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A Dream Office for Glamour Magazine’s L.A. Editor

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When Jessica Kantor landed the position as the West Coast editor for Glamour magazine, her first challenge was her office. Her new post meant putting in serious hours and hosting a stream of notable people—from actors to interior designers—on the magazine’s behalf, so she wanted a work space that was as high-functioning as it was fashionable. Enter One Kings Lane. With the help of our Los Angeles-based co-founder, Susan Feldman, and design jack-of-all-trades Alex Reid, Jessica’s new office is now well suited to her working life, with everything she could possibly need to stylishly host whomever might walk through the door. Here’s how we did it.

The office is square, roughly 14’ by 15’, but an asymmetrical furniture floor plan keeps it from feeling boxy.

The office is square, roughly 14’ by 15’, but an asymmetrical furniture floor plan keeps it from feeling boxy.

A Defined Palette

For the palette, the team leaned heavily into neutral pieces. Deep walnut wood, natural rattans, and plush pops of classic black add depth and timelessness, while metallics in the form of a chrome desk, stools, and task lighting bring the necessary glam factor. Although the office isn’t enormous, it does get plenty of Southern California light. To maintain an airy feel, Alex chose furnishings you could see through—a floating glass desk, an open étagère for books, an open-back chair—which fit with the neutral color scheme.

I didn’t have a lot of specific ideas, but I knew I wanted a space that would look beautiful and pulled-together.

— Jessica Kantor
Even a stack of books is a chance to play with tonality—like this spectrum of grays against a vintage earthenware piece.

Even a stack of books is a chance to play with tonality—like this spectrum of grays against a vintage earthenware piece.

The real character and color is going to come from the person who uses the office, so it’s nice to start with a work space that will calm.

— Alex Reid, One Kings Lane stylist
The desk takes full advantage of the natural light, while a plant helps filter the air and adds a natural dose of color.

The desk takes full advantage of the natural light, while a plant helps filter the air and adds a natural dose of color.

Clearly Defined Desk Space

As the centerpiece of the room, the desk is expansive, allowing Jessica to lay out ideas, collect her thoughts, and keep an uncluttered focus. Everything else, from snacks to shipping supplies, disappears into the white credenza behind the desk, which also functions as a surface for display inspiring art and objects. The all-business desk and the mini-gallery behind reflect Jessica’s love of magazine work and let her combine, as she puts it, “my visually creative side with my nerdier academic side.”

The staples: keys on a beaded giraffe keychain and the current issue of Glamour. Trays are crucial catchalls on any desk.

The staples: keys on a beaded giraffe keychain and the current issue of Glamour. Trays are crucial catchalls on any desk.

“I’m a little old-fashioned about certain things,” says Jessica. “Even though I have two iPhones, I like to write things down in my daybook with a pencil.”

“I’m a little old-fashioned about certain things,” says Jessica. “Even though I have two iPhones, I like to write things down in my daybook with a pencil.”

Jessica had rescued the oversize New Yorker cartoon from the trash, even though for a long time she had nowhere to hang it.

Jessica had rescued the oversize New Yorker cartoon from the trash, even though for a long time she had nowhere to hang it.

A Multifunctional Floor Plan

Just like at home, the first question when hosting at one’s office is “Where is everyone going to sit?” A comfortable seating area was key to allowing Jessica to host informal meetings with visitors in her office rather than in a formal conference room. The button-tufting on this gray upholstered sofa gives the area a polished feel, as does the vintage Biedermeier chair. “I’m definitely a California girl, but I went to college on the East Coast and love some old-school charm,” she says. “I think decorating with all vintage looks dated, and using all new pieces isn’t as interesting—you really need both.”

It seemed fitting that this chair was sourced from the personal collection of the exuberantly fashion-forward Iris Apfel. A cotton dhurrie, layered over the wall-to-wall carpeting, brings style without adding bulk.

It seemed fitting that this chair was sourced from the personal collection of the exuberantly fashion-forward Iris Apfel. A cotton dhurrie, layered over the wall-to-wall carpeting, brings style without adding bulk.

It's important to really think about what you need in an office. No need to buy a big worktable when some comfortable seating will work just as well.

— Susan Feldman, One Kings Lane co-founder
Once the project was completed, One Kings Lane co-founder Susan Feldman was the first guest Jessica hosted in her new office.

Once the project was completed, One Kings Lane co-founder Susan Feldman was the first guest Jessica hosted in her new office.

To the right of the bookshelf, a Givenchy shot, printed from Condé Nast’s archives, and above it, a painting by Jessica’s great-grandmother.

To the right of the bookshelf, a Givenchy shot, printed from Condé Nast’s archives, and above it, a painting by Jessica’s great-grandmother.

Chic Storage and Art Solves

The rows of magazines and art and fashion books stored in this open étagère are more than decorative—they’re used constantly for a quick look at an Annie Leibovitz photograph or a back issue of Glamour, so it was important to keep them visible. To make the office feel personal, Alex pressed Jessica to bring art and mementos from home. Turns out, there were many inherited pieces she had saved—”I didn’t want them to end up in a dumpster”—but didn’t know where to put. A pair of black drawings from her grandparents became chic accents for the storage piece’s top shelf, while a painting by her great-grandmother adds graphic appeal to the wall.

A 1920s dresser, with goatskin drawer fronts, fits beautifully into the muted palette. The chair has a very specific purpose; as Alex says, “Every woman needs a purse chair.”

A 1920s dresser, with goatskin drawer fronts, fits beautifully into the muted palette. The chair has a very specific purpose; as Alex says, “Every woman needs a purse chair.”

Jessica had some really great images and mementos from her family, and by mixing those with more modern pieces, we were able to capture that hip Glamour sensibility.

— Susan Feldman, One Kings Lane co-founder
Jessica loves having these photographs of her mother and grandmother (also classic California girls) at the office; “I feel surrounded by smart, creative women—which is exactly what Glamour celebrates.”

Jessica loves having these photographs of her mother and grandmother (also classic California girls) at the office; “I feel surrounded by smart, creative women—which is exactly what Glamour celebrates.”

The swimsuit-model prints come out of Condé Nast’s own archives. As Alex says, “These work perfectly in Southern California, where it’s almost endless summer.”

The swimsuit-model prints come out of Condé Nast’s own archives. As Alex says, “These work perfectly in Southern California, where it’s almost endless summer.”

The Important “Extras”

The final, albeit crucial, piece of hosting is of course being able to offer guests a drink. Here, a bar cart topped with colored glasses, cloth napkins, and San Pellegrino stands at the ready—almost as good as offering a real cocktail. In addition to California’s classic beach culture, the bar cart calls to mind another SoCal style influence: Mid-Century Modern.

Jessica and Alex enjoying a moment by the bar.

Jessica and Alex enjoying a moment by the bar.

When you’re starting a new job there can be points of stress, but this design process was a total pleasure. There was a lot of laughing.

— Jessica Kantor

Looking for more office decor ideas?

Join the Discussion

Join the Discussion

2 Responses to “A Dream Office for Glamour Magazine’s L.A. Editor”

  1. Design process as a pleasurable experience — that’s the inspiration!

  2. Debie Pettry says:

    I wish they had photoshopped the scratches out of that old chair with the leopard print pillow.

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