Work Would Be So Much Easier If We All Had a Pretty Office Like This

By Kelly Weimert

How do you take the conventional idea of a study — say, dark woods and minimal light — and bring it into today's sensibilities? You follow the lead of this gorgeous example by Ashe + Leandro and blend traditional aesthetics with contemporary lines. Tall windows cast bright rays into the room, which highlights the ornate crown molding overhead. The variegated rug continues that highbrow streak underfoot, sandwiching the space with classic beauty. Truthfully, it would've been easy to embrace that design, and that's why this look is so striking: instead, those throwback elements are contrasted with more modern pieces, like a trendy chandelier and zebra-printed seat cushions, for an unexpectedly cohesive result. And while it would've been just as simple for us to give a shout-out to the midcentury chairs and desk that act as a blend of old and new, we're particularly fond of the bookcase in the far corner. Its wooden shelves complement the surrounding rich accents, while its industrial finishes keep it looking fresh. If you're seeking a way to give history a modern spin, pay attention to how larger furnishings intertwine with the finer points in your decor. When two distinct eras are equally represented, then you'll have succeeded, too.

See how a contemporary bookshelf breathes new life into your traditional home office.

Crate & Barrel Beckett 5-High Shelf ($999)