I'm So Very Happy to Reintroduce Gray Oak Studio

It’s been a while since Sonia and I told you about ourselves. Ya know, given you the scoop on how we spend non-work hours, shared our favorite flavor of ice-cream or revealed our most embarrassing moments. And by “been a while” I mean been forever because we’ve never done a little “about us” post. And by “revealed our most embarrassing moments” I mean never have and never will…

But before we do a little get-to-know-us post, we have to address the sweetest, most slender elephant in the room - Michele. You may have noticed that Michele has been absent from mention these days. Here, at long last, is the story: Earlier this year, Michele made the decision to leave Gray Oak. Tear, SOB, sniffle, SOB. Michele is a teacher by profession. And as passionate as she is for home design and as crazy talented as she is at designing gorgeous spaces and as much as Sonia and I literally begged her not to go, her true love is with education. So, over the spring she slowly finished her client work and by summer it was official. Officially heart breaking. But as devastated and Sonia and I were, we were also, of course, supportive. Sometimes it really is distance that makes the heart grow fonder. And Michele’s heart is with teaching.


So, let me reintroduce myself and my partner in crime, Sonia.

Gray Oak Studio - Leah and Sonia Founders and Principal Designers

Before there was Gray Oak, there was Leah and Sonia in a playgroup with our 2-year-old daughters. That’s how we met. Playdates at the local playground, coffee and cheddar bunnies at the WholeFoods play area, story hours at the library. We were mom friends. Then friend friends. And now more like family who run a business together.

Between the two of us, we have 6 kids. Sonia has the oldest (8 years) and I have the youngest (9 months). We live a mile apart, making it a little too easy to swing over each other’s houses at all hours of the day/night to quick chat about a fabric sample. We would both live on pasta if that was socially acceptable and a viable, nutritional option. And we are Walking Dead super fans. Although I think our obsession is about to end…is Rick really leaving?!?

Gray Oak Studio - Co-Founder and Principal Designer Sonia Brady
  1. Pre-Gray Oak, Sonia was a psychologist.

  2. When we’re not working, she can be found at the beach. And when it’s too cold for the beach, she can be found planning a beach vacation.

  3. She’s from the Boston area, but lived in Northern California for 4 years, which shaped both her love for coastal interiors and her obsession with the beach.

  4. Sonia grew up in a family of builders and contractors. She’s been in and around new construction and mid-remodel homes her whole life. Home design is literally in her blood.

  5. She loves Game of Thrones maybe more than Walking Dead. Maybe? Probably? It’s hard to remember because it’s been over A YEAR since Game of Thrones has been on television. Ridiculous.

  6. NEEDS coffee in the morning.

Gray Oak Studio - Co-Founder and Principal Designer Leah Hook
  1. Pre-Gray Oak, I was a lawyer.

  2. How do I spend my free time? Well....real life, like Sonia, I spend free time folding laundry and doing dishes. BUT, when I have a moment for me time, I’m at the gym or listening to a podcast. Podcast listening actually pairs really well with both laundry folding and dish cleaning.

  3. I’m also from the Boston area, but lived in Brooklyn for 5 years. I still root for the Sox, but have a deep love for NYC.

  4. I’ve been DIYing the heck out of my home since I was a wee youngin’. I would decoupage end tables, sew pillows and “make wallpaper” as a child. My parents came to expect (and accept) the rearranging of my bedroom furniture on a monthly basis.

  5. I’m obsessed with the Bachelor franchise.

  6. I drink hot water. Sometimes with a lemon, but usually not.

We’re so happy that you’re following along on this journey. We plan to do a little more “getting to know us” type posts going forward. Especially now that we have these fancy headshots and all.

- Leah