While for some a cluttered desk may promote creativity, for others an Instagram-ready vignette feels like the first step to success. Here, we share a behind-the-scenes look at how our fresh new headquarters, designed by IKEA, caters to every personality on the ELLE Canada team… and, trust us, there are a few.

“We were inspired by the stunning editorial photo shoots from current and past issues, so we created spaces to display those spectacular images, both near the entrance and in the main office space,” says Carmen Ciesielski, director of home furnishing and design at Ikea Canada.

Above: A mood board by the art department and a copy of our October 2019 issue signed by cover star Priyanka Chopra

“We used our favourite Symfonisk table lamp ($249, ikea.ca) in two spaces to blend sound into the environment. The team quickly got a communal playlist circulating.”

Above: A hallway with framed covers of ELLE Canada back issues; an office featuring a beige Odger chair ($95, ikea.ca) and Pollett wall clock ($20, ikea.ca). 

Above: The office boardroom, which is filled with plant life to create a lush environment, features Hattefjäll office chairs with armrests in Gunnared medium grey ($269 each, ikea.ca) and a Grimsas pendant lamp in white ($70, ikea.ca).

“Bringing the outdoors in wherever we could allowed us to improve the air quality. We used larger palm floor plants, which worked as beautiful statement pieces, and added smaller succulents to personalize each desk,” says Ciesielski.

How the ELLE Canada Team Personalizes Their Workspace

Vanessa Craft, Editor-in-Chief

Above: Craft’s working space, featuring the Bekant standing desk ($419, ikea.ca), Odger chair in Anthracite ($95, ikea.ca), Icelandic sheepskin throw ($389, cb2.ca), Chiaro acrylic chairs ($277 each, cb2.ca), rayon and cotton rug ($549, cb2. ca) and J&V Italian Design Triangoli wallpaper (price upon request, at Newwall, newwall.com)

An ergonomically adjustable standing desk is essential, says Craft. “It keeps me productive!” And the large storage units help keep her workspace organized. “They harness the clutter chaos I naturally attract in my job.”

Above: Art and photos hanging on a Myrheden memo board with brass clips ($28, ikea. ca)

Craft’s desk faces a playful mood board of inspiration, with everything from Fashion Week invitations to thank you notes from former cover stars and even celebrity “confetti” made by a former colleague.

“One of my biggest storage challenges is where to put all my workout gear; I go to the gym or dance classes daily and am always racing there from work. Some people use filing cabinets for documents; I use mine for sweats and sneakers!”

Above: Perch round mirror ($399, cb2.ca); books and storage containers tucked into the Galant shelving unit in black-stained ash veneer ($858, ikea.ca)

Lesa Hannah, beauty director

“Books and candles always make my space homier, while my Winona Forever hat indicates that this is the seat of a true gen-Xer. I also have a snake plant I received during my first week on the job, and I still haven’t thrown out the now dead flowers that Jo Baker sent to me as a thank you for the piece I wrote on her.”

Jed Tallo, art director

“Since my day-to-day involves looking at vivid imagery, I prefer to keep my desk area clean. Neutral hues keep me grounded and offer a nice resting spot for my eyes. Speaking of grounded, the charging pad is key for keeping my airpods charged, especially when I need to focus during deadline.”

Victoria DiPlacido, digital director

“Hydration is so key. I always keep a big bottle of water on my desk along with several different hand moisturizers, cuticle oils and facial sprays. I spent five years on the beauty team: Once a beauty editor, always a beauty editor.”

Erica Ngao, fashion editorial assistant

“It’s important to have my desk essentials – pens, notebooks and dry shampoo – within arm’s reach, so organizers with several compartments are key. Pops of colour to brighten up my space – tacked-up illustrations and photographs, my mini book collection – make it feel more welcoming.”

This article originally appeared in the April 2020 issue of ELLE Canada. Subscribe here.


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