As much as we all want a stunning office of tranquility and efficiency, the budget is never as big as ones desires. Yet, even if you suffer from a champagne taste and a beer budget, there are clever design directions that anyone can follow to accomplish that high end look for less.

When I first saw my client’s office, I immediately felt tired, bored and uninspired. The flexibility to work from home has increased tenfold in the past few years but that often means that more and more people can be found with their office space either mixed into their living room, bedroom, in the basement, or a spare room. It is important to remember that the space you work in should be one of motivation and inspiration. We spend a lot of time in these areas so it should be a space we love and want to come into.

My client’s office space was a great size however you would never know with the layout she had, the miss-proportioned furniture, and the dark walls. This great office space was hidden from its true potential, as many are. In this case we had the freedom to truly open up the floor layout by moving the desk to the middle which created great wall space behind for storage, a sitting area in the corner and an inspirational wall to look at.  By reconfiguring the room, the space became more inviting and efficient over all.


Paint goes a long way and  updating the dark room with light, trendy and cheerful colours the room immediately transforms it into a space of inspiration. I used Para Paints’ trend colours on the walls and also worked with Para to create my own paint colour called JoJo. It is the brightest of whites and goes on thick and luxurious. Bringing a light colour into a dark room always creates the illusion of more space.

Due to budget, painting a fun pattern on the wall was less expensive than wallpaper. I had Jim Connelly, the painter from the Debbie Travis show, come in to create an amazing zig-zag accent wall that sets off the entire office making the space motivating to enter.


Accent lighting and accessories were added from Bouclair Home to create great ambiance to work in and much needed storage pieces and the perfect desk and chair were sources from a Canadian gem called Harkel.

On the one wall we added inspirational quotes to budget friendly frames hung on picture racks and the wall. The nice part of this DIY project is the quotes can be changed to keep up with the growing mind or your children’s art master pieces. My clients spends many hours in her office and I wanted to create a room that was fresh in colour, sophisticated, storage and work space efficient and a room that showed her true professional personality.

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Canadian Home Trends' Style Editor, Jo Alcorn, Design Specialist and Founder of Whitewash & Co, has developed a diverse client base and is most proud of being able to provide style and continuity for a range of personalities and decor preferences. Jo's passion for design has been showcased on a handful of films and many tv programs including HGTV, Discovery Channel, CBC Steven and Chris, Breakfast Television, CityTV, Rogers Stations, Global Morning Show and more. Jo has used her design skills to develop her own line of locally made, high quality, stylish, environmentally friendly furniture, a lighting collection for Artcraft and even her own paint colour! Jo also serves as a teacher at Humber College North Campus.

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