Designing a Black and White Home Office That Inspires

Interior designer Jacquelyn Clark’s new Lark + Linen workspace is equal parts function and style.

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After launching her boutique interior design firm Lark & Linen, Jacquelyn Clark spent the first two years working from the living room of her apartment. “My poor fiancé was often relegated to our

tiny bedroom

when I was burning the midnight oil,” she recalls. Since then, the couple has purchased their first home, and Clark has her own dedicated office. “It has a real door. It closes and everything,” she jokes. “It’s not big by any stretch of the imagination, but it has spunk and character, and it’s all mine. I love it so.”

It may not be large, but Clark has created a space that is at once warm, sophisticated, and a reflection of her simple philosophy: A well designed space should not only feel dreamlike, but be livable, usable, and totally and completely you. 

Based in Toronto, Clark has been working in the industry for 12 years, but her love of design goes back much further. “I actually have a binder filled with floor plans from when I was seven or eight years old,” she says. While the couple is slowly renovating and designing each room in their new home, Clark tackled her office first, knowing she would be spending the most time there. “It seems counterintuitive to feel most at peace when you’re at work, but this room is my happy place. It’s where I’m the most creative, and definitely feel like the space itself fosters those creative juices,” she says.

When they first moved into the 1898 Victorian home, the office walls were painted a creamy yellow shade, with vertical blinds on the windows and less than ideal lighting. She set to work installing wainscotting and thick crown molding, which added substantial character to the space.

When it came to adding furniture, Clark says the desk and chair are two of her favorite pieces. “The desk (from Ave Home) was such a unique find and easily the thing that people comment on the most,” she says. “It manages to feel old school and timeless, yet current at the same time, which is no easy feat.”

The designer’s office is her sanctuary, highlighting her passion for design. “Living amongst beautiful things has essentially become non-negotiable,” she says. The desk features a few objects carefully selected for form, function or, in most cases, both—like the whimsical claw-foot pen holder.

Clark worried the bold-patterned black, gray, and white wallpaper was a bit too feminine, so to compensate, she chose artwork that felt a little more masculine. “The ‘Lady Gray’ print, by the incredible Juniper Briggs, was the piece that initially spoke to me from the get go,” she explains. “There’s something about her subtle sass that I just adore. The rest of the pieces were built from there.”

After splurging on several elements of the room, including the wainscoting and wallpaper, Clark says she saved on a few functional pieces: “The shelf, for example, that houses my design library and design books, is a simple white metal piece from Ikea that is more function than form—though it does have some elegant lines.”

Besides housing her design library, the simple Ikea bookshelf showcases a selection of beautifully-curated components, like a vintage fan and framed photographs, that still adhere to her simple color palette.

“I tend to have a bit of design ADD (especially when it comes to my home) and knew that I wanted to design this space in particular with a completely neutral backdrop,” says Clark. “The black, white, and gray palette has stayed true throughout for now. But it allows me to infuse color through toss cushions, accessories, and the like, as the seasons ebb and flow.”

Although she has a perfectly functional (and gorgeous) desk, the designer often works from a laptop in the cozy chair. “It’s done in a timeless silhouette, yet is oversized and incredibly comfortable.” The piece was about a quarter-inch too big to fit up the stairs so they had to dismantle the entire banister. “It was totally worth it,” says the designer.


Construction: True Contractors, Chair Rail, Cove, and Crown Moulding: Metrie Wallpaper: Meadowfield Wallpaper, $118; Desk: c/o Ave Home, Colette Desk Side Chair: Eden Valley accent chair, $969; Area Rug: Sierra Weave, $750; Custom Roman Shade: Tonic Living Filing Cabinet: Arobas 3-Drawer Lateral File, $250.99; Bookshelf: FJÄLKINGE Shelving Unit, $130; Desk Lamp: Brighton Table Lamp in Large, $228; Floor Lamp: VintageFloor Poof: Métis Desk Chair: Willowridge Desk Chair, $133.99; Graphic Pillow: Patra Cushion, $125; Floral Pillow: Pyne Hollyhock Charcoal, $176; Art: Minted

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Published on April 18, 2017