Back on the blog with part 2 of this post about a Japandi-style, two-bedroom home! In case you were looking for condo design ideas, you’ll get pegs from this post for an incredibly functional, and Zoom-worthy home office.
The problem: Empty and irregularly shaped home office
When we began phase 2 of our eDesign project in this two-bedroom condo, my clients had much to say about the bedroom that they had repurposed as a home office.
For one, it had a weird shape thanks to the building’s curved exterior. The curved wall created what my client called a “pizza slice” corner that they didn’t know what to do with when it came time to arrange furniture.
They also knew they needed a lot of storage—for hubby’s prized toy collection, wifey’s art materials, and all sorts of office supplies and materials. All the storage this room had was its plain, built-in closet.
Lastly, they wanted another desk as well for the talented, artist wife, but they were hesitant to get another desk for fear that they might get the wrong size, or place it incorrectly in the room.
BEFORE: Empty, cavernous-sounding, weirdly-shaped condo bedroom
Here are some photos of what this bedroom looked like before. It was hard for my clients to find the right condo design ideas for such a space.
Check out the tiny “pizza slice” corner that the curved walls created in the photo above. The west-facing windows also let in too much blinding-hot sunlight in the afternoon. But while the roller blinds effectively blocked out the sunlight, they didn’t exactly create a homey, and comforting aesthetic for the space.
The built-in wardrobe provided storage, but it didn’t seem the right storage piece for smaller office supplies and art materials, much less for collectible toys that needed to be displayed. Plus, it looked plain as a background for my client’s Zoom calls.
And because they hadn’t yet filled up the room with stuff, hubby’s work calls all sounded like he was in a cave, with his voice echoing off the bare walls and surfces.
After taking stock of the rooms and noting the measurements our clients provided, we buckled down to work first on the most pressing problem: the room’s layout.
Creating a functional, but cozy home office layout
When tackling small, irregularly shaped rooms like this, it pays to take into account the major pieces of furniture you would need first.
We prioritized our list to the following:
- Two standing desks for each of our clients;
- Storage units for office supplies and art materials; and
- Display units for our client’s toy collection
Luckily, we were able to check that the electric standing table they already had also came in different sizes. We recommended they get another one, so that we still followed the same color and look, and it still fit the most obvious wall where they could place the desks. Desks are from Flexispot PH.
This way, we had enough space to squeeze in a mobile pedestal between the desks. Even the tiny nook behind the door became functional space, as home to a slim metal cabinet.
These glass-door metal cabinets were a great find from Mandaue Foam. Wifey had the brilliant idea to place them side by side each other, which effectively hid the pizza-slice corner!
It’s not wasted space, because they could use the corner to hide items they normally wouldn’t know where to place, like hubby’s authentic Star Wars light saber.
A Zoom-worthy home office
Apart from each of them having their own desk space, hubby could now deck out his desk with all his high-tech requirements.
Check out his sick Zoom setup: Wide-screen monitor with light, a teleprompter that he can also use as a second monitor, bluetooth accessories like the keyboard and ergonomic mouse, a microphone, and a light on a tripod stand that he turns on during calls.
A closer look at his high-tech desk setup. His laptops are neatly stacked beside his monitor, while his headset also has its own rest. When not in use, he can just prop it up neatly, freeing up precious desk space.
A space for everything, and everything in its storage space
Condos always, always bring up the issue of storage space, and this home office was no exception.
Thanks to proper furniture layout, we were able to find a spot for additional storage units. The Alex drawers from Ikea now houses most of wifey’s art materials, plus some of their much needed office supplies.
The tall slim cabinet behind the door is from Retail Therapy PH, and also displays many of wifey’s art stuff.
Closeup of one of the drawers, showing neatly stacked pens, inks, and rolls of tape.
Housing prized toy collectibles
The Juniper cabinets provided amply sized storage for the toys, and also became his impressive Zoom background.
No more white, blank walls during calls!
Even his expensive equipment for his other hobbies found a home on the bottom shelves of the metal cabinets.
Closer view of some of his toys from this enviable collection.
Office acoustics problem—solved!
One of the major issues in the room was the echoing sound created by the empty space. A common solution is by putting up curtains and rugs to help cushion the hard surfaces, and absorb the sound. But our clients weren’t keen on using a rug in their condo.
We instead looked at cladding the vertical spaces with acoustic panels (for the walls) and curtains (for the windows).
We made use of both sheer panels and blackout curtains from our go-to curtains supplier, Shade MNL. The fabrics help shield the room from very harsh sunlight, especially in the afternoon.
Then we recommended decorative acoustic panels on the wall in front of our clients’ desks. While they had a bit of trouble dealing with the supplier, our clients solved the issue by asking a different contractor to install the panels for them.
What’s great is that the panels also act like wall art, and created a focal point in this home office!
And finally, we took care of the plain white wardrobe doors by also suggesting they install these gray acoustic panels on the door fronts.
With these soft surfaces on almost all sides of the room, you really feel—or rather, hear the difference when you enter the room! The sound is slightly muffled, and doesn’t echo as much. Even wifey is able to record her songs in the room!
And the oft-forgotten but most important element of all: Adequate lighting
While clients couldn’t really have the room renovated and the light fixtures added to, I knew they needed more lighting in there (given that is is a high-task area).
They still had an overhead light to provide ambient lighting in the room, but I recommended a desk lamp they could use for task lighting while on their desks.
The Giorgio table lamp was a gorgeous selection from Shadows and Patterns. It had that contemporary touch with its modern form and marble base, but the leather stitching on the lampshade added a subtle texture to the piece.
On hubby’s desk, his tripod light provided more than enough lighting while working, and even served as his very own Zoom call lighting. Talk about looking completely pro in front of his colleagues!
Inside the metal Juniper cabinet, our clients had the brilliant idea of installing magnetic, rechargable lamps from Amazon to really highlight the display.