This Home Makeover Is a Home Run

A redesign for a baseball-loving family includes subtle references to America's favorite pastime.
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A view into the office from the foyer. Photo by Jenn Verrier

Every design project has a starting point, and in this case it was a photo of Roberto Clemente.

The framed shot of the legendary Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder (see right) was one of the few things that was working in the home office Tara Haney sometimes shared with her husband, Gary, a Pittsburgh native who played baseball in college. Aside from that, the first-floor bedroom they were using as a makeshift work space back in 2014 was less than inspiring.

“I had a desk in there, a printer on the floor and a metal file cabinet, but it wasn’t functioning well,” says Tara, who was then working remotely as a consultant for Accenture. (Today she’s with the Department of Justice; Gary is at the Department of Commerce.)

Add to that the chaos of two young kids. At the time, their sons, Ben and Grayson (now 14 and 13), were in elementary school and wanted mom’s attention. Sometimes they needed help with homework. “I love for things to be organized,” Tara says. “The boys would come home from school and we’d just have stuff everywhere.”

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Office built-ins by Kiwi Custom Carpentry feature Spinneybeck leather sling drawer pulls, cork bulletin boards, an ash wood desktop and desk chairs from Evolution Home. Electrical outlets hidden inside cabinets and drawers help to minimize clutter from cords. Photo by Jenn Verrier

At one point the Haneys had added French doors to the office, thinking they could close them for noise control, but the view into the front hallway proved distracting. The setup just wasn’t good for concentration.

So they invited over a friend, designer Kelly Holland—whose son played Arlington Babe Ruth Little League with their sons—for a walk-through of their 1940 Cape Cod-style house in Bluemont. Holland asked questions about their needs, likes and dislikes, and sketched out a design plan for the office. It included built-in desks, display shelves, a window seat and plenty of storage.

Choosing the finishes is where things got fun. The built-ins, which featured side-by-side workstations for the boys, have a desktop made of ash—the same wood used to make baseball bats—and leather drawer pulls that evoke the look and feel of a well-worn ball glove.

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Categories: Home & Design