Joy Cho's Grown-Up Candyland Kitchenette

Kitchen Tour

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Who cooks and eats here: Joy Cho of Oh Joy! and her studio team
Where: Los Angeles, CA
Rent or Own? Rent

Joy Cho is a blogger, designer, food enthusiast, mom and all-around trendsetter, which you'll know if you read her immensely popular blog. A few months ago Joy moved her daily work into a studio space in Los Angeles, and it radiates happiness, creativity and fun — especially in the kitchenette, which has lots of great ideas for both home and work cooking spaces. (Plus, check out that super cute Smeg fridge and multicolor striped toe kick!)

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Joy worked with stylist Emily Henderson on the whole studio space, but she knew from the start it'd be important to designate an area in the office where people could come together and relax. (Taking breaks and good food are important to efficiency and creativity for this team!) So although there's no stove or sink in Joy's kitchenette, there's a lot of eating, reheating and photographing going on here!

There are also some smart ideas for the home owner or fellow studio dweller: the open shelving showcases a curated, pared down selection of favorite snacks, all in glass jars and plastic containers to see what you'd like to eat and use; the treasured vintage golden swan holds a gold sponge (details like this, how cute!), and the bell jar tops are painted bright white, yellow and pink. The whole space shows how important it is to only have the things that really make you happy out in the open and to tuck the utilitarian products into cabinets.

Clearly, Joy is unafraid and unabashed in her use of bright colors in her kitchenette. The white basics offset the neon pinks, shiny golds and other candy colors within this space. What a delightful color palette — it just made me smile to visit.

If you follow Joy's blog, you should be familiar with her Currently Snacking On series —this is the spot where all those treats get tasted, approved, and photographed!

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6 Questions for Joy (and Her Studio Kitchen)

1. What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
I wanted an area in my studio where my team can make a nice cup of tea or coffee and make a sweet snack, so we created this kitchen area from scratch using IKEA cabinets and shelving with some additional DIY details to make it more special.

2. What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
I love the fridge. It holds our lunches, leftovers and all the food we're prepping or saving for photos shoots for my blog.

3. The biggest challenge in your kitchen:
It's more like a kitchenette (no stove or oven) so we're limited in what we can actually cook, but we sure can microwave up a storm!

4. Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
I wish I had a sink, but that will have to wait for our next space.

5. Biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen:
The Smeg fridge.

6. How does having a great kitchen in your studio impact your work?
It allows us to take little breaks here and there without having to always leave the office for a snack.

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Resources of Note

Emily Henderson and I worked together to design the office and she did an amazing job with DIY elements to make the basic shelving look totally custom and very much my style. She applied contact paper to the toe kick for the fun stripe details and painted the shelving with various blocks of color to carry the "Grown-Up Candyland" theme I requested throughout my studio. See more details in this blog post.

  • Fridge: Smeg
  • Cabinets: IKEA
  • Glassware: Design Within Reach
  • Ceramics: Kate Spade Saturday (mugs), Leif (spotted dishes), vintage mugs
  • Artwork: Joel Penkman Krispy Kreme print, vintage Beatles print

Visit Joy's blog → Oh Joy!

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(Image credits: Leela Cyd; Bonnie Tsang)