Home & Living

HuffPost's Office Makeover Is The Ultimate White Box Challenge

Interior designers have the ability to find hidden potential in places that the untrained eye might overlook. We put that notion to the test when we asked three designers to reimagine HuffPost's meeting rooms.

The potential of our five small spaces was there, albeit buried beneath layers of dry erase marker and unflattering fluorescent lighting. The task was a tall order: transform white boxes into something beautiful and functional. The editors of HuffPost Home and HuffPost Style also rose to the challenge, taking on the redesign of one of the rooms.

Here's a before-and-after look at how our vision came to life.

The Room: Steinem
The Designer: Catherine Wakefield & Seanna Book of Second Dibs

(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

"The room sorely lacked color. The gray carpet and dark sofa seemed to meld into a dark, dreary abyss," Wakefield notes. "We first brightened it up with a cream-colored area rug, then the fun began." As an homage to the great city of New York, Wakefield says she then began adding color with "The Gates" (Christo) prints from AllPosters.com and a colorful gallery wall.

"The pieces include high end, original artwork by Seanna Noonan Book , a new vintage-looking clock from Overstock.com, a shabby-chic mirror and even a framed vintage playing card," Wakefiled says. "Taking into consideration the traffic flow of the office, we hung them atypically, vertically perpendicular to the large window wall. Not only could the occupants of the huddle room enjoy the stunning view, so could the passersby."

Unique decorative items such as the vintage dial phone, antique books and Melmac fruit bowl (you might remember your grandmother having one of those) finish off the space, leaving it feeling much more like a den than a meeting room.

Check out Second Dibs' inspiration for this room as well as the items for sale in the Pinterest board below.

The Room: Ephron
The Designer: Shana Ecker

(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

"The room was basically a blank slate except for a comfy 'lived-in' sofa in a warm neutral fabric," says designer Shana Ecker. "While an office environment can feel cold and stark, I wanted the space to feel like you were hanging out in a friend's living room."

By adding additional comfortable seating, cozy textiles, warm wood tones and shelves filled with beautiful books, Ecker created a space that makes you want to pull up a chair and stay a while. The gallery wall is filled with thought-provoking and dynamic pieces from Art.com meant to generate creative ideas. The teal and orange palette is high energy, perfect for days when caffeine supplies are low.

Check out Ecker's inspiration for this room as well as the items for sale in the Pinterest board below.

The Room: Didion
The Designer: HuffPost Home & HuffPost Style

(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

The biggest challenge in this space was obvious: The white-board-painted walls. After tackling that with a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore's Lavender Blue paint, the rest was easy -- warm up the cool foundation with earth-toned furniture, an easy-to-maintain sisal rug and a cozy counter to the stark overhead light. "Having all of these ideas from different people and narrowing that down into one aesthetic was pretty difficult," says Associate Style Editor Chanel Parks. "But it worked!"

Check out HuffPost Home and Style's inspiration for this room as well as the items for sale in the Pinterest board below.

The Room: Sontag
The Designer: Michael Murphy For Lamps Plus

(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

Working around the stark overhead lighting was a key consideration in Murphy's design. "By introducing wall and floor lamps, we created lighting layers that can be adjusted pending the office needs," he says. "The bronze finish lamp bases and burlap shades provide a nod to industrial style, while the warm wood tones from the table and console update the look." Additionally, the console provides storage, as well as a layout surface. "This is a great example of double, or triple duty furniture, which is essential when planning a small space," Murphy adds.

Check out Lamps Plus' inspiration for this room as well as the items for sale in the Pinterest board below.

The Room: Tech War Room
The Designer: The Huffington Post

(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

The final space was a bit of a wild card, with function beating out form in our list of makeover needs. The editors who came together to revamp the room warmed up its stark white palette with a round table in a dark wood finish and swapped out traditional office chairs with cozier upholstered ones. Floating shelves draw the eye up and provide the perfect perch for homey accent pieces.

Check out HuffPost's inspiration for this room as well as the items for sale in the Pinterest board below.

Special thanks to: HomeGoods, IKEA, Lamps Plus, Art.com, Overstock.com, AllPosters.com, and JCPenney, and to Brie Dyas for helping beautify our spaces.

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Are you an architect, designer or blogger and would like to get your work seen on HuffPost Home? Reach out to us at homesubmissions@huffingtonpost.com with the subject line "Project submission." (All PR pitches sent to this address will be ignored.)

Inside Nate Berkus' Office