Good Things Come to Those Who Hustle Print, Purposeful Printables on Etsy.
Boost your productivity while working from home with these inspiring office essentials.If you work from home, carving out a quiet space to concentrate is important. But this space doesn’t need to simply be functional. It should also be inspiring and motivating. It should encourage you to do your best work. How? We’ve rounded up a selection of home office essentials that will help to spark your creativity!
Need a few words of encouragement to get you through the work day? When you’re running low on motivation, simply remind yourself that ‘Good Things Come to Those Who Hustle’. This charming print will not only look great hanging on the wall of your home office but it’ll give you that extra incentive to get stuff done. Best of all, this print is an instant download so why not download and print it right now? Good Things Come to Those Who Hustle Print, Purposeful Printables on Etsy, $2.59.
Add a burst of colour and whimsy to your home office by wallpapering a feature wall using Schumacher’s ‘Birds and Butterflies’ wallpaper. This popular pattern is a revival from a 1960s pattern in the company’s archives. Brought back to life for a modern era, this wallpaper will inspire your own flights of fancy as you work. Schumacher Birds and Butterflies Wallpaper, Schumacher, see website for details.
If wallpaper is too permanent a choice, opt for something temporary like a wall decal. This motivational wall decal is just the thing to inspire you in your creative pursuits. Easy to apply and easy to remove without leaving damage to your walls, this wall decal comes in 40 different colour options. Motivational Wall Decal, TweetHeart Wall Art on Etsy, $18.21.
Bring your Pinterest boards to life with this metal photo clip string set. Featuring 12 photo clips on a five-foot string, this set will help you keep all those tear sheets and inspired ideas front and centre in your home office, instead of buried under a pile on your desk! Metal Photo Clip String Set, Urban Outfitters, $14.
It’s not uncommon to hit a wall during a long work day. When you need a break to get your creative juices flowing, try colouring! Adult colouring books are all the rage these days and when you sit down with one, you’ll understand why. More than just a throwback to your childhood, this beautifully illustrated book is bound to unleash your own creativity. Animal Kingdom Colouring Book and Coloured Pencils, Indigo, $25.34.
Hang sturdy shelves on your home office walls to display favourite items. Not only will they add visual interest to your space but they’ll provide room for photographs, books and other odds and ends that you draw inspiration from. These shelves, made from reclaimed pine, will look right at home in almost any space! Reclaimed Wood Shelving + Brackets, West Elm, starting at $69.99.
Research indicates that fresh plants and flowers aren’t just pretty additions to your home. They are said to boost your mood, spark creativity, reduce stress and promote concentration. And on top of all that, they’ll add a beautiful touch to your workspace. Seems like there are plenty of reasons to add a vase of fresh blooms to your desk!
An oversized chalkboard is perfect for jotting down notes, to-do lists and ideas that come to you throughout the day. Even use it as a jumbo doodle pad! Just don’t ever let your best ideas slip away because you didn’t record them. Framed Chalkboard, Pottery Barn, $99.
Take a tour of this boho chic home.
Take a tour of this boho chic home.Credits: Stacey Brandford; styling by Ann Marie Favot & Stacy Begg
In this pared-back retail-turned-residential space, Toronto designer Shirley Meisels reveals the sleek side of bohemian decor.
When you convert a retail space into a home, the result may fall short in the personality department. Though this midtown Toronto building had been transformed from cavernous convenience store to radiant residence years earlier, when Kyla Fox and her partner, Patrick Hembery, moved in last year, the 2,200-square-foot open-concept house still lacked hominess. Luckily, trusted designer Shirley Meisels was on their speed-dial. Having beautified Kyla’s previous abode and her eponymous eating disorder treatment centre, Shirley knows the homeowner through and through. Channelling the free-spirited gal (“I think I was a hippie in another life,” quips Kyla), the designer energized the clean-lined white-walled space with eclectic furnishings and accessories in a variety of cozy textures, lively patterns and earthy tones. “I love friendly, collected interiors,” says Kyla approvingly. However, the disciplined designer layered elements lightly, careful to avoid a cluttered feel. “Our place is bohemian in nature, but it has a modern vibe,” Kyla says, summarizing the fruits of Shirley’s labour. “It’s totally us.” Perfectly suited to its owners, this unique property now has no dearth of warmth or character.
A simple vase holding a few verdant branches is a striking organic touch, an excellent example of the minimal yet thoughtful decor in Kyla fox’s spare but welcoming home.
The airy whitewashed main floor impressed designer Shirley Meisels with its 10-foot ceilings but lacked character, so she layered the space with unique pieces. For instance, a metal-rod light fixture adds interest in the formal dining area without blocking sightlines.
“This house is a natural extension of Kyla,” says Shirley. Perhaps no space personifies the free-spirited homeowner as well as the family room. Globally inspired items, both old and new, all bear low-lustre finishes and earthy hues, lending a well-loved, lived-in feel.
The white-on-white kitchen would decoratively fade away were it not grounded by black floor tiles and warmed up with wooden elements, such as the bowls and island base.
Aside from some blue-hued accessories, Shirley kept things white and light in the seriously small master bedroom. Even the artwork – a framed piece of canvas – is colourless.
The entryway is brilliantly sunlit, thanks to the wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling windows left over from the area’s days as a storefront. From the rough-hewn wooden console to the concrete-based table lamp to the evocative painting, each piece here is more intriguing than the last, yet nothing is superfluous, amounting to a warm welcome befitting this boho-chic Toronto home.
“I love connecting to nature,” says Kyla. “Living in the city, we’re lucky to have two amazing outdoor spaces.” This one, just off the kitchen, is modest in size but offers plenty of room for alfresco meals with family and friends alike. The neighbour’s vine-clad house makes a fortuitous green backdrop.
Easy tips for findingi the perfect rug for your home
Style at Home design editor Stacy Begg explains how to track down the perfect rug.
Finding the right rug can be overwhelming. To help, Style at Home design editor Stacy Begg provides some key information for narrowing down your search and scoring the perfect one.
Rug benefits 1 Defines a space 2 Enhances your decor by introducing colour, pattern and texture that coordinate with the rest of the furnishings 3 Softens hard surfaces and provides warmth underfoot Best for high-traffic areas: Wool, cotton, grasses, synthetics Best for low-traffice areas: Silk, chenille Tip: A flat-woven natural-fibre rug is the perfect base to layer a slightly smaller patterned or textured rug on top.
Consider your space's use and traffic level to determine the optimal rug material. Here are some options. Wool Pros: Durable; soft; repels water and stains Cons: Fades; absorbs humidity; sheds for a period of time Best for: Living rooms, dining rooms Silk Pros: Luxurious surface; offers subtle sheen Cons: Expensive; sensitive to moisture; less sturdy than wool Best for: Bedrooms Cotton Pros: Strong; easy to clean; affordable; versatile Cons: Doesn’t wear well over long periods Best for: Kitchens, kids’ rooms, casual spaces Grasses Pros: Very strong; affordable; neutral Cons: Can be coarse to the touch; difficult to clean Best for: Living rooms, hallways, sunrooms Animal skins Pros: Long lasting; soft; available in many designs Cons: Not good for damp or humid areas Best for: Living rooms, offices, dens How is cost determined? "Simply put, labour (time) + materials + experience (who made it) determines quality and, ultimately, the price of a rug." -Jamie Metrick, rug buyer, Elte
Some designers like to have all the furniture sitting within the outer perimeter of the rug, while others place only the front legs on the rug – it’s really a matter of preference.
The table and chairs should all rest on the rug, with about 24 inches extending beyond the table so there’s plenty of space to accommodate chairs when they’re pushed back.
It’s most common to have the rug cover the bottom two-thirds of the bed; you want to ensure you’re stepping onto the rug when you’re getting up in the morning.
IKEA’s neutral jute rug goes with just about any setting, making it a go-to for designers and decor enthusiasts alike. Its renewable natural material, beautiful knotty texture and earthy warm tones make it a durable, low-maintenance option that also feels great underfoot. But the best part about this rug is that it’s extremely affordable. Tip: If a standard-sized rug isn't working for the dimensions of your space, have one custom made.
1 Dream collection bamboo silk DRm7B rug in light Grey & Dark Grey, Imperial Carpet & Home, from $2,399. 2 Antique Finish collection silk amal-6 rug, 9' x 12', Elte, $12,695. 3 Wool anadol Vintage rug, 4' x 9', eCarpetGallery, $320. 4 Jute ticking rug in Indigo, Dash & Albert Rug Company, from $105 US. 5 Viscose and chenille calvin rug, 5' x 7', Urban Barn, $329. 6 Wool and cotton Reverb rug in Blue-green, CB2, from $349. 7 Wool anja rug, Pottery Barn, from $249 US.
Buying guide: The truth about thread count
Is there anything better than sliding into a bed laden with good quality sheets? At the end of the day, I can't wait to stretch out under my fresh, soft covers and nestle my face into a good cotton-covered pillow. We spend a third of our lives in bed so quality sheets are key, but how do you get quality for your money? There's no doubt that most consumers believe the higher the thread count, the better the quality, but this isn't entirely true. With the help and expertise of Joanna Goodman, owner of Au Lit Fine Linens, we expose the truth about thread count and what it takes to find quality bed sheets.
What is thread count, really?
Simply put, thread count is the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. This number is based on the threads woven horizontally ("weft") and vertically ("warp"). Extra threads can also be woven into the weft threads to increase the thread count. These added threads are called "picks" and are added in the overall count, which is how some sheets end up having thread counts in the thousands. This is why the idea that high counts equal better quality isn't really accurate. Consider this: Joanna says most weavers will say the maximum number of threads that can be woven into one square inch of fabric is 500 to 600. Though the number is arguable and, according to Joanna, "depends on the mill you deal with," it gives you an idea of where the line is between single-ply, unpicked weaves and ones that add threads here and there to bump up the count.
What to look for when buying sheets
Joanna lists three things to look for on the label: if it's Egyptian cotton, where it's woven and, lastly, the thread count. While thread count is a bit misunderstood, the buzz around Egyptian cotton is true. "The very best cotton in the world is grown in Egypt. So Egyptian cotton will be of a better quality," Joanna says. She also recommends pima cotton, which is grown in America, "though not quite as exceptional as Egyptian." When it comes to weaving, however, she swears by the Italians as being the "master weavers of the world" due to their "long tradition of weaving" and use of the best Egyptian cotton. Be sure the label says 100% or pure Egyptian cotton though, otherwise it may only contain a small percentage of the good stuff. As for the thread count, look for a minimum of 200. From there, it's all about preference!
What to avoid when buying sheets
Joanna's one key piece of advice is to watch out for extremely low priced, high thread count sheet sets. A complete sheet set with a high thread count for $100 or less is probably not the dream bargain you think it is. As Joanna believes, "you always get what you pay for." The price tag for bed linens will vary depending on the sheet size and what items you're buying, such as a duvet cover, sheet sets, or pillowcases. "A superior quality 200 thread count queen set (including flat, fitted, two pillowcases), made of Egyptian cotton and woven in Europe, could retail reasonably for about $150-$250," says Joanna.
What do you prefer?
After going through the quality checklist, go with what feels best for you. If you're looking for a durable linen, Joanna recommends any percale from thread count 200 to 800. Percale is any cotton woven with a 200 thread count or higher and will be more durable than a cotton satin of the same thread count. It's also less likely to pill than cotton satin because it has a denser weave. Love the feel of a cotton button down shirt? Joanna advises a crisp, dense 200 thread count percale. Prefer a silkier sheet? Go for a 300 to 600 cotton satin. If you want lighter sheets, Joanna says, a 400 thread count sheet can be soft and light, while an 800 percale would be soft and dense. The higher the thread count, the more likely multiple-ply thread is used or picks are added, making the fabric denser and heavier.
Now you know that quality is not just about the number, so don't let numbers rule your bed! Remember what to look for on the label and be wary of too-low prices for supposedly high quality items. Beyond that, go with what you prefer. Get a good feel of the sheets before buying. Whether you're unzipping the packaging or lying down on a display bed, make sure the fabric feels good against your skin and soon you'll be having sweet dreams!
Find out how to keep your new linens crisp and clean with our tips to whiter-than-white sheets.