I’ve had the privilege of calling Sara my dear friend for almost 15 years. Back in our sophomore year of college, she lived a couple of doors down from me. After developing a serious girl crush on her (and her style), I shyly approached her, confessed my desire to be friends with her, and a close bond ensued. (Luckily, she was flattered instead of freaked by that first conversation.) She’s an incredible friend, that goes without saying, but one of the things that has kept us close over the years is our shared love of style, design, and fashion. Every time I spend time with her, I leave inspired–looking at the world in a new way.
After this studio tour, you’ll likely understand where I’m coming from. Her eye for detail, and her ingenious pairings of styles and colors, unquestionably comes through in her work space. Out of this reimagined garage, she produces impeccable graphic design as a principle and creative director at Hello Waldo. She is also the talent behind the lessyloo logo.
The new year represents so many opportunities to get inspired. Which is why I wanted to publish her space, as an example of a home for creative output, close to the start of the year. We’re not all creatives, and we don’t all have dedicated studios. But we all can be positively influenced if we surround ourselves with the items, designs, works of art, etc… that stoke our imaginations. It doesn’t have to be a room – it can even be a designated area in the home. In Sara’s words,
“It’s really important for me to have a space that I’m in the habit of being creative in, or at least productive in. I think space has a memory that way–I don’t go and relax or read in the studio–keeping my activities contained helps me to quickly be in the mood for whatever creative task I’m about to take on, rather than needing to work myself up to it.”
Let’s take a peek.
Her desk spans the full length of the room, allowing for co-working when needed. The desk chairs were all snapped up secondhand and work really nicely together as an “unmatched” set. I asked her to give her advice on mixing different styles of chairs, and she recommends trying to pair things together that have similar lines and are similarly sized. Mixing colors is okay – as long as they all seem to be working in a palate together. Sticking to items that come from the same era can be helpful, as they will likely work together naturally. Personally, I’m a big advocate of staying away from things that match too closely. Using different styles adds a unique element to a space, and prevents a room feeling like it is straight out of a furniture catalog. Her advice was specific to the chairs, but can be applied to other furniture types as well.
The collection of artwork on Sara’s walls is a mashup of stuff she’s collected over the years. None of it is her designs (unless you count the “do no harm, take no shit” cross stitch, which IS her creation.) Her habit of snapping up small pieces or snippets came from time she spent working at Funnel, where she got inspired by Eric Kass’ collecting approach. (Read more about that here.) These personal touches of artwork, coupled with plants and evidence of her maker proclivities (such as the basket of yarn under her desk) make the space feel warm and inviting. It rings out with an invitation – come be creative here.
The other side of her studio comes across as the place to sit and be inspired. To flip through coffee table books, or to lean back and listen to the scratchy tones of her ’65 record player. It can also be a spot to meet and brainstorm.
As with every space, there are challenges. Spiders come in the summer. Clutter comes year round, especially with it being a creative space. When asked about whether she sees the studio as “done,” Sara said that she doesn’t have plans to change anything, but leaves herself open to discovery. If she finds something special, she makes space for it.
“I feel spaces are kind of a living thing. Always changing and adjusting for new needs.”
That’s it for Sara’s studio. Hope you enjoyed the first of many space tours I’ll be featuring here on the blog, and that you feel inspired to think about your own spaces to create in new ways!