Common Room Studio: Design Inspiration!

This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

Alright y’all, it’s time to talk about the design inspiration for Common Room Studio! You’ve already seen some of the before photos, and today I want to share our color palette and the overall vibe for the space. November is National Entrepreneurship Month, so it feels like the perfect time to talk about this new facet of my business. I’m partnering with SunTrust to share some tips from their Small Business Best Practices Guide, including a few tips that I wish I’d known when I first started Oh So Beautiful Paper! As entrepreneurs and small business owners, our businesses are always evolving, so it’s never too late to incorporate good advice and best practices into your business plan!

Common Room Studio Style Board and Color Palette

Some of the materials and colors for Common Room Studio: Sherwin-Williams paint in Alyssum, Snowbound, Zircon, Extra White // Scallop Marble Tile // Semihandmade Supermatte Black cabinet fronts // Butcher block kitchen countertop // Quadrostyle Harlow vinyl floor sticker (using these in the bathroom!) // Fireclay mint green tile samples

Because I started Oh So Beautiful Paper as a creative outlet, I spent the first couple of years treating the blog more like a hobby than a creative business. I didn’t even set up a business banking account until I had already quit my previous job to focus on Oh So Beautiful Paper full time. Oops! I wish I’d been able to read SunTrust’s Small Business Best Practices Guide when I first started my business; it definitely would have made things a lot easier in those early years. If I could go back and do things over, here are three things I would tell myself on day one based on what I know now:

  1. Establish good bookkeeping and banking practices from the very beginning. Keep all of your personal and business accounts totally separate, and invest in bookkeeping software that connects to your various financial institutions to keep track of expenses and spending habits. It can be a lot of work to set everything up at the very beginning, but it will save you so much time and energy down the road!
  2. As your business grows, focus your time and energy on the things that you enjoy the most and truly do best, then outsource the things that you either aren’t good at or really don’t enjoy. For most small businesses, bookkeeping is one of the first things that gets hired out. But you could also consider investing in a part time assistant to help manage your social media, or handle all shipping and mailing responsibilities.
  3. Review your pricing strategy on a regular basis to make sure your pricing reflects the full value of your products or services. If you’re a service-based business, remember that it’s totally okay to raise your prices as your business grows and evolves. Just because you start out offering a product or service for one price doesn’t mean that you’re stuck at that price forever!

Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve - JK Rowling

The SunTrust Small Business Best Practices Guide covers six important financial management topics to help small business owners navigate their entrepreneurial journey. With the addition of Common Room Studio, I’m in a growth and expansion stage of my business – so I found the section on Growing Your Small Business to be really helpful. I was particularly interested in the points on evaluating options for accessing funds to finance business growth, because hello build-out expenses! There is lots of seriously good financial advice for entrepreneurs and small business owners at every stage in their business. You can check out the full guide here!

Start Somewhere

Start Somewhere

Now that the big construction phase is behind us at Common Room Studio, our current challenge is to finish decorating the space! I’ve decorated plenty of apartments and my current home, but I’ve never decorated a commercial space before. Turns out, the process for decorating a commercial space is quite different from decorating a house! I want Common Room Studio to be a bright and open space that can serve lots of different purposes, but I also want it to be an inspiring place that creates a warm and inviting impression the minute you walk inside. I started by thinking about the colors, materials, and textures that I wanted to bring into the space, along with how I wanted the space to function as a whole.

I always create moodboards to help define my vibe and guide future design decisions, but I also roped in my friend and interior stylist Michelle Solobay to help me finish the space. I’ve been collecting inspiration on this board since I first started hunting for studio spaces, and then continued adding to it with this particular space in mind once I had signed the lease. Here’s what we’ve got so far!

Common Room Studio Moodboard

Sources (clockwise from top left): Jenna Kutcher; Light Lab; My Scandinavian Home; Pigment‘s workshop space via Mon Voir; garlands in the Pigment retail space; pink plaster kitchen by Jersey Ice Cream Co.; Sarah Sherman Samuel

Here are my goals for the space:

– Create a bright and open space that can serve as a blank box for photo shoots, workshops, and other events. Furniture in the workshop space must be able to serve multiple purposes and be easily moved and/or easily taken apart and stored to suit the needs of different events. 

– Because the space needs to be visually neutral, our color palette is pretty limited: bright white walls and floors to bounce natural light around, with accents of pink, green, navy blue, and black. Copper, brass, and matte black for metal and hardware.

– Incorporate natural materials, textures, and plants to soften the industrial vibe of the space. Butcher block countertops for the kitchenette, wood chairs, woven baskets and pendants, and house plants in varying sizes scattered throughout the space.

– Hang garlands from the ceiling and woven wall hangings to bring in bright pops of color and add additional texture/visual interest.

– Create a cozy seating area in the front room to welcome guests and provide a space where people can sit and socialize during events.

So there you have it: Common Room Studio, coming very very soon! I am BEYOND excited to bring it to life and share the whole process here!! If you have any decorating or layout advice, lay it on me in the comments. I’m all ears!

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own. Check out the SunTrust Small Business Best Practices Guide right here!

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