House Calls: Creating the home office of their dreams

October 10, 2012

Susanne Graham-Yooll of Derwood wants to turn her awkward hall into an office. Slanted ceilings and window nooks make decorating tricky, but she needs room for a scanner, computer and a few of her home-builder husband’s rolled-up house plans. Bonus points if there’s a homework spot for 11-year-old Vanessa.


By mixing steel, leather and reclaimed wood, designer J. Allen creates an industrial yet warm family office.

Allen, of Perceptions Interiors (202-330-5619), is based in the District.

Designate work areas for all three family members. A reading chair in the corner is a nice place to unwind.

Paint the walls and vaulted portions of the ceiling slate gray. The color is Graphite by Restoration Hardware.

Susanne and Vanessa Graham-Yooll. (Leah L. Jones/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Organize paperwork and office supplies. Store them in matching baskets, bins or boxes on the bookcase shelves.

Avoid heavy furniture in a small space. A thin table and open-weave chairs allow a clear line of sight through the room.

Update the ceiling light and fan. The modern fixture will circulate more air into the space — and make less noise.

Mix materials to add visual interest. Steel stools, metal lamps and a glass desk give the office an industrial look.


Furniture: 1950s Copenhagen chair in denim ($1,495,; Chilton walnut dining table with steel base ($2,499,; Ingred low-back office chair ($339,; Bjursta sideboard in brown ($249,

Lighting: High-performance twin turbo ceiling fan in rubbed bronze ($550,

Accessories: Perforated bent metal bookshelf ($15,; Union Jack rug ($700 for 8-by-10-foot rug,; small rectangular lacquer trays ($32,; Marseilles linen pin board ($499,; Jayden metal shelf units ($80 for three shelves,


Double-drawer homework desk in walnut with steel legs ($2,695,

Bertoia side chair with vinyl seat pad ($698 each,

. . . OR SAVE

Silverado rectangular dining table ($349,

Reed zinc chairs ($149 each,

See past room makeovers by local designers.

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