Style Watch

New job, new (home) office

A professional designer makes a big transition to a sunny workspace in her Dorchester loft.

Samara Vise

The conversion of the guest room isn’t the only big change this Ashmont loft has gone through in the past year. Homeowner Jessica Maniatis closed her South Boston design studio, JSGD, after 10 years and transitioned into the bright, sunny home office. She replaced the bed with a desk, made by reusing the legs of her studio desk and substituting smaller tops, and tucked her IKEA flat files below. Maniatis and her husband have two wheaten terriers, Oscar (above) and Winnie, who like to curl up on the sheepskin, creating what she calls “a furry situation” under the desk. Above, an altar-style shelf holds sage, crystals, plants, and mementos from her travels. She says, “When I need a moment of relaxation, I just look up.”

1 A pink rock Maniatis brought back from New Mexico functions as a doorstop. “I stayed in a tiny house in the desert just after I closed my studio,” she says. “I needed quiet and space to be with my thoughts and find inspiration.”

2 An industrial-style ladder extends to the overhead storage space, which holds baskets of vases, extra serving pieces, and Christmas decorations.


3 The painting Cosmic Light by Los Angeles-based painter Meagan Boyd was an Instagram discovery.

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4 The jade plant originated as a cutting from the Gropius House in Lincoln. “They were selling them when I visited,” says Maniatis. Architect/homeowner Walter Gropius “had the biggest jade I’ve ever seen, held up with strings to sustain its own weight.”

5 Maniatis built the shelf using no-frills L brackets as supports to match the loft’s raw aesthetic. “I’m in the wood aisle at Home Depot quite a bit,” she says.

6 A sheer curtain from West Elm blocks enough light to cut glare but still keep the room bright. The second jade plant is from local floral designer and client Orly Khon. “It’s so happy in that spot,” Maniatis says.

7 The rattan magazine holder was an Ashmont Hill Yard Sale find. Says Maniatis, “The beautiful Queen Anne-style homes here are treasure troves.”

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