Designing For Function: A Transformed Home Office Space

The study/office on the upper level of this mid-19th century home in St. John’s suffered from a lack of functional shelving. Piles of books were stacked on every surface. A change was needed. The homeowners called Doug Allen of Ulu Cabinetry, who had previously designed their kitchen renovation, to design a solution for the study.

The result brought order to the space with a design focused on function. The room needed to store a multitude of books, provide a workspace, and have an area for reading. It’s a small room, and Doug had to take care that the final design didn’t make the room feel cramped. He kept the shelving shallow above desktop height, and maximized storage by covering the walls in shelving.

The work area countertop extends around three sides of the room, partly to tie the whole room together and partly because he didn’t want the counter on only one wall.

The house was built in about 1860, and the homeowners have been renovating it in stages. When the time came to do this room, they decided to bring the room back to the studs so the walls could be insulated. Being an old house, the walls and floor aren’t exactly square but, says Doug, the folks at Sable Build and Design, know plenty of tricks of the trade to deal with irregularities so they become unnoticeable.