These days, it seems more and more people are working from home. With the power of technology and the internet, your office doesn’t have to be in a 20 story building for you to “bring home the bacon.” Therefore, it comes as no surprise that by working from home, more and more people are demanding a visually pleasing space for their study, rather than just settling for a desk surrounded by file cabinets. Dynamite duo, Roger Higgins and Ann Shipp of R. Higgins Interiors, are here today to share ideas and inspiration for this popular space in the home.
BACKGROUND: Roger Higgins and Ann Shipp opened the doors of R. Higgins Interiors in 1994 after meeting at O’More College of Design. The partners describe their relationship as each of them being “half of a bowling ball” which couldn’t be more appropriate. Without the combination of Roger’s creative enthusiasm and Ann’s resourceful ingenuity, the company would not be able to land a perfect strike as they do with each project they face. The pair keep one thing in mind when working and that is always the client. They believe the most significant element in the process of creating a home is the people who live in it, and it is with that philosophy in which their endless inspiration stems.
Ahh, work… As much as we all need to get away from it when we’re cozied up at the house, sometimes we just have to spread out and pay a bill. So why not make it a space you actually want to spend some time in? Don’t think it’s possible to make a room centered around productivity enjoyable? Allow us to disagree…
The study is actually one of our favorite spaces to design because it is in this room that the user is usually the most creative, intellectual, or interactive. This gives us a chance to really spark our client’s uniqueness and imagination.
This study belongs to Roger and Ann, the owners of R. Higgins Interiors. We believe it to be the quintessential space to do a little work after hours. There are so many different elements to explore in this room, but somehow it doesn’t feel overwhelming or cluttered. For these two busy designers who thrive off of a creative atmosphere, it offers just the right amount of interesting art and carefully arranged accessories to keep their minds stimulated without getting distracted.
Take notice of the personal items that have been incorporated into this study in order to reflect their goals and passion. Those pieces can be anything from a grouping of paint brushes picked up from a flea market on an exotic trip to a series of textbooks from their college days.
A personal collection of pieces is a perfect way to style a study. In fact, if there is one already existing, that’s usually where we start in establishing a design concept.
Not only do these paintbrushes provide a dimension of texture atop the glossy finish of the desk, they are the perfect pinpoint to engage Roger’s artistic senses and represent his right-brain attitude towards work.
For this active family, an office space that was comfortable and filled with inspiring objects felt appropriate. You should always surround yourself with objects that amuse you. We truly believe that anything can serve as art- -from a beautiful gilt mirror to an antique French racing bicycle. If it’s interesting, throw it up for everyone to see and keep your imagination engaged.
Second to displaying treasures that keep you motivated would be providing great lighting in the space. Natural light is a fundamental element to keep an energetic flow throughout the room.
In addition to the significance of lighting and keeping your surroundings interesting, we should mention what we believe to be the most important factor in keeping an office functional: comfortable seating. We can’t stress enough that without this element, you will be dreading even going in the room, much less staying in it long enough to accomplish anything.
Who wouldn’t want to relax in this velvet upholstered wingback chair with a great book?
Bookshelves can be one of the most intimidating tasks when it comes to creating your perfect office, but just remember to keep them in some sort of order that makes sense. You have to find the right balance for them to appear uncluttered yet full, which proves to be a difficult art to master. You should do a lot of experimenting and keep in mind that this is when displaying your personal collections can really be effective for an interesting arrangement.
Below, we threw in seashells for some sculptural detail and hung artwork to add a twist to the built-ins. The rows of books instantly seem more appealing and keep the eye moving.
If you’re afraid to make a big investment in a lot of beautiful, antique books, don’t worry. Here’s a little trick of the trade we love to adapt in these situations… turn the books around so that only the white pages show. You can use your 8th grade Algebra book and no one will ever know the difference!
Another designer trick we used in the space above is upholstering the walls. Covering them in a fabric creates a warm and inviting atmosphere and will absolutely make you want to enjoy the space more.
We mentioned earlier the significance of natural light, but of course equally as important is the installed lighting. We prefer using sconces and lamps rather than a ton of overhead lighting. You always want to be able to adjust the amount of light present to fit your different moods (and this is true for any room in the house!).
And finally some last tidbits to keep your work space both functional and beautiful…
- Always have a cup available to keep loose utensils organized.
- A desk blotter is a wonderful thing.
- Fresh flowers or plants are key to keeping the space feel lived in and also help to awaken your senses.
- Don’t overpower your desk or bookshelves with family photos. Instead choose another type of collection that takes a little more thought and shows your personality.
Thank you R.Higgins Interiors for your fabulous tips and visually inspiring pictures! For more information on R.Higgins Interiors, please read below:
R. Higgins Interiors
2000 Blair Boulevard / Nashville, TN 37212
(All images courtesy of R. Higgins Interiors)
Nashville Interior Design Blog