A Dark Study Is Reborn as a Home Office Oasis

How Audrey Willa Studio transformed this dim space into a chic WFH dream.
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When Dana and Anthony Sticca approached Audrey Willa Studio’s Jenna Prenger with a project to transform their very brown, very dark office into a chic work-from-home space, the designer delivered.

Dana, who works in healthcare, wanted to make use of her existing Newtown home office. “It was all these really dark woods and wasn’t well laid out,” Prenger says. “She just didn’t want to ever go in there.” But Prenger had no intention of losing the structure and valuable attributes of the original room, including the built-in shelves.

The new office design plays with pale pinks and deep blues, using bold artwork as the focal point. One of Prenger’s favorite features is the light fixture, which draws eyes up in the newly brightened room. But Dana may not even need it—the window coverings were removed during the renovation, flooding the room with natural light.

Prenger hopes more work-from-home Cincinnatians will think through the vibe of their home office before they redesign and align their goals with their attitude toward their work itself. “The environment [should] reflect your style and the way you want to work,” she says. “Do you want this space to feel creative? Or do you want to be a badass boss? An executive? Or calming and cozy? It really depends on that feeling you want. You can tailor it.”

Photograph by Jonathan Willis

1. THE SPINNING CHAIR

Prenger offered Dana two separate workspaces with just a quick spin of a chair, allowing her to look out the window or face her deep blue wall when she needs her wired computer screen. This two-seat option in just one office creates versatility and practicality.

2. SIMPLIFIED DECOR

The only decorations that made the cut from the original office shelves were a few family photos. The rest are objects Prenger handpicked for the space, integrating her clients’ love of bold colors, and the clean, white vibe of the office.

3. COLOR THEORY

Prenger herself doesn’t love color but is “obsessed with the rug.” The color blocking breaks her typical level of simplicity, but some rugs—such as this Blu Dot rug from Design Lab—are worth breaking rules for. She added the rug to tie all the colors together, including whites, pinks, blues, and more.

4. FLOATING SHELF ILLUSION

Prenger painted the wooden backs of the bookcases to match the deep blue of the wall, creating the illusion of free-standing shelves. “It looks like a continuation of the wall behind and helps pop that color of the white built-ins.”

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