AUSTIN (KXAN) - Home and work spaces are blending more often these days, as an increasing number of people telecommute or start their own businesses.
Atlanta-based color and pattern expert Khristian Howell is always looking for projects that allow her to refresh those dual-function spaces.
She just tackled a serious challenge in South Austin: remodeling a 650-square-foot loft that's also a home office.
"We really had to create some sections in the room, create some distinct zones and go with pieces that had multiple uses as well," said Howell. "We got rid of a lot of things."
Howell explained the space was used by a young mother who had a lot of hand-me-downs and things she'd collected and mixed together throughout the years.
"And she was ready to start fresh. She has a lot of brown and a lot of white and really wanted to inject some color and some energy into her space," said Howell. "So we kept the things that were special to her."
Howell said they didn't start by clearing everything out, but rather infused diverse concepts.
"We really brought in some modern pieces that had dual use for her," she said. "We even created a guest room by getting a great modern, fresh sleeper sofa. And we brought in color. We talked about color that she loves, and we were really adventurous with it."
Howell said it's important to remember that when working in a space, it's just paint or fabric. You can change it, and nothing's set in stone.
"You know, it's fun to explore and just go for it and do something that really feels like you," said Howell. "She was really adventurous and let us play with pink."
They started with bright pink flooring.
"It was floor tile, and they're moveable. They're washable," she said. "That just created a bright base in the room for us to build on top of."
They then chose a coffee table that has dual-functionality and can actually pop up and become a laptop stand that she can scoot right into and work on her laptop -- with tons of storage as well. All of her office needs are right there at her fingertips in the coffee table.
"And then to create some division in the space between the kitchen and living area, we put a console table and barstools so she can entertain in that space if she's cooking or preparing meals," said Howell. "People can hang out there. And during the day if she wants to move away from the couch, she can work there as well."
Howell offered up another tip: The way things look in the store in their lighting, in their setting, with their beautiful vignettes, and their tall ceilings is not the way it's going to feel when you get it home.
So definitely take the opportunity to bring items into your space, see how it feels, and don't be afraid to return them if they just don't work out.
Also, if you find great gems online, remember it's going to take a few weeks to get that gratification, to get them into your space. So make sure you have the time to wait on that shipping window. Again, if you don't love it, send it back.
"You can definitely make simple changes, and they will really change the whole feeling of your space," said Howell. "Color and pattern are the easiest way to bring in some new life into your room."
Howell's work was recently featured in the October issue of "Elle Decor Magazine."
In addition, you can find a lot of her other ideas, helpful hints, and information on where she found the pieces in this project on her website.
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