A local software development in Union City asked us last year to help them convert a warehouse into their new headquarters for their next business venture.
The CEO was interested in having the work space reflect in part some of the sensibilities of those other software giants in the area, like Facebook and Google. Although in a much smaller scale, and with a much smaller budget, he was interested in having a space that felt youthful, creative, fun, and unique, and that included "play areas" with a pool table and bean bag chairs.
We jumped at the challenge and were eager to get our creative juices going to create a design that reflected those values, plus what their company was all about.
As such, our concept became "vibrant connectivity." Being that the company's colors were shades of orange, and they had recently installed red carpet everywhere, it was not difficult to reflect vibrancy with a color scheme like this.
In addition, we had to work with some kitchen cabinetry that was already in the space, and was not within the budget to replace. The cabinetry was a deep green with slight blue undertones. Usually blue and orange are great complementary colors, and are very vibrant together, so we made that work to our advantage. One of the things we did was to match the cabinetry color and put it in the opposite side of the space, in our case in the staircase and wall area under it. This helped to provide balance and made the cabinetry look purposeful, like we meant for it to be that color.
To reflect the "connectivity" part of our concept, we concentrated on creating artwork that spoke to the concept of the "World Wide Web". I don't know about you, but when I hear those words, "World Wide Web," I think of string art. So, that led to the creation of a large scale world map done as string art, with the exception that copper wire was used instead of string. The effect was great, if I say so myself.
In addition, we found a great photo of the communications that take place across the world in the space of 24 hours. We manipulated the photo and cut it into thirds, and installed it as a tryptich above the main area cubicles.
To help with the budget, and also to help with our eco-friendly efforts, we re-used as much as we could. Whatever furniture was already in place remained. There was some old cubicles that had been dismantled and we used one of the panels as a wall divider (to hide the trash area), and some of the cubicle work surfaces were cut to size and converted into shelving and a kitchen table.
As much as we would have loved to have installed wall to wall dry erase boards, this was not on the budget. Once again we had to come up with an effective, beautiful, but cost-effective solution. The answer was acrylic panels, which work as dry erase boards but even better than the regular material since they don't have that "ghosting" effect that drives us all crazy. We only installed a strip or band around the perimeter of the room, at the height most usable for writing. This gave us some style and functionality, and the client was thrilled!
To help with the budget and also to remain eco-friendly we bought used cubicles and used Herman Miller work station chairs. The cubicles and chairs were in great shape, and although the size of the cubicles was not initially the one we needed, our supplier was able to re-size them to the appropriate size - don't know how many people know that this is an option. It is much cheaper than getting new work stations, and in most cases, the wear and tear is minimum.
All in all, our client was very happy with the final result. Needless to say, we utilized our entire budget to accomplish what we wanted to do. We would have loved to do even more to the space, as usual, but we felt this was a great start for this new start-up. As they succeed in their business they can upgrade as they are able.
We also tried to make things removeable, to facilitate them being able to move things in the future, if they moved to another location.
Overall, we feel we achieved our objective of giving the client a place where he and his employees can be creative, playful and productive.
To see before and after pictures of the entire process, visit www.fullcircleinteriorsolutions.com, or see the YouYube video we made of the project.