June 17, 2009

Office Style Showdown

The Sicilians are busy putting a weeping tile system in the back of the basement (there goes some money I could have put to use in adding some pretty to the place but I guess NOT dank and smelly is also a good thing). So I have to get creative with some of the furnishings, especially areas like the home office where I have nothing collected. Here is the thing, do you want your home office to read like an actual office, or would it be better “hidden in plain view” as we like to call it around here. You know, something that reads non-desk but could be used as a desk.

Here are the two competing offices I have tagged as inspiration:

Home office inspiration - number one

The first one, from Martha Stewart Living, is obviously an office. I love the open shelving, the baskets, the task lighting. But would you get tired of looking at your mess?

home office inspiration - number two

The second home office is in Ina Garten’s house (yes, the Barefoot Contessa’s new place shot for House Beautiful). This reads like it is tucked into the end of a room, or even a hallway, and with the great non-desk desk, the artwork, the little stool — I wouldn’t mind looking at this without the laptop, when work is put away.

I am leaning toward the second option and have decided that I need a gateleg table in my life, to be my non-desk desk — it can fold up small against the wall or be pulled out to make a meeting table — because I am sure I will be taking lots of meetings in my basement, lol.

Darryl Carter's country house - gateleg table

Of course, it helps when my favourite designer, Darryl Carter has one in his country house.

And so I trekked out to all my local haunts, the flea markets, the junk shops, the antique shops, everything I could think of, hours from Toronto, crack of dawn on the highway taking me to country markets, and nothing was showing up. But this Saturday I hit the jackpot at The Barn (an old antique store industry folks have been visiting for years). Check this out:

Gateleg table from The Barn - image one

Gateleg table from The Barn - image two

Paint it black, and I have an almost identical table to Darryl Carter’s for my office. And better, this was probably a repro and not the real deal antique so the price was very right. It fit into my weeping-tile-adjusted-budget.

So are you a fan of the hidden home office, or the lets-call-it-like-we-see-it home office?

Photo credits:
Martha Stewart Living
Ina Garten’s office, published in House Beautiful
Darryl Carter country house, photography by Simon Upton, published in Elle Decor
Meg Crossley