Designing Your "She Suite"

Kendall Simmons always adds a bit of surprise when she designs her clients’ homes. Her home office designs follow this trend, allowing clients to feel productive and delighted in their work space. Incorporate a few of Kendall’s “She Suite” tips, and your home office is sure to feel a lot happier!

What’s the first thing you consider when designing a home office?
The first thing to consider is always function. How do you need to use the space to reach your maximum productivity? The second thing to consider is how much “stuff” you need to keep in your home office. Sometimes, storage needs are minimal and you just need a place for your laptop. Other times, your work comes with a lot of things that need a home. For example, my work comes with stacks of drawings and fabric samples that tend to come home with me, so I am always looking for new ways to store them!

How can I create a space where I feel stylish, productive, and enjoy spending time?
Divide the design into two distinct phases in your mind. The first phase is made up of everything you need to function properly in your space. For example, a desk, office chair, good lighting, file storage, etc.

The second phase is the additional layer of fun and characterful things that make your space feel like a real room. For example, a beautiful art, wallpaper, cozy rug, or fun accessories. Most people tend to stop short after phase one. Don’t do that! Be sure to carefully choose some special, beautiful touches that make you smile, and make you want to spend time in your office.

Things have a funny way of coming together beautifully once you let go and just start collecting decor that makes you smile.

Give me the scoop on curating an ergonomic office.
Honestly, it all comes down to the chair. Spend time shopping for the perfect office chair that’s comfortable for your body type. So many people use a simple dining chair for their office chair, but it ends up being too uncomfortable for them to spend long spans of time in!

Where’s the line with color in my home office?
Well, for me, there is no line for color in any room! If you’re a color lover, you do you. If strong color tends to cause you anxiety or makes you lose focus, consider sticking with neutrals.

How should I decorate? What kind of art should I hang?
My advice is to treat the decoration of your home office like you would any other room. Once you have all your functional pieces in place, add a second layer of art and accessories. If you’re a fan of colorful abstract art for the rest of your home, continue that vein into your home office with a punchy series of paintings or framed prints.

My home office is more of a nook than an office. How can I maximize my mini space?
Don’t try to do too much with the space. When your work area is too cluttered, you won’t ever want to use it! Narrow down your priorities into your top three. For example, a computer, calendar, and file storage. Or work space, crafts supplies, and printer. Once you’ve limited the function of the space to the most important things, you can eliminate the rest of the clutter that you were tempted to pile into your small space!

Is there anything that women seem to gravitate toward in a home office?
Definitely! A lot of women like to incorporate an area for art, crafts, gift wrapping, or other creative activities into their home office. After all, it’s not all about work! Often this means an extra tabletop or island work surface (in addition to a desk) and closed storage to contain supplies.

Every home office needs…
Personality! Avoid generic cubicle vibes at all costs. Bring in a handful of things that make you smile, and you’re 100 times more likely to be productive in your home office.

Image Courtesy of Kendall Simmons Design