Do it Draper Style: Designing Your Mid-Century Modern Office

If you’re not stirred to passion by your office space, getting yourself ready and motivated for a day of work isn’t so easy, especially if you work remotely. When your office space is shall we say, uninspired, you make excuses to wash the dishes, fold laundry or do just about every other chore around the house to save you from having to look at the barren white walls and sitting on the “pre-loved” wonky desk chair.

Why is it that we don’t design our home offices with the care we do our living rooms, dining rooms or bedrooms? Why do we choose to instead buy the cheap fibreboard desk from IKEA with matching characterless desk lamps? Maybe it’s because we’ve never really been taught how to design a working office space. Getting to work from home is still a novel thing, and without a pre-determined office plan, we assume that any old desk and chair will work—it doesn’t. Do you want an office space where you can work madly and think deeply?

You can have just that by following a few lessons from Don Draper.

Do it Draper Style: Designing Your Mid Century Modern Office

The Desk

Donny Drapes (Yeah, I’m going there) works in an office filled with furniture and accessories that encapsulate what 1960s work offices looked like (and can still look like today) with modern office furniture. Take the large, wooden desk Don sits at in almost every episode of Mad Men. The desk is the seat of power in the office space and acts as a buffer between boss and subordinate, manager and client. You should feel in control of your office and like an expert in your field; this starts with having the right type of office furniture. BDI’s Sequel Desk is a contemporary spin on Don’s mid-century desk, complete with a lustrous steel frame, heavy wood panels (available in cherry, natural walnut or stained oak) with a black glass top. Your desk is where you do your work, show some pride and get a desk that is built with the concept of power and excellence.

Do it Draper Style: Designing Your Mid Century Modern Office

The Chair

Don doesn’t sit in any old chair at his desk, no sir. Don sits in an Eames Aluminum Group Management chair. The chair’s elegant play with line and form-fitting, ergonomic design is what the Eames did best. Functional, versatile and comfortable, your office needs a chair like this so that you can work continuously and tirelessly without burning the candle at both ends. Ergonomic chairs (such as the chair listed above and others made by Kartell and Vitra) are made specially to support the sitter for long periods of time without causing strain on the back or neck. Clean lines and stunning silhouettes will make your office chair a work of art in an otherwise cold space.

Do it Draper Style: Designing Your Mid Century Modern Office

The Lamp

While it’s known that Don Draper has an ostentatious golden desk lamp sitting on his desk, it goes against everything the Mid-Century stands for, so in the instance of the lamp, I’m going to suggest going with the sleek clean lines of the Clamp Mini Table Lamp designed by Pablo. Though simple, this lamp offers sophistication through color, material and line that you yourself will want to exude on teleconference calls and in email correspondence. For Mid-Century enthusiasts less is more, and your office will need to have a balance between the heavy furniture and the airy accessories.

Do it Draper Style: Designing Your Mid Century Modern Office

The Accessories

Every office needs a statement piece, and between Don Draper’s bar cart, roulette cigarette dispenser and framed abstract art pieces, we’re told what he appreciates and why he works so hard. Liven up your office space by framing art prints that inspire you and decorating with metallic and patterned accents that thrill you.

Your office space is yours and it’s up to you to make it your own. By following the notes listed above, you’ll be well on your way to having an incredible home office.



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