used vintage
botanicals on the wall above an 18th century antique writing desk. The French doors to the room and the brick floor makes me think this was once a porch that has been enclosed in for year round sunroom enjoyment.


The play of dark and light color is important to this room. White walls with the medium wood tone desk is perfect.  The fabulous play of textures is enhanced by the warm wood placed against a white wall. You can't get this warmth with a white desk, although I love that look as well. The floor is brick but you could have a rug or wood or tile. In this case the floor is dark as are the legs of the chair and desk so you might like to use something a bit lighter which would still work very well.

The best source for botanical art if you don't want to spend the money on vintage/antique prints is to go to the bookstore and check out the botanical themed calenders. The first time I tried this trick was about 30 years ago. The first calendar I used had matte paper pages instead the more usual glossy ones and it made the art look more like real art prints. They also will age like paper without the coating, which is a good think if you want them to look vintage.

Another place to look in the bookstore is where they have all those marked down books. You can often find gardening and art books for less than $10 there. Sometimes you get lucky and find old books at the thrift store with flowers pictures too. 

For the frames again you will find these so very cheap at the charity stores. A much better choice than buying something from China at a dollar store.  The frames here don't look shiny as if they are gold, but they could be vintage without a shiny surface to them. You could mimic that with a flat gold paint, silver, or a color taken from the basket. There are many choices that would work for the color of the frames.

The price of an antique desk like the one used here is certainly not inexpensive, but worth looking into if you love antiques and would keep it for years or hand it down later. There are so many reproductions available now you could match the look without the price. You can get the same exact design if you wish. I've seen this style made by several manufactures. 
Better yet, find an old desk or table at GoodWill, Restore, Salvation Army or a charity thrift store. This is my personal choice first above a garage sale only because even though it may actually cost more, you are choosing that your money is going to a charity to help someone who needs it. Of course you may find something at a garage sale that perfectly suits your needs and you give to charity anyway! And that is just fine as well.

That might be an old basket in the design, but it looks like a newer one.  I'm sure you've seen so many look-a-likes in stores now. Baskets are more popular now than they have been in years. Fabulous texture and some storage as well for umbrellas, rolled art or papers, or whatever you need it for.

You've see this lamp design for about the last several years used widely. What's more interesting here is that she chose the dark lampshade to again play off the light white walls. Very easy to duplicate this one if you love the lamp design.

Since I don't see a chord for the lamp nor an electrical socket, this might have just been for styling.

Wing chairs are easy to find new or if you are lucky as a hand me down in the family. A wing chair just never goes out of style.  If a wing chair takes up too much space for you, try a simple armless chair with a neutral slipcover, or one in a fabric that goes with your overall decor.  

Designer Sara Scaglione. Photo Luca Trovato,  via  House Beautiful.

See Y'all Soon~

Click on any of the pictures below to shop  art from The Decorated House 


  1. Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing!

  2. adoring this post...(I want that desk). great tips for smaller office spaces. I am trying to put together one for myself right now. thanks so much, donna


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