All the Comforts of Home - Page 2

How the well-designed home office makes it easy to get to work
Sometimes Nicole and Bob share their home office with their three children (L-R): Olivia, Evan, and Isabella.

“Living in this house,” Bob says, “it helps us recognize the things we need.”

“We are constantly looking for better ways to organize a nice storage system that is modern and minimal,” Nicole adds. “There’s not a lot out there.”

Bob Springer, an industrial designer who works with his wife on Spot On, says their Eichler home is actually ideal for a home business, citing qualities it shares with other modern homes.

“It’s ranch style and fairly spread out,” he says, which means their kids can make noise at one end of the house without disturbing work in the office. And the atrium provides the office with light.

But to make the best use of a home office takes more than situating it alongside the atrium and keeping the kids out of sight. And while the atrium room tends to attract most home offices in Eichlers, other opportunities abound, including kitchens and associated alcoves, spare bedrooms—even the backyard.

Evan and Isabella Springer work out on the office’s dry erase board.

 

The Jenkins’ conversion of their atrium room to home office is exemplary. The feeling of the room is business-like, with paired red chairs facing paired work spaces, and a vintage leather chair that belonged to Andrews’ father for relaxing—along with the vintage guitars Andrews strums while relaxing. “He plugs in and plays away to help with his writer’s block,” Morgan says.

Morgan designed the office herself. It was the first room in the house she tackled after they arrived in 2009. “We didn’t want to block any of the windows, so we configured the desks side-by-side,” she says.

The clean lines of the furniture match the clean lines of the house, and the colors of the room echo the rest of the house, white and cream with black accents. The red desk chairs serve as startling color accents. “In each room I like to have a ‘pop’ color,” she says.

The office set-up at the Glickman-Bartley household in Woodland Hills “feels like you’re working in the backyard,” says Tracy Bartley. Above: Tracy at work.

 

But it’s not what you see that’s most important, it’s what you don’t see. All office and film supplies are arranged out of sight in a converted closet. “It’s easier to be creative and to work if there’s not a lot of clutter around you,” Morgan says.

After the Eichler atrium room, perhaps the most popular spot for an office in a modern home is the kitchen area—especially for people who like to cook or keep an eye on the family while working. Because kitchen offices are in the center of things, they are less conducive than more private spaces for professional offices.

“Our office area, because of where it is, is probably the busiest place in our home,” says Rebecca Wiant.

Tracy hangs outside with daughters Kenna and Emily Glickman and one of their family chickens.

 

Rebecca and husband George, who live in a Cliff May home in Long Beach’s Rancho Estates with two teenagers, use their kitchen office “for just about everything,” Rebecca says, including “homework, bill paying, email responding, recipe searching, eBay perusing, iTunes listening, family-reminder center, mail sorting, travel center, daydreaming.”

The Wiants installed the office last year as part of a home remodel in a space that had been part of the home’s entryway. It is separated from the kitchen and living area by three-quarter height walls, and is right by the front door. When Rebecca is working, she can see her children in the swimming pool.