Home Office Transformation by Jo Alcorn

I normally don't accept guest posts from just ANYBODY...don't know about you,  but my email inbox gets daily solicitations for guest posts.  So when Jo wanted to share her recent project, I loved that she wanted to share it with me and you!

 I have admired Canadian designer, Jo Alcorn from Whitewash and Co., and her work for quite some time. She has been a regular on the Steven and Chris show, I love her asethetic and her budget friendly ideas. I am all for budget friendly, since my decorating budget for my home is usually teeny tiny! 

I love her recent office transformation, all done with some creative use of paint and a few key pieces to create a beautiful inspiring work space!

As much as we all want a stunning office of tranquility and efficiency, the budget doesn’t always allow. Yet, even with champagne taste and a beer budget there are clever design directions that anyone can follow to accomplish that high-end look for less. 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. 

This potential of this great office space was hidden, as many are when we find the desk pushed up against the wall or a window. In this case, we had the freedom to truly open up the floor layout by moving the desk to the middle. This created great wall space behind for storage, a sitting area in the corner and an inspirational wall to look at. By reconfiguring the room it became more inviting, exciting and more efficient over all. Paint goes a long way and by updating the dark room with light, trendy and cheerful colours the room immediately transformed 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; however we achieved the same look. 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.

 Accent lighting and accessories were added from Bouclair Home to create great ambiance to work. Grabbing some key accessories helps make the space fun and it’s a way to personalize it based on your space. At Bouclair, they make it easy to choose accessories as their stores are categorized by colour. Just choose your colour and away you go! The space was also in need of storage pieces and the perfect desk and chair. They were sourced from a Canadian gem, called Harkel All pieces are made and manufactured in Canada! On the one wall we added inspirational quotes to budget-friendly frames hung on picture. The nice part of this DIY project is the quotes can be changed to keep up with the growing mind and your children’s art masterpieces. 

My client spends many hours in her office and I wanted to create a room that was fresh in colour, had sophistication, storage and an efficient work space that showed her true professional personality. I tied it all together with fun, budget-friendly textures and accessories, which are needed to accomplish a clever and interesting home office to work in. We saved money in certain design areas and made sure to splurge on the high traffic pieces (like the office desk and chair), which is important to keep in mind. 

Think of your home office as an extension of the rest of the house, and use those same design principles you have used throughout. For example, the importance of accent lighting, the warmth of textures, the completeness of accessories, the joy of colour and the most important part, the functionality of your furniture pieces. Keep in mind your home office should be an important part of your home since it is the room you make a living in!

Thanks Jo! This room is simply stunning!

XO Barbara


  1. This is so good. I can see why you would run this. It reminds me of the same blue that Mary McDonald used in her office. Love it.

  2. Wow...great space! Love the calmness that will encourage great productivity.

  3. Yes, lovely!! And love the colour also, So serene!!
    Have a good weekend!!

  4. Looks great! Practical question though- she has an iMac which needs to be plugged in. Where are the cords? How does she hide them & plug them in when desk is in middle of room?

    1. Good question! I am sure they are removed for the photos but I have seen outlets installed on the floor!

  5. I seriously need inspiration to get through the organization or lack thereof for my office ..... I have a bigger space but for some reason I just can't get through the junk. Great inspiration.


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