A Home Office – Charm, Efficiency and Grace

Designed by Closet Factory Richmond Designer Georgia Kukoski

As she wrote Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell cluttered her apartment with envelopes full of typed pages of the manuscript. So it is fitting that when Ellen Brown wrote her first book, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, A Bestseller’s Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood, she worked in a home office with a broken desk and 14” of free desktop. She surrounded herself with piles of research papers and books on the floor.

Ellen keeps a clutter-free home. So when I visited her office for our first design consultation, I was a bit surprised. I asked how she managed to research and write a book on 14” of desktop!

Ellen and I worked together to determine that she needed bookshelves to hold her research books, maximum desktop space to get the piles off the floor and room for her sons to sit next to her at her computer. Sounds easy right? But then we considered the space—a room with 3 walls of windows in a historic home on Monument Avenue. We could build up on only part of one wall without blocking the windows and covering the custom moldings. Then there was the radiator and 100-year-old elevator that needed access. How did we design and build an office to fit a writer’s needs while fitting in an historic home?

Closet Factory built a corner desk that has drawers on either wall. Books are stored on the bookcase and in the kneehole on shelves. A removable radiator cover was built to with metal grating, giving a more countertop space.  Stained wood door and drawer faces were used along with a stained wood countertop. All the while keeping the historic nature of the home in mind.

The result is a stunning office that maximizes the space. And Ellen’s second book is underway, sans the piles of papers on the floor!

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