joy of nesting

joy of nesting
California designer Shiree Hanson Segerstrom's weekly tips for decorating, gardening, and stylish living

Home is Where the Office Is... Inspiration and Tips to Designing Your Work Space






























above TRACERY INTERIORS
 
Working from home has its distinct advantages. The commute is short, wardrobes are affordable, you can choose your hours, and you can throw in a load of laundry at break time.

To be productive and motivated at work your office needs to be light filled, organized, space efficient, attractive, and in some cases, quiet.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

above PALOMA 81 BLOG
 
Creating storage and viable floor plans are the biggest challenges I face in this type of project. There are many types of home businesses and learning about the various tasks, the frequency in which they’re performed, and the equipment needed to do the job is imperative. Beyond that there are also light control issues and aesthetics to be considered.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above CAROLYN ESPLEY-MILLER
 
My own home office is a very small space with four doors and three windows. How is that possible in such a small room? Needless to say, it presented challenges.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above DAVID ROCKWELL
 
Design businesses have a lot of samples. We have two walls devoted to fabric sample books; numerous large baskets of fabric swatches; kits of over sized paint chips and fan decks; shutter, woven shade and wooden blind sample books; and trim books that hold fringe, welt and tassel samples. I also have an abundance of business books, files, floor plans, tile samples, client binders, branding materials, and other common office equipment and paraphernalia. 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above HARRIET MAXWELL MACDONALD
 
Most of my storage problems were solved by a white, seven by seven IKEA “cubby” unit; an antique European pine “breakfront” hutch; and six large, square woven baskets. The IKEA cabinet and pine cabinet not only keep my samples organized, they make good use of vertical space and look great. The baskets on top of the cabinets hold more sample books and swatches.
 


























above ASHLEY WHITTAKER
 
When I’m choosing fabrics in the studio, I simply wheel my chair over to the cabinet and start pulling books. I go through the books which are color coded marking the chosen fabric samples with paper clips, and I call the companies to request large samples so the client can get a better visualization than the little swatches the books provide.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
above JESSE CARRIER AND MARA MILLER
 
Since most of my drafting is done via CAD (a computer aided drafting program) I no longer need a drafting table which takes up space. I have an L shaped desk where I create hand drawings, pay bills and answer the phone. My small scale computer desk with stacked, lidded storage baskets tucked underneath is where we create CAD plans, proposals, invoices, estimates, write the blog and design columns, and answer email.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above KEN FULK
 
For aesthetics I wanted something that was between residential and commercial design so I have a mix of both types of furnishings. The pine hutch is a decidedly homey element next to the industrial feel of the metal desks and IKEA cabinet. I chose a simple color scheme because the space is so small and because it’s a business, not a residence. The walls are done in a light, golden tan called Sesame Oil. The crown molding, doors, windows and trim are all in warm white. The fabrics on the box pleated valances are a simple leaf print with an off white back ground and golden tan pattern. They have contrasting gold linen welts. The curtain panels underneath the valances are a textured off white solid fabric with gold linen bands down the inner length of the curtains.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above MARTYN LAWRENCE BULLARD
 
I did one, purely aesthetic element in my office: an over sized vintage, gold leafed framed mirror which visually doubles the size of the space and beautifully reflects all my fabric books. It takes up a lot of wall space but I love how it looks and it inspires me daily.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
above LYNDSEY BOND
 
Behind one of the many doors in the office, I stacked common black metal filing cabinets and topped it with a fax/copier. When the door is open, it’s concealed. When the door is closed, I can get to it easily because it’s in close proximity to my computer desk. There was just enough room for an heirloom banker’s lamp. I keep a step stool in a central location for easy access to all the elevated items.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above MELLISA WARNER
 
To sketch out some floor plans for your own office, get some drafting paper, a pencil and a scale ruler. Measure your room, the windows, doors, the spaces between them, and note any obstacles like light fixtures, scones and door or window clearances. Next measure the furniture you intend to keep and place it first. Take your floor plan when you go shopping. Take into consideration wall space and unused space in the middle of the room. Find ways to make them usable such as L shaped desks or an island on wheels like the ones you purchase for a kitchen.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above STEVEN GAMBREL
 
A few months ago David converted a stainless steel work and storage bench from the laundry room to a wheeled, rack with counter space for the office. It now stores items being used for our current projects like oversized fabric swatches, client binders, and catalogs from which I'm sourcing. I use the “hooks” to display rings of fabric I’ve put together for new client design schemes.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above STEPHEN SHUBEL
 
I've had many design stores over the years but my home office has always been the place I work best. I love to begin the work day at 6:00 a.m. with my dog at my feet and a cup of coffee in hand.

And more often than not, I’m still in my pajama's.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above STAN TOPOL
 
Shiree’s Style File
 
Mix materials like metal units with wooden pieces and woven baskets for more storage, flexibility and visual warmth.
 
If your home doesn’t have a home office per se, choose a room that’s located as far from the kitchen as possible.
 
Consider hiring a professional closet designer for built-in closet storage, even in small single closets. I like California Closets.
 
Built-in bookcases, counters, mini-refrigerators and bar sinks are perfect additions to large home offices.
 
Consider window treatment options for privacy, sun control and aesthetics like sun shades under decorative valances. You can easily see through the sun shades but the heat is mostly blocked.
 
Keep color schemes simple: one color mixed with a few neutrals is ideal in a home office.
 
below SHIREE HANSON SEGERSTROM
 
 
 
 
 
 



Tried and True Tips for Summer Entertaining



























above via LOVE THIS PIC
 
I’m not sure why, but interior design and entertaining often go hand and hand. People become close with their designers and often ask us to help with their weddings and important dinner parties. Table settings, flower arranging and decorating for parties often come with the job.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TOM SCHEERER above
 

The most important thing to remember when entertaining is that your guests’ comfort and enjoyment comes first. If your home (particularly your kitchen) is small, planning ahead is a must. I like the house to be shiny clean and to smell fantastic. On the day or evening of the event, everything should come together smoothly. The flowers are done, the table is set, the sofa cushions and pillows are plumped, music is playing softly in the background, the windows are open, and as much food prep is done in advance as possible.

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


above via PINEAPPLE AND COCONUT BLOG
 
 
There are a many “styles” of entertaining. Some are formal, and some are casual. My sister-in-law Sarah gives the best dinner parties. Her style is relaxed, the food is phenomenal, the décor avant garde yet comfortable. Sometimes dinner is a big pot of soup, rustic bread and a great salad. Other times it’s a crab feed. The wine and music are sophisticated yet the overall effect is relaxed. And so is she.

My other sister-in-law Sharon does great gatherings with husband Donald and they give guests personalized attention. Sharon often does grilled dinners with a delicious salad and guests dine outdoors in her garden. She does fresh flowers too and always there are candles and great music and wine. Both women are fantastic cooks and their focus is first and foremost on guests and their enjoyment.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above via DIGAISM
 
My entertaining style is casual with buffet menus and lots of ingredients. I do a variety of fresh vegetables, special salad combinations, a homemade dessert and usually roasted or grilled chicken or salmon. I  don’t like being stressed on the day of the party so I do menus that are familiar. I never do anything that requires elaborate, last minute preparations. Nothing ruins a party quicker than a harried host. Obviously, you can do smaller parties without much planning but here are my easy guidelines for an intimate Saturday evening dinner for six to eight guests.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above via SKINNY MOM

 
Blue Print for Success
 
Monday- menu, table settings, and flower planning.
 
Tuesday- table linens washed and ironed. Place in a convenient place till the day before the party.
 
Wednesday- shopping for groceries, flowers and wine.
 
Thursday- have the house cleaned and do the “do-ahead” food prep. Pull out the necessary serving pieces and put them in a convenient place till the day before the party.
 
On Friday- do any baking or dessert that needs to be done, flower arrangements, choose music, more food prep, chill the wine, and do the table settings.
 
That leaves Saturday morning for the remaining food, a little time to get dressed, clean the kitchen one last time, and make the final preparations for your guests’ arrival.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

above JEFFREY WEISMAN via ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST
 
 
Because I don’t have a lot of counter space in my kitchen, I usually set up a buffet on the dining room table and let guests serve themselves. For large, formal occasions like Christmas and Thanksgiving, I serve my guests while seated at the table. There is a swinging door separating our dining room from the kitchen. This means I can close off the kitchen when it’s time to sit down to dinner.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above via ARTSYMPHONY BLOG
 
I like to get into a festive mood a couple of hours before guests arrive by turning on the music and pouring a glass of iced tea. Right before they arrive I assign the husband the jobs of lighting the candles, opening and placing the wine on ice, and pouring us a glass. If the weather is good, I like all the windows opened so we can catch the evening breezes and hear the fountains from outside.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

above RALPH LAUREN via BELGIAN PEARLS BLOG
 
 
Once the noshing begins, take this bit of advice: make no excuses for the food. Friends and family are happy to be in your home enjoying your hospitality, and they really don’t care if the asparagus is a little undercooked. And don’t remind them. Put your perfectionisms away and enjoy yourself without explanations. People won’t remember the chilled salad fork, they’ll remember your relaxed, contented demeanor.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above via SUGAR PLUM INVITATIONS BLOG
 
 
Shiree’s Style File

For parties of more than eight guests, encourage them to move around by doing a table for wine, glasses and chilled water in one room and a table of hors d’oeuvres in another. Shrimp is a great way to get people to circulate too.

 
Keep last minute plans to a minimum to avoid stressful situations when guests start to arrive. Do menus that can be mostly done in advance.
 
If you entertain outdoors, remember to provide things for that area such as a few throws for guests if the night turns cool; a jug of flowers for the picnic table; and lanterns for candles so the wind won’t blow them out.

 
I like to use white, unscented candles for entertaining but have been known to cheat and mix in battery operated ones too. They’re especially nice for hard to reach places or if children are present.
 
Grab a guest to assist you and personally serve the dessert course and coffee as an intimate touch. Let guests pass the tray with sugar and creamer.
 
Never use paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic utensils. Use cloth napkins if possible. I like plain white, ten inch buffet plates (one of my caterer friends says they’re too big but I love them), vintage silverware, and simple, clear glass, high quality wine glasses so guests can appreciate the color of the wine.
 
 
below ANGIE SILVI PHOTOGRAPHY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above via STYLE ME PRETTY
 
 
 
 

above via HABITUALLY CHIC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

above via GREIGE DESIGN BLOG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above via THE FRESH EXCHANGE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above via STYLE ME PRETTY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

via FRESH FARM HOUSE
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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