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When Semihandmade’s Director of Brand Marketing Samantha Cuello hired interior designer Jacklyn Maietta, founder of Jacklyn Faust Interiors, to transform her home’s makeshift office, they both had one thing in mind: functionality. “She had very specific requests for how she wanted this space to function, needing it to serve as an office with more than one workstation, a crafting area, and doubling as a guest room for the occasional overnight visitor,” Maietta says of the space, which pre the re-design partly functioned as “a catch-all for furniture that didn’t have a place to live anywhere else in the house”. 

Laying It Out

To begin, Maietta focused on creating a layout that would make the most of the room. “Ample workspace was a top priority, so I started by finding the perfect size desks and positioning the workstations,” says the designer.  

The next step was finding furniture pieces that could function in a variety of ways. “Every piece of furniture was strategically chosen to serve more than one purpose. L-shaped desks added enough extra surface space to provide room for the occasional craft project, or for Cuello’s two young children for homework time. “The sofa is a pullout that easily transitions into a queen-size bed when a guest room is needed,” Maietta adds. 

Functional And Beautiful

Additionally, she focused on making it beautiful. “I believe that practicality and beauty are not mutually exclusive,” she says. “I love a good multipurpose room that is well thought out and functional, but still gives you that picture-perfect visual every time you walk in.” 

Through mixing patterns that were in the same color family, such as the light leopard rug by nuLOOM and wallpaper from RoomMates Decor, it creates a layered, intentional look. “The patterns don’t fight each other because their colors are similar, and the scale of each pattern varies for visual balance,” she says. 

Bring in Nature

The design was inspired by the natural beauty of the home’s Hudson River Valley location. It only made sense to incorporate a touch of bright airiness to complement the exterior world. Maietta’s advice for accomplishing this is to find balance in the palette. “Black and gray are not typically what you would associate with being light and airy, however, if the color balance is right it is absolutely achievable,” she says. 

A Family-Focused Design

“In addition to working from home full-time, Cuello has two kids, so the space had to feel kid-friendly as well, for those sometimes unavoidable times when work and parenting overlap,” she says.  For example, the poufs were added to double as durable and moveable seating, and the Ikea Besta cabinets, featuring Semihandmade fronts in Impression Beach, store more than just office supplies “They hold everything from a printer and standard office supplies, to craft supplies and crayons,” she says. 

Save With Semihandmade

In the end, the biggest challenge was creating a sense of symmetry when it came to the storage side of the room. Custom cabinetry was too pricey, so the designer scoured stores for stock cabinetry that came in differing sizes. “This was a nearly impossible feat. Every time I thought I had found something that would work there was an issue,” she says. 

The Besta cabinets with Semihandmade fronts “offered the perfect door style and color to complete the vision,” Maietta says. In the end, the room is symmetrical, with complementary patterns, and functions in a variety of ways to please everyone in the family. 

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Renovation

We don’t believe that renovations should be daunting. The key is to arm yourself with the right knowledge, people, and products to achieve your goals. It also helps to ask the right questions: How much does it cost to renovate a kitchen? How do I find the right general contractor in my area? Where do I even start if I’ve never remodeled before? This is where we come in. Through hard-to-believe before and afters, first-person renovation accounts, and step-by-step DIY projects, we demystify every aspect of remodeling and give you a ton of full-house, bathroom, and kitchen renovation ideas. Semihandmade was built on a strong make-it-yourself spirit and we’re carrying that legacy beyond DIY kitchen cabinets (though we’ll certainly touch on those too) by bringing you a ton of weekend projects for novices (have you ever tried making your own planter?) and experts (try your hand at a full-wall media center). What do people really mean when they say a house has “good bones”? Before and after projects show first-hand what’s possible in a transformative remodel. How do you make the most of a narrow galley? Should you swap your upper cabinets for floating shelves? What would it look like if you opened up your small kitchen? Renovation ideas abound in our spotlighted projects. A lot goes into a kitchen renovation, but it’s usually hard to tell from a beautiful “after” shot. Our monthly series “Island Hopping” is about getting a behind-the-scenes account of what the process is like through honest conversations—you know, the kind that typically take place around a kitchen island. We’ll chat with designers, homeowners, and architects about their projects, hoping to peel back the curtain on picture-perfect spaces.