"I chose to have my studio inside the house because for me, there is no separation between living and working," says Garance Doré on the impetus behind her new home office design. The photographer, illustrator, and founder of Atelier Doré has acquired millions of fans who are inspired by her refined yet attainable aesthetic and that enviable laid-back French style. So, of course, her home office exudes all of the above and more. After many years in New York, Doré recently packed up and relocated to the sunny West Coast.
Since her head office and team are still in the Big Apple, Dore needed a studio space to work from in L.A., and she chose an indoor/outdoor area of her home to create it. The end result is a dreamy, sunlit space with plenty of fresh air to inspire creativity and artistic vision. To get the work/life balance just right, Dore partnered with West Elm's senior designer, Jon Wheat, and together they created a neutral workspace that's just as beautiful as it is productive. Ahead, Doré explains more about the design process, her favorite pieces, and how her Corsican heritage informed the overall design.
Curved sofas are clearly a hot trend right now in living rooms, and we fell in love with Anine Bing's pink sofa. This sofa really merges work and life by bringing an element of comfort into the office environment.
How different is your approach to design in L.A. compared to when you lived in NY?
I have more space, more peace, and more silence, and I feel like I want to express that in my house. I'm very excited about having people at home, and my family comes to stay often and stays a long time, which was not the case in New York. We have bikes and a vegetable garden. Also, we’re in the west, close to the ocean. I work from home. All that inspires me to create a comfortable, welcoming, and warm interior.
Science has proven that plants boost productivity in office spaces. Doré has nailed that with a heady dose of sunlight and fresh air with this indoor/outdoor design.
What are some of your favorite design elements?
I think the table was meant to be a dining table, not a desk. I always love to take furniture out of context, repurpose it and have fun.
This corner is equal parts office and home. It feels comfortable and easy while still looking like you mean business.
What was the main goal of the space? What did you want to achieve in the design/decoration?
I wanted it to reflect the spirit of Atelier Doré since the studio is kind of an L.A. outpost. Bright, welcoming, and comfortable, an office that feels like a home and an artist’s studio at the same time.
Having stylish storage is crucial in a home office. If you want to be productive, you need to minimize the clutter and ensure a streamlined workspace.
What are your favorite West Elm pieces and why?
My white table, even if the sofa comes close second. I have had this table for years, and it says something about the enduring design of West Elm’s pieces. It’s been in millions of photos, and it’s probably the one table I’ll always have as my desk. It’s wood, which to me is a perfect material for good vibrations, and it’s white, which is the start of inspiration to me. The shape is pure and timeless. I love it.
But the sofa is the stunner. People absolutely love it, and I spend way too much time on it, reading, writing, for my meetings. It’s super comfortable.
This looks more like a living room than an office space. Doré was keen to create a homely vibe that felt comfortable and inspired.
How has your Corsican heritage influenced your home design? How is it different to L.A.?
Actually, I feel more similarities with my Corsican lifestyle in L.A. than in Paris or New York, which is probably why I love it so, so much. It’s all about open doors, a nice breeze, mixing influences, creating places of light and places of shade, and creating different spots to gather at different times of the day.
I love my balcony for a nice sunset with a glass of white wine, a way to have my guests also enjoy the creative atmosphere of my studio. I couldn’t be more in love with the Erik Trine + West Elm outdoor furniture. It all makes me think of the Mediterranean and makes me so happy.
Ahead, Doré shares her top three tips for decorating a home office.
Art and style are clearly visual elements Doré loves to surround herself with to inspire creativity and a sense of fun.
TIP #1: Clear the Clutter
I need to put things away and not think about them because I don't want to think of my taxes when I'm illustrating.
This offshoot of the workspace is located upstairs. Dore wanted a separate space away from where she creates and illustrates.
TIP #2: Think in Twos
Doubling up brings balance and creates harmony.
This outdoor area is perfect for those moments when illustrator's block strikes.
TIP #3: Bring Function Outdoors
This (outdoor) space is going to be an extension of the living room and that idea of real California living where there is no real separation between inside and outside.
Doré is clearly happy with her new West Coast indoor/outdoor workspace.
Watch the video below to see more of Dore's stunning home office makeover.