Jessa and Tony blend careers, family, and personal growth—all with a dash of grace. But their living space wasn’t conducive to that balance. With living areas that created barriers instead of inviting flow, they experienced conflict between how they wanted to live, and what their environment could provide.
“We have a nice house, but it didn’t come with a formal office,” Jessa explained. “We’re both physicians, and we can do admin duties from home, but we didn’t have a good base to do that work.” Instead, they were operating out of a spare bedroom.
They chose Giraffe because close friends who were very particular had used Giraffe as well. “They were very pleased with what they ended up with,” Jessa said, “so it was nice to use a company that had just worked on my friends’ home, and it turned out really, really great.”
“We wanted a designer who built things, not a builder who designed things,” Tony added.
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Jessa and Tony envisioned a flexible and cohesive sanctuary that would serve as both office and oasis. This meant resolving the isolation between their bedroom and the study to allow the fluid transitions between work, rest and reflection—without walls or disconnected doors boxing them in. They chose to convert the small bedroom next to the master suite, and incorporate it as an office area as part of the master suite.
We asked the homeowners what else they’d like to do with the space, if they could. They wanted a work area that felt distant from the chaos that comes with young children. Jessa asked for a bigger closet, and she began dreaming of more possibilities. “I told them I’d love to have coffee in the morning in my office,” she said. “It would be good if we had a back porch, because we didn’t have that, but we had the space for it. And, I said we might as well put a wine bar in there too! The bar and the bigger closet were things that I just threw out at the designers as kind of a pipe dream. I didn’t expect them to figure that out, but they did!”
Jessa wanted to feel like she had a more open house, with more light. She wanted to be able to open the patio door and sit in the office and enjoy a breeze, and feel like she was enjoying the outside space.
“I had to want to be in here,” Jessa said. “It had to be an attractive office. I love books, so I wanted the books to sort of ensconce the desk area because I like to be surrounded by books. I needed to create a space that I would really want to sit down and work in.”
Handcrafting the Oasis
Ryan was the lead carpenter assigned to the build. “He was exceptional,” Jessa said. “My kids got to know him and greeted him every morning, he was absolutely excellent. He was always punctual. There was never a situation when I wondered if he would come that day. At the end of the day, there was never a bunch of stuff laying around. He did a great job cordoning off the work portion of the house from the other rooms. He was very easy to work with.”
The homeowners wanted the office to be built-in, as though it was always part of the house. Their home has a lot of built-in, custom cabinetry, and they wanted the office area to match that aesthetic. To make that happen, Ryan handcrafted the crown moulding himself. “He did absolutely amazing work,” Jessa said. “I was very surprised that he would actually make the crown moulding in my garage with his equipment. I just assumed he would just go to Lowe’s and buy what he wanted. He was very meticulous.”
The result was a unified, collaborative, comfortable space with grand sliding transitional doors. When fully opened on both sides, the space created a grand suite. Close the doors part-way, and you partition the space without blocking flow. Or, close them completely for restful retreat and reflection.
The centralized wine and coffee bar offers a break from the world, and French doors open onto the new second-story deck, welcoming in the fresh air and sounds of the backyard.
Jessa and Tony have their own little oasis where they can close the door and do some work, or enjoy a glass of wine while the kids watch a movie. It’s a slice of calm in the midst of a young family’s chaos.
The Giraffe Difference
When asked about their experience with Giraffe, Tony and Jessa cited the responsiveness of the team and the personable approach to the project. “Everything was installed with love and care, and I really appreciated that,” Jessa said. “It was like they respected my home. It wasn’t just a job, it was someone’s home that they were helping to create. And in terms of the craftsmanship, it was beyond what I could have expected.”
Dreaming of your own inspired living space? Giraffe Design Build is a client centric, design driven company motivated by the belief that the built environment profoundly affects people’s lives. Together with our clients, our collaborative team of designers and craftsmen transform existing spaces into healthy, joyful sanctuaries where families celebrate daily life.
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