IN PICTURES: Local ad man literally lives at his office (& it's super stylish!)
Work and play can go hand in hand if you plan your space just right. Case in point? This eclectic Jozi apartment that's ultimate cross between an office and a home
For ad man Jason Ray, who commutes to Joburg weekly from Cape Town, life and work have always been somewhat intertwined.
"I have never polarised work from leisure," he says, which is why, when it came to creating a home away from home in Joburg, Ray had rather a unique brief in mind.
"I was looking for a play space that could work as a home and an office, but could also be enjoyed by some of our clients. When I'm in Joburg I am completely in work mode, but I also wanted a place I could relax in and from which I could do the occasional entertaining."
After finding the perfect breezy, industrial apartment in Maboneng, Ray consulted interior decorator Jean-Pierre de la Chaumette to help him rework and decorate the space.
A few structural changes and an aesthetic overhaul transformed the apartment into the ultimate cross between an office and a home.
"When Jason approached me to help decorate the space, the bedroom took up almost a third of the apartment," says De la Chaumette.
"It was much too big and a million miles from snug." The first step was to cut the bedroom in half and create a meeting room on one side, and a bedroom with en-suite bathroom on the other.
"To connect the two spaces, while maintaining the privacy of the bedroom, I installed a narrow row of industrial windows above the bed. This had a dual purpose: to allow the flow of light between both rooms and as architectural repetition in accordance with the existing industrial windows and doors," he says.
The open-plan kitchen, dining and living areas were then arranged in room sets, with each area appointed a specific role - working, dining, sitting, meeting and so on.
"By giving each area a role, we've divided a very large space into more relatable and useable bite sizes," says De la Chaumette.
When it came to decorating, his job was facilitated by the fact that Ray had already accumulated many pieces. "It was a matter of curating what was already there and filling in the blanks."
The rugs, from Gonsenhauers Fine Rugs, were important in providing a focal point and anchor for the large screed floors, as well as for creating warmth. "Jason's collection of art does a similar job to the expansive white walls," says De la Chaumette.
The addition of pieces collected over the years adds a personal feel. "Many pieces have a story; they're things that have been knocking around with me for years," says Ray. "I prize stuff that has memory. I guess that makes it more than just 'stuff'."
After commuting from Cape Town for over 10 years and being more than familiar with hotel life, Ray cherishes having his own terrace to enjoy his morning coffee, and a space from which to escape the bustle of the office. "I have never been sure where life and work start and end. JP has interpreted this well in arranging the apartment. This kind of confused space works for me."