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An Office and a Gentleman

Entertainment Tonight co-host Rob Marciano teams up with interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn to pack his on-the-lot office with masculine, mid-century style …

See and shop Brian’s office picks here.

After settling in to his sunny, warm new home in Santa Monica only to find his office 20 miles north cold and impersonal, Rob Marciano – a favorite client of mine – reached out to me about whipping his generously sized 400-square-foot office on the CBS lot into shape. In order to make the commercial space feel a lot more like home, I embarked on a floor-to-ceiling redesign, updating everything from the carpet to the closet, from the walls to the furniture.

To make it snappy, about 90% of the preparation and sourcing was done online through hayneedle.com. Then four gallons of slate blue paint, hundreds of cow print FLOR tiles and dozens of mid-century modern pieces later, the space was brought to life. When asked how to describe the meteorologist-turned-entertainment-reporter’s new office, I simply respond, “Dark and sunny with a chance of sarcasm.”

Prior to the redesign, Rob’s office was a dark and dingy place best forecast as cloudy and sad 24/7. Since his new gig was all about the glamorous world of Hollywood, it called for a mix of high style, moody colors, sharp furnishings and nods to black and white.

The silly corner, an area cut right down the middle with a chunky column, was reinvented as a cozy lounge area complete with a Mad Men-inspired sofa which folds flat to reveal a queen bed, a coffee table which is actually a bench for extra seating should social gatherings take place in Rob’s office from time to time, as well as Hollywood-appropriate end tables and lamps with mirrored finish, and mid-century touches such as the metallic sunburst mirror and Eames-inspired side chair.

Although this little lounge area is only 72 inches deep by 94 inches long, it feels like an everyday residential living room setup, one appropriate for a space even triple the size. You know what else can be triple the size in regard to working in TV? Waist lines. Craft Services tables are set up everywhere, with 24/7 access to bagels, fruits, juices, sodas and just about any other edible thing you can imagine to ensure you don’t die of hunger while running around at 90 mph for 22 hours at a time.

Working in TV means there will be very, very, very long days in which you’ll barely be able to text family, let alone actually see and/or talk to them. So when designing Rob’s office, I wanted to ensure that his wife, Eryn, and daughter, Madelynne, had a strong presence in the space. I did that by anchoring his desk area with giant-sized black and white photography of the family printed on canvas and outfitted with floating frames. For extra, versatile seating, we added a wishbone chair which can double as extra surface for keeping reference books and/or magazines. After hours, the desk stays lit with a pair of space-age table lamps which kinda seem like a mashup of something from A Clockwork Orange and The Jetsons.

To sneak storage in between the two sunlit windows, I chose a Spanish-inspired console table as a nod to the Spanish architecture that dominates the vernacular of the San Fernando Valley (the CBS studio is located in an area known as Studio City). In addition to the console table’s styling, it also offers concealed storage for Rob’s essentials – wallet, keys, weekly glossies he most likely reads for research reasons, but I read simply because I like looking at images of celebrities going to the supermarket or coming from the gym.

To add enough space to meet and look over scripts as well as sit down to a quick meal with the family, I added a mod pedestal table then surrounded it with a mix of different chairs with a mix of different chairs all in black finishes, resulting in more of a collected look rather than a matching set.

In its original state, Rob’s closet was actually an editing booth. To transform this bizarre space into something meant for menswear, I had the closet wallpapered with black and white houndstooth, replaced the dated carpet with FLOR tiles, then gave him a molded plastic chair on which to sit and put on his shoes.

And that’s that! The project is wrapped; Rob is now at home both in his Santa Monica house and his Studio City office, and I’m sitting in front of a computer typing feverishly so I can finish, then look up images of cool people like Jake Gyllenhaal, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jennifer Love Hewitt walking to their cars in sweat pants, carrying bags of salad.

- Brian Patrick Flynn, HGTV.com producer/designer. See all Styleboards by Brian!

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