The Perfect Study

The Perfect Study

For far too long interior design for guys has been mostly relegated to the "man cave," essentially turning a garage or a spare room into the local sports bar. But as many professionals shifted to working at home in 2020, men began asking interior designers to create a space many modern homes lacked, a study. To get a better idea of what makes the perfect modern study, I reached out to Houston, Texas-based designer Rainey Richardson who has seen an uptick in requests by clients looking for the perfect home office. 

Rainey's design philosophy revolves around a concept she calls "liveable luxury" which she says mostly comes down to the details. "A study should be upscale and professional, but comfortable and approachable, the client is going to be spending several hours a day in this space working, so it needs to be a place they want to spend time in while still meeting their work needs." This work/life balance is applied to every decision that Rainey makes from choosing stain-resistant performance fabrics to lighting, and even sound design. Since not all of us have the ability to hire a professional like Rainey to design the ultimate home office, she was kind enough to share some of her favorite tips for creating the perfect study.

The Perfect Study

Decide what your study is going to be used for:

Is your study going to be a writer's retreat or will you be hosting clients in person or virtually? If you are going to be doing a lot of Zoom calls, recording a podcast, or shooting video content, sound and lighting should receive a major focus. If you working in a creative field, storage and work surface might take priority. No matter what kind of work you are doing, take time to think through your priorities for your space. 

Curate and Add Storage:

One of the biggest issues we all face is curating down our collections of stuff, while it can be overwhelming to try to cut back on stuff, it is key to having a functional workspace. Adding storage also gives you a way to keep important items without having to put them on display. Rainey often works with clients to find a balance of accessibility and aesthetics that project the client's tastes and style without being cluttered. 

The Perfect Study

Plugs, Lights, and Mounts:

If you are starting with a blank slate consider adding floor plugs to help keep cord clutter under control and to avoid having to use extension cords. Build-in surge protectors, accent lighting, and TV wiring as part of your overall plan. If you are working in an existing space and don't want to get into ripping out walls to hide your technology, look for furniture solutions that can help hide the ugly side of tech. Also, add USB ports and power points in desks and other relevant furniture. 

Whole House Design:

Often a study is off the main living room or master bedroom so the design of the room should have a natural flow into the surrounding space. While the space can be distinctive, you don't want it to look out of place or. Carrying over many of the same style elements in a room but shifting the color pallet is a great way to keep design continuity while still differentiating the space.  

Texas A&M Aggie Themed Home Office

Don't be afraid to go bold:

Just because you are keeping the design in the same style doesn't mean you can't go bold. This study designed for a Texas A&M Alumni featuring his beloved Aggie Maroon (which is called Preference Red by Farrow & Ball), defines the space and tells a story. Make a statement be it a bold piece of artwork, a signature color, or a unique vintage piece of furniture. 

If you are still feeling overwhelmed with the idea of designing your own space, reach out to a professional like the team at Rainey Richardson Interiors, while they are based out of Huston Rainey's reputation for stunning, yet functional designs have garnered her clients from across the country. Visit to see more of her amazing work and to book a consultation. You can also get some inspiration on Instagram at @raineyrichardsoninteriors.

Rainey Richardson Interiors