When Darren and I decided to move back home to the San Francisco Bay Area last year while we were still living in Honolulu, we knew we wanted a loft space where we can both live and work as well as meet with clients for their pre- and post-wedding/portrait consultations. Last November when we came home for a “scouting trip”, we looked at over 20 loft spaces and we both fell in love with this loft that we are living in right now. We love this place because it offers 8 artist live/work lofts and a couple of our neighbors are also artists such as ourselves. It definitely has a creative vibe around here.
For those of you who haven’t visited us yet or live too far from us, I would like to give you a visual tour of our loft here. This is what our building looks like from the street. We always tell our guests that it’s the “mustard yellow” building at the corner. You can’t miss it!
Here is our front entrance… So come on in and make yourself at home!
We love the space because it is very open (with a 20 ft. high wood-barrel ceiling) and we are able to have 3 separate areas: downstairs where the client consultation area and the client viewing area are; and upstairs where the master suite is. Our living room area is where we have our client consultations. We sit here with the clients and chat about their wedding and portrait sessions, find out more about what they are looking for in terms of photography and what their vision is, and then we will show them some slideshows on our big screen TV.
This is a different view of the consultation area, with the stairs leading up to our master suite. The white door on the right is the coat closet. All of the winter coats that we had in our Maui garage are now in this closet! :)
For the client consultation area, we have a nice comfortable sectional sofa and love seat with lots of pillows. We want our clients to feel relaxed while they talk to us about their special day. We have candles, river rocks and potpourri sachet on the coffee table while they sip the beverage of their choice. We even have a floor water fountain to create the serene and tranquility feel of a Bali spa, sans the massages!
This is a view looking down to the consultation area from our master suite upstairs. The white door on the left is our front door. As you can see, we still have a lot of wall spaces for more framed prints and canvases!
Another view of the consultation area and into the front entryway. When we were looking for a loft, we were very strategic and had to make sure that all of our furniture and accessories that we bought while we lived on Maui would fit into this new space. I am glad they all did.
We designed our space based on the resorts, private estates and spas in Bali. Having been there a few times to visit and having shot a wedding there just last October, we absolutely love the interior design and decor in Bali. They are famous for their mahogany and teak wood furniture with the use of bamboo, so we try to incorporate a lot of those elements in our design. In fact, all of the wood furniture in our loft were made in different parts of Indonesia.
Here is the view from the album/canvas viewing area. Those white rectangular panels on the wall are sconces. You will see them all light up in the “evening” photos below!
Love this little “bride and groom” holder for our letterpress business cards!
More florals and candles and our own wedding photos in silk fabric photo frames.
Silk florals are scattered throughout the loft to add a slight touch of femininity to a somewhat industrial and concrete space. We want to create our living space with a warmth feel, which is why we have a splash of colors in orange, green, yellow from the accent decorative pillows to the silk florals, so after a busy day of shooting it feels nice to be home in paradise! All the silk flowers at our loft are from Pier 1 Imports, and arranged by Shari Pierson of Maui Sunset Florals, whom I worked fairly closely with when I was still planning weddings on Maui. I have no idea how the movers in Hawaii were able to pack all of these arrangements intact. Amazingly, nothing came apart, not even a strand of leaves!
There are wedding and lifestyle magazines and books throughout the loft where clients can get inspirations from, and we also have a small work station where we have a laptop to show clients our portfolio online.
Close up of some of the decor and accessories:
Love the fabric swatches from Wildflower Linen. The letter “W” is a perfect monogram for our last name, and it serves as an added layer for our bamboo coasters on the coffee table:
More florals, candles and the floor water fountain:
Our dining room is the client viewing area, where clients sit down and look at the final print products that we offer. Here they will see our giclee canvases on the wall, and we also have different size albums and fabric swatches on our buffet table. We will soon be adding a few gallery print racks as well. The consultation area is in the far right.
We usually leave the kitchen area open since it is a great entertaining area, but sometimes for extra privacy, we do close the sliding Shoji doors which makes the meeting slightly more intimate.
Tons of skylight at this loft! The white door in the kitchen is where the laundry area is:
Evening view of the loft:
Client viewing area with the Shoji doors closed and the kitchen behind the doors:
Our matching dining tables, chairs and buffet table are also made of Bali-inspired bamboo and mahogany wood. The microfiber fabric of the dining chairs matches that of the sectional sofa in the client consultation area to create a cohesive look.
Our little wine bar and fashion magazine area. I think we need to head up to Napa soon and stock up on some vino!
More silk florals arranged by Shari, and little potted clay florals by Diane Katsuyoshi-Phillips of DK Designs:
The office is a private space tucked behind the client viewing area where we do all of our work, from post processing to emails to sales and marketing to accounting…etc. It is challenging at times to work with your spouse, but Darren and I have fun and we enjoy doing what we do together, so it’s a blessing. When it gets a little too much sometimes and we both need some space, then I just bring my laptop outside and that easily solves the problem! We still need to put up more prints on the wall!
Another view of our office… I love it where there are 2 huge cabinets with sliding doors. That’s where we keep all of our filing cabinets, printer, binders, folders and other office supplies. When not in use, we just close the sliding doors and it keeps everything neat and tidy.
There is a guest bathroom with a full bath downstairs right next to the office. It’s nice because with a split level space, you don’t have to always go up and down the stairs to use the bathroom (although that’s great exercise)! One comment we keep getting from our guests is that we have a very tall sink! :) Need some photos in here as well!
Finally, our master suite is located upstairs. It is our sanctuary and we want to make it as comfortable as possible. The bed, night stands and dresser table are all mahogany wood hand made in West Java, Indonesia. The sofa/chaise with ottoman is the same style as the one in the living room, but with a different color microfiber. Again, lots of pillows on the sofa and the bed. I LOVE pillows! It’s very nice to be able to sit and read on the sofa before retiring to bed. The walk-in closet is decent size, although I can probably take over the entire space instead of sharing it with Darren! However, it is nicely tucked right next to the bathroom.
The master bathroom has the double “his” and “her” sinks, lots of drawers and cabinet space with a separate bath tub and shower. Silk floral arrangement again adds a feminine touch without making the space too cluttered. There are a lot of windows and skylights at our loft, which make great natural alarm clocks!
So this concludes the visual tour of our loft! We hope you enjoy it and please come visit us soon!