How To Incorporate a Home Office into Your Living Room

In case you’ve been living under a giant pile of work lately {raise hands!} and happened to miss it, our uber-talented Editorial Director, Bianca, was just featured in the latest issue of Rue Magazine! And not just any ole’ issue, it’s the Anniversary Issue – the biggest of the year! I couldn’t be more excited to show you some snaps of her crazy hot home office space — it’s just the right amount of moody glamour and much-needed function; proof positive that you don’t even need a “real office” to achieve a similar look. Bianca’s going to take it away! Just own the envy and take notes! – Erin

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Not everyone has the luxury of having a dedicated room for an office, right? Myself included. My office is actually my living room and admittedly, it was tricky trying to figure out how much “office” to incorporate into the space I veg out the most. You may remember the previous layout of the room here. The “office” was tucked away in a corner on purpose. I didn’t want it to be a focal point because really, who wants to stare at their desk more than they have to??

It worked for a while, but it really wasn’t ideal for me being shoved in front of a closet.  So I moved the desk against my main gallery wall and boom, the room changed- for the better! The white desk popped off the dark wall and by clearing the paperwork, leaning some artwork and placing pretty objects on my desk, it camouflaged it enough- making it a highlight of the space without taking away from the purpose of the room.

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Objects and magazines are always rotating on the surfaces of things. My coffee table already doesn’t look like this- in fact, a lot of things are different! I’m always picking up something new to add to my home. I think it’s so necessary for my sanity- to change things around. It keeps things from getting stale. I just bought this crystal candle that I’m obsessed with, this decor book called The Chamber of Curiosity and this throw- like I need ANOTHER one!

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One of my favorite areas of the room is the bar area. It sits atop a dresser that holds dvd’s and computer cables. I added drawer pulls from West Elm to make it look a little more fancy! It’s a real mix of high and low. I’ve found all of my barware at thrift stores and painted the framed piece myself. Everything sits pretty next to my favorite pair of Regina Andrew alabaster lamps- my ultimate splurge! And just in case you were wondering, here are the most common questions that I get regarding my space:

> Dark paint color? Benjamin Moore Nightfall, 3 coats

> Art piece above my sofa? I painted it! Email me for commission prices and look out for prints coming soon!

> Are the black chairs velvet? Linen? They’re wool and pinstripe and ever-ee-thing!!

Be sure to read the full story in Rue’s Anniversary Issue here and another behind-the-scenes interview on what my day really looks like – including my fave music, artists, must-haves and go-to websites- here.

 

original photography for Rue Magazine by Aubrie Pick 

 

Getting in the Mood the Old Fashioned Way

We’re taking a poll. Who used to cut their favorite pages out of magazines and tack them onto their walls?? Guilty as charged. Oh how many Teen Beats I destroyed! Thankfully I moved onto Lucky, Domino and Elle Decor. Even just a couple of years ago I was still saving boxes of my favorite tears. But now we’ve all become wholly subsumed by Pinterest and the digital versions of our favorite glossies. It seems the old school moodboard has fallen by the way side and that makes me sad. There’s something so important that comes from the physical act of compiling your inspirations, moving them around until it suddenly just fits!

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That’s why I purposefully/forcefully/willingly/excitedly created an area in our Team Apartment 34 office redesign for a physical moodboard because, really, nothing beats it! No matter what kind of photo shoot or project we’re prepping for, we always feel more focused once we go through the exercise of creating our board. It’s also a fabulous way to get our butts out of our chairs and our eyeballs away from the screen!

But in the days of digital everything, we have to get a little more creative with our creative process. You may remember this outfit we posted last month. Well, the inspiration came from the moodboard below! Despite popular belief, we don’t just throw on an outfit and snap a pic or two. Wardrobe styling is taken pretty seriously around here. We always start with a a general idea or theme, but we focus in on the final look based on our compilation of design spreads and fashion editorials. It can be a pattern, a mood, color palette or texture, light, or even typeface. The only qualification we have is that it must make us stop and say, “omg- obsessed.”

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While we still pull objects, fabric swatches and yes, occasionally tear from a magazine, now we print out our favorite inspirations! You remember those things- printers? If you’re a visual person, we highly recommend adding one to your home office. We’ve been putting our Canon Pixma Pro to serious good use. The photo quality images it prints out – even of our pins – is just jaw dropping. There’s something so satisfying about getting things off of a screen and into your hands. That way you can mix, match, tack and tape to your heart’s content! You’ll be amazed at what new life images take on when actually on paper!

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After we’ve amassed a good stack of prints comes the fun part: bringing everything together. If your brain hasn’t already done so, it definitely will start to detect patterns as you begin taking things from the printer and putting them up on you cork board, wall or office door. We have a wire grid from the hardware store {you could use chicken wire for a similar look!} that we spray painted white- it’s our favorite place to clip our printed images and it only cost about $7 to make!

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Some of our favorite sources for inspiration boards include:

> Hit The Pavement: Go outside, walk around the block and pick up feathers, rocks or any other flotsam and jetsam that catches your eye

> Play Photog: Snap pics of cool architecture and patterns – to print out on your Canon Pixma Pro of course

> Swatch It Up: Go to your nearest fabric store for free swatches and to get your crafty brain gears in motion

> Print from Pinterest: Print out your fave pins to really bring your pinboards to life

> Scan Old Magazines: don’t forget those 1990′s Vogue issues- their pages are packed with forgotten inspo. If you don’t want to tear, scan and print, instead!

> Bobbles and Bits: scour your office or home for anything that jumps out at you- a necklace, handwritten note, the latest business card someone handed you, etc

Et voila! You have inspiration that not only helps you execute a creative project, but a process that also gets you through any creative rut that may come your way- that is until you’re ready to take it down and start all over again!

While we’ve been focused on mood boarding, after our crazy travel season we’re excited to use our Canon Pixma Pro in a ton of other ways! How fun would it be to print out travel photos we’ve already forgotten about? Need some quick art for your gallery wall? Why not create your own by printing out your very own Instagrams! They’d look stunning coming out of this printer. Really, the possibilities are quite endless.

What are some of your favorite sources for finding inspiration? We’d love to know!

 

original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick // styling by Bianca Sotelo 

This post is in partnership with Canon Pixma Pro. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34′s doors open.

Put A Prop On It: {Office Styling Revealed!}

They say your home is the museum of your life. I’m first to admit I can take that to a bit of an extreme. I’ve just always loved decorative objects. I find them on trips, the flea market, random boutiques. They always remind of the time and place where I found them.

Thankfully, with all the styling we do around here these days, my accessories collection now comes in very handy! We decided to kill two birds with one stone with the Apartment 34 office redesign: store all our props and use them for our own decor!

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When it comes to styling shelves – especially when you’re working with a lot of accessories, the key is to keep things from getting totally overwhelming. In our case, there was editing involved {although you might not be able to tell!}. In order to avoid a hot mess, we styled the bookcases with a cohesive neutral color palette in mind: white, gray, creams and tans. A few pops of green, blue and bronze keep it from feeling too monotonous. Anything that didn’t work in our color scheme got stored out of sight.

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Another shelf styling rule of thumb is to create vignettes in threes. Each shelf got its own mini-threesome {or two!}. We grouped bowls, candles, vases and the like. Be sure to always vary the heights of your accessories to create balance!

Stacks of books {and my never ending collection of Vogues!} also helped break up horizontal lines and offer additional texture. There’s something about books that immediately warms up a space.

We also incorporated a variety of our glass objects {vases, carafes & even a selection of my favorite wine bottles} to keep the shelves from feeling visually heavy. Adding in plants {we picked a rubber leaf and snake plant} injected the entire space with life {duh} but I also love their different shapes and textures.

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We broke up the all the business we’ve got going on at our coworking desk by creating a distinct seating area on the opposite side of the room. It’s a lovely spot for group brainstorming sessions, magazine browsing and general decompression from screen time! I mixed a traditional sofa with more modern chairs and sweet white enamel side table. I used the art to inject the area with color.

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Finally, you may remember our office supply closet DIY from last year. Well, now we get to fully enjoy it because we removed the supply closet doors! I was pleasantly surprised how much it opened up the room. Now all we see is all that great bright white space, styled desk supplies {yes you can be picky about your office supplies and it DOES make a difference.}

Even with all our details proudly on display the office feels more open, more spacious and really inviting. By keeping our edit tight and the floor plan spread out we keep the room feeling overtaken by stuff. Now when we’re working on our next shoot everything we need is right at our fingertips!

 

original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick