Jon Sharpe on how leading creatives organise their workspace
More than half of the world’s population is currently on lockdown due to the global coronavirus pandemic. And this means millions more people working from home. Whether it’s your home office or not, is your workspace inspiring, soothing and functional? If not, now is the time to take inspiration from some of the finest interior designers of our time.
Following the curated spaces showcased in world-renowned designer portfolios is always time well spent. But did you know that their own workspaces are just as impressive? Take some tips from these leading creatives and their workspace designs and see how much difference it can make.
How do leading creatives design their workspace?
From Taylor Howes’ luxurious sophistication to Neal Beckstedt’s use of light and masculine design, there are lots of examples of workspace done well. And what we choose to surround ourselves with is more important than ever as we all work to navigate this challenging situation. Check out these leading designers and see how they arrange their workspace.
1. Neal Beckstedt, Neal Beckstedt Studios, New York
When Neal Beckstedt designed the space for his boutique architecture and interior design studio, he wanted it to be functional but relaxed. He challenged himself to put together a workspace that melded masculinity and neutral colours with a warm and relaxed vibe to create a home and office in one.
By creating a space that reflects his studios’ overall aesthetic and keeping costs as low as possible, he worked out ways to make cheaper items feel and look chic. He customised and stained pure materials, such as steel, melamine and plywood and used them to create sculptural forms that are noteworthy for their simplicity of form.
Mixing his own favourite vintage pieces also helps to ensure the workspace reflects his personal design style. For example, as a main meeting space, he had a 14 ft farmhouse table custom made. Because of its homely but functional feel, the space is sued for meetings, creative discussions, client one on ones and for the team to share a meal at the end of the week. Think family dining table and you’ll get an idea of the space Neal created for his office.
2. Natalia Miyar, Atelier
Award-winning designer Natalia Miyar is known for her seamless blend of glamour and comfort and when it came to designing a space for her team, she wanted to ensure it would inspire every day.
Her South Kensington studio exudes a feel of effortless glamour thanks to Natalia’s use of colour and texture. Referencing her eclectic cultural heritage, her chosen colour palette and design choices reflect her own personal taste. For example, the use of neutral tones mixed with bronze and copper give more than hint of a portrait f Fritza Riedler by Klimt. Painted in 1906, the portrait caught Natalia’s eye at the Belvedere Museum in Vienna, and she brought its spirit into her workspace.
Designing the space using the same principles she uses for her clients Natalia’s workspace reflects her own narrative. Its original paintings, abundant foliage and furniture that includes sculptural chairs and striking bookcases expresses a collective individuality.
3. Taylor Howes
Luxury interior design firm Taylor Howes creates living spaces for London’s most elite addresses. And when it came to creating a new studio space, they revamped an ex Tesla and Aston Martin garage. The ground-level is designed as a client-facing showcase of all the brands and finishes they work with, so that clients can see the original craftmanship and appreciate the quality. The space is instantly impactful because of the combination of patterns, beautiful colourways and exquisitely tactile fabrics. On the lower ground floor, the décor is different but no less inspirational. More industrial, the space provides clean and cool surroundings for the design teams.
4. Deborah Oppenheimer, Hong Kong
South African interior designer Deborah Oppenheimer is synonymous with elegance, luxury and exquisite taste. Her background in art direction, fashion design and fine arts combines to form a timeless aesthetic for her luxury residential projects around the world. She describes her design look as “one of calm”, and the same could be said of her workspace.
The Deborah Oppenheimer design studio used to be a printing workshop, situated in an industrial area of Hong Kong Island. And it’s here that Deborah’s small full-service team of designers and architects work on her designs. Her workspace surrounds her team with the kind of modern lines and light and shade that reflect her client designs. She says that the workspace reflects her personal preference for modernist, clean interior design. The stripped back aesthetic of her portfolio work is transferred to her personal workspace through monochrome storage, blank white walls, silver grey floors and unique pieces for accented character.
5. Helen Green Design, London
Founded by the late Helen Green in 2002, Helen Green Design Studio is right in the heart of Chelsea, in a former pub that used to regularly welcome The Rolling Stones. The building’s uber cool legacy continues with a space filled with carefully selected pieces from the HGD Collection creating a calm yet elegant space ideal for client meetings, events and creative thinking.
The space is designed to reflect the team – who they are and what they do. And while the design scheme is switched up every six months, it always forms around a liveable yet luxurious design aesthetic. Art from Tanya Baxter gives a hit of intense colour that contrasts with the neutral, crisp effect of a Vogue sofa and chair. For finishing touches, unique object d’art and ceramic vases add to the luxuriously elegant vibe.
6. Kelly Wearstler, Los Angeles
Lifestyle brand and interior designer Kelly Wearstler’s LA-based studio is characterised by high ceilings and fantastic lighting. Statement chandeliers give understated opulence in a purposely open space that encourages freedom of creativity. The designer’s bold identity is stamped all over her studio, and her refreshingly maximalist approach is everywhere. From huge floral arrangements to patterned upholstery on golden stools, everything is perfectly balanced without a neutral in sight. Her personal desk area is surrounded by huge, colourful abstract art, yellow and pink colour palettes and purposely fun furniture choices.
What design lessons can we learn from these leading creatives? One thing that shines through is the importance of imbuing your workspace with your personality. Whether you’re a lover of minimalism and clean lines, or carefully selected maximalist touches, make your workspace a reflection of your aesthetic.