With loads of excess clutter and important deadlines to meet—not to mention the kids learning at home—knowing how to create a home office can seem an impossible task. But remote working is here to stay, and figuring out a productive work-from-home setup doesn’t have to be overwhelming; a little guidance can go a long way to keeping you sane, comfortable, and engaged.
We spoke with Nicole Kypreos and Alison Salvo, the General Manager and a Sales & Design Consultant for California Closets of Oregon, to discuss why having a customized office space is such a game changer: it can help you slay the day, keep you organized and motivated, increase productivity, and improve mood.
Alison and Nicole—how do we start? How does the design process work?
Alison: Initially, many clients have a felt need but haven’t really thought about what they want or what’s available. I like to show them past examples of custom offices we’ve built to demonstrate form and function and give them some ideas of what is possible. We draw on elements from our digital catalog, taking direction from their homes’ décor and their design aspirations.
After an initial meeting in their home, I invite them to meet in our studio and present a cohesive plan, while allowing them to see samples and craftsmanship of our various displays. Prior to the second meeting, I will have created several options with CAD to present at various price points to align with their goals. I will be able to share the 3-D renderings on a large screen during our meeting to allow for immediate feedback and collaboration. The 3-D CAD really helps people visualize the possibilities: it comes to life for them.
Nicole: We have showrooms locally in Portland’s Pearl District, West Linn, and Bend. Each has beautiful home-office arrangements to inspire clients. Our designers collaborate with the homeowner based on functional objectives, available space, and their overall design aesthetic. We create unique furniture and storage especially for them; it is important to us that we work within our clients’ preferences. We offer both in-person and virtual consultations, and our team is available seven days a week, including evenings and weekends by appointment.
Can you share how you’ve been able to help your clients?
Alison: I recently worked with a family of four who moved to Tualatin. Both parents worked from home, and their kids had been doing Zoom school for a few months. They had an empty room right when you walked in the front door. They needed a solution to turn this bonus room into a multi-use space.
We came up with two desk areas and a bench seat that utilized the whole span, while playing with different configurations for the cabinets. They were mainly looking for function, but we also paid careful attention to materials and collaborated with their tastes to make sure it looked exactly like they wanted. They were updating their kitchen, too, so we dovetailed to match what they were doing there. The result was a clean, sleek, modern look that went beyond what they thought possible.
Nicole: Sometimes, our clients already have a dedicated workspace in the home where they run the household from. Now that many are trying to perform professionally as well, they find they need it to be much more than a spot to pay bills. We can create a whole system or augment what they already have. A sit/stand desk and additional bookcases can really improve their setup. We can create space to organize papers, pens, bits, and bobbles with built-in storage that can include a pull-out for printers or a concealed shredder.
For those who are not ready to give up working at the dining table, we can improve upon that setup too. We can fashion a credenza that can provide you a place to recharge all electronics with integrated outlets and USB ports. You can stash all your office supplies there, and it’s a beautiful piece of furniture that blends with the design of your home and can function as a buffet when the work week is through.
What would you tell people who are hesitant to create their own home office?
Alison: Getting organized is easier than you think. People are all balancing a lot of things—they’re really busy. This whole situation is kind of unpredictable, and we understand how hectic life can be. With more people working from home and kids now doing hybrid learning, you need to have a space for the whole family. We can help you get organized with an attractive space that reduces stress and saves time.
Nicole: At first, it looked like we’d be working from home for only a couple months, but for a lot of people it’s going to be permanent. Whether you’re trying to make what you have work better—and need a couple of pieces to round it out—or you need to start from scratch, California Closets can help. We can meet people where they’re at to help them decide what the best option is to fit their needs and preferences and really bring their dream to life. Plus, if they ever decide to move, an office is only going to increase their home’s resale value. Everyone wants a home office now.
Each California Closets of Oregon showroom follows the government-mandated Covid-19 guidelines to protect the health of all customers and staff. Showroom hours are Mon–Sat, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (Sunday 11 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Pearl District location only). Design consultations are available by appointment.
To schedule a consultation, please call 503-885-8211, or go to californiaclosets.com.