A Bright Bright Great Tech Tour

Tech Tour

Name: Jocelyn and Jason of Bright Bright Great
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5 years

What to do when you have to call your home your office, while also calling your office your home? That's exactly the challenge creative couple Jocelyn and Jason had to tackle with their live-work Chicago loft, a space which plays double duty for their design business Bright Bright Great, while also accommodating for daily necessities such as sleeping, eating and even an occasional bit of Wii for recreation. It was their clutter and wire-free home office that first caught our attention, but they were gracious enough to share the rest of their inspiring loft space for a behind-the-scene tour illustrating how to seamlessly merge work and life together in style.

AT Survey:

Office style: Sexy modern urban soft loft.

The inspiration for our home office: Jocelyn: Simple and pretty: shiny whites, bold accent colors & fun accessories. Museum and design shrine. We wanted to keep the walls as large white canvases that we could decorate with art as we went. The big pink wall is a throwback to Mexican pink as well as a shrine to the work of Jon Burgerman.

Jason: I like toys.

Favorite element in our space: Jocelyn: Our pink wall. I love standing next to it and take pictures. Also, cement walls and ceiling, you don't hear a thing and can sleep like you mean it.

Jason: The bed. It's a Vera Wang Pink Ribbon edition. I know I should totally be pitching our awesome studio space, but the bed makes all the hard work worth it. When I was shopping for mattresses I went into the store and slept for 30 minutes on every mattress. Once I sat down I knew it was the one.

Biggest challenge in designing our space: The lack of space. We live in a 1200 sq. ft. soft loft that needs to share space with a design company. It's a bit loud and crazy, but we manage. Because we dedicated our second bedroom to our office, there's no room for overnight guests. Sorry, family.

What friends say about our space: Heard at BBG: "This is like a museum." Also: "I'm afraid to touch the walls." Right after: "Uh-oh I just touched the wall." Latest: "I'm going to bring my girlfriend over to show her how cool your place is."

Area where there is room for improvement/future projects: Is trying to fit a second bed somewhere too ambitious?

Proudest DIY (do it yourself) project: Putting together the Elfa system and painting the pink/grey room. Actually, putting that room together was hard because it isn't huge (that's what... never mind.) Because of the layout of the room, it was a little hard to fit two desks, all of our books, some guitars and a couch, and we were very picky about styling it right and only once so we searched endlessly until we found the perfect fit.

Now we have a place to put a lot of books, toys and papers away, long pretty desks, lots of drawers to keep post its and sharpies away, and that massive Elfa shelving unit that saved our life. Our couch is a comfortable plus.

Biggest indulgence with respect to my space: We wanted to do something with the wall behind our TV in the main room, but didn't really want to just paint it, so we went to the Merchandise Mart looking for interesting tiles to cover that wall up, floor to ceiling. After much looking, we decided on a light/dusty grey Italian tile meant to be used on floors. After reassurance from the store that the wall wasn't going to collapse on our DVR/ Wii, we went for it.

We found a great contractor and got to it. Those things were so heavy that the first night all the work the guy did came down because of their weight. He had to start over the next day. In the end we had a cleaning celebration party.

Best advice about organizing or incorporating tech into the home: Invest in a good organization system. The Elfa system from The Container Store saved our pack rat souls. It's not even that expensive or hard to assemble and it'll stop your Dwight Schrute/Jim Halpert fights about space once and for all. Cleaning up every once in a while doesn't hurt either.

Also, go wireless as much as you can. Cords don't only make things look ugly and are a pain when moving things around, but you can also trip on them a lot.

Dream source for stuff: Jason: Anything Herman Miller, or 1960 Charles Eames.
Jocelyn: Someone's old house to turn doors into tables and such (much to Jason's hate), Sergio Bustamante bronze, the MCA store, Zara Home, IKEA, Roche Bobois, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Unica Home, Sur la Table, Luminaire, Etsy.

Home & Tech Resources:

  • Technology: Apple computers, HTC, Logitech, Samsung, Western Digital, HP, Canon.

  • Appliances: Kitchenaid, Sur La Table, Cuisinart, Hello Kitty, Frigidaire, Samsung.

  • Furniture: Dania, CB2, Crate & Barrel, Herman Miller.

  • Accessories: IKEA, The MCA Store, Marvel, Kidrobot, Zara Home, Mercado de Artesanias San Miguel de Allende Mexico.

  • Lighting: CB2, Crate & Barrel, IKEA.

  • Organizing Tools/Accessories: The Container Store, Elfa, IKEA, Target.

  • Art: Chuck Anderson, Jon Burgerman, Dania, Jason Schwartz, Department of the Treasury (really.)

Photography: Jacob Hand of Jacob Hand Photography; Jocelyn Ibarra of Bright Bright Great

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