Orange-Packed Office

Design coordinator Crystal Hopkins turns a guest room into a creative multipurpose space featuring different tones of orange.
Orange Home Office With Custom Display Area

Orange Home Office With Custom Display Area

Multiple tables create a one-of-a-kind display area in this eclectic orange home office. The desk and tables are painted the same orange as the walls, creating a seamless look, while blue chairs provide nice contrast.

For production design coordinator and full-time education student Crystal Hopkins, color isn't just a passion, it's business. "I'd say about half of my work in production design is focused on color values," she says. "The way hues and tints read through a lens is totally different than in real life."

When it came time to turn the guest room of her 1,100-square-foot Encino, Calif., home into a multipurpose space where she could work or study, Crystal turned to her favorite color, orange, as the room's inspiration.

All Orange Everything

All Orange Everything

Inspired by the orange tree just outside her window, Crystal covered her space in terra cotta, coral and pumpkin.

Inspired by the orange tree just outside her window, Crystal covered her space in terra cotta, coral and pumpkin.

"Although the room was lackluster, it had this awesome midcentury modern wall-mounted desk, which I knew I had to use," Crystal says. "It was stained the perfect shade of dark brown, one that when paired with orange creates a really warm, autumnal feeling."

To make the room work not only for job- and school-related purposes, but also as a place to relax on her days off, Crystal decided to break the space down into three zones: one for studying, one for production design planning and another for reading.

As Crystal began planning for her orange creative space, she tested different choices for the walls and ceiling. "At first, I really wanted to tie in the same tone of orange outside the window on my orange tree," Crystal says. "The best match was a paint color called Energetic Orange, but it was way too energetic, so much that I wouldn't be able to focus!"

Instead, she decided to stick with burnt orange for the walls and coral for the ceiling. The layering of the two was colorful and warm, but energetic enough for a creative space.

The Scope of the Remodel

To accomplish this creative workspace remodel, Crystal set a budget of $2,500 and a timeline of nine days to knock out the following design elements:

  • Replace a ceiling fan with a vintage pendant from the dining room
  • Paint the walls burnt orange and the ceiling coral
  • Add custom window coverings
  • Relocate the existing wall-mounted rail system desk to the opposite wall
  • Transform an old dining room chair into a custom rolling desk chair
  • Repurpose the flea market tables and an old desk into a one-of-a-kind display system
  • Create a small seating area near the window

Stacked Desk Display

Stacked Desk Display

Crystal gathered four different tables and an old desk to create her one-of-a-kind display system.

Creative Desk Display

Crystal removed the wall-mounted desk from its original spot, then gathered four different tables and an old desk to create her one-of-a-kind display system. "I saw the idea on Pinterest, except it was in purple," she says.

To execute her vision, Crystal worked with a set carpenter, from one of her recent TV jobs, who helped configure the tables and desk to the proper size and shape. "I used an HVLP paint sprayer to give them a professional finish after heavily sanding them," Crystal says. "Spraying set pieces was a cinch, but after much trial and tribulation, here is what I learned: It's all about where you cut the legs when repurposing tables into a wall system."

Crystal discovered each piece of the design works with the other in relation to the placement of legs. She initially planned to stack all of the pieces on top of one another above the desk, alternating the depths of each table by sawing pieces in half, lengthwise.

While deciding on placement, she realized the legs of the tables took away valuable space from the desktop. The solution was to spread the tables out, left to right, randomly graduating upward, rather than simply stacking one on top of the other. With this idea in place, the rest of the project went swimmingly.

Creative Multipurpose Workstation

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Creative Orange

On a budget of $2,500 and a timeline of nine days, production design coordinator Crystal Hopkins turned the lackluster guest room of her California home into a creative, orange multipurpose space. The walls are painted a terra-cotta tone called Clay Pot, and the ceiling is painted with a shade of coral called La Tierra.

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Uninspiring Beginnings

Prior to the room's makeover, it lacked color and personality. Crystal liked the existing midcentury modern wall-mounted desk system and decided to work it into her design by moving it to the opposite wall.  

A Spot to Relax

The ample natural light that streams through the casement window makes it the perfect spot to relax with a book. When her schoolwork and production design preparation are done, Crystal sits back in the chairs and takes in the gorgeous view of the blue California sky and lush orange tree just outside.  

Add a Touch of Glam

Since many of Crystal's production design projects are in Hollywood, she incorporated classic, glamorous style into her new room with a pair of high-back Hollywood Regency chairs with diamond-tufted upholstery.  

Custom Desk Display

Always looking for creative ways to tell a story, Crystal fell in love with an idea she saw on Pinterest and adapted it to fit her own style. She gathered five different tables and a desk, had them cut in half, then attached them to one another as a built-in display system and drafting space. She sprayed them three different shades of orange and affixed them to the wall with drywall screws placed directly into studs.  

Eye-Catching and Practical

Always practical with her set design ideas, Crystal wanted to make sure her stacked half-table wall was useful as well as whimsical. To put open space to good use, she installed bronze wall hooks for bags and hats on the front of the highest table, and she put bolts of fabrics essential to her projects in the space beneath. The metallic brown tone of the oil-rubbed bronze combined with the coral-tone of the tables gives the room a warm, autumnal feel.  

Midcentury Modern Details

Although Crystal considers herself a traditionalist when it comes to interiors, she appreciates midcentury modern design. She moved a brass and wood 1950s chandelier originally in the home's dining room to the orange multipurpose room.  

Salvaging a Desk

She decided to keep the existing wall-mounted rail system desk and moved it to the opposite wall of the room. This not only allows her to look outside the window on beautiful days, but it also frees up the longer wall to function as her drafting and display station.  

Fun Furniture to Match

For a one-of-a-kind desk chair, Crystal had a traditional wooden dining chair outfitted with new paint, fabric and decorative casters. Blue is the complement to orange, so she chose a peacock blue for the chair frame and a traditional velvet fabric with different shades of orange and red for the seats.  

Traditional Flair

Modern in approach but traditional in style, Crystal wanted to ensure her new space felt mostly traditional. She grounded the entire room with an orange wool area rug picked up from the fire sale of a reality TV series shot just a few miles from her house.  

Home Is Where the Art Is

Originally from Texas, Crystal misses the change of seasons. Since Los Angeles stays sunny and cool year round, she hung a vintage painting of a fall landscape given to her by an art director friend.  

After installing the cut tables to the wall using small "L" brackets screwed to the underside of the tabletops, then into wall studs with a drill and wood screws, Crystal and her carpenter reinstalled the wall-mounted rail system desk. "That was easy," Crystal says. "It's a handful of screws, a stud finder, a drill and a level, but dealing with paint touchups afterward was another story."

Due to adjustments made to keep the wall-mounted desk flush, Crystal scratched some of the newly applied orange paint off the wall.

"When repainting or touching up walls painted with super-saturated colors, it's important to consider how deep the scratch is before trying to fix it," Crystal says. "If it's surface deep, two coats should be fine. If it's deeper and you've dinged the actual drywall, it's wise to first hit the area with a little drywall mud, then a little tinted primer before adding the actual color."

Desk Chair Details

Desk Chair Details

Crystal breaks up the orange-ness of the room with a blue chair with a multicolored cushion.

Adding Orange Throughout

As all of the hard parts came to fruition, Crystal got to focus on loading in the space. To add an extra layer of orange, she brought in a traditional area rug packed with several shades of orange, as well as blues and reds. Not only did this add to an overall layered look, it helped ground and soften the space. "The rug has become one of my favorite things because I can be barefoot and comfortable," says Crystal. "In the rest of my hardwood-floored house, my feet are always freezing."

To break up the orange-ness of the room, Crystal installed custom drapery panels of white dupioni silk with inverted box pleats. Since the window treatments were pricey, she kept her budget in check by installing them on affordable, oil-rubbed bronze rods and rings. The finish also creates a warm, autumnal feeling. "We don't get a change of seasons in Los Angeles," Crystal says. "So keeping my creative space somewhat autumnal reminds me a bit of being back in Texas in the fall."

After placing the furniture, window coverings, art and accessories into her room, Crystal realized she learned a few things by designing her own real-life space, instead of one meant strictly for TV and film. "I'm used to working on spaces which are neither permanent nor functional, and the biggest difference between working on a set or a temporary location is that things are meant to tell a story which isn't real," Crystal says. "In residential design, not only does everything need to tell a story in a non-literal way, but also it needs to be livable."

So how does she feel about her first attempt at real-life design? "My creative space is packed with my favorite things, as well as my favorite color," Crystal says. It's soothing but not sleepy, and it feels like me in there! What's not to like?"

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