Curbly Headquarters Grows Up: Our New Office and Studio Space

The Curbly HQ makeover is done. Here's the tour!

Working from home is the greatest thing in the world, except when it's not. Our little Curbly unit had a great thing going for a long time, but then Bruno and I had children, and they made working from home more like working-in-10-minute-increments-from-home-all-the-live-long-day.

So, we found a little space a few blocks from our house and set out to make it our own. It has been an adventure and we've been going full tilt for the last six weeks. The space is complete and we're excited to share it with you - come have a look!
For most of the nine years Curbly has been around (Wow! Nine!), Bruno and I - and our beloved editor, Chris - have been working from home offices, sofas, and dining room tables. Our cast of awesome contributors also have their own work spaces (we all 'grammed our office spaces earlier this year, check out the #curblywhereiwork hashtag here). It works well because we're spread across the US and everyone kinda has their own work space preference.

But, working from home with kids became challenging. We were forever making sandwiches and wiping heinies. And, those are terrible things to partner with writing, making, phone calling, and photographing. 

We hoped to find an office space within walking distance of our house and close to our kids' schools. This spring, we finally found our spot. In its last iteration, our space looked a little something like this:

Unstylish bones, but we could see the potential. Our favorite things about it were:

1. The highest of high ceilings: They're 15+ feet tall and make the space feel much larger than it is.
2. The big windows: We get loads of diffused sunlight, which is the very best kind of light for color selection and photography
3. The location: A walking commute is the only kind Bruno would even consider.

In a matter of weeks the space went from this:

The Curbly Office - before

To this:

Curbly Headquarters Studio Tour

Curbly Headquarters - Desks


Curbly Headquarters - Desk Close-Up

Curbly Headquarters - Studio Tour, Clipboard Wall


Curbly Headquarters - Shelving

Curbly Headquarters - Desk Close-Up

Here are the things we love most about the new space:

1. It's bright and light and it makes us feel happy. As hackneyed as that sounds, it's true. Having our own space to write, code, work, talk, brainstorm, meet, plan, create is refreshing and exciting. 
2. It holds all of our things. I love it so much when things have a place. I love color-coding. I love organization. I love pretty. This place is basically a visual representation of my lovefest.
3. The whole room (which is on the small side), feels open and airy. Fresh coats of paint and lots of wood tones give it warmth and make it homey.
4. The bronze metallic details add a little razzle-dazzle charm that I love. Everyone who enters the office inquires about the desks because those Prettypegs legs are for the ages. The bronze pharmacy lamps (from LampsPlus) are the best because they bookend the desks, and don't take up any extra space on the desktops.
5. For the first time in our lives, we did not over-think the design of the space. 
6. The rug. We asked our friends at Loloi Rugs for a suggestion ... something that would feel timeless, vintage, and warm; they came through with the Nyla rug. If there were a fire in the building, I would roll up that rug and take it with me - that's how much I love it.

A note about over-thinking design: I always favor simple and useful, but that's a hard mantra to repeat when you start from scratch. I think the simplicity of the space and its small size drove the design. While we wanted it to be pretty, we needed it to be functional. 

We had four walls that were refreshed with white paint, and we had new plank flooring and light fixtures installed. Other than that, we just worked from a simple color palette (heavily inspired by our Curbly redesign project with our friends at Studio MPLS ... more on that coming soon). And, thar she blew:

Love Where You Live Wall Art

Curbly Headquarters - Work Table, Words to Live By


Curbly Headquarters - Studio Tour

Hanging air plants in glass cloches

Curbly Headquarters - Air Plants Installation

With six weeks to plan the space (two of which were tied up with painting and flooring), the transformation was like a super-fast, painless puberty; which is really a great - albeit awkward - metaphor for the current state of Curbly. We're making thoughtful changes, we're moving at a clip, and we're excited to share it with you. 

Here's a complete source list. Thanks for being a part of our big adventure!

Wall Color: Sherwin-Williams Extra White (SW 7006)
Desks: IKEA LINNMON Table Top + Prettypegs Estelle Table Legs in Teak 
Rug: Loloi Nyla Rug in Slate
Desk Floor Lamps: Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Work Table: IKEA HAMMARP Counter Top + Vintage hairpin legs
Side Table: We got this table from Blue Ocean Traders long ago; here's another option
Tabletop Lamps: Color Plus Naval Wexler Lamp (work table), Color Plus Aqua-Sphere Wexler Table Lamp (side table)
Chairs: Vintage Knoll chairs (recovered)
Storage Bins: Wire Crate + Basket
Air Plants + Hanging Terrariums: Hinterland Trading Collector's Edition Set + Oval Globes + Orb and Heartshape
Hanging Paper Roll: Up Against the Wall Paper Roll 
Wooden Desk Organizer: Check out the DIY here!
Wire Cubes: Brass set
Radio: Tivoli Model One 
Acrylic Shelving (above work table): Pretty Display Invisible Acrylic Nail Polish Rack
Pouf: Pull Up a Pouf (Grey Variegated)
'Hey, Monday!': Made with these stickers.
'Do it Yourself' Letterpress Print: Starshaped Press



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bruno on Oct 15, 2015:

@eva we made them ourselves!

Eva on Aug 24, 2015:

Looks fantastic! Where did you get the "Love where you live" stickers/print(?) from? Thanks!

Eva on Aug 24, 2015:

Looks fantastic! Where did you get the "Love where you live" stickers/print(?) from? Thanks!

alicia on Aug 04, 2015:

@David - great question. We actually have a little closet space (not pictured, obviously, because, well, it's a boring closet), where we keep all our not-so-pretty stuff. Our cameras, lenses, tripods, printer (rarely used), and toolbox are in there, along with about a million balled-up blue IKEA bags we keep accumulating. 

David on Aug 03, 2015:

That is a beutiful space for working in. As someone considering an office upgrade, I'm wondering where you stow your media equipment like cameras, tripods and microphones, as well as office equipment like a printer and filing cabinets. This space looks so much nicer without the visual clutter of those things - but they have to exist somewhere, right?

Amy W on Jul 22, 2015:

I'm completely in love!  I just pinned every picture.

Trudi on Jul 21, 2015:

Lovely! Where is the shelving unit from?

anna on Jul 21, 2015:

Breathtaking. The air plant installation is so beautiful. Bravo, Curbly!

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