Personally Speaking

Striking a balance between work and play is easily achieved with a highly personalized work space at home.

By Julie Bielenberg

Even when talking about a home office, it’s hard not mention Colorado’s 300 plus days of sun. Due to this geographic wonder we occupy, thousands of people move to Colorado annually in order to reap the benefits of a flexible work schedule. That makes for many home offices; nearly every home has some room or area dedicated to this life facet.


This professional office designed by Closet Factory, features mixed materials and a wall unit that converts to an on-demand bedroom. Thick panels with inset doors and drawers create an emphasis on the combination of colors, and glass, black melamine, light wood grain melamine and white add a blend of texture.

Hot for home offices this fall is personalization. Gone are the static days of formal cabinets, filing drawers and rolling chairs on plastic pieces with pokey things to stick to the carpet. The recent boom in the economy, combined with a movement toward self-design and reflection, as well as brilliant virtual design tools such as Pinterest, Etsy and locally based, are key motivators leading to fresh changes in design for personal workspace.


“I encourage clients to begin the process of changing their interior space by considering the floor first. The color of the floor will guide you in choosing everything else. How quietly do you want to ‘anchor’ your working space? How bold do you want to go? This is where rugs come in, and you have tremendous flexibility and latitude with rugs,” notes Phyllis Ripple, a 30-year veteran in the rug business and Founder/CEO of Boulder-based ecoFiber Custom Rugs. She lived abroad for nearly two decades throughout Europe and the Middle East. For Ripple, it was the one item that every culture had as a centerpiece.


“Rugs act as a canvas in the same way paintings do—you can bring your favorite colors into your office in subtle or dynamic ways if you design the rug yourself,” says Ripple. “The acoustic qualities of rugs can’t be overlooked. Rooms with hard surfaces, like stainless steel and granite in workspaces, or hardwood or tile flooring can be very noisy. Some interiors really assault your auditory senses and leave you feeling ‘unsettled’. A large rug can be the cure, especially for your home office. Rugs on walls have been used historically to muffle sounds, and they serve a dual purpose as an art piece.”


It’s trending across the design world. People want more comfort and personality in their workspace. “When clients come to me for help with their home office, I like to make their space seem as though they’re not at work. I always spread out on my dining room table while working from home, so I take that into account when designing for others,” explains Denver native and interior designer, Ruth Sonnenshein, Founder and Creative Director of Wyatt Designs. “Use a huge desk or table as the anchor of the room and make the surroundings feel less work-related. A dresser repurposed as office storage and a comfortable reading chair upholstered in fabulous fabric paired with a great rug and good lighting makes the workday seem like less of a grind.”


Ask the Experts

Phyllis Ripple | 303.968.9269


Ruth Sonnenshein

Wyatt Designs



Closet Factory in Englewood creates personalized home offices that evoke an efficient and artful ambiance through the use of customized desks, cabinetry and built-in bookshelves. The company’s office designers will create a home office space to complement your home’s interior and based on your personal work style and work flow.

Closet Factory | 800.838.7995