Workspaces: Home office design
Photography by Donna Griffith
An eight-month-long major renovation netted Toronto real estate agent Kara Reed a chic condo, which includes her freshly appointed home office. Housed in one of the home’s three bedrooms, the otherwise white and modern space receives a big hit of visual warmth from reclaimed flooring and orange accents. The goal was to get simple, clean-lined white furniture and storage components that would blend seamlessly in the white room for an integrated look that’s also super functional.
The cowhide rug brings another layer of warmth, pattern and texture to the simple white space, and the pile is low enough for the desk chair to roll across easily. The basic slab desktop, floating shelf and drawer unit make for a functional and versatile workstation. Colour comes from hits of orange – Kara’s favourite shade – in artwork and accents.
Kara has owned the sleek white leatherand-chrome Barcelona chair for years; the cozy Hermès blanket warms it up while injecting more colour into the room. Beautiful floral arrangements, which Kara buys for her home office every week, lend prettiness to the space and keep it from feeling institutional.
9 by 12 feet
Although this office space is kept simple, it’s actually packed with loads of storage via the small drawer unit, the wall of bookshelves and cabinets on the other side of the room and a double closet.
All-white walls and furnishings are warmed up by the reclaimed ash flooring, a cowhide rug and plenty of orange accents.
Photography by Virginia Macdonald
A rarely used guest bedroom in this Toronto home now serves two purposes: a dressing room and an office. Designers Erin Feasby and Cindy Bleeks of Feasby & Bleeks Design infused the room with a subtle glamour thanks to the metallic oval motif wallpaper and shimmery silk drapes. A deep writing desk is more than adequate for a laptop and a few files. “We wanted to take a different angle from the utilitarian office and bring a soft, feminine quality to the room,” says Erin.
The picture-rail trim was installed to create a stopping point for the wallpaper because the room has a coved ceiling line. Dark grey velvet chairs with nailhead detailing make a cozy spot for reading. Union Jack toss cushions in a pale colour scheme inject a bit of fun into the feminine home office.
A deep writing desk is a versatile piece that can move around if necessary. Its dark finish gives it a rich, high-end look, and its circular and oval details tie into the wallpaper, lamp, rug and chair designs. Placing the desk against the window allows natural light to spill over work papers and provides a more pleasant view than the wall.
11 by 13 feet
Since the room isn’t meant to be a heavy duty home office, a deep writing desk offers all the necessary workspace. Files are kept in the closet.
Inspired by the glamour of 1930s style, the space exudes elegance with shimmery touches, luxe accents and repeating circle and oval motifs.
Photography by Angus Fergusson
Being self-employed comes with its own challenges, and being organized is priority No. 1. When bloggers Jennifer Flores and Sean Stanwick ( ramblingrenovators.blogspot.com) set up a dedicated office in the smallest of the three bedrooms in their Toronto home, two workstations made more sense than one giant desk in the middle of the room. “We wanted to clear the floor space for our daughter, Chloe, who plays in there while we work,” explains Jennifer. Bold colour on the walls and white storage units form the backdrop for both work and play.
With a little imagination and some power tools, homeowners Jennifer Flores and Sean Stanwick turned IKEA’s Expedit bookshelves into wall-mounted cubbies for storing books, magazines, fabric and paint chips. The base of the desk is made from file drawer units, with legs attached rather than casters. Kitchen countertops are also off-the-shelf IKEA pieces turned into an expansive desktop for two.
A mix of open and closed storage allows books and magazines to be easily accessible, while any unsightly office supplies can be tucked away. One
drawer is entirely dedicated to the family camera and all of its accessories. Jennifer made the notice board by framing an inexpensive piece of corkboard and painting it with thick white diagonal stripes.
8 by 10 feet.
A guest bedroom was converted into a home office for these fun-spirited design bloggers and DIYers extraordinaire. The L-shaped configuration creates two separate workstations and leaves ample floor space for the couple’s daughter to play.
Bold colours, playful patterns and crafty projects give this space its fun, fresh vibe.
Photography by Donna Griffith
There’s no clutter quite like kid clutter. And when there are four of them in a house – aged 11, 8, 6 and 3 – the paperwork and art masterpieces pile up fast. To contain the avalanche of craft supplies, homework and artwork, Montreal homeowners Gillian and Marc Lustig designed and commissioned a custom desk in their basement family room. The simple 14-foot-long unit has closed storage for supplies and four workstations so that each child has his or her own zone.
Each workstation contains two drawers and a closed cabinet, with plenty of wall space for displaying kids’ creations. Baskets hidden inside the lower cabinets store craft, paper and homework supplies.
Creativity flows easily with all your tools close at hand, either tucked away in drawers and cabinets or within quick reach on the single long countertop that acts as a work surface. Simple flat white cabinetry with chunky stainless steel hardware is easily wiped clean. Display frames made from chicken wire and blackboard offer a place to dry painted pieces.
The iconic Tripp Trapp chairs by Stokke have a height-adjustable seat to accommodate the children’s different sizes as they grow.
18 by 22 feet.
The 14-footlong desktop stretches between a wall and a staircase at one end of the basement family room, acting as an art and homework station.
The palette is completely neutral (an all-white room), with flat white cabinets, a white countertop and pale natural wooden chairs; this allows the kids’ artwork to really pop and each masterpiece to take centre stage.
To complete your small space, check out the top 8 home office organizing essentials.