An office compares to a home in that each have stuff to save, use & protect.
Both are"...a pile of stuff with a cover on it."George Carlin "All your house is..."
My client is an Insurance Agency first established in 1886 in Portland, Oregon. One or two moves in downtown Portland until 1983 when the 7th floor wood paneled American Bank Building was left behind for a soon to be booming suburban city center.
At the first of this year, a move within the suburban town was necessary to make room for continued success and the growing number of employees. Who, of course, each come to work with their personal stuff and are responsible for a section of company stuff. For example, each employee needs a locking file cabinet for client information. The book keeper needs many locking file cabinets.
How to design within the client description of modern, open concept, nontraditional, "mad men" essence? (AND a tight, tight budget?)
|Solution to display a collection of Historic Office Stuff - Ikea Expedit (2 units)|
George Carlin on other peoples stuff:
"Their stuff is shit and your shit is stuff."
With only 4 President Owners in 100+ years, office equipment made obsolete by time has grown into a treasured collection of historic significance. Displayed thoughtfully, this stuff remains important and not stuff that is s*#t.
|100+ year old cast iron scale decorated|
with pretty hand painted roses.
Used for letter postage
(my sister's first job in the '70's)
|Insurance agents need to document - what a cool camera!|
|Rubber contract stamps (ie: paid, due, etc..) are gathered|
in a glass vase.
|There's one "mad men" style adding machine!|
|Faux Floral designed to soften|
the Ikea esthetic.
|Reception - Before a counter and desk were "created"- see Ikea Hack below.|
The tired vintage 1980 street level office is a distant memory....
.... now that they have a
tree top 2nd floor corner suite overlooking the lake promenade!
(a bit of commercial property heaven in Tualatin, Oregon)
|Clients old Conference Chair|
too tall, too wide, too black
8 crowded the old 7ft table
and absorbed the natural light
|New-ish "Dauphin" Conference Chair|
Fine lines, pattern, reflective chrome
$70 each on Craigslist
(current retail $900)
TIP: I cleaned up the scratches from moving, with a black Sharpie felt pen.
New Look: The pussy willow stems are silk shown in a vase from Cost Plus World Market.
|Craigslist 8ft conference table $350|
"buying" time until a raw edge timber slab table is budgeted.
|The clients existing chairs, plant, and basket lamp table.|
Encouraged my client to bring in the coffee table and side table
from his home basement storage.
|The side table (above) was in terrible shape|
until a rub down with Howards!
Promises have been made that the plastic ficus is on it's way out!
(I had left it in the discard pile during my visit. "other people's stuff!")
The World Market glass table lamp (above right) has been replaced by this Pier 1 floor lamp.
|"Metropol" Floor lamp from Pier1|
Painting from World Market
Antique Waste Basket as planter from client archives.
It is a survivor of an early 1900's flood in Portland and
a flood in the early 2000's in Tualatin, Oregon.
I love this history!
View from "bull pen" with kitchen door on the left.
Original artwork (by our niece Marissa) on the floor, is now hanging on that small wall.
I attempted to purchase this wood assemblage months ago when I discovered it at my sister's home (her career is with this agency). My sister and brother-in-law retain ownership and have agreed to hang it "on loan".
For now, as this is "stuff" I want!
|see more of niece Marissa's artwork here|
|Ikea "Galant" locking storage|
World Market painting
|Fabulous faux ficus|
from the wholesale florist supply
Our Ikea Hack Moment:
|Take two Billy Bookcases with doors|
(install the back panels good side out)
|Back it up against a Malm desk|
|And top the Billy "counter" with |
1/2" custom glass
This took more than the average effort from my client!
He was more than happy to do all the work of building his Ikea purchases, as this made his goal of Zero Budget (jk) nearly attainable!
Invaluable FREE labor from Miller Insurance office personnel (who also recommended me for this job),
my sister, brother-in-law, nieces & nephew and Mom who has the entree to the wholesale florist (she also gifted our purchases), was my driver and creative right hand. xoxo :-)
Thanks to Ikea for affordable modern desks (there are 6 in the open plan "bull pen") & cabinetry; Scott at Metro Office Supply in Portland (14325 N.E Airport Way & Craigslist) for beautiful used office chairs & file cabinets; Pinterest for opening their private design board option at just the right time!
Special THANK YOU to my little brother (company President #4) in giving me this opportunity to practice my online, email, telephone design services.
Cheers! Linda :-)