This Florist’s Studio Is Filled with Kitchen Remodel Ideas—How to Steal the Look
A Seattle-area floral studio is an unlikely source for kitchen and dining room ideas. But Teressa Johnson’s workshop, designed by Katie LeClercq, is just that.
Working out of the basement of her house had become a logistical challenge for Teressa Johnson, a floral designer based in Sumner, Washington.
“Mayberry House,” which is the nickname she gave the 1918 home she shares with her husband and small family, is tiny. And the basement had only 6.5-foot ceilings. Johnson began her career doing floral design for weddings and is now working for clients creating tablescapes, staging dinner parties, styling photoshoots, and creating Instagram-worthy installations. And as her work expanded, dodging the support beams and washer and dryer in the cramped basement became more of an issue.
“It’s roomy if you’re short,” Johnson jokes. “But it’s very difficult to produce large-scale work, and then haul it to the car, climbing two different staircases.”
Johnson set her sights on transforming the “underwhelming” garage behind the house as a potential new work space. The problem was: It was built in the 1940s, had no water, no insulation, and limited electricity. Undeterred, she contacted Seattle-based designer Katie LeClercq to see what, if anything, was possible.
“I admired Katie’s work so much that I needed to introduce myself,” says Johnson. “We met a couple times through mutual friends, but then we started working together and sparked a very dear friendship.”
“I wanted to stop hearing my lovely but busy kids from above, and to have a place of quiet for client phone calls. I wanted natural daylight and ceilings where I could lift an urn and not ram the top of a delicate branch into the low ceiling,” she says. “Then I fell headlong into the creative genius of Katie. I think it was just one rendering and I could see what she saw, and it was perfect.”
Her design looks remarkably like an eat-in kitchen in an English country house, and the vintage elements, from the bentwood chairs around an antique table to the pendant lights sourced from 1stDibs, make it feel like it’s been there for decades. Anchoring the work space is a found laundry sink. There are built-in pantries for storage, where Johnson stows away everyday supplies, and ample open shelves to store the many vessels she uses for her florals.
It’s a mini-studio for photos, and when the table isn’t being used for work, it’s a spot where her friends like to gather for “deep and significant” conversations. The fact that Johnson’s husband did much of the handiwork himself makes it feel even more special.
“To say I’ve received an upgrade is a laughable understatement, and knowing the sacrifice it took for my husband to relinquish his workspace, as well as build this whole studio by hand, the whole feat is an endearing love letter to me,” she says.
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If you can’t find a set of matching vintage bentwood dining chairs, Joss & Main sells an affordable reproduction.
LeClercq hung simple pendant lights with white shade a little on the low side, and spaced them evenly over the table
If there is such a thing as a “charming” major appliance, the Smeg refrigerator is it. Find a similar model at West Elm.
Tall woven hampers with leather handles hide anything you want to store under a sink, and make open lower shelves possible.
You can create a similar country-minimal kitchen look by skipping the traditional porcelain farm sink and opting for concrete instead.
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