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  • 05/12/14--08:00: 8 Favorite DIY Pinboards
  • We love virtual mood boards (have you seen what we've been up to on Pinterest?), but there's something especially motivating about tangible inspiration. Here are five DIY pinboard projects for a productive—and artful—workspace.

    DIY Pinboard made of Plywood | Remodelista

    Above: Yet another use for plywood: Buy a sheet from your local hardware store and lean it against the wall; simple as that. The version shown here, from Swedish design blog, trendenser, uses colorful Washi Tape to secure notes and photos. Photograph by Frida Ramstedt.

    Belt Pinboard DIY | Remodelista

    Above: Have an old belt lying around? Glue it to a round cork board (Ikea sells these as trivets) and hang it on a nail or hook. Photograph via PoppyTalk.  

    Catbird Pinboard Metal Mesh/Remodelista

    Above: A metal mesh pinboard via Catview.

    Julie Carlson's Homeosote Pinboard/Remodelista

    Above: When Remodelista editor in chief Julie Carlson was remodeling her house, her architect, Jerome Buttrick, spec'd a homasote bulletin board (made from recycled paper) above her desk (it's a genius solution, Julie says). A 2-by-4-foot Homasote Tac Board is $39.95 from Amazon. Photo by Maria del Rio for Refinery 29.

    LA designer Michaela Scherrer's mood boards | Remodelista

    Above: LA designer Michaela Scherrer, a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory, creates mood boards—that double as living room art—using HardieBacker boards from building supply stores and Mod Podge. Tour her Pasadena house in the Remodelista book—and stay tuned for her home office/guest room on Thursday. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

    Color Blocked Pinboard DIY | Remodelista

    Above: Make your own circular pinboards from a sheet of cork roll. First trace an embroidery frame with a utility knife, then use a glue gun to set the board inside of the frame. Add a pattern with paint or leave it minimal. Photograph via Humbeer Berlin

    Canvas Pinboard DIY | Remodelista

    Above: Using a premade cork board from any office supply store, fasten a piece of fabric (canvas was used in this example, but any fabric works) to the board using nailheads or thumbtacks. See more at One Sparrow Creative

    Brass Bulletin Board | Remodelista

    Above: A different approach? In A Glamorous Brass Pinboard, Julie introduces us to stylist Pella Hedeby's combination of brass mesh and clips instead of the usual cork and pins. 

    You don't actually need board to create a pinboard—see Zero-Cost Wall Art, Pinboard Edition and 6 Wall-Worthy Clipboards. For another DIY workspace accessory, have a look at our Storage Tray Made from a Single Piece of Leather. And choose the best plants for your desk in Ask the Expert: 10 Tips for Office Plants, from The Sill on Gardenista. 

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    When Julie and I head to LA to check out the design scene and visit our favorite haunts, our inevitable first stop is Joan's on Third, which you might describe as LA's answer to Dean & Deluca. Over the years, we've gotten to know Joan (she's a Remodelista reader, perusing our newsletter every day and calling us on our cell phones when she's got something to say). 

    Joan has lived in an industrial chic loft a couple of blocks from Joan's on Third for nine years (the ultimate walk-to-work situation). The store predates the loft— in 1995, Joan began what started as a small catering business when West Third Street was not yet a destination. Although a West Coaster now, Joan McNamara grew up in New Jersey in a Czech family, and learned to cook from her mother—by the age of eight she could whip up a full dinner. Her early working years in New York combined her two passions: design and cooking. She was the office manager for modern furniture and industrial designer Paul McCobb and then went on to work for Dione Lucas, the noted English chef who was the first female graduate from Le Cordon Bleu. (She tells us that Dione taught her the secret of a great pie crust, “it’s all in the fingers.”) Her restaurant and loft share a similar look: clean, neutral tones decorated with plenty of antique and vintage finds. As Joan tells us, "I've collected so many special things over the years. I love antiques shops and flea markets."

    Photography by Laure Joliet for Remodelista.

    Joan McNamara portrait LA loft photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: Joan, always clad in black, at home in her loft. Her favorite pastimes? "Reading cookbooks, making lists, and baking bread on a rainy day in my loft."

    Joan McNamara LA loft photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: The marble-topped kitchen island. Joan prefers a neutral palette of white walls, gray concrete floor, and warm dark wood tones. Colors come from "family photos of children and grandchildren, fresh flowers, my cookbooks, and food in the kitchen."

    Joan McNamara LA loft kitchen photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: Joan counts a white farmhouse sink as one of her kitchen essentials—this one is a Kohler Gilford. Other crucial elements are her mother's wooden spoons, an omelette pan, and an original design Kitchen Aid mixer in white.

    Joan McNamara LA loft copper pans photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: A row of copper pans lined up on a GE Monogram stove that came with the loft (industrial Wolf ranges are what she has at her store). "Cooking at home is something I love to do whenever I’m not at work. Sometimes I experiment with new ideas and bring them to Joan’s on Third."

    Joan McNamara LA loft white ceramics photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: A drawer full of white ramekins used for cooking sessions with friends. Joan explains, "At home, I love to entertain and host the Spoons, a wonderful cooking group that I'm a part of. We're a group of professional chefs who get together about once a month to cook together and chat and drink wine."

    Joan McNamara's wooden spoons | Remodelista

    Above: Hand-carved wooden spoons, passed down from her mother.

    Joan McNamara LA loft with dining table and Cherner chairs photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: The dining table is from Bourgeois Boheme in LA and Joan believes it was originally a wine maker's table. It’s extremely narrow—29 ½ inches wide, which Joan says is ideal for conversation—and 11 feet long. She had the dimensions replicated for a communal table in the marketplace at Joan’s—and made that one even longer. The Cherner chairs are a mix of some originals (from Joan's parent's kitchen, designed by Paul McCobb) and some contemporary replicas. She points out that the legs on the old ones are about an 1/8th of an inch thinner than the contemporary ones. 

    Joan McNamara LA loft photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: The chandelier above the dining table came from a trip to the UK—“I bought three there for the price of one here,” she tells us. She often buys for both her store and her loft; "the two spaces go hand in hand." 

    Joan McNamara LA loft photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista  

    Above: Joan collects cows and sheep, a love born from visiting farms. They can be spotted all over her apartment. Seen here is a Gentle Ewe Sheep Ride On, a Christmas present from her two daughters who work with her.

    Joan McNamara LA loft photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista  

    Above: An old baker's trolley is used for storing part of Joan's vast cookbook collection.

    Joan McNamara LA loft photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: A garage door opens to a balcony and fills the loft with light. An antique wooden screen divides the bedroom from the living room. 

    Joan McNamara LA loft photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above L: Next to the dining table, Joan stores tableware in an antique sideboard that she topped with a marble counter. Above R: An Italian credenza from Eccola stands in the entryway. Joan had legs added to it: “As was, it looked like part of a kitchen cabinet.” It’s filled with silver that Joan has collected over the years and inherited from her mother. She also has deep holdings of antique table linens—things she buys on trips with a friend to France, lots of them with the flea market tags still on.

    Joan McNamara LA loft silverware photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: A drawer full of silverware in the credenza. She likes to shop the Paris flea markets; Isle Sur la Sorgue in Provence is another favorite source for antiques.

    Joan McNamara LA loft cookbook collection photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: Joan's cookbook collection continues in her home office. Current favorites include Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem, David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen, and Monday Morning Cooking Club. Her old favorite standby is The Dione Lucas Book of French Cooking.

    Joan McNamara LA loft photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: A marble-topped candy making table stands opposite the credenza in the foyer.

    Joan McNamara LA loft bedroom photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: The all white bedroom.

    Joan McNamara LA loft Eames- ounge chair ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: An Eames lounge chair and Noguchi lamp in a corner of the bedroom.

    Joan McNamara LA loft bathroom photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista.jpg  

    Above R: A wall-mounted sink In the guest bathroom. Above R: The bathroom's Earl Lamp was first spotted by Joan on Remodelista.

    Joan McNamara LA loft balcony photographed by ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: The balcony has a French bistro table and folding chairs. Mornings begin with the garage door open all the way for fresh air, and again in the evenings when guests to give the loft an indoor/outdoor feel. 

    See our prior posts on Joan's on Third and our Steal This Look on the Perfect Powder Room at Joan's on Third. For another LA House Call, see our post on the home of Eccola owner Kathleen White Almanza.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    I've been daydreaming about this Weston Surman & Deane writer's shed since I wrote about it last month on Gardenista: see Outbuilding of the Week. And though it might be awhile before I'm able to commission one of the same for my own (imaginary) backyard, I've sleuthed some of the elements that make the inside of the shed so appealing. 

    Above: The asymmetrical interior wall bedecked in bookshelves, sink, and freestanding wood stove. The architect team from Weston, Surman & Dean built work studio for an author-illustrator in London: "Drawing on the historically intimate relationship between writers and their sheds, the space was conceived as a haven in the city; a fairy-tale hut at the bottom of the garden where the client could retreat and immerse himself in his work." Photograph by Wai Ming Ng.

    Above: For the shelving and flooring inside the shed, oiled OSB (Oriented Strand Board) was used throughout. A 4-foot by 8-foot length of OSB Sheathing is $8.78 from Lowe's. Curious about using plywood instead? Learn the basics in Remodeling 101: The Ins and Outs of Plywood. The architects used pine tongue and groove paneling for the walls of the shed. The similar EverTrue 8-Foot Stain Grade Knotty Pine is $15.97 from Lowe's.

    Above: Large skylights flood the space with light during the day, but in the evening the Drop Cap Pendant Set ($34.95 from Plumen) fitted with the Plumen 001 Screw Fitting Light Bulb ($29.95) lights the shed. For more about the design, see the World's Most Stylish Light Bulb. Hoping to learn more about fluorescents vs. incandescents? See The Great Light Bulb Debate for the lowdown.

    Above: Clamped to a shelf, a black architect's lamp provides task lighting. The Flexible Combo Lamp is a similar option; $92.49 from Dick Blick. For more choices see 10 Easy Pieces: Best Architect's Lamps.

    Above: For cleaning paint brushes or muddy pots, consider the Shaws Contemporary Classic Firestone Sink from Rohl; $890.50. See 10 Easy Pieces: White Kitchen Farmhouse Sinks for more options.

    Above: Behind the sink and around it, brass sheet metal makes a waterproof backsplash. Metal Shim Stock in 6-inch by 18-inch lengths is available in a pack of 10 for $69.12 from MSC Industrial Supply Co. 

    Above: Above the sink, consider a simple brass garden tap like the one shown here. The Brass Water Tap is €15.80 at Manufactum.

    Above: For keeping the place toasty year round, the Dovre Astroline 350CB is a clean-burning, high-efficiency cast iron wood stove with a similar look to the one used in the shed. Available with an anthracite finish; £1,125. Contact Dovre for retail locations. For more options, see 10 Easy Pieces Freestanding Wood Stoves

    For more on the writer's life, see another Perfect Writing Shed in the Garden. Hoping to steal other good ideas? See our archive of Steal This Look posts, and Gardenista's, too.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Looking to upgrade your office overhead lighting? By replacing fluorescent bulbs with LEDs, you're assured 50,000 lifetime hours of light—no need to change a bulb for five years—and you'll save on energy bills in the long run. 

    As an alternative to harsh—and often flickering—old-school standbys, here are 10 bar-shaped LED pendants, all well suited for (but not limited to) the office:

    Plank Light By Northern Lighting I Remodelista

    Above: The Plank Suspension Light by Norwegian Northern Lighting is an LED pendant made of poplar and steel. The lamp hangs from a brown silk wire; £500 from Nest in the UK. 

    Alex Allen Studio 2x4 Pendant I Remodelista

    Above: The 2x4 Pendant Light is made from whitewashed 2x4 pine and suspended from a red cord and a monofilament that makes the pendant appear to be floating. An LED strip is hidden behind a frosted glass lens; $280 from the Alex Allen Studio. 

    Trucheon Suspended in Maple by Matter I Remodelista  

    Above: The Truncheon Suspended Light by Zoe Coombes and David Boira—the duo behind NY design studio Commonwealth—contrasts cool LED light with a custom-milled wooden enclosure available in maple or black walnut  and six different cord colors; $2,750 from Matter.

    Woody Endless LED Pendant by Jason Miller I Remodelista  

    Above: The Woody Endless pendant by Jason Miller is a modular LED lighting system featuring half‐cylinder sections made of aluminum, acrylic, and wood. The cylinders can be joined back to back or end to end, allowing for linear as well as  three‐dimensional installations. The aluminum hardware comes in bronze, black, polished aluminum, and brushed brass finishes. Prices start at $4,800 for three units and $8,000 for five units from The Future Perfect.

    Cohiba Suspension Lamp in Cowhide I Remodelista

    Above: Named after the hand-rolled Cuban cigar that it's shaped like, the Cohiba Pendant Lamp, by Benjamin Hopf for Formagenda, is aluminum and leather (available in brown, black, and white); € 643 from Connox. Contact the retailer directly for color availability. 


    Branch Pendant in Large by Rich Brilliant Willing I Remodelista

    Above: The Large Branch Pendant, made by Rich Brilliant Willing, features perforated metal sheets placed on top of diffuser lenses. The pendant is available in gold (brass) and natural aluminum finishes with an LED board; $1,710 from Horne. 

    Poster Lamp by ZERO I Remodelista

    Above: The Poster pendant, designed by TAF for Swedish Zero, resembles a cardboard poster tube. It's made from extruded aluminium (in black, white, and cardboard-colored) and an LED strip that lasts up to 50,000 hours. Contact Zero for purchasing details. 

    Pipeline Large by AndLight I Remodelista

    Above: The Pipeline Large is the work of Caine Heintzman, co-founder of Vancouver's AndLight studio. It's made of copper and aluminum available in three finish combinations and is suspended from an aircraft cable. Contact AndLight for pricing.

    Numerouno Pendant Lamp in White Cardboard I Remodelista  

    Above: Kiessler of Berlin's Numerouno Pendant Lamp is made of cardboard. Choose between the basic version, which uses a low-energy tube, and the Numeround LED, which comes in blue, red, mint, and gray, and also has a notably low energy consumption; €159 via Kiessler.

    Virga Pendant Lamp bu Cerna I Remodelista  

    Above: The Virga Pendant Lamp is by Cerna, a California industrial design and manufacturing company specializing in LED lighting. Made in the US, it comes in black (shown) or brushed aluminum; $549 from Horne. 

    Upgrading your work space? Have a look at our Office Posts for more ideas. And for inspiration, browse the 567 photos of Well-Designed Offices in our Gallery. Did you know that plants enhance productivity? See Gardenista 10 Tips for Office Plants from The Sill.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    San Francisco architect Olle Lundberg, founder of Lundberg Design, took a circuitous route to his profession, majoring in literature, then moving on to sculpture before training as an architect. His studies inform his approach to design—he’s a materials man who likes things with “heft and substance”: think steel, wood, and stone. He's also one of the the only architects we know who has a fabrication shop in his studio. 

    The Lundberg Design offices are housed in a 1933 mattress factory building in SF's Dogpatch neighborhood. When Lundberg bought the place, it was an auto repair shop before he transformed it into his office and workshop. The setup also includes an apartment for Lundberg and his wife, Mary Breuer, featuring a large open kitchen that overlooks the workshop (and has so many iron tools, it resembles a smithy more than a kitchen). Come have a look around.

    Lundberg Design San Francisco Photographer Ryan Hughes | Remodelista

    Above: The concrete and steel entrance to Lundberg Design. The firm’s work ranges from residential to commercial projects, including several restaurants, a winery, and, most recently, Twitter’s new digs. Photograph by Ryan Hughes.

    Lundberg Design San Francisco Photographer Art Gray | Remodelista

    Above: The lobby and office area are located at the front of the building; the workshop is on a lower level in the rear. 

    Lundberg Design San Francisco Photographer Art Gray | Remodelista

    Above: Metal scaffolding is used as desk partitions. Lundberg explains that these "slightly irreverent work stations" are put together like kits and were designed for an internet startup a while back—when the business went under, Lundberg snapped them up. 

    Lundberg Design San Francisco Photographer Art Gray | Remodelista

    Above: Images of the firm's projects include photos of the refurbished Icelandic car ferry that Lundberg and Breuer used to live in, docked off a pier in San Francisco. Lundberg defines the company style as “nature-inspired modernism.” Above three photographs by Art Gray.

    Lundberg Design San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: A wall of hot sauces from around the the globe in a meeting room. Lundberg and Breuer have been collecting hot sauces for more than a decade and typically buy a bottle to use and a bottle for the wall. The table was made from bowling alley wood purchased on Craig's List.

    Lundberg Design San Francisco  | Remodelista

    Above: One of Lundberg's buoy lights hangs in a meeting room that overlooks the fabrication shop. He found the buoy washed up on a coastal property he owns in Northern California. Once he cut the piece in half, he found that he preferred the rusted side and turned it into his office light, which he notes "has a funny death-star quality to it."

    Lundberg  Design Studio | Remodelista

    Above: The vast, light-filled fabrication shop opens on to a yard at the back of the building. The structure's concrete shell with timber-framed roof was sandblasted and painted white. The industrial steel-framed glass windows overlooking the shop floor offset the new with the old. 

    Lundberg Design San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: The fabrication shop. You can see some work in progress in the Lundberg Design Studio and Shop video.

    Lundberg Design San Francisco Photographer Art Gray | Remodelista

    Above: Filled with pieces of steel, wood, and other materials awaiting use, the outdoor space looks like a scrap yard and recycling center.

    Lundberg Studio wood root | Remodelista

    Above: Designer Cameron Cooper stands in front of a tree root destined to become a dividing wall sculpture in SF chef Mourad Lahlou's new restaurant. Lundberg tells us, "As much as I like steel, I am a huge wood fan—I like to play the two off each other. I am always on the lookout for extraordinary pieces of wood." Among his finds: 19th century log cabins that he's sourced on on Craig's List, among other places; he reinvented a history cabin in Twitter's new cafeteria

    Lundberg Design Hard Water Restaurant | Remodelista

    Above: Lundberg's design for Charle's Phan's Hard Water whiskey bar with custom buoy light. (Lundberg Design also created Phan's award-winning restaurant The Slanted Door). Of the fixture, Lundberg says, "This is a big, chubby piece of reclaimed material that reads as heavy, but as a light, it floats in space." The back-lit shelves are made of steel and glass and almost disappear behind the whisky bottle lineup. 

    Olle Lundberg Sonoma Cabin | Remodelista

    Lundberg and Breuer's own cabin near the Sonoma coast is largely composed of materials leftover from design projects over the years. Above L: A custom-designed firewood holder. Above Ri: The 14-feet-deep pool was formerly a water tank for livestock.

    For more projects by Bay Area architects, see the Remodelista Architect/Design Directory. And go to Gardenista for Bay Area Garden Finds, including one of the World's Most Beautiful Swimming Pools (wild flower garden included).

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Yesterday we featured the white-washed offices of Totokaelo, a fashion and design empire in Seattle's Capitol Hill. Today, we're highlighting owner Jill Wenger's DIY approach to ugly office supplies and electronics: "I paint everything white so it goes away; there are so many better things to look at in the room."

    To tackle Totokaelo's vast new office, Jill collaborated with Dan Morgan: "He's a friend who is willing to whiteout whatever appliance I toss his way. He's done my flatscreen TV, fan, and a handful of other electronics. No breakages of electrical issues to date!" she says. Read on for her primer on how to whiteout appliances.

    N.B.: Paint at your own risk—we suggest trying Jill's approach on old printers and other equipment that won't break the bank. 

    Photography by Michael A. Muller for Remodelista.


    White Paint, Totokaelo Office Visit, Photography by Michael Muller | Remodelista


    DIY Printer White Paint, Totokaelo Office Visit, Photography by Michael Muller | Remodelista

    Step 1: Begin by covering up the working components of the machine with air-tight, taped-down plastic wrap.

    Step 2: Working in sections, apply Cardinal Air Dry Acrylic Enamel, a paint designed for use on metallic substrates, such as galvanized steel and utility equipment. After the first coat, test your equipment before continuing with the second (and, of course, recover up all the working parts before respraying).


    White Painted Printer, Totokaelo Offices in Seattle, Photography by Michael Muller | Remodelista

    Step 3: Using Cardinal Lacquer Aerosol—designed for touch-ups and repairs of business machines and select plastics—touch up any uncoated sections, again covering key components of the machine (such as the LCD screen, shown here).

    Step 4: Fill in hard-to-reach corners and crevices with the white Sharpie marker.

    DIY Paint Project White Paint, Totokaelo Office Visit, Photography by Michael Muller | Remodelista

    Above: In the Totokaelo offices, even the pencil sharpener is coated in glossy white paint.

    We're fond of paint as a DIY solution. Have a look at some of our previous featured projects: The Copper Pipe Curtain Rod for $35, A Painted Canvas Tissue Box Cover, and Easy, Colorful Switch Plate Covers. And on Gardenista, see DIY: Envy-Inducing Planters (Spray Paint Is Involved).

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    The IBM wall clock has been quietly marking time in American schoolrooms, offices, and factories for nearly three-quarters of a century. In 1947, inspired by the jazzy colors and streamlined designs of Italian rivals Olivetti, IBM decided to rethink its image, which was decidedly old-fashioned in comparison. A new design team was assembled by Eliot Noyes, former curator of industrial design at MOMA, and the group came up with IBM's distinctive slab font logo (nine years before celebrated designer Paul Rand redrew the logo as we know it). The clock, with its no nonsense numerals and impossibly thin red second hand, was introduced soon afterwards.

    The understated and ubiquitous presence of the IBM clock went on to leave an indelible impression on several generations of bored and harried workers across the land. Out of production for a time, it's faithfully reproduced today by Schoolhouse Electric with a spun steel case and domed glass lens, fashioned in US factories and assembled in Portland, Oregon. Here are some examples:

    Above: The IBM Clock, 13.5 inches across, comes in any color as long as it's gray, and is $245 at Schoolhouse Electric. In the Remodelista book, we singled out the clock as the opening image of the Remodelista 100, a chapter devoted to our favorite everyday objects 

    Above: A detail of an original IBM clock, via A steady supply of vintage electric IBM clocks can be found on eBay and Etsy, most for less than $100.

    IBM Clock Box Schoolhouse Electric/Remodelista

    Above: Unlike the vintage plug-in models, Schoolhouse Electric clocks are operated by a battery quartz movement.

    Object Lessons columnist Megan Wilson is the owner of Ancient Industries and curator of the Remodelista 100 presented in the Remodelista book. Watch for her column every Tuesday, and have a look at her past lessons on the Sheila Maid Clothes Drying RackHudson's Bay Point BlanketLodge Cast Iron Cookware, and the Humble Cotton Cleaning Cloth.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Sourcing the perfect office chair isn't easy. When you're spending hours in the office and sitting in the chair, ergonomics are just as important as aesthetics. Here are ten desk chairs guaranteed to increase productivity (or at least design happiness):

    Eames Aluminum Office Chair in Black Leather | Remodelista

    Above: The classic Eames Aluminum Management Chair is available in a dozen different colors at Room & Board; prices start at $1,959.

    Ikea Jules Swivel Chair in White | Remodelista

    Above: Ikea's Jules Swivel Chair is available in five colors for $39.99.

    Hay About A Chair Office Chair in White | Remodelista

    Above: From Danish company HAY, the About a Chair AAC20 was designed by Hee Welling with "conspicuous simplicity" in mind; €295 from Connox.

    Folio Leather Office Chair

    Above: The streamlined Folio Leather Office Chair is available in eight different pigment dyes; $349.97 from Crate and Barrel.

    Eames Fiberglass Chair in Black | Remodelista

    Above: The Eames Rolling Fiberglass Shell Chair is available in 15 colors; it's $425 at Modernica.

    Egoa Task Chair

    Above: Josep Mora's Egoa Task Chair comes in oak, beech, cherry, walnut, black, and white. The chair is ergonomic with self-breaking casters and adjustable seat height; $699 from Design Within Reach.

    Hudson Task Chair

    Above: Designed for the Hudson Hotel in New York and fabricated in the US, the Hudson Task Chair is made from 80 percent recycled aluminum and comes in a brushed or polished finish; $1,025 from Design Within Reach.

    1940 Banker's Chair from Restoration Hardware | Remodelista

    Above: The 1940s Banker's Chair in antiqued black is $495 at Restoration Hardware.

    Eero Saarinen Executive Task Chair

    Above: A vintage leather Saarinen Executive Task Chair is available from Pegboard Modern in Chicago, via 1st Dibs. New versions of the Executive Task Chair start at $1,964 at All Modern.

    Jake Office Chair

    Above: Room & Board's Jake Office Chair in cherry or walnut is molded from plywood with a chrome base and casters; $179.

    Snille Swivel Chair

    Above: The Snille Swivel Chair in black powder-coated steel is $19.95 from Ikea.

    For more office furniture and accessories, browse our Office posts, including Economy + Style: 6 Trestle Table Desks and 8 Favorites: DIY Pinboards.  On Gardenista, On Gardenista, learn 7 Ways to Organize and Green Your Office Simultaneously and have a look at a Desktop Compost and Bookshelf Garden System.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on October 3, 2012 as part of our North by Northwest issue. On Gardenista, learn 7 Ways to Organize and Green Your Office Simultaneously.

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    About four years ago, I happened upon the blog Metrode and I remember being first drawn to the subtly Scandinavian aesthetic of the mystery person behind it. That was during a time in the blogosphere when you would comb through someone's personal musing and inspirations, piecing their personality together as you saw it, a time before everyone was readily available on social media.

    Caitlin Emeritz, the artist behind Metrode, began her blog as an outlet for her Etsy vintage store. "The first digital photo I ever took was for Metrode," she remembers. "I started selling vintage on Etsy because I couldn't find a job; that project evolved, and eventually I was making my own things." Caitlin has never been big on social networking—she's a self-proclaimed "creative weirdo" who is part of a network of the same across Seattle. These days, she's also a weaver, and Metrode is now devoted to her wall hangings. 

    Her minimalist, color-blocked weavings are often in shades of white—not unlike the rooms in the Capitol Hill townhouse where she and her husband, Michael, live. The two rented the modest house for two years before their landlord offered it for sale. The experience of transitioning from renter to owner gave them the opportunity to actually make the tweaks and renovations they had been dreaming of. Their results are a study in how to live minimally on three small floors, each 400 square feet.

    Photography by Michael A. Muller for Remodelista.

    Artist Caitlin Emeritz House Call in Seattle, Washington | Remodelista

    Above: Caitlin sits in the living room—the main floor of the house—with a trio of her weavings hanging behind her. To make up for the structure's lack of architectural detail and flow, the couple keep the decor simple. They stripped down the popcorn ceilings, painted the room white, and keep the furnishings spare: a sheepskin-covered bench, floor lamp, desk and chair, and white-potted house plants. 

    Artist Caitlin Emeritz House Call in Seattle, Washington | Remodelista

    Above: Caitlin's weavings are available online through Anaïse, and can often also be found at Rennes and Ioneta

    Artist Caitlin Emeritz House Call in Seattle, Washington | Remodelista

    Above: Caitlin is a sheepskin connoisseur. She sources most of hers from farms that sell them as byproducts of the meat industry. A favorite source is Nistock Farms, located in the Finger Lakes region of Western New York. "I also recently found a woman who sells beautiful angora goat pelts; her shop on Etsy is called Liongate Farm," she tells us. "But the very best place to buy sheep and goat pelts is in person at a fiber festival, directly from the farmer."

    Artist Caitlin Emeritz House Call in Seattle, Washington | Remodelista

    Above: "The kitchen was so bad when we first moved in here—the whole house, you could just tell that no one had ever cared about it," says Caitlin. "To start we had to bash a big hole in the wall." The finished results in the kitchen include this tiled wall niche used to display a collection of white-glazed ceramics.

    Artist Caitlin Emeritz House Call in Seattle, Washington | Remodelista

    Above: Caitlin designed their X-base dining table and other pieces in collaboration with a woodworker friend, Joel Kikuchi (who also made much of the office furniture for the nearby shop Totokaelo).

    Artist Caitlin Emeritz House Call in Seattle, Washington | Remodelista

    Above: Essential tools and supplies hang within reach in the small second floor studio where Caitlin does most of her work.

    Artist Caitlin Emeritz House Call in Seattle, Washington | Remodelista

    Above: Caitlin selected her loom, a Canadian-made Le Clerc Floor Loom, in part, because it's proportional to the size of her studio.

    Artist Caitlin Emeritz House Call in Seattle, Washington | Remodelista

    Above: Work materials in a linen-covered box.

    Artist Caitlin Emeritz House Call in Seattle, Washington | Remodelista

    Above: "I got the idea from Martha Stewart to really value your bed," says Caitlin. The couple's mattress is layered natural latex and wool with a two-inch wool topper and came from Soaring Heart in Seattle: "Soaring Heart is not like retail at all; it feels like therapy. Like they are really trying to change people's lives by giving them a better bed, or at least they have me convinced." The sheets and covers are by a group of small-scale Etsy sellers who Caitlin follows: Nikki Designs, AVISA Fabrics, Shabby Wool Jane, Kelly Green, and Vilenda Linen.

    Artist Caitlin Emeritz House Call in Seattle, Washington | Remodelista

    Above: The bed frame was made by Joel: "He came up with the idea of using two panels of perforated metal on the base. It made the project more interesting for Joel—he wanted to use less conventional materials—and the perforated metal makes for breathability below the mattress."

    Artist Caitlin Emeritz House Call in Seattle, Washington | Remodelista

    Artist Caitlin Emeritz House Call in Seattle, Washington | Remodelista

    Above: The curtains throughout the house are made of European linen sourced from sellers on Etsy (some of whom are noted above).

    Artist Caitlin Emeritz House Call in Seattle, Washington | Remodelista

    Above: Go to Metrode to see more of Caitlin's work. 

    Visit another weaver's studio in our recent post Farm-to-Table Textiles from Voices of Industry, and take a tour of the famous Egan House in Seattle in Living in an Architectural Landmark, Seattle Edition. On Gardenista, tour An Artist's Verdant Atelier in Paris.

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    Whenever I head back to my hometown of Seattle, I stop in at Peter Miller Books (and I always tell my design-minded friends to do the same). Two summers ago, after 25 years in the landmark Terminal Sales Building near the Pike Place Market, Peter Miller Books moved to a new space just four blocks north. Located in the heart of Seattle's Belltown neighborhood, the shop is housed in a building owned and designed by Suyama Peterson Deguchi architects (a perfect match as building mates). 

    Peter Miller Books, Remodelista

    Above: Located at 2326 Second Avenue in Seattle (about the halfway point between the Pike Place Market and the Olympic Sculpture Park), Peter Miller Books has been a mainstay in the architecture and design scene in Seattle for more than thirty years. The bookstore occupies one of two retail spaces that adjoin Suyama's architecture studio; the other is occupied by 3 x 10, Suyama Peterson Deguchi's own furniture and accessory showroom. Situated in a third dedicated space in the center of the building is the Suyama Space art gallery.

    Peter Miller Books, Remodelista

    Above: Miller offers a range of titles for the architect, the architecture lover, and the design enthusiast, with a focus on building, landscape, urban, product and graphic design.

      Lunch at the Shop by Peter Miller/Remodelista

    Above: Miller's 2013 book, Lunch at the Shop: The Art and Practice of the Midday Meal is $16 from Amazon (photo via To Die For). Miller trained as a chef with Maurice Thuillier before launching his shop; a compendium of easy yet sophisticated midday meals, his book was was photographed by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton, cofounders of Canal House.

    Peter Miller Books, Remodelista

    Above: The building started as a livery stable over a century ago and then spent nearly 60 years as an automobile repair shop before George Suyama purchased it in 1995 and transformed it into his architectural studio (with additional retail spaces in the front).  

    Peter Miller Books Office Tools, Remodelista

    Above:The store also offers a collection of office tools and stationery supplies (some items are available through Peter Miller's Online Shop).

    Peter Miller Books, Remodelista

    Above: The stacks look like tall buildings.

    Peter Miller Books Corbusier Stencils, Remodelista

    Above: Drawing materials on offer include the Le Corbusier Stencil Set available in a variety of sizes; $36.

    Peter Miller Books, Remodelista

    Above: The Stendig Wall Calendar hangs in the shop; $40.

    Peter Miller Books Orskov Glassware, Remodelista

    Above: Peter Miller Books carries a small but well-curated collection of housewares, including Orskov Glassware from Denmark. A staple at the store for nearly 20 years (Miller first admired the glasses on a trip to Copenhagen), the delicate glasses are surprisingly durable because they're made of heat-resistant borosilicate (laboratory glass), and are microwave- and dishwasher-proof; $8 to $13 each, depending on size.

    Peter Miller Books, Remodelista

    Above: Peter Miller Books is open Monday through Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm.  

    Heading to Seattle? Peruse our Seattle Design, Restaurant, Shop, and Architectural Finds. And on Gardenista, discover a Century-Old Glass House (with 3,426 window panes) in Seattle's Volunteer Park.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original ran on July 17, 2013 as part of our Best of Architecture issue.

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    Spotted on lifestyle blog Camille Styles, a simple desk with Ikea legs and a wooden top assembled from hardware store parts, stealth touch of glamor included. The DIY design is the creation of Austin, Texas, interior designer and Camille Styles columnist Claire Zinnecker, who, after searching for the perfect simple, affordable work table, built one for herself. Total cost: less than $75.

    The inspired detail that makes the design that much more interesting: Claire trimmed the front of the desktop with a gold metal band made from aluminum carpet edging: "I was wandering around Home Depot, waiting for something to jump out at me," she says. "And then I saw the carpet trim. I love the way it completes the desk (and protects me from splinters). Everything is better with a little gold."

    Photographs by Kate Stafford for Camille Styles.

    Camille Styles DIY Gilded Edge Desk by Claire Zinnecker | Remodelista

    Above: Claire built her desk using a pair of Ikea Lerberg trestle legs in white powder-coated steel, $10 each. The wooden top simply rests on the legs and was built entirely from hardware store parts. "You need to have basic hammer and drill skills," Claire tells us, "but the sawing part you can leave to your hardware store—they usually have a saw and will cut materials to your specs."

    Camille Styles DIY Gilded Edge Desk by Claire Zinnecker | Remodelista

    Above: Claire keeps her desktop clutter free but well accessorized with, among other things, Hay's colorful metal Kaleido Trays from Nannie Inez, starting at $16 each, and white-framed prints—a Fox poster by graphic designer Silke Bonde, €60 , and a graphic design by Alyson Fox (whose Modern Open Kitchen we recently spotlighted). 

    Camille Styles DIY GIlded Edge Desk in progress | Remodelista

    Above: To give the desktop a handmade look—and ensure that it's thick enough not to buckle—Claire used varying widths of pale knotty wood known as white wood. "A sheet of plywood would also work, as long as it's not too thin," she says.

    Camille Styles DIY GIlded Desk in progress | Remodelista

    Above L: The metal edge is hammered in place. Carpet edging is traditionally used on floors for joining carpet to wood or tile. Claire sourced hers, which is extra wide, at Breed & Co., a hardware store in Austin. Above R: The desktop balances on the legs: "The legs are very sturdy; I've never had a tipping issue," says Claire, "and this way, it's easy to move the desk when I rearrange, which I love to do." 

    Camille Styles DIY Gilded Edge Desk by Claire Zinnecker | Remodelista

    Above: For a project materials list and complete step-by-step instructions, go to Camille Styles.

    Looking for more project ideas? Peruse all our DIYs , including DIY Beadboard Ceilings, Copper Pipe Curtain Rods, and a $60 Lindsey Adelman LIght. And, on Gardenista, learn how to make Rose Petal Honey.

    Like to put Ikea parts to creative use? See Ikea Upgrade: The SemiHandmade Kitchen and A Napa Valley Kitchen Makeover, Ikea Cabinets Included.

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    SF-based Everlane is an online fashion company whose tagline is "Modern Basics. Radical Transparency." What does that mean? They lay it all out on their website: where the fibers are sourced, manufactured (LA, Dongguan and Shenzen, China, and Ubrique, Spain), and what the costs are. And once a month, they welcome customers into their offices for a look at the newest products and where they come to be. 

    Recently, the company made the leap from a "shoebox on Sutter Street" to the second story of a Mission District warehouse with windows everywhere, and Alexa and I were among the first in line to see the new space. It's still very much a work in progress emphasized Lee Cerre, the company's lead designer, who showed us around. Immediately envious of the soaring ceilings and custom white furniture, we asked: Was the studio space designed by an architect or interior designer? No. Did they hire a consultant to help them decorate? No. "We like to do things ourselves," says Cerre who, it turns out, doubles as the office designer. Have a look at what she and the crew have come up with so far.

    Photographs by June Kim for Everlane, unless otherwise noted. 

    Everlane Studio in San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: The room has 20-foot ceilings and large industrial windows that require curtains they let in so much light. 

    Everlane Studio in San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: The furnishings are a mix of custom pieces and off-the-rack finds. The wood-topped white desks and tables were made for Everlane by SF's Ohio Design. To create a uniform look, each desk has a  white and gray SAYL desk chair from Herman Miller and white Industrial Task Table Lamp from West Elm.

    Everlane Studio Office Space SF | Remodelista

    Above: Don't be fooled by how calm the space looks—when we visited, the Everlane team was in full work mode, a fitting going on in one corner and the planning of future product releases in the other. 

    Moodboard at Everlane Studio | Remodelista

    Above: A mood board for an upcoming collection is perched against a wall of cinderblocks recently painted white; the concrete floors are newly refinished with concrete micro topping. 

    Everlane Studio | Remodelista

    Above: A sawhorse table is used to draft and cut garment patterns.

    Everlane San Francisco Studios and Offices, Photograph by Alexa Hotz | Remodelista

    Above: A corner office.

    Everlane San Francisco Studios and Offices, Photograph by Alexa Hotz | Remodelista

    Above: When we came to this framed company statement, Cerre commented, "You know where your onions come from and where your cheese comes from; we think it's necessary for people to know where their clothes come from." Photograph by Alexa Hotz

    Everlane San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: Everlane's Spring Silk collection is made in Hangzhou City, China. 

    Communal Table at Everlane | Remodelista

    Above: A trio of custom-built tables by Ohio Design are pushed together to create a communal picnic and meeting space.

    Everlane San Francisco Studios and Offices, Photograph by Alexa Hotz | Remodelista  

    Above: What did we walk away obsessing over? A DIY clothing rack made from white-painted plumbing pipe. (Last week, did you see Izabella's DIY Copper Pipe Curtain Rods?) Photograph by Alexa Hotz.

    Go to Everlane to learn more about the company and see its designs.

    For more inspiring workspaces, take a look at An Organizer's Dream: An Art Studio with Color-Coded Built-In Storage, as well as all of the office-related posts in our Gallery of Rooms and Spaces. And don't miss Gardenista's post on Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon's backyard writing studio

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    An artist and designer who defies classification, Kelly Lamb lives and works in one of LA's most glamorous settings: a 1923 Mediterranean-revival converted stable on the grounds of the Paramour Mansion in Silver Lake, with, as she says, "insane views" of Hollywood on one side and downtown on the other. Not long ago, we visited Lamb's living quarters. Today, we've returned for a tour of the ground-floor studio where she produces her line of ceramics, and designs her art pieces and furniture. What unifies her work is her use of organic forms and geometric patterns—sources of inspiration include "sacred geometry, Viennese Secessionism, the Arts and Crafts Movement and architects such as Buckminster Fuller and Oscar Niemeyer." Have a look:

    Photography by Laure Joliet for Remodelista.

    Kelly Lamb in her LA studio by LJoliet for Remodelista

    Above: Kelly Lamb in her workspace, KL Studio, with one of her Geo Vases. She started making ceramics out of a desire to create things she could give people—"sculptural objects, not just utilitarian pieces." The table is one of her own creations, the God's Eye Table, so named, she explains, because "the wood is herringbone and it's inset with copper inlay that creates a God's eye diamond in the center."

    Kelly Lamb LA studio kitchen photographed by Ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: In her paneled kitchen, Lamb's signature faceted Bowls and Teacups are stacked on an open shelf alongside bottles topped with her laser-cut iron Corkscrews.

    Kelly Lamb studio | Remodelista

    Above: KL Studio Candles in faceted ceramic bowls and Geo Planters. Kelly's first ceramic product was the Geo Birdhouse, licensed by Areaware and available on request. 

    Kelly Lamb LA studio photographed by Ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: The original plaster fireplace is topped with a mirror found at a flea market. The hanging glass pendant is, Kelly explains, "one of my Crystal Totems. I hang them in all my spaces because they throw light and rainbows all day—they're solar chandeliers."

    Kelly Lamb LA studio photographed by Ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: The Crystal Totem at work. The large bowls are "mother molds" for Lamb's ceramics. 

    Kelly Lamb LA studio photographed by Ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: Ceramic molds for planters and bowls. 

    Kelly Lamb studio | Remodelista

    Above: Kelly has a small crew that helps with production. Here, they're prepping a mother mold to create production molds for slip casting. The pieces get fired in an electric kiln in the studio.

    Kelly Lamb LA studio photographed by Ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above: The wood-paneled bathroom retains its original fixtures.

    Kelly Lamb studio | Remodelista

    Above: The bathroom light is Moroccan, a gift that Lamb decorated with antlers—"I like to personalize lighting." The blue is a Benjamin Moore color (since forgotten) that she picked up at Home Depot. 

    Kelly Lamb LA studio photographed by Ljoliet | Remodelista

    Above The storeroom with KL Studio products ready to ship.

    Kelly Lamb studio staircase | Remodelista

    Above: The stairs to her living quarters above the studio are lined with her Geo Planters.

    Kelly Lamb LA studio garden photographed by Ljoliet | Remodelista  

    Above: One of the best features of Lamb's setup: the courtyard surrounding the studio. It's furnished with indoor-outdoor pieces, including an octagonal ottoman designed  by Lamb. To see more of her work, go to Kelly Lamb.

    Don't miss our tour of Lamb's house: High on a Hill in LA, as well as our post on LA's General Store, which carries her ceramics line. For more Planters, have a look at Gardenista. 

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    More often than not, I'm pulling my laptop into bed to finish up work at night (and I know I'm not alone)—so why not combine a desk with a bed? Or a sofa with a table? 

    Enter Hirashima, a Japanese furniture company that focuses on solving the day-to-day riddles of small-space living. Their designs—a table with a bookshelf, a headboard that is also a desk, and a sofa that extends into a dining table—are all meant to bring rhythm and flow to apartment living. Each design is available with a mix of different modular add-ons, hardwood options, sizes and shapes; all available online through Japanese shop, Piano Isola.

    Furniture by Hirashima in Japan, Legare Collection | Remodelista

    Above: The Legere Bean Dining Table is made of walnut in the shape of a bean (or a slightly askew half moon). Below the tabletop, a second layer of walnut is used for dining room storage.

    Furniture by Hirashima in Japan, Legare Collection | Remodelista

    Above: A view of the storage component of the Bean Dining Table.

    Furniture by Hirashima in Japan, Caramella Collection | Remodelista

    Above: The Caramella Sofa-Dining Table is a two-seater, fabric-upholstered sofa on one side, and a small dining table on the other.

    Furniture by Hirashima in Japan, Caramella Collection | Remodelista

    Above: A side view reveals the two-in-one design.

    Furniture by Hirashima in Japan, Caramella Collection | Remodelista

    Above: The Caramella Bed is made of walnut and detailed with a long bedside table that functions as a lap desk.

    Furniture by Hirashima in Japan, Caramella Collection | Remodelista

    Above: The bed also has a full desk connected to the back of its frame.

    Furniture by Hirashima in Japan, Caramella Collection | Remodelista

    Above: The desk is narrow, but has four drawers, all in walnut.

    Furniture by Hirashima in Japan, Caramella Collection | Remodelista

    Above: Also available as an add-on to the Caramella Bed: a modular bookcase in instead of a desk.

    Furniture by Hirashima in Japan, Biscotte Collection | Remodelista

    Above: The Biscotte Dining Table with a pair of upholstered chairs and a bench, all in walnut (and also available in oak).

    Furniture by Hirashima in Japan, Biscotte Collection | Remodelista

    Above: A walnut Dining Chair from the Legere collection.

    Furniture by Hirashima in Japan, Legare Collection | Remodelista

    Above: The Legere Coffee Table is a similar concept to the Bean Dining Table: a shelf underneath the surface serves as storage for books and more; it's shown here in oak.

    Furniture by Hirashima in Japan, Legare Collection | Remodelista

    Above: The retangular version of the coffee table in walnut. The table is available in four different dimensions through Hirashima.

    Interested in small-space solutions? See One-Room Living: A Shape-Shifting Studio Apartment in London. And don't miss our survival guide posts from Gardenista's Erin Boyle: Life in a Tiny Apartment, Brooklyn Edition and 10 Tips for Living in 240 Square Feet.

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    When setting up a home office, most people focus on the big purchase items—the desk, chair, and filing system. Lighting often comes as an after thought—and yet, poor lighting can cause eyestrain and headaches, and is definitely not a mood enhancer. Attention, fellow workaholics: considering the high percentage of time we we spend toiling, it make sense to create a setting with optimal lighting. Here's what you need to know:

    Home Office Lighting, Jean Prouve Chair, School Clock | Remodelista

    Above: Melbourne architect Rodney Eggleston uses floor to ceiling mirrors to capitalize on the benefits of natural daylight in his home office. Photograph by Sean Fennessy via The Design Files.

    1. What's the general strategy for lighting a home office?

    Lighting a home office is akin to dressing for a climate with changeable weather—it’s all about layering. When you consider the range of activities that go on in work spaces—reading, filing, working at a computer, talking on the phone, holding meetings—you realize that most are focus-intensive tasks that can't be well lit by by one light source alone. Instead, start by illuminating your office with an even and soothing warm, ambient light. It's ideal to place your ambient lights on a dimmer switch, so you have the flexibility to adjust light levels depending on time of day and types of work you're doing. Supplement this central source with task lamps on the desk and other key spots. 

    Home Office Lighting, Villa Wienberg, Aarhus, Denmark | Remodelista

    Above: The home office of Danish architects Mette and Martin Wienberg is light and bright thanks to a trio of sources: natural light from the window, ambient light in a corner, and, on the desk, a task light, the Tolomeo by Artemide. See the rest of the project in House Call: Clean Meets Cozy in Denmark. Photograph by Mikkel Mortensen

    Home Office Light, Task Light turned Bounce Light | Remodelista

    Above: Overhead spotlights or ceiling-mounted fixtures can often be the cause of annoying glare on your computer screen. If your office has these in place already, you don't necessarily need to turn them on. Instead, create an even ambient light by introducing a light fixture that can bounce the light off the walls and ceilings. Here, a small task lamp supplies broad, diffuse light in a home office. More small workspace solutions can be found in 10 Favorites: The Niche Workspace.

    2. What's the role of the task lamp?

    Task lights provide a focused light source on specific activities. If a range of activities take place in your office, it’s best to have a dedicated task light for each. Adjustable arms are ideal for accommodating a range of setups. See 10 Easy Pieces: Task Lamps for our picks. 

    Scandinavian Modern, Grethe Meyer House, Skandium, published by Ryland Peters | Remodelista

    Above: For each of her home work stations, Danish ceramicist Grethe Meyer installed a separate task light. See the rest of her house in Required Reading: Scandinavian Modern.  Photograph by Andrew Wood.  

    3. Why is the placement of the light source important?

    Where you place your lights is critical in avoiding glare and shadows. For instance, an overhead spotlight situated behind you can result in glare on your computer screen. To avoid shadows created by task lamps, place the light on the side opposite from the hand you use to write—if it's on the same side, your hand and arm will cast shadows.

    Home Office Lighting, task lights mounted to wall, Eames molded plastic chair | Remodelista

    Above: A pair of wall mounted Bestlite BL6 Wall Lamps serve as task lamps in a Copenhagen home office designed by Norm.Architects. Diffuse light from an overhead fixture (not visible here) reflects evenly off the white walls. Image via Norm.Architects.

    4. What about natural daylight?

    Natural light improves the ambience of any room, which, in turn, helps enhance focus and productivity—Julie has noticed that her whole family likes to work in the living room because it's so sunny. In some rooms, however—such as my own home office—at certain times of day, direct sunlight can create an overwhelming glare. You can mitigate this by installing simple translucent blinds. If there’s a window in your home office and you're working at a computer, the best position for the computer is on a desk that's perpendicular to the window. Placing your computer in front of the window can cause stress to your eyes because the brightness from behind may create too much of a contrast.

    Home Office Lighting, Natural light from the side | Remodelista

    Above: In her lower Manhattan studio, Briar Winters, owner of online apothecary Marble & Milkweed, enjoys the indirect natural light that comes from placing her desk against the wall perpendicular to the window. For more, see Shopper's Diary, Marble and Milkweed's New York Studio.  Photograph by Erin Boyle for Gardenista

    5. How can lighting alleviate the effects of working at a computer all day?

    Minimizing glare and contrast is the key to reducing eye strain. Harsh artificial or natural light is what creates the monitor glare that tires our eyes. Having your lights on dimmers and hanging light-diffusing blinds in your windows allows you to modulate light levels throughout the day, depending on the time of day and task at hand. It’s important to note that paperwork activities require a higher light level than computer work, which means that most of us when at our computers ought to consider turning down the ambient and task lighting.

    Home Office Lighting with Artemide Tolomeo Task Lights | Remodelista

    Above: In my own home office, I had no choice but to put the desk in front of the windows. Translucent roller blinds help me control the brightness throughout the day in order to keep contrast and glare to a minimum. See Remodeling 101: Simple Roller Blinds for the lowdown. Photograph by Jonathan Gooch for Remodelista. 

    Home Office Lighting Recap:

    • One overall source of lighting is not enough to accommodate the varied activities of a home office; it's best to layer light sources.
    • Use task lamps to illuminate focused work.
    • The correct placement of a task light is important to avoid glare and shadows.
    • Natural daylight improves the ambience of a room, but at certain times of day can be too bright.
    • Being able to adjust light levels throughout the day is ideal for the eyes and promotes productivity. 

    For more lighting advice, see our Remodeling 101 posts: How to Install Flattering Lighting in the Bathroom, How to Choose an Overhead Light Fixture, and Afterglow—10 Solutions for Romantic Lighting. And if you're looking for outdoor lighting, browse Gardenista's Lighting Posts and Photo Gallery.

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    Ten ingenious workspaces slotted into closets, corners, even under the stairs.

    Dwell Desk Niche/Remodelista

    Above: A tiny workspace in a 500-square-foot trailer owned by Sofie Howard, via Dwell.

    Pale Wood Niche Desk/Remodelista

    Above: A minimal workspace in a remodel by Czech firm oooox.

    White Niche Dark Desk/Remodelista

    Above: A couple of shelves inserted in an unused corner create an instant workspace in this Stockholm apartment via My Scandinavian Home.

    Closet Desk Mi Casa/Remodelista

    Above: A desk tucked in a closet via Mi Casa.

    Desk of Lola Niche Desk/Remodelista

    Above: A tiny workspace in a project by Alexandra Loew of From the Desk of Lola, a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory.

    Oliver Freundlich Cobble Hill Duplex Desk/Remodelista

    Above: An under-the-stairs workspace in a Cobble Hill project by Oliver Freundlich. (See the rest of the duplex at Architecture as Alchemy.) Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista. 

    Openstudio Architects London Flat Desk/Remodelista

    Above: A tiny office with pullout keyboard shelf in a Shape-Shifting Studio Apartment by Openstudio Architects in London, members of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory.

    Danish Apartment Window Desk/Remodelista

    Above: A window desk in an apartment in Denmark, via Lowe Home.

    Dagmar Daley and Zak Conway sliding bookshelf home office | Remodelista

    Above: In Dagmar Daley and Dak Conway's San Francisco Victorian, a shelving unit of their own design features a sliding panel to conceal the workspace (see more of the space at The Disappearing Office). Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

    Gray Office Niche/Remodelista

    Above: A clever desk in a penthouse apartment by Enrico Scaramellini of Es-arch in Italy; via Architizer.

    Looking for ingenious solutions for tight quarters? See our Image Gallery and our archive of Small-Space Living posts. On Gardenista, have a look at a Garage Turned Studio Apartment and A Tiny Backyard Studio on Wheels.

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    Ever since we heard the bummer stats about the dangers of sitting and working (really? we're 40 percent more likely to die in the next three years by perching while we blog?), we've been thinking about standing desks. Here are five we're considering in hopes of extending our lifespans.

    Ohio Design Alder Standing Desk | Remodelista

    Above: From San Francisco-based Ohio Furniture, the Adler Table takes its cue from "machinist tables built at the turn of the century." Made with hand-rubbed, gun-blue finish steel legs (a process that creates a black/blue patina finish and protects the raw steel against rust), the table can range in height from 27 to 42 inches, making it easy to change positions throughout the day. Prices for the Adler Table start at $1,950.


    Above: The ModTable from MultiTable can be adjusted to a minimum height of 27 inches up to a max of 46 inches and comes in a variety of combos (the base is is available in black, white, silver, or red, and the top in a variety of colors and finishes); ModTable combinations start at $599. Other configurations are also available, including a desk with a built-in Lifespan treadmill.

    Standing Desk

    Above: A custom Standing Desk from Tinkering Monkey is $750.

    Gallant Desk

    Above: A good budget option is Ikea's Gallant Desk, which comes with a choice of four different tops (white, gray, black, or birch veneer); $130.

    SMI Wooden Drafting Table

    Above: The solid oak SMI Wooden Drafting Table from Blick Art Materials doubles as a standing desk; prices start at $429 for a 42-inch-high, 30-inch-wide model.

    For more office ideas, browse our Image Gallery of Home Offices and Work Spaces, and out posts: 5 Favorites: Cheerful Desk Lamps, DIY: A $75 Desk with a Stealth Touch of Glamor, and 10 Ways to De-Clutter Your Tech Experience. The ultimate gardener's work table? See  Gardenista's Design Sleuth.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on September 6, 2012 as part of our Get to Work issue.

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    Charleston, South Carolina-based Fuzzco is a branding agency founded by Helen Rice and Josh Nissenboim. We've been following it since we spotted (and admired) Rice and Nissenboim's house in Dwell several years ago.

    We were especially intrigued when we came across Fuzzco's offices, which were designed in collaboration with Thompson Young Design. "We are a branding agency, so naturally we have strong opinions about how our brand extends into our space," Rice says. "The way we work, the company we keep, the working purpose of the space, and the objects we covet all informed the choices we made in our space. It's a functional sculpture of rich textures in stark arrangements." Recreate the look in your own workspace with the following elements.

    N.B.: See the Fuzzco office kitchen in our companion post, Steal This Look: Fuzzco Kitchen in Charleston.

    Fuzzco Branding Agency Offices in Charleston, South Carolina | Remodelista

    Above: Fuzzco headquarters, located in a small stuccoed building on Spring Street, has served as laundromat, church, candy store, and hat shop.

    Fuzzco branding office with purple area rug

    Above: A waiting area features an unexpected dash of purple.

    Fuzzco Branding Agency Offices in Charleston, South Carolina | Remodelista

    Above: The wood wall was salvaged from an industrial building in Kentucky by woodworker Michael James Moran. Note the arrows whimsically positioned on the concrete floor.

    Fuzzco Branding Agency Offices in Charleston, South Carolina | Remodelista

    Above: A detail shot of an arrow.

    Fuzzco Branding Agency Offices in Charleston, South Carolina | Remodelista

    Above: Spruce wood sourced from contractor Chip Adams and yellow cage lights along the wall by Peyton Avrett.

    Fuzzco Branding Agency Offices in Charleston, South Carolina | Remodelista

    Above: "We tried to keep and reuse a lot of the building's original materials," Rice says. The black porcelain door knob is reused from a renovation at 141 Spring Street in Charleston. For something similar, consider the Black Porcelain Door Knob; $35 at Rejuvenation.

    Fuzzco Branding Agency Offices in Charleston, South Carolina | Remodelista

    Above: A collection of wood animals marches across a steel beam.


    Pendant light from Schoolhouse Electric

    Above: The Union 6-Inch Fixture (shown here in polished nickel) is $139, and the hand-blown glass OP Shade is $155, both from Schoolhouse Electric.

    Bronze base wall light from Schoolhouse Electric

    Above: The Franklin Wall Sconce (shown here in matte bronze) is $79, and the A19 Silver Bowl Light Bulb is $7, both from Schoolhouse Electric.

    Plastic yellow industrial cage

    Above: Safely Caged yellow cage light cover; $1.00 for a pack of 3 from American Science & Surplus.

    Black porcelain farmhouse light from Schoolhouse Electric

    Above: The porcelain enamel Factory Light No. 5 Rod in black enamel is $279 from Schoolhouse Electric.

    Office Furniture

    Modernica Case Study Daybed | Remodelista

    Above: The Modernica Case Study Daybed has a wood frame and steel legs; $1,895 from Hive Modern.

    Blue Dot Strut Table in White | Remodelista

    Above: Blu Dot Strut Coffee Table; $399 from Blu Dot.

    Room & Board Copenhagen Lateral File Credenza | Remodelista

    Above: Copenhagen Two-Drawer Lateral File Credenza with wheels; $1,099 from Room & Board.

    Blu Dot Newspaper Upcycled Rug in Purple | Remodelista

    Above: The Blu Dot Last Newspaper Rug is made of cotton-wrapped recycled newsprint; $329 from Blu Dot.

    Eames Plastic Molded Chair in Black from Room & Board | Remodelista

    Above: Eames Molded Plastic Chairs with Wire Base by Herman Miller; $319 from Room & Board.


    Fredericks & Mae Colorful Arrows | Remodelista

    Above: Fredericks and Mae Hand Made Arrows; $95 from Fredericks and Mae. Photograph from Color by Numbers.

    Wooden Toy Animal Set from Etsy | Remodelista

    Above: Wooden African Animal Set; $31 from Three Leaves Toys on Etsy.

    Fuzzco Branding Agency Offices in Charleston, South Carolina | Remodelista

    Above: Find a Mounted Deer Head on eBay (alternatives made of cardboard or enamel are available from Etsy).

    Kraft Paper Roll and Holder | Remodelista

    Above: A 36-inch wide Butcher Paper Roll is $44.59 and the Horizontal Paper Cutter in gray is $66.22, both from Amazon.

    Redesigning an office space? See more inspirational images of Offices in our Gallery of rooms and spaces. On Gardenista, have a look at Evernote's Offices, Starburst Garden Wall Included.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on January 3, 2012 as part of our issue called A Clean Slate.

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    In the world of desktop storage, plastics proliferate. We went on a search for desk organizers in a more natural palette. Here are our finds:

    Tofu Wood Stationary Set, Remodelista  

    Above: The Tofu Stationary Set is the creation of Pana Objects, a collective of seven designers and makers in Thailand who specialize in wooden objects. Made from maple, the set has six cubes, each with a different function, that neatly rest in a fitted tray; $129 (plus $24 shipping to North America) from Pana Objects. 

    Remix Log Wood Desktop Organizer, Remodelista  

    Above: A streamlined receptacle to tidy up your desk. Made from a solid piece of oak, the Remix Log, designed by Gesa Hansen, has one large compartment for gathering papers and tools, plus spots to hold ten writing utensils. It's €160 from Connox. Life the look? See our recent post on Gesa Hansen at home in Paris.

    Kukka Blocks Wood Desk Set, Remodelista  

    Above: Created by London-based designer Rona Meyuchas Koblenz, the Kukka Blocks Desk is comprised of eight pieces that work together or independently. Made of beech, the set includes two large and two small trays, plus two cube containers, and two cube pencil holders; $65 at Module R.

    Another Country Desktop Series Two, Remodelista  

    Above: Made of maple and brass by UK design company Another Country, the Another Desktop Series Two consists of a paper tray, note holder, and pencil holder. A high-style addition to any desk, they're £163 for the set. 

    W+W Stationary Series Wood Desk Organizer, Remodelista  

     Above: Designed by Oliver Franz for Ideaco, the W+W Stationary Series is a multi-functional desktop tray that contains a white cubby to house writing utensils and other small items, a memo pad, and a smartphone stand. The W+W stands for the company's signature combination of white ceramic and wood; $50 at Leibal.


    Les Briques Lacquered, Remodelista


    Above: Les Briques Lacquered are wooden lacquered brick blocks perfect for desk storage. Available in five colors, they're $45 each from Neo-Utility.

    For more desktop inspiration, peruse all of Remodelista's Storage Posts, and consider a Tabletop Bookcase for Small Spaces. On Gardenista, have a look at what the editors are using to keep their Garages Organized.

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    My husband and I designed our home office in our small London townhouse for two people—I would be the permanent fixture and another member of the family (my husband or one of our two sons), would be rotating temporary fixtures. The situation worked smoothly until about two years ago when the boys, both teens, had to start prepping for a series of national public exams. That's when our once peaceful home office transformed into a family hot desking affair. Desperate to accommodate the overflow (and its accompanying mess), we figured out a simple way to create more workspace. Here's a look at the original setup and our new addition.

    Photography by Jonathan Gooch for Remodelista unless otherwise noted. 

    The Original Office: Workspace for Two and Storage Galore

    When we first moved into our house, what's now the office was the kitchen. We moved the kitchen downstairs and got to work designing our office, which is situated at the front of the townhouse and shares the second floor with the living room at the rear. The two spaces are divided by a wall, with door openings at either end that create an open flow.

    Christine Chang Hanway Home Office, Artemide Tolomeo Task Lamps, Photo by Jonathan Gooch | Remodelista

    Above: When we relocated the kitchen downstairs, we decided to keep the sink—now incorporated into our two-person desktop made from stained butcher-block —because there's no other source of water on this level. Having a sink in the office has proved invaluable for art projects and watering the plants on the balcony in the back. 

    Christine Chang Hanway Home Office, Aeron Chair, Photo by Jonathan Gooch | Remodelista

    Above: In the corner where I typically sit, there's a monitor for easy laptop plug-ins and an ergonomic Aeron Chair by Herman Miller. The space has overhead spotlights, which we now realize aren't in ideal locations for computer work because they introduce glare at night. Often we leave them off and create ambient light by angling up the Tolomeo Task Lamp and bouncing light off the walls and ceiling. See Remodeling 101: Lighting Your Home Office for more tips. 

    Christine Chang Hanway Home Office, MHL Dress, Aeron Chair, La Tropezienne by Claire Vivier, Photo by Jonathan Gooch | Remodelista

    Above: As architects obsessed with order, we wanted to be able to tidy up quickly without misplacing anyone’s things, and so we introduced as much built-in storage as possible. We managed to squeeze in two much-needed closets by building floor-to-ceiling storage into both ends of our U-shaped desk (the other side is not shown). And where we could, we installed shelves.

    Christine Chang Hanway Home Office, Ikea Wood Boxes, Photo by Jonathan Gooch | Remodelista

    Above: From Ikea in the UK, the Moppe Wooden Chest of Drawers allow me to obsess over finding a place for everything, from sewing tools to desk supplies. Granted this is probably not the most attractive labeling system, but it's fast and effective—and easy to change.

    Christine Chang Hanway Home Office, Small metal file cabinet, Photo by Jonathan Gooch | Remodelista

    Above: Small Metal Cabinets from Bisley provide more storage under the desk of each work station.     

    Christine Chang Hanway Home Office, Ikea Stolmen Shelves, Photo by Jonathan Gooch | Remodelista

    Above: On the wall between the living room and the office, we slotted three-drawer lateral files under a recycled Ikea Stolmen shelving system in which everything from sewing projects to work files lives. The color white unifies the aesthetic and, thanks to our recent post on DIY Painted Office Equipment, I realize I can paint our printer white as well. 

    Christine Chang Hanway Home Office, Ikea Stolmen Shelves, White Lateral Files, Photo by Jonathan Gooch | Remodelista

    Above: Our paperwork is filed efficiently in metal Lateral Files from Silverline, and the shelf on top holds sundry items until they get tidied away.

    The Office Addition: A Laptop Counter and Charging Station

    Creating more work space turned out to be easy: taking advantage of an empty wall right outside the office in the living room, we designed and installed a long, shallow counter-height desk with a white spray lacquer finish. 

    Laptop touchdown station, Photo by Kristin Perers | Remodelista

    Above: Our new custom-built setup is intended as a place for temporary workers to perch on stools or stand when they need to plug in—enabling those (like me) with long-term projects to man the two-person main desk without fear of being asked to vacate. In reality, our needs are constantly shifting and the flexibility of the setup has served us well. Currently, the ones who swoop in and perch at our new work counter are my husband, who is constantly on the road, and our older son, who is spending a gap year traveling before he starts college. Meanwhile, our younger son, who is in the throes of exams now, and I share the home office. And when the exam mess becomes uncontrollable or my hunched-over shoulders cry out for a new position, I've discovered that the counter offers me the perfect change of scenery. And better yet, if I stand at it, it just may extend my life as well as my office. Photograph by Kristin Perers for Remodelista. 

    Vitsoe Shelving in London Townhouse, Photo by Kristin Perers| Remodeslita

    Above: The new counter-height desk (not seen in this photo) extends into the Vitsoe bookshelves on the long wall of our living room. Photograph by Kristin Perers for Remodelista. 

    Laptop touchdown station, Photo by Kristin Perers | Remodelista

    Above: Tired of hunting all over the house for charging cords that have "walked," we added eight outlets to the counter so that it works as a charging station—unfortunately, the cords still vanish. Photograph by Kristin Perers for Remodelista. 

    See Rehab Diary: Finding Storage in Unexpected Places for other storage solutions we created in our home. And see our kitchen solution in Rehab Diary: Sleuthing for Space in My Kitchen. Additional Storage Ideas can be viewed in our Gallery of Rooms and Spaces. On Gardenista, start organizing your garage with 10 Easy Pieces: Garage Organizers

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