May 3, 2020The way we think about home has undergone some revisions lately. As the world has changed, so have the demands we place on the rooms we inhabit, and we have collectively reconfigured our living spaces into offices, classrooms, workout studios and more. That got us thinking: Who better than designers to harmonize space, function and aesthetics? So, we asked 1stdibs Trade designers to envision, with sketches, interiors that suit how they, their clients and the rest of us are living right now.
“It’s a loft, because if I’m confined to one space, the last thing I would want is to be in one room,” David Netto says, describing his sketch of an airy, multiuse interior. “A loft can be many rooms in one. Many houses, even. It’s hard to get tired of, and the right ones are filled with natural light (essential if you can’t go outside), which also means changing light.
“This room, or space, or whatever it is, gives you different places to go — to eat, sit, read, or watch TV,” he continues. “You’re always moving around in it, and you don’t feel the same in any of the areas — cozy because of the bookshelf, glamorous because of the light fixture over the dining table (which can also be a worktable), private and protected because you pass through a portiere to get to the bedroom.”
In sum: “An interior that helps you deal with the experience we’re all having should offer as much variety of use as possible,” Netto says. “Don’t you agree?”
Elizabeth Roberts Architects
“We started the WFH sketch series as a way to contribute something personal to the shifting circumstances of social distancing,” says Elizabeth Roberts, whose eponymous Brooklyn-based firm began posting its team members’ personal workspaces on Instagram back in March. “Typically, our studio’s working style is highly collaborative, and sharing these sketches felt like a positive way for us to remain connected while being physically apart. As architects and designers, we focus so intently on the intimacy of spaces, it felt natural to encourage our team to express how their distinct workspaces affect their creative process.” Sketches are by Elizabeth Roberts Architects members Elliot Meier, Samantha Manock, Andy Stepka, Ricky DelPilar, Ana Vazquez and Jamie Perez.
“The family wanted a reading room, so this is ostensibly a library — no screens allowed in here,” says Greg Natale, who envisioned the space for longtime clients with six children. His firm designed the custom blue banquette to follow the curve of the bay window. The matching ottomans add intimacy along with flexibility. “We always endeavor to strike that balance of luxury with a little less formality, around a framework of a communal lifestyle,” explains Natale. “All our work is layered and exudes personality in the tailored use of pattern and materials. So, in that way, this kid-focused space could afford moments of bold color and a bit of fun.”
The Australian designer has some tips for making your home both functional and relaxing while sheltering in place. “I think that, wherever possible, that golden rule about keeping work, work talk and laptops out of your primary rest spaces, like bedrooms and living rooms, is really going to help prolong our patience and support our sanity during these testing times,” Natale says, noting, “That obviously isn’t always possible, especially when you have partners, flatmates or kids about. I think if you don’t ordinarily have one, setting up a temporary space for work — on a dining room table, in a spare room, et cetera — gives focus and purpose. If space is at a premium, pack down the equipment every evening or close the door on that area. Keeping that behavioral routine within the limitations of our home layouts is going to help us stay on track!”
“This is a great moment for self-reflection and creative expression,” says Christine Gachot, who founded Gachot Studios with her husband, John Gachot, whose self-portrait, above, shows him in the space he retreats to whenever possible these days. “The Internet is a fantastic escape, but when it comes to activating your mind and finding peace, there is no better way than to create. John has his charming studio out here in Shelter Island, which is such a privilege. But anyone can transform a small corner of their home into a makeshift workshop and find calm in the creative process!”