Great Spaces: A Home Office for Three

Luxe accents make this family workspace an inviting place to be productive.
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This McLean office makeover added floor-to-ceiling built-ins with individual work areas, storage cabinets and open display shelves. (Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg)

The home office next to the foyer was one of the first things you saw upon entering Lara Covington’s McLean house in Chesterbrook Woods. It wasn’t pretty.

“There were some old desks that looked terrible and boxes on the floor. It had basically become a shipping and receiving room for packages,” says Covington, a lawyer and mom of two, about the awkward, L-shaped space, with its mismatched furniture and mostly bare walls.

Wanting a more pleasing work spot she could share with her kids—now 13 and 11—Covington started following interior designer Erika Bonnell on Instagram and finally reached out in 2018.

“Our mission was to create a well-functioning space with a printer, shredder and three computers,” says Bonnell, whose studio is based in Sterling. “At the same time, she wanted a space with lifestyle qualities that didn’t just feel like you were in an office building.”

Out went the stodgy desks and bankers boxes. In their place, Bonnell introduced floor-to-ceiling built-ins with individual work areas, storage cabinets and open display shelves, plus acrylic chairs (which are easily wiped clean when subjected to sticky fingers) and a rustic round table that the kids could use for drawing and puzzles. The sapphire-blue Schumacher wallpaper behind the shelves features an abstract design by Martyn Lawrence Bullard and references the blue tones found in adjoining rooms.

A fluffy ottoman on casters (which the kids now use all over the house) tucks under a console table when not in use. To bring in more natural light, Bonnell traded the office’s solid-wood doors for glass-paned French doors, and replaced the heavy plantation shutters on the front windows with printed drapes featuring a bold design by Richmond artist Lindsay Cowles. Brass accents and a fun light fixture from West Elm complete the look.

“Working with Erika was a joy,” Covington says. “She’s funny and creative, kept on schedule, and she does a big reveal at the end. She makes you leave for a few hours while they install most of the furnishings and finishes. There’s a big ‘wow’ factor when you come back and see the whole design vision come together all at once.”

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Great Spaces: An Inspired Home Office

Great Spaces: The Dining Room Office

Categories: Home & Design