Rethinking the Home Office: Inside 3 Great Spaces

Rethinking the Home Office: Inside 3 Great Spaces

Home offices have become a fixture in the pandemic, but they’re about more than just lockdowns. We look at three inspired spaces that blend style and function.

This home office is anchored by the richly grained desk and shelves custom made by Sheshko Construction. The dark textured wallpaper behind the desk and shelves adds a cozy feeling and contrasts with the surrounding light colours. Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen

Multipurpose creativity
This compact home office by Clear Interior Design began before COVID-19 but took on new importance when the homeowners suddenly needed the space not just for their part-time family business and a music hobby but for one of their day jobs as well.

Fortunately, they’d asked at the outset, “How could we have a multipurpose creative space that you can stretch the boundaries of?” says homeowner Chris McPhee. The expansive desk with a removable computer monitor did the trick.

“We wanted a built-in look at an affordable price,” says Clear Interior Design’s Serina Fraser. She called on Sheshko Construction to create the custom red oak millwork.

Originally an unused dining room, the home office is also equipped with a lounging nook and a sliding door for privacy.

This oversized desk once belonged to C.T. Thomas, president of Ottawa’s Thomas Supply & Equipment Company Limited. Ideal for displaying design sketches and blueprints, the desk was finished to match the rich mahogany of the interior doors and custom shelving units. Photo by Gordon King

Designed for design
Flooded with daylight, the home office of Gordon Weima Design Builder has a separate exterior entrance for business visitors, while an interior door lets Weima see into his kitchen and beyond, helping him both separate and integrate his professional and family lives.

The office, like the custom home itself, was a trophy winner in the 2020 Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA) awards. The workspace is also a finalist in the upcoming Canadian Home Builders’ Association awards. An adjoining storage room has been roughed in for a bathroom in case the office ever needs to become an extra bedroom.

The office and its balcony overlook the Jock River. Says Weima: “It’s a good place to look when my brain’s going into design mode. There’s something about nature that stirs your soul.”

The desk and credenza was chosen by the clients to maintain a contemporary look. The wall niche displays the family’s guitars as artwork and stores the instruments when they’re not in use. Photo by Yellitmedia courtesy of Just Basements

A family-friendly workspace
This efficient family-friendly office space is part of a lower-level makeover by Just Basements that was a finalist in the 2020 GOHBA awards. Open to the rest of the lower level, the bright office area serves the clients when they work from home or handle household tasks such as bill-paying.

“They wanted a space the whole family could enjoy together,” says designer Mallory McCarthy. “They wanted it to feel as large as possible but still purposeful and functional, which is why we designed it with the idea of activity zones like office space and a games area in mind.”

The openness of the office makes it adaptable for other future uses, she says, and the expansive wall space allows the hanging of fun, colourful artwork that can be easily changed — an “affordable decorating option.” The overhead fixtures from West Elm add sparkle and personality while drawing the eye upward to the ceiling detail.