Before and After: A Blank Slate Space Becomes a Perky, Playful WFH HQ for the Almost 30 Podcast
As working from home has become more widespread, some small business owners and entrepreneurs have also moved their operations into their places of residence. If you’re lucky enough to be able to do the same, it can be a challenge to separate work from play and rest, but it’s not impossible. Just take Krista Williams and Lindsey Simcik of the popular LA-based wellness podcast “Almost 30” and their brand new, bright and playful headquarters, for example.
Collaborating with interior designer Dani Nagel—an Apartment Therapy House Tour alumna!—these three created an inspiring at-home office that functions as Almost 30’s headquarters, a podcast recording studio, and, maybe most importantly, Simcik’s residence. The one thing they had on their side: a fairly large blank slate with good bones as their starting place.
“It’s pretty rare to find this type of modern loft with lots of natural light and high ceilings,” says Simcik. “There were some fixtures that needed an upgrade like orange pendant lights in the kitchen, but other than that, we had so much room to play…. and PLAY we did.” Through the use of a punchy but warm and cohesive design scheme, color blocking with paint and pattern, and a few key multipurpose anchor pieces, they were able to carve Simcik’s home into a series of spaces that put the fun in function.
Taking the advice of Nagel, Williams and Simcik first began the process of moodboarding to get a sense of what they wanted the space to look like. “Candidly, Krista and I have a much more neutral design aesthetic that we gravitate towards for our personal spaces, so we wanted to design out of our comfort zone,” says Simcik.
To that end, they honed in on an energetic and sunny predominantly warm color scheme of yellows, oranges, and pinks to play up the crisp white walls and light wooden floors throughout the space. By sticking to this palette, each of the different areas hangs together visually.
Then it was all about deciding what types of furniture they needed to be their most productive. Having first started the podcast from their closets and then upgrading to Simcik’s former kitchen table, the duo found that a little “dining” area setup makes more sense than individual desks for the nature of much of their work. So the duo carved out this dedicated recording area, complete with a sturdy table and comfy Joybird swivel chairs for long hours of editing.
Layered rugs and a gold leaf-patterned accent wall, all in their color palette, help to further define this work zone from the rest of the place. A large orange sectional provides a comfy waiting “room” for future in-person podcast guests. Even better, there’s a vintage dining table (and a kitchen peninsula) elsewhere in the home for lunch, so they can really spread out their recording equipment here and not worry about putting it away when switching gears.
Speaking of on the job (and after hours!) eating and cooking, the kitchen—with its bright white cabinetry, coral Bend Goods seating, and jaunty Hygge & West marigold wallpaper— is a literal bright spot. “If we owned the space, I would have replaced all of the kitchen and bathroom hardware, knowing that can be the cherry on top to transform a space,” says Simcik. Nonetheless, Nagel made sure to trick out the room with new lighting and to decorate a little desk area, too, which provides the women with a place for paperwork and other administrative tasks.
Throughout the space, you’ll also find multiple decorative vignettes, from a shelfie setup with a pink painted squiggle background to a colorful daybed nook right beside the fireplace. Sure, these are meant to add personality to the spaces and provide fun backdrops for collaborators stopping by to promote their “Almost 30” appearances.
The seating vignettes, however, are also practical. Having a few tables with chairs, benches, and multiple sofas also means the women and their team can switch up where they work throughout the day. The dining table might be great for an all-staff meeting, while the desk area in the kitchen is a great place for solo brainstorming. Having a couple of seating options is a simple way anyone who works from home can get a change of scenery and perspective within their own walls.
Though the project wasn’t without its setbacks (specifically, a few month’s break for figuring out how to move forward safely in the wake of the pandemic), Williams and Simcik couldn’t be happier with the results. “This change was a significant milestone for us,” says Simcik. “We had started this podcast on our closet floors and now are proud to have created a space where our brand has come to life and our team and every guest we have on the podcast feels the love and energy we put into what we do.” For more photos of the space, check out the Almost 30 Instagram account.