Occasionally we have projects in cities outside Austin, sometimes in other states. These out of town clients tend to find us on Pinterest or Houzz, and sometimes they happen to be acquaintances or relatives. Today’s ‘Before & After’ is for the office of my sister-in-law who lives in Seattle, Washington.
Her company, Mammoth Agency, has been growing leaps and bounds since it started just a couple of years ago. They outgrew their last space and moved into a larger, quirky building that had a lot of character, but the private offices were lacking in the charm department.
They re-used the furnishings they had purchased for the old space in the new conference room and main work space.
While these old wood floor and brick walls are fabulous, the offices for she and her partner were really tired and needed a lot of cosmetic work.
I am lucky that my sister in law is comfortable making a bold design statement, willing to take risks and was a quick decision maker. If she had any worries over the design concept, she never mentioned them to me!
Her partner was also easy to work with. Being creative, he knew what styles and colors he liked and was also clear on direction and quick to decide.
Together, with their creative styles, quick decision making, willingness to trust the process and hand over the details, they made the ideal client for an office project.
BEFORE: HER OFFICE
This office had nice wood floors and black beadboard on the walls. The lighting was very poor and there were a lot of odd wall outlets, sconces and one single light ceiling fixture.
My sister in law pinned some pictures of spaces she liked (not offices) and those determined the style of the space, which I would call ‘Moroccan Glam’.
Their office is digitally based, so she did not need much in the way of storage. They do have a lot of long days and nights, so we thought it would be important to have an ergonomically designed desk chair and some comfortable seating for strategy sessions.
AFTER: HER OFFICE
Looking from the main room to the wall with the barn door, you can see a sneak peek into her office.
The bold, black and white wallpaper made a huge impact on taking the space from drab to fab. We brought in additional lighting with the new ceiling light, picture light, and two lamps on the credenza. The mirror also helps reflect light from the window and contributes to brightening the room.
We chose a sophisticated shade of dark blue for the drapery panels and the lamps. Otherwise, the black and white theme flows well with the main space.
My brother and sister-in-law were married in Positano, Italy and I loved being able to incorporate this large scale photo from the Positano coastline.
The office was pretty tight, so we used two ‘mini’ swivel chairs in a pale grey. The fuzzy ottoman adds an element of fun and playfulness. What a fun, happy space to work in everyday!
BEFORE: HIS OFFICE
My sister-in-law’s partner’s office has a very different layout, with an angled wall (blown out here by the sun) which was challenging for furniture/rug placement. The room was long, though, and he wanted an area for casual meetings that could seat three people.
His style was a bit traditional and a bit mid-century, with a preferred color palette of navy blue and chocolate brown. We were able to blend it all into a clean, streamlined space that coordinates with the rest of the office.
One contributing factor to a clean, streamlined look was to remove the ‘bookshelves’ on the back wall. While interesting in theory, the built in shelving system really felt cluttered and messy. It would take a lot of accessories to fill those shelves and if I had all that going on in my office, I would have a hard time focusing. We decided to take the upper shelves out.
AFTER: HIS OFFICE
After taking out the wall shelves, we wallpapered the back wall in a navy grass-cloth. We incorporated an original art piece featuring Johnny Cash which fit his style and personality. I love artwork for making a space unique and personal.
Lighting was also a challenge in this room (although it is hard to believe it is Seattle on the days these photos were taken). We added wall sconces to the back wall, a large overhead fixture and a floor lamp by the sitting area.
We used a graphic carpet from Stark, which we had cut on an angle to accommodate the shape of the room and the ideal floorplan. I was able to tuck in a navy loveseat and two mid century style leather chairs in the window.
Not big enough for napping, but the perfect size for a team meeting. Using smaller scale pieces and showing a lot of ‘legs’ helped keep the tight space from feeling crowded. The two brass tables are about 18″ diameter and function as a cocktail table or can be moved and used as end tables if they need more room. Keeping all the pieces ‘light’ gives flexibility on how the space can be used.
A fun project from afar. Can you believe we did all this without ever setting foot in the office? Interior design has changed dramatically over the past 10 years. You just need a good camera and someone who can reliably use a measuring tape and you are on your way to the design of your dreams! If you would like us to help you with your design project, just reach out to us via our online questionnaire!