Good Questions: Home Office S.O.S.?

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Hello AT, My home office needs help.

1. It's directly across from the bed, so I see it as soon as I open my eyes in the a.m. It's got to be really cheerful looking. The yellow is Farrow & Ball's Hound Lemon. Maybe too dark?...

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2. I recently added this white-and-purple chair in a bid to break up all the wood. Is it working?

3. I am a writer and need more storage for books: the dictionary stand, sturdy though it is, is too small (and I mostly use an electronic dictionary). I prefer vintage wood bookshelves, but would more wood be just too much?

4. I need brighter lighting. There's no overhead wiring, so a hanging
fixture is out.

5. The mannequin, a gift from my late mother, must stay, but I could lose the hats. Perhaps I could paint it? It's a bit tattered and stained. Also, how do I manage art on these walls with all the moldings?

6. I need a mirror in this space, but something less flimsy than this cheap one would be great.

Any ideas would be most welcome!

Thanks! Joy

Dear Joy,

Despite your need for storage and "pulling together", your office has a great sense of style. We particularly like the white chair and the sweet lemon on the wall.

Two things we'd advise. One, get something for the floor so that the office space is more boundaried and set off from the rest of the room. A simple rug or wool or sisal will do and a darker color than the floor will provide contrast. Two, for the mirror, go to Pottery Barn for affordable (they have many sizes) and go to King David on 23rd street to get anything you want.

Anyone else?

Related Links:

AT ColorTherapy posts
AT Store guide for lighting
AT stores guide for mirrors

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.