Here on House Nerd I frequently feature residential spaces –tours of other people’s houses and my own home as well. But if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know it’s not just houses that have me admiring their interior design – I love commercial spaces too, from cafes and restaurants to offices and studios. In fact often commercial spaces inspire me even more than houses. I think people tend to be bolder and take more risks when it comes to the interior design of commercial spaces, and it pays off.
As a freelance writer, I currently work from home, in a home office space just off our dining room overlooking our garden. It’s nice, and I appreciate the slothiness of working from home – but one day I dream of taking House Nerd to a point where I have my own away-from-home studio, working with a close-knit team of other creatives in a colourful, rustic light-filled studio. I shall have to put on pants to go to this studio, but that will be worth it.
Today I’m sharing my 10 favourite commercial spaces – the ones that I think are some of the most gorgeous, the coolest or that have something that makes me feel happy. They’re all different – from a converted warehouse turned into a bakery (no prizes for guessing which one) to one of the coolest furniture shops in Perth. Tell me which non-residential space on this list is your fave!
1. Bread in Common
One of my favourite places to have work meetings or just meet up with friends is Bread in Common in Fremantle. Tucked away in a converted pharmaceutical warehouse-turned-marine engineering workshop and now stripped back to its original brick in its latest life as a bakery and restaurant, Bread in Common has good food, nice waiters and it’s just an inspiring, beautiful space to meet -and many, many think so – its redesign by spaceagency meant Bread in Common cleaned up at the recent WA Architecture Awards. It's dimly lit and despite being such a cavernous space it feels cosy and communal (which was obviously the whole point behind the concept and the name). And there’s the bread. Lots and lots of huge loaves of freshly-baked bread, still warm out of the ovens at the back. You must go if you haven’t already.
2. Emily Henderson’s Los Angeles Office
In the world of interior design and renovation blogs, Emily Henderson is my biggest girl crush. In true fan girl style, I devotedly adore everything she does. A HGTV host, interior designer, blogger and stylist, Emily not only has a blog that is really fun to read, but she has this signature fun, girly, eclectic style where she clashes together modern and mid-century pieces with Craigslist and market finds you’d normally never even look at and makes it all look a million bucks, and to me she can do no wrong.
She recently moved into a new office, a street level retail space in Los Angeles’ Eagle Rock neighbourhood, and transformed it. “Most of the time it’s the home base for shoots, or we are shooting in there, so we needed a space that was inspiring and full of natural light,” says Emily.
How could you not feel happy coming to work in a space like this? Inky cobalt and bold colourful patterns are complemented by splashes of coral and yellow. All furniture is on wheels, so desks and shelving can be moved out of the way for shoots at a moment’s notice. Shelves hold Emily’s styling props while big gator board panels, suspended from the ceiling and covered in bright wallpaper, add colour and pattern but can be moved out whenever a blank wall is needed.
3. My Future House Nerd Studio
Okay, sooo it’s not yet in existence… but I can’t resist adding this to the list. Whenever I see a cool commercial space with lots of potential, I mentally set it up in my mind as a House Nerd studio, somewhere for me to write and my friends to design and shoot in! Like this cute little corner shop in Mosman Park I passed one day while verge picking with my mum. This cool industrial warehouse in Rosebery by TGC, who lease and sell commercial real estate through Sydney. And this rustic studio house in Fremantle, designed by renowned architect Brian Klopper. Even my accountant dad’s office in Freo has tons of design potential, as I always tell him (he always tells me to bugger off).
4. Studio Bomba
I love the concept behind Studio Bomba, a shared studio of creative types who work across a variety of fields from interiors to illustration, and often team up together for special projects. And I love the space itself. A stylish corner store on Oxford Street in Leederville, it encompasses a working design studio, a letterpress printroom, a design and homewares shop and a coffee bar. The interiors have a stunning black, white, concrete and brass scheme (with a gorgeous central breeze block table) that lets the homewares take centre stage.
I always find it an energising place to catch up with a friend for a coffee. It must be a combo of the caffeine fix plus the inspiration you get from spotting all those people with their heads down, illustriously working away in the studio rooms.