Our Home Office | French by Design

Our home office: part 1

As you know, Inès, our first-born daughter, left for college a couple of weeks ago; boy, was I not prepared for this one. I had told myself that I was ready, that she was ready, that it was a natural process, and the fruit of a long labor. Easy peasy.

It wasn’t.

It was terrifying, the feeling of loss was unmeasurable, and the pain was just as big as the joy of bringing your newborn home; except this time, you drop your ‘baby’ somewhere… for like, forever!

Anyway, after 3 days of crying – as if I was mourning the loss of a loved one – my brain took over; I heard her joyful voice when she calls me to tell me the name of new friends she’s made in her dorm or at the pool; we giggled last week trying to make the dorm’s laundry machine work on FaceTime.

She was ready after all. And so, I am ready as well.

This month of September therefore marks a huge transition in our family dynamics, with one child gone and one of her way out at the end of this very school year, and we’re already planning lots of get-togethers with our globe trotting girls. It’s all very exciting, once the scary part is over. Really.

Our Home Office | French by Design

So today, I want to share with you my process for updating one of our San Francisco apartment’s room into a home office. Maya took her sister’s room, which is adjacent to the living room. Eventually, we’ll move the home office into this massive room, and use Maya’s old room as a guest room for friends and family – which is gold, in SF standards.

Our Home Office | French by Design

We were on the hunt for a desk this summer; the challenge was to find something that would fit the current small room (future guest room), but also be proportionate enough in the future office space…. I scouted Etsy and local consignment stores, and even created a favorite list of items on Etsy, from rustic french farm tables to Scandinavian pieces, from pendant lights to accessories. If you are interested, you can consult my selection here.

We were lucky to score an amazing Danish teak desk in mint condition at the Alameda County Fair, and I already have a few accessories in storage from our previous moves, like my beloved Bukhara rug, or my Uten-silo, the clever wall desk storage I got a few years ago as a birthday gift.

Our Home Office | French by Design

The desk we thrifted is great in the sense that it features a sliding extension, bringing the desk top from 47 to 66 inches in total. Perfect! The drawers are also very clever, as they slide left and right under the desk. It’s super practical as we have 2 lefties in the family. Everyone can position the drawers according to their natural morphology.

Our Home Office | French by Design

In terms of colors, saying that I am attracted to terra-cotta and washed out fig and “vieux rose’ tones would be an understatement. From soft caramel tones to washed out fig hues, my eyes are constantly attracted to this palette. I printed a few of my Pinterest pics to create a moodboard, and I’m looking at these gorgeous hues, wondering which one would be perfect for a soothing home office space.

What do you think? Any favorites?

Our Home Office | French by Design

I will keep you updated on the color picking process. I now plan on trying a few samples of color on the walls to get a better idea of how the light naturally progresses throughout the day in that room before committing to any gallon of paint, so stay tuned for more home office updates coming on this space. Cheers friends and a happy month of September! Xo, Si-

Photography Siham Mazouz for French By Design

J O I N    T H E    L I S T


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20 thoughts on “Our home office: part 1

  1. Oh Si, your new desk is perfect, perfectly Danish Modern. It reminds me of all the teak living room furniture my mother bought in Denmark (while we were stationed in Germany on an Army base), and brought back to the U.S. Man, that woman was waaaaay before her time with interior design talent. We had that furniture even while I was in high school, then my sister took some of it after that. Too bad I wasn’t brainiac enough to take some myself.

    As for those glorious and rich muted hues you show here, I’ll take all of them. They look so perfect together, as a complete palette.

    I hope Ines has a brilliant college experience and finds new ways to express her artistic gift. I also hope you have a blast pulling the new office together. Can’t wait to see it.

    Cheers, Ardith

    1. @Ardith, it sounds like your mom was a decor boss indeed! Also, what a fascinating and enriching childhood you must have had!
      Thank you for your kind words and well wishes to Inès! Can’t wait to share this home office project with you all! Xo, Si-

  2. It is wonderful that your daughter opens her wings.I am sure you were a good mother and personally I want to wish her in good health to find real happiness. Thank you for sharing emotions together with nice tips without overdoing things. Everything in moderation… written on the temple of Appolo in Delphi …

    1. Oh, thank you @Alexandra! Also, what a dreamy location, le swoon! Cheers, Si-

  3. Your portrait of the fledgling leaving the nest is so poignant. With each rentrée, I feel the time with my kid ticking away–how does it go by so fast? At least, it reminds me to to be present when my kid is, and to savor all those hugs while I can.
    I love the colors you show. I would lean toward those that are just a whisper of color, but the dark ones are also enchanting, especially in such airy spaces.
    And your desk is a marvel. Why don’t more designers create such versatile pieces?

    1. Merci @Taste of France for sharing your thoughts on this, tough phase in life indeed but also necessary both for them, but also for yourself… to “realign” with yourself… I’m not sure I’m making much sense, just re-reading myself :-))

      Also, yes, where are these designers? Please pass along any rec’ if you find them! :-)

  4. My son Jamie just recently moved out , I felt an overwhelming sadness . I know this is for his own good and for myself as well. I have moved on & Jamie is excited to be sharing a house with friends . I love him dearly & mom is always here forever

    1. Hear, hear, Binky! Thank you so much for sharing your story! Here is to building new memories, with and away from them! – but you are right, mom is always here forever! ♡

  5. P.S. Si, would you mind if I had your paint palette image reproduced as an art piece? Thanks and cheers, Ardith

    1. Of course not, @Ardith! Honored that you ask, thank you! ♡
      PS: would love to see the final piece if you don’t mind sharing! Xo-

  6. Glad you are adjusting to your daughter off at college. Don’t worry, she’ll be home soon for vacation.

    My question is, are your floors painted or stained black? How do you find living with them. I like the way they look and have been contemplating painting my upstairs floors. But deciding on a color is hard.

    1. Hey @Lisa, they are painted! These are old hardwood floors that were already painted when we moved in. We just refreshed them with fresh coat of satin black floor paint. Very happy with the look, but Daisy’s hair show a lot! We vacuum regularly and in between, enjoy these “glitter strands” all around the apartment, lol!

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