Before & After: This Office Stepped Back in Time (In a Very Stylish Way)

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Darren and Catherine’s client wanted their new office space to be welcoming, interesting and a reflection of their interests. Going from bland basic office white to a bold orange gave the space an immediate jolt of personality, and then the team layered on vintage and flea market finds, colorful industrial furniture and funky patterns.

From Darren & Catherine: The new Senior Dean wanted his office to be a warm and inviting space for students, families and faculty.

Our goal was to include the client’s passions for pop culture, studies and teachings of history, religions and foreign cultures with an emphasis on West Africa, France, Japan. We took inspiration from a wide variety of sources, Hermes Orange Box, V&A David Bowie 2013 exhibit poster, and global travels. We were going for a mid-century enthusiast look.

It took us about one month and we did it with a minimal budget, under $1,500. We had a bit of a challenge when we had to keep the long white built-in desk we originally wanted to remove. We feel we successfully made it work into the design. We love that we captured the personality of the client.

Darren & Catherine’s words of wisdom: Don’t be afraid of using color and texture! Paint your bulletin board the color of your wall to make it blend in. Choose similar color/metal frames to give continuity to artwork assortment. Make a chair cover from a favorite fabric to personalize standard office furniture. Cover a canvas in a fantastic fabric for a 3-D relief effect and make three for a triptych.

Resource list:
  • Paint color- Sherwin-Williams: Husky Orange 6636
  • Desk- 1960ss vintage
  • Pottery: West German mid-60s “Fat Lava”
  • Stephanie Stuepher pottery
  • Bamboo candy dish: IKEA
  • CB2: Andy Warhol dollar sign trinket tray
  • Desk chair cover:West African Batik fabric
  • Desk Lamp: Aero by Thomas O’Brian
  • Office chairs: Vintage industrial “Tanker” chairs by Royal Metal
  • Cushions: West Elm, Silk/linen
  • Book Tower: “Sapien” bookcase- Design Within Reach
  • Counter- Tonal Pottery
  • Lamp- West Elm
  • Wall art: 960’s Antonio Guause Brea serigraph
  • Framed artwork above bulletin board: Client’s 8 year old daughter

A big thank you to the Princeton Creative Services team for sharing this project!