before/after: our new waterfront office


My realtor started showing me available office space in May. Old Port, open and airy, tall ceilings, wood floors, historic charm or exposed brick, and natural light were among my must-haves. A lengthy and sometimes frustrating scavenger hunt ensued! Each week we would touch base and check out anything that was new on the market. Looking back, I feel like I must have seen every office building in Portland! We came close to signing on one, but it (fortunately!) fell through at the last minute back in September. The very next week he thought to show me something that had been vacant for nearly three years, the former personal office for Peter Macomber, owner of Macomber Inc., when his commercial photography studio was housed at 250 Commercial Street. Why not, I thought.

This is what I saw: 

Ew, ew, ew, right?! Small, dark, carpet, low ceiling. Aside from the Old Port location, there wasn't anything else on my must-have list! J and Nicole checked it out the same afternoon, too, and thought I was nuts for even considering. Until they looked out the window.  

Holy smokes, folks! Waterfront! What?! A water view was on my wish-upon-a-star-but-certainly-can't-afford list, not on my must-have list. I got lost for a little while watching the busy working waterfront, visualizing what it would be like to see this scene from my desk.

My mom used to have her real estate license, and it's something I've always had a passion for, too. The one thing that matters most, realtors always say, is location, location, location. Could I live with low ceilings? Would clients really want to come and talk about love and weddings in a gloomy gray office? Or was I prepared to tackle a major renovation?

Well.... after a little back and forth, the place was mine. Holy crap! Landlord Charlie Poole, whose family has owned Union Wharf since 1798, has been a dream to work with. He and his incredible team entertained my vision and transformed the space perfectly. In two weeks!

Featuring an open meeting and office area, kitchen (formerly a darkroom), bathroom and storage closet, it's not huge but it's the perfect amount of space for what we need. And that low ceiling? Meh, who cares!

Let me show you around a bit...

The best parking spot in Portland, as dubbed by Steve.

Inside! Seriously! Not even recognizable, right? I love seeing potential, given the practice I had with our last studio's enormous renovation (worth checking out the link here if you like before/after pictures as much as I do!).

The team has been super helpful, lending a hand for our move day and working together to get the space ready. We all definitely share the same excitement for our new digs!

We hated to hang blinds on the awesome commercial windows, but glare off the water was making seeing our computer screens impossible. Tough problem to have, we know. Not complaining!

We have been busy meeting with clients and vendors (and curious friends!). Please come on by and take a peek for yourselves! The office is open Monday- Friday 9a-5p (and by appointment otherwise). Eeeeee!!!


  1. Wow, emilie!!! It looks beautiful! I love the floors! What a great open space. It has an awesome loft feel to it. Nicely done!

  2. AMAZING!!!!!! Congrats! :-) Great way to kick off a new year! :-)

  3. soooo pretty! congratulations!

  4. Welcome Emilie! I've been working on the wharf for 14 years and love it. You can see our building next to where the Maine Responder is docked. We met when you did my son's wedding 7 years ago (Spencer & Katy McEwen). Hope to stop by to see you new space soon! Susan Geffers (Archetype Architects)


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