Did you know that I spent 10 years practicing law before becoming an interior designer? It’s true. My analytical mind, directness, and love of debates made it feel like the perfect fit. But… I bet you see the problem. Within a decade I realized that these things were only half of who I am; the really serious part. The other half of me — that loves to laugh, connect, and live in color — was seriously bored.
My solution was to go back to school, study interior design at UC Berkeley, and open my own design firm in 2011. Yes, it was the perfect solution for me (and here we are), but I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. If you love your job, you don’t have to uproot your career just to liven things up. Great design is a much easier solution. Which brings us to today’s project…
Before: Law Office in Walnut Creek
Attorney partners Ania and Cammila have a true passion for what they do. As the strong, ambitious leaders of a family law practice, they wanted their Walnut Creek office to feel bright and enjoyable for the team while feeling welcoming and safe for their clients. Here’s how it started:
You know how we feel about white walls — lifeless but full of potential! And do you see that gorgeous tree? It’s a work of art all on its own. Like most commercial spaces, this office also lacked built-in organization, which can be a good thing. This allows us to create a custom design for their organizational needs rather than try to work with the existing space. Perfect.
After viewing the existing space, we created the design plan, managed the implementation, and brought their new law office to life. Yes, that’s a really, really simplified explanation of what actually happened in real life, but that’s why our clients hire us — so they don’t have to think about it. So let’s skip the messy in-between photos and dive right into their completed space…
After: Bright, Organized, and Sophisticated Office
MUCH better. This entryway is now a bright, sophisticated workspace that matches their high level of expertise! The most notable feature is this riveting custom desk that greets clients the moment they enter. Sophisticated walnut fluting (STUNNING), a beautiful brass base, and a crisp white counter create a vibe that’s warm yet elevated. The curvature is unique and eye-catching, too.
This gorgeous desk is set against a backdrop of soothing marine blue cabinets, cozy armchairs in blush velvet, and abstract shapes that invite a sense of fun into the space. Great first impression? Absolutely.
Across from the welcome desk, this sleek modern sofa greets arrivals with style, comfortable seat cushions, and lively pillows. We chose a rich, dark blue for the fabric, a color often associated with knowledge and security. It helps ground the space and contrasts with the white walls, which we left clear to attract attention to their law firm’s signage.
Above all, the layout and design of this space makes it feel bright, open, and inviting — the exact opposite of your typically stuffy and intimidating law firm. (Families will love it, right?) Then, as we continue just beyond that glass door, you’ll find…
…this beautifully sunny and pleasant conference room. The jumping-off point for this room’s design? This wall of windows. Not only do the windows allow natural light to flood the entire office (making it a much happier place to work), but this incredible oak tree acts as an unmissable statement piece. In fact, nature has been scientifically proven to inspire healing and restoration — and we wanted to harness that power in this space for anyone who might need it.
How did we do it? For starters, we designed this multi-colored custom rug to mimic the starburst shape of the branching tree and infuse color into the room. Meanwhile, this handsome wood table echoes the natural wood of the tree outside, and the circular lights with “invisible” suspension create a sun-like shape that complements, not distracts, from the outdoor scene.
Together, the whole design makes the outdoors part of the indoors. And when paired with comfortable chairs, accessorized shelves, and a vase of flowers, the result is sophisticated, professional, and human — and that makes all the difference.
As you know, design about the details, especially the ones you don’t notice right away. Zooming in on this section of the conference room, you’ll notice we installed a patterned wallpaper in a light gray and cream. It softens the room with subtle texture for increased feelings of comfort. We also used warm brass accents on the cabinets and painted the floor trim in a beautiful bronze paint for contrast.
Shelf accessories top off the design with a mix of natural materials, lustrous shine, legal literature (of course), and greenery. Below, and behind closed doors, their team has easy access to files and office essentials. The perfect blend of practical, beautiful, and thoroughly unique.
Safe to say, this new law office allllmost makes me want to go back to practicing law. ;) Joking, not a chance. If anything, this project reinforces my belief in design’s power. Sometimes, I get the feeling that people think design is superficial, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth — it can change someone’s experience, at work, at home, or out in the world.
With so much out of our control in life, why not take advantage of what IS in our control? Why not create an environment that inspires a life that truly brings you joy? That’s our team’s mission, passion, and purpose, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
If you want to feel the same way about your home, we’re here for you.