With social distancing implemented and stay-at-home orders mandated in many countries, the notion of the office has certainly changed in recent months. In this four-part series, designers give HD a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what working from home has been like.
David Ashen, dash design
Where: I work in three places at my home north of Manhattan. My kitchen/den, where I have a choice of the kitchen island or sofa; a little studio I have in my garden, which is an amazing retreat; and my small office/gallery in Kingston, New York.
What’s missing: When this ends, the first thing I would like to do is get together with friends and have a meal. My partner and I miss having gatherings at our house for dinner. It’s something we do almost every weekend.
On maintaining normalcy: The companionship of my partner and cats has helped, and we have created little routines to look forward to—6:30 p.m. video cocktails with friends, walks to the village, hikes on the weekend, and daily drives.
Christine Gachot, Gachot Studios
Where: We have a small home studio at our home on Shelter Island, but we have really been working from the dining room table. We typically spend our time here outside during the summer, so it’s been nice to use our home in a new way. The fireplace has been amazing.
Inspiring moments: Friends who take the time on their daily walk to say hello to the boys over the fence. That five minutes of interaction for us—but especially to them—is invaluable. They miss their friends, so seeing a neighbor walk by and wave hello is a big deal. It’s powerful to realize the impact of simple gestures right now.
On quarantine treats: I take a group class via Zoom with my Shelter Island Pilates community. We get curbside pick-up groceries from our favorite local market Marie Eiffel. And Kiehl’s—I ordered a box of masks, creams, and treatments that have been so much fun.
Andrew Alford, Andrew Alford Creative
Where: I am lucky to have nine acres on my farm in Michigan, which allows me to spread out and work in a place that matches my headspace in that moment. I have always hated working at a traditional desk, so I’m pretty well suited for non-traditional work environments.
Inspiring moments: I came across the Instagram hashtag #artistsupportpledge, where artists create works that they are willing to sell for $200 each. For every $1,000 in sales, the artist buys another artist’s work for $200. Now, I’m selling abstract pieces that I create using paints and pigments frozen in ice cubes. The works are representative of my headspace right now, bringing color into the world by melting away dark thoughts.
What’s next: When we can travel again, the first thing on my list is to go see friends in New Orleans. The city has a special place in my heart and soul, and my friends there are one of the greatest gifts in my life.
Meg Prendergast, The Gettys Group
Where: In Chicago, at my dining room table—lots of room to spread out and in a high-ceilinged space with great natural light. For a change, my standing desk is the breakfast counter.
Inspiring moments: My view to our back-walled garden, going from March gray to May green, cracking open the newest New Yorker, courtyard cocktails with our (physically distant) neighbors, and cooking something new.
On maintaining normalcy: My husband and I are walkers, so we built in walk times to make sure to stretch our legs, breathe the air, and see things outside of our regular desk radius.
Read the second installment in the series here.