Communications expert Laura Stratton loves her job and wanted her home office, located in the Newmarket, Ont., house she purchased with her husband three years ago, to reflect her passion. But when left to her own devices, the president of Strattco PR was lost. "I had pushed the desk against a wall under a window and had mismatched furniture. I just hated going in there," she confesses. Help came in the form of a client, interior designer Jo Alcorn of Whitewash & Co., and the result is a room as easy on the eyes as it is hard-working. "Since I did the reno two years ago my business has grown," says the mother of two school-age children, "so I spend the core of my day there."
The picture wall
"This is what I look at all day long. It's my inspiration wall. I have written on it 'Attitude of gratitude,' which is how I live my life. I also have my kids' school photos on that wall, along with their artwork, which I have framed. Jo told me I should keep adding whatever I feel is important to me – and I definitely do."
"I have fresh flowers in my office all the time. It makes my space feel beautiful. Usually I have lilies. These are hydrangeas. Anything white inspires me."
"There are three different shades of blue here, all variations on a blue-grey, which is very calming."
"I got it at Ikea. I wanted a low-pile rug so my chair could roll on it. It ties the room together. It's also where my dog, Milo, likes to be. He sleeps while I work."
"It's from Harkel Office. I love the shape. I have the biggest computer screen there is so I needed a desk wide enough to hold that monitor and also papers and magazines and notebooks and room left over for writing."
The chevron wall
"It's the biggest talking point of the room. It was done by Jim Connelly, another client of mine who was a painter on the Debbie Travis show Facelift and who now has his own studio in downtown Toronto. He actually created a cutout template to design the wall, which he taped in a chevron pattern and hand-painted. I love it."
"All the lights in the room are from Bouclair, the Quebec home-decor retailer with stores across Canada. They are another of my clients. I thought it was important not just to have a great room to work in, but a room that also showed off the talent I represent. My favourite pieces are the lacy ceramic lamps behind my desk. I like that I can see right through them."
"This is also from Harkel Office. It's one long unit with three double-door compartments. I wanted something clean-looking because my mind is cluttered enough. I hide it all in there – clients' samples, pens, notebooks – and there's lots of room left over."