Name: Haily Zaki
Location Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Size/Room: 100 square feet
Years lived in: 2
The old model home office is sequestered away in a small room, far away from the main action of the house, where peace and quiet reign. Not this year's model and certainly not Haily Zaki's home office. Her office, tucked into the landing of the second floor of her three story cliffside home in Mount Washington, is an open, accessible, hubbub of activity. That's a good thing when you're the head of Secret Agent PR, a busy design PR agency (Dwell on Design is a client) with a finger in a lot of design pies (she's one of the founders of deLab, which puts together design events all around Southern California) as well as new mom to a curious 8 month old baby boy. Being the calm at center of the storm is at the heart of balancing work life and home life.
The office, a cozy nook carved out of the dead space between two staircases, is brightened by modern orange couches that wrap around the space and invite brainstorming sessions. They're also the perfect place to curl up with an IPad to check out a new website or shelter magazine or spread out a new client's design samples. Custom shelves hold favorite books and novels and tie the two desks together. With the kitchen just up above, the baby's room steps away and her husband's "man cave" right down the steps (that'a a tour for another time), juggling the responsibilities of home and office is made that much easier. This is a definitely a place that's command central.
My style: Modern
The inspiration for my home office: I've always been obsessed with the idea of having a library of my very own, probably ever since my sister had one when we were little and never let me touch her books. I basically wanted a room with endless shelves where I could stash my favorite cookbooks, bodice-ripper romance novels, old but indispensable text books, and my husband's sci-fi paperbacks -- which I make fun of, but have secretly read.
Favorite element in your space: Friends of mine who teach at USC recommended a very talented architecture student to help me out when I was trying to figure out the book cases. Eddie Park was able to design something that I loved, all while staying within a pretty tight budget. The shelves gracefully flow into two built-in desks. I kind of love the fact that this room is mix of high tech and low tech which completely who I am; I spend as much time surfing the web on my iPad as I do reading old books in this room.
Biggest challenge in designing my space: Creating storage and making the most of a small amount of surface area.
What friends say about my space: During the work day, the light-filled space serves well as HQ for Secret Agent PR. During dinner parties, it often becomes a second living room where we all sit around and trade favorite YouTube videos. (Yes, we're nerds.) My six month old thinks it's a pretty awesome playroom. Basically, it's a much-used space that functions as the heart of the house.
Area where there is room for improvement/future projects: I'd like to paint a continuous strip of color along the bookshelves to add some depth. Eventually, I'd also like to add a flat screen TV for work. I'm also definitely working on expanding my book collections. But my next step will probably be to acquire come cool graphic wall art. I'm eyeing something by my friend at Little Oranges or maybe a few key cover stories that we've gotten over the years.
Proudest DIY (do it yourself) project: Not exactly a DIY, but the wall pots are an IKEA kitchen system which work great as catch-alls for an office with limited surface area. They're also a great way to display photos and reminders.
Biggest indulgence with respect to my space: Definitely the bookshelves. I've never had anything custom-designed to my needs. I think I might be hooked now. No, I'm definitely hooked.
Best advice about organizing or incorporating tech into the home: I love tech but I hate wires. My advice, which I should follow more strictly, is be organized about the wires. Also be sure to integrate a USB hub into your wiring because you ALWAYS have more gadgets to charge than you have USB ports on your computer. Also, hide the ugly stuff. Luckily, we have a nook under the stairs which makes a great place to stash the fax/printer/scanner and shredder, plus storage for extra paper and other office odds and ends.
Dream source for stuff: A never-ending gift certificate in an Apple store would make me pretty happy.
Tech Hardware: 22 inch iMac, refurbished but works like magic; a couple of MacBooks; an iPad; an iPhone, Olympus camera, video camera
Appliances: printer/scanner/fax, shredder
Furniture: Mostly built-ins, chairs by Zuo, couches by Ikea.
Accessories: Custom shelving by Eddie Park (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for quotes)
Lighting: Desk lights from Target
Organizing Tools/Accessories: IKEA Flyt magazine holders, CD boxes, document boxes, IKEA Asker wall storage system, IKEA Spontan magazine rack
Additional Elements: Decorative tiles by toHOLD
Photos by Laure Joliet, additional photos by Abby Stone