We’ve been big fans of Filling Spaces for a few years now. Founded by Deepali Kalia and her sister, Nanu, the Portland-based brand is a great resouce for pillows and other home accessories. (You can read our interview on the company’s history here!) When Deepali told us she had recently renovated her home office to serve as the official Filling Spaces HQ, we knew we had to have a look. Deeply tells us more:
Hi! We’d love to know a bit more about the studio. Where is it located?
Filling Spaces studio is located in Portland, OR. Our space is an open floor plan with our work office, photography studio, and showroom flowing together. Big desks in the office and display boards help us be creative and work on various projects simultaneously. We photograph our products and create vignettes to showcase and help customers vision a real-life scenario. The showroom space is where designers and retailers could see our textiles in person. As trade shows and commerce move more and more into the virtual realm, it is a great space to showcase our new collections digitally.
When you decided to remodel the space, what were some of your top priorities?
My main goal with the office space was to create a space that would be ideal for working from home. My dream of having an in-house creative studio started when I decided to close my brick and mortar shop in Portland and focus more on product creation and wholesale. I wanted to have a home-based business to spend time with my two growing kids. Designing the new office was really about creating the ideal live workspace.
What did you need to change first?
The original space felt more like a home office rather than a creative and inspiring studio space. We had a dining room space adjacent to the office, and we hardly used it. We decided to remove the nonbearing wall and door between those two areas and make it a bigger space. We knew as we move the partition wall, the light from both sides of the window would make it a much brighter spot.
Could you “walk us” through the studio and share a little bit about the design? We’d love to know what design changes you made, and details like paint colors and furniture selections.
The main door opens to entry, and adjacent to it is our showroom with a display of all our textiles wings. Also on the wall is custom-shelves with our collection of pillows, blankets, artwork, and beddings. The original wood flooring that was already partially in the house was oak. We liked it, so we decided to go with the same oak flooring with a clear stain throughout the space. Anywhere there was carpet before, got the oak flooring. The paint color we chose was Simply White by Benjamin Moore. We considered a few other colors from Benjamin Moore like White Dove, Swiss Coffee, and Chantilly Lace, but we ultimately decided on Simply White because it was a softer tone that we felt worked best with the natural light in space.
Furniture in the office is market finds from India – the side tables for the desk, metal chairs. We used some boards from Ikea as the tabletop. Our creative process starts with a mess! We needed a big table to spread our drawings, textiles, and work on our laptops and computers.
The office walls have a beautiful collection of artwork from Filling Spaces and local designers and stores.
The photo studio has rugs on the floor with sofa/ display pillows/blankets and photography equipment.
What do you love most about the finished space?
I had dreamed about renovating our space for years, so to see an area that truly fit our needs coming to life was so gratifying. Now it’s more of an open and airy studio space where we can display art; our products and create mood boards and style photos.
Finally, what is a “typical” day in the studio like for you?
I usually start my day early at 8:00, have my morning tea in the office, check and answer all emails. Then face time with my sister Nanu in India (time difference) to go over all the new developments and projects we are working on. Then review all the necessary day to day details with my associate Claire and plan our social calendar, emails, and photoshoots. Also, discuss shipping details with Marina, who ships our orders.
The late afternoon is creative time to plan collections and sketch ideas or go over invoices and accounts. We are open by appointment, so depending on the time of the meeting, I plan my day accordingly. Lately, we are doing many FaceTime meetings with our out of state and international customers. As kids are home, I usually work till 2:00 or 3:00. Then, around 8:00 PM, I FaceTime again with my sister in India studio to see the progress made with orders and developments.