How To Mix High + Low Sources For An Office Design


Remember when we revealed the office a few months ago, half furnished? Well, we finally have everything we ordered, and we can finally share some of our favorite pieces with you!! Even though it did take almost five months to get everything, our original intent with what we chose was to furnish it as quickly and as cost efficiently as possible. Because of that, we opted not to customize a majority of the pieces for the office, and relied on some retail sources that you also have access to! Scroll through for photos and more sources for our (finally done!) office.




wall cabinets


All of our cabinets for file storage and samples on the back wall are from IKEA. We thought about doing like Semi Handmade fronts but I needed it in quickly so it could function as an office within weeks of moving in. I will say I'm actually incredibly impressed with them - the drawers are 33" wide, filled to the top with heavy tile samples, and I was sure they would break within days. It's been quite a few months of daily use, and they're still good! Definitely recommend if you're looking for storage for your office. The countertop has also held up to daily use!



UPPER CABINET STORAGE


We needed some sort of upper cabinets and I was trying to limit like how many holes we put in the wall to help with move out prep eventually. They're from IKEA also and they're shown as small consoles, but they work just fine stacked on top of the counter. This side is for our coffee, wine, and some snacks. The other side is excellent for fabric samples and accessories that we pull a lot for easy access!



DESKS + CHAIRS


It was very difficult to find desks and other office furniture during the COVID pandemic when a lot pf people were and are currently working from home, but IKEA came through for us pretty well. We started with the Alex drawers as the base for our long desk and then we bought this black countertop. It runs the full length of the wall and gives us tons of space. We wanted to make sure we could keep that social distancing going in-office too! However, I would not recommend black countertop because any little bit of dust shows, fingerprints show, and it drives me a little crazy, so the next space will have something a bit different for sure!


Our desk chairs felt like they took forever to show up, but I think it's just because we were sitting on folding chairs while we waiting. We love them -- they're comfortable, not too pricey, and look great in the space. I also made it a non-negotiable to have monitors for each desk station after having that for my home office set up for years. I couldn't imagine hunching over a laptop screen for 8+ hours a day!



artwork shelving + lighting


I really wanted one long shelf for plants and artwork above the desks, so believe it or not, we went to the lumber yard and got a long piece of white oak, and then bought shelf brackets from Home Depot and hung it ourselves! To give the wall more depth and give us some task lighting for later nights at the office, we installed these fixtures between desk stations as well.


If you love some of the artwork on the shelf, here are a few of my favorites:


Tree Study

Citrus Study

Heaven

Watercolor Landscape Study


They are so easy to frame yourself, and I've how they all look together!



seating area


We used this section of the office for customization examples in the drapery rod and drapery panels, as well as the semi-custom sofa available through trade only. The chandelier here works perfectly... it's actually a mistake that I made on a previous project, but I'm so happy it gets to live in our space now! I love the contrast the black brings against the all white tongue + groove paneled ceiling. It was important to me to have a sofa in here, so clients could actually come and sit on and feel the quality of the pieces we purchase for our clients. We are happy to purchase these for anyone interested, but there will be a long wait time, as with most upholstery right now! The coffee table is linked below at the end of the post, as well as other accessories pictured here.



conference area

We originally wanted to make a custom table for the conference area, but I caved after everything was taking forever to come in, and I bought this table from CB2 (linked below). Brian, of course, came through and still ended up making the custom fluted base I had been dreaming about, and I love it so much! I adore the conference table chairs that are linked below, but beware, they work a bit better for those that are less vertically challenged! Always check measurements when ordering pieces -- it's easy to assume that seat heights are standard but they definitely vary!


Our Frame TV is a great tool for showing presentations to our clients, and the sideboard and conference table chairs are examples for clients to see in person. All of them are linked below as well!



budgeting realistically


Get ready for a little bit of real talk for any designers reading now that the office is done being furnished.


I hear so often from people wanting to be designers that it would be so fun and great, which is true, but there's little to no consideration of design being a business that has expenses and things to put in place before "success" can happen.


I have no problem saying that this office, all in, cost close to $25,000 to complete. And keep in mind that the majority of the large pieces were from IKEA, so that budget could easily be doubled if we had done custom cabinetry, opted for iMacs, and went with more trade specific accessories (which trust me, I wanted to do)!!


None of this is said to deter you from pursuing your dream, but I want to be completely honest with what it takes to build a business, grow your team, and continue to do great work for clients. This is only possible after years of smaller projects, working way more hours than I care to admit, alone in my home office, and providing the best experience I could at the time for my clients. It's a great moment every time I open the door here, knowing how much has gone into being able to have this space for me, my team, and my clients.


I remember feeling discouraged seeing people ahead of me in their design journey being so successful and wondering when that would happen for me. I'm here to tell you - you can't compare yourself to anyone else. Be the expert for your clients, learn and implement those lessons for the next project every time, and uplevel when you need more of your time back!



And that's it folks! If you want a refresh on where we started, have a look at our first office blog post here. Links for items are right below, and we'd love to hear what you may get for your own home office!



SHOP OUR CURRENT FAVORITES

03_Alternate (4).png