A Photographer’s Studio

My sister-in-law, Kelley is an awesome photographer in Virginia Beach.  Check out her website if you don’t believe me. www.kelleystinsonphotography.com

She asked me a few weeks ago if I could help her create a space for both she and her clients to enjoy.  I was more than happy to help so here we go!

Kelley is the wife of a Navy pilot and mother to my two adorable nephews.  As if that isn’t a full time job in itself, she has also built a successful and constantly expanding photography business.  Kelley is passionate about photography.  I am sure she cringes when I shoot with my flash, don’t adjust settings (I had her do that for me when I bought the camera three years ago and have left it since) and depend on my computer to correct my poor lighting choices.

Kelley has great creativity, patience for her subjects and a huge heart.  She donates her time and services to Operation Love Reunited for other military families and helps them capture special family moments for their loved ones knowing that it could possibly be their last chance.

She edits photos, sets up adorable newborn sessions, entertains clients and  dreams up new and better prop ideas all from her home. A home filled with two boys, a zillion tiny cars, a husband, and a dog. YIKES!

So here is our challenge:

Creating a space that serves not only as her working office but as a waiting area for her clients.

The issues:

The room is 13X13 with a window bump out and two wide openings.  That doesn’t leave a ton of space for all things that are needed.

The fun part:

Kelley wanted to create something chic with a touch of both modern and vintage.  A place where she can work and host that sparks her creative juices.

What I created:

Kelley’s room is painted a light blue/gray with dark wood floors.  She will use a black china cabinet that she owns for storage.  She loved the idea of a sawhorse desk with baskets and wanted to use a console table as office storage with a gallery of her art above it.  She wants a bookcase to provide storage and house tv equipment and a seating area for clients that feels cozy and comfortable. For the furniture, I suggest a mixture of white and black for glam with a touch of modern. Flanking the black china cabinet and black bookcase on either side of the main opening from the foyer and using a white desk and console table gives you the sense of walking into a well coordinated space with “hidden” storage options (a great idea unless you plan to keep your storage options organized and perfect every minute.)  A white small sofa will be tuck perfectly in the window bump out and allow room for a white coffee table without taking up the entire space and still makes walking around easy . I selected a white upholstered chair with black frame to tie both furniture colors together and add interest behind an all white desk.

Kelley loves the color of her walls (and I do to) so we decided to find a fun “pop” color to use with the light blue/gray. Yellow is a great option and can both brightness and whimsey to the space. I suggested yellow and white zig-zag pillows (or any other funky pattern,) solid yellow pillows for a background to the white couch, a black/yellow/white patterned pillow to coordinate all colors and a whimsical pillow that says “smile” to add a fun element to the fact that it is her photography studio. A white shag rug will define the waiting area and  black and white patterned curtains will frame the space. Curtain hardware such as glamorous finials and curtain rings will add a funky decorative touch.

Accessories should be minimal and feel connected to the space.  Black and white candle holders on the coffee table  with a black portfolio of work, an acrylic lamp with yellow shade, and yellow candle holders (or vases) on the console.  Minimal, modern, clean and fresh. I suggest one major pop of color (and not the colors used previously) on the desk or coffee table with bright pink flowers in a glass or white vase.

Office essentials can be easily hidden in black baskets, boxes and white magazine holders. Teal or yellow ribbed glass lanterns would be perfect for loose office materials and add additional pops of color throughout the space.

The main focus of the space is her beautiful art. Kelley wants to create a gallery wall of her work.  By using frames of all shapes and sizes and white photography ledges, it will take her clients a while to move past that wall and realize how fantastic the rest of the space is!

So that pretty much sums up the design.  I just can’t wait to see how she takes my suggestions and creates a space perfect for her!


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