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Space to work

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Even a small home office can provide maximum functionality through clever design

Space to work


Getting the most out of every available square inch of a small property is key. In the case of this home, a pied-à-terre over two levels, providing the owners with everything on their remodeling wish list within a compact footprint led to some ingenious uses of space.

"One of the must-haves for the clients was a home office, but both were adamant that they didn't want the office to be on show. Given the limited space, a separate room was out of the question, so I devised a work space in the area under the stairs," says interior designer Martin Potter of MJ Berries Design.

With a depth of only 30in to work with, Potter consulted closely with the clients to ascertain their exact needs.

"While under-stair space lends itself to this type of use, it's not an exercise that can be left to an afterthought.

"Once I had a clear idea of what had to be included – multiple cabinets, electrical and data outlets and so forth – I was able to configure that space so that everything had a place," says Potter.


Concealing the office also called for a touch of ingenuity. Pocket sliders could not be accommodated and pivoting doors would have encroached upon the rest of the room. To solve this, Potter designed bifold doors, using piano hinges to ensure a flush finish when closed.

The doors are set within an aedicular surround, complete with gilded rosettes, which, says Potter, is not only in keeping with the Federal style of the house, but also turns what would have been a blank wall into a decorative feature.

First published date: 26 April 2011

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