THOUGH YOUR HOME OFFICE MAY BE A DESIGNATED NOOKfor paying bills and organizing your schedule, you deserve more than an IKEA metal desk and dilapidated yard sale chair-find stuffed into a spare corner. An office that reflects the design and comfort of the rest of your home is a place you’ll want to burn the midnight oil. This charming and practical den not only acts as a exclusive library for homeowners David and Becky Friedman, but a functional and inspiring space to quietly retire from the kids every once in a while to unwind and curl up with some page-turning literature. 

Photos by Nicholas Ferris.


Principal Kristine Bishop Zubke of Kristine Bishop Design harnessed a timeless, sharp and livable design story when an opportunity arose from the Friedman family to transform their spare bedroom into a home office. Having moved from the Greenwich, CT, area, only an hour outside of NYC to Lakewood Ranch, the Friedmans innately developed a hybrid style—reflective of Northeast suburbia, where older New England Colonial homes feature rich wood floors, built-ins, accents, fireplaces and detailed trim work, while influenced also by the upscale feel of NYC Upper East Side apartments. “The homeowners definitely wanted to keep their roots intact, which was apparent even with the style of home they moved into—a Colonial home made of brick, shingled roof, dormer windows, front porch and hardwood floors—not exactly the typical Florida-style home,” says Bishop, who extended that aesthetic through the home office/library, bringing an older, more traditional New England feel, while maintaining a youthful and fresh living space. “The Friedmans wanted it to not only be a workspace, but a curated reading room that felt lived in,” Bishop says of incorporating the family’s heirloom violin, antiques, books and collection of framed artwork displayed sumptuously high on the walls. The nook is further transformed through wainscoting detail, refined texture from plaid fabrics and brass finishes, and the most challenging of the makeover—a built-in bookcase out of a former closet. “We completely tore out the standard bi-fold doors and had the bookshelves built into the closet,” Bishop says. “There were some support beams that couldn’t be moved, so we had to create some clever designs that would hide the beams and make the bookshelves look like one seamless build.” Notice the shelves painted a beautiful, dark navy blue and accented with brass picture lights, perfectly complementing the orange Oriental area rug from Rugs As Art, which “reveals a pop of color and grounds the space.”

Many of the exquisite living pieces were sourced locally through the International Design Source, including a custom chestnut leather tufted sofa, with brass nailhead trim that pulls out into a bed for guests and remains the aligning focal point. Another standout element in the space is the grasscloth wallpaper, adding a layer of texture and warmth. Averting from standard home office designs, “I wanted to create a room that captures your attention and draws you in,” says Bishop, piquing your intellectual hunger and leaving your external stressors at the door.