Get It Done Remotely
In the new normal of telecommuting, with some companies offering employees the freedom to work remotely for good, people are moving houses to get more space, more privacy, and more security. The new at-home must-have: a dedicated office.
“In today’s market, one of the first questions I’m likely to be asked is, ‘Where can I put a home office?’” says Ida Schwartz, senior director of luxury sales (The Schwartz Team) at Compass Miami. When clients work from home, they want a quiet space with a door (“to shut themselves off from the happy chaos of family”) and windows (“to relax and enjoy the view between Zoom meetings”).
She goes on to say that luxury home sales in southern Florida are “through the roof,” with waterfront single-family homes in the $6-million to $12-million range moving very quickly. Many of her clients are choosing to relocate from cold-winter northern cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, where they could be confined to an apartment during the snowy months. Because parents are working remotely and children are attending online classes, potential buyers are seeing that a home—a second primary residence—in south Florida is an attractive way to optimize their work/life balance. “Promotion or not, you can get your own corner office with amazing ocean views,” says Schwartz. theschwartzteamre.com
One of LA’s newest options is The Case, an oceanfront, gated enclave of five design-forward, mid-century modern homes designed by Scott Gillen of UnvarnishedCo. Perched on a bluff that was the most expensive land sale in Los Angeles at its time (the land sold for $50 million in 2017), The Case was designed to provide privacy, space, and panoramic views stretching from the Palos Verdes Peninsula up to and beyond Malibu Colony Beach. This home office and library at Case Study No. 3 (above; $75 million) has floor-to-ceiling windows with unobstructed views of the Malibu canyon and mountains. The residences range from 9,500 to 12,000 square feet on estate-sized lots. Construction is underway on all five residences, which are slated for completion in 2021. unvarnishedco.com
Aspen, Colorado–based Charles Cunniffe Architects (CCA) is currently designing homes in upstate New York; Palm Springs, California; The Yellowstone Club and Whitefish, both in Montana; South Carolina; and elsewhere. All of his projects have home offices with cutting-edge technology, acoustical treatments to address noise, and outdoor spaces for relaxation and inspiration.
“We are also designing unique spaces for learning at home,” Cunniffe says. “Parents are realizing that their children need creatively designed spaces to learn—a place separate from the living room or the kitchen table.” The designs include ample storage for learning and art supplies, abundant natural light, and transitional spaces that offer a variety of functions—like large tables for learning and crafting.
Another trend CCA is seeing: his-and-hers offices, designed for how each person is inspired. Whether it’s a light-filled, airy studio space or a warm, wood-paneled library feel, CCA designs specifically for how each person wants to feel in their office space. “In every office we pay particular attention to lighting, views, natural light, technological needs, acoustics, furnishings, and art,” Cunniffe says. “It’s a very personal space.” cunniffe.com