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My Work Studio Redux: Before

Readers crave transparency from bloggers. They say we bloggers only show the perfect, the styled, the beautiful. Not always. Today I’ll prove it. Here are some snapshots of my work space – or the two rooms in the front of my home with a workshop space doubling as a formal dining room where we host luncheons and dinner parties. And it’s a mess.


OFFICE SPACE NOTES: It is slowly driving me insane. It’s cluttered. It’s chaotic. The floor plan is wonky. It is NOT even close to being baby-proof. When Aidan plays I have to continuously turn around to watch him. When he is crawling around I cannot keep my eye closely on him. This all must change and it needs to change within the next 90 days so I’m doing a big purge, redesigning the space, and plan to have the office and workshop space of my dreams. Because if not now, when?


DINING SLASH WORKSHOP ROOM NOTES: It’s not where we eat each day. I mostly shoot photos and work on creative projects since the Loop table by HAY is very long (250 cm/98″) and the natural light is incredible all day in both rooms. The big white cabinet holds workshop supplies for when I teach. And though it may not look so horrible to you, I just don’t like this space as it currently stands.


FLOOR PLAN NOTES: I just sketched this out and scanned it in about ten minutes with the baby on my lap, so forgive me that it’s not to scale and not CADtastic like some designers. But I did open this post vowing transparency and when I’m about to decorate a space I never draw them beautifully. Still, it’s helpful for you to see. Okay so… The dining room floor plan with the table in the center is sorta the way it has to stay. I’m just unsure about having a bench beneath windows with a baby who will eventually be crawling up there and with windows so easily accessible that also have no screens, it’s a bit of a no-brainer that having a bench under the window is NOT ideal. Also I’m not entirely sure about the white cabinet. I see a credenza here with art and a huge mirror but I also must keep the white cabinet because it holds everything that I need to teach and work in this space.

As for the office floor plan, good LORD this needs help. My desk worked in the last apartment because it was an IKEA hack that my husband and I “designed” to fit perfectly in the recessed nook in the room in was made for. You may recall seeing it in Decorate Workshop. It was perfect there. But in this space, wrong! wrong! wrong! Plus, since having Aidan, I want to see him when I’m working or at least see something… like a window view or a view of the room, so I’m trying to decide what configuration will work the best. I’m thinking to deconstruct the IKEA hack and turn it into a credenza or a cabinet with marble or wood custom made for the top and pick up a new desk that will be placed in between the windows only coming out from the wall versus being flush against it. Then the back of my task chair will face the wall where the credenza will be (where the desk currently is). And where the IKEA PS cabinet (the one with all of the white mini drawers) is currently will be replaced by a sitting area with a small sofa with the back facing the double glass doors that lead into the living room, along with the rattan lounge chair and a new, small round sofa table and a small rug (not the current pink one). Not sure about the white round table, it doesn’t get a lot of use in this space but I sure do love it… But not everything will fit. Oh yeah, and the looming gray bookcase will be replaced with a less looming one (and one that is deeper). The cabinet with the black chalkboard doors that Leslie and I painted for a single photo that appeared in Decorate With Flowers will be painted another color and either kept in that space or moved into the guest bedroom, which is where I honestly thing it will work better. I just don’t see it in the redesign.

Gosh it feels almost therapeutic to spell all of this out on digital paper.

When we moved up here from downstairs, due to my absolute craving for tons of light (and we have it up here for sure) and better views of the city, AND the extra room for Aidan, I was ready to explode with baby – we moved January 9th and I had my son on February 9th. So we had like two seconds to unpack and pull stuff together. These two rooms are the result of throwing stuff together. When my little cutie arrived I didn’t care about my work studio. At all. For months. But now it’s been 6 months since his arrival and I’m caring about my work studio A LOT. LIKE CRAZY. I want to redecorate the entire house in fact, but I’m starting here because my work is a huge part of my life and in order to do the best work, I need a space that is organized, clutter-free and pretty. Before shooting these photos today, I have to admit that I spent 6 hours this weekend filling two trash bags with paperwork and magazines that I just couldn’t bear to have sitting on my desk any longer. It already feels so much lighter in this room.

So this is part one, the big before… I’ll show you what my inspirations are, a draft of the new floor plan and my mood board, all coming up later this month!

Any comments about this space that you’d like to share? Are you working on a room redux in your home? Tell me more!

(photos: holly becker)

Posted in workspace on August 19, 2014

Stunning Work Studio In Vancouver

I have the most fantastic studio to share from lifestyle photographer Kelly Brown who is based in Victoria, BC and Southern California. The fabulous Kelly specializes in natural light photography so when se recently contacted me about a shoot that she did for Leah Alexandra, a Vancouver-based jewelry designer, I was so completely smitten that I couldn’t resist showing off this fab space because I’m a fan of the no-flash movement! I bet this studio tour will make you want to go redecorate your workspace ASAP. It did that for me. It also makes me want to order some rings from Leah, my goodness her online shop has some stunning things! Psst: Click on any image below to supersize and Pin.


Kelly Brown Photographer wedding photographer Victoria, British Columbia

Kelly Brown Photographer wedding photographer Victoria, British Columbia

Kelly Brown Photographer wedding photographer Victoria, British Columbia

Kelly Brown Photographer wedding photographer Victoria, British Columbia

Kelly Brown Photographer wedding photographer Victoria, British Columbia

Kelly Brown Photographer wedding photographer Victoria, British Columbia

Kelly Brown Photographer wedding photographer Victoria, British Columbia


Kelly Brown Photographer wedding photographer Victoria, British Columbia

Kelly Brown Photographer wedding photographer Victoria, British Columbia

About this space Kelly says, “I had the pleasure of photographing Leah Alexandra’s, beautiful new studio space in Vancouver’s Gastown District. Leah is a Vancouver-based jewelry designer who uses sterling silver, 14 karat gold fill, 24 karat gold vermeil and carefully hand-selected gemstones and freshwater pearls. What I love about Leah’s jewelry is that its fun and unique while still being versatile. Better yet, all the jewelry is designed and handmade right in Vancouver. Her gorgeous studio is bright and fresh, utilizing lots of natural light, bold colour pops and geometric shapes. One of my favorite details is the diamond lightbulbs and plant holders.” I’m in love, aren’t you guys too???

If you’d like to see more of Kelly Brown’s photography, please connect with her via her blog // website // instagram // and facebook page.

Thank you Kelly for sharing this with me and my readers and Leah, I’m in love with your rings!

(photography: kelly brown)

Posted in workspace on July 08, 2014

Workspaces That Inspire Me

There are so many inspiring spaces to see both online and off in our favorite magazines, books and on blogs. There is no end to the inspiration. As I work on putting the final touches on my work studio before Debi Treloar arrives to shoot it next month, I’m drawing my inspiration from a bunch of beautiful rooms that I’ve been collecting online. It’s a great idea to build these style files so that you can keep all of your room ideas in one place. Here is my work room style file, see if there are any below that you feel a certain connection to.

Spring come soon!

Taken this morning with my iPhone of a nook in my office.

Workspaces that inspire

vtwonen can pull together a room like no other. I really like the tones in this room and that bookcase is painted so beautifully.
Workspaces that inspire

frau-p – This lady lives in Germany and really knows how to pull together a bookcase!

Workspaces that inspire

vtwonen – My favorite magazine and it always delivers the best of the best. I really love this glass wall!

Workspaces that inspire

lisa congdon – A kick butt artist in San Francisco with a kick butt space.

Workspaces that inspire

My workspace, at least as it was a year ago. I’ve updated since as I always do. :)

Here are a many more workspaces to inspire you today that I’ve rounded up for you >CLICK HERE<.

It is so important to have a nice work room, at least when you are a freelancer working from home as I do. It’s where everything begins and ends for me each day so I need it to support me. Do you feel the same way? Do you have a room in your home where you can escape? Do you have a creative nook if you don’t have an entire room?

(images: linked to their source above.)

Posted in workspace on March 30, 2012

Emma Cassi + An Inspiring Visit

This past Sunday in London I knew I was in for a treat, but I didn’t know just how BIG of a treat. You see, I’ve been a big fan of French jewelry designer and stylist Emma Cassi for at least three years, but most likely longer. She’s been a huge inspiration to me and my work but even more than that, she has been a lovely source of inspiration to so many of my friends and readers.

Emma Cassi

Above: Emma changes up her office space with each new season since it’s common for buyers to visit her at home.

That’s why when I found out that my friend Sania Pell lives nearby to Emma and they know one another very well, I jumped out of my seat! I knew I had to somehow arrange to meet her. In addition to my obsession with Emma’s creations, my friend Leslie Shewring, also visiting London this past weekend, is equally a fan. We all love Emma and her work. That’s why when we asked Sania if she could arrange for us to visit Emma at home, I nearly fell off of my seat when she quickly pulled it together and before I knew it, we were entering her petite paradise in London filled to the brim with gorgeous handmade things! Eep! I knew that this was going to be a most inspirational visit and it was. So now I’d like to show you a wee bit of what I saw. I’m still aglow and a bit light-headed from it, ahhhh.

Emma Cassi

Emma Cassi

Emma Cassi

Above: I love her handmade dream catchers.

Emma Cassi

Emma Cassi

Lots of yummy colors, lace and shots of black and beige.

Emma Cassi

Above: I loved her little Abigail Brown owl displayed proudly on a cabinet. So sweet.

It was the type of visit a blogger like me needs – to gain a new perspective, to have some tea and a chat, to wander through the beautiful corners of a most thoughtful space and to browse tiny drawers filled with jewelry in her magical corner atelier which happens to be in her living room. We met her daughter, her husband and her sweet little son.

Emma Cassi

I poked around her corner studio space to see how she makes…

Emma Cassi

Jewelry spilled out from every corner. Such a treat! I really liked seeing her palette for the upcoming season as she’s already working on things for 2012 – lots of lemonade yellow and bright pink. Gorgeous.

Emma Cassi

I spent lots of time looking at her many inspirational nooks, including this pretty corner above where she posts what has her eye at the moment onto the wall above her desk.

Emma Cassi

Sweet Emma made us rose tea served in Astier de Villatte mugs and she shared some Japanese catalogs that inspires her that I also found quite beautiful.

Emma Cassi

We looked (drooled, in all honesty) at her gorgeous jewelry collections, some seen and some unseen (until now at least) for upcoming seasons in 2012. We even purchased some to enjoy for years to come. I wore lots of her jewelry on Sunday and Tuesday during London Design Week, so if you saw me and admired any of it (some of you asked), then Emma Cassi is the designer of most of what I had on. Emma showed us so many beautiful things (you can see her above – she is beautiful in every way), I floated away after we left her apartment. What an honor to be there with such a creative lady.

Emma Cassi

And in the end, we all posed for a photo taken by her husband. Above: from the left is Emma and her little girl, Sania, Leslie and then me on the end. I will never forget this morning, organized by dear Sania, hosted by Emma and her family and well… it was a morning that I’ll never, ever forget. Truly a dream visit for me.

Emma thank you from our hearts for your hospitality and friendship. You made my London trip magical!

To see more of Emma’s work and to purchase it, please visit her website.

(images: taken by holly becker except for the last one, taken by emma’s hubby.)

Posted in workspace on September 29, 2011


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