The Start of Our Office Renovation

November 7, 2019

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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This post is sponsored by Modsy.

Our office was a big selling-point for our house. It’s just off of the entryway, it has a door, and it has enough space to host our growing team as well as visits from partners and sponsors. Truthfully, this space came to the forefront of our minds when 20 executives from a major brand we did a campaign for came to our home for 4 days and camped out in our office that looked like this!

Okay, I cleaned off our desks but there were boxes EVERYWHERE.  Even though we had just moved in and I was self conscious of the room, they were so grateful for the quiet space to work so closely to the action. But I knew that even day to day, we would feel more inspired working in a beautiful, well-lit and organized space. So, in the midst of big renovations elsewhere in the house, we wanted to prioritize this room–What’s one more?! Ha! We had bought desks, but we really needed additional seating, a conference table, more storage, and maybe a fridge (shorter walks for Hint Water, amiright?). We needed a good, all-inclusive design — and we partnered with Modsy to get it.

Here are a few more before photos:

This is a really awkward room shape, cut in half by a really awkward tray ceiling and our must-have list seemed impossible to all fit in here, but we knew that Modsy could figure out a way. If you aren’t familiar, Modsy is an online interior design service that delivers very realistic 3D designs of your exact room filled with shoppable pieces of to-scale furniture from top retailers — so you can virtually “try on” products and designs before you buy.

We showed Modsy our space, taking photos and measurements, and plugged it all into our account on their website. We really appreciated that we didn’t need to clean up first. Modsy accepts photos, clutter and all — and because we were desperate for a storage solution, we had a lot of clutter. We sprung for the premium design package, and got really excited.

Next, we took a style quiz (also really fun). This is where we got to answer questions about what we really wanted, what we already have (the desks were staying!), and our budget. 

Really quickly, we received custom design plans for our office in 3D, and we were blown away. Above is just two of the overhead shots of the layout options they delivered. I can’t believe how many times I said, “I never thought of that!” The layouts were well-designed and full of solutions for the most oddly shaped room in our house. The furniture and accessories included really helped us to start envisioning The Dream Office like we hadn’t before.

We used Modsy’s 3D Style Editor and Live Swap feature to change layouts and furniture in our 3D room. We also worked directly with a Modsy stylist (this service is available to EVERYONE) to make sure we landed on a design we loved. We went through six designs before finalizing our office plans. Two are included in the Classic design plan, and you get unlimited for the Premium and Luxe plans— we love what we landed on. I think I said it 125 times–this layout is PERFECT! 

Ultimately, we landed on the design on the right above. By tucking the sectional behind the door, in the recessed portion, you can walk into the room and not hit a table right away. It’s also nice if someone wants to step away from the desk area and truly take a more private breath. (the sectional is not seen from the desk area). Also having the table in the same sight line as the desks actually allows us to have a more collaborative meeting if some are still sitting at the desks and some at the table. It truly all clicked when we saw that 6th design. You have to watch this short video we created of our experience and process to get the full effect.

Modsy also makes it easy to shop. You can purchase the exact furnishings and decor from your design (but it isn’t required). I’m talking multiple retailers — Our office has pieces from Interior Define, CB2, Rejuvenation, McGee & Co., and even Etsy — in one cart for one checkout. You can swap furnishings and they guarantee the best prices.

As you saw in the video, once we knew our direction–we got to work. We tore out the tray ceiling, had recessed lights added (and additional boxes for pendants and a chandelier and sconces on their way! Give me all the light!) We painted everything a warm white (Sherwin Williams Alabaster) and the windows got my favorite treatment–black sashes (Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black) and Accessible Beige Trim. Then we loaded in the pieces that arrived.

We went with five of these credenzas, that look sleek and seamless next to each other, that are making my storage dreams comes to life and mounted three of these bookcases on top to one side for extra open storage. I listed all the sources at the bottom of the post for you!

We’re still waiting for some items to arrive — including a Charly sectional from Interior Define and a Smeg fridge! — but we’re loving phase one of this office reveal. Over the next couple weeks, it’s going to come alive as we fill the shelves and bring in the pendants and chandelier and more art but it already feels like a totally new space! A joy to work in here.

Like I said, WE’RE NOT DONE IN HERE. But we are well on our way and can’t wait to show you more in the coming weeks. If you haven’t tried Modsy, now is the time!


Desk Chairs
Leather Monogrammed Mouse Pads
Desk Lamps
Gallery Wall
Black and Walnut Lounge Chair + Ottoman
Vintage Runner (One of a kind–ebay, here’s a similar one!)
Burl wood Table
Check Area Rug
Wall Hooks
Black Vase
Smoked Glass Vase

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What do you think?

  1. Alyssa says:

    I believe in one of your Instagram Stories, Chris was using a new gadget, stud finder/level while doing work in your office. He seemed to really like it. I think this will make a great Christmas gift for my handy husband. Can you share the name of it and where you purchased it?

  2. TDW says:

    I have used Modsy 2x and love the process and ultimately the results. Unfortunately, the price and package details keep changing. My first project was $59 dollars and unlimited revisions… the second, $69 dollars with unlimited revisions… now that I was about to start my third project with them, the cost has jumped to $79 and now only includes two revisions. My previous projects have taken no less than 4 revisions to get right, so it makes me weary to use the company anymore. I know when you were at your old house and partnered with Modsy you had a discount code – did they offer your followers one this time around?

  3. Alicia says:

    Okay, I need help. Did you feel like the style quiz on Modsy was at all accurate? I basically don’t like any of the options, but feel like my style is very close to yours. Do you remember your style profile? Follow-up question: do you feel like they did a good job of nailing down your style through their tool? Maybe I just don’t have a style!

  4. Nicole says:

    Hey, Just a helpful hint.
    I noticed that your new area rug is already dimpling under the table legs. Carpet on Carpet will do that. I have the same situation with my bed in the Master. My prior rug was damaged because of it and it caused it to shift and become a tripping hazard. With my new rug, I put some old hardcover children’s books under each leg. The hard cover book is a low enough profile that you wont feel it underfoot, but strong enough to provide support and NO MORE DIMPLING RUGS!!!

    Hope this helps! The office is coming out beautifully! I’d love to work in an office environment like that!!!

  5. Sinead says:

    We have these CB2 shelves and LOVE them. I’ve been looking for baskets for mine (to hide toys at floor level), and had spied these TCS ones! Are these the medium or the large?

  6. Bridget says:

    Where is the small black mask print from?

  7. Lauren Longenecker says:

    This is unbelievable, like I could not believe the transformation so quickly and how serene, smart, and dare I say seductive the room appears now. Keep on keeping on Marcums. I am here for it.

  8. Gina says:

    I LOVE this space! I feel like the stranger layout actually benefitted the different areas of the office in the end! Was the wall to wall carpet originally in this space or did you also lay this down for the phase one renovation? I really like it!! I feel like it would help insulate sound from the rest of the house too a bit. LOVE!!

  9. Amanda says:

    Oh wow! Can I come work for you? This office is a dream! I can’t wait to see the rest of the journey of this space.

  10. JL says:

    Love the choice in layout and furnishings. What a difference just removing the tray ceiling makes. Can’t wait to see the final reveal. A couple of suggestions – perhaps a wall garden to add a bit of nature or maybe an art piece etched with verses from the Robert Frost poem that you mentioned in your IG post (BTW, Etsy has a couple of wall decals with verses in black which would work well against a white background). Thanks for sharing the process Julia. This is so much fun!

  11. Maddie says:

    That burl table is amazing!!! I can’t wait to see how this space looks when you’re finished. Are you putting something else large on the credenza to balance out the open shelves?

    • Julia says:

      There will be a large 65″ Frame TV there (you can kind of see the plug on the wall). We’ll use for presentations, airplay videos from the computer so we can all approve it and it will serve as art when not being used.

      • Emily says:

        We love the Rejuvenation light fixture you ended up putting in your office. We want to get it for over our dining room table – do you think that type of light will work for a dining room? And do you recall what height you got for yours? We have standard 8 foot ceilings and are thinking to get the 33 foot height fixture. Thanks in advance!

      • Julia says:

        We have 9′ ceilings, but went a little shorter because we wanted the TV to be visible from the sofa we’re bringing into the office in case of presentation. I think standard is about 40″ from the dining table.

  12. Lee Ann says:

    This looks great! We used Modsy for ideas about arranging and furnishing our living room. A long, skinny room with an off-center fireplace, the room needed to be used for entertaining, quiet book reading, and one office space. AND … we had a couple of antique pieces that we just couldn’t figure out how to use but that we wanted to keep in the room. Modsy gave us two or three floor plans that were beyond great! Amazing how they can do that! Now we love our room and every little nook and cranny of it!

  13. Jen says:

    It looks SO good and I can’t wait for the additions coming up! I’m curious what the significance of the envelope is :)

    Such a fan – thank you for sharing your journey.

  14. Jennifer says:

    Your office looks amazing already and it sounds like the process with Modsy was fun & helpful. I am curious about your decision to partner with Modsy. While I find their concept great and think customers can benefit from the 3D renderings and virtual design process, I really struggle with how little compensation the stylists receive ($30 per finished room). I wish they valued their designers/stylists more than that.

    • Julia says:

      I’m not sure what they make per room but I do know that they also make a commission on the elements you buy for your space, and at the best possible prices—why wouldn’t you!

  15. Angela Sewell says:

    It’s beautiful! Two questions: is the framed letter from your dating days? Have you tried any other online design sites?

  16. Maegan says:

    I love all of this!!!

  17. Rose says:

    Is it just the photos or are those chairs rather crowded at the table?

  18. Maya says:

    This looks beautiful!!!

  19. Mara says:

    It’s beautiful!

  20. Robin says:

    I’m interested in the carpet you have in the office? Do you have the source?

  21. Dee says:

    Wow this looks awesome – i would love to work in a space like this! What kind of computer/monitors do you use?

  22. Rachel says:

    Love the progress so far! What’s the significance of the envelope you framed?

  23. Linda says:

    Amazing. I never even know where to start in an odd shaped room. What is the significance of the framed letter?

  24. Jennifer Herzog says:

    I love the office redo! Can’t wait to see the final product. Curious as to the story behind the framed envelope?

  25. Amber says:

    It’s looking so great already! I can’t wait to see your Charly sectional in here.
    Do you plan on leaving the carpet? I keep trying to add a rug to our carpeted bedroom but I cannot get it to stay flat and was wondering if you have any issues with that and the conference table? Any tips?

  26. Kate says:

    Gorgeous!! Now that’s a place to feel inspiring and get work done. Please share the story behind your framed envelope.

  27. Lauren says:

    Wow, that burl wood table looks so much more expensive than it is. I was expecting $2,000+.

  28. It looks amazing! What is the story behind the framed letter?

  29. Liz says:

    Looks wonderful….

    How are you going to deal with the cords under the desks and in other areas? Using zip ties to corral them is one way, but not efficient if you have to move things. And, I have a couple areas where the plug is behind some furniture, so I am looking for some attractive surge protectors which make it easier to plug in a few items. And then there is the issue of having a table in the middle of the room and having to put a trip hazard of an extension cord on the ground. At least there are some lamps being made that have chargers in their base, so the industry is starting to look at the issue.

  30. The progress in here has been SO FAST!!! Holy wow, it feels like ya’ll were just painting! Looks great so far!

  31. Kelly says:

    Looking great! How are you liking the CB2 burl wood table? I’ve almost purchased it 1000 times but never pulled the trigger because the reviews were so-so.

  32. Lindsay says:

    I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’m already so impressed! Sophistication meets homey. Can’t wait to see more!

  33. Jennifer M says:

    Looks amazing!! Love that rug/table/chairs combo. You hit that out of the park! So excited to see the rest come together!!

  34. Stephanie says:

    It looks so so good already! Also, I am so curious. What is the significance of that framed envelope? :)

  35. Jennifer I says:

    I don’t understand how you got this done! Great space.

  36. Sarah says:

    It looks fantastic!!! I can’t wait to see it come together even more. You guys never fail to inspire me!
    Can I ask what the framed envelope is?

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

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