Sometimes the universe has a funny way of giving you exactly what you need before you realize you need it. That is what happened with San Francisco-based interior designer Elizabeth Cooper and her client. Shortly before the pandemic struck, Cooper’s friend and longtime client approached her. She needed an office makeover because her old space wasn’t cutting it anymore. “She never wanted to spend time there,” explains Cooper. So, they set about making it a place she would never want to leave—just in time for stay-at-home orders.
As a longtime friend of her client, Cooper knew exactly what the space needed. “She is drawn to crisp, happy colors and likes classic antiques,” says Cooper. “My main vision was feminine, floral, and happy. I wanted it to have an English garden feel.” She started to look for inspiration images to show her client. The iconic Paris apartment of 20th-century socialite-turned-baroness Pauline de Rothschild immediately jumped to mind. They both fell in love with the elegant grandeur of the space but wanted to create a modern version. Fortuitously, the chinoiserie walls reminded her of a certain Schumacher wallpaper she had been eyeing. “I looked at it and had this lightbulb moment,” she says. Madame de Pompadour by Miles Redd for Schumacher was the key to the English garden style room Cooper was envisioning.
Her vision for an English garden-style office was coming together. Cooper installed wainscoting halfway up the wall to give the wallpaper some breathing room, then layered in small antique elements to speak to the client's love of those design eras. The chest that stands next to the desk has been in the client's family for several generations. “The inside was already that green, which doesn’t exactly match, but I love that it is slightly off,” says Cooper. Touches of darker green throughout the office grounded the color palette in a more elegant tone. She recovered the existing furniture soft blues and happy pinks to accent the wallpaper's whimsy.
The real test of the space was weeks after the install date. Over the last year, the office has turned from a nice escape to a necessary part of the home. The client's daughter soon started using it as a virtual classroom, all while she was also working from home. Cooper could have never imagined that their goal of creating “a space where she would actually spend time” would be so apt.
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