Rebecca’s Loving Living Small Home Office
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Name: Rebecca Orlov
Location: West Hollywood, California
Size: Dining Room/Home Office – 120 square feet
Years lived in: 6 weeks
Rebecca Orlov is one busy woman. After a stint in San Francisco, she decided to return to Los Angeles, and in just 6 weeks created a home office that would make just about anyone envious. From this glamorous home office for one, Rebecca juggles an assortment of projects: her own design site, loving. living. small., organizing/hosting blogging networking events across the nation and occasionally doing house tours for Apartment Therapy. Her dining-room-conversion-home-office is feminine, sophisticated and beautifully illuminated by the Southern California sunshine glowing through large windows…a perfect reminder being serious about your work space can also mean being serious about the decor that surrounds you.
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I moved from working as a commercial producer in a cube at an ad agency for ten years to enjoying a comfortable home office and doing work I love as a social media producer and design writer. Aside from enjoying writing my small space lifestyle blog, >loving. living. small., creating offline events for the network I co-founded called Blog Out Loud and continuing to contribute to Apartment Therapy (house tours for the Los Angeles team) and other design sites, I started Sweetline Agency earlier this year. Through Sweetline, I work with large and small brands on their online presences, social media strategy and style as well as digital marketing campaigns, all from this home office!
My style: Relaxed modern glamour.
Inspiration: My inspiration mostly stems from emotional place. I transitioned my career in the last 18 months and now really love the work that I am doing, pursuing and the people I am collaborating with on projects. Since I mostly work from home it was important for me to create a comfortable and peaceful office that worked in the size of the space and that felt balanced in function and form. I now have a space that is efficient for work and that I literally feel good in as well.
Also, I am inspired by my collection of old magazines that house so much incredible design and lifestyle images. I wanted to display them and chose to go with a vertical bookcase. My collection includes most of the old domino magazines (I use one for a mouse pad, actually) and I often flip through these old magazines to get my creative juices going.
Favorite Element: I have two: the view of the palm trees and flowered plants right outside my big windows and the faux crystal sphere chandelier that I picked up at Pearl River in New York a few months ago (which sat on my lap during the 5 hour flight back to Los Angeles – totally worth it)
Biggest Challenge: Designing the space to work around the railroad style of the room (something small space dwellers deal with). The room sits between the kitchen and family room, so I needed a clear path to walk between them. Since I wanted to face the window for the view and add in chairs, I had to make sure everything fit into the small space, while maintaining a balanced layout without feeling too crowded.
What Friends Say: It’s “pretty and bright” and “love the gray color”. When I signed the lease, the management company said I could pick three paint colors and they would paint the entire apartment for me (what a bonus!). I immediately went to a gray palette and I think it turned out very elegant.
Biggest Embarrassment: I definitely need to figure out a way to hide the computer cord from my desk. Right now it’s pretty much saying to me everyday, “Come on, trip over me!”
Proudest DIY: Setting up my office by myself in just a few days. Other than the light installation and gallery ledges (my friend’s dad knows electric and helped with these projects), I did everything else myself – built the desk, the two bookcases and curtain rods.
Biggest Indulgence: Buying a new computer for my home office, a 21.5″ Apple iMac. As described above, it was important for me to set up my version of a comfortable office and having a decent sized computer monitor was part of that. Since I work online and now have a dedicated home office, I wanted to get a larger screen than before. I actually got my computer soon after the iPad buzz and thought it was funny that all my friends were going smaller and mobile with their technology while I was going bigger and clearly not so mobile.
Best advice: Create a space that works for you and makes you feel good. Part of this is organizing your things – no one wants to work around a lot of “stuff”. My tip for setting up an organized space quickly is to initially dedicate time each day to actually get it done. When I moved in to my apartment, I spent one hour in the morning and one or two hours in the evening to unpack and set things up in each room. I got the office completed in just a day or two with a bit of time management.
Dream source: I’d love a free shopping spree at all the designer showrooms and shops on Beverly Blvd. and La Cienega, but for now I’m completely happy with my simple and affordable IKEA furniture and flea market finds.
- 21.5″ Apple iMac
- W-Fi router, cable modem all hidden in my bike basket
- Samsung 5-1 Printer/Scanner
- Apple Magic Mouse
- Apple Wireless Keyboard
- iPhone with headset for most calls; Skype for others
Home Office Furniture:
- IKEA White sawhorse desk
- IKEA Picture gallery ledges
- IKEA Billy bookcase
- IKEA Lack vertical bookcase
- Floral desk chair by Liberty of London for Target
- Floor cushion that I currently use as back support from West Elm
- Vintage Danish chairs and marble table Pepe’s Thrift Shop in Mar Vista
- Ghost Clock from Weego Home
- Amethyst paperweight from Rose Bowl Flea Market
- Inspiration Board DIY made by me and frame from IKEA
- Flat vase from CB2
- NYC boroughs pencil set from Paper Pastries www.paperpastries.com (one of the gifts in our last Blog Out Loud event in NY)
- Custom loving. living. small. embroidery from Slipcover Your Life (an office housewarming treat to myself)
- Ceramic Horse lamp from Urban Outfitters that I use as a vase now (it broke and instead gluing it back together, I dissembled the lamp part and now it’s a perfect vase)
Faux crystal chandelier from Pearl River in New York
- Wicker bike basket to hide the wi-fi accessories
- IKEA boxes to store tons of office goodies
- Modern accordion file box for my important papers
- White planters from IKEA that I use for my pens and pencils
We’ve had amazing response to our Apartment Therapy House Tour Submission Form. While we will work with homeowners of our favorite homes to feature full tours, we will also share the best as House Calls — short, quick tours of readers’ homes. Submit your home here.