This Burlington couple built the ultimate home office

This Burlington couple built the ultimate home office

Who: Todd and Kristen McMillan, designers and co-owners of design-build company Ben Homes
Where: Burlington

Todd and Kristen built a new home for their family—including 10-year-old Drew and eight-year-old Fisher—in 2017. Inside, they created a light-filled office for Kristen to store her reference materials, with a balcony overlooking a showy maple tree. “We feel like we’re in the trees, with the birds,” says Todd.

Pre-Covid, Todd usually worked at building sites or from their studio, a 12-minute drive away, but when the pandemic hit, he also started working from the home office.

It’s been an adjustment, especially with the kids at home all day, but Kristen and Todd are happy when they scamper into the space to colour or do homework. Ample storage and a minimalist aesthetic keep the space clutter-free—until the kids rush in and shake things up.

No matter. Kristen says the office was always meant to be well-used, relaxed and family-friendly.

The vintage Danish Poul Cadovius wall unit is from Filter in Hamilton ($2,500). It’s one of the first pieces the couple put in the house. They love the warmth of the teak and the hardiness of mid-century modern furniture:


They use this Eames dining table from Herman Miller (starting at $1,120) as a shared desk. Kristen spends most of her day here, with fabric swatches spread out:


The Stendig calendar ($80) was originally designed in 1966 by Massimo Vignelli. Kristen loves its graphic impact. “It’s so beautiful,” she says. “it’s like a piece of art and yet it’s functional”:


The books and artwork are there for inspiration. “We like surrounding ourselves with meaningful pieces,” says Todd. “The books may look organized, but we use them every day”:


“We’ve got tons of our kids’ drawings pinned up to the corkboard,” says Kristen, “which bring us such joy”:


Their 12-year-old mini Labradoodle, Ben, blends in with the rug: