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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help on decor for office/living/studio space

Christine CurryFebruary 19, 2013
I am smack dab in the middle of changing my formal livingroom into a usable office/studio space. I am a photographer and my space is perfect to have newborn photoshoots in because I have a huge window that lets in tons of natural light during the day. I'll be sliding furniture out of the way, so I don't plan on a coffee table or anything like that, but I will be keeping the twin russet loveseats that are already in there, and adding a desk w?hutch and a filing system. My husband isn't on board with transforming the room into a "work space" so I need to keep it looking more "homey" rather than studio.

The entryway to my house is burnt russet/orange (not sure of the real name of the color) and may walls are a cocoa color. My flooring is aggregate epoxy and I pulled all the colors from there. I wanted a change, introducing more gray/turquoise into the formal livingroom space (which is the one being transformed more into an office space). I'll be repainting all the taupe areas in my hallway & entryway to gray/taupe rather than the brown cocoa it is right now.

I had the livingroom repainted this weekend, and although I like the stripe well enough, I don't think I'm sold on the color. To me the light gray (Nickle Back by Kelly Moore) is too blue. I planned on having floor to ceiling grommet style drapes in either white or turquoise.

The carpet is being replaced with dark wood and a 5' white baseboard. And I'm accenting with chrome & "maybe" black. The problem?? Now I'm stuck.

I love dramatic rooms, I'm not afraid of color, per se.. but how do I tie all of this in? (The orange that you can see is the entryway. Sorry for the photo, I was hosting a baby shower, it's the only pic I could find that showed the decor I'd like to tie in.)
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I'm sure you have done this but given your target market is going to be newborns (a la Anne Geddes?) I researched what newborns are seeing:

They can see up to 12inches, and focus when looking up at mom or dad. They can see things farther away, but it is harder to focus on distant objects. Newborns are very sensitive to bright light and are more likely to open their eyes in low light. So it seems after human faces, bright colours and contrasting patterns and movement but black and white pictures and toys will attract and keep their baby's interest far longer than objects or pictures with lots of similar colors..

So all this to say that your stripe is probably best kept as a contrasting pattern for your photography work (you could even hang black and white pictures within their boundaries.

Could you not work with these colours? From the photo I see your turquoise will not work with that blue/grey. I know you wanted turquoise but I think with this wall colour set you could get away with bringing in russet accents to tie in your hallway. The problem is your colours are muted and turquoise is a high saturation colour which doesn't make the other colours pop. If you have grommet curtains I would go with linen - and a muted colour.
All this is based on the colours I am seeing - it could be your lighting so please feel free to correct me if I am seeing colours different to yours.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 12:26AM
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Christine Curry
I think you are right about the turquoise. I can easily ditch that idea. lol.

The stripes on the wall were mostly to "lighten up" the mood of the room, it could easily get too "stuffy" in there. And because I'll have clients over occasionally, I don't want the room to feel too formal. Having the curtains go from floor to ceiling I think will kind of hide the stripes, which is ok by me.

What do you think about grey curtain panels with white sheers in the middle?

I forgot to mention that my desk and actual workspace will be on the wall to the left of the window. That's one anchor piece that can't be moved.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 12:34AM
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Khrome Studios
And black and white patterns are intriguing until 5-6 months when color recognition kicks in
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 12:47AM
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Without seeing the grey panels, it should complement the wall colour and not be a different type of grey. So I think yes. Also the verticals will actually add drama to the horizontals so it will be visually interesting (even for bored parents as they wait for their little one to strike the right pose!)

Will you be photographing kids older over 5-6 months? In which case, the burnt orange and visual contrast might still work but I heard you talk about newborns so focussed on that audience?
Best of luck with your project, decorating and photography-wise!
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 1:11AM
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Christine Curry
thank you!

I'm not actually concerned with what children/babies will be looking at. lI have a portable backdrop that will be used, and most of the time the newborns are sleeping. haha.

And actually using the room as a studio is not the primary use. The primary use will be a home office, but it still needs to look like a living room as not to irritate my husband. Taking pictures here is not common, but it does happen from time to time, so I don't want a coffee table or any decor that is too fussy because it may get moved around a lot.

What I truly need help with is integrating everything to look very stylish in a multipurposed space.

Does anyone have decor ideas to tie it all in?
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 8:19AM
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Christine Curry
These are some office pieces I'm considering. Just not sure which way to go. The old metal Tanker desk I really like to go kind of retro, adding in the metal element...

The office suite withe the tall cabinets is what my initial thoughts were resting on, but now that I see the Bombay desk and credenza..my heart is being pulled there. Not sure which is the best choice.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:27AM
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Personally I love the metal tanker desk. I think it will go with the colours you have painted. So if I concur with that a) because you like it b) because it goes with colours c) it is part of the industrial chic trend and d) it is more original than the other choices
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 10:24AM
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