Tormenting laptops from beds, sofas, and kitchen tables might have been acceptable when “work from home” became a household term two years ago — but this type of office setup isn’t 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 also aesthetically pleasing and individual. Here she shares three office spaces that she designed to help homeowners do their best work from the comfort of their own homes.
A hunter port
When the owners of this home on Beech Spring Farm were unsure how to transform a dark office space into a functional workspace, they turned to Pawlak for help.
“They had a lot of faux work done around the house, so they were discussing a layered faux finish to somehow brighten up this space,” she told Courier Journal. “They were kind of hampered about what to do to lighten it up. We decided (finally) let’s just paint it.”
Pawlak kept some of the dark wood elements, but with the help of RK Renovations he brightened and beautified the his and her office with a few fresh coats of paint. She also made sure to incorporate design elements from both parties that would utilize the space.
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“The husband is a hobby hunter… and he wanted to display his stuffed animals,” she said. “(The wife) loved the look of the fur over (the) carpet, and she wanted some pretty finishes.”
Pawlak combined her design desires with an Italian writing desk and antique mirror card art, then decorated 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 individual and practical.
Contemporary computer corner
The couple in this house longed for a multi-purpose office space in the attic area of their Büchel apartment.
“(They prefer) lots of white and light gray and contemporary looks,” Pawlak said of the final design.
She removed everything from the former space and installed a home office with a closet system that includes a large surface, shelves and drawers for additional storage. The room accommodates the multiple screens required in her industry, with the woman’s workspace on the left and the man’s desk on the right. Pawlak also included a small area with a banker’s lamp so the couple’s preschooler would have their own spot.
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There’s also an elegant, large dry-wipe chalkboard against one wall, as well as tufted accent chairs with a side table at one end for a small chill-out area.
“And those walls are completely covered with wall paneling,” Pawlak said. “It’s a textured, silver-grey wallcovering. … (Whereas) painted walls can get scratched and damaged and you may need to repaint every now and then, a wall covering really protects the walls.”
White Roman hues and a glossy synthetic rug complete the clean, modern look, while a few houseplants add warmth to the space.
After completing a kitchen renovation, the owners of this Cape Cod style home wanted to remodel a room adjacent to the dining area.
“(It) was almost like (an) old built-in bar next to the kitchen family room,” Pawlak said. “It was (dated and) … it just didn’t work.”
The homeowner wanted an area where she could have a small space for a laptop, some storage space, 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 made up of a series of open shelves) and added a console for additional storage. A small desk provides just enough space for the homeowner’s laptop tasks, and a chair with a matching ottoman provides a comfortable place to sit.
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There was also talk of an accent wall with shiplap or similar.
“That (was) a cool idea,” Pawlak said, “but I convinced her that we could create a more unique look with textured, patterned wallpaper anywhere.”
The homeowner loves greenery, so Pawlak added green ceramic flower plates as wall accents, as well as a wool rug with a touch of sage green.
“(And) we love the llama art,” Pawlak said. “It was a little (way) to add some fun whims. It’s a light, happy place – and she really loves it.”
Know of a house that would make a great Home of the Week? Email writer Lennie Omalza at email@example.com or lifestyle editor Kathryn Gregory at firstname.lastname@example.org.
screws and nuts
interior architect: Kristen Pawlak, DDCD, Owner/Interior Designer at KP Designs/Decorating Den Interiors
“A Hunter Haven”
home: This is a 6 bed, 3.5 bath traditional style two story home located in the Beech Spring Farm subdivision of East Louisville
special items: Italian desk; stuffed animals; hide above the carpet; antique mirror map art.
‘Contemporary Computer Corner’
home: This is a traditional 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home in Buechel
special items: Tailor-made cabinet system for built-in work tables and shelves; low-weave gray geometric rug; light gray vinyl wallpaper; clear glass whiteboard; expanded desktop/countertop area; display shelves; tufted accent chairs and end tables.
home: This is a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath Cape Cod style home in the Holly Springs neighborhood of East Louisville
special items: Textured and patterned wallpaper; green ceramic flower plate; wool carpet; small desk; llama art.