Friday, May 06, 2011

Designing in a Louis XVI Dining Room

Working from home- especially if you don't have a room designated specifically for work- can be tough. How and where do you hide the printer, files, the Rolodex, and all of the other necessary but not so attractive work tools? If you're a designer, it can be even more difficult what with samples, swatches, boards, and plans. I found this 1966 article, featured here, that shows how one decorator managed to convert her dining room to an office by day. It all seems a little complicated, but I guess it worked for her.

So, for all of you designers who work from home, this post is for you:

Five mornings a week, the elegant boiserie paneled dining room in the Eric Mulvany's New York apartment is transformed into a hard-working office for Mrs. Mulvany- interior designer Audré Fiber. When her secretary and assistant leave for the day, the drawing board and three folding black lacquer work tables are whisked away to the file-and-storage room which the Mulvanys created by walling off the windowless end of the 20-foot-long room. Then the Bessarabian carpet is unrolled, the chandelier unhooked from its higher working-day position, the dining table pushed back to room center. The conversion takes exactly seven minutes.

Article and images from House & Garden, July 1966.


  1. Having the big closet storeroom is the key. But, yes, why work in a featureless box when a great room stands unused.

  2. Genius - and brilliant you for finding it. I thought my London office/library/dining room was clever, where i stuff everything under a large skirted centre table...but this is food for thought. xc

  3. Alan Dailey9:56 AM

    Rolling and unrolling the rug everyday sounds rather exhausting to me. As a matter of fact the whole conversion may it only take seven minutes, sounds exhausting. I could see going to all this trouble at the end of the work week and again on Monday morning. Regardless, this makes for an interesting magazine story. Again, thanks for continuing to do the great job with your blog

  4. Love this = but don't know if I could deal with this 5 days a week. Does that say something about my beauty/effort ratio?

  5. I can't imagine having to do the switcheroo 10 times a week!

  6. reeci-t6:48 PM

    Might having staff to do the heavy lifting and straitening added to the ease of the transition? I know it's the only way I'd be able to do this every day!

  7. I have got to say, this seems an awful lot of work just to gain a workspace. If one can afford such luxurious digs to begin with, wouldn't it make more sense to rent a work office? Just taking the risk of raising and lowering the chandelier on a daily basis is foolhardy enough to make me want to decamp to a dedicated office space.

  8. Anonymous10:50 AM

    ikea cabinets on casters to roll into the storage room

    john in nc