Crafting a well-designed workspace that functions as a studio and packaging area adds an air of sophistication to a photographer’s brand. Alberta, Canada’s Jennifer Johner of Dearest Someday looked no further than her very own basement to create a dream space. Jennifer compiled the area by choosing only pieces that were a perfect fit for the design. The subtle beauty of a serene color palette with the added vintage accents fit together like a puzzle.
Making a studio area “work” while keeping the aesthetic beautiful can be tricky. A constant struggle is finding unique ways to leave gorgeous materials on display while keeping them orderly, and this studio is the perfect inspiration of function and charm.
Click: What was the catalyst for creating a studio space?
Jennifer: As my photography and paper/design business grew, I quickly realized I was needing more space than my previous main floor home office had to offer. It was a great space, and allowed me to work productively at my computer and on work surfaces, but I was craving a space to set up for indoor shoots, and as much as I tried it just wasn’t quite enough room. Our winters are very long here and to have that indoor photo studio space is a dream! My husband and I looked at the possibility of me opening an actual studio outside of the home, but to be honest, the overhead costs didn’t excite us very much. To top it all off, there were no move-in ready locations, everything would require renovations. Again, more cost. So, we turned to our unfinished basement.
It has large windows along the back wall and provides great natural light, so the space was perfect. We got to work and did most of the work ourselves. This area has quickly become one of my favorite places to be.
Click: What inspired the design within your space?
Jennifer: I wanted to keep things as light and bright as possible, so white paint on everything. When I make decor decisions, I always ask myself if the item or furniture piece fits with the overall look that I want my brand and business to be. If it does, great! If not, I pass on it and wait for the next perfect find. Most of the furniture for the office space was recycled from around the house.
The mint green packaging station was a wood kitchen island that I had painted bright turquoise for our previous house, but switched to mint green for the packaging area. In this house, it moved around from spot to spot and eventually found itself perfectly at home in the studio.
Since this is a creative space, I allow myself to have a little bit of fun! I love texture as shown throughout the room with vintage furniture, old wood, textiles and even paper flowers on the wall.
Click: How do you choose your vintage looking wardrobe and studio pieces?
Jennifer: I love to watch for unique pieces at places like HomeSense (like HomeGoods), and in antique stores or online classifieds. I’m always on the look out. If it is functional and can double as a prop, it’s a definite win. Vintage chairs are my newest addiction.
My mom finds me the most amazing antique and vintage props as well, so many of my favorite have come from her. I look for vintage books by the color, not necessarily the subject, and simple timeless wardrobe pieces. Subtle muted tones and lots of white/cream are my favorites!
Click: Your packaging space is as gorgeous as it is functional. Can you tell us more about your thought process when setting it up?
Jennifer: When I was setting up my packaging area, I knew I had to have everything out in the open, all within an arms reach. If I forget I have it, I won’t use it. I need to see everything. I painted the island/cart a soft muted green (to fit the space) and headed to Target to get some organizing items!
I picked up the letter organizer and the ceramic containers with the chalk label (which work great to hold tags and stickers). It gets a little cluttered at times, but that motivates me to keep the area clean, and besides, I like a little clutter in my life, especially when it is pretty packaging materials. Knowing that this space had the potential to get messy, it became a bit of a goal to at least make it a pretty mess.
Click: Which items in the space are your total favorites that you couldn’t live without?
Jennifer: I love my mint green work surface! It was originally from Ikea, and I purchased it second hand almost 7 years ago. I also love all of the little bins and jars that I have gathered for the packaging area, my favorite being the vintage mason jar with fabric strips. The rest of the bins and jars are from Target and are perfect for keeping everything at easy reach. The white walls are another top thing about this space. I am inspired to paint my entire house white; I love it that much. It’s just so fresh and bright. The floors in the studio space are a vinyl plank and I am so happy with how they turned out. They are incredibly durable and easy to maintain. I love going to work every day and having vintage props doubling as decor in the space; it’s so inspiring having my collection out in the open. The pallet wall was built by my hubby. We originally used it as a back wall for a trade show I took part in last fall. I loved it so much that we mounted it to the wall after we were finished at the show! It now is used as a photo backdrop (and has actually been painted white recently.)
Wall color: Ivory Mist by Behr
Mint green paint: Antique Sky Chalk Paint by Martha Stewart
Packaging table: Ikea
White boxes: Ikea
White pom-poms: Michaels
White wardrobe cabinet: Ikea
How to make a DIY Pallet Wall: http://projectnursery.com/2014/06/diy-how-to-build-a-pallet-wall/
To see more of Jennifer’s work, visit her website.