"Not only does the graphic black really highlight the architecture, but we added French doors with sidelights, a bi-fold slider, and increased the size of the majority of the windows.”
Light, like paint, fabric, and hardware, is an essential element of interior design. No one knows this quite like Bobby Berk, who transformed a dark, dreary ‘70s home into a multi-use workspace that inspires creativity and connection.
After outgrowing their previous location, an historic loft in downtown Los Angeles, the Queer Eye star and founder of the Bobby Berk Firm began scouting for a new location and settled on a 1979 Spanish Mediterranean home in the Hollywood Hills instead of a more traditional office space. “The idea to move the office into a residential space came about when we started thinking about our needs and what an office space could really be,” Berk said. “Yes, we needed an area to work, but we also wanted to be able to showcase our design work in actual rooms in an actual house.” The home would serve as an office, but also a showroom, photo studio, and event space.
But before the team could set up their desks and get to work, the property required a complete makeover to re-envision the layout and make it more functional for their needs. The house was dark and dated, stuck in the ‘70s, and Berk wanted to honor the traditional Spanish Mediterranean elements through a modern lens.
While everyone loves natural light, it’s practically an essential tool for designers, who need adequate natural light to inform their use of materials and color schemes — and there’s really no underestimating the impact of light on mood and well-being throughout the day. Thus, Berk turned to Marvin Ultimate windows and doors for the unlimited customization and design options that bring such a unique vision to life. “The first thing I noticed when I toured the property was the lack of light. The property backs up to a hillside, and is surrounded by mature trees, so the few windows that we did have to work with were blocked by shadows for much of the day,” Berk said.
The team kept the elements that worked — wood ceilings, arched openings — and updated them with sleek ebony-framed Marvin windows against white walls. “Not only does the graphic black really highlight the architecture, but we added French doors with sidelights, a bi-fold slider, and increased the size of the majority of the windows,” Berk said. “To do this and keep costs under control, we kept the header height the same, which allowed us to avoid completely reframing all the windows, while growing them by lowering the sills. This allowed a huge amount of light to pour in across the newly opened spaces, and really transformed the entire office.”
When Berk purchased the home, its windows were in rough shape. “Good design must marry both form and function, and in this case, both were lacking with the old windows,” Berk said, adding that many of the casement windows were completely broken and unusable.
Post-renovation, you’ll see the biggest difference at the back of the house and in the stairwells, where Berk opted for tall, linear windows in a rectangular grid pattern to maximize the amount of natural light and serve as a striking design feature. In the primary bedroom-turned-office, Berk chose a series of three arched windows in a similar grid pattern to contrast against the rectangular lines at the front of the home and continue the harmonious marriage of old and new design elements. The team also added a custom quatrefoil window over the front door.
The new windows aren’t just beautiful — they’re fully functional and allow the team to let in light and fresh air throughout the workday.