After sharing my home reveal with you, you might have been secretly sad the reveals were finished when I had no more to share with you. Well, I have a surprise for you! While I was building my house over 6 years, we were also building another project right near by that is on the COVER of the newest issue of Domino Magazine. Here’s the scoop of how it all happened, and why I’ve kept it from you until now…
A look back
When we found land back in 2014, there was a smaller area of land available right next door. It was listed for very cheap (for Los Angeles standards), and so I decided to buy it and build a future office. I wanted to put that office rent money towards our own property vs. someone else’s. It was an ideal situation to have my office separate from home yet very close by. So from the start, we designed, developed, permitted, and built these two properties at the same time to make use of all the resources that were already going to be involved in my home project.
Why didn’t you tell us?!
So back in 2014, when we designed this new studio space, I then had my very first Oh Joy 1.0 office with my first few employees. That office was about 1100 sq. ft., so we designed this new one to be an increase to about 1400 sq. ft. of office space on the top floor. Then we added two bedrooms on the bottom floor so that my parents and in-laws could eventually live there if they wanted or come out for extended stays to visit from Philly. However, in the time it took us to design, get permits, and build, my business grew bigger than I expected. We moved into the Oh Joy 2.0 office in 2017 to accommodate a team of 7 and our growing needs with a new warehouse style office of 4200 sq. ft. so that we could have an area for crafting, shipping, photography, and more. At that time, I knew that the design for my “home” office wasn’t going to serve the needs of our work then, and I wasn’t sure when it could again. So I had backup plans in mind such as: selling it (to make back what was spent in the build) or renting it out for either AirBnBs or for photoshoot rentals (to cover the future mortgage). It didn’t make sense to share the process with you then while that was happening because I really didn’t know what we would end up doing with it. Meanwhile, we pivoted the top “office” floor to more of an open living concept so that it would be more flexible as a rental or to possibly sell to another owner.
Then what happened?
Well, then 2020 happened. And, right before the pandemic hit, I had decided to scale back and operate my business on a smaller scale than I had been. This wasn’t a decision I had in my big plan for my life or my business. It was something I had to do because my business and mental health wasn’t viable the way I was running it. Then, the pandemic hit. While I was already transitioning my business, I also ended up moving into my completed home around this time, too. To say things were emotional would be an understatement. During early pandemic days, I was focused on getting my family settled into our home and so grateful we were able to move out of our apartment and into our house while our kids would need to be home for school and we would all spend a year mostly at home together. Soon after, we moved out of our last office and into this new one. The crazy thing was that up until last year, I didn’t think I would be using this office as I had originally planned. But the life-changing year that was 2020 brought it all full circle again. Now, there are two of us full-time at Oh Joy! who work out of the office daily, and we have freelancers who come to join us from time-to-time. The guest rooms house our friends and family who come to visit (which wasn’t possible for the first year of the pandemic), but it’s been so nice to be able to start to have visitors again post-vaccine!
Ok, so let us see it!!!
This all leads up to this reveal! I’m so honored that my new work-from-home studio is in the new issue of Domino Magazine…and on the COVER! I’ve read Domino since it first launched in 2005 and have always loved how they feature real people (not just celebrities) on their cover. I am honored to be representing Asian Americans on the cover as it’s so rare to see, and I hope we’ll keep seeing more and more diversity for all publications and features. This issue will arrive to subscribers soon, and will be on newsstands in a couple weeks! Next month, I’ll begin sharing a breakdown of all the rooms here including process, materials, and all sources as I did with my home reveal.
Cover Photo: Yoshiro Makino
Photo Asst: Sam Cornwall
Progress Photo: Lily Glass
Interior Photos: Bethany Nauert
Architecture: Project M Plus
Construction: Boswell Construction
Design: Cleo Murnane of Project M Plus
Interior Prop Styling: Scott Horne
Wardrobe Styling: Anna Su
Hair and Makeup: Danielle Walch
Jumpsuit: Atelier Delphine
Executive Creative Director of Domino: Kate Berry