Tag Archives: small spaces

Discover the Perfect Home Office For Small Spaces With These Tips

Decorating, How-To and tagged , , | | | Leave a comment

As many people’s workspaces become increasingly mobile, an office space is often an essential feature in one’s home. But what if you don’t have an entire room to dedicate to a home office? There are plenty of options, provided you choose your home office furniture carefully and follow a few smart tips. There’s absolutely no need to relegate a home office to an entire room, especially if you’re trying to curate the perfect home office for small spaces. We’re positive that there’s a space in your home that can be rearranged to create room for a stylish, multitasking home office space. Check out our tips below.


Look at your home with a fresh eye. Is there a corner of your living room or guest bedroom that could accommodate a desk? How about the space where a console might usually fit? We’ve visited some homes where an entry has also housed a desk quite handsomely. Think creatively about your space and how it can work harder for you.

Standard office chairs need not (necessarily) apply. By using a dining room chair, stool, or side chair, you can add fewer furniture pieces to your home. When you aren’t using your desk, the chair can move to another spot in the room. Bonus: a dining chair or side chair is usually much more elegant than an office chair anyway.

Seek out chameleons when it comes to your desk. Secretary desks are a perfect small-space desk. We also love desks that can serve as console tables, entry tables or display areas when they’re not in use. These desks are much easier to integrate into a dining room, living room, guest room or entry.

Style your desk. By adding elements such as candles, a handsome table lamp, favorite art books and journals, your desk can transform itself in to a beautiful vignette in the room where it is housed, making the addition seem more natural.

Accessorize and organize. Keep needed work tools such as laptop, power cords, files and other items hidden away in drawers or baskets. Pencils, pens and paper clips can look lovely when housed in a pretty vase or jar.

Check out a few of our favorite desks and chairs from our home office sale. Are you adding a home office space to one of your rooms this year?
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How To Set Up a Festive Drinks Station For Your Holiday Party

Entertaining, Holiday, Recipes and tagged , , , , | | | 6 Replies

We’re excited to feature a post today from Carmen Taylor, who shows you how to create an easy and festive drinks station for your upcoming holiday soirees!

Setting up a drink station for a large crowd can be stylish and fun. Follow these guidelines for a seamless holiday beverage service.

Choose a signature drink that may be customized using infusions, purees and juices. An interactive beverage station is personal and exciting for guests. Use a beverage dispenser suited for larger service like the Decorator’s Drink Dispenser.

 Fill the base of the drink dispenser with seasonal decor elements.

 Mercury Glass Ball Ornaments add the perfect amount of glimmer.Prep glassware by garnishing Jewel Cut Double Old-Fashioned glasses before guests arrive. I enjoy using fresh herbs or fruit slices.


Rosemary Gin Sparkler

1 ½ cup of sugar

1 ½ cup of water

8 sprigs of rosemary

2 ¼ cup of gin

2 cups of club soda

½ cup of lime juice

In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, 4 of the rosemary sprigs, and water to a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool.

Strain the sugar syrup into a large pitcher. Add the gin, club soda, and lime juice and stir to combine. Chill before serving; garnish each glass with rosemary sprigs.
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Source: Photos courtesy Carmen Taylor

A Potentially Awkward Corner is Transformed Into a Cozy Staircase Nook

Decorating, Decorating Inspiration, Inspiration and tagged , , | | | 5 Replies

Pottery Barn customer and avid home designer Jonathan Stiers recently shared images of this staircase nook from his home. We loved how he decorated it, and reached out to him to talk about how he made this potentially awkward space work.  The area around a stairway is often difficult to decorate, given space limitations and traffic flow. How did you hit upon using this chair here? “I decided to not be afraid of filling the space. It would be easy to put a small table lamp here but I felt something with presence would give the space life. The size of the chair was important: it’s not oversized and it’s not too small so it doesn’t interfere with traffic flow. Yet the chair is accessible enough that it may be pulled out when hosting guests, if needed.” We love the pendant lamp in this area. Was it installed especially for this space, or was it there already? “I installed the pendant especially for this place. I felt with the column and the open space between it and the wall, it needed something to fill the space in a subtle way. The clear glass pendant light does just that. Combined with the filament bulb, it adds just the right amount of character.” Your chair is styled so beautifully. What are your tips for using throws and pillows when accessorizing? “I specifically chose warmer throw and pillow colors because of the lighter chair. Mixing textures is important, which is why I felt the leather pillow cover provided a nice contrast against the chair and throw. The warmer colors also tied back to the hanging print, completing the overall look.” What are you inspired by when decorating challenging spaces like this one? Creating a space with warmth and character. Something that feels cozy. I want to create something that if in a picture, I’d want to jump right in.” Why do you shop at Pottery Barn? “Pottery Barn has the traditional style that I love but with just the right amount of contemporary touches. The pieces are timeless, not dated. Everything has character and comes with a unique feeling of home, versus items that feel more generic and sterile, from a traditional department store. I’ve come to love doing easy pillow updates, for example. With the beautiful assortment of covers, it’s easy to give your room a refresh, simply by changing out a cover.”

Diminutive Dimensions Belie This Guest House’s Immense Style

Decorating, Decorating Inspiration, Inspiration and tagged , , , | | | 8 Replies

By any stretch of the imagination, 700 square feet is a small space. So, when interior designer Elizabeth Martin of Elizabeth Martin Design was tasked to create a welcoming, stylish guest house that favored those dimensions, she made very deliberate choices when it came to furnishings, art and layout of the home.

The cottage, which is located on the property of a larger home in Northern California’s Atherton area, now boasts interiors and exteriors that would encourage even the most reluctant of small space dwellers to contemplate an extended stay.

Today, we catch up with Elizabeth to ask her how she created this chic space, as well as share her tips for creating a chic guest room or guest house design of your own.

Can you tell us a little about this space? 

“The space is essentially a one-room cottage with a center pony wall separating the living area from the sleeping area with a bathroom on the sleeping side. The space has arched windows on either end that run the height of the open beamed ceilings. On the living room side, French doors open out onto an attached loggia porch that has its own fireplace with views of a swimming pool.

In designing this cottage, I wanted the feeling to be light and bright, yet unfussy and collected over time. The color palette is taken from the outdoors with more neutrals than serious color. All the materials, from the limestone stone floors to the cotton and linen fabrics are meant to punctuate the casual feeling.”


What are you favorite things about this space?

“I love the simplicity… and that nothing is too precious. The slipcovered utilitarian sofa with the 18th century wooden horse behind. These sorts of juxtapositions in design are what I love. A litmus test for me when designing a space is asking …could I live here?…and the answer is a resounding yes.  I could move in here tomorrow and be perfectly content.”


How is it used?

“This was intended for visiting parents, guests . . . and on occasion a busy mom that may take refuge from an extremely active life. The cottage is contained with its own entrance, bathroom, kitchenette and television. Therefore guests intentionally are not beholden to their hosts for the small things. What’s the expression . . . ‘Fish and houseguests may go bad after three days’ . . . Whereas,  in this instance, this guest cottage affords that visitors may stay long after their potential expiration date.”

What were your biggest challenges on this project?

“The biggest challenge of this project was to create the illusion that the cottage is actually larger than it is. So economy was everything. As an example of this, the headboard was made to fit into the notched wall and climbs to its height at over eight feet. The eye is actually drawn up to the open ceiling and thus the perception of more space.”

What were your other considerations when designing the bedroom area?

“I wanted to create a sleeping area that was inviting so that guests might feel they were in the better version of their own bedroom. To do this we used a hand-blocked print for the headboard fabric then amplified the tufting so that it was extra deep and soft. You can’t quite see this, though on the floor there is a antique Moroccan rug that is extra shaggy so that when getting in and out of the bed one steps onto something extra soft.”

How did you layer and style the bed?

“I love contrasts and so I wanted to place the newness of crisp white bed linens (at 700 thread count) against the antique ikat at the foot of the bed and top it with a vintage Balinese printed center pillow.”

The outdoor space is fantastic. How did you go about designing it?

“For me this outdoor space is the definition of California living — connecting the outdoors to the indoors and seamlessly being able to live and enjoy both. My intention here was to make everything in the outdoor space flow into the indoor areas. I also wanted all the outdoor furniture to disappear and feel a part of the landscape. It is more about the lack of color out here with textures and form than anything. (We do bring in the unexpected striped floor pillows as an accent that is repeated with the rug in the bathroom mat.)

From a utilitarian perspective we had to consider the elements so all the furniture except the collapsible stool lives outdoors. (The stool however travels indoors when needed.) And all the fabrics are solution died so they can withstand sun.”


What artists are featured in the guest house?

“The abstract painting on the back wall is by Sherie Franssen, a California artist. The black and white is by Doug Glovaski and the small oil painting at the kitchen area is by Terry St. John.”

What advice do you have for readers who want to design or redecorate a guest room or guesthouse?

“Number one rule; do not over decorate! Guest rooms are about creating the space for your guests to relax. When there is too much stuff or the room is overly ‘done,” the room can feel imposing and therefore loses its ease.

A goal when decorating a room for others is to make it functional first then add art and objects to make it more interesting and personal. (Though remember, no family photos.) When I say personal I do not mean in the literal sense. Good spaces intended for guests leave ‘room’ for the guest to feel as though it is their home even though it very well might be your home.”
Source: Photos by David Duncan Livingston