Located on the second floor of her c. 1899 Colonial Revival home in Pasadena, California, Marcia Sola’s office is an elegant working space with Victorian style.
Because she spends so much time in her office—she generally is at her desk at 4:45 a.m., seldom calls it quits before 3 or 4 p.m. and checks in periodically throughout the evening—she decided to decorate it with lots of her favorite things.
Sola’s home office doesn’t sacrifice practicality for style. The antique partner’s desk, which sets the design tone of the room, provides the perfect surface for her laptop. The vintage sideboard and sewing machine cabinet store supplies. A variety of china pieces filled with office items like paper clips form an eye-catching Victorian vignette. And Sola’s Gone With the Wind-inspired lamp adds to the warmth of her home office.
A French armchair upholstered in a traditional floral tapestry is the focal point of Sola’s cozy corner, where family photos transform the walls into a personal art gallery.
Victorian libraries often featured prints and engravings, and Sola picked up on that decorative device by featuring family photos in antique frames. “These pictures were from my mother’s collection,” Sola says. “She had them all together, so I reframed them and re-created the wall in my office.”
Portraits of her grandfather and her mother hang behind Sola’s desk, suspended like diamond necklaces from cord picture hangers. And several other photos—Sola’s parents on their wedding day, her sister posing by a chair, a shot of Sola as a child and two of her as an adult riding her horse—turn her home office into a real family room.
Sola filled the rest of the wall space in a very Victorian way: She put some of the vintage china bowls in her collection on plate hangers and hung them on the wall as sculptural artwork.
Comfortable and colorful, Sola’s home office is conducive to work. “In terms of decoration, it’s my favorite room,” she says. “I didn’t follow any particular design rules because it didn’t have to flow with the décor of the other rooms. I just did what I liked and that’s what I like about it.”
by Nancy A. Ruhling
Photography by Jaimee Itagaki