Working from home has become the norm lately, with home offices forming the focal point of many a household. We take a look inside the sophisticated spaces that these Public Relations Specialists have created.
Charlotte Crofts, Original Media, London
Having led international consumer PR campaigns for the past 10 years and working for the likes of Penguin, Random House, and Virgin Limited Edition, Charlotte Crofts found her specialty in travel and lifestyle. She set up Original Media in 2019 to pursue her passion for working with startups and entrepreneurs, helping to carve a space for them in the media and tell their stories.
I chose this specific space at the front of the house because it has loads of natural light – ideal for video calls! My home office sits in our dining room. We carved out space so that it seamlessly fits in with our home; during the week, it’s an office, but come evenings and weekends, the desk can be tucked away.
The layout has maximized the space, while also ‘hiding’ the office come home time. The desk is built into one of the alcoves of the room, with hidden storage and drawers that pull out. When designing it, I wanted it to blend into the décor of our home, so we used lots of light colors with hues of grey. The most striking part of the office space is a print by London artist Dave Buonaguidi above the monitor with the words “Just Be Nice.” I love it and think it’s so important for all of us to strive to always be kind to one another. I recently purchased a new cushion for my office chair from Cascayde, which I was unable to resist as it has flamingos on it, something very key to the branding of Original Media.
My office must-haves are flowers! I love having fresh flowers and lovely green plants in the office because of their calming effect and the life they breathe into space. Fragrant candles are key – it’s amazing what scent can do to boost your mood and creativity if you’re in a bit of a slump.
Gabriele Sappok, Imagine PR, New York
Originally from Germany, Gabi Sappok starter her career in travel PR in the late 1990s. Learning the ropes of destination PR, she represented amazing places such as New York City, Seychelles, and Australia’s New South Wales. After meeting her future husband, Andreas, she moved to New York City in 2004 and started Imagine PR the year after. Africa quickly became the company’s focus area with clients like Singita, Ellerman House, and Sun International. After a few more years, Imagine PR expanded into other areas, and they are now representing clients across the globe, from the Galapagos Islands to the Niseko Village in Northern Japan. Six years ago, Gabi’s husband joined the company, and he now runs the operational side of Imagine PR, which frees Gabi up to do what she truly loves: inspiring people to travel.
My home office space is an area of the open-plan living room that offers amazing views of my beloved New York City, the Hudson River, and Manhattan with its floor-to-ceiling windows. I am a big fan of modernist architecture and mid-century modern furniture, even before it became a trend again. My husband and I live in a remarkable mid-rise apartment building designed in the 1960s by the late Gentoku ‘George’ Shimamoto. The overall plan is inspired by Le Corbusier’s Unite D’Habitation, but there is an unmistakable Japanese bent to the mid-rise buildings that makes them wonderful, peaceful living.
Keeping in line with the architecture of the building, I purchased mid-century focused elements such as an Eames-inspired office chair and a simple desk with hairpin legs. My must-have item is my trusted Mac; it’s been with me for almost ten years and is still going strong. The painting by Elizabeth Minke was a gift from my Mom, and apart from the sentimental value, it is a great focal piece.
Mercedes Bailey, Franklin Bailey, Cape Town, and New York
Based in Cape Town and New York, FranklinBailey is a brand development and communications company, specializing in the intersection of travel, conservation, and culture in sub-Saharan Africa. Originally from the UK, Mercedes Bailey has been living in Cape Town for eight years after stints in Mozambique and Botswana building and running safari camps. With wide-ranging interests, the common thread is bringing about positive change, uplifting people through tourism, conservation, culture, and education. She loves to highlight the lesser-told stories of Africa: the coolest cities, its booming fashion, art, and design industries, the people shaking up the safari business, and the continent’s female pioneers.
An enclosed balcony is my office space, which is flooded with morning sun and is lovely in the Cape Town winter. I’m in a first-floor apartment and am lucky to have an enormous tree outside of my window, which has become home to many birds, so I get a small piece of nature even in the city. My large table is from local Cape Town furniture makers Eco Furniture Designs – it was one of the first things I bought on moving to Cape Town, so I am very fond of it. The chairs are by Cape Town designer Sandelene Dale Roberts, and the light is from Weylandts. The giraffe image is by a very dear friend and incredibly talented artist, Graham Springer; it has followed me from my former office within a company to my home office.
I travel so much for work that I can pop open my laptop anywhere, really, but I have recently developed a greater appreciation for this lovely space. I love fresh flowers and have been trying to buy what’s in season here in the Western Cape through Petal and Post, I love a scented candle but have been getting through those far too quickly, but my absolute must-have after my laptop is a good coffee maker – I am a caffeine addict!
Claire Adler, Claire Adler Luxury PR, London
As the founder of Claire Adler Luxury PR, Claire Adler is in the business of helping her clients, who range from historic luxury houses to UHNW individuals; building their online reputation, improving their searchability, targeting relevant audiences, expanding their reach, growing their brand credibility and establishing their industry authority. The company’s focus is on three areas: press opportunities, beautiful communications, and strategic introductions. Apart from looking after her client’s reputation as well as her own, Claire only takes on clients she is confident they can secure coverage for.
The interior design goal of my home office was a welcoming, contemporary, spacious feel with personality and pops of uplifting color. The inclusion of lots of white is not by chance; it parallels my writing background as a full-time luxury journalist for the Financial Times and others for over a decade. One of my top writing tips is to embrace white space on the page – for me; it signifies making every expression count, a sense of space for clear thought, and a pure reduction to the essentials.
My office items include my velvet Elowen Chair in blossom by Anthropologie, a print by British artist Boo Saville who perfectly captures the soothing explorations of color with the vastness of space, and a Sputnik-style geometric lined brass chandelier I bought online. For my desk, I saw the design in a Zurich shop and hired a carpenter to make it based on a photo I took. The floor is reclaimed 18th-century wood from a woodyard, painted white with a very slightly distressed finish. The photograph on my shelf of Mentos sweets branded with my logo was taken at a party I hosted in 2013 to celebrate my first website. I adore stationery and have a few personalized items: a Papier notebook, pencils, several phone cases by Ideal of Sweden, and Smythson leather pencil cases.
Geoffrey Weill, Geoffrey Weill Associates, New York
Starting his career in London as a travel agent with Thomas Cook in its heyday, followed by a stretch as PR director of the Israel Tourist Office, Geoffrey Weill landed in New York City by ship from England some 47 years ago. In the summer of 1995, he opened WEILL, which after 25 years in the industry, operates as an award-winning firm with multiple clients. Serving his childhood passion for high-end luxury travel, Geoffrey has found his niche with a client base that includes The Royal Portfolio, Angama Mara, Classic Journeys, Soneva, and Loire Valley Tourism Board, to name a few. When he’s not working in his ‘real’ office overlooking the Hudson River, he works from his home office, which he shares with his interior designer wife Noa, with views of the kids’ trampoline, a hammock, very tall trees, chipmunks, deer, rabbits and his much-loved hydrangeas.
The perfect space in our 6-bedroom home we moved into eight years ago already had bookcases in the room, making it the ideal airy and windowed space for our joint office. Our desks came from Pottery Barn and the mural from Wall Sauce. I cannot work in silence and have the television with the news on all day, which drives my wife insane.
Order and neatness are must-haves; even if it is purposefully cluttered, it must be obsessively organized, and paperweights keep the clutter in place. A variety of pictures hang behind my desk; there are dozens of calligraphy felt-tip pens and sharp 4B pencils, memorabilia of family, and travels. My favorites are the dial telephone from my parents’ home in London; a rubber stamp that says “resubmit in Arabic,” a vintage Danish red tin stamp pad that I picked up at a junk shop in Copenhagen; a metal paperweight that resembles a petit-beurre biscuit but with Greek writing.
Keeping a clean office is vital to being productive during working hours. You should clean at a minimum once every week. If you don’t have the time it would be smart to call professionals like an Austin maid service to help keep things in order