Earlier this spring, we featured wellness influencer, Remi Ishizuka’s impressive garage-to-gym conversion with designer Amanda Gunawan of Inflexion Builds. After achieving such chic and functional results with the home gym, Remi and Amanda decided to keep going and address the needs in the home’s office space.
Home renovations are booming this year and we can’t think of two more crucial spaces to update and bring a bit of style to. Here are Remi and Amanda on the home office renovation so many of us are considering ourselves…
Remi, what were you looking for out of the redesign?
REMI ISHIZUKA: For the office, I wanted to improve the overall working environment. To do this, I needed a lot of storage solutions that kept the work area tidy and organized, but still aesthetically pleasing, so I could feel inspired. I also wanted a place I could shoot in.
Both Nate and I had office items that were essential to us. We finally agreed that what we wanted was one harmonious working environment that could hide all of our clutter and, at the same time, accommodate all the work and hours we are now spending in the office.
When did this enveloping wood concept start to gel for you both? What was the inspiration?
AMANDA GUNAWAN: Creativity is an important aspect for anyone working at home these days, so the office design uses warm materials to provide brightness in the space, and minimal decorative elements like the wood fluting and stone countertops to encourage visual comfort. The enveloping wood was an element that would tie in the entire space together, seamlessly.
We also oriented the work spaces to the windows so that the sunlight is always behind the computer screens, incorporating a nice view of the backyard while working. We believe natural light to be an important element to the whole design. The natural light that would shine on the enveloping wood would completely warm up the entire space and create a place of comfort in a working environment.
Amanda, you’re looking to provide people with affordable design solutions while they’re at home. Can you share some of the elements of this project that made it budget-friendly?
AG: This project was done according to a specific budget Remi had for the office.
There is always going to be a trade-off between design and cost, but a low budget doesn’t necessarily result in bad design. There is always a way to make things more affordable. In the case of Remi’s office, we allocated most of the budget on really nice wood for the cabinet doors as well as the fronts of the drawers (essentially, all the parts that are visible) and used cheaper wood for all of the inside parts that are simply there for functional reasons. There will always be methods like those available for budget cuts.
Offices need storage and reduced clutter, tell us how you approached that here?
AG: The storage cabinets take advantage of the existing wall space and closets in order to free space at the center of the room to prevent circulation obstructions. The desk and cabinets also act as a continuous object in the space and are a focal point when you enter the room. Given the tight space, the curved part of the desk was done to give a softer look and also to prevent any injuries to anyone trying to access the storage unit at the back of the room.
We wanted to hide all of the computer wires but still have them accessible, hence the custom desk cover that flips open to reveal all the “ugly” wires. The fluting ties the entire space in, it bleeds from the desk into the walls and eventually the door that now hides a small walk-in-wardrobe.
There are eight feet of desk space so that two people can comfortably work together side-by-side. There is a total of 60 SQ FT of usable storage space.
Remi, what’s your favorite part of the transformation?
RI: I love the huge wall of custom cabinets and how we now have room to grow. Our stuff was once all out in plain view. Having these cabinet doors to store everything behind and keep it all organized has been a game-changer because now the office looks so clean and minimal. That really helps with my productivity and it makes me look forward to using the space and working there every single day. It is now where I spend the most time during the day.