If your idea of working from home is spreading files on the kitchen countertop or propping your laptop on the living room couch, then it’s time for an upgrade. Converting a spare space — even a small one — into an office creates a separation between home and work, and makes it easier to concentrate on the task at hand. Plus, you can close the door at the end of the day and find a work/life balance that, well, works for everyone. Here are three Long Island offices that do it all.
In this contemporary office, designed by Carmela Posillico of AMi Design Enterprises Inc. in Huntington, memorabilia is the focus, and extra shelving is cleverly hidden. The space was created to give homeowner Diane Blank’s husband some privacy while corralling his collectibles, including sports and movie memorabilia. “Having a separate space where my husband can work without interfering with the rest of the household is great,” she says. “He can keep his space organized so that it functions the best way for him.”
Posillico created a flexible display wall using a Rivelli Floating Shelf System, which allows her client to display whatever items he’s most proud of at the time. The bold colors of the American flag contrast well with the dark wood Boxeo desk.
The rest of the room was left intentionally minimalist. “My client felt that most of his work and correspondences would be through his iPhone, so he did not need a lot of storage or library book shelving,” says Posillico. Instead, she designed a walnut floating credenza, which she had custom-built by John Acerra of GACO Custom Cabinetry in West Hempstead, and she finished it off with a dark neutral brown metallic to serve as a backdrop for her client’s art.
When two people split a home office, it can be especially challenging to design a room that works for both. In this space, designed by Jody Sokol of Jody Sokol Design in Northport, the key was finding a happy medium. “The challenge for this project was how to merge two different styles,” says Sokol. Marty Buchman, a teacher, needed space to spread out papers and store files, while Elyse Buchman needed a base from which to run the Stony Brookside Bed & Bike Inn, a bed-and-breakfast that offers bicycle tours on the North Shore.
The window treatments are made of Kravet fabric.
This desk chair is from a trade-only showroom.
One of the original doorknobs in the house.
For Dr. Michael Schwartz, a busy orthopedic surgeon and the chairman of the Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at ProHEALTH Care in Lake Success, his home office had to serve multiple purposes. “When Michael approached me with this project, he stressed the need to have a great place to work, but also to kick back and watch a game,” says John Starck of Manhasset-based Showcase Kitchens, which, despite the firm's name, also designs home offices. “It’s man cave-meets-home office,” Starck says. He designed the space with assistance from Manhasset-based Karen Arpino, who used custom-stained walnut and worked with the home’s architect and builder.
Schwartz says he appreciates the scale of the space as well as its details. “It’s a modest-size room, but when you walk in, it appears expansive, and the elements within provide everything that I would want in a home office.” Unusual details include semicircular panels that were hand painted, large windows along a curvature and built-in custom cabinetry. “It gives the office a traditional and formal appearance, while giving the room a bright and open feel, particularly during the daytime,” says Schwartz.