This Home Office Transformation in Harrison Is a Must-See

Designer Ania Dunlop transforms a dated office into a timeless workspace in a Mediterranean home in Harrison.

What was part of a remodel of an older Mediterranean home in Harrison, this office space was transformed into an upscale and traditional space for the husband who was working from home more frequently during the pandemic.

What they started with was a dark and dated room with dark wood paneling and dark carpet. “The goal was to breathe new life into the space, making it conducive to long Zoom calls while maintaining a stylish atmosphere,” says designer Ania Dunlop of Home for Zen Interiors.

Although the rest of the remodel consisted of a modern aesthetic, the designer took the office in a different direction. “The more traditional style of the office contrasts intentionally with the rest of the house’s [contemporary design],” says Dunlop. “The office’s traditional elements provide a sense of heritage and timelessness, adding depth and character to the overall design narrative.”

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The team was faced with the challenge of dark wood paneling and wall-to-wall carpeting when they began. “We had to make a crucial decision between removing the paneling entirely or finding a way to work with it,” says Dunlop. “Ultimately, we chose to keep it and refresh the space with a fresh coat of paint, which turned out to be a successful transformation. The result is an office with a masculine feel that still feels fresh.”

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The home office is cozy and welcoming.

The painted paneling ended up being Dunlop’s favorite part of the design. “I love that we were able to refresh the existing wood paneling with a coat of Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy paint, completely transforming the space into a contemporary office while retaining a sense of heritage,” she says.

In addition to refreshing the paneling, the team also replaced the fireplace stone with neutral marble, removed wall-to-wall carpeting and refinished the floors, and added a large-scale modern Moroccan rug to add in warmth.

Mid-century chairs were chosen to sit by the fireplace that create a “conversation pit” and an assortment of ceramics and objects were added to style the built-ins to complete the design.

The Team:
Designer: Ania Dunlop, Home for Zen Interiors
Contractor: Fernando Marquis

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Tips for a Home Office

What every office needs to be functional and stylish, according to Ania Dunlop.

Well-Positioned Desk:

Positioning the desk is crucial. A floating desk facing the entrance can make the space feel more welcoming and allows you to see who is coming in.

Tech Integration:

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Plan for tech needs. Ensure easy access to power outlets and cable management to maintain a clean and functional workspace. This is especially important when you have a desk floating in the middle of the room, so don’t forget to plan for the floor outlets.

Ample Storage:

If space allows, custom-built storage is a fantastic addition to keep documents and office equipment out of sight, maintaining a neat and organized workspace.

Organization Is Key:

Keep your workspace clutter-free by integrating effective storage solutions. Custom-built storage can hide documents, office equipment, and cables, contributing to a clean and organized environment. I really do believe that clean workspace contributes to more mental clarity and great productivity.

Lighting Matters:

Proper lighting is crucial for productivity and aesthetics. Combine natural light with task and ambient lighting to create a well-lit and inviting workspace.

Zoom-Friendly Background:

In the era of remote work, having a visually appealing background for Zoom calls is essential. Consider incorporating art, greenery, wallpaper, or a stylishly styled bookcase.

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