What does a design editor do after finally landing her dream home? She starts reimagining it, of course. Rue’s own Kelli Lamb welcomes us into her first home—and into the design process that would make it truly hers.
I’m excited to share the final piece of my home tour, as featured in the Spring ’23 issue of the magazine: my office! For better or worse, it’s the room in our home I spend the most time in, so it was important that the space be “just right.” I wanted my office to foster creativity, evoke a sense of calm, and be incredibly functional.
Before moving into this house, I’ve never had an office. For many years, I worked from our dining table—it had the best light. Once the pandemic hit, I set up a more formal workstation in my husband’s art studio, relying on leftover furniture and embracing that if we were both going to be home 24/7, I needed to have a structured work schedule and space. So once we began searching for the perfect house, I didn’t anticipate having a dedicated room for my office—we looked for hallway niches or large living spaces that could accommodate a desk. Needless to say, having an entire room, just for me, feels like the ultimate luxury. Working with California Closets, I converted our corner guest room into a “cloffice”—one part closet, one part office.
The first piece of my office decor puzzle was the rug from Jaipur Living. I spotted it at High Point Market a few years ago and it was love at first sight. Designed by Matteo Cibic, it’s inspired by Indian architecture and motifs, and the design has a labyrinthine pattern of pink ribbons and wine-colored ticking stripes. After that, it was decided: the office would be pink! (Honestly, it’s an homage to my childhood bedroom…where I made magazines out of craft paper.)
We coated the walls in limewash paint from Portola Paints—the color is Antlers. I documented the process on my Instagram, but I was surprised at how easy it was. It has a velvety finish and is a great neutral. Once our new hardwood flooring from Stuga was installed, the room went from a basic off-white space to an elegant canvas.
I then worked with Missy Almester at California Closets to create my workspace. She came to my house to take measurements and really talk through how I’d be using the room. We decided on an oversize L-shaped desk with hidden electrical storage underneath. For the shelving, we went with a combination of open bookshelves and a large wardrobe with drawers.
California Closets uses a track-mounting system, so we were able to take advantage of the large empty wall. The wardrobe offers extra clothing storage, alongside plenty of drawers for office supplies. As for the bookshelves above, Missy suggested a magazine shelf, which was an unexpected detail that I’m obsessed with. It was installed right around the time that my book was coming out, so that was the first piece we displayed. It felt like this really full-circle moment.
The room has a small walk-in closet, and we decided to update it at the same time. Again, California Closets looked at what I had and determined what storage made the most sense—for example, we’ve got lots of shelving for sweaters and jeans, tall hanging poles for long dresses, and a garment rod for outfit planning.
We went with a very Scandi-inspired black and natural wood look—the finishes are Natural, Shadow Black, and hardware in Oil Rubbed Bronze. That said, I’d recommend reaching out to California Closets directly for a consult. I was in disbelief how talented and tuned in their team was—from the very first meeting to seeing a 3D rendering of the office in their showroom to install day. Missy helped to guide me through every decision, and I felt confident that every choice was spot on. When it’s time to update other closets in the house, we’ll absolutely work with them again.
After everything was installed, it was time for finishing touches. For the Everhem window treatments, I leaned into the pink palette and used their linen in “Rose” for drapery and a roman shade above my desk. The drapery adds this faux-architectural element and really dresses up the room. There are also sheer panels, which offer privacy from the house next door without hindering the natural light. The cozy chair is by Universal Furniture—it’s from their line with Miranda Kerr and is upholstered in a dusty gray/lavender hue. My cat Roxanne sleeps here every afternoon, which is really sweet. Overhead, I installed the most beautiful light fixture—another High Point find that I had to have. It’s Hudson Valley Lighting and I got it from Lightology. The little gemstones feel glamorous yet ethereal—I’ll sometimes do yoga in here, and it’s easy to imagine the stars during savasana. The accessories have meaning: the small box was a souvenir from a drawing trip my husband Tim took to Mexico City, the photograph is by Amy Bartlam, taken in my home state of Idaho, and the vase is from Ukrainian brand Gunia Project.
Finally, let’s talk about the art. I wanted something that felt personal and brought a bit of fun to the room. So the reality is…I listen to the Spice Girls probably every single Friday. The nostalgia is a mood booster and it’s exactly the right energy to end the week! I see a lot of spaces that feature classic rock artists—whether it’s Fleetwood Mac, Bowie, or Freddie Mercury, bringing in rock ‘n’ roll is a great way to add personality. So staying true to my personality, I dug up an old Spice Girls book I had as a kid and found this gorgeous photo. My husband helped me to create a custom piece and it’s a bit cheeky, but so fab. I love that in Zoom meetings, someone always asks about it. It is definitely unexpected, but as I always say: if you love it, it will look perfect in your home.
If you have any questions about any of the spaces in my house (kitchen, living, or office), please feel free to send a message on Instagram. I’m always happy to share sources, inspiration, or just chat about your favorite Spice Girls song.