Call it curiosity. Call it voyeurism. Call it fun: We just love to see how our fellow interior designers create spaces for themselves, when they have free reign to make a home or office their very own. If you too enjoy seeing the choices designers make when they’re the clients, we’re pleased to give you a peek at five great design moves we put to work at Duet’s new office:
1. Mix it up.
We married pieces from different design eras—Art Deco here, midcentury there, a few Old World antiques thrown in—which is the key to giving spaces (yes, even offices!) visual interest. A variety of lines in the furnishings and décor gives the office a personality, and the space feels good because the scale and palette are unified.
2. Be playful.
Schumacher’s Toile de Femmes wallpaper in our kitchen is a beautiful and cheeky nod to the fact that Duet is woman-owned and woman-powered. The toile is a classic pattern; get up close, and you see images of women play the guitar, riding horses, walking their dogs, and even doing archery. We love design elements that “reveal” themselves after a first glance.
3. Pick a better palette.
We’re pretty sure that the whole working world would be happier if beige and gray were not the primary palettes for office spaces! It’s not expensive to embrace a more sophisticated palette that brings in hues that add energy, warmth, and comfort to a space. Here at Duet HQ, we paired warm woods with earth tones and touches of black. Then we layered in color: warm oranges, lush greens, rich mustard, soft pink. The human eye is drawn to the diversity of color we see in nature; replicating that assortment of hue in interiors is a surefire way to make a place lovelier.
4. Make it homey.
People come into our office and tell us, “It feels so good in here!” What they experience is akin to what they sense when walking into a well-designed home: We created a commercial space to feel like a residential one—except that it’s highly functional for a boutique design firm. Luscious upholstery, interesting finishes and fixtures, plenty of places to sit comfortably, a burning Baobab candle, clear indication of how to move through the space: all of these sensory elements make our office feel more like a home away from home.
5. Light it up.
We’re never going to stop singing the praises of high-quality, statement light fixtures as part of a layered lighting design. In our conference room, the Arteriors Home fixture is both sculptural and fun—and it brightens both the room and the mood! The Bone Simple fixtures in our workshop space shine diffused light, complemented by the gorgeous natural light from our wall of west-facing windows. Add in lamps and, if you need, recessed lights—all on dimmers—and you have a recipe for illuminating the beauty of well-designed spaces.
We loved transforming a dull, earnest office into the workspace of our dreams. It’s a place that we enjoy spending time and that reflects Duet’s culture and ethos. If you’re looking for someone to help transform your office space, we’d love to chat.