JLD Office {Awake Photography}

The last few months I have been working for an extremely difficult client. This person is a total nightmare…she has NO idea what she wants, changes her mind constantly, and has way TOO many ideas. No, you can’t have a boho, glam, retro, MCM, girly yet not too much, chic office.

My client needed to just pick a darn direction. You see, the problem is that she likes everything and sees every type of design under the sun because she is obsessed with DIY blogs. So that means she is constantly badgering me with new ideas that she finds and changing her mind after a clear direction has already been set. I should have charged her an extra design fee, but the truth is she just couldn’t afford it. So I worked with her side-by-side, crazy idea after crazy idea, and we finally did it. It may have turned her schizophrenic because the she I am talking about is in fact me…which means I just spent an entire two paragraphs talking about myself in the third person (do those first three sentences count as a paragraph??). Are you still with me? I feel like this office is a long time coming. I’ve been talking about it for the last three years. I’ve shared my ideas for it here on this blog twice (here and here)- each time was different and now that you see what I’ve actually done it’s different than any of the ideas I had previously shared.

I ‘ve been thinking about my office for a long time. I’ve been thinking about the actual office in my apartment that I currently live in for the year that we have lived here. I finally came up with a solid design direction last December. I finished the darn thing about 2 weeks later. Sometimes making up my mind is all that stands in my way. I wish I was a better blogger because I would have loved to capture all of the progress and fun along the way. I’ll try to recount as best as possible. I feel like this paragraph contains lots of short “I” statements.

This is what my office looked like as of 6 months ago.

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 11.33.35 PM Before | JLD office

Then 2 months ago I met with some really awesome potential clients (who are now actual clients) who insisted on meeting with me at my office. I always offer it up as an option- “I’m located in Clear Lake”, but rarely does anyone want to venture out to meet me here. I was very excited that they did. But then reality sunk in because it was right at the tail end of wedding season so my office was a total disaster- glitter was everywhere (I now have a careful screening process that weed out any clients drawn to glitter…kidding. sortof).  Anyway, I cleaned my office and whipped it into shape a bit- finally turned my desk a proper direction- at one point I had it shoved into a corner. Don’t ask me why it took so long to figure out that my desk needed to face the door and be nice and centered in the room. The closet doors threw me off-  they are big. and white. and I didn’t know what to do with them. The idea of that being the focal point when you walk into my office and the first thing you see felt weird. I started thinking that wallpaper may be the way to go. Make that boring white wall become an awesome accent wall (ugh…did I just say accent wall?). BUT then once I started looking at wallpapers I realized that I would be completely over what I chose in a matter of months, my taste is not dependable in the least. Although these (12) were some top contenders, I’m glad I didn’t go this route.

photo 1 (1)

So twenty four hours after I got off the phone with those potential clients this is how the office looked. I turned my desk the right way, decided to embrace the white wall (for now), brought in my wooden console table which usually lives on our porch so I could create somewhat of a “vignette” under my cork wall. And this is how my office looked when I booked all of my clients this year…you see, meeting with those first clients here (and them hiring me) really pushed me to start making every potential client start meeting me here. It seems silly to drive all over town and jump through hoops for someone who hasn’t hired me yet. Once my clients hire me I meet them wherever it’s convenient for them and then I can start hoop jumping ;-) Plus I think people like to see my environment. So that current set up was working (ie. I was booking jobs) but it was driving me nuts. I mean it was a real hodge podge and just all over the place. I took some time off at Christmas so that felt like the perfect time to start making some real progress. I realized that I wanted my office to be a reflection of my website and just a clean white box with a few places of crazy/chaos where my brain could explode for a minute. Enter – a huge cork board (a real live pinterest board if you will), and some pretty white and gold shelves. The cork wall was already in place, but I knew that it needed to stay. I also thought of a few interesting things to do to help the closet doors not look so sad…we’ll get to that.

Quickly after that- this mood board happened.

JLD Office Mood Board

 

It was just thrown together for the ideas- not to really “make a pretty mood board” or anything. But I liked this direction so things started moving quickly. I went to Ikea and started purchasing things. I got really excited when I found this light fixture.

ikea arjeplog

Cut to me at home taking down an enormous ceiling fan and installing this all by myself. I’ve never changed out a light fixture before. Last year when we changed out the light in the dining room, my dad did that for me…and I wasn’t even really paying attention. I watched a couple of youtube videos. I read some instructions, but to be honest videos are way more helpful. After about an hour and a half I had this.

JLD office light fixtureTwo days after that we had this.

JLD office light fixture

A freshly painted clean white box. And can I just say I HATE painting. So many blogs I read act like it’s not a big deal to paint a room and it doesn’t take very long, but I detest it so much. Pull everything away from the walls…tape off stuff, cutting in. It’s all pretty much the worst. BUT I love the result. This made my office feel so fresh. It also made the connecting hallway and living/dining room feel so very tan and gross. #atthetopofthetodolist  After painting everything else went relatively quickly. I made a shopping list and quickly grabbed everything from a number of unique and interesting shopping places….

that’s a total lie I just went to Ikea. And a few days later (right after Christmas) we had this.

JLD office progress photo

My mom was kind enough to watch Phoenix for a few hours so I could go to town on this room. Of course I was jamming out to T.Swifty’s new album that I got for Christmas. Made the process slightly less painful. I’m the kind of person that likes to enjoy a space…I don’t necessarily enjoy the process though. Hanging those shelves- annoying and tedious. Hanging those picture frames into a perfect grid- total nightmare.

JLD office progress photo

But by the end of the day we had this- shelves and photos on a wall. At this point- I just had to wait for a few things I ordered to come in- ie. desk chairs, and closet door wall art to finish everything up. So…the room kind of sat for a month…or two. My chairs came in, and my wall art came in, but I didn’t bother hanging it. No…you see, things like that should wait until about an hour before you plan to photograph a room so you can rush around at 7am getting everything ready. Which is exactly what happened. Soooo…let’s go ahead and get into the afters shall we?

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

So here you can see what I did with those doors. I let them stay white, BUT I painted their little edges gold and added wire word art right above my desk which is actually a scripture that I love very much- 1 Corinthians 13:8. It has also kind of been my mantra for the past two years and it makes me happy every time I read it. It was just the little something that needed to be on that wall- to keep it clean, but not boring. The gold edges did a lot too.

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Majorly want to close my computer in these shots so you can see more of my pretty desk chair. Thanks for pointing that out mom…now that’s all I see. And now probably all you see :) Does anyone remember when I found this chair on craigslist for $75?

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

I only keep pretty folders and tiny notebooks on my desk at all times. Tiny notebooks for my tiny notes.

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

This cork wall makes me SO happy. And this is why my desk was in a corner for so long. I thought the cork wall needed to be the backdrop of my desk…which would have looked awesome, but again just didn’t work at all. Picture me climbing over my desk chair to get into my closet every fifteen minutes.

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Phoenix hi-jacked the shoot- which is very true to life as he is always running in my office in the mornings to see me. I welcome it very much. It used to be too much, but now it’s tapered off and I have to beg him to come visit me…he still does, just not as much. Spiderman slippers and all.

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

My shelves! I tried to style them a bit for these photos, but really and truly this is just where I keep a lot of my inventory. It doesn’t hold everything obviously- there is a TON behind the closet doors, but I try to keep all the pretty things out here that I like to look at.

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Look at me, working SO hard writing in my tiny notebook.

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

And there you have it, the office that FINALLY is. Thanks for looking and thank you times a million to some very good friends of mine who made this day happen and also ridiculously fun- Paige aka Awake Photography and Erica of Hey Lovely who made me look way cuter than normal. ALSO, my new friend Abby of Abby Speaks Hair for e-mailing me the weekend before the shoot and telling me she could make my hair BLONDE when no one else could. She is a rockstar.

If you need to see more or want to read an interview by yours truly head over to The Everygirl today!

Sources | paint- BM super white, gold wire word art- Turn Left Designs, curtains- ikea, blue bench- target, pink pillow- ikea, gold pillow- hobby lobby, desk- ikea, shelves- ikea, black shell chairs- zoetico, blue wingback- thrifted from craigslist, gold desk lamp- urban outfitters, baskets- ikea, shelving unit- ikea, overhead light black and brass- ikea, frame collage wall- ikea, gold stapler- target, gold scissors- target, lucite desk accessories- the container store, white trash can- ikea, gold side table- target

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