Los Angeles-based style darling, Mara Ferreira, took a giant leap of faith in 2009: She kissed her law career goodbye, and jumped into the blogosphere with her feminine blog, M Loves M. Although she had initially never pictured herself walking away from her law school education to start up a passion project, it’s a choice Mara will never regret!
With a knack for writing and a desire for a creative outlet outside her day-to-day work as a lawyer, blogging was a natural choice for Mara. Fast-forward to today and she’s now welcoming a digital bevy of stylish readers into her closet and her home, with posts that offer a fun, classic and playful twist on home design, beauty, fashion and entertaining.
Below, Mara welcomes us into her inviting at-home office space, and frankly, we’re not sure we ever want to leave! By combining modern pieces, budget finds and glamorous accents, Mara has created a classic and feminine office space that’s all her own. Keep reading for details on her transition from law school to growing her business, plus insight into her approach to decorating her office space in collaboration with Havenly.
Give us the breakdown of your career as it stands today. How did you get to where you are now?
I’m currently working on my site M Loves M full-time! It’s taken me awhile to get to this point after starting my blog in 2009. I worked full-time in the fashion industry, first as the head buyer and stylist for an online site, and then as a marketing manager for a women’s shoe brand. Last fall, I had a little bit of a breakdown and felt that I needed to pick one or the other: My career in the fashion industry or my passion project of M Loves M. My work/life balance was non-existent and I was running on about five hours of sleep a night, with any free time spent on the blog. It was hard to balance both, and ultimately I felt like I wasn’t giving 100 percent attention to either. Knowing that I wanted to start thinking about starting a family, I felt like I owed it to myself to focus more attention on my personal interest. It was scary to take that leap of faith, especially because I’m not much of a risk-taker, but I’m so glad that I did! Life is too short to not follow your dreams.
How much time do you actually spend in your office?
Being a blogger—and doing some freelance marketing on the side—most of my day is actually spent at home on my computer, so having a designated space has been crucial. Before, I was working on my dining room table and it would get so cluttered that Matthew would come home and we wouldn’t have a proper place to eat dinner. I’ve loved having a room where I can go and completely focus. Also, if it gets messy, I can shut the door and no one else has to see it but me!
Do you have any budget-friendly office design tips?
Work with what you’ve got! I have this gorgeous antique dresser that was my grandmother’s, but unfortunately it doesn’t fit in our bedroom. I keep it in my office and use it to store office essentials, crafting supplies and even beauty products.
What are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with following moms on Instagram. Because I’m expecting my first baby later this summer, I get so excited looking at photos of babies and their adorable chubby legs and rolls! Recently, I’ve fallen in love with Masha Theone, Christine Simply Bloom, Tayler Golden and even cute kids’ boutiques like Minikin and OeufNYC. I also love following photographers (Ashley Kelemen, Meghan Sadler), as well as interior designers (Studio McGee, Becki Owens). Instagram is still such an inspiring platform for me!
Spill! What five websites do you check religiously?
What’s your beauty routine like?
Unless it’s a shoot day, I keep my makeup pretty simple when I’m at home. I wash my face with Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser, apply NUDE Oil and Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer. I love Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado and use that day or night. Because I’ve been breaking out a bit lately (thank you, pregnancy hormones!), I’ve been trying a lot of different BB creams and tinted moisturizers. I really love the Luminizing Moisture Tint from Jouer. That, and maybe some mascara, is usually all I do if I’m having a low-key day working from home.
What are a few of your favorite things?
Perfume, candles, flowers and dark chocolate! I’m such a girl, haha!
It was scary to take that leap of faith, especially because I’m not much of a risk-taker, but I’m so glad that I did! Life is too short to not follow your dreams.
Your office has lots of unique details that you don’t often find in a traditional office space—your rolling clothing rack, dresser, collection of perfumes and that beautiful ottoman! How does this room function as more than just an office for you?
Part of the reason I was able to convince my husband to let me create this office space is because I also said it would be a guestroom. We’re actually getting a daybed that will go under the window for when people come to stay with us—like post-baby! The ottoman even has a storage compartment for extra blankets and pillows. Guests will have a drawer to put their things in, as well as the clothes rack, and they’ll know they can use any of my perfumes. I have accumulated quite the collection of perfumes because I fall in love with them so easily!
Tell us about the gorgeous painting above your desk! Why did you choose it for this space, and how does the painting inspire you?
The floral picture was something I came across on Etsy and fell in love with instantly. I’ve always been obsessed with dark moody florals! The black-and-white print was something Ann—my interior designer from Havenly—found for me. I think the black and white has such a great contrast with the rest of the room!
Where do you want to travel to next?
My husband and I had an incredible trip to Portugal last fall, and I’m already dying to go back, but I feel like we need to explore somewhere new! I think Cuba would be amazing now that the sanctions are lifted, plus it wouldn’t be as long of a flight. Other dream spots include Greece, Morocco, Japan, Ireland and Sweden. I’m all over the place when it comes to wanderlust!
Who is your role model?
I’ve always looked up to my mom. She’s one of the most genuine people—even strangers fall in love with her. She’s set such an admirable example for me of a working mom who still devoted so much time to her children. She commutes about three hours a day and rarely complains. I remember her just dropping everything when she got home from work so that she could play with me and my brother. I’m excited and nervous about this next stage of life, but I hope I can handle working and motherhood in the same way!