MOTO Reveal! How Jess Made Her WFH Office/Living Room Totally Multifunctional (With Big Help From The World’s Most Beautiful Smart Monitor)
Welcome to INSIDE my home! Well, a small but extremely important part of my home. FINALLY, A GLIMPSE! It’s kinda wild how different it feels revealing an outdoor space vs an indoor one. I forgot how much more intimate it is. And this particular space is actually where you and I connect the most. Our hangout spot if you will because this office area is my personal EHD command center. This is where the magic happens:) BUT given that I live in a one-bedroom apartment, I need my office (*cough* living room) to be multifunctional. So it’s also my entertainment center and sometimes my dining room but we’ll talk about the latter, later. And boy oh boy did this office/entertainment center get a MASSIVE upgrade thanks to that beautiful Samsung monitor you are currently laying your eyes on. But we’ll talk about that in a little bit too.
I think to truly honor this current space we need to start from the real WFH beginning… my last apartment.
I can’t believe I’m putting that right photo on the internet but hey who doesn’t love a real deal design journey?? Pictured on the left was how God, me, and my father (the builder) intended my banquette to be seen and used. You know, as a dining space for food eating and lively conversating. Well, that clearly came to a halt in March of 2020 since no one was allowed near each other and I needed a workspace asap. This WAS NOT how it looked all the time. I must have felt compelled to snap a photo on one of its grosser days. Also, I’m 99% sure this was taken soon after we had to clear out our old office, hence all the random home accessories piled together. Excuses, excuses.
But then the wonders of the universe swooped in (and my wonderful friends/neighbors, Franchesca and Ben) and I moved into this fairytale apartment. But since I didn’t have a desk to bring, I “borrowed” this folding table from Em’s prop garage. I technically still have it but am more than happy to return since getting my dream desk… and chair:)
WAIT. Before we get into the beautiful photos that Sara took, I had a pretty surreal experience of shooting a video… like a professional cinematographer, Dominic López, came to my home so I could talk about the gloriousness of the Samsung Smart Monitor M8 (and my office set up:)) Just wait for the ad to play and enjoy!
Since it was the topic of my most recent blog post… THIS IS THE CHAIR!!! It’s just. It’s just the coolest yet still practical chair I’ve ever had the pleasure of setting my eyes on. That circle cut out physically changes my eye shape into hearts every time I look at it. For those of you who were begging me to get an ergonomic chair, I promise I heard you but we needed to compromise. I needed to get a chair I loved looking at since this is also my living room and not in an office I can shut the door to. So ergonomic seat cushions have been ordered. But TBH the padded cushions on this chair are really comfortable. However, since I am sitting on it for many hours a day I know that a special butt and back cushion will make my butt and back happier. Then when I’m done for the day, in the closet they will go so I can just stare at the perfection of this chair. And if me needing this chair says anything it’s that I was trained by Emily Henderson and Brady Tolbert:) IYKYK. It’s got both of their names written on it. I can’t thank Bassman Blaine enough for gifted it and Noir Furniture for always designing insanely cool pieces. It’s absolutely a forever piece.
Now to this desk that I will also never stop talking about. I don’t know who at Crate & Barrel got ahold of my design dream journal but they couldn’t have designed a more perfect desk for me and this window. We were all MADE for each other. For a little review here are more reasons why it’s the perfect match:
1. It’s a desk that doesn’t read: DESK when you first look at it. This was important to me since it’s such a main piece in the space.
2. Both sides independently twist from the center so I can have them angled, straight, or nested together. This means it can also work as a skinny dining table if I want to have a dinner party! (For the full living room reveal I talked to Bowser about styling it both ways! It’s going to be so pretty)
3. Has stunning textures. The majority of the desk is covered in seagrass and arrowroot grasscloth but the top and structure are white oak and engineered wood certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). So it’s beautiful and doing good for the earth. Win-win!
4. IT HAS STORAGE. The center is a full-on cabinet. Oh but if I don’t want to see the cabinet door for some reason I can twist it around to the back. See ABOVE for that little peek:)
What is an office in 2022 without some beautiful technology?? When Samsung reached out asking if we had a project where their new Samsung Smart Monitor M8 would be a fit, my hand went up as fast as humanly possible. Why? Well, since we were told that it was not only a 32″ monitor (much bigger than my previous desktop) but also that it easily and wirelessly connects to our computers, AND would give us a Smart TV Experience. It was the multipurpose device I needed! Not only that but it’s SO BEAUTIFUL and SO SLIM. And look, I’m not someone who loves looking at tech devices in general. Also, I’m sure it’s a surprise to no one that I’m kinda (read: VERY) particular about how my home looks and what’s displayed in it. So if I’m going to have one, this is the one I want to look at. Even the back has a subtle herringbone pattern. They thought about everything. Since I already had these incredible curtains by Decorview, I chose the warm white color. However, there are three other really beautiful colors to choose from – Sunset Pink, Daylight Blue, and Spring Green. Caitlin has her eyes very set on the Sunset Pink. Imagine how incredible it would look with her wallpaper?! This monitor was designed for people who love design.
This baby also has moves! Up and down and forward and back (aka tilt). This is great for me since I’m kinda on the shorter side. BUT if you are on the taller side, you are also covered. Another customizable feature is that cute camera. It’s attached with magnets so you can leave it on (with a removable cap) or easily take it off when you aren’t using it or want it to look more like a TV after work hours. Again, the design was so well thought out.
Oh, have you seen Emily’s book landing page? Have you preordered her new book? Well, here’s a peek displayed magnificently on this screen:)
Tree (Japanese Maple)
A beautiful monitor not only deserves to be on a beautiful desk and be accompanied by a dope chair, but it also needs beautiful desk friends (aka accessories). Let’s start at the bottom. Those books and accessories on the floor have been styled like that for at least a month and are things I’ve had for years. The fact that the great Emily Bowser only slightly rearranged the contents in the tray made me almost too excited. But the rest of the styling was all her. Duh.
What’s crazy about that ridiculously good large black tray on the desk (that I immediately ordered after the shoot), is that it hadn’t occurred to me to put a tray on my desk until Bowser popped it in. The reason why that’s wild to me is that we EHDers are “tray people”. We suggest and use trays all the time. We like to CORRAL things. Just goes to show that it can be easy to miss the most simple pillars of styling. So here’s my/our PSA… Could a tray help your desk? Your coffee table? Your credenza? Your bathroom counter? The answer is likely yes. Learn from my mistakes.
Now let’s move up and talk about these curtains. My heart is full every time I step into this room and see that perfect soft pink fabric framing my beloved turret. To be honest, I was nervous about my pink choice up until they were installed. I tend to have a super cute habit of second-guessing every. single. decision. I. make. until it’s in place. It’s not exhausting don’t worry about it. But once they were here I was pretty over the moon. Also, I could stare at the custom rod all day long. Remember how it looked before with those sad three little hand-bent “rods”? Maybe scroll back up to remind yourself. Needless to say, these curtains are perfect, the process was perfect and perfectly seamless. Decorview makes you realize what quality service is. I’m serious. There aren’t enough thanks to Laura (my consultant), Joe (my installer), and everyone on the team!
That stunning tree is a Japanese Maple that Bowser found and the tonal moodiness really gets me in the right editorial director headspace:) That brown tray (#traysontrays) was snagged on one of the greatest days of my adult life… the day we got to have a shopping spree in Emily’s prop garage. I love how the warm wood contrasts the black tray but ties in the wood tape dispenser (see below) and the wood of the chair. But then she added that black iron box I got for $5 in Joshua Tree and the black stapler to tie the color palette all together! (#boxesontraysontrays) I knew buying something I didn’t technically need at the time would pay off. JUST KIDDING. Don’t do that…but also when a slammin deal on a cute box presents itself…
Please note the remote because it might be one of my favorite parts of this Samsung collaboration but more on that later.
Now let’s talk about that striped ceramic masterpiece before you. This lamp is not only one of my favorite lamps of all time but it comes with a cool story. Back when we had our studio, next door to us was the architecture design firm that renovated the building we were in. A wonderful and talented designer named Alexandra Cadiz worked for said firm so we got to know each other a little when we would pass by or be prepping our lunches at the same time. Fast-forward a couple of years, her husband, Micah Blyckert, started making these incredible ceramics and these lamps. These two have dare I say too much talent. Their company, Ceramicah, is absolutely booming. How could it not be? These lamps are incredible. And this one in particular added the perfect amount of texture and pattern.
Here’s another angle of the lamp. I KNOW. But let’s talk about these accessories. A desk needs to be functional. Duh. But personally, I need to work in a relatively uncluttered space. If it’s cluttered I will either A. Not be able to concentrate properly or B. Procrastinate on work and declutter (Emily doesn’t read this blog right? :)). So we kept it simple. That tape dispenser was another Bowser prop that I also immediately ordered. I love that little polaroid holder so I can have a little personal life reminder (that photo was actually from the last New Year’s Eve before covid, so it’s both a happy and surreal memory). Then lastly, that super cool pen and office tool holder that Artifox generously sent is so good. I love that the shape is super modern but it’s wood so it also looks and feels earthy. Plus it’s in theme with the hole in the chair… or at least it is to me. Oh, and the pegs are removable and are magnets! A cool pen holder is such an easy way to add personality to your desk. This one is a 10/10 for me.
Okay. Now that I’ve talked through the design, let’s really get into the star of the show…
If I’m honest, I wasn’t totally sure what monitors did or were necessary for. But once I saw this one, learned a bit about it, then got it in my home I was like, “OOOO this is awesome.” To be fair this is a particularly special one given its “smart” capabilities. Let’s start with the “day/work” functions. If you are someone that really only needs to email and browse the internet you don’t even need a separate PC. This monitor connects to the internet itself and you can connect your Bluetooth mouse and keyboard! So if you feel like browsing a super cool site like StyleByEmilyHenderson.com, all you need is this stunning monitor.
But if you are like me and need to use programs like Photoshop then you can connect your laptop or desktop wirelessly (screen mirroring) or hardwired. What’s also so great is that this monitor works with all PC brands. So I use all of my Apple products that I already own. No need to have everything be Samsung! What a dream!
With working from home, video conferencing is pretty key, right? Without a PC, this monitor can support Google Duo. If you are a Zoom user then you just have to Zoom from your PC device and use the screen mirroring function. I love seeing my gals on the big screen.
Ok, it’s 5:30 pm, right? Work is done for the day so let’s watch some TV.
Day to night, baby. This is where the real gamechanger is for me. I don’t have a great spot in my kinda awkwardly shaped living room. Above the fireplace is way too high and also the idea of having another screen on some kind of stand in my living room bums me out aesthetically. So this puppy is the best two in one. And because it’s Samsung, the sound is great with its built-in speakers and options for different sound modes. There are also different picture mode settings based on what you are watching (ie filmmaker, movie, dynamic, and standard). I’ll get to the apps in a minute but with this monitor, you get Samsung TV Plus subscription free. So you can watch the regular news, free movies, and shows. It’s such a nice perk.
This is where I actually sit when I watch TV on my perfect sofa Since the screen is such a great size, it’s a really comfortable viewing experience (as opposed to my old desktop which was much smaller).
This shot is more accurate in terms of how close it is when I’m watching something. And this is where my love letter to this remote comes in. I’m a lady of convenience when it comes to technology. It’s what it’s “technically” there for right? But with my old desktop, there was no remote as most (all?) desktops don’t. So when I wanted to change what I was watching or if say Netflix rudely asked me “Still watching?” I would have to get up from my comfortable seated position, under my cozy throw and tell Netflix that I was most definitely in fact still watching/binging Schitt’s Creek for the 3rd that year. But aside from having all of the apps you could ever want already embedded into the home page, this magical remote has a quick button for Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, and naturally, Samsung TV Plus. They somehow made it even easier to stream. It’s the best.
FYI I did not plan on matching my sofa, but also not mad about it. At least I’m consistent.
There’s actually a lot more you can do like workout classes with cool features, game your heart out, and control all of your smart devices via Voice Assistance regardless of the brand. Is Alexa alive in your house? That’s great. Is Bixby boppin around? Well, that’s a Samsung product so it’s obviously a friend. All in all, it’s just a super awesome device that I feel super lucky to have in my home. She’s beauty, she’s grace, she’s Miss Samsung Smart Monitor M8!
Not a bad before and after, eh? Oh, I almost forgot to mention my little wooden finials on my window ledge. I had the pleasure of getting a trip to Portland where I got to do a little vintage shopping with Em. This antique store had a bunch of them and I decided they would be pretty perfect for my window. Just wanted to share in case you were wondering.
Well, there’s me in my finally finished Home Office+ TM. The other side of the room is coming along slowly but surely and I can’t wait to show you all. Hope this was a welcomed “part room” teaser and that you may have gotten some ideas for your home office.
Thank you again to Samsung for sponsoring this post and letting me try the coolest and prettiest monitor out there:)