A Stable Office Environment

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By Deborah Bishop / Published by Dwell
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Giorgio Baravalle originally had a true home office—a space inside his house in Millbrook, New York, that was meant to be a private place to work, but instead served as a traffic circle in the midst of family life.

Taking a break one day, he walked up to the carriage house on his four-acre property—an essential element of any estate built in 1890. Although the former horse stalls were so packed with rotten storm windows, doors, and random detritus they couldn’t open, Baravalle realized he had the perfect office (and a lot of work) right in his backyard.

After four years of tireless salvaging efforts, hiring a contractor, and sandblast-ing off the grit and grime of horses and time, the former carriage house has been reborn as home to the offices of de.MO (design.Method of Operation), Baravalle’s award-winning multidisciplinary design and publishing firm. The carriage house is now a beautiful and serene environment that contrasts nicely with the glow of sleek, white Macs and Artemide lamps.

The largest stall (below), formerly used for washing thousand-pound animals, was the perfect size for a meeting room.

The largest stall (below), formerly used for washing thousand-pound animals, was the perfect size for a meeting room.

The stalls provide the same demarcated, cozy space for concentration as a cubicle, but the effect is warm and rich rather than garish and chintzy.

The stalls provide the same demarcated, cozy space for concentration as a cubicle, but the effect is warm and rich rather than garish and chintzy.

The only white walls in this office (left) belong to the former carriage garage turned critique room.

The only white walls in this office (left) belong to the former carriage garage turned critique room.