Tip Tuesday

At Home Work Spaces

Mar 18, 2020

In light of the current situation in the world, many of us have been forced to leave our work environment and set up spaces at home. We’ve put together some tips to help you create a workspace that is both functional and comfortable, and keeps you motivated through the workday

Get creative with your location

Depending on your home you may not have the luxury of setting up an “office” in a separate room. A console table behind the couch can provide the work surface you need while not being separated from the rest of your family. Keep files and paperwork organized and clutter to a minimum so it doesn’t feel like your work is taking over your home. Plus, a clean workspace is a more productive workspace!

Comfortable seating

Like at your work office, you could spend hours sitting at your desk and depending on how long this situation continues, this could be your new work environment for a while. Consider bringing your desk chair home from the office or use a comfortable dining chair.


Make sure to incorporate pieces with colour into your workspace to keep your work motor humming. Depending on the work you do or the amount of inspiration you require, you can pick something cheery like orange or lime green, or calming like sea foam blue or soft yellow. Colour can easily be incorporated through things like desk accessories and framed artwork.


Try to be picky about the location of your new “home office”. Having a view, especially now while we are somewhat isolated is ideal. Given the current need to stay indoors, having some natural light and something to look at outdoors will provide some extra motivation and comfort. If a view is unattainable, hang some of your favorite art above your desk or at very least position your chair to face the door.

Personalize it!

Even if its temporary, it is important to still incorporate items to personalize your work area and make it your own. A fun mug for pens and pencils, trendy note pads and brightly coloured sticky notes as well as artwork from your kids or framed photos are an easy way to brighten up your space and make it more comfortable.


Make sure your space has plenty of light to keep it functional and productive. A combination of natural light and task lighting is the ideal combination. Look to Amazon prime for some functional desk lamps that will come quickly and right to your door.

We are still up and running and working from the comfort of our own home offices. Feel free to DM us if you need some tips for setting up your own perfect home workspace!

Stay safe.

Our Favourite Gifts for 2019

Dec 2, 2019

Furbo camera – furbo.com

Seriously? A camera that lets you see, talk and toss treats to your dog from anywhere? It’s a little pricier at $299 but we like the peace of mind it brings when we know we have a long day of meetings or are on site and can’t bring our fur babies to the office.

Reigning Champs sweats – reigningchamp.com

Based in Vancouver these are hands down some of the most comfortable and well made pieces out there. Lots of different styles for both men and women – we’re partial to the Women’s Slim Sweatpant, particularly in the Rose colour!

Milk Jar candles

We discovered these candles when our colleagues at Essential Living brought them in to their studio. They are made here in Calgary and the company donates $1 from every candle to local organizations that support youth with special needs. These candles come in a variety of beautiful scents; our current favourite is the "hygge". DM us for more details.

Wellness Weighted Blanket – Indigo

Neither of us own one but have read numerous reviews and posts on the benefits of a weighted blanket. Like being wrapped in a giant hug, they are said to minimize body movement, promote a deeper sleep and help reduce anxiety.

Pet Socks – sockbar.ca

These were on our shopping list last year and were hands down THE favourite gift amongst our families! We’ve since found a Canadian company who makes them as well as other custom gifts for pet lovers.

Design Consultation – sturdyco.com

Have friends or family who have recently moved in to a new home or looking to spruce up their existing space? Gift them with a one-hour consultation and we can help them with everything from space planning to styling in the new year!

Lens starter set from Moment – shopmoment.com

Our photographer friend introduced us to these amazing lenses, which can take your smartphone photos and videos to a whole new level. The starter pack includes a lens of your choice, fancy mounting case and cleaning tools.

Alberta Ballet’s Nutcracker – albertaballet.com

Jeannie is looking for all the ways she can get her husband and teenage son in to the holiday spirit. First on the list is to take in the Alberta Ballet’s Nutcracker. This also makes the perfect gift for that hard to buy for friend. Tickets are available at albertaballet.com

Peasant Cheese Shop - peasantcheese.com

When it comes to design and styling, we’ve got you, but putting together beautiful charcuterie boards is not our forte! Peasant Cheese Shop in Kensington is our go-to not only for entertaining but also for a great gift. Surprise your neighbor or friend with a cheese board and a bottle of wine over the holidays and they will love you forever! Check out their website for other yummy gift ideas.

Happy Gifting!


Oct 10, 2019

At Sturdy Design Co, a specific “design style” is something we try to avoid classifying our clients and projects as having. Instead it’s all about finding materials and pieces to finish a home or space that helps to tell the story of the people who live there. So when a friend shared some “Wabi-Sabi” images with us, we couldn’t help but want to learn more.

The Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi is not a design style, look or trend but rather a way of life that involves ditching the idea of perfection for a more lived-in and weathered look. We’re not talking doggie paw prints on the hardwood and worn out couch cushions, but elements like organic materials, soft textures and natural colours.

Sounds like the look you’ve been longing for? Here are a few tips for pulling off this minimally chic look:


Creating a connection with the earth is a big part of the Wabi-Sabi philosophy, so pay careful attention to what materials you are bringing in to your home. Natural options like wood, glass, metal and stone are not only aesthetically pleasing but they age well too. Fabrics like linen actually look great when wrinkly and get better with every wash.


The best way to add some Wabi-Sabi inspired pieces in to your home is to avoid mass-produced pieces and look for worn items that tell a story. You may have an old family heirloom in storage that shows its age and comes with various marks and scratches. Bring it out of storage and appreciate its history rather then worry about its imperfections. When shopping, visit the second hand stores, flea markets and independently owned shops for unique artisanal items.


Wabi-Sabi spaces incorporate plenty of negative space and allow the functional pieces like a sofa or dining table to be the focal point. These carefully curated pieces should have the opportunity to shine on their own and not be cluttered. When considering accessories for your space, be sure to add items that are functional like a wooden bowl or metal tray.

The recent surge in popularity of these types of “way of life” rather than way of styling is consistent with our philosophy of creating spaces with individuality and personality. Our goal in designing spaces is to always incorporate pieces that actually mean something to the people living in the home rather then being concerned with creating the perfect aesthetic which after all, is the true essence of Wabi-Sabi!

Renovation Reminders

Feb 13, 2019

Renovations whether large scale remodels or small improvements continue to be a popular choice amongst consumers in Canada. Renovating your space allows you to customize it to fit your changing needs and can keep you in a home or neighbourhood that you love.

In working with clients on renovation projects big or small, we encourage them to consider these tips when planning and tackling a home renovation:

What rooms do you want renovated?

While this may seem like a no-brainer, keep in mind that making changes to one space can ultimately affect the connecting spaces as well. If your budget only allows for a “one room at a time” approach, you may want to consider putting some of the budget aside for some minor upgrades to things like fabric or accessories just to make sure that the neighbouring spaces don’t feel out of date.

Budget, Budget, Budget

This is a sometimes painful but extremely important exercise. Before taking on a renovation project, it is important to figure out what you can afford so you can enjoy your new space without the worry of overspending. In addition to construction expenses be sure to include consultant fees, costs to cover accommodations should you need to move out during the renovation, and any furnishings or fixtures you may need for the new space(s).

Make decisions early

There is no such thing as over-planning when it comes to a renovation. Making your decisions when it comes to structural changes, material selections, finishes and paint colours well in advance of construction allows things to move along on schedule and will make it a better experience for all involved.


If only real renovations could happen as quickly as they do on HGTV! Be sure to get a realistic estimate of time from your contractor and schedule your reno at a time that enables the work to be done properly. And be prepared for the odd delays long the way – even the most organized projects can face hiccups like weather delays or backordered materials.

At the end of the day a renovation is a wonderful opportunity to customize your space to fit your needs and ensure that your home is telling your story. So plan, plan, plan and allow the time to enjoy the process!

* kitchen renovations done in partnership with @michaelburrdesign and Legacy Kitchens.

Sturdy Design Co. is on the move!

Oct 1, 2018

What we tend to love so much about our job is the opportunity to be part of change. It seems to be innate that the heart of an interior design firm can always see new possibility and craves new spaces to explore. Usually we live through our clients creating spaces that offer them fresh ways to live and experience their surroundings. (Dream job…we know!)

This time the urge for ‘new’ got to us.

We are thrilled to announce that we are moving into the Essential Living Design Trade Centre.

The idea of our suppliers bringing in the latest wall papers, rugs, custom furniture and lighting right under our noses seemed to honestly be too good to be true. And working even more closely with our community of suppliers, vendors and fellow designers will allow us to continue to pass on the best service and products to you our clients.

Not only will we be fuelling our creative minds and staying on the leading edge of what is trending we will also have the opportunity to work smarter not just harder. Making the client experience that much smoother. And oh how we love smooth!

This is the beginning of our new chapter and we can’t wait to write you into our story!