Be True HQ | Raleigh Photographer

Update: While I still use (and love!) my home office, my business has a new home at my brand new natural light photography studio in Wake Forest, NC!

This post can be summed up in four little words…I LOVE MY OFFICE!

baby photography raleigh wake forest nc

Way back in March (I know, this post is WAY overdue) Mike and I decided to renovate our home office space. This room used to be our formal dining room, but I have used it as an office for my photography business for a few years now. I was never in love with the space, particularly the formal wainscoting and the hand-me-down furniture. I’m always reading home decor magazines – and Pinterest, of course – and I had formed a true vision of what I wanted. I almost didn’t even want to bring it up to Mike because I figured he’d call me crazy and brush me off.

BUT…

He said yes! Best husband ever!

raleigh photographer home office

The horizontal planking was pretty much a pain the ass. An awesomely worth it pain, but regardless, a big job. The cutting down of all the wood, the sanding, the nailing, the spacing. He did all of it, and without complaint.

(For the record, I did contribute! First, we discovered I have a hidden talent for caulking – who knew? I actually liked doing it, too. Oh, and I also did all of the priming and painting of the planks and trim.)

raleigh baby photographer baby photography in raleigh nc

I still can’t believe I get to work here every day. Seriously, I am not cool enough to work in an office this cool. I am no interior decorator, but putting my vision onto paper and then bringing it to life was amazing.

My favorite things in the space -besides the planked walls of course – are the neutral color palette and all of the textures, from the bamboo shades to the wood chandelier to the seagrass rug. And my little glass bottle collection and the striped bins and my plants and on and on, haha. My least favorite are Ikea desk tops (too easily damaged) and the desk chairs. At least the white chairs kind of disappear into the room – they don’t stick out like a sore thumb. (Where did that expression ever come from, anyway?!)

raleigh lifestyle photographer

It’s really a perfect fit for our whole family. On days that Mike works from home, it’s almost like I have a co-worker.

raleigh child photographer

The kids can hang out with me when I’m working, playing games on their laptop (they’re partial to PBSKids.com), and Macy does her homework here as well. Even my 4-legged kid likes it – she’s constantly under my feet in here!

raleigh family photography raleigh lifestyle photography raleigh family photographer raleigh maternity and newborn photographer

I’m so glad to finally have gotten around to photographing and posting this place. Next up will be 4-year old photos of Claire. Since her birthday was in February, I figure I better get on that one too! (That gorgeous dress I just bought for her is a good motivator though!)

P.S. I did do a before picture to share, but I can’t find it! Just picture sage green walls with a white chair rail and picture frame wainscoting. And mismatched ugly old furniture.

P.P.S. I have gotten a lot of emails and comments wondering about a few things in the room. Here’s a short little source list, and if there’s anything else you are wondering about, feel free to leave a comment and I promise I’ll answer!

Desk tops/Drawer units/Cube bookshelves/Desk lamps – hers/Wall shelves – all from IKEA
Desk chairs/Rug/Window shades – Overstock.com
Pendant light – West Elm
Gray striped bins – The Container Store
Gray paint color – Eagle Rock by Benjamin Moore (I originally posted that it was BM’s Granite, my apologies!)
White paint color – color matched to existing trim by Sherwin Williams
Planks – 1/8″ plywood from Home Depot cut into 5 3/4″ strips (don’t let Home Depot cut them!)

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  • July 1, 2013 - 9:56 pm

    kim schmidt - Your space looks amazing!!!!!! I love how it fits 100% with your entire brand and all the details are totally you. Rock on sista!

  • July 1, 2013 - 10:08 pm

    Christy - Thanks so much, Kim! It means a lot for you to say that!!

  • July 2, 2013 - 2:28 pm

    Lindsey Hignite - Hi, I coming from the Vend Raleigh facebook link and LOVE what you did. We’re about to renovate our house and converting the dining room to a shared office space. I worried about sharing the space with my husband but am hopeful after seeing your pictures. But I’m curious where your desks came from? It’s a great set-up.

  • July 2, 2013 - 4:54 pm

    Christy - Hi Lindsey! Thanks so much! We got the desks from Ikea. The actual desktops were not my first choice, but we needed pieces that would fit that wall exactly. We love sharing an office so much…although at least one of you might want to invest in some decent headphones if you don’t share the same taste in music! Haha!

  • July 6, 2013 - 12:26 pm

    Monica - Beautiful space! Where did you find your striped bins?

  • July 6, 2013 - 1:33 pm

    Tania - I love it! So cute! We are about to do some planked walls too and I’m a little scared…!

  • July 6, 2013 - 8:21 pm

    Christy - Thanks Monica! I found the striped bins at the Container Store. I love them!

  • July 6, 2013 - 8:22 pm

    Christy - Thanks Tania! It was definitely a little rough actually doing all the work, but dreaming it up and then finishing it off was just amazing! Go for it!

  • July 9, 2013 - 11:45 pm

    Vanessa - Amazing room! Where did you find your white desk chairs?

  • July 10, 2013 - 12:46 am

    Vanessa - Amazing room! Where did you buy the desk chairs from?

  • July 10, 2013 - 7:02 am

    Christy - Thanks Vanessa! The desk chairs are from Overstock.com.

  • September 8, 2013 - 11:40 pm

    Janet stoker - Where is the chandelier from? I love this whole room!

  • September 9, 2013 - 1:01 pm

    Hannah - Love the Ikea furniture!! What exactly did you buy? I like the expedit book shelve but cant seem to find the same set up on the website. Do you remember? It looks fabulous together!

  • September 9, 2013 - 1:22 pm

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Janet! The chandelier is from West Elm. We love it too!

  • September 9, 2013 - 1:27 pm

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Hannah! We have the 2×4 expedit, but two of the cubes are hard to see under the desk. We customized this setup ourselves, with the expedit and two Galant desk tops. I don’t actually recommend the Galant tops, because they are really easy to damage. If we were to do it over, we would do a real wood top like the Gerton instead. Hope that helps! :)

  • September 21, 2013 - 4:06 pm

    Jen - Would you mind sharing your wall paint color? Looks like exactly what I am looking for! BEAUTIFUL space!

  • September 22, 2013 - 6:30 am

    Amber - I love what you did with the room. Can you share your paint colors and what kind of wood you used for the planking?

  • September 23, 2013 - 10:44 am

    Jenifer - I am wondering what the paint color you used is? My guess is Benjamin Moore Weimaraner…:). It’s a beautiful space!

  • September 24, 2013 - 9:59 am

    Christy Johnson - Hi Jen! Thanks so much! The paint color is Benjamin Moore Granite. I love it too!

  • September 24, 2013 - 10:06 am

    Christy Johnson - Hi Amber, thanks! The gray paint color is Benjamin Moore Granite, and for the planking we used some 1/8″ plywood from Home Depot that we cut down to size. Hope that helps!

  • September 24, 2013 - 10:06 am

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Jenifer! We love the room so much. The gray paint color is Benjamin Moore Granite.

  • October 24, 2013 - 10:31 am

    KayLyn - I absolutely love the layout of your office! I would love to replicate it, but I’m wondering if it would fit into the space I have. You could save me some time by telling me the dimensions of your room. You did such a great job with the layout and decor. It’s beautiful! Thanks!

  • October 25, 2013 - 6:38 am

    Christy Johnson - Thanks KayLyn! The room is about 12×13. We actually sketched out the layout with measurements before we started, but I can’t find that paper! We did end up cutting down the desk tops so they would fit, otherwise they were too long. Good luck, and thanks for commenting!

  • December 29, 2013 - 8:44 pm

    Ben - LOVE this project! It turned out fantastic. Just wondering…do you know what legs you used for the desk? Also, it looks as if there is a piece of metal running behind/under the desk to help support it…is that the case? Is it somehow attached to the wall? Or is each side just resting on a drawer unit (on one side) and a pair of legs (on the other side)? Thanks for posting this!

  • December 30, 2013 - 9:07 am

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Ben! The legs are these from Ikea: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30177912/. We used two on the ends of the desks, and the other ends are resting on the Alex drawer units: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10192824/. The desks were cut down a bit to fit flush wall to wall with the bookshelf and the middle desk that juts out. My husband made a brace support under the middle desk where it meets the Expedit shelf, but the other desks are not attached anywhere. Hope that helps!

  • January 7, 2014 - 10:50 pm

    Lia B - This room is beautiful. I found it on Pinterest and I know your post is older but I’m in LOVE with this space and it’s my inspiration for my office that I’m working on. Thanks for sharing!!

  • January 8, 2014 - 2:50 pm

    Christy Johnson - Thanks so much, Lia! Good luck with your office, I’d love to see what you come up with!

  • January 14, 2014 - 10:19 am

    Rachel Gierich - Hi Christy,

    First love your work. :-) So soft and neutral.
    Second. Can you tell me did you go with 3 Galant table tops or is the kids workspace a different top? Also do you know the length of top you used?

    Thanks!!

  • January 14, 2014 - 4:27 pm

    Christy Johnson - Thank you, Rachel! All 3 table tops are the Galant. I don’t remember what the length was, but we did cut down the two against the wall so that they fit flush. Hope that helps!

  • February 5, 2014 - 3:48 pm

    Robyn - What a beautiful space with such an incredibly smart and efficient use of every inch of the room. It looks wonderful as well as totally functional for everyday use.

  • February 8, 2014 - 10:12 am

    Waynette - Inspiring space! I love the rug… where did it come from?

  • February 8, 2014 - 2:49 pm

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Waynette! The rug is from Overstock.com

  • February 10, 2014 - 8:04 am

    Janet - I love your office! How is the rug holding up? I’ve been looking for a jute rug for our family room and it seems like they vary a lot in terms of quality, durability, and texture. Thanks!

  • February 10, 2014 - 8:08 am

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Janet! I am thrilled with this rug – we have two kids, two cats, and two dogs (one of them a puppy!) so this rug has taken a beating but is showing no wear!

  • February 14, 2014 - 12:33 pm

    Wei - Could you show us how the brace under the middle desk looks like? I wonder how the middle desk attach to the shelf and other two desks so seamless.

  • February 14, 2014 - 1:44 pm

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  • February 14, 2014 - 2:07 pm

    Mary | Lemon Grove Blog - Spotted your office over at Centsational Girl and had to drop by to tell you how much I LOVE it! It’s perfect!

  • February 14, 2014 - 2:30 pm

    Stacy M - Love what you have done. If/when you come back home for a visit, please decorate my office/craft room!!!!!

  • February 14, 2014 - 3:09 pm

    Nina - Love the transformation and it reminds me so much of our office/playroom so thank you for all the inspiration! I have to ask though where you got the ceiling lamp from!

  • February 14, 2014 - 3:14 pm

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Nina! The pendant light is from West Elm. I added it to the list of sources at the bottom of the post if you want a direct link.

  • February 14, 2014 - 3:18 pm

    Christy Johnson - Wei, my husband used a little of the leftover wood (from cutting down the two outside desks) to fill the gaps. There are two filler pieces that are maybe 1″ wide on each side of the middle desk, and they are secured with a piece of 2×4 underneath. Hope that helps!

  • February 14, 2014 - 3:18 pm

    Jamie - seriously crushing on this space. especially the planking and wall color. beautiful!

  • February 14, 2014 - 3:43 pm

    Jenny@EvolutionofStyle - Loooooove this space! It’s so fresh and functional, light and bright! The paint color looks so great against the planks! Great job!

  • February 14, 2014 - 4:07 pm

    Megan - This turned out amazing! Love the planked wall and the colors. And I love how so many people in the family can use it! Great job! Pinning this!

  • February 14, 2014 - 6:39 pm

    Jen {at home in the northwest blog} - Salivating over your office! Keep looking and re-looking at the pics. It’s really beautiful! Nice job!!!

    Jen Gilday Interiors
    athomeinthenorthwestblog.com

  • February 17, 2014 - 2:03 am

    Robin O - What a gorgeous room! I love that you incorporated a spot for the kids as well. :)
    Quick question – my husband and I have been eyeing those bent wood pendants from west elm for awhile now and I see you used one here! Do you find it casts weird shadows when turned on at night because of the strips of wood? I only ever find pics of them with the light off so I always wonder if it’s because the room looks weird with the light on. The possibility of weird shadows is one of the reasons I haven’t purchased one yet.

  • February 17, 2014 - 9:36 am

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Robin! We love that pendant light too, but yes, it does cast off some funky shadows! We don’t usually use it at night much at all, but it’s definitely a consideration for someone who would. Hope that helps! :)

  • February 17, 2014 - 4:22 pm

    regina easter - simply gorgeous……..hugs

  • February 18, 2014 - 7:34 am

    Kris {Driven by Décor} - What a beautiful space! And I love how there’s space for your kids to be in there with you!

  • February 18, 2014 - 3:48 pm

    imelda - LOVE this office! Everything is so perfect! I have to ask where you purchased the wall files and bookends?

  • February 18, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Imelda! The bookends are from Ikea, and the wall files are from Target.

  • February 19, 2014 - 2:03 am

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  • February 19, 2014 - 9:31 am

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  • February 19, 2014 - 12:45 pm

    Christy - Found this through Pinterest…I don’t usually comment…I’m a “lurker”, but seriously, you have created the most serene yet functional home office I have ever seen, and I have been pinning forever! Thank you so much for providing the source information!

  • February 19, 2014 - 4:48 pm

    Erin - I LOVE this room, colors and everything, very well done! My comment is a little off the wall (or hanging off the wall if you will). That cute little dress you have hanging in one of the pics, where is that from? I am getting married in September and those would be SO cute on my little flower girls. If you could let me know that would be awesome! Thanks!

  • February 19, 2014 - 5:01 pm

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Erin! I love that dress so much, I used it for my daughter’s 4-year portraits last year! I found that one on zulily.com last year. With Easter coming up, I bet you’ll find all sorts of options there or even in the stores!

  • February 28, 2014 - 2:23 pm

    Kelly B - Can you email me where you “floating Shelves” came from? I could not find it in the comments. THANKS!!! Beautiful space!

  • February 28, 2014 - 4:40 pm

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Kelly! They’re from Ikea. The link to the actual shelves is in the source list. Hope that helps!

  • March 30, 2014 - 11:35 pm

    SHREE - Wow! Your office is amazing! You have such good taste! Can you tell me a little more about your desks. I found the kids desk with the bookshelf..is it attached? What about your other two desks? Are they from ikea too? If so, do you remember what it’s called? Love your space! Thank u!

  • April 1, 2014 - 9:27 am

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Shree! The kids’ desk is not attached to the shelves, they are separate. We did that so that all of the desk tops would match. The desk tops and cube shelf are all from Ikea and are linked in the source list at the bottom of the post. Hope that helps!

  • April 1, 2014 - 7:19 pm

    Shree - Hi Christy, Is your table the Linnmon/adils table? Looks similar but your doesn’t seem to have the legs on one side, it has the draws. Thanks..

  • April 2, 2014 - 8:55 am

    Christy Johnson - Shree, it looks like they no longer offer the ones we have, which is probably a good thing because I don’t recommend them. They are too easily damaged!

  • April 2, 2014 - 1:22 pm

    Shree - Oh that’s a shame! Thank you Christy..

  • April 15, 2014 - 3:59 am

    Mike Johnson’s Workplace | Mac Desks - […] [via – Mike Johnson] […]

  • May 2, 2014 - 10:54 am
  • May 2, 2014 - 11:59 am

    home offices | fixed on the unseen - […] Be True Image Design […]

  • May 16, 2014 - 1:03 pm

    Natasha Tozzi - Is there any way you could tell me the length of the two desks? I am trying to put a similar set up in our home office and am trying to see if it will fit. Thanks!

  • May 16, 2014 - 1:16 pm

    Christy Johnson - Natasha, we measured and cut them down to fit flush with the walls on either side, so our measurements probably wouldn’t help. I suggest measuring out your space to see if will work. Good luck!

  • May 16, 2014 - 8:19 pm

    Natasha Tozzi - I just meant for more of a visual reference type of thing. I’m trying to imagine how long the desks are in comparison to the shelves hanging above and how much space you have underneath for your legs between the cabinet and wall.

  • August 8, 2014 - 8:58 am

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  • August 25, 2014 - 12:49 pm

    Jaime - Hi! Here is my question – how is the table the girls are at secured to the bookshelf? Are there 4 legs and I only see 2?

    Thanks!

  • August 25, 2014 - 1:31 pm

    Christy Johnson - Hi Jaime, the other end of the table is connected to the expedit bookshelf underneath the tabletop. Hope that helps!

  • September 1, 2014 - 1:14 pm

    Les - I love this office. Can you tell my what type of moulding you used at the top of the planks? Thank you:)

  • September 13, 2014 - 1:46 pm

    Lauren Aiken - I love this space!! We tried to recreate it and are having problems with the desks beginning to bow. Did you do anything to reinforce them?

  • September 21, 2014 - 12:16 pm

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Les! It’s just simple trim molding that we picked up at Home Depot.

  • September 21, 2014 - 12:17 pm

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Lauren! I’m sorry you’re having trouble with bowing. Ours are supported by the drawer units and the outer legs, so we haven’t had this issue. You may try adding a wood support underneath attached to the back wall. Good luck!

  • September 28, 2014 - 10:56 pm

    Elle - Where did you get the hello sign and the its a good day sign?

  • September 29, 2014 - 10:07 am

    Christy Johnson - Hi Elle. The Hello sign is from Etsy, and the other was from Target last year.

  • October 14, 2014 - 7:08 pm

    Elle - Where did you get the “X” bookends? I like them.

  • October 15, 2014 - 9:11 am

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Elle, those are from Ikea.

  • November 30, 2014 - 4:35 am

    Amy Stock - Such a lovely space, great inspiration for what I would like to do with our joint study/office. Thanks for posting. Also, I am super jealous!
    All the best :)

  • December 2, 2014 - 9:40 pm

    Sue - Wow, this office is beautiful and so functional. I want to redo ours and I think I just found my inspiration. ;-) Thank you.

  • December 8, 2014 - 9:50 am

    jessica - I LOVE your workspace! Can you please tell me where you got the backless chairs/stools for your girls to use? It’s exactly what I’m looking for…thank you!

  • December 8, 2014 - 10:01 am

    Christy Johnson - Thanks Jessica! I’m pretty sure I found those on Amazon. I don’t see the exact color we have, but do a search for 24″ saddle stool and you’ll see some other options.

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