This home office was part of a whole home renovation project I designed and project managed back in 2008-09 for my sister-in-law Kara. It seems like an eternity ago since the construction was completed and she moved in, but its taken a couple of years to turn it into a 'home' with furnishings and artwork. While the entire home, including a gorgeous rooftop deck, were photographed by Style at Home Magazine last year for upcoming issues, I was so thrilled to open up the current issue and see her home office featured in the Organizing Workspaces story "Hard at Work".
The office occupies one of the 3 bedrooms in a multi-level, mid-town condo and was chosen as the office over the other spare bedroom for its eastern exposure with bright morning sunlight - she's an early bird! I added a new frosted glass panel door to the room so when she has out of town guests (frequent occurance) she can close the office door for privacy and sunlight can still filter into the hallway.
The antique ash barnboard floors and hide carpet are a nod to Kara's past, having grown-up on a farm she has a strong affection for all things country - a photo of her childhood prize winning pig has a special place on her desktop, complete with ribbon! I prefer modern furniture or contemporary spaces when paired with a little bit of rustic or 'country' element, and this room does just that. The random width floor boards were finished on site and received a low sheen clear coat to showcase the wood's natural character with all its knots, nail holes and bug tracks. With a wall of shelving fitted with woven storage boxes, a full height filing cabinet and double closet with essential organizers (not seen in photos) so the office provides loads of storage and an expansive work surface for the high volume of paper work that's handled here.
Its no co-incidence the office is filled with lots of orange accents, its one of the corporate colours of the company Kara works for so she's has been using orange for work related accessories for over 10 years. Its a colour I've always associated with her - she always has something on her or in her bag that's orange.
Thank you Margot, Jessica, Donna and the rest of the Style at Home team for your beautiful work on this feature! I am a devoted fan of the magazine and I'm honoured that you chose to include this space on your pages.
A few more After Photos..
Below are a few more after photos not from the magazine shoot but from my portfolio files that give you a glimpses of some other details in the office.
On the wall opposite the desk, a row of modern wall clocks have their orange hands set to the various time zones of family and friends around the world, including one for Kara's Muskoka cottage, permanently set to 'bar's open'. She's a whiz at board games, this metal ledge holds letters from a vintage family scrabble set which spell out the city name for each clock.
One of my favorite items in the room is Kara's very first childhood desk - it occupies a special place in the corner beside her 'adult desk' and I've used it to stack magazines and hold book bags. I love the visual tale of these two desks side by side,,,its a testament to the power of learning and dreaming big. They truly represent the past and present of this successful woman's journey of accomplishments.
Artwork by: Alanna Cavanagh
I have admired the whimsical illustrations of Toronto artist Alanna Cavanagh for some time, so I was really excited when one day Kara sent me photos of several pieces she had brought home from a gallery to try and decide which to buy and where it could go. I thought their vintage inspired take on typography and fashion were a perfect fit for her office. I loved each one of them, and so did Kara which made the decision easy - she kept them all. That was a couple of years ago, and today I can tell you she loves these pieces as much now (if not more) as the day she brought them home.
I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of this home on the pages of Style at Home coming up soon!!