The vast majority of us will read this from the familiar enclosure of the four walls of our home; comfortable and colorful, linear and mid-century or patterned and artistic with more of a thrift shop feel, our home is our home.
But, for a little escapism from the day-to-day, which we find ourselves ever more accustomed to, here are a handful of rooms we’d feel thoroughly energised to bring our laptops into, check into zoom and dispatch some emails. From the fabulous Art Deco emporium of Virginia and Stephen Courtauld’s Eltham Palace to the forest-lined walls of Milan’s Villa Necchi Campiglio with its matching wiggly sofa. Here are the rooms we are dreaming of working from, even for just a day.
For admirers of Art Deco, few places in London are more extraordinary than Virginia and Stephen Courtauld’s masterstroke of a home. Get down to business in total mid-century surrounds, a circular wood paneled burrow, created by Swedish designer Rolf Engströmer. The walls are lined with black bean veneer and decorated with marquetry that includes figures of a Viking standing opposite a Roman soldier. All is illuminated by light that floods in through a central glass dome; lights, action, ready to work.
This exquisitely restored villa in central Milan is a haven of country calm in the midst of the frenetic Italian city. The building, designed by Piero Portaluppi, was commissioned by Pavian heiresses Nedda and Gigina Necchi (of the sewing-machine empire), and Gigina’s husband Angelo Campiglio. It’s true 1930s luxury – most greatly expressed in this conservatory, a green oasis with in-built glass boxed walls housing ferns against a backdrop of trees.
Spend a day at work surrounded by spectacular wooden mahogany gilding, intricate stained glass and the most opulent chandeliers; the neo-Gothic mansion completed in 1895 for William Waldorf Astor would be the ultimate place to answer a few calls and maybe set up your monitor.
To work here would be a joyful, productive day one can be certain. Within the realms of the hand-painted Chinese wallpaper that is festooned with birds and beneath the resplendent pastel coloured ceiling. A great pleasure.
Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion was the very epitome of modern architecture, built in 1929 it was open plan, therefore the complete ground floor was our utopian WFH location – a mass of marble, red onyx and travertine. A complete wall of glass for one side; make it blissfully light, and the sharp lines would encourage us to be erudite and business like. Plus, a zoom by the sculpture?
Any room in the architect’s home of classical treasures would be a joy to work from, but perhaps none more so than the yellow south-facing drawing room made up of a striking decorative scheme of ‘Turner’s Patent Yellow’ walls, matching yellow taffeta curtains and a busy Brussels carpet. This was where Mrs Soane would have held her music recitals.
The ultimate in country house chic, the pine wood paneling – which dates from 1653 – is a true thing of beauty. Imagine WFH, luxuriating in the warmth of the Italian chimney piece acquired from the great parlor at Thorpe Hall near Peterborough and bashing out a few emails from either of the sofas, behind a Chinese screen or upon those comfortable chairs – for variety is the spice of life.