Shop Talk: Alex & Liz’s Office Tour

Written by on February 18, 2014 in Lifestyle, Shop Talk - 36 Comments
Shop Talk: Liz & Alex's Office Tour


For Alex Kaehler and Liz Schneider, running their own businesses isn’t a lonely venture: they get to do it side by side! Alex owns Alexandra Kaehler Design and runs her blog, AK Studio. Liz is the blogger behind Sequins & Stripes, offering a range of styling and shopping services. The two friends share an office together in Chicago, a chic space to encourage creativity—and each other!—every day. 

Photography: Heather Talbert

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  • What is the best part of sharing an office with a good friend? 

    Liz: The ability to openly discuss the ups and downs of being two twenty-somethings navigating our way through owning a business! It’s certainly not easy, but having someone who can relate is so helpful and motivates me to keep pushing forward.
    Alex: Liz and I were really only acquaintances when we signed the lease for our office. But ever since moving into the office, I’ve considered her one of my very closest friends. I love having someone in a different industry to bounce ideas off of, someone to talk blogging with and someone to take unnecessarily long lunch breaks with!

  • What was your inspiration when decorating your office? 

    Liz: Since Alex is an interior designer, I knew that I would love anything she did with our office! We wanted our office to be an extension of our personal styles—lots of bright colors, rich textures and a place that makes us happy and inspired to come into work every day. She nailed it.
    Alex: I am an interior designer, so I knew I wanted it to be a place where I was proud to take clients, but also a space that didn’t take itself too seriously. Unfortunately the raw space we started with wasn’t anything special. Commercial carpet, white walls, broken window shades and a drop ceiling. Since we’re renting, there weren’t many changes we could make, so I put a lot of thought into the things I could affect, like the furnishings. Playful, colorful and feminine seemed to fit both of our aesthetics. We got a couple of our bigger pieces (desks and bookshelves) from Ikea, and then filled the space in with some vintage (the credenza and conference chairs) and some other pieces that we felt reflected our aesthetics (the ghost chair and Society Social bar cart). The art that hangs above the conference table was a piece my mom had given me, which provided me with a fantastic color palette to use.

  • Describe a typical day in the office. 

    Liz: Every day is different but I usually arrive between 9 and 10 a.m. and dedicate my mornings to catching up on emails and social media, working on posts for the next week or two, invoicing and accounting and scheduling any shoots that are required for upcoming collaborations. In the afternoon I try to focus on various projects or deadlines I may have that week. Some days I’ll have a client scheduled in the morning or afternoon or meetings either at the office or around the city, so the fact that our office is pretty central to everything in Chicago makes navigating the work day really easy!
    Alex: Returning lots of emails, creating fabric schemes, running back and forth from the Merchandise Mart, meetings with clients and vendors. No day is really ever the same, which is what I love about interior design.

  • How do you balance running two different businesses from one office? 

    Liz: A lot of our business happens outside of the office, so our space is a place to get organized, separate work/life and really focus on the job. We do a lot of brainstorming, have business pow-wows at our conference table and really dedicate the time at our desks to accomplishing what we can’t when we’re out of the office. It’s like having a workout buddy—together we are motivated to get everything done!
    Alex: The nature of my business is that I need a lot of storage space. I try to stay organized in the bookcase and furniture pieces that I have so that there isn’t overflow into Liz’s workspace. I think it’s just a lot of fun to be working with a great friend! I definitely bother her sometimes with an exciting new fabric discovery or vintage find, though. :)

  • “Two simple reminders that serve as constant inspiration throughout my day: ‘Over dress’ and ‘Stop and smell the roses.” – Liz

  • What is your favorite part of your office?
    Alex: The little back room where our desks are. It’s so light and bright during the day, and our bulletin boards are filled to the brim with inspiration to stare at. It’s such a happy little space to spend the day.

  • “My desk is a catchall for random tasks throughout the day. To make sure I stay organized, I like to surround myself with pretty things—otherwise, the contents of my desk would be everywhere and nothing would get done!” – Liz

  • “This little area is set away from everything else, so it’s the perfect spot to store leftover fabric bolts—not to mention a great spot to pour a Friday afternoon cocktail!” – Alex

    Andy Warhol Flowers Print / Society Social Bar Cart / West Elm Runner

  • “We have so much fun sharing an office. It’s great to be in two different businesses, bounce business ideas off of each other and be such good friends all at the same time.” – Alex

  • How do you sparkle? 

    Liz: Confidence! And ending the day knowing I did the best that I could.
    Alex: Having a job and an office that I love makes me happy. And when I’m happy, that’s when I sparkle! Cheesy, huh?

  • http://www.dreamsinhd.blogspot.com/ Molly {Dreams in HD}

    love seeing how your office has come along ladies…it looks amazing! proof that every space can shine with the right design :)

  • http://9lla.it/ Novella – 9lla.it

    I’m totally in love!
    These pics are absolutely pure inspiration!
    xx
    Novella

    http://9lla.it/
    A fashion & DIY blog…

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  • Alyssa Loring

    It seems like such a fun office! You ladies lucked out :)
    Alyssa
    http://www.glittertrim.com

  • http://www.cakeandlilies.com/ Monica {Cake & Lilies}

    Such a beautiful office! And so nice that you two share it with each other :) Definitely goes to show that even the most bland, generic space can be transformed into something lovely!

  • Jen McLaughlin

    great office tour! I love how they’ve added their own personal touches to the typical office space and transformed it into something so beautiful!

    very inspirational (and pin-worthy) :)

    Jen
    http://www.comfortably-chic.com

  • elizabeth swartz

    the whole space is great and I love those desk lamps! can I ask where they’re from?

    • Alex (AK Studio)

      They’re from West Elm!

  • Emily Gegner

    I love seeing how these talented ladies turned a generally uninspiring & basic commercial office space into a fashionable and inviting place of inspiration! Congrats ladies it looks awesome! :)

    Emily

    StyleEsque | Co-Owner & Creative Director
    http://www.styleesque.com

  • Charlene

    love the gallery wall! where are the frames from?

    • Alex (AK Studio)

      They’re from Ikea!

      • Charlene

        Thanks for the quick reply! What size/style are they? Sorry for all of the questions :)

        • Alex (AK Studio)

          They are the Ribba frames, in black, 8×10. No prob!

  • http://www.thedesigndaredevil.com/ Jessie D. Miller

    Very cute ladies. Love the leopard pants Liz, and the conference table chairs are so good! XO

    • Ashley Howard Goltz

      I love the conference table chairs too! And I love the idea of sharing an office space, great for collaborating and being a support system. Great job, ladies!

  • Jennifer

    Gorgeous space! I have been looking for a desk just like yours too! Do you mind sharing where you found them?

    • Alex (AK Studio)

      They are from Ikea!

      • Sarah

        have to ask which style?! in love, and a much better budget price than the west elm one that looks similar! :)

  • Lauren Quinn Ward

    That pink oriental rug is fantastic! Where is it from? Beautiful office space you guys!

  • Amanda Risius

    Adorable office! So fun to be able to share it with a friend.

    I’m doing a handbag giveaway on my blog and would love you all to enter! Click here: http://bit.ly/O08buW

  • Whitney

    What a wonderful space! Can I ask where the green leaf pillows on your desk chairs are from? Love the print!

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  • Lidia

    Dying to know where that “you can’t sit with us” mug is from. Love it!!

  • Cynzk

    What a fun place to work! I would love to have a nice space like that and a great friend to exchange business ideas with.

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  • http://www.thesinglediaries.com/ The Single Diaries

    What a great idea to share an office with a fun in a different business!

    Catherine | The Single Diaries

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  • Lauren Cox

    Cute office! Thanks for sharing!

    Best
    Lauren
    http://www.dottedlinecollaborations.com/blog

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  • Neha

    I love the gallery wall! What is the best way to go about hanging Ikea Ribba picture frames?

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