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oh joy builds a house: our master closet!

oh joy builds a house: our master closet!

I might be jumping for joy right now because this is the first room in our house that is currently pretty much complete! I can't show you the full reveal just yet, but I'm excited to walk you through the process of designing our master closet! Come along with me for a magical journey...

oh joy builds a house: our master closet!

So, first things first! Here's the closet I have had for the past 9 years. It's served me really well as it's super functional with cabinets and drawers that we had put in about five years ago. It's helped me purge often to try and keep it from busting at the seams. But, let's be honest...it's still small, and I find myself unable to keep a full wardrobe in there.

I have off-season items and dressier pieces divided up between the back of my kids' closet and at my office! Who keeps their clothes at work?! So, when we were designing our house way back when, I opted to have a smaller bedroom and a bigger closet. I honestly have no need for a giant bedroom or master suite. I really wanted to give that extra space to storage so that I could finally have the closet of my dreams!

oh joy builds a house: our master closet!

Here's a look at all the dreamy materials! For this closet, we wanted it to feel special and sparkling, yet warm. While I typically defer to white cabinets, Cleo and her interiors team at Project M+ convinced me to go with a lighter wood to give it a warmer and richer feel for this space. To add some special details, I came across some magical wallpaper and added hardware to top it all off.

1. Drop It Modern Wallpaper in Wavelength Bomboleo (with glitter paper), 2. Studio Cope Wallpaper in Speckle Sea Glass, 3. Schaub and Company City Lights Knob, 4. California Closets in Natural, 5. Schaub and Company Haniburton Pull.

oh joy builds a house: our master closet!

For my section, we opted for the rainbow and jewel-like wallpaper shown above. It will peek through all the open areas and behind hanging clothes and shoes. For my husband's section, we opted for the wallpaper behind to be a bit more subtle but still playful in it's own way! I love the way  they complement each other, yet are still so very different!

I'm so excited to be working with California Closets on this master closet! I have always loved the way they put so much thought and function into designing  custom closets to maximize space and create functionality based on your individual needs. Our designer, Nicole Caswell, was incredible in making sure she designed it based on how we live and what made the most sense for each section.

oh joy builds a house: our master closet!Here's a view of the closet from the top so you can see how it's shaped. It's sort of like a backwards "L". The process of designing this closet with California Closets was surprisingly easy as their CAD technology made it super easy to visualize exactly what was being done!

Bob's section is the upper left part. And my section is.....drumroll please...the REST of it! :P Well, not totally true. There are parts we are sharing with a hamper and an area to store our jewelry and watches. BUT, it's definitely like a 70/30 split. To help us figure out the best use of space, our California Closets designer, Nicole, had us count how many pairs of shoes we had, roughly how many feet width of clothes we had at different lengths, and even how many pieces of folded clothes we generally had. It helped her to decide how much space would be for shoes and accessories, long clothes, shorter clothes, tees, jeans, etc. Also, when someone makes you count how many pairs of shoes you have, you realize maybe you have an actual SHOE PROBLEM!

oh joy builds a house: our master closet!

Here's a look at Bob's section with hanging areas for all of his hanging and dress clothes. He mostly wears dress clothes to work so those will hang while his casual folded clothes go to the right of that section. Corners always create an odd area for storage so it worked perfectly to be for his shoes. His folded clothes will go in the upper cabinet as well as the lower drawers in that section. To the right of that, we transition into my section with our shared hamper. From there, any off-season pieces can go above and my shoes to the far right!

oh joy builds a house: our master closet!

And, here is my favorite part where all my clothes will be stored and organized! I have never had this much hanging space EVER, and I'm excited to be able to see my clothes and be able to organize them in some way now.

oh joy builds a house: our master closet!

And here's a tiny peek at what it looks light right now! Stay tuned for the full reveal after our house is finished. Plus, see my post over at Architectural Digest's Clever today for things to consider when designing a closet!

This post brought to you in partnership with California Closets.

{Photos by Lily Glass. Construction by Boswell Construction, Architecture by Project M+, Interiors in collaboration with Cleo Murnane at Project M+. Closet Design and Renderings by California Closets. All other layouts by Joy Cho. My top is The Odells, boots are Red Wing Heritage*.}

these are a few of my favorite things...

Wayfair Home Decor Favorites

As I've been working on designing the interiors for my house for the past several months, I've come across so many amazing pieces. Some of these pieces you might see when we reveal the rooms, and some which didn't find their way into our project but are still amazing, nonetheless. Wayfair has been a go-to resource for finding a variety of items from toilets and sinks to pillows and coffee tables. So, I wanted to compile some of the best-of's for you of things we've found and adore in case they come in handy for YOU and your own home renovations or room makeovers!


oh joy builds a house: our master bedroom!

oh joy builds a house: our master bedroom!

We all spend A LOT of time in our bedrooms (sleeping, relaxing, getting ready for the day), so the bedroom for me needs to be peaceful space that still brings joy and surprise into it. Blues and greens have always been my go-to colors of choice when it comes to a relaxing space—maybe it's the tie to the ocean or nature? But I find those shades to always feel just right. When working with Cleo and her team at Project M+ on our interiors, I wanted to create that dreamy vibe but also have a playful element as well.

oh joy builds a house: our master bedroom! / a cool, calm, and playful master bedroom

The base for the bedroom started with a textural and shimmery Calico wallpaper to add color and sheen to the space. It felt like it needed to sparkle just a little bit! From there, we added an accent of silver paint with warm, light woods, whites, and blues and mustard to accent those base colors.

1. Cedar & Moss side lamps, 2. Calico wallpaper in vapor, 3. Portola Royal Satin paint in Arrow, 4.  Lulu & Georgia nightstands, 5. Blu Dot Credenza from Wayfair, 6. Cedar and Moss Terra Surface pendant, 7. Sarah Sherman Samuel for Lulu & Georgia rug, 8. Lulu & Georgia velvet lumbar pillow.  

oh joy builds a house: our master bedroom! / inspiration

When thinking about the playful element, I'm always inspired by boutique hotels and restaurants because they tend to add in details you never see in someone's home. I wanted something in this space that felt fun but also could endure over time and still work when we want to change up our bedding or add new colors to the space in the future. I'm constantly inspired by India Mahdavi's retail design work and loved these seats from a couple of her retail projects.

oh joy builds a house: our master bedroom!

So, we created this scalloped headboard behind the bed that serves as the focal point of the room. I love the roundness of it and how it adds a soft edge to all the other straight-sided furniture pieces in the space. BUT, I don't know if I want to keep the head board all in one color or do a mix of colors? Here are a few options I love from single color, to dual color, to ombre...what do YOU think?

P.S. You can see all past posts about my home build right here!

{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 jumpsuit is Ace & Jig*, boots are Red Wing Heritage*.} 

oh joy builds a house: the living room!

Oh Joy! Builds a House: The Living Room / via Oh Joy!

I'm back with another house update! I'm excited to show you at peek at what we're working on for our living room. It's been so fun collaborating with Cleo and her team at Project M+ on our interiors. Together, we've created some really beautiful rooms that I can't wait watch come to life!

Oh Joy! Builds a House: The Living Room / via Oh Joy! // Peacock at Sunset Living Room

Our living room mixes rich and bright tones with wood, white, black, and brass. I'm calling the current inspiration..."A peacock at Sunset" with the bluish green velvet couch and accents of color in coral, mustard, and pale pink. It's meant to be cozy, yet chic.

1. Perigold desk chair, 2. Interior Define Charley Sleeper Sectional in Malachite velvet with Lulu and Georgia Sunset Pillows, 3. Modshop credenza, 4. Clare Classic paint, 5. side table from Lulu & Georgia, 6. Justina Blakeney chair, 7. Sarah Sherman Samuel for Lulu & Georgia rug, 8. Lulu & Georgia side table, 9. Mohawk wood floors in Beachwood Oak.

We have a few fun details that are coming to life that I can share progress with you on...

Oh Joy! Builds a House: The Living Room / via Oh Joy!

A Light Well! One side of the house is filled with large windows. And the other side is built into the hill where we can't have any windows. So our architects at Project M+ created light wells built into a couple areas of the house (like the living room). The light wells allow light to come in from the top down in a similar way that a skylight brings light in. It's a really beautiful detail that I've never seen before! We'll likely put a big, beautiful plant in this one.

Oh Joy! Builds a House: The Living Room / via Oh Joy!

Wood ceiling! To make this room feel extra cozy, it's been paneled with a wood ceiling that's a shade lighter than the floor. This was the first area of the house to get wood paneling (before the floors) so I love to look up at it already. This is the only room with this extra ceiling detail!

Oh Joy! Builds a House: The Living Room / via Oh Joy!

Help me pick fabric for the chairs! For the side chairs in the living room, I love these swivel chairs by my friend, Justina Blakeney. We're looking at two of these chairs but would change out the current white fabric upholstery with another fabric that will fit with the current palette yet also make the chairs more durable with kids. Here are a few of my favorite options, which do YOU like best?!

A. and B. Annie Coop Textiles fabric, C. Drop It Modern Line fabric, D. Drop It Modern Kitten fabric, E. Drop It Modern Azteca fabric, F. Drop it Modern Femme fabric.

And, check out my post over at Architectural Digest's Clever for my tips on things to consider when designing a chic living room that's also kid-friendly!

{Photos by Lily Glass. Construction by Boswell Construction, Architecture by Project M+, Interiors in collaboration with Cleo Murnane at Project M+. All other layouts by Joy Cho. My dress is Mara Hoffman (past season), sweater is Misha and Puff, boots are Red Wing Heritage.} 

what (finally) owning a home means to me...

what (finally) owning a home means to me / oh joy!

The home is my most favorite place to be. I'm the person who throws on my PJ's as soon as I get home, and jumps into my bed to relax as soon as my kids go to bed. Some of my all-time favorite memories are being at home having dinner with my family catching up on our day and having friends over and talking about anything and everything while our kids play. Today, in partnership with Unison, I'm reminiscing about our long journey towards home ownership and what it means to me to be finally (almost) a home owner...

The other day, on Facebook, a friend who is a real estate agent asked this question of her fellow Facebook friends...

"How old were you when you bought your first home?"

The answers surprised me. "22! 26! 32!" exclaimed the group.

I was floored. There are people who can buy a house in their 20's?! 30's sounded better to me, but I just turned 40 this year and have not yet lived in a home that I own. Sure, I prioritized the earlier years of my adulthood differently. I started a business at age 26 with no savings and have always put most of the money I earned back into my business to help grow my team. I have also always lived in large cities that are very expensive to buy in. From New York to Philly to San Diego to Los Angeles, I never made it easy on myself to try and save up for a home in a city with reasonable real estate prices. It wasn't until we were outbid multiple times on our attempt to finally buy a house in Los Angeles 5 years ago, that we decided on the very long and crazy process of building a house instead...because, as crazy as it sounds, that's actually cheaper to do in LA than to buy an existing one!

what (finally) owning a home means to me / oh joy!

Now that we are just a couple months away from finally having our very first (and forever) house to call our own, the emotions here are real. We'll be saying goodbye to our only other home in Los Angeles that we have been renting for 9 years since first moving to LA. In the summer of 2010, we found it on a whim. We got this place before we had kids with no intention of staying as long as we have. But the rent was cheap (for our neighborhood), and it allowed us to save and save and save for a house. But as every year passed, I longed simply for a backyard for my kids to play in, a kitchen and outdoor area where I could have friends hang out, drop by, or stay for dinner. Regardless of what this home lacked in space or amenities, it's the place both of our babies have called home since the beginning of their lives, and it will always have a special place in our hearts.

what (finally) owning a home means to me / oh joy!

Every week for almost two years, I have been walking through this new home we are building that will soon be ours. While it's been the most financially stressful experience of my life, I see this home as such an amazing representation of our patience and our hard work over the last decade to finally get to this place.

Owning a home always comes back to connection for me—connecting with my family, having my kids have a place to play together and connect as sisters, and inviting friends, family, and co-workers over and being able to connect with them. And, I can't wait for all the memories this new, forever home will bring for us.

Now's your chance to share what owning a home means for you! In partnership with Unison, you can enter the #UnisonDreamHomeContest for your chance to win $25K towards buying a home or to remodel your existing home. Find out more on their website right here!

{Color Photos by Lily Glass, black and white photo by Katherine Rose. Written by Joy Cho.}

oh joy builds a house: a construction update + both good and bad things that have happened...

Oh Joy! Builds A House: A Construction Update + Both Good and Bad Things That Have Happened... / via Oh Joy!

It's been a few months since I've given you an update on what's happening inside the construction of our house! We now have walls, doors, and windows! Plus, finishes (like tile and floors) are starting to go in! Here's a mini walk-through video for you...

This (almost) 5 year process has been an emotional roller coaster to say the least, so I wanted to share some of the awesome (but also not-so-awesome) things that have happened recently...

Oh Joy! Builds A House: A Construction Update + Both Good and Bad Things That Have Happened... / via Oh Joy!

Not-so-awesome things:

Break-ins. We were given a heads up when we started this project that break-ins are unfortunately very common on construction sites. I was in complete denial because I just believe that most people are good people. But we've unfortunately had a handful of break-ins over the course of this project with the most recent being not too long ago. People mostly steal tools and sell them to pawn shops. Even though it's not a house that we yet live in and so many people are currently working there everyday, it still feels completely violating.

Money Stress. I have never been so stressed about money in my whole life. Everyone tells me that home ownership changes the game, and they weren't kidding. Being a renter thus far in my adult life has sheltered me from this feeling of knowing the stress of owning property that is yours...plus, all the responsibilities that come with it.

I Cry a lot. I'm already a very emotional person, and I cry probably once a week lately. It's a lot of things to manage on top of my regular job, running a business, and trying to have some sort of life. There are some days I just want to give up and undo all of it. I truly do try to remind myself that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and my husband has been so amazing is reminding me of that!

Oh Joy! Builds A House: A Construction Update + Both Good and Bad Things That Have Happened... / via Oh Joy!

Awesome things:

It's starting to look like a real house! Once the walls went up, it all started feeling much more real. It was no longer just this pile of dirt that we looked at for years! We are now able to walk through and actually see how the space is coming together, where things will go, and where my family will be living.

Having control over where we live and what we do to/for our house. No more broken faucets due to faulty old plumbing or having to wait for a landlord to fix something that always breaks! I've rented for so long that I gotten used to having to make do with old parts that constantly break. To know that we can fix something or change something on our own feels very freeing.

Seeing all of our hard work pay off. This project has been nothing short of time-consuming and stressful. But when I have a moment to take a deep breath and really take it in, it's pretty incredible when I let myself appreciate how hard my husband and I have worked to save and save (and will continue to save) over the course of our adult lives for this forever home for our family.

{Photos by Lily Glass and Morgan Pansing. Video by Jenner Brown. Construction by Boswell Construction, Architecture by Project M+, Interiors in collaboration with Cleo Murnane at Project M+. All other layouts by Joy Cho. My pink dress is Kate Spade, boots are Red Wing Heritage. Written by Joy Cho.} 

oh joy builds a house: our kitchen!

oh joy builds a house: our kitchen!

Ah, the kitchen! To me, the kitchen is often the center of a home. It's where you cook meals. It's where friends and family gather when they are over to snack on tiny bite-sized snacks and chat about life. It's the place where my children will have meals, learn to bake cookies from scratch, and where my husband and I will prepare meals for our family. Here's a peek at some of the plans for our kitchen...

oh joy builds a house: our kitchen!

Our current apartment rental (where we have lived for 9 years) has brown wood cabinets, black countertops, and rust-colored tile. I don't own it and have therefore left it exactly as it is. It has served us well over the years, and we have made the best of a smaller kitchen and limited countertop space. But, it's dark and not inviting at all.

So, for our new home, I wanted the kitchen to be light and bright and feel open and inviting. The new kitchen isn't huge, but we will have space for a small island which I am very excited about to be able to have a surface to prep and also to have a few counter stools where we can also have meals. The white cabinets that will fill most of the kitchen are accented with texture from the countertop, backsplash tile, and accent wallpaper. Smaller doses of brass and wood will warm up the bright and light space.

Shown: 1. Clare paint in Timeless, 2. Tabarka Basel 1 cement/brass tile for a small backsplash area, 3. Concrete Collaborative terrazzo tile on floor, 4. Makelike wallpaper for an accent wall, 5. Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo 5131 for countertop, 6. Fyrn stools, 7. Schaub appliance pulls.

oh joy builds a house: our kitchen!

Here's a peek at the floor! It has brass accents in the flooring (with schulter strips). This was a way to bring in the look of something custom without the price tag of a completely custom poured floor or brass detail. It still needs to have grout put in between the tiles, but it's all happening!

oh joy builds a house: our kitchen!


Shown: Reform Degree cabinets, Tabarka Basel 1 cement and brass tile for a small backsplash area.

I love the mix of texture and shine with the combo of cement and brass and wanted the tile to be a way to bring in a bit of pattern since the cabinets will be all solid white. Here are some tile studies we played with for a small area of backsplash. Some feel heavier while some feel lighter. Which one do you like best?

I can't wait to show you more as we go!

{First photo by Morgan Pansing, all others by Lily Glass. Construction by Boswell Construction, Architecture by Project M+, Interiors and renderings in collaboration with Cleo Murnane at Project M+. All other layouts by Joy Cho. My dress is past season Gorman, boots are Red Wing Heritage. Written by Joy Cho.} 

oh joy builds a house: the kids' rooms!

Oh Joy! Builds a House: The Kids' Room / via Oh Joy!

Ahhhh...drywall is in! And, it's time to show you a peek at one of my favorite rooms...the kids' rooms! My girls currently share a room in the apartment we live in. In our new house, they will each have their own smaller room. But they love sharing so much that we've decided to have them share for a little while longer and let them split up later when they're ready. So, for now, one room will be their shared bedroom, and one will be their play/craft room. Here's a peek...

Oh Joy! Builds a House: The Kids' Room / via Oh Joy! // Graphic Wonderland a Kids' Room

Mixing in some items from their current room (see the evolution here) with some newer pieces, the two rooms mix neutrals like white, wood, and brass with pops of color as I've always loved from their current room. These two smaller rooms are connected by their shared bathroom.

1. Eleanor Bowmer wallpaper, 2. Bunk Beds by Oeuf, 3. Cedar and Moss Fjord Light, 4. Tamar Mogendorff Shell Pillows and Aelfie Lion Pillow, 5. Schoolhouse mini ledges, 6. Aurora Petal Wallpaper by Calico, 7. Speckle wallpaper by Studio Cope, 8. Craft table by Nico & Yeye and Chairs by Nico & Yeye, 9. Reform closet doors, 10. Oh Joy! for Lorena Canals washable rug, 11. Oeuf bookshelf (from their current room), 12. Mohawk wood floors in Beachwood Oak.

Oh Joy! Builds a House: The Kids' Room / via Oh Joy!

Here are some things to consider when designing kids' rooms:

1. Design for longevityIf you're in a home that you hope to stay in for a while, bring in pieces that can evolve with your kids as they grow. For example, while we're getting a bunk bed for now, I chose a bunk bed design that can easily separate and be used individually. In the play/craft room, we have two smaller tables that will be pushed together to create one long table. But those tables can later separate to bring one into each room to also use as a desk for homework.

2. Custom elements. With something like bunk beds, you're missing out on floor space for the top bunk to have a traditional night stand. So, think of ways you can customize that area for maximum function. We're adding a small lighting source up top near the upper bunk and adding a place to hold books and other night time items with a brass floating shelf.

3. Let your kids give input. My kids are generally okay with things I pick out for their rooms, but they still love being involved and getting to have a say. For example, I showed them wallpapers and paint colors to see what they liked. There was a flamingo wallpaper I was initially thinking about for their room until my oldest daughter said, "Mommy, I really like it. But I wouldn't want it to be in the room I sleep in because I feel like the flamingoes would be staring at me all the time." Noted! And I saw that as a very relevant point and switched wallpapers!

If you have little ones, how have you seen your kids' rooms evolve and change over the years? Anything you wish you did differently?

Check out my post at over at Architectural Digest's Clever to see some of my initial inspirations for the rooms.

{Photos by Lily Glass. Construction by Boswell Construction, Architecture by Project M+, Interiors in collaboration with Cleo Murnane at Project M+. All other layouts by Joy Cho.} 

oh joy builds a house: the (garden glam) dining room!

Oh Joy! Builds A House / Garden Glam Dining Room

I'm back with a house update! Gah...this will eventually be the dining room at my house! The dining room is such a special place to me as so many memories of the best conversations happen in the dining room...my little family's daily ritual of Favorite, Least Favorite, Tomorrow...as well as deep conversations with friends involving both lots of laugher (and sometimes tears). It's the place we bond over our favorite meals, catch up on the day, and chat long into the night after our kids have gone to bed...

Oh Joy! Builds A House / Garden Glam Dining Room

Since the dining room is a space that's meant to be filled with friends and family and tons of great conversation, I love the idea of a statement wall in the dining room. Why not have the wall be a conversation piece, too? I'm a huge fan of the work of SheShe, a female duo based in Minneapolis known for hand-painted murals and wallpaper. I don't know exactly (yet) what we're doing for this wall, but one of their past murals definitely feels right in line of the look I'm going for! And, because the wall will have a few different colors, we kept the rest of the furniture neutral with brass, cognac leather, white, and shades of grey!

1. Mural by SheShe, 2. Pendant lamp from Lamps Plus, 3. Dining table from Wayfair (coming soon!), 4. Mohawk wood floors in Beachwood Oak, 5. Dining chairs from Wayfair, 6. rug from Wayfair, 7. Emtek knob for cabinets,

While we'll use this room for entertaining with friends, we also need it for daily meals with our kids. I don't want anything to feel too precious and need it to be durable as well.

Oh Joy! Builds A House / Garden Glam Dining Room

Here are a few things I kept in mind when designing a chic dining room to use (with kids):

Wipeable surfaces. As much as I love textured wood tables and upholstered chairs, this is the one of the areas in my house that there are no restrictions on food or drink. So, we chose a table where the surface was smooth and easily wipeable and chairs that could also be wiped down. While I love velvety upholstered chairs, they didn't make as much sense in this room.

Size of dining table. We have a 6-person dining table in our current apartment, and it's fine for an average night. But it gets tight when we have friends over or when we host Thanksgiving dinner. I would have loved a 10-person table here, but the room isn't quite big enough so we compromised with an 8-person table which I'm VERY excited about.

To rug or not to rug? I'm always conflicted about rugs in a dining room. Rugs help to define a space, yet it feels odd to have something under a dining table that is harder to clean than the wood floor underneath. We have not finalized a rug here yet and curious to know what you guys think about rugs in dining rooms?

Stay tuned for more updates here and on Instagram...we are a few months away from being done so updates will keep coming as we get closer and closer!

{Photos by Lily Glass. Construction by Boswell Construction, Architecture by Project M+, Interiors in collaboration with Cleo Murnane at Project M+. All other layouts by Joy Cho. My dress is Mara Hoffman (past season), sweater is Misha and Puff, boots are Red Wing Heritage.} 

day trip: concrete collaborative

Day Trip: Concrete Collaborative / via Oh Joy!

A couple weeks ago, I took a little road trip down to San Marcos to visit the Concrete Collaborative showroom and factory! They make gorgeous, sustainable, and super unique concrete products, like my current favorite TERRAZZO. We're working with them for our house, so I also got to see some of the actual slabs that will be in our home while there. It was so cool to see how terrazzo gets made!