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why I love semi-custom cabinets...

why I love semi-custom cabinets / Oh Joy!

When I decided to tackle building a house six years ago, I honestly didn't think about all the millions of components that would go into it all at the same time. All of the decisions, all of the colors, all of the choices. I mean, I quickly got caught up on just how many decisions I would have to make, but it honestly felt VERY overwhelming. So, when it came time to designing kitchens and any other areas with storage with my architects and designers at Project M+, we looked at a few different options.

You would think that when you have a house designed from the ground up, it would make sense to build custom cabinets throughout to perfectly fit into the space. But that option (which we did get estimates for) would have cost much more than we had the budget for. I looked high and low for existing cabinets to fit these custom spaces, but that proved almost impossible. They were budget-friendly but nothing would fit correctly or look cohesive. So, low and behold...the magical solution that we turned to for a good amount of our cabinets...semi-custom! I am so excited to have partnered with Reform—a Danish company that specializes in semi-custom kitchens using Ikea box bases and their amazing, designer doors. Take a peek at what we've created together...

why I love semi-custom cabinets / Oh Joy!

why I love semi-custom cabinets / Oh Joy!

why I love semi-custom cabinets / Oh Joy!

We were able to choose and create custom colors for various rooms that needed a pop of color. These were in areas like closets, laundry room, and other spaces where we could really play with color to fit with the rest of the space! I'm in LOVE with the color-blocked Basis style that I chose for my girl's closet. They're simple, yet so fun!

why I love semi-custom cabinets / Oh Joy!

why I love semi-custom cabinets / Oh Joy!

And then in other spaces (like our kitchen shown above), we went with a neutral color but focused on a design (like this one called Degree) that had architectural elements that fit and functioned with the rest of the space.

why I love semi-custom cabinets / Oh Joy!

why I love semi-custom cabinets / Oh Joy!

We were able to add in our countertop of choice (and used Caesarstone quartz throughout) to mix with the variety of cabinets doors.

why I love semi-custom cabinets / Oh Joy!

Here are some older photos that show them being installed so the detailing around the cabinets and hardware/knobs had not been installed yet. But you can see how they all fit so well in these spaces.

why I love semi-custom cabinets / Oh Joy!

why I love semi-custom cabinets / Oh Joy!

Here's a peek at one last set that I simply LOVE—the Chelsea—which is really the perfect mix of fun and glamour all mixed up into one!

Reform products are now available across the United States and the world...which is so exciting. I have always been a huge fan of Danish design, and love the modern and warm details these cabinets are adding to our home. They have two showrooms in the US (Brooklyn and coming soon to LA), which will be available for visits once we're all back open and operating fully. But in the meantime, they have a virtual showroom tour that you can take and see all their beautiful offerings and online design meetings to be able to still help you plan your dream cabinets from home and maintaining your social distancing! I love how they are doing everything they can to fight this virus while still being totally accessible to their customers.

It's exciting to look back at these progress photos because all these spaces (and the house) are done! We're just waiting for some logistics to be able to move in :)

{Photos by Lily Glass. Home construction by Boswell Construction, Architecture by Project M+, Interiors in collaboration with Project M+. All cabinets linked above. Written by Joy Cho.} 

oh joy builds a house: our kitchen layout and functional things we considered...

This post brought to you in partnership with KitchenAid.

oh joy builds a house: kitchen!

After living in an apartment for almost 10 years, I'm excited to have a normal-sized kitchen (with an island!) to be able to cook with more space and have friends over for dinners-a-plenty! Today, I wanted to give you a peek into the process of designing the kitchen when we were in the early stages with Project M+. When you get to design a kitchen layout from scratch, it makes you really think about your needs and how you function on a daily basis.

oh joy builds a house: kitchen!

Here's a look at an older rendering to get a sense of the space. Some details have changed since this was first drawn (like the exact appliances or the floor tile) but it's a good representation of where we started when we were planning out the layout of this kitchen.

oh joy builds a house: kitchen!

Now, here's a current overhead look at the kitchen and where all the appliances are going. As you can see, it's a U-shaped kitchen with the island right in the center. Based on this, we wanted to keep all the cooking appliances near each other with easy access to the dishwasher and sink when clean-up is needed. We incorporated KitchenAid appliances into our Oh Joy! Office Kitchen a couple years ago when we renovated it - and were so pleased, so we're excited to work with them again for our house!

oh joy builds a house: kitchen!

oh joy builds a house: kitchen!

oh joy builds a house: kitchen!

Instead of a traditional oven/stovetop, we opted for the KitchenAid’s® Commercial-Style 6 Burner Gas Rangetop, which comes with dual-flame burners and a simmer/melt burner for both power and versatility. Getting this rangetop allows us to maximize the space underneath, and KitchenAid offers amazing  oven/microwave combos, so we were still covered from that perspective. We're also planning to add brass paneling around the 3-Speed Canopy Hood.

oh joy builds a house: kitchen!

oh joy builds a house: kitchen!

oh joy builds a house: kitchen!

On the left side of the kitchen, we have the KitchenAid®  Combination Wall Oven with Even-Heat™ True Convection, which was designed to be both beautiful and functional. I love the idea of the oven being more at eye-level, and, we use our microwave a lot, so I wanted it to be in a spot that was easy to get to and not too low. For our fridge, we opted for a Built-In Side by Side Refrigerator, where the larger fridge is next to the smaller freezer. I also love that we're able to panel this piece to blend in nicely with the rest of the cabinets!

oh joy builds a house: kitchen!

oh joy builds a house: kitchen!

On the right side, we have the beautiful 44bBA Dishwasher right by the sink for easy access when loading. We also added a smaller Undercounter Refrigerator, so it's super convenient and easy to grab drinks from outside and helps to free up space in the fridge for more food! Both the dishwasher and beverage fridge came in paneled options, which I love!

oh joy builds a house: kitchen!

I can't wait to show you the final reveal! Are there things about your kitchen layout you would change if you could? Or what parts of your layout have you loved?

{Photos by Lily Glass. Construction by Boswell Construction, Architecture by Project M+, Interiors in collaboration with Cleo Murnane at Project M+. Renderings by Project M+. All other layouts by Joy Cho. My boots are Red Wing Heritage*. Cabinets by Reform, floor by Concrete Collaborative. This post is in partnership with KitchenAid.} 

adding warmth to a modern home...

Oh Joy! Builds a House / Redwood Exterior

For the last two years, I have been tackling the project of a lifetime! We've been building our family's first and forever dream house here in Los Angeles. While it's been a long time in the making, we're just about finished, and I'm excited to give you a peek right now. I'm so thrilled to be partnering with Humboldt Redwood to share how we brought this amazing, natural material into our modern home. Take a look at this video below for a peek and all the details...

Oh Joy! Builds a House / Redwood Exterior

Thanks for joining me to take a peek at this beautiful, natural material and how we've used it in our home build project! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!

*This post is in partnership with Humboldt Redwood. All words are my own.

(Creative Direction: Joy Cho, Production: Julia Wester and Jess Hong, Video: Jenner Brown, Still Photos: Lily Glass, Music: "Milkshake" by Pleasant Pictures Music Club, Graphics: Angie Stalker, Special Thanks: Project M+ and Boswell Construction.)

to all the homes i've loved before...

Oh Joy! Living Room - Photo by Monica Wang

As we get ready to move into our new home in a few weeks (yay!), I'm getting nostalgic about the home we've spent the last 10 years in. We started our life in Los Angeles here, started a family here, and really grew to love Los Angeles here. So, while I'm looking back..here's a look back at all the place I've lived in my adult life starting with my very first solo apartment in Brooklyn Heights after college...

Oh Joy Brooklyn Apt

Oh Joy Brooklyn Apt

Oh Joy Brooklyn Apt

Oh Joy Brooklyn Apt

From 2001-2005, I live in this 400 sq. ft. studio apartment in Brooklyn Heights, New York. This was my first solo apartment as an adult after living with roommates for four years prior. I was in my early 20's and working at my first couple design jobs out of college while living here. Brooklyn wasn't yet the cool spot that it is now but it was totally on it's way, and I loved it SO much. This apartment was on the 3rd floor of some giant house that looked like a haunted mansion from the outside, but it had such character and the best creeky, carpeted steps in the hallway that I will never forget.

I found someone on Craig's List to make me these stacking, modular boxes that I used as a bookshelf and divider area for my bed. (By the way, I was an early user of Craig's List and my friends thought I was crazy to find a stranger through a website!). This tiny studio apartment was $1270-1390 per month back in 2001-2005 (which still sounds SO expensive to me for such a tiny space), and I remember being SO broke because it took more than half my pay check each month. But I was young, had no responsibilities, and it was just the place I needed to be at that time in my life.

Oh Joy! Philly Apt

Oh Joy! Philly Apt

Oh Joy! Philly Apt

Oh Joy! Philly Apt

From 2005-2009, we lived in this one bedroom apartment in Philly. I had moved back to Philly (where I'm from) and left New York to live closer to my then-boyfriend, Bob, who had just started a long-term residency in Philly. We had been dating long-distance for 9 years and were ready to live in the same city. This is the apartment we lived in when we got engaged, got married, and had some of our biggest early married couple fights. This is the apartment where I started Oh Joy! back in September 2005. It was about 900 sq. ft. and the perfect size for a newlywed couple and our three cats. This was the apartment where my personal style started to bloom, and I really began to express it more through my slightly expanded use of color! In true Joy form, I found someone on Craig's List to sew these custom curtains for all these windows we had. Ha!

Oh Joy! San Diego

From 2009-2010, we lived temporarily for a year in Coronado (a tiny island off San Diego) while Bob was doing his last year of training in San Diego for the year. I had Oh Joy! but it was just me, so I worked out of a bedroom in a 3-bedroom duplex we rented for the year. I have no photos of it cause it was completely temporary and we used the owners furniture (so it never really felt like home). So here's a photo of me outside of it with the Mini Cooper I had at that time!

Oh Joy! Living Room, Photo by Monica Wang

Oh Joy! Kids' Bedroom / Photo by Sasha Guilish for Land of Nod

Oh Joy! Photo by Katherine Rose

From 2010-present (almost 10 years!), we have lived in this duplex (top floor of a house) in Los Angeles. When we rented this apartment back in 2010, we didn't look at schools or intend to raise our family here. We thought it would be temporary to get our feet wet as new residents of LA. 10 years later, we've started our family here and raised two amazing kids, met and grew some of our forever friendships here, had many Friendsgivings here, and really made Los Angeles our home here. Emily Henderson was a huge part of helping us to design our living room, dining room, and Coco's nursery (before she shared a room with Ruby). This is the home where my personal style really came to life, and it's fun to see how much my adult homes have evolved over the last 20 years!

I can't wait to show you what's next in our very first home that we'll actually own. If you want to catch up on everything I've shared over the past couple years on our progress, you can see it all right here!

(Professional photos above by: Monica Wang, Sasha Gulish, Katherine Rose)

new oh joy! pillows...

new oh joy! pillows

I've loved seeing our pillows in your homes since we launched our first collection last year. So, I'm excited to share that our new Oh Joy! pillow collection is available now! There's a mix of shapes, sizes, and colors for both adult and kids' spaces...

new oh joy! pillows

They all mix and match really well together like this trio above that mixes a few different shapes and sizes together.

new oh joy! pillows

These pieces make me so happy, and the price point is so great (from $38-48)! You can buy them all right here at Makers Collective.

{Photos by Lily Glass. Concept/Production/Styling by Julia Wester, Production Assistance by Jess Hong, Pillow designs by Angie Stalker.}

a soft and pretty living room...

a soft and pretty living room... / oh joy!

Happy Valentine's Day! Today, we're sharing a soft and pretty blush living room that's a dream come true! You can make a room colorful and fun without a lot of bright colors, and we're showing you how...

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oh joy builds a house: a lighting update!

oh joy builds a house: a lighting update! / via oh joy!

We got electricity this week! Which means the lights that have been installed will finally to come to life as we near the end of our project. Building a house from scratch meant thinking about a ton of different types of lights (pendants, sconces, recessed cans) all at once. I love lighting so much and have never been able to make use of it at our rental apartment over the last decade. So here's a little peek at some of the lighting we're using...

oh joy builds a house: a lighting update! / via oh joy!

To keep things consistent, I stuck with two lighting brands for the whole house—Lamps Plus (for their wide range of options and price points) and Cedar & Moss for their beautiful, high-quality pieces (and I love supporting a female-owned small business!). In the kitchen, we've installed two of these fun pendants from Lamps Plus over our kitchen island. I love that they feel both chic and playful!

oh joy builds a house: a lighting update! / via oh joy!

These Cedar and Moss pendants line the hallway leading into the living room. I love the subtle texture that it adds while lighting the way.

oh joy builds a house: a lighting update! / via oh joy!

Mitzi pendant lights in the guest bathroom make for a fun detail which surround the sink on both sides.

oh joy builds a house: a lighting update! / via oh joy!

We have three of these Lamps Plus sconces in Master Bathroom that go between and around the two mirrors.

oh joy builds a house: a lighting update! / via oh joy!

To light the way up the stairs, I love these Lamps Plus brass sconces which allow you to angle the direction of the light either up or down.

oh joy builds a house: a lighting update! / via oh joy!

In the girls' bedroom, we've installed these Cedar & Moss lights by their bunk beds (hence one high and one low) as reading lights for them in the evening.

oh joy builds a house: a lighting update! / via oh joy!

And, finally, here's a peek at this Lamps Plus chandelier in the dining room which has yet to be fully assembled but is already looking very fun!

{Photos by Lily Glass. Construction by Boswell Construction, Architecture by Project M+, Interiors in collaboration with Project M+. All lights linked above. Written by Joy Cho.} 

color adventures: a sophisticated pink heart bedroom...

color adventures: a pink heart bedroom...

For this month's Color Adventures, can you guess what color and pattern we're styling with? Pink AND hearts! It's a classic combo, especially for the month of February. While February usually involves lots of hot pink, red, and hearts galore, today, we're showing you how to take the duo and make it sophisticated and more subdued. Check it out...

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dreaming of spring with my outdoor makeover!

dreaming of spring with my outdoor makeover! / via oh joy!

As we put the finishing touches on Oh Joy! Builds A House, it's been so fun to start getting the outdoor areas ready for Spring! I'm so excited to finally have an outdoor area to invite all my family and friends over that I couldn't wait to get a jump start on these spaces. So today, in partnership with Target, I'm sharing a peek at our deck area for the whole family and a balcony space for the kids! Come take a look...

dreaming of spring with my outdoor makeover! / via oh joy!

I can't tell you how much it means to me to finally have an outdoor space to entertain. When designing our house, there was a big emphasis on outdoor areas where we could have friends over, host summer barbecues, have spontaneous dance parties, and a place to sit back and relax on any given day. We're lucky that the weather in Los Angeles is pretty temperate all year round, so our patio space is really an extension of our kitchen, dining, and living rooms. We divided the large deck into two main areas—a lounge space for sitting and relaxing and an outdoor dining area for meals of all kinds. In order to provide lots of seating in this larger deck area, I combined a mix of love seats, individual lounge chairs, and an epic egg chair.

dreaming of spring with my outdoor makeover! / via oh joy!

dreaming of spring with my outdoor makeover! / via oh joy!

dreaming of spring with my outdoor makeover! / via oh joy!

Since the deck is separate from the house, it feels like a super casual and cozy place to entertain that'll always be prepped and ready for spontaneous get-togethers. It was really important to us that the space be inviting and cozy, so we piled pillows on every seating area, threw in a fun egg chair that is so comfortable I could curl up there all day long, and packed in the faux plants to help remind us spring is near. Faux plants have never looked better (seriously, several people asked me if this banana leaf tree was real as I walked to checkout in Target!). Faux plants are great for adding texture, life, and color to any space—indoor or out—without having to worry about constant watering and upkeep. 

dreaming of spring with my outdoor makeover! / via oh joy!

Here, we have an outdoor dining area that seats 6-10 people (the table extends!) which is perfect for having other families over for dinner or when we want to entertain friends at our house. I also love that it easily flows to the lounge space for when you're having a party, and the dining table serves as food or snack central for people to hang around. When we're not actively entertaining, some items to always keep here include outdoor lanterns to light up those spring and summer evenings as well as plants (even faux!) to keep the area looking alive and inviting.

Sources shown: Love seatsEgg chairGold side tablesCoffee tableClub chairsFloral lumbar pillowsYellow pillowsStriped rugDining tableDining chairsUmbrellaUmbrella baseGold lanternsWhite lanternsFaux fiddle leaf figFaux bird of paradiseFaux grassAqua gray rugMetal side tablesFloral square pillowsAqua dots pillowsBlue lumbar pillowsBlue square pillowsBlack pillowsFaux banana leaf treeFaux billy ball plantsmall faux succulentFaux string of pearls succulentFaux cactusFaux rosemary.

dreaming of spring with my outdoor makeover! / via oh joy!

In addition to our deck patio, our kids will have their own small balcony space off of their rooms. It's an enclosed area where they can hang out and read, chill, and just get outside. I'm always happy for them to have space to do a wide variety of activities outside to help limit their screen time. Since their rooms aren't big, we think of it as an extension to their space where they can have a mini retreat away from mom and dad ;).

dreaming of spring with my outdoor makeover! / via oh joy!

dreaming of spring with my outdoor makeover! / via oh joy!

dreaming of spring with my outdoor makeover! / via oh joy!

Since we wanted this space to feel like their own little oasis, we brought in tons of pillows and faux plants. Their balcony is a relatively small space, but just the perfect size for a love seat, coffee table, a side table with plenty of room on the floor to play. Since my kids LOVE hanging around on the floor, we added a durable rug and lots of floor pillows to make their lounging extra comfy. I love imagining them coloring, reading, chatting, and hanging out with their friends here! Really giving yourself a functional and playful balcony is such a fun way to extend living space even in apartments or other urban spaces where the balcony may be the only outdoor area.

dreaming of spring with my outdoor makeover! / via oh joy!

Sources shown: Love seat & coffee table setrugside tableLED fairy lightsParty floral round floor cushionYellow pillowsWhite lanternsDotty round floor cushionParty floral lumbar pillowCoral round floor cushion.

Spring is calling my name already!

*This post is in collaboration with Target. All words are my own.

{Photos by Lily Glass. Design and Concept by Joy Cho, Production/Styling by Julia Wester, Production and Styling Assistance by Jess Hong. Written by Joy Cho and Traci Michael.}

the glitter drawer diy of your little one's dreams...

Glitter Drawer DIY / via Oh Joy!

If you love glitter as much as we do, you're in luck! Today, we're showing you how to give your dresser an extra sparkly makeover with glitter drawers inspired by the fun floors at the Meri Cherry studio. For this project, you can make it permanent if you know you'll want extra glam for the long haul, or you can make it semi-permanent if you don't want to fully commit. Either way, the sparkle will be sure to make you smile. And, kids will love helping out on the project. Check it out...

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