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 color, wallpaper the wall you see upon entering the room in a bright and cheerful wallpaper like Farrow & Ball’s Wisteria.
(Source: Wisteria BP 2212 Wallpaper, $295/roll, farrow-ball.com)
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.
(Source: 5151 Empira White Surface, $80/sq.ft., caesarstone.ca)
Or, for a more budget-friendly option, try laminate.
(Source: Galant Storage Combination with Filing in White, $409, ikea.com)
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, structube.com)
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, flor.com)
I love the classic ’60s Eames office chair in leather and, today, you can find great reproductions.
(Source: Shirel Office Chair in White, $89, structube.com)
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, smartideachairs.com)
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, robinsonco.ca)
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, willsandprior.com)
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@example.com.