studio space before + makeover plan

inspiration image sources: Justine Hugh-Jones, Sara Medina Lind, Sarah Sherman Samuel, and Studio Slow.

Because my house is so tiny, I decided last year to rent out a separate studio space in the same neighborhood. It’s been really awesome for a few reasons: I’m forced to leave the house and interact with humans most days, the prop library has a home, and I can share it with my good friend Kasey from Turntable Kitchen. I’m so lucky to have a space like this, but I’ve noticed over the past year that instead of it being a really functional, inspiring space, it’s sort of become the dumping ground for anything that doesn’t quite have a place in my bungalow. Stuff has really piled up and the studio space doesn’t feel quite settled. The chaos in here has really started to affect my productivity. It’s time to change that and kick off another makeover project!

So here are the before photos… I cannot believe I’m showing you guys this mess, but, hey #liveauthentic.

BEFORE PHOTOS! my styling studio space and office makeover plan. see the full design plan on BEFORE PHOTOS! my styling studio space and office makeover plan. see the full design plan on

Thankfully, the space is really straightforward and has nice clean bones. It’s not like I’ll have to do much construction! I’m considering re-painting the space to an actual white shade, mostly to provide a better shooting environment. It’s a bit of a pain to set up the white seamless every time I want to shoot something against a white wall, so paint could help a lot. The issue is that my lease is sort of annoying when it comes to painting and then repainting… so I might forego this step. I’m not totally sure yet.

BEFORE PHOTOS! my styling studio space and office makeover plan. see the full design plan on jojotastic.comBEFORE PHOTOS! my styling studio space and office makeover plan. see the full design plan on

In terms of furniture and storage… we really need help. I’d really love for everything to match, first of all. I’m a big fan of all white work spaces, so I’ve got my heart set on white desks . I’ll probably keep my white IKEA shelving for the props because they are working so well, but I think the props could be organized better. And don’t even get me started on the terrible organization situation happening near the mini fridge. Also, I’m still not totally sure that this configuration of desks works for us. Having 3 desks is great because that way Kasey and I each have a desk, then there’s one that’s open for when I photograph things. It just sort of feels… cramped, but also like that weird prom configuration where all the chairs are awkwardly pushed to the outer edge of the room.

BEFORE PHOTOS! my styling studio space and office makeover plan. see the full design plan on

I’m not allowed to paint the door so I think I want to do removable wallpaper there. And I can’t change the light fixture, so I’m going to have to get creative around that… it gets dark very early here in the winter, so we each need a source of lighting at our desks, which is why I really want us to have individual sconces.

FLOOR PLAN! my styling studio space and office makeover plan. see the full design plan on

I’ve already started playing around in Illustrator with the floor plan (because I’m a nerd) and here’s what I’ve come up with so far. I really like the idea of Kasey and I each having a corner where we have a cozy rug, matching desks, and wall space to hang up art and inspiration tears. And, yes, I am really struggling to find a spot for the fridge.

So, here’s the short list of what needs to be done:

  • (maybe) paint walls and ceiling white
  • decide on layout of desks/floorplan
  • get matching desks and chairs
  • figure out a cohesive art situation, maybe a gallery wall
  • get rugs
  • wallpaper door?
  • wallpaper fridge?
  • set up storage for fridge area

DESIGN PLAN! my styling studio space and office makeover plan to make my office a productive, modern work environment. see the full design plan and inspiration (and ugly before photos) on

And here’s an idea of what I’ve started to work out for the design plan and items to include in the space.

sources, top to bottom from left to right:

It doesn’t feel like tackling this studio makeover will be too much, which is good! I’ll be sharing sneak peeks on Instagram Stories, so be sure to stay tuned. What do you think of this makeover?

PS — if you’re in Seattle and looking for a really affordable studio space with a great community, shoot me an email. There are still lots of spaces open!

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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Leave a Comment


  1. 10.6.17

    Ooooo this is going to be so fun! It’s so important to have a workspace that inspires you and is functional. Have fun with the makeover!

    • 10.6.17
      joanna said:

      I totally agree! thanks :D

  2. 10.4.17
    Kasey said:

    AHHHHH! I am so excited about this!!!

    • 10.4.17
      joanna said:

      ME TOO. we’re fiiiiiinally going to have a really inspirational, gorgeous space to work in!