Tag Archives: home office

Spotlight: Office built-in cabinetry

When function meets beauty with the use of built-in cabinetry

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When function meets beauty with the use of built-in cabinetry

Photos: Royal Interior Design

Office spaces can often be required to fulfill many functions, especially when they are located at the front of people’s homes, or as an open concept in a condo space. The primary goal of the office is to obviously be a place to conduct work of some sort. Practically speaking, it needs to be somewhat private with doors, and needs an area to read, work, be on a computer, as well as provide storage solutions.

But what about the rest of the often high demands? To be suitable for multiple family members to use, to have ample storage for paperwork, books and all kinds of things we accumulate over the years, or family members and more than one person working together at once? From homework to home office or casual bill payments, offices serve many roles, and our job is to ensure we check every single requirement and more by adding some much needed pizzaz, interest, warmth and depth, and make it inviting and luxurious enough to be often be seen as soon as you walk in the door.

For these clients, our perfect solution started with our state-of-the-art custom built-in cabinetry. We love designing statement pieces that are aesthetically pleasing to the eyes but also offer loads of function. In this case, we went full-blown wall to wall, floor to ceiling with a bold black colour to create an impressive focal point. We added lovely accent trim details in the closed doors to make it interesting, as the doors needed to be solid to hide a lot of clutter.

We broke it up with different sections, some open shelving in the middle to keep it a little light and airy, and a few glass doors to add variety to the unit and to be kept for pretty accents. All the functionality lies below with ample filing cabinets and drawers. This unit provides impact to the room, depth, and lots of storage.

To continue with our functional yet beautiful elements, we have accent chairs that are perfect for the kids to do some reading and homework. They are deep and comfortable, neutral and accented with cowhide pillows.

We framed all the windows with satin textured earth tone panels as high as the ceilings to accentuate the height of the room and also soften the multi windows and add some elegance. A nice neutral soft rug and a soft muted, but textured, world map wallpaper really adds to the den vibe.

The design palette of the space is all earth tones, soft colours contrasted by deep colours and interesting textures and patterns. And let’s not forget the show-stopping unique dark copper light fixture that adorns the entire space. Combining luxurious and elegant items with functional and practical necessities, all wrapped in a cohesive and peaceful decor, make it perfectly suited to entice and welcome a good day’s or evening’s work!

Catherine Horber is the principal of Royal Interior Design Ltd., a firm dedicated to creating distinctive and personal lifestyle-based interiors, designed to enhance how you live with understated, yet elegant and affordable luxury.

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Top tips for making a home office

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Top tips for making a home office

I recently created a gorgeous bedroom space that incorporated a home office. Here are my top tops when creating multi-use spaces.

All hard working mamas and papas deserve a beautiful bed. After a hard day of raising kids, working outside and inside the home, moms and dads are tired. So invest in a beautiful bed!

This Wayfair bed does not disappoint; it is soft, plush and elegant. I love the tufted headboard and the drama the wingback headboard adds. Plus, this was a great value; I have spent upwards of $4,000 on custom upholstered, storage beds so getting this one for less than $2,000 is just fabulous.

A beautiful bed needs a quality mattress. Here we used the award winning Casper mattress. I also chose Casper’s sheet and duvet set in a crisp white. A bonus, they deliver right to your door and arrive within days of ordering.

Once your bed is taken care of, designate the spot for the office. I opted for custom millwork here to utilize every square inch of storage I could. Going custom allowed us to paint the desk this gorgeous turquoise colour, Benjamin Moore Waterfall 2050- 50.

Photos By Dann Tardiff

Take note of the brass, hand-cast cabinet pulls from Toronto entrepreneur Shayne Fox. They’re like jewellery on this desk.

Every desk needs a chair, and this chair is a game changer. It literally felt like a hug for my lower back and pelvis. The CoreChair is an ergonomic active sitting chair that provides optimal support while introducing movement into your workday. This chair needs to be in homes and offices everywhere.

Add your personality! This is important regardless of the kind of space you are creating; it has to reflect you and your unique personality. Here I just had to add elements like this Metrie door painted Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter 2021-40. To ensure this was the focal point, I kept the adjacent sliding closet doors in white to ensure some balance.

Again, to ensure the space didn’t feel too overwhelming with all the vibrant pops, I wrapped the room in Metrie’s tongue and groove paneling and painted it Benjamin Moore Decorate White CC-20. I love interior mouldings — they provide such a beautiful textural element to any space.

Every bedroom needs to feel cosy and comfortable, which is why I added ample blankets and pillows in a variety of textures, all within our colour palette to stay harmonious, and displayed them on this ladder from Bouclair. Lighting also makes a big impact in the room, with a stunning modern chandelier, also from Bouclair, adding an architectural element.

Lastly, the fun accessories. I picked up this tray and yellow pen holder at Bouclair, where it’s easy to come home with a carful of fun, well-priced accessories. I love the painterly element of this tray and on trend rope detail.

Lisa Canning is a parenting, interior design and lifestyle expert in Toronto where she lives with her husband and seven children, ages nine and under.

lisacanning.ca

 

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Have a consistent routine at your home office

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Have a consistent routine at your home office

by Lisa Rogers

Working from home has lots of advantages – the office commute is about 30 seconds, you can stick a load of laundry in between conference calls, and you can wear PJs for most of the day. The downside is you’re too close to it to get away, you don’t want to be doing laundry all day, and PJs are really a fashion crime.

Whether you work for yourself, or for a company that allows for some work from home, you still need a proper office. To start with, plan by making a list of everything you need in order to work well — natural light, tons of storage space, miles of counter top for spreading stuff around.

Where you work is important — preferably a dedicated office space in the guest bedroom, a main floor den, or the basement. This also depends on the kind of work you do – clients dropping in need a place to sit. Laptops and Wifi make it easy to move your office around, even to the back deck.

Include space for printer, phone, and resource materials. Rarely used items can be stored in the basement or a closet.

Chair

You’ll be sitting in this for six to eight hours a day, so get one that adjusts to your specific ergonomics. As pretty as leather is, refrain from buying it because you need something breathable.

Desk

Standard desks are 29 inches high, but 27 inches high is actually ergonomically better for where your arms and hands are while using a laptop. If the desk isn’t adjustable, raise your chair a little. You also need enough work space to spread out papers; if one desk won’t do it, add a second.

A writing desk is preferable to those clunky mid-century office desks – much lighter and easier to move around.

Place your desk so you have a view of the room, and of the outdoors. Remember to place it so that light falls over your shoulder.

Storage

Drawers in the desk – or in stackable containers on top – are good for having stationery, paper clips, pens, pencils, staplers close at hand. Wall mounted storage minimizes physical and visual clutter.

Wherever you keep your files – on computer, external hard drive, or in file folders – make a habit of culling regularly. If you haven’t used something in a year, toss it. (Except taxes – those you need to keep for seven years.)

Lighting

Natural light is best, especially since windows also provide good ventilation. But if that’s not possible, bump up the overhead and task lighting, like a reading lamp. If there’s no room on the desk, have it wall mounted.

Decorate

If your home office is visible from the rest of the main floor, try to tie it in decoratively, so that it blends in style, colour, and theme.

Don’t be afraid of colour, or at least adding colourful accessories. I love white space, but I still like to add colour through accessories – a Navajo blanket, or beautiful pillows on a chair. Incorporate colour as well into stationery, magazine racks, storage containers and so on. Colour affects the way you feel – orange is considered a colour that stimulates creativity, green is restful, blue is calming and yellow makes you happy.

This isn’t the corporate office, it’s your home, so get creative in making it yours, and making a place you look forward to working in. Incorporate art, lamps and accessories that convey your personality. Use what you have – turn a vase into a pen holder, wicker baskets for scrap paper, the dining sideboard for printer, phone and other supplies.

Scheduling

When you work alone, getting down to work can sometimes be hard – far easier to check out the fridge, stare into space, or run the vacuum through the main floor. Most successful people say that having a consistent routine, one that triggers the brain to get into think mode, is the only way to get things accomplished.

Lisa Rogers is the exclusive interior designer for Dunpar Homes.

Lisa has shared her style and design expertise on popular television programs, such as Canadian Living TV, House & Home TV and The Shopping Channel.

Lisa is one of the most familiar faces on CityTV’s Cityline as a regular guest expert for fashion and image, health and wellness and interior design.


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Six things you need to have for the perfect home office

Six things you need to have for the perfect home office

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Six things you need to have for the perfect home office

by Madisyn McKee

Building a home office but not sure what you need to include in your space? Here are six essentials you need to consider

As technology advances, being able to work remotely has become a very popular and viable option for many employees. What’s not to love? There’s no commuting, instead of water cooler breaks you can check off small to-dos on your ever growing check list — and you don’t even have to put on proper clothes to start your work day.

Having a good work space at home is the key to helping you stay productive all day long. Whether you have a big space or a small one for your office, there are a few important things that you need to have. Not sure what those are? Read on:

A proper desk

This may seem like an obvious answer but having an actual work desk is really important. Make sure to choose a desk with enough room for everything you’ll need for day-to-day activities. A piece of furniture with storage space is key. This will help you keep your space clean and free of distraction.

Good lighting

If you are lucky enough to have an office with a window, ensure your computer screen is facing away from the window. Having an annoying glare on your screen all day long could be very distracting. Stuck in the basement? Grab a lamp or light fixture that will brighten up your space appropriately.

A comfy chair

The benefits of being in an office is having HR around to make sure your workspace is comfortable. At home, you have to be that resource. Finding a chair that won’t break your back from hours of sitting is very important. Do your research before making your purchase and try out some options in person as well.

Storage space

Sure, you can pretty much do everything digitally these days but it is likely you’re going to have books or papers lying around. Put up enough shelving to keep things off the floor. Nice cabinets will add elegance to your home office.

Greenery

Nothing makes a space more inviting than having plants and greenery around the room. Even fake plants will make the space feel cozier. If you are choosing real plants, make sure to look for plants that will suit your spaces; cool and dark versus warm and bright.

Personalized touches

Your home office is just that, yours. Don’t forget to add little personal touches to make it your own. Including things like family photographs, travel souvenirs, or your favourite artwork will help you fall in love with the space you are likely spending most of your time.

Madisyn McKee is a freelance writer and social media obsessed traveller based out of Toronto. Always looking for her next adventure but glued to her phone, you can contact her at madi@therestlessworker.com or visit her at therestlessworker.com.


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Big Style, Small Spaces: Home Work

Big Style, Small Spaces: Home Work

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Big Style, Small Spaces: Home Work

Make sure your home office is efficient but also reflects your personality

Working from home has lots of advantages – the office commute is about 30 seconds, you can stick a load of laundry in between conference calls, and you can wear PJs for most of the day. The downside is you’re too close to it to get away, you don’t want to be doing laundry all day, and PJs are really a fashion crime. Whether you work for yourself, or for a company that allows for some work from home, you still need a proper office. To start with, plan by making a list of everything you need in order to work well — natural light, tons of storage space and miles of countertop.

Where you work is important — preferably a dedicated office space in the guest bedroom, a main floor den, or the basement. This also depends on the kind of work you do; clients dropping in need a place to sit. Laptops and WiFi make it easy to move your office around, even to the back deck. Once you’ve picked a spot, try a space planner to see where the furniture should go, making sure electrical outlets and phone jacks – if you still use a landline – are close to the workspace. Include space for a printer, phone and resource materials. Rarely used items can be stored in the basement or a closet.

CHAIR

You’ll be sitting in this for six to eight hours a day, so get one that adjusts to your specific ergonomics. As pretty as leather is, refrain from buying it because you need something breathable. Chairs range in price from $150 to $2,000, but you can get a decent one for about $300.

DESK

Standard desks are 29 inches high, but 27 inches high is actually ergonomically better for where your arms and hands are while using a laptop. If the desk isn’t adjustable, raise your chair a little. You also need enough workspace to spread out papers; if one desk won’t do, add a second.

A writing desk is preferable to those clunky mid-century office desks – much lighter and easier to move around. Place your desk so you have a view of the room and away from the outdoors. Remember to place it so that light falls over your shoulder.

STORAGE

Drawers in the desk – or in stackable containers on top – are good for having stationery, paper clips, pens, pencils and staplers close at hand. Wallmounted storage minimizes physical and visual clutter.

Wherever you keep your files – on the computer, or an external hard drive, or in file folders – make a habit of culling regularly. If you haven’t used something in a year, toss it. (Except taxes. Those you need to keep for seven years.)

LIGHTING

Natural light is best, especially since windows also provide good ventilation. But if that’s not possible, bump up the overhead and task lighting and add a reading lamp. If there’s no room on the desk, have it wall mounted.

DECORATE

If your home office is visible from the rest of the main floor, try to tie it in decoratively so that it blends in style, colour and theme.

Don’t be afraid of colour, or at least adding colourful accessories. I love white space, but I still like to add colour through accessories – a Navajo blanket, or beautiful pillows on a chair. Incorporate colour as well into stationery, magazine racks, storage containers and so on. Colour affects the way you feel; orange is considered a colour that stimulates creativity, green is restful, blue is calming and yellow makes you happy.

This isn’t the corporate office, it’s your home, so get creative in making it yours, and making a place you look forward to working in. Incorporate art, lamps and accessories that convey your personality. Use what you have – turn a vase into a pen holder, wicker baskets for scrap paper, the dining sideboard for printer, phone and other supplies. Splurge on a chaise – go modern with Eames or Mies, or traditional like a fainting couch — for naps and reading breaks.

SCHEDULE

When you work alone, getting down to work can sometimes be hard; it’s far easier to check out the fridge, stare into space, or run the vacuum through the main floor. Most successful people say that having a consistent routine, one that triggers the brain to get into think mode, is the only way to get things accomplished.

Lisa Rogers is the exclusive interior designer for Dunpar Homes (DunparHomes.com).

Lisa has shared her style and design expertise on popular television programs, such as Canadian Living TV, House & Home TV and The Shopping Channel.

Lisa is one of the most familiar faces on CityTV’s Cityline as a regular guest expert for fashion and image, health and wellness and interior design.


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Architecture Expert: Inspired To Work

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Architecture Expert: Inspired To Work

Create a home office that works for you.

More and more people are working from home. Whether full time or part time, this requires a space where you can amp-up your productivity. Before embarking on creating your home office, there are several questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What type of work will you be doing in the space?
  • Will external clients be visiting?
  • Will colleagues visit for collaborative work?
  • What equipment must be accommodated? Computers, printers, etc.
  • Will you need complete privacy?
  • Will you be using the speakerphone or video conferencing?
  • What type of phone and Internet connectivity is required?
  • How much space do you have to work with?
  • What type of lighting does the space offer and can it be improved?
  • What type of storage is required?
  • What type and how much work surface is required?
  • What type of ergonomics should be considered for your chair, keyboard and work surface?
  • Have you experienced repetitive strain injuries in the past?
  • What is the maximum amount of money you want to spend?

RESEARCH RENDERS RESULTS

Once you gather this information, you can begin to make decisions about the type of home office that will suit your needs, and the requirements that you must accommodate. When dreaming of an overall design concept, think about what inspires you. Perhaps consider a favourite colour or phrase that you can incorporate into the design. How will your space reflect the type of work that you do? If you perform intense head-down work, how can you create a space that offers a respite throughout the day? Should your office offer a serene and restful environment or would you benefit from a space that energizes you?

FURNITURE OPTIONS

Planning an office takes time to evaluate your work patterns before you make purchases or big decisions. Once you determine what is required and how you might design your space, there are many options for furniture and storage. From budget-conscious IKEA to big-box furniture depots to higher-end office furniture from companies like Knoll and Herman Miller, you should invest in the best furniture that you can afford. Offices tend to take a lot of use and abuse, so you want to make sure that storage cabinets are high quality and shelves are mounted securely. Your office chair is one of the most important pieces of furniture you can own. Spending five to eight hours in a chair every day has a lasting impact on your body. It is important that you choose a chair that is highly adjustable for your height, back and arms. A new trend on the market today is height adjustable work surfaces. As a response to newer studies that show sitting in an office chair for extended periods of time takes years off your life, suppliers have created electric motorized work surfaces that can be adjusted throughout the day. Marketed as ‘sit/stand’ desks, most of the major office furniture suppliers now offer these.

LIGHT BRIGHT

Also important for the health of your body, is the type of lighting provided in the space. Simply converting a bedroom into an office without evaluating the lighting is a mistake. You must make sure that your work surface is illuminated properly, whether by ceiling lights or lamps that you add. Ensuring that your computer screen is glare-free also helps reduce eye strain.

WORK STYLE

Most importantly, your office space should be something that you look forward to spending time in—rather than dreading. It should be a space that accommodates your personality and style while offering an encouraging place to work. While some people thrive in a space that is somewhat chaotic, some people want a place for everything and everything in its place.

Personally, I dream of an office with fully enclosed cabinets and clean surfaces, but I can honestly say that I am more inspired by a space that contains some of my favourite gifts from clients, collectables and kids’ notes. The most important element of my personal workspace is a window that looks onto a tree because nature makes me happy. As well, opening the window to hear the birds sing makes me happy every day. These are small considerations, but important to my overall productivity. What makes you happy? Whatever you decide, make each day your masterpiece.

Samantha Sannella

PHOTOGRAPHY: SK DESIGN (TEXTURED WALL), JODY JOHNSON (VINTAGE STORAGE), CYNTHIA SODA, SODAPOP DESIGN (OVERALL OFFICE)

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