Name: Melanie Abrantes Designs
Location: Oakland, California
Size: 900 square feet
Years using space: 1.5 years
Melanie Abrantes is a crafty Jane-of-all-trades. With her company, Melanie Abrantes Designs, she specializes in handcrafting a plethora of one-of-a-kind goods, ranging from cork planters to wood bowls and vessels. Her Oakland studio, located in what was a tomato factory at the turn of the 20th century, features exposed brick walls and big, bright windows. She's chosen to fill the space with things that both complement and contrast with the industrial feel of the studio—the latter being best illustrated by her impressive collection of green leafy plants thriving against the brick factory walls.
The space serves several purposes, acting as a workshop, office, shipping center, stock room, and even a cozy sitting area, all furnished with Melanie's playful eye for design. She was kind enough to let us follow her and her lovely assistant, Genevieve, around the studio for a sunny afternoon, and we were able to capture the space in all its multi-functional glory. Stay tuned for her House Tour in the coming weeks as well. Thanks for having us, Melanie!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Modern, earthy, and industrial.
Inspiration: Small Japanese spaces, industrial factories, natural light, and small cozy corners.
Favorite Element: The brick walls and the large bay window. The space used to be an old tomato factory in the early 1900s; its industrial features show so much character and are my favorite part.
Biggest Challenge: I have a wood shop in the back, so everything gets so dusty! It is always a challenge to get the space clean because the minute I start working it just gets dirty again.
What Friends Say: They love the plants that are all over my studio! They say it feels like an industrial jungle.
Biggest Embarrassment: The wood shop floors are always full of saw dust and cork.
Proudest DIY: The shelves on the wall!
Biggest Indulgence: Plants
Best Advice: Design with the space in mind. This is my office and workshop, so I know better than to have fancy things in here!
Dream Sources: Craigslist and Home Depot
- Desk: Home Depot, hacked IKEA
- Desk chair: IKEA
- Shipping table: DIY
- Pink file cabinet: CB2
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(Image credits: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)