• Tue. Jul 27th, 2021

Home design ideas: Making room for a study space and storage

The owners of this Brookline home had tried to make a corner in main living area function with a desk and freestanding shelves, but it looked chaotic and didn’t ultimately meet their needs. “When you step into the house, you go right up the stairs,” designer Meredith Thayer says. “There was nowhere to put coats and shoes.” The designer proposed wrapping the corner with custom built-ins that incorporated mudroom-like storage, bench seating, and a workspace. “The clients e-mailed at the beginning of the pandemic to say it was the best decision they made,” she says.

1. Performance fabric cushions with subtle taupe pinstripes top the window seats while the drawers below hide the children’s toys.

2. Pillows from RH, Serena & Lily, and Etsy add color, texture, and comfort to the window seats. “They didn’t need shades for privacy and curtains would have interfered with the seating so we kept the windows bare,” Thayer says.

3. The stoneware lamp from Los Angeles-based Meredith Metcalf Ceramics and Windsor chair from Warren, Rhode Island-based O&G Studio are timeless classics that elevate the simple space.

4. Taking cues from the rich wood tones in the adjacent kitchen and dining area, Thayer chose a walnut veneer for the desk that lends a furniture-like feel. “We used walnut for the shelves, too,” Thayer notes. “It’s a nice contrast that breaks up all the white.”

5. Ray’s Cabinet Shop in Wakefield constructed the Shaker-style built-ins that wrap the room. The floor-to-ceiling cabinets act as mudroom storage for coats and such. The matte black hardware is from Rejuvenation.

6. Thayer layered a vintage rug she found on Etsy over a braided, undyed wool rug from her eponymous line of locally-made textiles. “The floor area is open so the kids can play there,” she says.


Marni Elyse Katz is a regular contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to [email protected]