COVID-19 forced us all indoors, and many workers across the region and country remain working from home. That’s a lot of time spent at home, highlighting how important it is to have a space that inspires you.
For some design inspiration, we asked Tracy Morris of McLean-based Tracy Morris Design to give us a tour of her work-from-home space. Here, she shares photos of her home, how the pandemic has impacted her and more. Highlights from our conversation are below.
Walk us through a typical day at home right now and throughout the pandemic.
Each day in interior design is a bit different, but it often involves a mix of communicating with clients, architects and builders to make sure projects are staying on track and sourcing to make sure selections are being made on time. I’ve been lucky to design homes around the world with clients all over, so designing from a distance wasn’t something unfamiliar to me. We have so much technology at our fingertips to be able to share our vision for their homes, no matter the distance.
What has the change to at-home work been like for you?
I am fortunate that long before the pandemic I moved my office to the lower level of my home. We built out the space to have offices, a conference area and a full sample library to be able to work on anything I may need. So many aspects of my daily life have remained consistent, but it has definitely changed the way the industry operates. We are all learning to adjust and figure out the most efficient and safest way to work to keep the projects moving along.
If you could describe the theme or feeling of your home office space in a sentence or two, what would you say?
My office is all about being comfortable, practical and beautiful. When it comes to office spaces, the most important elements are that they need to function well and make your life easier when working.
How does your at-home work space influence your work day?
Having a dedicated work area helps separate everything mentally and physically, which is great to be able to take a breather at the end of the day. I have my office space nicely organized, allowing me to work efficiently throughout the day and to spread out items. No matter what size your office is, staying organized will improve your day.
Where did the design inspiration for your home office space come from?
I wanted my office to feel welcoming and like an extension of my home. I love a warm feeling with lots of lamps and rugs for added softness. I incorporated warm neutrals and cozy textures to make the space feel soft. Since my home office was originally designed to have client meetings, I wanted it to feel like a space people could relax in. A calming environment creates a more productive work space and that was always what I wanted to achieve.
Is there a big significance to any of the products you have on your home desk or in the home office space?
I love having art in my office. It’s a simple thing that brings me so much joy when I look up from my desk. A game-changer for me is an extra-large monitor for my computer. Staring at a laptop screen all day is hard and when reviewing large plans and documents, having a screen to view has improved my office drastically and helped me work more efficiently.
Are there other rooms in your house that have served as a haven for mental escape right now?
My outdoor space has become a wonderful escape. We put in new landscaping, added a dining area and an umbrella over the lounge area. It’s been so nice to have a backyard oasis of our own to enjoy.
Do you have any quick tips or words of wisdom for those trying to redesign their own work-from-home space?
You don’t need a lot to outfit a home office or workspace, but it does pay to invest in the right pieces. Many people won’t be going back to an office for many months, if at all, so it’s worth investing in pieces that are going to work for you and your home. Simple and clutter-free spaces keep your mind clear and focused for an optimal work environment.
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