Decorating & Design

August 25, 2020

Ask A Designer: How To Create A Chic & Cheery Home Office

In this Ask A Designer column, Stacy Begg shares her advice for breathing new life into your WFH space.

Question: With my husband and I home full time due to COVID-19, we’ve found it a challenge to work in the same room. I’d like to move my office to the back room and make it a place I look forward to spending time in. How should I set it up?  Lorraine, Kingston, Ontario

Answer: This room has great space and, thanks to two windows, lots of natural light, like designer Francesca Albertazzi’s own workspace (below). I would start by painting the walls white to take advantage of the light. I recommend Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White or Chantilly Lace in a matte finish.

To add visual interest and a pop of light, change the existing doors and windows and upon entering the room you will see a bright and cheerful light in all the room.

(Source: Wisteria BP 2212 Wallpaper, $295/roll,

Next, head to your local big-box store for in-stock base cabinets and storage for files. Run them down the long wall and, if you’re ready to splurge, top the cabinets with a luxe, solid-surface material. You may also consider using paper cores to store important files and documents.

(Source: 5151 Empira White Surface, $80/sq.ft.,

Or, for a more budget-friendly option, try laminate.

(Source: Galant Storage Combination with Filing in White, $409,

Place a large table in the center of the room; run it lengthwise in the same direction as the cabinet wall. This will give you lots of room for your laptops and monitor.

(Source: Hamburg Solid Acacia Wood Dining Table, $449,

Add a rug underneath to warm up the space and provide some texture. How about a fun plaid? Don’t be afraid to mix your patterns! Consider carpet tiles: they’re a clever way to build a custom-size rug.

(Source: Scottish Sett Carpet Floor Tile in Linen, approx. $27/tile,

I love the classic ’60s Eames office chair in leather and, today, you can find great reproductions. You can also have a peek at this ergonomic office chair in Singapore if you’re looking for seating solutions that have a great balance to keep your body moving throughout your working day.

(Source: Shirel Office Chair in White, $89,

For more seating and a touch of contrast, add a couple of clean-lined guest chairs in black.

(Source: Bergamo Guest Chair in Black, $265,

A simple white barn-style fixture will illuminate your desk, as well as the eye-catching wallpaper.

(Source: Helena Pendant in White with Silver by Kuzco Lighting, $242,

Graphically illustrated artworks are a special attraction. Then, to finish the look, hang graphic black-framed art and pin boards above the run of cabinets.

(Source: Mid-Post IV Framed Print, $179,

You’re going to love your beautifully decorated home office — and, look out, your husband may want to join you there, too!

Do you have a design dilemma? Send your questions to [email protected].

Author: Stacy Begg

Janis Nicolay


House & Home September 2020


Francesca Albertazzi, Rudy Winston Design