My Life

Welcome to My New Office – My Room & Board Renovation

Luvvie x Room and Board Reno Compressed

Lemme start by saying WE TENK BABA GOD for Room & Board because I now have an office I am OBSESSED WITH because of their products and partnership. When I tell you I stan? I mean it. Lemme tell you how this happened.

The world shut down in March 2020, and we found ourselves confined into our homes 24/7. (unless you’ve been out in these streets because you are an essential worker and for that, we thank you) 365 days have passed and we’ve either grown to love our spaces more, or we’re pulling our hair out one by one, or a combo of both.

I went from traveling 110,000 miles every year to not stepping on a plane. I went from being in a different city every week to do a keynote to now doing that via Zoom. My home office ain’t never seen me this much. I was also writing my 2nd book and by June, I knew I needed a space upgrade. My office was first on the docket because it was where I was spending most of my waking hours. Meanwhile, I was using it like half office, half dumping ground for random stuff. It was cluttered and messy and my desk pissed me off because it was too small and lacked storage. HATED IT.

I even tweeted this in June 2020:

Because I was deep in book writing, I couldn’t give it any attention, until a few months later (after all my edits were done and the book was sent to the printer). So I hit up Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters, the two brilliant women behind Forbes + Masters Interior Design Firm, based in Atlanta. I knew they were dope because I’d seen the work that they did for my good friend Myleik Teele (CEO of Curlbox). I was like “SOS please!” My deadline: I needed it done before March 2, 2021, because that is when Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual was dropping into the world. I couldn’t do the massive press and book tour in a janky space, and it was time.

My office was a hot mess, y’all:

Office Before Collage

I really did act like it was a storage.

Tavia and Monet understood I needed form and function and a space that inspired creativity and clarity. I needed the room to feature my love of books, showcase my accomplishments and also look damb good on camera. I needed splashes of red (but not too much) and multiple backgrounds and spaces for Zooms. They said “say less.”

The Forbes Masters team came back with this design and 3D rendering that made me squeal with GLEE:

Luvvie Ajayi Jones Home Office 3D Rendering - Room and Board 1 Luvvie Ajayi Jones Home Office 3D Rendering - Room and Board 1 Luvvie Ajayi Jones Home Office 3D Rendering - Room and Board 1

And every single piece of furniture they had in the space was from Room & Board. Let me tell you something: I was asleep on Room & Board, and now I’m wide awake. The store is underrated.

This is why we partnered with them to furnish the office that was worthy of a NY Times bestselling author and renowned speaker (eyyyy). Room & Board specializes in form + function and high-quality pieces. Everything about this design was tailored to me. Every single piece of furniture was picked from their site, and I could have placed the order electronically without stepping foot into the store, and the process would have been the same.

But since I was down the street, I went into the Chicago store location and everything about the experience was dope. Masks required, very few people allowed in their store at the same time, plus stellar custom service. Then I saw every piece’s prototype and went “yeah this more than works.” They created a cart for me while in-store with every piece and all I had to do when I got home was place the order.

One thing COVID did was set back EVERY industry, and design was no different but Room & Board’s team was incredible. One of the reasons we were able to do this so quickly and get all the pieces I needed is because 90% of Room & Board’s products are made in America. We didn’t have to worry about international shipping, which was key. With my strong deadline, we placed the order for every piece in January (the week I went in), knowing the room transformation was happening in February, the month before book publication. Clearly, I like high-stress situations. Their website, once you place an order, keeps you updated on status, delivery and more. It was seamless. There were so many moving pieces but they kept this thing moving.

Prepping for a room renovation ain’t easy. Everything had to be put out of the office, emptied out cuz this was a full-on renovation (HGTV coulda called me but it’s cool. I’m not mad). After what felt like days of me not making purge progress, Mr. Jones woke up early one morning and put everything in there in boxes in our hallway, like the magical Genie he can be. I was like AAAWWWWW THANK YOU (cuz my uselessness was taking over).

February 2021:

How does one do an office renovation while doing a 30-podcast tour right before she launches her book? She moves into an AirBNB for 8 days as her house is ripped apart and put back together. Our dope contractors (Blue Design Studio) then came in and WORKED to transform the space.

Office during reno

I told them “I have to do Good Morning America on the morning of March 2. I need my office done. Please and thank you.” And all the teams activated.

In ONE week, the office went from weak to chic. On March 1, at 9 am, I walked into my new office and was in my feelings at how beautiful it was, and how it all came together.

Every single piece of furniture had a purpose and looked so good in the space. The colors looked so good!

Luvvie Office After 3

GET INTO THIS GROWN SPACE. Like… it looks like the office of someone who got business and sense. I’m so geeked and I love it so much!

DON’T TALK TO ME ANYHOW! I have a standing desk now.

Luvvie Bookshelf

 

Luvvie Office After 2

 

Luvvie Office After 1

Office looking like abundance, prosperity and good decisions. This makes me wanna weep in “Look at my life.” Who I am today is looking back to who I was (and where I was 10 years ago) and saying “wow, sis. We really here.”

When my home office was the couch of a one-bedroom apartment, and I didn’t have health insurance so I had to get a credit card to pay for my wisdom teeth extraction. That girl now gets to walk into this space every day to continue to create the work that makes impact and makes money enough to be able to afford this space (even if I didn’t have the partnership).

I’m feeling deeply grateful for this and thanking God for His blessings. 

Thank you to Room & Board for saying YES to being a part of my dream journey, for this dream book I wrote. This office has been the backdrop of 7 incredible book tour events and countless press over the last 6 weeks. 

Shoutout to Forbes + Masters for the incredible design. Y’all DID THAT, and this wallpaper is so dope. Come through, Noir Pixie Dust.

Love to Clare Paint, a Black woman-owned company that folks should know about.

And thank you to Blue Design Studio, who came in and physically transformed this office. 

Room & Board Furniture Details

My bookshelves:

My desks and end table:

My chairs:

Frames and shelves:

Accessories:

Walls

Kali wallpaper by in Charcoal (by Forbes Masters) 

Clare Paint in color: On Point

Renovation team

Furniture: Room & Board@roomandboard

Designers: Forbes + Masters@forbesmasters

Paint: Clare Paint@clarepaint

Contractors: Blue Studio Designs@blue_studio_designs

Art and Photo Framing: CmmFraming – @CMMFraming


Disclosure: I partnered with Room & Board on this office redesign, but all opinions and geekery are mine.

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1 Comment

  1. April 22, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    Looks beautiful!