Sometimes, my yes is fast. Maybe too fast? A couple weeks before they asked the question, Kev and I were sitting on the kitchen counter talking about what’s next. I had finished designing our home and was itching to keep designing. Not a week later did our friends ask if I’d be interested in helping design their new studio space. “Yes!” I said without hesitation.
I thanked my lucky stars that Kimberly, who works with me, was along for a new ride without a paved road. Somehow, we did it. (I couldn’t have pulled this off without her.) Or without IKEA, who partnered with us to furnish the space. Or without Bjork and Lindsay, who believed in me enough to ask. And without further adieu, I’d love to share my fast yes and slow execution with you; the Pinch of Yum Office reveal is below. Thank you, too, for being along for my many rides—from dinnertime to the dinner table to the Pinch of Yum Studio.
Let me catch you up in case you’re reading about this project for the first time. Start here, with the maroon and beige walls, construction dust, and mood boards. If you want to see more maroon walls, click through the “Pinch of Faux” highlights on Instagram. Then head this way, to the office design plans, renderings, and explanation of the design. Ok, now you’re all caught up. In the voice of Enya, scroll away, scroll away, scroll away.
A note of thanks
A huge thank you to IKEA®, who furnished a good chunk of the studio, from the offices to the kitchen, which was amazing as I was already using their products in the design. IKEA is a registered trademark of Inter IKEA Systems B.V. The views, ideas and opinions expressed here are my own. Note: Affiliate links are used throughout.
Here we are in Office 1, Lindsay’s office, the founder of Pinch of Yum. Her desk is a bit of an IKEA hack, but not as hacky as the one you’ll find in Office 4. We used IKEA desk bases and had a custom, very long desktop made. With this configuration, she has both an online and offline working space. My favorite part might be the picture of all three of her kids—Sage, the softest puppy, Afton, her son who is no longer earth-side etched onto her arm, and sweet Solvi, her daughter, in her other arm. The work we do (you, me, her) is called business. But we couldn’t do the work we do without our humanness. It’s never just business. For that reason, I’m a believer of integrating that humanness into the design of a space, even a professional space, from a family picture to something quirky to something slightly askew.
Visual Aesthetic: Naturally Neutral—bright whites accented with blacks, greys, natural creamy creams, and warm wood tones.
Paint Colors: Rock Bottom in flat and Extra White in flat from Sherwin Williams.
Laminate Flooring: Cambridge from Karndeen
Alex Desk Bases | Desktop (custom) | Grey Jute Rug | Värmer Ash Basket | Flannigan Brown Desk Chair | Vårkrage Grey Throw | 3 Gallon Trash Cans | Desk Lamp (from previous studio) | Black Fulltalig Candle Holders | Nypon Grey Planter | Hovsta Dark Brown Frame | Onward Artwork | Hovsta Birch Frame | Uppvakta Pitcher | Recycled Glass Vase | Sinnerlig Bamboo Pendant
When we started this project, I pestered them on how they imagined using this space for the everyday, down to the little minute things you’d typically omit from mentioning. Those are the things I like to design around. Lindsay mentioned wanting a visible calendar, so we came up with this glass board idea. I designed a calendar decal to affix to the backside of this board, making it completely wipeable month after month without destroying the decal. (I use a similar laminated paper calendar system for myself.) I had hoped to make this decal downloadable for you to create at home, but holy cow, applying a decal with very thin lines is so hard. It might be wise for you to buy something off the shelf.
Floating Glass Board | Calendar Decal (I designed this one but you can find similar solutions here) | Flannigan Brown Desk Chair | Heathered Grey Pillow | Kallna Glass Cup | Planner
When you walk into her office, there’s a little entry area, a hospitable little space for a guest or a bag or a coat. This is one of those areas that may or may not get a lot of daily usage, but it says welcome, which is a very good thing.
Blu Dot Coat Stand (From previous studio) | Round Black Mirror | Ulriksberg Rattan Chair | Green Wool Pillow | Tweed Navy Pillow | Coiled Rope Basket | Emmafrida Chunky Knit Throw | Grey Jute Rug | Matte Black Door Lever
Lindsay’s office moonlights (or is it daylights?) as a photography studio. We had custom floating shelves installed to beautifully display her props while also keeping usability high and within arms reach. The top shelf stores the special occasion, if and when needed.
Markfrost Pendants | White Woods Artwork in Natural Wood Frame | Shelves (custom) | Pudda Grey Felt Baskets | Kallna Glass Cups | Props (Lindsay’s collection) | Ladder (thrifted)
Tip: When designing a space, personal or professional, try starting with what you have as a source for inspiration. It helps to build a rich, human vignette, something you can’t find at the store.
Here we are in Bjork’s office. Like Lindsay’s office, we used the same IKEA desk bases here, also used in their previous studio space. Since we kept the walls white, we added in a warm walnut butcher block desktop, which is actually a countertop. The butcher block is valuable long term, in that, should they ever move offices or redesign the space, it can be repurposed or sold. On the large open wall, we created a tiny library that doubles as decor. Reading and spending time offline, is a big part of this online company.
Lobbäk Rug | Hektar Pendant | Flannigan Brown Desk Chair | Vårkrage Grey Throw | Heathered Grey Pillow | Alex Desk Bases | Walnut Butcher Block Desktop | Recycled Glass Vase | Artwork (Designed by me) | Hovsta Dark Brown Frame | Hovsta Birch Frame | Ranarp Lamp | Lack White Shelf
With books to read, you need a space to read, so we created a cozy reading nook. This nook also shares a wall with a large floating glass board, a board intended to capture thoughts while thinking out loud. It can also easily wipe clean again and again.
Lauters Ash Floor Lamp | Strandmon Chair | Heathered Grey Lumbar Pillow | Skold Sheepskin Pillow Cover | Vårkrage Grey Throw | Lobbäk Rug | Unknown Artwork (from the previous studio) | Large Floating Glass Board | Unknown Planter
We’ve had a lot of dinners with Bjork, and he has a lot of sayings, many I’ve bookmarked in my head. In his office, I wanted to add personal artwork, maybe one of those sayings. He sent over the 1%∞ mantra. You can read more about this idea here. I created a simple poster for him, and somehow, in the last couple of weeks, his office just came together. It was the most unfinished space in the design renderings.
Lobbäk Rug | Flannigan Brown Desk Chair | Vårkrage Grey Throw | Heathered Grey Pillow | Alex Desk Bases | 3 Gallon Trash Cans | Walnut Butcher Block Desktop | Recycled Glass Vase | Artwork (Designed by me) | Hovsta Dark Brown Frame | Hovsta Birch Frame | Ranarp Lamp | Kvissel Letter Tray | Lack White Shelf | Wooden Beads in Glass Vase | Pudda Grey Felt Baskets
Because we’re in Minnesota, coat hooks in every office were a must. These single hook, two-prong beauties are so lovely I might get some for our house. And look, there’s a sneak peek into the dining room and the top of my back. (It’s hard to get out of the shot when you’re 6 months pregnant.)
Ask Hooks | Planter | Sansevieria Plant
Office 3, Jenna’s office, is a reflection of Bjork’s office, with more feminine touches and less shelving. It’s open and refreshing with a couple of pops of color.
Stripe Fringe Rug | Flannigan Brown Desk Chair | Vårkrage Grey Throw | Alex Desk Bases | Walnut Butcher Block Desktop | Vases (from the previous studio) | Hovsta Birch Frame | Desk Lamp (from the previous studio) | Lack White Shelf | Scripted Art with white border in Matte Black Frame | Vattenkrasse Watering Can | Color Block Landscape Art in Natural Wood Frame | Black Fulltalig Candle Holders | Nypon Grey Planter | Artificial Potted Eucalyptus
I ended up adding a table to this vignette for additional storage, visual weight, and a place to work, after watching many a meeting gather in this little area while designing. Now there’s an extra spot to set things, like a coffee cup or a laptop.
Vikhammer Black Nightstand | Books (thrifted) | Bowls (Lindsay’s collection) | Uppvakta Pitcher | Black Fulltalig Candle Holders | Tree Ring Art in Walnut Wood Frame | Ulriksberg Rattan Chair | Snöfrid Pillow | Green Wool Pillow | Coiled Rope Basket | Portila Floor Lamp
I wish I could have caught the snow lazily falling during this shoot. Though, I did catch the blue spruce in all its glory, making the insides even more pretty.
We really got to IKEA-hacking away in Eman’s office, the office that needed to fit an extra person from time to time. Having had a previous studio space, the Pinch of Yum team already had a lot of furniture, many pieces that were from IKEA, like these long white desktops. I wanted to utilize as much of those items as possible, so I found a tall cabinet, nearly the same width as the desktops to puzzle-piece this idea together. Here’s how we did it. We added the IKEA cabinet to the middle of the wall, notching out the floor baseboard so it would fit flush against the wall. Then, we used two white IKEA desktops and had the length cut-to-size and mounted to the wall and cabinet, creating two semi-private workspaces. And by we, I mean, I came up with the idea, and we hired out the execution so those floating desks would actually float. This arrangement anchors and flanks the long wall nicely while offering a bit of personal space in a shared space, plus some welcomed storage.
Linnmon Desktops | 80″ Tall Cabinet with Häggeby Doors | Bagganäs Black Knobs | Stripe Fringe Rug | Flannigan Brown Desk Chairs | Heathered Grey Pillow | Desk Lamps (from the previous studio) | Hovsta Dark Brown Frame | Floral Artwork | Kallna Glass Cups | Hovsta Birch Frame | Black Botanical Print | Pear Art in Matte Black Frame | Black Fulltalig Candle Holders | Uppvakta Vase | 3 Gallon Trash Cans
In the last phase of design, I created an artwork selection guide. This guide was intended to help the team choose their own art from a curated selection that fits the aesthetic of the studio while also making these spaces feel like their spaces. You can see a slight shift in tastes throughout the offices without completely departing from the overall look.
With a neutral palette, try adding in a couple of unexpected pops of color to help the space to feel human and not overly designed or sterile. Also, consider pairing two unlikely pieces. For example, something sharp and graphic with something soft and natural, making sure there is some continuity of color/tones throughout the selections.
Linnmon Desktops | 80″ Tall Cabinet with Häggeby Doors | Bagganäs Black Knobs | Stripe Fringe Rug | Flannigan Brown Desk Chair | Vårkrage Grey Throw | Heathered Grey Pillow | Desk Lamps (from the previous studio) | Hovsta Dark Brown Frame | Floral Artwork | Kallna Glass Cups | Hovsta Birch Frame | Black Fulltalig Candle Holders | Uppvakta Vase
I’ll be back after the new year sharing the kitchen and dining room. Thanks for riding along with me! I hope you found a little inspiration in these spaces too.
Where are the brass desk lamps from? Love them! (Also I’m a big fan of Pinch of Yum so I’m delighted to see they have such beautiful offices!)
Where are those leather swivel chairs from???
It looks like they only have the green leather chair available right now. Here’s an easy link.
I love all of these spaces so much! So beautiful! I wish I had an office this pretty.
I have what might be an obvious question, but since I’m considering a similar desk arrangement, I thought I’d go ahead and ask. How did you handle cords for the monitors, lamps, etc? Did you drill a hole somewhere sneaky? Or leave space against the wall? It all looks so seamless, I couldn’t tell how you figured all of that out.
Thanks for sharing this whole process. It has been so fun to follow!
Oh, good question! I forgot to mention that. We had holes drilled in several spots of each of the desks with a cord management system installed on the underneath side. Bjork already had a cord system. I’ll see if I can track the exact one down. Here’s something similar from IKEA. Thanks for following along!
What a beaut, Melissa! This workspace is the perfect balance of calm and invigorating, all while keeping it simple. A hard task to do!
Loved that you gave the team the creative freedom to choose artwork that resonated with them personally. So much thought was poured into every square inch. Makes you want to just down at one of those desks and start creating!
This turned out so beautiful, Melissa! I love the simplicity and all the white. I would love to work here!
Thank you, friend! That means so much coming from you. I sorta want to work here too. Just gonna leave my resume on their desk. Kidding, not kidding!
Will you please share the depth of the desk tops. Particularly, the depth of Lindsay’s desk. Thank you. Beautiful spaces!
Good question! For both Lindsay’s desktop and the butcher block desktops, we went with a deeper depth for added legroom. The Alex desk bases are about 23″ deep. Lindsay’s desk is 30″ deep, so it overhangs on the back. I have a similar desk setup at home with an overhang and it does fine. However, since her desk is so long (129″) we have hidden supports all around the underneath edge as well as a bracket in the middle. In office 2 and 3, the desktops are also 30″ deep, though not nearly as long, and use the same desk bases. They are just resting on top of the bases. Nothing is affixed to the wall.
Can you talk more about what kind of supports you used for Lindsay’s long desk and how you installed them? Gorgeous set up by the way.
Hi Abby! We hired this part out to a carpenter since construction isn’t my area of expertise and the wall is extra long. I’m not exactly sure where he got the bracket. I do know he did some wall cleats at the very back for additional support.
It’s all so beautiful, refreshing and clean. I would enjoy working here! ?
Thank you! I sorta want to beg them to let me come in and work some too. My daughter is sooo sad this project is almost over. She came in a couple times and helped put things together, so basically she feels like she owns the place ?
It is so well thought out and beautiful. What a lovely setting to work in. They must be thrilled.
Thank you, Annette! (And thank you for your continued presence here!) I think they are loving it, which makes me so happy.