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 

Office Makeover Reveal: {Design Is In The Details}

Having the office done is Such. A. Relief. From day one, I set out to create a space that would really help get the team’s creative juices flowing. I wanted ideas to literally bounce off the white walls. But trying to stay minimal can be a bit tricky – design is very much in the details when every piece counts. And when you’re working on a budget making the perfect choices definitely took more time than expected!

But as promised, we’re breaking down some of those details today {and over the next couple of weeks!}, first focusing on the upgrades to the walls. We found affordable, simple and most importantly fun ways to really make the space feel brand new!

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We spend the vast majority of our time glued to screens, so I really wanted to capture wall space for old school inspiration. I used to have boxes and boxes of magazine tears, people – that I moved cross country…twice!  As we worked on the redesign, we always kept our eyes peeled for new and interesting ways to display pieces of tangible, physical inspiration. That hunt became the source for our most economical DIY yet! Can you guess what it was??

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We’d been seeing metal grates pop up all over our fave Scandinavian blogs, so we decided to try and make one ourselves! A simple trip to the hardware store yielded the perfect large scale wire grating for $7! To take it a little beyond junk yard chic, we simply laid it down on some cardboard and spray painted it white. Now it simply hangs from picture hooks. We call it our modern pin board and we’re all obsessed.

The grate is the perfect solution for an awkward wall space that needs some visual interest {it hangs on this weird blank spot right before you enter the bathroom!}. It adds texture and interest all on its own, but we use it to hang styling ideas for upcoming shoots, odd knick knacks and our favorite art for a seriously cool 3-D statement!

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Since half of the team is facing a wall when sitting at our new co-working desk {the now iconic Strut Table from Blu Dot, btw!}, we needed something inspiring to look at there too. Instead of doing a typical gallery wall, we loved the idea of creating a rotating inspiration shelf. With acrylic clipboards from Muji {they proved more economical than these gorgeous ones from Russel & Hazel!} and a simple picture rail, we have a chic and quickly interchangeable moodboard to display our most recent magazine musings!

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In our book, no office is complete without a bar and we wanted ours to be a highlight of the space! We started out by creating a black statement wall {painted with Flat Silhouette by Martha Stewart Living for The Home Depot}. Keeping with the minimal style, we floated a clean-lined Ikea console with white lacquer doors and Ikea-hacked it with a customized black surface {aka $10 black contact paper purchased on Amazon!} Then we brought in one major piece of artwork. This is an especially meaningful piece, as we commissioned our very own Editorial Director to make it! Bianca recently discovered this stunning hidden talent {you may remember the piece she did in her own living room here!} and her gorgeous abstract ink on canvas really brought the wall to life {inquire about your own piece here!}.

When it came to lighting, we didn’t have the luxury of installing a “major moment” over our new desk due to a concrete ceiling, so we figured out how to work with the tracking lighting that was already there. We used a simple custom brass pendant {made by studioPGRB!} to make a stunning, singular statement. We also added a monochromatic black wall sconce by OneFortyThree to instantly upgrade our lighting game!

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Finally, we created a mini-gallery moment in our “creativity corner.” Still wanting to keep things as uncluttered as possible, we focused on four art pieces all with a similar color palette and gold frames. The two new ones are original works by fave artist Jennifer Ament and the last little detail is simply a hand-painted watercolor card that we slapped up, unframed, but it totally rounded out the moment. The fresh combo made us fall in love with our favorite art piece from the original design all over again – our Life Magazine image of Vegas showgirls playing chess backstage! J’adore.

That’s detail on just a few of our favorite mini moments around the office. We hope you can see how the simplest changes can have the biggest impact on a room. Next week we’ll break down the creativity corner, the supply closet {remember our most popular DIY to date!} and what’s on our prop shelves! Stay tuned.

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SHOP the Office Makeover Sources

> Strut Table, Blu Dot

> Slope Chairs, Dot & Bo

> Black & White Rug, Lulu & Georgia

> Pendant light, studioPGRB

> Wall sconce, OneFortyThree

> Throw pillows, Designer Fluff

> Dipped natural wood tray, The Vintage Vogue

 

original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick // moodboard image 1 via Lotta Agaton // 2 via Design Sponge // 3 via Style At Home // 4 via Trendenser // 5 via Stylizimo // 6 via Rebecca Centren

It’s Here: The Apartment 34 Office Reveal!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Wedding Week to finally reveal our labor of love: our new and much improved, Apartment 34 team office!

We said we’d have the office makeover done in a month, but like all good design projects, it ended up taking four! Thankfully it’s here now and it’s pretty awesome {if we do say so ourselves!}. We’re SO excited to finally be able to invite you in for a tour.

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The space needed to be completely refreshed in order for our growing team to get down to business. This included an all new layout complete with a jumbo work station as well as a “creativity charging corner” for thumbing through computer-free inspiration {SO necessary!}. A dramatic black accent wall, a custom brass pendant and spots on the walls for impromptu moodboards are just a few of our favorite details!!

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You’ll want to stay tuned as we break down fresh ideas that you can easily replicate in your own space next week. We plan to dive into all of the ins, outs, sources and how-to’s. If there’s anything you spy that you want us to be sure and cover, just leave a comment with your request!

Until then, you can find even more pics of the office on VSCO Journal! We were thrilled to share insights from our design process and a bit more detail about the crazy world of running a blog with the VSCO team. The interview, with more of our makeover reveal and some never seen “befores,” is HERE. And a very special thanks to VSCO for the feature and all the AH-mazing products you produce that help make our photos so much prettier!!

Curious about what the Apartment 34 office looked like before? You can see last year’s studio tour HERE and my tips for making simple updates to your space on Refinery 29 HERE! I’m also be pinning to a moodboard inspired by our redesign with Blu Dot for the next two weeks HERE.

 

original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick