How Journalist Errin Haines Turned Her Bedroom Wall Into a Makeshift TV Studio

Designer Chanae Richards of Oloro Interiors helped the MSNBC contributor get a camera-ready work-from-home space.

zoom-friendly home office

Journalist Errin Haines at her home office in Spring Garden. Pro tips: Leaving room for negative space in your gallery wall bounces light behind you and emphasizes you as the focal point on camera, while displaying the books you’re reading is an easy way to visually communicate who you are and what’s important to you. Photograph by Rebecca McAlpin

This office was featured in our “The Art of the Home Office” article. See more home office design inspiration here.

Errin Haines first tapped Chanae Richards of Oloro Interiors for a living room and bedroom refresh, but the pandemic put a stop to the work order. When she and the designer picked back up midsummer, Haines’s needs had changed. A newly minted editor at large for buzzy nonprofit newsroom The 19th and an on-air contributor for MSNBC, she’d be reporting — and recording — from her home in Spring Garden for the foreseeable future. That included conducting the first interview with Kamala Harris after she was announced as Joe Biden’s running mate.

“They’re historians, the folks recording this time,” says Richards. “It’s incredibly important for them to have spaces they’re comfortable shooting from, because they’re doing impressive work.” For Haines, that meant Tov Furniture’s slate gray Talia desk — an eye-catching alternative to the whites and browns she was used to seeing — and Anthropologie’s detail-rich Mumbai chair, which, while sold as a dining chair, is padded and high-backed, so it also works for long stints of screen time. A library-style brass lamp from Target adds a scholarly touch.

The space became fully camera-ready with a gallery wall, where each art piece was selected to reflect Haines. The Jet magazine Stevie Wonder cover — sourced from Philly’s Sable Collective — is a nod to her work as a journalist, while Top Knot 35 by Elizabeth Mayville (top right) is “playful yet poised, with bold style and remarkable grace,” says Richards. “It’s what I see in Errin and what I wanted her to see in her office.”

Even if your day-to-day is more Zoom meetings than TV spots, Richards’s real-time approach to arranging art is a good one. “Sit in front of the wall you’re shooting from and take a pic of yourself,” she suggests. “Test out different configurations, and keep snapping away to see which works best for you.”

Chanae Richards of Oloro Interiors, Germantown.
Style philosophy: Do more with less. Minimalism can still add richness and life.
Secret Philly resource: North Philly-based VintaDelphia for mid-century modern finds
Best WFH advice: Greenery instantly makes a space look more lived-in and authentic on camera.

Published as “If You … Need Something Camera-Ready” in “The Art of the Home Office” in the December 2020 issue of Philadelphia magazine.