Mood boosting essentials for working at home

The benefit of having a work station at home is that you can truly personalize it. This is your space to do whatever you want! Here is what getting work on at home looks like for me.

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We are hiring! – fashion and design bloggers

Are you obsessed with all things design:  Fashion, Lifestyle, Interior, Architecture?

Love blogging, reading blogs and keeping up with the latest design trends? If so, we are looking for you.  We’re looking for designers to create our content and grow our blog.

You’ll have to be up-to-date on the latest trends, have a keen editorial sense as well as be highly web literate and self-motivated. You’ll not only have to have a vision for what makes a great blog but also play an instrumental role in growing a community around design contents.

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10 Interior Design Tips for a Stunning Home Office on a shoestring budget

Written by guest contributor, Tess Cain.   

One of the many benefits of working from home is that you can have your own home office. 

Despite popular belief, working remotely is not a synonym for lying around all day, but it is certainly less stressful. There’s not as much pressure and you work at your own pace.

It also means that you get to organize your home office by yourself and however you wish. It’s your home office, your rules.

Nevertheless, there are some practical interior design tips that can help you make your home office stunning and welcoming.

1.  Plan out

Ask any interior designer, and they will all tell you that you should make a good plan of action before you start redecorating. 

Now ask yourself: How do I envision my perfect working space? What do I want?

Updated DrawingSurely, you have thousands of ideas piling up already. Why don’t you put it into words and pictures? Do online research and find some home office inspirations.

You can even create a mood board using the Pinterest app that will guide you. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask your friends and family how they picture your office. You can brainstorm for some ideas together and then design a theme accordingly.

remember: ‘’by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’’

2.  Storage

Good storage is a necessity if you want to have a practical and functional office. Not only will you have a safe place for all your work documents, but it will also allow you to have a well-designed home office. There will be no piles of papers getting in your way all-day.

If you are worried that your office is not big enough for file cabinets, I would suggest opting for vertical storage units because they will make the space look bigger. 

3.  Good lighting

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Having good lighting can make a big difference to an interior, so place your desk next to a window and take advantage of the natural light as much as possible. 

Imagine yourself at work with a nice window view and sun rays on your desk. That’s the dream!

I would suggest installing good lighting systems that won’t kill your productivity even when the sun goes down.


4.  Add plants

image 2

Plants are another way to brighten up the room and to bring some positivity into it. They have healing and relaxing powers, so you should add ‘plants’ to your mood board right from the start.

Green is a color that goes well with everything; another reason why plants will never go out of style.

Health, productivity, and well-being are essential ingredients for every stunning home office – plants will provide you with all of those.


5.  Wall colors

The home office is not your typical room, so while you are deciding on the color scheme for it, you should consider taking a slightly different approach than with your other rooms. 

You want your office to feel warm and cozy, but still not too much because you don’t want to be tempted to nap all day. 

Green and blue are usually used for painting resting areas, while red and yellow go well with conference rooms where you want ideas to come to life.

According to interior designers all over the world, the best color scheme solution for offices is a mix of natural colors and wooden elements. If you want a peaceful ambient in your office, this is the combination for you. 

6.  Colorful rug

Your home office will become very chic if you put a colorful and creative carpet in the center. It can serve as a great starting point for matching the entire room with it and connecting the pieces together.

Before you choose your furniture or your decorations, explore the carpet options first. As soon as you find that perfect rug, the rest of the room will speak to you.


7.  Mirrors to make the office look bigger

Mirrors are a great interior design tool, especially for small offices. They can help you take full advantage of the natural light and at the same time, make the room look bigger.

Consider placing mirrors across a window so that the natural light can fill up the room. 


8.  Organization is key

Every interior designer will tell you that the organization is key. Apart from being creative, you need to be practical or else your office will become a mess.

Choose furniture that will not only be stylish but also functional. A high-quality desk and chair are a must, so choose wisely. After all, that’s where you’ll work all day.

Keep your desk well-organized and clutter-free. Office tools such as binders can help you with that. Essentially, cleaning every day after yourself comes a long way. 

Your messy cords can be arranged using special cable kits or even better, hidden behind your furniture. The less visible the cables are, the better!


9.  Resting, meeting area

Meeting areas might be essential if your business requires you to meet with clients and team members. However, even if that’s not the case, you should still try and make a special resting area for yourself. 

Your home office should not only be welcoming for others, but for you too, so save some room for a small sofa and some cushions. Trust me, you will feel and work better in a space like this.


10.  Add inspiring elements


small-room-lighting-6The finishing touches are what will make your office stand out from the crowd. It shouldn’t look like every other office, but it should be a mix of you and your lifestyle.

Choose your accessories depending on your life aspirations. You have a favorite inspirational quote? Frame it and put it in a visible area so that you get a boost of energy every time you see it. There’s a piece of art that inspires you? Get a framed replication and enrich your home office with it. 

Final thoughts

The first question you should ask yourself when you enter your freshly done home office is: 

Is this me? Does my home office represent me?

Feel free to ask your friends the same question. If both you and your friends think your office is you, then you did a good job.

If your home office makes you feel like you are not even working, then your business and life will blossom. 

And isn’t that the point?


If you have great design stories  to share with the  readers, please check out the WRITE FOR US section and let us know!

I met a dream client years ago. Here is what happened at the first meeting.

It was my first big commercial office renovation project. Continue reading “I met a dream client years ago. Here is what happened at the first meeting.”

5 questions you like to ask the contractors at the first meeting but afraid to

“Do you have secrets to selecting the right contractors for YOUR project?”

I get asked a lot from friends and family members often about this question. Being the architect somehow gives the illusion to those that I have some “secrets” about hiring the contractors… Continue reading “5 questions you like to ask the contractors at the first meeting but afraid to”

Talking Minimal

Design is a key factor that orients how our daily life functions and constantly influences us. As designers, we consider elements such as forms, materials, colours, decorations and more, just to make our life more interesting and efficient, and blah-blah-blah. Sometimes, talking minimal is just enough.

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The Psychology Of A Designers’ Workspace

Hello readers! My name is Crystal Yung and I am a new contributor to the OnahJung blog and marketing assistant for Studio Jonah. I am an architecture student studying at the University of Waterloo. The feature image (at the top) is our first year studio. (Photograph is taken by my classmate, Lisa Huang).

I graduate next year so I’ve been exploring the design industry. I’ve been fortunate to have been able to gather experience in varying work spaces through my co-op education.

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8 Lighting Tricks for Small Spaces to look bigger, at least visually speaking

By Oscar Flores

Small living or working spaces can be a nuisance. They tend to restrict your movement, make you feel stuffy, and look boring without much room (no pun intended) for decorating them.

But, with proper lighting, you could make your small room functional and cozy at the same time without spending too much on space extensions or home renovations.

Here are some smart lighting solutions you can follow to add more width or height to your space, at least visually speaking.


1. Let bright light illuminate the room.

This may seem like an all too familiar hack, but it’s pretty incredible to see how a bright light can make small areas look bigger. Aside from spaces becoming wider, a bright light also gives occupants that roomy feel.


You’re lucky if you have a lot of natural light to brighten up your room, but artificial light fittings work equally fine in “creating” the extra space you need.



2.  Keep light evenly spread around the room

You can’t achieve the best results unless the light you use reaches all the dark corners of your room. An even distribution of light helps direct the eye toward all the areas in the room, so you perceive the room to be larger.

There are several ways you could spread light evenly across the room. But for starters, you may install recessed light fixtures across the ceiling or complement your ceiling light with wall lights and lamps.



3.  Check the direction of light.

Between downward-facing and upward-facing lights, you should choose the latter. Lights that run from the ceiling downward tend to gather all the light in a single area of the room, unlike uplighters that help bounce light upwards and outwards—giving spaces a visually larger look to them.


4.  Stay with clear lighting fixtures

Apart from direction, the appearance and shade of the light fittings can make or break how you could make your space look bigger. You can’t go wrong with light fixtures that use clear glass, as they allow the light to pass through and help reflect light.

In stark contrast, opaque and dark shades of light can only make small spaces look even smaller.


5.  Hang mirrors in conspicuous places.

Mirrors are one of the most inexpensive but highly reliable light-reflecting techniques used by many.

To maximize the use of mirrors in a room with limited space, try these tips:

  • Make sure your walls are well illuminated or painted white.
  • Place a large mirror directly across a window to take advantage of natural light bouncing off across an entire room.
  • Place a floor-to-ceiling mirror behind a small piece of furniture like a side table to create an illusion of extra space or a whole other room opening up right behind the mirror.



6.  Choose proper lighting for specific areas.

The type of light fitting you use will be determined by which part of the house you’re trying to illuminate.

It would be better, for example, to use recessed lights than floor lamps on the corridor or hallway since a floor lamp will obviously take up space from this already cramped area. Reserve floor lamps for those narrow corners in a room to make them look taller and compensate for lack of floor space.

Meanwhile, your favorite reading spot could use some wall sconces above them, and for the kitchen, an under cabinet lighting will be a great source of functional light for all your cooking exploits.



7.  Use dimmers.

Lights with a dimmer switch can do wonders in enhancing the look of your limited floor space, as they can increase the brightness of light in certain areas of your home or office.

Dimmers are also very handy in helping you create a special ambiance or effect during certain times of the day such as at nighttime when dimming your bedroom lights helps you wind down and get some shuteye.



8.  Know the dos and don’ts in lighting options.

Lighting techniques such as those that relate to the style, shape, and color of light fittings for small spaces have to be done right, so make sure to know at least these basic ones:

  • Do not use hanging fixtures such as chandeliers and pendant lights in a room with low ceilings.
  • Don’t scrimp on a single source of light in the center of the room. Make this area look fuller by tapping multiple sources of light.
  • Avoid placing lights on the middle section of a long and narrow room. Instead, place lights in a straight line along one of the walls together with wall lights.
  • Choose lamps with compact designs that don’t add clutter to the room.

At the end of day, we want our living or working spaces to be as comfortable as they can be. No matter how small of a space you have, you can always brighten things up in your little sanctuary.


About the Author

my pic

We feature an original post by our guest contributor, Oscar Florea,content contributor for Avida’s lifestyle blog Pursuit of Passion. He is an engineer by profession but a multipotentialite by destiny. Just like a normal dude in a basketball-crazy country, one of his passions is shooting hoops. Grant Hill is the older brother he never had.



10 Holiday gift ideas for the minimalist in your life

We feature an original post by our guest contributor, Ania Trica from Trica Design Studio. Here is December 2017 post.

The holidays are just around the corner, here are my top 10 GIFT picks for the minimalist interior designer in you or your life.

SLOPEDSIDE BEANIE-Anthropologie – $38.00

An Anthropologie artist collaboration with Brooklyn-based Caroline Kaufman who creates colourful and nature inspired knits. This winter, bundle-up with this playful and cozy pommed hat.

AROMATIQUE HAND CREAM-Aesop – resurrection – $37.00

Hydrate and repair winter dry hands with this luxurious non-greasy finish, botanical hand balm.


A popular flooring material in Italy and the America’s during the 70s, this is not actually a terrazzo stone block, but a memo pad for all your lovely reminders and notes.


As interior designers we love things that are “custom made”. This custom face serum is hand-made in Toronto just for you and each serum is unique to your skincare needs.

STRIPED WOOL COWL – Anthropologie – $58.00

Add a splash of colour to your winter outfit with this playful wool cowl.

MEDITATIONN CANDLE – Flora Hue – $20.00

100% soy wax candle made locally in Ontario with pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils to help you RELAX, RELEASE and MANIFEST.

CLASSIC BUCKET BAG – Building Block – $495.00

This smooth black leather bucket bag is a gorgeous classic.

CB2 – hightop decanter – 44.95

Add glamour to your holiday entertaining with this sleek and minimal glass decanter.

CRYSTAL NECKLACE – rocks on lock – $60.00

Add a statement piece to any outfit. Erin of rocks on lock only sources genuine stones and crystals. Each piece is unique, and hand crafted in Toronto.


Dine dark. Sleek, minimalist profile in polished black adds a modern twist to the table.

DAVIDsTEA – holiday tea tin – $24.00

Relax, and get warm with a delicious holiday tea.

I hope you liked my curated, minimalist, “interior designer” inspired holiday gift selection. Now it is your turn to tell us what you like to receive (or give) this Christmas!!!

Organized chaos- how I personalize my room

I remember when my family first moved in, my bedroom felt so desolate. Our house before we moved into this one was the place where I truly grew up in, so I had a lot of mixed feelings about leaving it behind. You don’t need to know how many times I cried, but let’s just say it was a lot. All things (and feelings) pass eventually, and I finally got to a point where my room felt like mine again.

Continue reading “Organized chaos- how I personalize my room”