The fact that it's mid-March and I still haven't written this post seems a bit ridiculous. We did, after all, move our offices back in January. But to anyone who has ever moved, well you know how it goes. It takes a month to settle in. Another to figure out what new furniture you're going to need after realizing that most of what you have won't work. And then another month to wait for the new stuff to arrive... which is where we are now.
But while we all patiently (or not) count down the days until it all comes together, I thought I'd tour you through the old office one last time, and share some plans for the new!
I was spoiled so much by our very first studio which was in Pioneer Square - a historic area of downtown Seattle. It had huge windows that brought in tons of natural light and architectural detail. The space felt elevated without even trying! And then, our rent went up bigtime and we had to leave.
So, I found this cool space in Georgetown that checked most of the practical boxes. But it was definitely a bit more gritty than the old space. Making it feel 'me' was a huge challenge, I'm not going to lie. We whitewashed the concrete floors, swapped out the crappy lighting for these softer pendants from Seattle Lighting and added soft accents like white linen curtains and patterend rugs.
But there were elements that we couldn't change - like the dark ceiling that felt supremely oppressive in the winter. Or the fact that the light only came in from those windows at the very end, which made the space feel like a dungeon by the time you got to back of it.
Because the building was industrial and scrappy, the furnishings became a little scrappy too, in the sense that things didn't have to be perfect. Which, I have to say I kind of loved. The office was constantly in flux, being moved around, things being added and subtracted... but that also left things always feeling a bit unsettled.
And while I loved the location we were in (close to my home, the design center, lots of small businesses), I never really felt like this was our forever space. Don't get me wrong. There were certain elements that I wish I could have taken with me to the new studio, like those big wood buffets that held everything. Or the large amount of workspace I granted myself. But here was one major thing lacking in it all: inspiration.
So, a year and a half later, we packed things up again and went back to where it all started: Pioneer Square! We found a stunning light-filled space with white painted brick (apparently it's my thing) and moved in in January!
There is a long way to go before this space will feel totally done because we're partnering with Room & Board on a complete overhaul of the furnishings! I'm so excited, I can't even tell you. While the leather sofa is new (from blu dot!) everything else is pretty old, and our tables and chairs are pretty worn out. They've all held up shockingly well considering the amount of abuse they've taken, but it will be nice to start fresh. Here's the plan:
We decided to keep the palette mostly black and white with warm woods - it feels sophisticated but also appropriate for a space that will be used for many different purposes! Beyond being our offices, we'll begin renting the space out for photo shoots, workshops, and some private events very soon.
There are two main areas: Office #1 is our main workspace where Chloe of Gather Seattle, Lauren of Blue Eye Brown Eye and I have larger permanent desks. Office #2 is the flex space where our drop-in desk renters can do work, but also where we have photo shoots or workshops, and we are working on building out a small kitchenette.
I'll be putting together a more in-depth post about the design process for the new studio, but in the meantime, if you are in Seattle and want to follow along, you can find us over at Jackson Street Studio! We'll be adding more updates to the website soon!