Interior: Feasby & Bleeks' chic office
So when Erin moved into a new house in Toronto’s west end in 2011, she knew this 700-square-foot section of the basement was the perfect spot for the business to be headquartered. During the renovation, which turned the “bowling-alley-like” area into a working office, the designers got a taste of their own medicine. “There were lots of reminders to ourselves, like ‘renovating takes time,’” says Cindy with a laugh. Becoming their own clients was tricky, but the result – a cheery space that functions as beautifully as it looks – was totally worth it.
Function shouldn’t trump flair just because the room is an office. A large magnetic board made from wallpaper applied to sheet metal displays inspiration. Below it, a lime green bench and overdyed fuchsia rug inject vibrant colour and personality.
A long wall was outfitted with cabinetry to maximize storage – something there just can never be too much of in a home office. The soft pale grey cabinetry offers a softer look than stark white, yet keeps the overall feeling light and bright.
The designers knew that custom cabinetry would blow the budget, so they ingeniously sourced stock kitchen cabinets to function as furniture and storage. In a clever spin, wine cubbies stash rolled drawings and a plate rack holds files.
Since this office is located in a basement, the designers positioned this meeting area near a row of three windows to take advantage of the natural light – particularly important in a creative field like design. The fun addition of a chic bar cart hints that the atmosphere isn’t always too serious here.
An efficient kitchenette, complete with a mini-fridge, sink and coffee maker, was worked into the design for easy access to lunch, snacks and drinks to avoid trips up and down the stairs several times a day. Corian countertops are a durable yet more affordable alternative to natural stone.
Displaying sample books
The team got creative with stock moulding, lumber and hooks to come up with a creative storage system for hanging their fabric sample books.
To make the office highly efficient, each designer has her own workspace that includes storage within easy reach. The soft grey cabinetry prevents an institutional look in a space with limited natural light.