Dream Space: A Study of Your Own


When the innovative technology company Dyson approached us and asked that we write about what a dream space means to OTC, we quickly agreed. Often, “dream space” is associated with the ideal female getaway, but men often want the same thing too. It can be described as an office, library, retreat, man cave, workshop, or even just “my room.” However, we prefer the the more refined and light-filled description of a “study.”

The label of study reflects a place of thoughtfulness and meaningful introspection.  It is not where you go to retreat from the world so much as a place to explore it; recharge and reflect on important ideas, thoughts, issues, topics, and pastimes. A study is not simply where you keep your stuff. It is akin to a library, yet not all libraries are studies. Where a library can sometimes be a mere repository of ideas and information, a study is a living, breathing place that feeds your creativity and curiosity.

No wonder then that the heart of OTC is a small, book- and sample-filled study.

DSC_0530To us, a study is not simply a work space; it is a living place, a thinking place, a writing place, and a home base for ideas. Even though every study is personal and unique, they all tend to have some things in common.

Collections: One of the key purposes of a study is to serve as a physical repository for your ideas and passions. It is a home for important collections such as books, papers, pens, watches, or pictures – whatever they may be. Some studies are a study in precise order and control. Others are an explosion of color and stuff; a cacophony of objects that to an outsider have no meaning or cohesion. Yet, to the owner, everything has a purpose and a role. Every item is cherished.

To us, the study is very much a home for ideas and personal expression. It’s a place to keep your thoughts and materials together. The OTC study is home to hundreds of books, art, and a ton of collateral from brand that span the globe.  We have an extensive menswear library and piles of publications covering the menswear, luxury goods, and lifestyle markets. Our wall of books cover all sorts of subjects and disciplines, and many of them have been in the family for close on 100 years.


Art: Pictures and sculptures are something else that make a study more personal and interesting. Art is a true expression of personal interest, and each piece often has a story and meaning. For us, art is what makes a space and it is a physical way to express the things you value in life. The OTC study is chock full of old water colors and oil paintings, classic equestrian prints, family photos from the 1920s, historic keepsakes, trophies, globes, and even a cherished portrait of Napoleon.

Work Space: You need a place to write, stack, organize, and sort. A traditional desk, of course makes sense, but if you have the space, we also like the  idea of a large open work table. Position your work space near the natural light of a window or ensure that your task and indirect lighting provides proper illumination. Think about storage and shelving too, as organization is key to keeping your space clean and orderly.

Seating: Apart from your desk chair, a good lounge chair for sitting, reading, thinking, or researching is always helpful. It also has a way of transforming your room from a spare space to a true intellectual retreat. Here, her have a simple small club chair in a light tartan, but you can opt for something more substantial, like a beefy duck cotton or leather. If you have the space, and the budget, create a separate reading area in your study; a small sofa and coffee table or circle of occasional chairs,  make a nice place to sit and work.

Restoration Hardware Library SofaFor our money, you can’t do much better than Restoration Hardware’s sprawling Kensington Sofa. Part leather couch, part daybed, it’s an ideal place to think and spread out – if you have the room!

Personalizing your space and making it comfortable and productive are essential tasks for creating a study that meets your needs.  Keeping it clean and organized are equally important to ensuring that your study evolves in a positive and useful fashion. To that end, we are running a very cool giveaway contest.

You can win your very own Dyson DC59 Motorhead vacuum. This flexible and efficient cleaning tool is perfect for compact spaces or general cleaning and it’s cordless design makes it that much more versatile. In fact, it’s the latest Dyson Digital Slim™ cordless vacuum and designed for maximum performance, ease of use and versatility, it has a direct-drive motor in the cleaner head.


We are true fans of Dyson and are long-time users. The cool thing about the Dyson DC59 Motorhead is that it’s designed for floor-to-ceiling cleaning. The center of gravity is located towards the grip for easy handling up top, down low, and in-between. So, with a hand tool like that, there is no excuse for not keeping your study clean and organized.

To enter the giveaway contest, all you have to do is leave a brief comment to this post answering the question: “What is your dream space and what Dyson DC59 Motorhead feature do you enjoy the most?”

Thanks to Dyson for sponsoring today’s discussion.




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  1. My dream space would be a big, airy, open-plan living room with lots of layers of texture in one cohesive color palette– somewhere that would multitask for entertaining, relaxing and getting work done. Lots of woodgrain and nubby fabrics.

    In the meantime…the Dyson DC59 would be an amazing tool for cleaning the place I currently live, which is short on space and even shorter on storage. Would love to not have to haul a large vacuum out of the tiny closet, reshuffling its contents each time. So I guess what I like most about the DC59 is the lightweight, slender frame.

  2. Julianne

    My dream space is the classic white kitchen! I dream of white cabinets, white subway tile and butcher block cabinets with a farm sink.

    The Dyson DC59 is really appealing because it is cordless and lightweight. My current vacuum is big and bulky. This would make cleaning and getting it up and down stairs much easier!

  3. Erin

    My dream space is a well decorated master bedroom. Big king sized bed, nice vanity, gorgeous wood furniture. The feature I love the most about the dyson is that it is lightweight yet very powerful. I need something that I can clean the stairs with easily and not break my back in the process!! I tried this baby out in bed bath and beyond and it was very powerful and lightweight!! I also love the boosting feature, it would be great for hard to clean spots!

  4. James Myers

    My dream space would probably be a man cave with lots of big leather couches and a large screen tv. I’d like the dyson because it is cordless and lightweight. My wife loves her regular dyson but it is too heavy to lug up the stairs and she cant use it to clean the stairs. This would be great.

  5. Dave

    My dream space is old English mens club style. Lots of dark wood, leather upholstery and floor to ceiling bookcases and of course a nice fireplace.

    As for why I love Dyson. I have recently bought two. One for my daughter as a gift and I was so impressed with it I bought one that is designed for cleaning up after animals for myself. I have been super impressed with the performance and the customer service of Dyson. I think that the light weight cordless Dyson model would be great for my wife to use on the stairs and for quick little pick ups when she doesn’t need to pull out the big unit and plug it in for small clean ups.And not just my wife some times its just nice to be able to grab a tool turn it on and be done rather then have to drag out a big full size vacuum and plug it in for split crackers…

  6. Susan Christy

    I have a darling mid-century modern house that was built in 1950. High ceilings, wood beams, but it lacks the furniture and decor of the 50’s. It’s a work in progress, but some day I’ll get there. I love that this vacuum is lightweight and cordless.

  7. JJ

    My dream space is an office/study where I can keep the artifacts of my life and family. This is a space where I can relax and reflect on where I’ve been and where I’m headed.

    My wife and I just bought a home in a fully restored turn of the century federalist building in NW DC and while I had high hopes for transforming the spare bedroom into our “dream space,” it will now be the bedroom for our first child. Dreams have a tendency to change on us, no?

    How Dyson managed to fit all that power into such a small package is beyond me, but I hope to have the chance to put it to the test between cleaning up after the child and the hound.

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