For a partner at a prestigious law firm in Century City, California, interior designer Tracy Gilmore of Gilmore Design Studio used eye-catching artwork, rich materials and textured detail to create a stylish yet professional office that feels like it belongs to a CEO. Below, Gilmore takes us through the design, from the biggest challenges to her favorite elements.76
Q: How did you get involved with the project?
A: I began working with this client and his wife eight years ago decorating their new ground-up home. It has been so much fun to work with them again, with the husband on his new office, and both of them on freshening parts of their home after a decade.
Q: What was the overall goal for the look of the space?
A: We wanted it to be interesting yet professional and to feel like the office of a CEO. This was achieved by using intriguing textures and surfaces and unexpected details.
Q: What was the biggest challenge with the project? What was the biggest surprise?
A: The biggest challenge was the column in the corner of the room. We covered it in a Phllip Jeffries Tweed wallpaper and added metal sculptures of climbing men on top to integrate this otherwise obtrusive architectural element into the rest of the space. That same challenging architectural detail turned out to be the biggest surprise. Those sculptures have become a great talking point for everyone who comes to this office.
Q: Can you tell us more about the artwork?
A: My client is an incredible painter, and he wanted to showcase two of his pieces in the office. These paintings, which are portraits of his wife and son, are bold and colorful, so I knew that the rest of the space would need a more restrained palette.
Q: What is your favorite design element in the space?
A: I love the overall combination of masculine textures and surfaces. The Lindsay Alker print on the window treatments adds a graphic moment; the Holland and Sherry wool pillows are a traditional masculine touch; and the Maya Romanoff navy braided hemp wall covering above the credenza (seen in the next image) adds a layer of depth.
Q: What is your favorite piece of furniture in the space?
A: The metal hexagonal tables are so strong in shape, material and color. Every room needs something black to ground it.
Q: The desk is incredible. Can you provide more details about it?
A: This table is the definitely the centerpiece of the room. It is quite massive, and we added a pullout keyboard tray and monitor arm to make the piece functional as a desk. It is made of reclaimed Peroba Rosa wood with a custom matte ebony finish for sleekness and durability.
Q: How did the company's identity and work influence the design?
A: The client is a partner at a prestigious law firm that has many entertainment clients. We challenged ourselves to include moments of interest and whimsy while keeping the overall look very professional.
Q: Can you tell us about other non-residential work you have done?
A: My non-residential work has thus far been for my residential clients. They want their offices to be an extension of their homes. For example, I gutted and remodeled a 5,000-square-foot office building for a client and renovated it in a very similar style to their home. It is an honor to help my clients design all of their spaces. Perhaps my next client will be a restauranteur so I can design a restaurant!