Space of the Week: Two Lawyers Get a Moody Home Office Thanks to an All-Over Paint Job

·3 min read

Principal designer David Samuel Ko says the right paint is everything.

Michael Clifford
Michael Clifford

It's a lawyer's job to get to the truth of the matter, or to at least explain complicated circumstances as simply as possible. And for two Los Angeles lawyers, this was a fact: They needed a quiet place to work—fast.

"This was meant to be used as the formal living room, thus the fireplace, so I originally began the design with that in mind," says principal designer David Samuel Ko of Maison Ko. "But as my clients realized that they were working from home more and more and weren't going into the office as much, we decided that it would be best used as an office."

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The space is set right off the home's front door, and its first impression was one of turquoise walls with white detailing along the wainscoting and trim. There was also a Sputnik-style chandelier hanging from the center of the ceiling. Ko appreciated that these decisions made a statement the moment someone entered the house, and aimed to do the same with a moodier palette instead.

"My biggest inspiration was The Polo Bar by Ralph Lauren in New York," Ko says. "That's really where I got the green paint idea from. It's one of my favorite restaurants in Manhattan, and I just love the feeling I get when I go there."

The office had to be semi-private and soundproof, and the owners also requested that the plans stay as budget-friendly as possible. Ko obliged by crafting custom iron-and-glass doors for the entrance, as well as a built-in bookcase to match the existing moldings along one wall for storage. He kept the stone on the fireplace and chose an all-over green paint to complement it, which was a decision that happened as the painters were in the midst of work. "I don't necessarily love the stone used on the fireplace, but it would have been an expensive change," he says. Thankfully, the iron doors match the stone to make it feel intentional.

Since the clients weren't sure how long they'd be working from home, they didn't want to invest too much in the office furniture, but they also sought to choose pieces that would fit in with the "enveloping" effect of the room. "Because a lot of my clients were wanting home offices at this time, I had done plenty of research when it came to desks," Ko says of the long oval-shaped surface from CB2. "The pendant was also a budget choice, but the office needed to tie into the hallway. The white was brought in so the room didn't feel too out of place from the rest of the house."

The project started in February 2021 and was completed four months later. The verdict? Ko thinks its success lies in the paint's ability to heighten the office's overall feel.

"Paint goes a long way. Picking the right shade of a specific color that doesn't fall flat or look too bright is very important," he says. "You also don't need to spend a lot to have a space that feels expensive. Our furniture budget wasn't too high, but because the bones were elevated, the furnishings immediately felt much more luxurious."

Michael Clifford
Michael Clifford

Get the Look:

Easy Green

Benjamin Moore
Benjamin Moore

By brushing the entire office–walls, moldings, and ceiling—in a deep green hue, Crisp Romaine by Benjamin Moore, the room looks instantly moody and sophisticated.

Take a Seat

West Elm
West Elm

A mid-century modern silhouette meets luxe leather in this high-back chair. It's so comfortable, your ergonomic office chair might get jealous.

A Dreamy Desk

CB2
CB2

Continuing with the theme of rich materials in interesting silhouettes, the desk features rounded legs and a flat oval top. The curved legs aren't just stylish, but each one conceals a shelf for storage behind a push-open door.