What I did during the pandemic: Part 2: A talk with Jessica Lagrange

Photography by Katrina Wittkamp

Last month, we had so much fun chatting with BGD&C preferred designer Melissa Benham about the changes she made in her home due to the pandemic that we decided to keep it going. This time we asked BGD&C collaborator Jessica Lagrange what projects she undertook in her own home.

Here’s what she had to say:
Design is such a collaborative process that I’ve always been a big believer in the power of the open office. The pandemic didn’t change my feelings, but it did inspire me to give more thought to my own home office spaces in case we have to spend long periods at home again.

I never had a home office before, so I added a glamorous Fornasetti secretary in a corner of my living room, next to a window overlooking a gorgeous streetscape. It’s such a chic little nook that I love working there. My partner’s home office used to be a small, dingy maid’s room, but I transformed it into a dark, sexy and incredibly cozy space with the most incredible charcoal grass cloth on the walls. It’s drenched in pearlized ink and studded with rivets that look like real nail heads and make the space so charismatic. I also made my breakfast nook more spacious and comfortable with a wrap-around banquette and larger table so it could double as a makeshift workspace.

I was interested to learn that our last major pandemic, the 1918 Spanish flu, was the inspiration for one of my favorite spaces—the powder room. I’ve always thought it was a great place to make a major decorative statement because it’s a tiny space, so little indulgences have a huge effect. I renovated my own place during the pandemic and went all out in the powder room, with hand-marbled paper to cover the walls and exquisite, cast bronze plumbing and light fixtures. No matter how bleak life felt during the pandemic, that powder room made me feel pampered—and it still does today. It’s a real conversation piece when I show people my home, and so many of my friends have asked me to help them redo their powder rooms! Everyone is perfecting their homes right now—a true sea change that isn’t going to end anytime soon.

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