A Look Inside: The Home Office

December 03, 2019

The Home Office was a project where our clients, a husband and wife, both worked from home frequently and needed their own full work spaces.

When they asked us to turn their living and dining rooms into two offices, we were initially concerned: we didn’t want their beautiful new house to look like an office space. Our Registered Interior Designer Michelle Mawby had a unique idea to get them their perfect offices but also give a homey look to their main floor.

The front living room would be the wife’s office. We went through all her needs and developed a concept that would not only convert the living room to a functional office, but tailor it to her work style – decorated like a beautiful front sitting room.

  • First, we space planned the room.
  • We placed a desk in the bay window, and a small-scale settee and two chairs with an ottoman between in the middle of the room.
  • We found a gorgeous writing desk that would accommodate her work and add to the décor of the room.
  • The client liked to have a second area to work beside the desk and the settee was the perfect spot for her.
  • She wanted the chairs so her two daughters could come in and work with her.
  • We found filing cabinets that looked like side tables and placed a pair on either side of the fireplace. Not only did they look great but were practical, functional and took care of all her filing needs.
  • To accommodate the remainder of her storage needs, we reused a favourite piece of hers, a hand-painted armoire that had been in her bedroom. This was more than sufficient to hold all of her stationary, office supplies and any other storage.

The living room was transformed into a fully-functional office but looked like a comfortable parlour when you entered their home.

With the husband’s office, we were utilizing the room that would traditionally be used as a dining room, and decided to go for a library look. Once we moved the dining room table into the large kitchen with open-concept living room, we were ready to go.

To complement the home, Michelle came up with the idea of designing the space to look like a library. She wanted to contrast it with the feminine look of the sitting room and also make it completely functional. We needed to incorporate a large printer and photocopier, and decided to go the built-in route to accomplish this.

  • Michelle designed a large built-in bookcase and cabinets to house all his electronics, storage needs, files and books.
  • She placed the streamlined writing desk in the middle of the room and found the perfect credenza for storage, putting the desk under the window behind it.
  • A rolling desk chair on a hide not only looked amazing but allowed him to work the way he wanted.
  • To contrast the femininity of the front sitting room, Michelle used black leather wallpaper and had the build-in painted black to blend into the walls.
  • She made sure she added enough lighting with a large chandelier and pot lights to accommodate the dark walls, and the trim was painted a soft white to match the rest of the house.
  • She decorated the walls with photos from the client’s own collection

The room was as functional as the sitting room and by decorating it like a library, it looked like it belonged in a home.

Things you need to keep in mind when creating the perfect home office:

1. How you use the office

  • Do clients visit?
  • Kids in the home?
  • Full time/part time?

2. Choose the right space

  • You don’t just have to be shoved into the basement or tiny spare room
  • Natural light
  • Privacy
  • Noise

3. Choose the right furniture

  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Rug
  • Lighting
  • Filing
  • Storage

4. Have fun with the décor

  • Add fun accessories
  • Paint colour
  • Art

5. Think outside of the box

  • Decorate like a parlour or library
  • Use furniture creatively, for example, an armoire as storage. Find filing cabinets that look like side tables.
  • Use spaces or rooms creatively


Tiles 101

December 05, 2019

Read More

Scratching the Surface

December 04, 2019

Read More

Winter’s Colours

December 03, 2019

Read More


Thank You for Registering!