Have you checked out Paper Source lately? I threw down a chunk ‘o change there last night to satisfy my paper cravings (and to organize my office) but you know, I have no real habits — I don’t smoke, I barely drink, you’ll never find me in a nudie bar with ten dollar bills (what a visual! he he!) and I’ve cut out Starbucks (almost) from my life, I go there maybe once every two weeks vs. daily as before — so I made room in my budget for the occasional paper splurge. Justified. I feel much better. What did I buy? For one, the cat butt pencil sharpener (my word) and some PaPaYa! file folders. Here are a few others that I liked, some went into my shopping cart while others remain on my wish list for pining…
In no order, but I assure you all are accounted for in this link list: Curry dots bracket label, the purple comp journal, paper suitcases with striped interiors (I ordered two, one in chartreuse and the other in papaya), white cat pencil sharpener, file folders with pink birds, fish letterpress cards, orange paisley thank you notes, pool cloud dots label and the holy crap eraser.
(images: paper source)
I talked about this lady in ‘07 but I couldn’t resist posting about her again after viewing the coolest project she’d posted on Flickr recently. Adriana Bezerra, or Drika.b as her fans know her, is a handbag designer in San Francisco by way of Brazil with the most delicious handbags with her signature jute trim. Check out the little photos of her bags that she so carefully placed on a linen board as a reminder of all the bags she’s designed since launching her collection back in late ‘06. Don’t you just love this idea? I’m swooning here…
I’m a proud owner of a Drika.b bag and whenever I wear it out I always receive a ton of flattering comments about the size and shape of it — people really seem to love (and want) it where ever I go. I almost want to keep a supply in the trunk of my car and be her east coast rep or something, it’s a riot!
Don’t you really love this display board idea though? And her perfectly neat play space? Inspiring…
(images: Adriana Bezerra)
You can view more and download a free PDF file to get yours and start labeling too. Fun! Don’t you just want to drop everything and organize your office right this second?!
(images from mer mag)
Want to see an absolutely inspirational office space in Finland? Share this post with your boss if your office happens to be draining the life out of you because honest to goodness, a nice work environment can make a huge impact on the quality of your work and therefore your life. No lie.
A little story… when I worked in facilities I remember very clearly the increased levels of productivity and happiness when we renovated spaces from dull lifeless cube farms into hip, trendy work environments. One project involved planning a complete floor gut and build, which was exceptionally fun and challenging with 16 hour days being the norm as we all pushed through to complete the project on deadline. From ergonomics experts to designers, architects and art curators, I dealt with them all but funny this was that the experts didn’t really know what the employees really needed. In the end, the best conversations I had, the most informative, generally involved the actually employees and the ridiculous amounts of surveys we had to conduct. I regularly sat down with team leads who would gather information from their direct reports regarding space needs and communicate those back to me. Most desired to not only feel like their space supported them but that it was a place where they felt proud to call their second home.
As I sat down with secretaries, software engineers, business analysts, graphic designers, HR specialists, it really did not matter their function — their needs were the same. They craved access to natural lighting (or at least light sources that mimicked it), access to their peers while yet maintaining some level or privacy, and mobility — they desired to be able to work anywhere on the floor whether it be their cube, an empty office, the lobby, some even liked to stand in the kitchen and use their laptop at the bar. The more I conducted these surveys and read studies, the more I felt confident that in our newly acquired space we could really meet their needs. We had access to plenty of natural light, the executive overseeing the project was keenly interested in employee mobility and the importance of community building at work, and privacy was important to him, too. In the end, after a year of planning, listening to the employees, and then building and moving, the new environment was a total success.
The morning employees arrived in their new office space their faces were full of excitement and hope. Over the months it was noticeable that the entire morale had changed from mellow and slightly depressed to joyous and eager to get in and not so eager to leave at night as they had been before. In the former space we had this joke that the fire drill sounded everyday at 5:00 p.m. It didn’t of course, but as hundreds of employees bolted for the elevators all at once, we couldn’t help but think there was some kind of evacuation notice we’d missed. Of course, this was just a sign of very unhappy workers. Was it their job in the end that made them miserable?
For most, no. It was their work environment. Since that time office design in America has come a long way, especially in Boston. Though still, many offices exist that do not support the employee and some go as far as to expose them to certain health risks all in the name of saving a buck. It’s sad but true. That’s why I really like this website called This Ain’t No Disco (it’s where we work), which I found via Kali’s blog. I wish it had existed back when I was working in facilities, I could have really used it for inspiration. It’s devoted to sharing good-looking creative agencies based all over the world, though I don’t think that only creative agencies should look good — all work environments should be welcoming and encourage creativity and and a sense of community in my opinion. Love this concept, what a great blog idea! You have to check it out and if you know of any space planners or facilities managers out there, share This Ain’t No Disco with them!
Ready to see a fresh, modern home office space? How about a living room with lots of pattern for a busy family with pets? Interior Designer Vanessa De Vargas who owns Turquoise, a Los Angeles-based furniture and interior design business wrote in to share a recent project with us and after viewing the space, I thought I’d ask her a few questions and share her answers here today as it’s always fun to get inside the mind of a designer. Let’s check out this office and living space, shall we?
First of all, what inspired this fab office space? First let me say that before I started to decorate the room it was very dark. The walls were dark brown, the desk was dark and there was a dark brown mirror that hung above the desk. When I first met with my client she basically said to me, “Please, I don’t want any dark colors — I want pink accents, a mirrored cabinet, and a Venetian mirror, can we do that?”, and I thought hey, if that’s what you want, lets decorate it that way!
How did you decide on the wallpaper given that there are thousands to choose from on the market these days? I researched tons of papers and when I came across the silver and white circular one, I knew that was it. I honestly didn’t even show her any other wallpapers. So to answer your question my client was the inspiration, she told me what she wanted and based on her wants I then took my design expertise and made the office come to life!
Where did you find a majority of your furnishings and accessories? The desk she already had so that was a newer purchase including the custom cabinet we had made at a local furniture store and the desk chair. The lamp and accessories are from Jonathan Adler and the desk lamp, Moroccan table and bamboo chair (with the Lulu DK Chant fabric) were all re-vamped vintage pieces. The rug was from West Elm.
Is the silhouette on the wall of anyone in particular? No that’s actually a vintage silhouette that she purchased from me.
Where is that amazing task chair from? The chair is a reproduction Eames task chair that we had reupholstered in outdoor paisley fabric from Sunbrella.
Next up, the living room:
In the living room, what made you go with a neutral, darker palette? The living room is also the TV room. My clients have 3 kids and 2 dogs so I made sure the furniture pieces where either dark in color, had a pattern or were upholstered in outdoor fabrics. They also loved the color royal blue so we incorporated that in the custom tufted chair, custom benches and accent pillows. I also thought that having a nice neutral background (meaning the walls) was a great way to have the furniture pieces pop.
There’s a lot of pattern but it’s subtle, any tips on how to use a lot of pattern in a space without going overboard? That is a good question Holly, this was really the first time I used many different patterns under one space. I think that if you stay in the same size family of each of the patterns and stay consistent in the colors palette, you can use a few patterns at once. I noticed that when I pulled other patterns that were bigger in size they either over powered the look or made it look too busy.
What in this space belongs to the client that you were able to keep in the mix?The only thing that was there was the built in TV unit. Everything was new that we brought in. Including all the accessories on the shelves and the trays in the rooms.
Thanks Vanessa for the show and tell!
Psst: If you’re in the Los Angeles area and would like to network with designers and other creatives, Vanessa leads a popular design pow wow called Designers Networking Group (DNG) which is held monthly giving all a chance to network, enjoy some eats and drinks, and best of all — no charge! Just attend, bring those business cards and enjoy an evening out. More information here.
If you have a questions for Vanessa, please comment below and she’ll stop by to answer, thanks!
(images: vanessa de vargas)