5 Expert Tips To Upgrade Your Office

Leah Bourne

KaraOfficeWith the amount of time that we all spend in the office these days, at the very least, the space you are working in should be one that you want to spend time in. Wanting some expert tips on how to create an inviting (but entirely functional) workspace, we sought out the advice of interior design pro Kara Smith, the co-owner and president of SFA Design (behind huge projects like The Ritz-Carlton in Abu Dhabi and the penthouse at the W Hollywood). Not only are Smith’s tips not to be missed, she shared photos with us of her own office, which is pretty spectacular if we do say so.
1. Be About Your Business. “The first step in updating any office is to evaluate how efficient your current work space is,” Smith shared. “When I re-designed my office I looked for new clever storage ideas, better organization tools and desk accessories to create the most optimal workspace. Figuring out how you work, and what you need to be better organized, and efficient at your job is the most chic thing you can do! I am constantly pouring through stylish and practical pieces that can contribute to the productivity of my time in the office.”
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2. Surround Yourself With Inspiration. “Set up a beautiful inspiration board and post things that inspire you,” Smith suggests. “This is a perfect way to constantly update your office. I created a clean and tailored look by using a linen covered board with contrasting piping for an oversized tailored look.”
3. Don’t Forget the Rugs. “I swear, a well selected area rug can jazz up any space.,” Smith says. “Adding a cool, bold pattern over a typical drab office rug can completely change the feel of any room. When designing my office, I really wanted to infuse a bit more life to the space. By simply adding a faux cowhide rug, it gave the space a new, vibrant personality. Great area rugs in all different sizes are a very easy way to add some character, color, and to elevate any space.”
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4. Create An Experience. “Create a moment beyond work that is both visually stimulating, inviting, and can serve as a break in your day,” Smith says. “When I design an office I always work with my clients to create something fun—we all need some relief from all the work, work, work! For my office, I created a “Mad Men” inspired luxe bar. Honestly, it serves more as visual stimulation, but I do have all the fixings for an early start on happy hour with the perfect Manhattan. A bar cart is great piece for display collections, mine features delicate glass canisters filled with a few favorite sweets. If the room permits, you can add another dimension with a dart board posted on the wall.”
5. Art is the Finishing Touch. “Personalized art can be a great touch to any space, Smith says. “I suggest putting up an oversized modern art piece or a favorite large framed print on an open wall. Recently a friend of mine moved into a fairly mundane office and was looking to spruce up the space. We decided to hang a beautiful Lindsay Cowels Print on canvas which really complimented the room. Another great way to go is to frame key moments in your career or points of inspiration in beautiful creative frames. It is a great way of keeping inspired, while still creating something personal and aesthetically pleasing.”
All Photos Courtesy of Kara Smith/sfa design

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