Interior designers fall hard on soft shades of pink and terra cotta to create the ultimate office spaces.
Sara Simon of Handsome Salt at an Encinitas office she designed PHOTO BY JENNY SIEGWART
Think offices need to be swathed in shades of greige to offend no one? Well, think again. A group of top-tier Southern California interior designers are looking to other parts of the color palette to create soft-hued, high-function work environments. From barely there blush to committed pink, all the way to a highly saturated terra cotta, these offices cast an entirely new take on office space style.
PHOTO BY TOMOKO MATSUBAYASHI
A strategic hit of Zoom-friendly pink
When Sara Simon designed the office of this Encinitas home, she decided to go for bold without sacrificing the crisp and clean look she created in the rest of the home. “Pink is powerful, but it also can be a lot if not the right pink,” says Simon, founder of Handsome Salt, who paired Benjamin Moore’s Super White with a custom pink shade painted in an arch. The goal? To create a focal point behind the desk and dress it up with art. Key to the color equation was adding in hits of color without going overboard: “Just like any color, you don’t want it to dominate the space. You want it to complement the space,” says Simon, who added a pair of rust-toned chairs from Lulu and Georgia. Looking to try this at home? “Think about what else you have going on in the room that can make it less distracting and complement it if you are going really wild,” says Simon. “At the end of the day, it’s just paint.” handsomesalt.com
For her own office, Del Mar-based designer Michelle Salz-Smith chose a pale palette with hints of blush. PHOTO BY TOMOKO MATSUBAYASHI
Historical style meets the modern-day design studio.
When Michelle Salz-Smith of Studio Surface moved her office into Del Mar’s Stratford Square building, the mission was clear: Honor the architecture of the almost 100-year-old Tudor-style building while creating a high-functioning work environment. The result—a European-inspired office where vintage meets new—works in patina and texture to add interest in the open-plan space. The soothing palette of pale tones includes taupe chairs, Cremo Delicato marble on the custom oak cabinetry and the smallest touch of blush in her custom-created floral ottomans. “The flors are original to the building. We chose to paint them to further support the European vibe,” says the designer. “The office has beautiful natural light, which is beneficial when reviewing colors, finishes and materials. The views of the ocean and Del Mar Village don’t hurt either.” studio-surface.com
Kim Gordon chose warm terra cotta tones for her office in Santa Monica. PHOTO BY LAUREN PRESSEY
Statement-making walls create a visual vacation.
Kim Gordon is known for melding home and resort design, so the concept of taking an OOO approach to her new design studio on Santa Monica’s Montana Avenue proved irresistible. Th e result? An 800-square-foot space where plaster walls cast in a rich terra cotta shade instantly transport. “They’re this incredibly rich, saturated color that makes you feel like there is sun and warmth even on cold days. Plus, they’re incredibly flattering on Zoom! They glow,” says Gordon, who contrasted the handtroweled walls with sleeker finishes like the stone desk and marble bookshelves. “Th e walls really help soften the reality of all the things that need to go into a high-functioning office: huge computer screens, iPads, desk chairs—all of those things that can drain your creativity if not used in a thoughtful way,” she says. But balance is key, says Gordon. “When you have a committed color like this, let it stand on its own. Don’t load up the space with stuff and more color. That way you get this amazing sense of minimalism without any coldness. That creates a really beautiful place to work, whether you’re meeting with people or focusing on your screen.” kimgordondesigns.com
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