We Had 4 Stylish Women Create Their Dream Work-From-Home Spaces
We Had 4 Stylish Women Create Their Dream Work-From-Home Spaces
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We Had 4 Stylish Women Create Their Dream Work-From-Home Spaces

It's been well over a year since many of us started working from home, making space in existing rooms for our computer monitors, stacks of paper, and more while trying to manage distractions from kids, roommates, partners, and even nosy neighbors (just me?). I'm personally not going into an office five days a week for the foreseeable future, and it's about time I make a conscious effort to elevate my work-from-home setup. Feeling the same way? You don't need to designate an entire room as office space (but wouldn't that be a dream?) in order to make your home office both chic and functional.

In fact, Crate & Barrel recently helped me and three other women with unique living situations turn our less-than-ideal at-home work spaces into seriously chic, personalized headquarters. Versatility is so important to each one of us (especially to the women who share their work spaces with someone else), so our new WFH setups were all designed to be multifunctional, too. Crate & Barrel has so many classic and trend-forward products, so it's just the inspiration I needed to translate my fashion style to interior decorating. From an attic revamp to a dining space that goes from desktop to dinner in minutes, these design makeovers are truly impressive. You may just feel inspired to refresh your own space.

Describe a typical "day in the life" in your role.

"On a usual day, I start the morning off by scanning through Instagram and news sites to see if there are any trends or events I should know about. Next, I'll start putting together story ideas for the remainder of the week and think about which fashion trends or items are standing out to me. From there, I'm usually writing my fashion stories or interviewing designers and tastemakers for articles."

What career milestone or work-related achievement are you most proud of?

"I'm really proud of the latest feature article that was included in Who What Wear's September 2021 issue. The story highlighted my favorite L.A. designers at the moment, and I got to learn the inner workings of managing a brand. We shot them in their studios, which felt really intimate and true to the hard work that goes into being a designer."

What career advice do you have for younger women looking to enter your field?

"Experience is key! Get your feet wet in all areas, and find out what you like best. For example, with fashion, some prefer styling over writing. I've found that I enjoy doing a mixture of both. Another thing I wish I'd known earlier is how to stand up for myself. Sometimes, people take advantage of young people who want to learn, but you need to figure out what you're comfortable doing and not doing. But with that, make sure to treat people with respect. The industry is small, so try to leave a good impression."

Describe your previous work-from-home setup.

"I recently moved from a Brooklyn apartment that was a literal shoebox, so in L.A., I've been spoiled with so much more space. Right now, I'm in a two-bedroom apartment, and since my boyfriend uses the second room as his music studio, I've been balancing my laptop on the couch. It's not ideal at all. it's hard to feel motivated while working on your couch."

What are the biggest obstacles you've faced while working from home?

"At first, WFH seems like the most glorious thing. But after a year, I miss the connections I made when grabbing lunch or coffee with my colleagues. I can get easily distracted sometimes, so establishing a more permanent work space within my apartment is important to me. I still like to work in coffee shops from time to time in order to break up the monotony. It definitely takes some adjusting to, and I'm still working on finding the right balance."

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

"It's all over the place, honestly! But I will say that I'm pretty particular about it. I find that I really gravitate toward unique things that look one-of-a-kind, so I tend to shop vintage a lot. Right now, my preferences lean Scandinavian and post-modern with a touch of rustic and a sprinkling of art deco."

Describe the final designed space. What do you love about it?

"I love how the furniture makes sensible use of the limited amount of space that I have in this nook. I couldn't decide if I should go with a traditional desk or a floating one, but I love the idea of using a ladder desk so I can both work and store all of my trinkets and keepsakes. It's a tight space, but after working here for a few weeks now, it feels deceptively spacious."

How is the updated space more functional for working from home?

"Finally, I have a dedicated area to work in that isn't my couch or my bed! It has completely changed the game for me in terms of the ease and motivation to work. I have a lot of stuff, so it's wonderful to at last know exactly where to put it."

Describe a typical "day in the life" in your role.

"I get to work with smart, passionate people to analyze customer trends and develop content and partnerships across owned and paid channels in the homewares industry. The best thing about my job is working with different people every day and the fact that no day is like the last."

What career milestone or work-related achievement are you most proud of?

"Easy! It would be the 2020 partnership with Dr. Jane Goodall. What a wonderful way to bring to life the love and curiosity of animals with such an important, iconic female activist in a kids collaboration. Once, on a video call with my teammates and Dr. Goodall, she asked to meet all of our kids and animals. (That's right—our kids and animals!) My 3-year-old daughter, Savannah, met Dr. Goodall, and she said, 'That's the lady that saves the animals!' I had to turn my camera off as I teared up."

What career advice do you have for younger women looking to enter your field?

"Be curious and passionate, and let those two energies play together. There are so many different aspects of marketing, and it's always evolving, so you need to have drive. Between multiple assignments, crazy hours, and access to a lot of fun events, working in this industry is not always easy. But stick with it. It is rewarding, and I always feel like I'm growing as a professional, co-worker, and mom."

Describe your previous work-from-home setup.

"I live with my husband, three kids, and pitbull-boxer rescue. When the pandemic started, I was working out of our bedroom, my kids were in the living room downstairs, and my husband worked in my son Preston’s room. I needed a better solution to separate work from family time. We had an unfinished attic in our old farmhouse, and I decided to make the space usable."

What are the biggest obstacles you've faced while working from home?

"Working in a makeshift work environment that did not empower my creative juices was a huge obstacle. I needed a long-term solution in order to work dynamically and comfortably, and I also had no idea what to do with this attic space due to its structure."

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

"Modern, clean, warm pops of color, and urban farmhouse."

Describe the final designed space. What do you love about it?

"The place is so me! It's white, light, and bright with natural and neutral pops of color. It feels rich, warm, and cozy. There are so many details in the finishing touches—think dried botanicals, marble bookends, and mod lighting."

How is the updated space more functional for working from home?

"The new cabinets fit perfectly under the slant of the attic's ceiling, and they provide storage for my kids' art boxes, my exercise weights, and some of my favorite books. I work out a lot, and now I have a big mirror to do my Barre classes in front of. I also like how my computer is now by the window, so I can get natural creative light and catch a cool fall breeze."

Describe a typical "day in the life" in your role.

"Some days are full of meetings, brainstorming ideas for brands, or syncing with other teams on current projects. Others are what I like to call my 'writing days' when I put my head down and work on all of my articles and social content."

What career milestone or work-related achievement are you most proud of?

"A couple of years ago, I lead one of my first photoshoots for a prestigious luxury brand that went really well. I had just moved to New York at the time, and I remember walking outside at the end of the day to the bustling streets and thinking to myself, 'Wow, I'm really making it in this industry.'"

What career advice do you have for younger women looking to enter your field?

"Don't be afraid to ask questions, whether you're seeking advice or assistance from other women in your industry or asking your boss for her opinion on a project. No one can do it all on their own, and I've found most women are really supportive and want to help."

Describe your previous work-from-home setup.

"I live in a decently spacious one-bedroom apartment. It's the first time I've ever lived alone, and I'm really having my single-girl, Carrie-Bradshaw moment (that is, if Carrie Bradshaw shopped at Zara and lived in L.A.). Neither my bedroom nor living room is large enough to fit a desk, so I've been working at my dining table."

What are the biggest obstacles you've faced while working from home?

"I don't have a great place to move my laptop, notebooks, and other office supplies to at the end of the day, which has resulted in half of my dining table being permanently designated as my work space. It's really annoying to move everything when friends come over for dinner."

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

"I like items that lean a bit Bohemian (think baskets, pampas grass, and woven fabrics), but I still want my space to feel modern overall. I usually gravitate toward neutrals, but I'm getting better about incorporating pops of color. Baby steps!"

Describe the final designed space. What do you love about it?

"This space is so chic and elevated. I feel like a real adult now! I love that the table folds down into a desk to create two unique setups, which better separates my daytime work life from my nighttime social life."

How is the updated space more functional for working from home?

"Not only is the desk super functional, but I now have a bookshelf too, which is a great storage piece. It holds my books, acts as my bar cart, and allows me to stow away my laptop and other items. Using a tray to organize my supplies makes it so easy to move everything over at the end of the day."

Describe a typical "day in the life" in your role.

"My day tends to be meetings all day, every day, whether we're discussing sales, planning site launches, reviewing designs, or having development conversations. Every meeting has a video component to it now, whether it's a one-on-one touch-base with a team member, a call with a vendor, or an all-team weekly meeting. We always have remote participation."

What career milestone or work-related achievement are you most proud of?

"My biggest career milestone was being promoted to oversee the e-commerce department in 2014. It was a big learning curve and adjustment to manage my former peers and to build up the confidence to work alongside other leaders. E-commerce has grown every year, and it's even doubled more recently as customers have shifted to online shopping during the pandemic. I'm very proud that the work we did leading up to that surge put us in a good position to be able to handle peak volumes every day in 2020 and then continue to build and grow on top of that."

What career advice do you have for younger women looking to enter your field?

"Don't underestimate yourself or your ability to learn a new area or skill. You are capable of a lot more than you think. There is no education or training that prepares you fully for any job, and most of your learning and experience will be gained on the job. Once you realize that, raise your hand for anything that you can add value to. You'll gain great experience along the way."

Describe your previous work-from-home setup.

"I have been using our spare bedroom in our house since I've been working from home. During 2020, my two teenagers were schooling from home at the same time, so we were all huddled in respective rooms with doors closed. I replaced the bed with a sleeper sofa last year to make it feel like more of an office, but the desk and chair were my oldest daughters' hand-me-downs."

What are the biggest obstacles you've faced while working from home?

"When working from home, I tend to never get up from my chair. Zoom fatigue is a real thing, and I actually schedule more meetings when I'm home than when at the office since I save on the commute time. It's tempting to want to work from another area of the house, but given that the kids and my husband are there, I always end up going back to a room with a door."

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

"My design aesthetic is pretty traditional and casual. I've worked at Crate & Barrel for 20 years, so almost everything in the house is from there or CB2. Over the years, I've been more opportunistic and practical rather than prioritizing the design of a room, and it shows! I'm in need of some upgrades."

Describe the final designed space. What do you love about it?

"The space is really bright and comfortable. Everything goes so well together and is so functional. The rug is soft and warm, and it pulls everything together. I love how the room looks as my new Zoom background. The mirror makes the space feel so much bigger, too. It makes me happier to spend time there."

How is the updated space more functional for working from home?

"The lighting is much better, and the prints and mirrors make it look more professional and appropriate. The addition of a small end table makes it so I can take some calls from the sofa and be more comfortable doing so. The desk has a great charging station for my phone, so there aren't as many cords everywhere. There's great storage in both the desk and cabinet, so I can put everything away if we ever do need to let guests use the sleeper sofa."

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