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.
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, www.restorationhardware.com); Chilton walnut dining table with steel base ($2,499, www.roomandboard.com); Ingred low-back office chair ($339, www.bovafurniture.com); Bjursta sideboard in brown ($249, www.ikea.com).
Lighting: High-performance twin turbo ceiling fan in rubbed bronze ($550, www.minka.com).
Accessories: Perforated bent metal bookshelf ($15, www.cb2.com); Union Jack rug ($700 for 8-by-10-foot rug, www.zgallerie.com); small rectangular lacquer trays ($32, www.westelm.com); Marseilles linen pin board ($499, www.restorationhardware.com); Jayden metal shelf units ($80 for three shelves, www.worldmarket.com).
Double-drawer homework desk in walnut with steel legs ($2,695, www.dwr.com).
Bertoia side chair with vinyl seat pad ($698 each, www.dwr.com).
Silverado rectangular dining table ($349, www.cb2.com).
Reed zinc chairs ($149 each, www.cb2.com).