Divine Floréal Studio Before and After

First big decision we had to make was space! Sheung Wan was our top choice as it is central and convenient yet not too suffocating so we went to look at various places in the district. Fortunately, found a place we liked and as our heart and brain both said yes, so off we went to sign the lease.

Wanted to do a "Before and After" post of our studio, so snapped a few photos right after we got the keys, obviously just an empty shell.

There were 2 units available in the building at the time, we picked this one as we love brown flooring. This particular flooring is also practical as the surface is rough and non-slippery.

We knew we will have a lot of props and supplies so we got these heavy duty racks from Ikea.

Each of the longer shelves can hold up to 100kg and the shorter 60kg which gave us complete piece of mind.

Next was renovation, which finally began after quite a bit of struggle. First the horrible fluorescent lamps were removed and new LED lightings installed. Then the shelves and working countertop were moved in.
And then the madness started.

Wanted to hide all the mess on the racks so had a wall built in front of it.
And after quite a few sleepless nights, the renovation was almost completed. Still a mess but getting there!
One of the most important tasks was to balance utilitarian and aesthetics. We need somewhere practical and functional as previous wedding decor jobs told us that there will be a lot of glass and water and mess and things can get maniac, so we need to have enough space to move around and also place finished arrangements.

On the other hand, we will never be able to give up aesthetics altogether as it got to be somewhere we are happy in and feel creative. Our heart was set on shabby chic as we love the quaint, charming and unpretentious style. Can say it is not an easy task as people don't see this style here often and imagine having to explain the style to 50 something year old decorators who had never seen or heard of shabby chic!

And finally the After. The heavy duty racks for storing all the supplies and small vases.
The original brown flooring and grey doors were kept as both are classic shabby chic colours, everything else was white. One of the reasons why we love shabby chic is because of its neutral colours which provides a plain background to showcase and let all the flowers stand out.

And the wall hiding the storage racks. Originally was going to have wallpaper on it but had second thoughts and decided to leave it blank. A few appliques are placed temporarily which can be removed anytime when we feel like changing it.

Although the view outside the windows is a bit depressing as expected, we like that the huge windows allow ample of natural light to come into the studio during the day.

The toilet is perfectly fine as it is and came with a shower, so the only thing that was added was a tailormade sink. This is something only fellow florists will understand, imagine having to wash like xth number of vases, the sink is important!

And our favourite part of the studio, 2 tall shelves and a large working countertop made of wood. The painter didn't understand the shabby part of shabby chic so we tried and tested a few ways. He wanted to spray paint them which would give a very neat finish so not what the look we are going for. We then tried dipping coarse workman gloves in white paint and sort of sponged the paint on but it still didn't look quite right. At the end, we went for the most old- fashioned way, using brushes with rough strokes and stopping when the look is achieved.

Quite excited with the appliques that we found which transformed the otherwise bare countertop into something interesting.
Inside the countertop are a few pull out shelves for large tissue or wrapping papers and storage drawers and units for all the supplies.
Was going to sand out some of the paint but decided to let time takes its course and worn them out naturally.

Although a fair amount of blood, sweat and tears were involved along the way, we have dreamed about having our own floral space for some time and being able to see what we had in mind transformed into reality gave us immense satisfaction! Here's to having a blast designing with flowers here!!!