He’s based in Orange County, California, but Jonathan Lo, founder of J3 Productions and the mastermind behind the blog Happy Mundane, spends his weekends at a getaway in the San Diego area. And although the rented beach house is a place to take a break from the busy week, the space still acts as Jonathan’s official “second office.” (After all, who doesn’t have to sneak in some work on a Sunday every once in a while?) Appropriately decorated with pops of aquamarine, the temporary office offers everything a guy on the go needs: just enough room to work, a designated place for a printer, bits of art for inspiration, and easy access to the ocean when break time comes around.
How would you describe your office at the beach house? What is the design aesthetic, and how does that impact your work? I generally work off of my laptop, so my “workspace” is always in flux. However, it is always nice to sit in a traditional “desk” and this particular desk area has been a great place to buckle down and focus. I generally gravitate towards modern and contemporary, but I do have a fondness for vintage and mid-century design. This area sort of blends both and I think that balance is something that gets passed on in my design work as well.
How have you organized the space? The desk isn’t very big, but currently, I’ve divided the desktop into an area for the computer, a tray to hold odds and ends, and then the edge holds a stack of magazines and books.
What desk accessory can’t you do without? A good lamp.
You’re well known for your love of color. What impact do you think it has on a workspace? I like to keep my workspace pretty neutral. It helps avoid too much visual distraction. At the same time, I can’t be in a space completely devoid of color. I end up feeling stifled if my surroundings are too sterile. I always need a little pop somewhere. The house this place resides in is pretty close to the beach, so hits of blue seemed appropriate.
This is a temporary office for you. If it was yours permanently, is there anything you’d replace? I love my current chair for its form, but the upholstery is a little dingy and frankly, I’d love to get a chair that can spin around and has wheels (an Eames Executive Chair would do quite nicely!).