Your Home Office Could Be Dangerous For Your Health

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Hi Everyone,

I’ve taken some sage advice that some of you gave me and have decided on occasion to republish some of my favorite posts. This is one from two years ago.

What’s fun is to see how some things have changed.

And what things have not.

Please enjoy and even if you happen to have read this one, there’s a fun surprise at the bottom.

 

More and more of us are working from home, myself included.

Therefore, we need a home office.

 

 

But, it’s mid-August and hot outside and I don’t feel much like working. I should be on vacation like you probably are. But alas, here I am…

 

Before I go on with my topic about the threat that your home office may be posing, I want to thank you. I am overwhelmed by all of your sweet comments about my last post where I took all 132 Farrow and Ball colors and matched them to Benjamin Moore colors.

Many of you commented about how generous it was of me. Thank you for thinking that, but I can’t say that my motives are completely altruistic.

I have big plans for my business. You know how those biz gurus always say…

 

“picture where you want your business to be in 5 years… see yourself how and where you want to be situated. That’s the first step in making it happen.”

 

So, I’m trying it out. Here’s how I see myself in 5 years or hopefully even less!

I will streamline my desk/office to include only the most essential pieces.

home-office-beach

Once I’ve done that, I’ll be so busy writing my blog, answering comments, etc… I’ll definitely need to hire some assistants.

A personal assistant to make sure I’m organized at all times and absorb some of the day-to-day stress.

Massage-Table-Casa-Marina-2-via-Casa-Marina_54_990x660_201406012157

I’ll need another assistant with excellent communication skills to help answer the 500 emails/inquiries coming in every day; preferably one who can also troubleshoot any technical issues.

man-beach-laptop_2423029a

We’ll need one to serve in a more domestic capacity (some light cleaning involved) and to keep us all hydrated and nourished.

cabana-boy

fleaing-france-cholesterol

yummy–The drinks and sweets, that is. ;]

If it rains, we can always escape to my shack on the beach.

carillonbeachhouse-front

Hey… all that hard work! We deserve to take a few for a refreshing dip.

carillonbeachhouse-back

Oh damn! I almost forgot that I’ll be needing a general manager. Silly me. One to pick up the slack wherever needed. But please don’t ever call him a pool boy. That’s gross! Such blatant sexism will not be tolerated! Thank you.

william-levy

I guess that should be enough help. What do you think?

Then, in hurricane season, I figure that we can all regroup somewhere else. But I’m absolutely torn.

Paris?

paris-apartment-veranda

or Capri?

capri-monica-forss-flickr

Would it be too greedy to have an office in all three places?

LAUREL???

Yes?

Have you lost your mind?

Thank you for asking. Yes. I think so. A long time ago.

There, there now. What’s with the scowl? Oh, I see… you don’t approve of my business plans?

Next thing I know you’re going to call me unprofessional.

Fine. Yes, I’m unprofessional.

Oh, dang it all! I’ve earned the right to be unprofessional! I’m pushing sixty. Actually, not really pushing so much as one more step and off the cliff we go…

wheeeeeeee…

laurel-bern-9

Alight. I’ll stop clowning around (maybe). :] That is a recent photo taken in my lovely apartment in Bronxville, NY. Yes, I know. I don’t look six months away from 60 and I don’t look like I just spent the last 20 hours cleaning my apartment either. This was just published in a local newspaper online, The Journal News and is coming out in print soon.

They told me to look out the window. They did not tell me to smile like an idiot.

I was asked to talk about my favorite spot in my home.

Well, my favorite spot as discussed earlier is my bedroom (awww, my darling gone-to-kitty-heaven-Peaches!)

paintmess 002 copy

But since I figured that most people don’t want to hear that… I lied and told them that it was this spot, in front of the Zuber screen.

Laurel Bern Interiors home office. Ming Lamp. Wall paint - Benjamin Moore Hawthorne Yellow HC-4

Laurel’s Home Office

Hope you didn’t mind that long preamble. My primo guru the incomparable

Eileen Lonergan wrote a post about decorating your home office.

Here’s why your home office can be dangerous to your health.

 

quitecontrayblog

It’s because your office looks like this. (please check out the fabulous after images here.)

And it’s because you’ve probably spent way too many years working at a place that looks something like this.

decline-of-the-cubicle

Office-Cubicle-Ocean-Design-Ideas-Home-Decoration-Ideas-Home-

They’ve programmed you into thinking that you need to make your home office as ugly as what you were trying to get away from.

no.

please don’t.

 

This is the place you spend how many hours a day? It should be the most beautiful welcoming room in the house. Whatever that is to you. Pretty, Handsome, minimal, maximal. Make it a place you can’t wait to go to!

If you have big storage needs, that’s what closets are for. No fugly filing cabinets allowed! It’s good to keep things you don’t need regularly in other rooms so that you get some exercise too.

 

All of these things are going to improve your health. (I should heed my advice!)

 

And… speaking of health. I have an update.

 

you can read about it here.

 

 

Please enjoy these beautiful home offices.

 

nick-olsen-designed-brooklyn-brownstone-article-home-office-architectural-digestNick Olsen via Architectural Digest

Here’s a charming niche in a neo-traditional style.

It might be a bit small for me, but I love the way it was done.

Industrial+Loft+Trad+Interior+lonny+home+officevia Lonny

Sometimes space is really at a premium and our work spaces need to do double or even triple duty. I adore this secretary.

It is reminding me of the one Eddie Ross refurbished which you can see here.

I think it would be better to accommodate a laptop, but even so–it’s wonderful. I recognize the chair from Jonathan Adler. Please click the link to see the rest of this gorgeous place!

lonny-jk-place-capri-home-office-white-wing-chairsJK Place Capri designed Michele Bonan via Lonny

I think this is the most blogged about place here. And what I love the most about this place is that it’s not a home, it’s a hotel!

the-marsh-partners-beach-style-home-officeJocelyn Chiappone

Pretty, fresh neo-traditional room. A desk could be a console table or really any kind of attractive table.

 

original source not known

Great use of a narrow long room.

capri-monica-forss-dangerousclick image to pin to pinterest

liana-pillow-master-home-officeLiana, The Pillow Master’s pretty office via Classic Casual Home

I could definitely work here!

 

And for fun, I made a widget for some home office inspo.

 

(for more info, please click on the individual images)

 

 

One King

One King’s Lane has a beautiful curated collection of home office accessories.

Some great gift ideas there too.

 

xo,

PS: Please don’t forget to check out my curated collections Hot Sales Pages and Favorite Home Furnishings  (also in the menu bar)

if you haven’t already.

They are updated weekly.

Save

Save

  • Hollie @ Stuck on Hue - August 24, 2017 - 10:14 PM

    Here I was thinking I wanted to keep my business super small and continue doing everything soup-to-nuts myself. But clearly I need some assistants like yours. 😉ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 24, 2017 - 10:22 PM

      Ahhh… well, they are still fantasy assistants… gotta hang on to one’s dreams! hahaReplyCancel

  • Kiera - August 15, 2017 - 2:23 PM

    I love your website; your aesthetic is pretty much my perfect style, and I have learned a huge amount from your posts. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

    Our current house has a small home office that is actually quite pretty but I never use it, because I mainly work in my bedroom so that I can recline, Roman-Style, while I write on my laptop. For years I resisted those experts who say “bedrooms are for sleeping, not for working,” but the thing is that I actually suffer from insomnia, and working in my bedroom makes it worse. I finally figured out that the best thing to do is to get rid of the desk and chair in the office and put in a comfy chaise lounge or a daybed. That way, I can recline to my heart’s content while still doing work, and reclaim my bedroom for sleeping.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2017 - 2:30 PM

      Hi Kiera,

      Well, then, we were definitely separated at book. Thanks so much for your kind words too!

      I also work on my bed. It happened after I got my macbook in November 2014. I do on occasion, move to the living room sofa. Maybe I should do that more. But it’s wonderful to have my feet up!

      ReplyCancel

  • Shelby - August 15, 2017 - 11:34 AM

    Gorgeous photo of you! Any of those future assistants would be lucky to have such a hilarious boss as well!

    And thanks for sharing that Lonny secretary inspiration! I’ve been trying to find a similar photo, as that was my plan for my fiance’s monstrous computer in our tiny home. After seeing my idea, he is now relocating the beast to the guest room (my first choice) of his own accord;)ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2017 - 2:10 PM

      Hi Shelby,

      I love the Lonny secretary too. Did you see the link to Eddie Ross’ secretary transformation?ReplyCancel

      • Shelby - August 15, 2017 - 3:23 PM

        Not sure how I missed it; thank you!
        It’s stunning.ReplyCancel

  • Lorri - August 14, 2017 - 6:27 PM

    I want an office painted a saturated green because green is the most relaxing color for eyes . . . and we get enough eye strain from computers as it is.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 14, 2017 - 7:06 PM

      Is that a fact? ReplyCancel

      • Lorri - August 14, 2017 - 11:51 PM

        I don’t know if it holds scientific water, but I’ve read it a million times over the years. Supposedly the eye doesn’t have to work as hard to perceive green.ReplyCancel

    • Lorri - August 14, 2017 - 6:31 PM

      And we must be the same age since I’m turning 59 on August 20th.ReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - August 14, 2017 - 7:07 PM

        Hi Lorri,

        Oh, maybe you missed the part that said that this is a republished post from two years ago.

        I’m now 61. :]ReplyCancel

        • Lorri - August 14, 2017 - 11:52 PM

          Oops! Well, you look younger. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Merri - August 14, 2017 - 9:33 AM

    You are so pretty! I think you have a very natural and nice smile.
    My husband and I share a very tight, weird shaped space for a home office. A very small room with a set of stairs, a window, and a long narrow hall. We kept the colors simple with beiges and black. We maxed out the space by mounting our computer monitors on the wall. We both need dual monitors for our lines of work. He also built shelving under the stairs which holds a printer and office supplies. And finally our four drawer ugly tan filing cabinet we sprayed a mat black and placed it under the stairs as well as part of the shelving. It blends in well. We finished out the room with a mahogany desk for him, a kneehole style credenza for me, aeron chairs, a wall of pictures and a rams head. The description sounds a bit eclectic, but I love working in that room.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 14, 2017 - 2:05 PM

      That sounds wonderful Merri and thank you for the kind words!ReplyCancel

  • Whitney - August 14, 2017 - 8:52 AM

    Hi Laurel! Any idea what that ivy wallpaper in the first inspo image is? I love it!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 14, 2017 - 2:04 PM

      Hi Whitney,

      I did the Laurel’s Rolodex method (gone over in great deal in that guide as a bonus) of finding anything on the internet which has about a 90% success rate for me.

      I cropped out a section of wallpaper making a new image and put that image into google images. And voila. The answer, right out of the box. Here’s the link. (I put it in a link shortener because it was massively long)

      http://bit.ly/2hYU1hdReplyCancel

      • Whitney - August 14, 2017 - 4:15 PM

        You’re the bomb! Thank you! This is exactly what I was thinking of for my powder room… not an office but ideas can come from anywhere!ReplyCancel

  • Vicki Whiteside - August 14, 2017 - 12:55 AM

    Love you! You are so funny and awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Kat - August 13, 2017 - 5:21 PM

    OMG – I use to own a pair of those Chart House Lamps – unless you’ve seen that thing in person, you’d never know how big, heavy and awkward it is to have on a table. Worked as a desk lamp – never as a table lamp. Hard to adjust the position of the shade, etc., and impossible – absolutely impossible – to pack and move without damage.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2017 - 5:48 PM

      Yes, it’s definitely a desk lamp. Did it not come apart?ReplyCancel

      • Kat - August 13, 2017 - 5:53 PM

        Taking it apart was when the real trouble started – not threaded well for disassemble and reassemble. Movers somewhat destroyed it. Definitely need to keep the original package/carton so that it can be packed without attempting to take it apart.
        Had it repaired by the moving company, but then all the adjustment joints were stripped and it drooped – looked like a very sad crane…LOLReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2017 - 6:26 PM

          Yeah, moving companies can wreck our stuff. They broke my Jamie Young glass lamp. I’m still using it. I just turned the broken side towards the wall.ReplyCancel

  • Deborah Mullins - August 13, 2017 - 5:14 PM

    I’ve never worked in an office but now that you’ve shown me all the glorious “perks” that can come with having an office I think I’m going to get one! Who knew?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2017 - 5:28 PM

      lol – but it’s only if you’re wearing a bikini on the beach. Maybe they can make an exception. ;]ReplyCancel

  • Ramona - August 13, 2017 - 2:27 PM

    I love the first part of this blog. Oh dear, I am a dirty old lady.

    I too love my bed best, but your help for my home office would be greatly appreciated. I’ve got most of it together: but THE WIRES, THE WIRES, THE WIRES.

    I’ve purchased multiple helpers to tame them but don’t have the energy to work on them for hours just to still have a hunk of wires still ruining the whole effect.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2017 - 2:39 PM

      Hi Ramona,

      The wires are an issue for a lot of people. I’m not an expert in that department, but maybe I’ll research it for a solution. The worst are the desks floating with the front facing out. Impossible to hide unless it’s the kind of desk with a solid front. And those aren’t too attractive. But if the room is large enough, a settee could possibly go in front of the desk. Just a thought.ReplyCancel

      • Kat Powell - August 13, 2017 - 5:17 PM

        Gosh Laurel,
        Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could find lovely floor screens that were the height of the desk – you could float the desk and put the lovely screen in front to hide the wires…I’ve been considering that for years. Guess you’d have to custom build them or rip one down to size.ReplyCancel

  • Joy - August 13, 2017 - 10:46 AM

    Laurel, Love this post. More than one thing in it makes my heart skip a beat!
    This Southern girl loves views of lush green outdoor spaces that soothe the hot sultry summers. Capri is calling me! Bringing that feeling indoors in the office is welcome while hard at work. I love the pic with the ivy wallpaper. I know wallpaper isn’t loved by all but could you include some links to them in your posts? Another favorite is of a gorgeous white window with white shears and soft gray toile wallpaper. I have searched several hours for that one! https://laurelberninteriors.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/07-13677-post/laurel-bern-interiors-linen-drapes-white-trim-color.jpg
    Finally, glad to know you got your diagnosis. So often we go the the Dr and are left with more questions than answers. Now you can manage your condition and focus on happier things, like your assistants!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2017 - 2:36 PM

      Hi Joy,

      Thanks so much for all!

      The wallpaper in that bedroom no longer exists. In fact, we got the last rolls and that was back late 2013. ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Dietz - August 13, 2017 - 9:53 AM

    Love your humor. Needed it this weekend. Also lovely to have a diagnosis isn’t it? I am really sad it isn’t cured with chocolate and guava gimlets. Best. MReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2017 - 10:28 AM

      Hi Melissa,

      Chocolate and salted caramel is definitely helpful. Not joking. What is the salt for? To maintain blood volume.ReplyCancel

  • Susie - August 13, 2017 - 9:41 AM

    I’m lucky, I don’t have a computer at my condo. So my “desk” really just consists of a basket full of “to do” lists, a lamp, a framed photograph and a couple of old trophies. The “desk” itself is just a table made out of old pipes with a wooden slat surface. And the desk chair is old-fashioned looking office chair. If you are high-tech you probably have to devote an entire room to being your “office.” Not an appealing idea unless you can make it look like a Laurel room!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2017 - 10:26 AM

      Hi Susie,

      I never in a million years thought that I would be working on a computer all day long. Never, never never! In fact, my wasband used to call me a Luddite. Unfortunately, for him, that did not prove to be true.ReplyCancel

  • Joni - August 13, 2017 - 9:11 AM

    I’ve no doubt that whatever BIG plans you have for your business will come true, but probably even bigger than you could ever imagine. This blog is the ONLY blog that I read religiously, look forward to, and actually read before even my important work email. Keep it up!…. now I need to figure out which lamp to invest in for my guest bedroom…… that problem of inheriting really old nice furniture but wanting to make it modern! The answer is a few clicks away in your domain.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2017 - 10:24 AM

      Hi Joni,

      Some of the plans have already come true. This post was written two years ago, just before I started writing Laurel’s Rolodex. That was quite an undertaking for me and accomplished only because I told my entire subscription list what I was doing and when it was coming out. That’s why they call it a DEADline; because by the time you get there, you’re half-dead from exhaustion! lolReplyCancel

  • diane - August 13, 2017 - 8:50 AM

    im so happy for you, you have a diagnosis! i hope the meds will help you manage future bouts. nothing like getting a positive diagnosis you can live with and it has a freaking NAME! take care and wishing all the best for you! i super enjoy reading your blog.ReplyCancel

  • Dolores - August 13, 2017 - 7:32 AM

    I’m so glad that you finally have a diagnosis for what ailed you-but life being what it is- it would be difficult to prevent it from happening again?
    That Lancaster lamp on your widget? I had a pair of almost identical, but ceramic lamps for our first apartment.I think that they were a pair of Stiffel lamps, and they were huge! I shouldn’t have put them out in the trash when we moved houses.:-)ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2017 - 10:19 AM

      Hi Dolores,

      There might be some medication. But, actually, more salt in my diet and fluids help. One time when I got one of these attacks, I was on my way into the city to go to the ballet.

      Hardly stressed out as that is my bliss.

      I got off the train and my vision was blurry and phenomenally nauseous. I took the subway up to 59th street and went into a bodega and got a coca cola.

      I NEVER drink that stuff.

      Then, I walked a couple more blocks. The coke was helping, but the final cure-all was a nice big fat Nathan’s hot dog.(ketchup, mustard AND relish) I NEVER eat that stuff. Okay, that one is a lie. But I hadn’t had a hot dog in more years than I can count.

      I munched and drank my “poison” the rest of the way to Lincoln center and by the time I got there, I was fine.

      Go figure.

      One might say that I was just hungry? I had eaten before I left, but I ate like I hadn’t.ReplyCancel

      • Dolores - August 13, 2017 - 5:02 PM

        How stressful for you, Laurel! I’m really sorry that you have to suffer with this, but now at least, you know what to do when you feel an attack coming on..
        My friend and I saw a wonderful, spirited performance of ABT’s Le Corsaire in July- I actually thought of you, as I know how much you love the ballet. 🙂ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2017 - 5:28 PM

          Hi Dolores,

          I’m grateful that it’s not something a lot worse. But actually, I realize now, that I’ve had this for years. But it worsened after that horrible virus I caught in Italy. And I read that bad viruses can exacerbate symptoms.

          As for Le Corsaire. This is so embarrassing. But I found out that Skylar Brandt was dancing. She’s a young soloist that I’ve known since she was ten. Even then, you could see that she was going places. But sooooooo tiny! Well, she grew and one day she will be a principle dancer. Oh, how I wish Elaine (my bff who died) could see that because she predicted it at least 7 years ago.

          The night before, I bought a ticket online to go see her and then shut it down. And a few minutes later thought that i should go back and see what else I wanted to see. So, I did and got two more tickets. It was very late and I was tired.

          The next day, I had lunch with a friend and told her that I was seeing Skylar, but what didn’t compute was that it was THAT NIGHT!

          I woke up at 10:30 PM and when I realized what I had done, felt really horrible and crazy.

          I hope that you got to see her dance! Would’ve been fun to meet you too! Please let me know when you’re going to the ballet!ReplyCancel

    • Dolores - August 13, 2017 - 7:38 AM

      Forgot to mention- I love the site you offered today, “The Well Appointed House”, which featured the bamboo Chippendale style bookcase What gorgeous designs..Drool…ReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2017 - 10:20 AM

        Melissa has a gorgeous collection of home furnishings! And I love the name of her site!ReplyCancel

  • Gaye - August 13, 2017 - 1:47 AM

    Re jumping off the cliff and age and all, half-way through this post, I wanted to thrust my fists into the air the way those women soccer players do on the television ad and say, “Oh you glorious hussy!” I believe I was a shy girl, but the gift of age has been in the direction of hussyhood. And I can’t tell you how proud I am of my progress. Keep aiming high.

    I have a red study. Not bright red, but like wonderful old Spanish leather red. It is glazed. Only thing I have ever painted in my life. Real painters have complimented the work, though perhaps out of an awareness of my progress in hussyhood. Fresh toile curtains at the two west windows. White woodwork, bookcases. I find it stimulating and nurturing.

    But tell me this: in all those offices, where were the cords? (to the modem, router, electric thingy, etc?) Freedom from those is what I want.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2017 - 2:03 AM

      Hi Gaye,

      Yeah, they hide the cords. Maybe one day, everything will be cordless. Your study sounds lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Sharon AJJ - June 6, 2017 - 4:00 PM

    I love your suggestion that a home office can be small, beautiful and tucked in to lots of different spots. My husband and I were sharing a home office because he is home only a week a month. But since his work involves lots of phone calls, while I am a freelance editor who needs a quiet environment, my solution was to vacate the space when he was here, and move to a small desk area in our master bedroom, or work at the dining-room table. His work also involves binders, files, a second computer screen and other impedimenta, while I need only a computer, a notebook and pen, and a modest stack of reference texts. However, each time I moved out, I felt a bit cranky and displaced, so my solution was to create a permanent office space for myself. I rearranged our master suite, which is the only space on our second floor, putting a petite 1915 slate-topped oak science desk under a corner window in the bedroom that is just the same width as the desk and has a gorgeous view. A comfortable upholstered desk chair, a vintage desk lamp, my computer, and my reference texts in a neat row along the back of the desk, supported by a nice pair of antique bookends, and I was all set. Everything I need to do my work is easily in reach, and I am in my favourite room in the house.

    I know it flies in the face of conventional advice to work in my bedroom, especially when there is a home office that sits vacant 75% of the time. But this way I don’t have to share my organized little office space with my messy husband, and I am a good compartmentalizer, so I have no trouble separating when I’m “at work” and when I’m “at home.” I know this wouldn’t be the solution for everyone, but it’s been perfect for us.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - June 6, 2017 - 11:32 PM

      Hi Sharon,

      No need to explain to me. I work in bed– often in my jammies. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Donna OBrien - May 18, 2017 - 10:20 AM

    OMG I’m still laughing and will be all day! Understand you completely….one more step for me and its off the cliff to 70. At our age what the hell we should be able to do as we damn well please we’ve earned it.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 18, 2017 - 3:49 PM

      Glad you’re laughing! I love this post too! But here’s what’s a little freaky. I wrote it before I started creating my products to sell. Oh, I had been *thinking* about it… but I really did have some people kicking my butt and opening up my eyes.

      My best is when someone tells me that I need to tone down my language like I’m a 20-yr-old! eyes rolling.ReplyCancel

  • Taryl - August 19, 2016 - 6:14 PM

    Love these offices! Unfortunately no cabana boy in our budget but even scaled down and DIY so many of these ideas are doable. I love the texture and scale in some of these rooms too, which I tend to associate more with the living room or bedroom than office. Awesome stuff!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 21, 2016 - 12:39 AM

      Dang. We have to find a way to get that cabana boy for you! 😀ReplyCancel

  • Diane Stewart - August 13, 2015 - 11:01 PM

    You’re so funny! Here’s hoping you get all the assistance you need… when and how you need it.

    I have a secretary that looks similar to the white washed one, but it’s banded mahogany. Wouldn’t dream of covering up that beautiful wood! Love all it’s little nooks and crannies, can really store a lot in it.

    My so-called office is a spare bedroom filled with all sorts of stuff since we moved in. It’s on my to-do list, thanks for all the inspiration. My temp office is where ever I am with my laptop, usually in the sitting room off my bedroom.

    I’ve gotten so used to sitting in an easy chair, or on a couch with a lap desk. Not sure I even want to go back to a desk and chair. It’s not as comfy.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 16, 2015 - 12:21 AM

      Hi Diane,

      Actually, I have a bookcase that’s mahogany and very old. And I DID have it painted. Never looked back. Don’t care.I did not ask them to stain it and I LOVE it! You can see it in my portfolio. It’s in the background of my old white living room with Peaches on top of the glass and wrought iron coffee table. Ditto on the laptop!ReplyCancel

  • Karen Savage - August 8, 2015 - 9:26 AM

    I love your sense of humor and because I am right behind you in pushing 60 and just starting back up again in interior design, you are also an inspiration. thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 9, 2015 - 12:48 AM

      Thanks so much Karen! Good for you! I wish you every success in your new endeavor.ReplyCancel

  • Leslie Sinclair - August 6, 2015 - 3:50 PM

    The home office photos were inspiring, with many cool elements. But the first part of this blog was my absolute favorite part. You are so very funny! And your business plan is sound!! xo LeslieReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 6, 2015 - 8:25 PM

      Hi Leslie,

      I had a lot of fun writing it too. Thanks so much for stopping by!ReplyCancel

  • Alycia - August 6, 2015 - 11:53 AM

    Laurel,

    You’re gorgeous and your future staff is to die for! I’m thinking I need to hire some staff in the same vein. Vein? Staff? Oh my. But I’m so unprofessional lol!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 6, 2015 - 8:10 PM

      Right. Staff. haha! The objective is to actually not be doing much real “work.” Yes, I knew you would love that. And I put it in the tweet box! hahahahahahaha!!!ReplyCancel

  • Laurie - August 6, 2015 - 8:11 AM

    Hi Laurel,

    Thanks for another very funny read. I think I need to get the name of the agency where you found your general manager. I think I need to revamp my life plan and hire one too.

    I enjoyed the color deck for BM. I am a huge fan of their paint–my local paint store knows me by name I’m in there so much. (I bought a house 17 years ago with hideous 80s wall paper all over the place, so I was painting rooms a lot!

    Color is the office is a must! Our home office is painted in BM Great Barrington Green since its mostly my hubby’s space and it gave it a more man cave look. My desk (when I use it) is in a spare bedroom that’s a light turquoise (my favorite color). Both have hardwood floors. One is relaxing and one is bright and sunny. We love both spaces which both started out a hideous yellowish cream with 80s style wallpaper borders.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 6, 2015 - 8:03 PM

      Hi Laurie,

      I never got those hideous wallpaper borders. Really tacky. Your choices sound lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Libby - August 5, 2015 - 9:17 PM

    You look terrific! All those men might be dangerous to your health when they start to compete to best serve you. Aww, your Peaches looks like my dear, dear kitty who passed away earlier this year. Your bedroom is lovely.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 6, 2015 - 8:01 PM

      Hi Libby,

      They will be like children to me. Each one will be special in their unique hubba hubba way! lol Peaches passed on Dec. 2nd. I woke up T’Giving morning and stepped in a sea of you know… and he ended up in the (rip off) kitty ER that night. He came back for a couple of very special days and we had much cuddling and I fed him with a dropper… but then he took a turn for the worse with frightening breathing problems and when we brought him back he had a host of other fatal problems, so we had to put him down. I was trashed and still can’t believe that he’s gone.ReplyCancel

  • Monika - August 5, 2015 - 9:15 PM

    Can I apply for the position to wrangle all the assistants? Seriously, can I? Loved that post and can’t stop smiling at all the help you’ll be getting in 5 years. 😉ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 6, 2015 - 7:54 PM

      Hi Monika,

      You know… I can’t stop smiling either! Believe me, I was chortling the entire time I was writing it. I don’t know how these things come to me. I always had a vivid imagination as a child… it got me through some rough patches. ;]ReplyCancel

  • Cathy - August 5, 2015 - 9:11 PM

    Thank you! Thank you! I just had a long day with my 89 yr old mother and you gave me something to laugh about. I’m retired now but if I could work on the beach with those assistants – I’d be back at work in a heart beat!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 6, 2015 - 7:49 PM

      Hi Cathy,

      I hear you. My mom’s 92, but she’s 800 miles away.(my big sis is tending to her) Not doing so well right now, but in assisted living. Some 92 yr olds are sharp as a tack. My mom is sharp as a marshmallow. No one ever knows how long someone has, but I’ve made my peace with it. I’ll miss her, but the beautiful mother I had is a shadow of what she was. She doesn’t seem to be bothered by it and for that I’m grateful.

      It’s fun to fantasize isn’t it? I seriously would be very happy with that masseur, however. lolReplyCancel

  • Carol - August 5, 2015 - 9:02 PM

    Oops, wasn’t finished… Paint choices were informed by reading your articles about white paint.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 6, 2015 - 7:42 PM

      Hi Carol, That’s good to know! My recommendations come from a combination of experience and what colleagues that I trust have recommended. Or even just hearing the same thing over and over and over… I’ve recently used mascarpone. It’s actually very similar to Ivory White 925. BM does that a lot! The differences sometimes are so slight, it could be the difference of a dye-lot or less!ReplyCancel

  • Carol - August 5, 2015 - 8:59 PM

    Laurel,

    I so enjoy your blog with your wealth of knowledge and sense of humor. You are fantastic! I think my newly painted marscapone walls with super white trim look great. The choices were informed by reading yourReplyCancel

  • Valerie Draper - August 5, 2015 - 8:58 PM

    Thank you Laurel- I love reading your posts! I am in the process of building a house and making oh so many choices… you make decorating fun by taking an educated yet fun and humorous approach which I appreciate now more than ever! I hope your 5 year plan comes to fruition and the pool boy(oops I mean assistant) would be the icing on the cake!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 6, 2015 - 7:40 PM

      Thanks Valerie, If one doesn’t have a sense of humor in this business, it’ll consume you. Of course, some things are not very funny. They’re a total pain. Like stuff coming in damaged or defective. Doesn’t happen all the time, but always a drag.ReplyCancel

  • Jo - August 5, 2015 - 8:20 PM

    Great post! Too bad those gorgeous men are probably gay. Story of my life. Having downsized to a pretty cottage, the dining is also my office. All the “stuff” is organized in attractive baskets that along with the laptop, can easily be whisked away for meals. I think the key to a workspace, is to make sure it has a relaxing view, and it’s in a room where you’re surrounded by good design and the things you love. I love the ambiance of my little dining room, and I love the shade garden and fountain outside the window. I installed a floor outlet under the table, so I can plug in a lamp. Makes working there so much nicer, and we find we like our meals there with the soft lamp lighting. I think, Laurel, whoever invented overhead lighting should be shot. I’ve seen too many design jobs ruined by the eerily dispersed lighting of chandeliers. Overhead light casts downward shadows and makes rooms and the people in them very unattractive. But that’s another post, right?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 5, 2015 - 8:35 PM

      Hi Jo,

      Actually, I would prefer them to be gay. I only want to look at them! lol I totally agree with you about overhead lighting. I did do a post about it. i’ve figured out that in a place like a hall, it’s alright, because the light has a chance to bounce off the wall and back, but in a larger room, no. It’s horrible. I always insist on some other lighting along with chandeliers in the DR and keeping it on a dimmer.ReplyCancel

      • Jo - August 5, 2015 - 8:50 PM

        LOL — yes, sometimes gay is better. My best girlfriend is a gay guy — he loves it when I say that, except for one correction. He says he’s not gay… he’s festive! I read all your posts with gusto. I’ve been a decorator for 40 years, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. It’s a fabulous world, sometimes worthy of all your cynicism and sarcasm, because you also offer up an equal amount of praise where it’s due. That’s the key — to see beauty in everything, except where it ain’t.ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - August 6, 2015 - 7:38 PM

          Thanks again Jo! 40 years! wow! My working years = 23. Feels pretty long now.ReplyCancel

  • Dolores - August 5, 2015 - 8:18 PM

    Laurel- that is a lovely photo of you- you are a beautiful woman with a wonderful sense of humor- you are a hoot! I do love your carefully thought out business plan and can’t imagine anything going wrong with those plans 🙂 Now, if you had to pin down just one fun location for your office, I would vote for Capri! I was lucky enough to visit there only once, but I have to say that it is just so breathtaking with a lovely, leisurely pace. You don’t want to exhaust yourself with too much work right? Pace yourself..
    Since eventually you have to do serious work to maintain your expensive menagerie, I’d vote for an office at Sissinghurst Castle.Plenty of cache to attract only the best clients.And, the castle garden is supposed to be breathtaking in its glory- and could be a great place for you to take leisurely walks, with your attendants in tow, of course. Got to keep that svelte figure 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Eileen Lonergan - August 6, 2015 - 10:22 AM

      Thanks to two of my favorite ladies for all the love and positive feedback! Y’all made my week.ReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - August 6, 2015 - 8:08 PM

        link, link, link! :] And it’s the least I can do. I remember when you wrote that post. I was so grateful and it really helped!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 5, 2015 - 8:31 PM

      Hi Dolores, Thank you. Somehow, they got one of my better angles. Definitely leaning towards Capri! That way I can dine at the JK Place! The idea is to not do all that much work at all! Blogging can actually be pretty lucrative. But… it does take some time. ReplyCancel

  • Sally Marrer - August 5, 2015 - 8:14 PM

    Laurel,
    Eileen Lonergan is my source of all good things too. Who needs those other guys when you have Eileen?!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 5, 2015 - 8:26 PM

      Hi Sally,

      I know! Eileen’s a total Godsend! Two years ago… I was soooooo lost. I had two blogs, (that no one was reading) two websites, four google+++++ accounts and a lot of other horrendous stuff that was only hurting me. It took a while to untangle the mess I had made. But once that happened and I learned a few things, it really made a big difference!ReplyCancel

  • Sherri Perry - August 5, 2015 - 8:07 PM

    I love your blog. So refreshing. Please decorate for me. I love your honesty.ReplyCancel