Home Projects

Before and After: Interior Designer Mikel Welch Turned This Cluttered Office Into a Cozy Hangout

updated May 12, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Before: Office with desk on left wall and colorful square rug
Credit: Apartment Therapy

At this point, many of us who have switched to remote work have carved out some kind of space (or corner/nook/table) to be — or at least try to be — productive in. But what was first created out of temporary need has now become a long-term, perhaps permanent situation, and many WFH offices need a style-meets-function refresh that make it really feel part of home.

In the premiere episode of Apartment Therapy’s “The Design Therapist with Mikel Welch,” interior designer Mikel Welch provides design help to Ruth Pferdehirt and Michael T. Holmes, who converted their spare room into a makeshift office when the pandemic first hit. “It used to be a guest room, now it’s a work space, we wanna make into something that feels really good to work in here and live in here,” Holmes said.

Pferdehirt and Holmes emphasized that they wanted a space where they could feel inspired to work, and for Welch, that meant adding in a daybed. “It’s going to give you that place where you can just plop and take notes and chill out, and you have a bunch of fun pillows behind you,” Welch said. “It even gives you extra places for guests to come into town.”

Credit: Apartment Therapy

While showing their space, the couple panned over a multi-colored checker board area rug, to which Welch responded “the only thing that needs to be checker board right now is the ‘Queen’s Gambit,’ and anything else outside of that needs to go.” With that, Welch suggested tossing the rug and adding carpet tiles by Flor.

Credit: Apartment Therapy

Last but certainly not least, Welch addressed the issue of how Holmes displayed his prized Star Wars memorabilia. He kept all of the expensive merch on top of a bookshelf in the corner of the room, messy and disorganized. To help make his collection shine for all to see, Welch suggested investing in a display case with glass doors and acrylic risers that provided the throne that they deserve.

So after the advice was dished out, it was up to Pferdehirt and Holmes to run with it — and from the photos above, you can tell that they sure did.

“The Design Therapist with Mikel Welch” airs on IGTV every Monday at 4:30pm ET on Apartment Therapy’s Instagram.