When I signed the lease for the first Kastor & Pollux studio in 2016, I felt like I had reached a career milestone I had never even considered before. When I upgraded to a bigger space in the summer of 2017, I was convinced I was on a upward climb — well on my way to scaling the company I had been chipping away at for the past 6 years. Sometime in 2018 though, I started to feel uninspired. I stopped going into the studio, started being slower to respond via email, and became avoidant and uncommunicative with my team. With projects falling by the wayside and my mental health suffering, I knew I had to make a change.
Your surroundings are truly critical to your well-being and your mental state, and when you’re self-employed, your surroundings directly impact your ability to be productive, efficient, and motivated. Having a routine can be a stabilizing, but so can having a comfortable working environment to call your own.
In the spirit on fresh starts for 2019, I rallied all my vintage velvet furniture and marble tables, and paired them with a selection of beautiful oak pieces from MUJI Canada to truly create a space that would foster innovation and growth.
My first experience trialing a live/work lifestyle was in 2015 when I moved out from my apartment with my then-roommate/business partner. I liked the idea of taking the next steps (in business) on my own in a formalized space, but the integration – on such a small scale – was premature, and I found myself overwhelmed and isolated…sleeping next to all my photo equipment in an open-concept space with concrete walls. While by no means a tolling or uncomfortable space (I proceeded to move out the K&P equipment and lived in this apartment for 3 years), I never felt like my grand ambitions for Kastor & Pollux could ever be actualized in a 700 sq ft condo. If anything, this apartment provided me a place to rest my head and embolden me to keep moving forward.
Stacking Shelf in Oak + Storage – all from MUJI
When I first viewed this new space, I was a bit overwhelmed by all my options. Sitting at just over 1500 sq ft, the opportunities for furnishing and decorating seemed endless…but I knew I needed to start somewhere in order to be able to process this big change. I headed directly to MUJI to sus out my options — and with the help of their complimentary Interior Advisor Service, was able to build out my space with only a couple of staple pieces.
The keystone to this new space is MUJI’s classic Oak Stacking Shelf in a 5×5 formation. I used this as a room divider — separating the Kastor & Pollux photo studio from the rest of the unit. Because the entire apartment is open space (save for the bedroom/bathroom), having a solid piece of furniture that also houses knick knacks, decorations, AND business documents / product overflow, is necessary. Also, the stacking shelves are expandable, so no matter what your space looks like, you’ll be able to find a formation that works for your space. AND, filled with modular boxes and baskets, I’m able to organize everything in a succinct and aesthetically pleasing way.
Acrylic Desk Storage – all from MUJI
Extend Oak Table, Acacia Bowls, Acrylic Desk Storage – all from MUJI
Baskets from MUJI
Duvet cover from MUJI
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to customizing your space, or taking the plunge to move into a live/work space (and combining all facets of your life under one roof). While any kind of change is intimidating, just MUJI’s products are functional, well-crafted, and pair perfectly with all of my eclectic housewares. I’m by no means a minimalist, but I’ve realized that simplicity is key when it comes to balancing whacky homewares. I am looking forward to this next chapter of work and play, and for having a space with good vibes and greater company.
All cited furniture is available in-store at MUJI.