How to Give Your Home Office a Makeover

Suddenly working from home? We’ve got 10 ways to add instant style to your surrounds



Out-of-towners love to jokingly ask if anyone in California works. We can’t really blame them, given that we’re known for progressively flexible schedules that mean we’re often spotted — laptop at the ready — in coffee shops or at the beach.

But in the last few weeks, slowly, and then quite suddenly, a large portion of us (along with the rest of the country and much of the world) went from commuting to work — however unconventional that work setting happened to be — to working from home.

It’s fair to say that many of us weren’t prepared for the shift, so it follows that our spaces weren’t either. These uncertain times have led to a lot of perspective shifting and priority assessment; but the need to be productive, in spite of or because of the turbulence around us persists.

And so, it’s not overstating to say that it’s more important than ever to find beauty and inspiration in your surroundings — even if it feels like those surroundings are closing in on you at times. We’ve pulled together a selection of items guaranteed to elevate your impromptu new office to the next level, and hopefully your spirits with it.


The Catchall: Minotti Overby Tray
Every desk needs a place in which to keep odds and ends, and Minotti’s Overby tray makes decluttering an elegant affair. Lined in black saddlehide, the larch veneer stained square version in licorice is our pick, and it also doubles as a tray for snacks or office happy hour cocktails, as the case may be. Price upon request.


The Art: Blockshop Prints
Few things are as inspiring as fresh art on the walls, and few Los Angeles makers are as adept at delivering minimal, thoughtful beauty as sisters Hopie and Lily Stockman of Blockshop, whose open edition woodblock paper prints are produced in partnership with a woman-run printing and papermaking studio in Jaipur, Rajasthan through a zero waste process using cotton rag paper made from textile production scraps. From $320.


The Magic: Prism Rainbow Maker
There’s something nostalgic about this prism rainbow maker that brings a childlike wonder to your home office: just place it in a nearby window sill in direct sunlight and wait for rainbows to appear. $32 for small, $68 for large.


The Stationery: Ideas to be Realized Notebook
Everyone knows that the best ideas need to be written down — this beautifully designed notebook is deserving of your epiphanies — and, in a pinch, a to-do list too. $13.


The Thirst Quencher: Maison Balzac Carafe
Even water can feel like an indulgence when presented in a stunning, mouth-blown amber-hued glass carafe from the Sydney, Australia-based (and South of France-inspired) brand Maison Balzac. And if you’re not as seduced by this deep caramel hue, The Napa Valley lifestyle boutique Juniper and Scout stocks the style in an array of other colors. $75.


The Light: Marselis Table Lamp
A collaboration with Cologne, Germany-based design agency kaschkasch, the Marselis table lamp from Hay takes cues from street signs for its satisfyingly modern, simplistic silhouette, and also features a 360-degree rotating diffuser designed to switch between ambient and direct light, depending on your work needs. $124.


The Pep Talk: Confidence Prompt Cards
We all doubt ourselves from time to time, and being left to your own devices and internal monologues at home isn’t always a recipe for success. This deck of cards from celebrated author-philosopher Alain de Boiton’s the School of Life makes for a nice diversion and boost in the form of musings like, “We have not seen enough rough drafts of those we admire. Confidence means forgiving ourselves for the horrors of our first attempts.” $16.


The Vessel: BTW Torrent Espresso Cups
For those whose productivity is directly linked to their coffee intake, we see you. Make the ritual more enjoyable with a beautiful, handmade, ebony-splattered cup from one of our favorite California-by-way-of-New York ceramicists: Brooke T. Winfrey of BTW Ceramics. $34.


The Greenery: Bloomscape Arch Propagation Kit
The Arch propagation kit from Bloomscape is a project, a terrazzo design piece and an always-needed dose of greenery in one. $35.


The Organizer: Monograph Circular Sticky Notes
They’re sticky notes, but circular. Trust us — there’s something wildly satisfying about it. $6 (set of 3).


The Time Marker: Perpetual Wall Calender
This elegantly conceived screen-printed wall calendar by Tait Design Co. is ideally suited to our counting-down-the-days-until-things-normalize times. And thanks to its rotating discs design, it’s also the only calendar you’ll ever have to buy. $40.


Feature image: Photo by Elsa Noblet/Unsplash.


March 25, 2020

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