As plans are underway for the kitchen and the powder room and a few other rooms in our house, our team has already moved into our new home’s office space, piecing together a workspace from what we brought with us. The space above the guest house already went through some transformation since purchasing the house. We moved the closet, removed the kitchen area, laid wood floors, patched the TV hole and updated the railing:
But we have only scratched the surface in here. This week, I started dreaming up what this space could be: inspiring and creative and comfortable and classic and cool. Including Chris and I, there are 7 of us that work out of the CLJ home office and there’s about to be 8! We just hired a full time employee for Good Influencer (our Influencer education and mentoring program where Chris and I are currently mentoring over 1000 content creators ourselves!). With a solid team of 8 and currently only 6 desks, we knew it was time to quickly rethink our office setup. As you can see below, it’s a little rough around here.
We have used these sleek white desks for the last few years and they have served us well. However, for those of us with long legs, the drawers restricted how we could sit under the desk (feet flat on the floor only!) and we all agreed a little more space on either side of our computers would be nice if we were rethinking our current setup anyway.
The problem was, our office space isn’t HUGE. It’s larger than our last office, yes, but we were going to have to get creative with how it was laid out.
I almost bought four of these writing desks from Pottery Barn. They’re 64 inches long, and that felt like enough space to easily fit two people, facing each other — but staggered so there’s room for everyone’s stuff. But it also felt like we could use just a couple more inches of width — especially for our media team and their big monitors. That’s when the idea struck — why not use small dining tables for desks?? You can easily fit two people, working across from each other at a (4-6 person) dining table! I had to get out of my head this notion that we all needed desks with drawers. There’s barely anything in any of our drawers! Maybe all we needed were a handful of pen cups. Plus, I would rather cross my legs under the table than have a drawer.
I started taping off table sizes on the floor in the office so I could see what could fit comfortably and then I went on a hunt to find something similar to the Pottery Barn desk, Googling “traditional turned leg table.” Bingo. This beauty popped up on Wayfair. At 65″ x 38″, this table was just the right size and felt roomy and charming and like the perfect anchor for our new office space. I put four of them in my cart and checked out in a flash (Psst–4 tables can be a lot more affordable than 8 desks! Win!). Before I could exchange any celebratory Stanley Cup cheers, I felt a pit in my stomach when I looked back at the writing desk I originally wanted that were a little too narrow. The darker wood tone really grabbed me and while the reviews of my quick purchase were positive and absolutely validated my purchase, I couldn’t ignore the photos at a second glance. The cell phone photos, uploaded with the glowing reviews, didn’t look like the product image. The table almost looked gray-washed in the user images. It was beautiful — but not what I was looking for. I realized in that moment that it wasn’t just the traditional turned leg table that I was looking for, but it was also the rich-wood finish. I had instant buyer’s remorse! I very quickly canceled the order (thankfully with no issue!). This might have been a record. I think the time between the giddy high to the remorseful cancellation was all of five minutes.
The hunt continued. A traditional turned-leg table… 35+ inches in width, just over 60″ in length … dark stain… Eureka! I found the Canela dining table on Wayfair! I mocked it up in the floorplan above to see how they would fit and it was looking pretty perfect. I toggled to add four to my freshly emptied cart, and (*gasp*) only one was in stock. My heart sank. The stain was perfect — it had library vibes, for goodness sake. It was a lovely, spacious 35.5 x 63 (!!!) inches. I Googled the table, crossing my fingers that it was in stock anywhere else. No cigar. And then I did something a little nutty: I called the manufacturer. I figured — when you find the table you want to give your final rose to, you stop at nothing! (A quick aside: To those of you who so effortlessly pick up the phone to advocate for what you want — you are heroes and legends. I’m more of an email/text/live chat/tell Chris gal.)
The very friendly representative on the phone told me to email my request. My heart sunk again. I had been on this day-long online shopping journey all day! I didn’t want to send an email out into the ether and hope someone would get back to me when stock was available. Still, I sent in my request and, deflated and exhausted, I quit for the day.
The next morning, I wheeled up to my desk to AN EMAIL FROM THE MANUFACTURER!!! The gentleman I spoke with made four Canela tables available for me to purchase! I snapped them up so fast, and they’re on their way to us! Hopefully I’m just as excited about them when they get here.
I know we’re juggling a lot of projects right now, and I don’t share much about the back end of running Chris Loves Julia day to day, but I’m so excited for our team to feel settled here at work that is an extension of our home. I haven’t designed every inch of the space yet–but I did think painting the whole thing Farrow & Ball’s Pigeon would be the perfect ode to our first office in the small basement spare bedroom in our first home in Idaho. (Wouldn’t mind that wall paneling either ;)
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
The next project we’re checking off our 2023 project list is the mudroom! This used to be the laundry room until we built out a much bigger, better laundry room upstairs. So, in the meantime, this space has been exclusively Cricket’s room. Cricket will still have a special space here, but we’re transforming this dingy […]
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