Image: Robin Stubbert
Decorator Cynthia Weber shares her five secrets to creating an office as big on style as it is on function.
Set on the top floor of her 1878 stone home boasting sweeping views of Ontario’s Huron County, decorator Cynthia Weber’s quaint office is down-right pastoral. The 225-square-foot space, with its formal farmhouse aesthetic, serves as the ideal spot for Cynthia to meet clients and plan projects – many of which are cottages or historic restorations, such as The Little Inn of Bayfield (featured in Style at Home’s December 2016 issue). “My clients are drawn to the look and lifestyle I’ve created. It makes perfect sense to meet with them here,” says Cynthia, who mixed library-style shelving and beloved vintage furnishings with portable pieces that offer smart storage yet deliver quintessential charm. “I can’t imagine any other setting being more conducive to creativity,” she says, noting that she simply looks out the huge windows to the pretty pasture below when she needs a pick-me-up. “This space makes me happy and therefore productive.” Here’s how the decorator made it work.
1 Use what you love
The key to creating a workspace where you don’t mind logging long hours? Appoint it with meaningful pieces, such as this desk and the dining chairs, which all came from Cynthia’s aunt and uncle. “They’re very special to me,” she says. “Although sometimes I wish the desk were bigger, nostalgia keeps me using it.”
2 Put a cork(board) in it
“I love corkboards,” says Cynthia, who has two in her office and uses them to corral inspiration and materials for ongoing projects. “The boards don’t always look this pretty,” she admits, but their designer edge keeps them worth admiring. Cynthia’s husband fashioned the frames from mouldings, and she painted them black to match her desk and added a pretty ribbon detail.
3 Opt for the unexpected
A chic custom carpet tile adorned with the logo serves as simple one-of-a-kind artwork that speaks to the space’s style and purpose.
4 Consider the details
“Think about the tasks you do throughout your day, making a list of what you need regularly and what you require only once in a while,” advises Cynthia. “Then ask yourself what you’ll need in terms of surfaces and storage.” To that end, she designed custom tray tables that can be easily collapsed when not in use, and opted for baskets to stow the materials for current projects.
5 Take back the floor
Maximize floor space by building up. This wall of shelving stretches to the ceiling and stores fabric and wallpaper books as well as design catalogues. The ladder, which can be pushed flat to the shelves, adds a lovely library-like feel. Cynthia cleverly had wall hooks installed so she could hang the books retrieved from up high instead of struggling down the ladder with them.