Daniel Brown needed a workspace in his Vaughan home that felt removed from family life. He lives with his wife and two young children, and wanted a separate space “for legal research, writing or to take late-night calls from clients or police officers who have my clients under arrest.” Brown hired interior designer Dvira Ovadia to create a haven where he could focus on his work. The result: a space rich in personal details and subtle design touches.
Efficient storage is a must-have. “There’s nothing as off-putting as an office full of clutter,” says Ovadia. Brown opted for built-in cabinets with a fireplace. Decorative boxes or cube seats that double as storage are great for hiding office supplies.
Adorning home-office walls and shelves with art helps to complete the space, says Ovadia. These decorative pieces are what make this office feel intimate: Brown loves Manhattan, and he’s a big Star Wars fan.
By the book
To balance aesthetics and practicality, go for a mix of open and closed shelving. “Open shelving adds a decorative element and allows you to access books and items you use on a regular basis,” explains Ovadia.
Appropriate office lighting is a necessity. Overhead, a combination of pot lights and a centre fixture like Brown’s chandelier provides options for how bright to keep the space.
Form and function
“I love the whimsical ostrich side table,” says Brown. “The big orange chair is also a great spot to sit and read an endless amount of caselaw and it adds a punch of colour to the space.”
Take storage needs into account when deciding on a desk; Brown’s didn’t require drawers or filing cabinets because he stores most files at work. Chairs should be both stylish and functional: “Nobody wants to sit in an uncomfortable chair,” says Ovadia.
The big picture
When designing a home office, Ovadia says it’s important to have a philosophy in mind: it could be a unified theme or an eclectic mix of styles. “Do you want it to be masculine, feminine, to have an old-world antique feel, or something more traditional?” She and her client worked together to create a look that Brown loves: masculine and modern with an industrial-chic vibe.
Photography by Nancy Tong