How I Upgraded My Home Office


I have worked from home long before it became a public health requirement, so while it’s nothing new for me, I know first hand how important it is to have a functional and aesthetically pleasing place to work. The couch or the bed just really doesn’t cut it when you’re doing 9-5 without leaving the house. I’ve had many a home-office iteration over the years. You can see examples here, here and here. With no end to our WFH life in sight, I am so excited to finally share my completed home office with you. I hope it offers some inspiration for your own spaces.

Thankfully, long before the pandemic took over our lives, I’d planned to create the ultimate work-from-home space as part of our backyard makeover, building a little free-standing structure in the back corner of our yard. Just don’t call it a she-shed! The pandemic put the brakes on my finishing the design, but now all the pieces have finally come together and I couldn’t feel luckier to have this little escape in my own backyard.

How to Upgrade Your Home Office on Apartment 34

We worked with California-based Modern Spaces and Sheds to create the pre-fab structure. Even though the office is only a 10’x10′ space,  I’m so happy with all of the natural light – it makes it feel much larger than it is. A slightly sloping ceiling also gives the illusion of more space.

How to Upgrade Your Home Office on Apartment 34

But what really took my office design to the next level was working with California Closets. If you’ve followed my renovation journey you know California Closets has been my go-to to optimize storage but also get the gorgeous design I want (you can see my dream closet here and my pantry here).

I knew I wanted to put in a built-in desk into this office space in order to optimize the shed’s footprint, but also helped elevate the space’s design. I couldn’t be happier with the final result.

Over the summer, I worked with my California Closets designer remotely and was able to finalize all our choices online. Thank goodness for Zoom. She understood my vision immediately and was able to bring it to life. I love the mix of light wood with dramatic black accents. The black glass desktop adds a bit of sexiness.

The upper shelf is my major decorating moment – allowing me to display pieces that inspire and add major personality to the office space. The shelf is also quite useful as it features built-in LED lights, allowing me to skip the expense of wiring the shed for lighting.

How to Upgrade Your Home Office on Apartment 34

A moodboard is always a requirement in my world. I typically swap mine out seasonally. A simple, yet elegant leather tray from Bloomist’s new WFH Pro Gift Collection corrals note pads, pens and other office-y odds and ends. On the shelf above, I get to display some of my treasured pieces including the Matin Lamp from Hay Design, ceramics from Simone Bodmer-Turner, Frama and CPH 101 and art prints.

How to Upgrade Your Home Office on Apartment 34

One of my first design decisions for the office was the floor. I knew from the get-go that I wanted herringbone floors – and this beautiful concrete tile from Clé makes me oh so happy. It also is extremely durable. Radiant heat makes sure the space is always toasty. Luna certainly approves!

How to Upgrade Your Home Office on Apartment 34

My office space also serves multiple functions for me. I have enough space to roll out my yoga mat and do a Zoom class. I also created my own private corner for self-care work including meditation and all my woo-woo ceremonies. I find daily or weekly rituals help ground me during this extremely chaotic time. Having an inviting set up helps keep me motivated to invest the time to just sit and be still. If you know, you know.

How to Upgrade Your Home Office on Apartment 34

Anyone else still collect print magazines?? I just love having something physical to thumb through for inspiration. Having my collections – Elle Decoration and Living Etc are favorites right at my fingertips is also a great way to take a mental break during the day.

How to Upgrade Your Home Office on Apartment 34

A finishing touch for any workspace is something living! As we spend so much time at home, houseplants are an amazing way to bring the outside in. They’re good for your mental health – but also for your physical health as they help cleanse the air in your space. I worked with Leon and George to pick the ideal plant for my office – in this case, a Silver Evergreen. The Vayu planter from Light and Ladder is just stunning.

I know I am incredibly lucky to have a space of my own to help me get through these tough times. If you can’t build a shed in your own backyard, there are tips and tricks for upgrading your own home office space – even if it’s just tucked into the corner of the living room. Here are a few of my favorites.

Try to work where this is maximum natural light. As we head into the winter months, natural light is going to help boost your mood and energy levels.

Surround yourself with beautiful things that you love. A little bit of inspiration can go a long way.

Also, invest in a few pieces that help keep your workspace organized and pulled together. It’ll help you feel more pulled together too – even if you haven’t taken the time to shower today (it me!).


photography by aubrie pick, florals by marigold SF

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