Our Mercury Mosaics Design Studio has been chugging along both on paper and behind the scenes. We’ve achieved a 70% functional conference room and it’s incredible what a difference the space makes for collaboration. A complete game changer. You can read all about the updates at this link. To learn more about the “why” behind the entire space, you can catch up here.
Envisioning this office and bringing it to life has been quite the challenge. We have so much respect for our clients and we know what it means to be in the midst of a remodeling project; it’s why we’re dedicated to having 5-star worthy customer service. It's an emotional, difficult and never straightforward task to bring any space to life.
The vision for the office started off rather basic. In fact, too basic. I couldn’t envision my team being called to leave the comfort of their cushy remote home office to come here. We’re creatives after all. But budgeting was an obstacle that forced us to get creative. With a firm commitment to increasing my team’s compensation, I couldn’t go on a giant spending spree to get new office furniture and all the other bells and whistles that I knew would reflect our creative caliber. As I thought it through, I scanned through all I had at our disposal: Experience, blogging and an engaged audience with a lot of local partners.
In comes construction2style to help me hash it all out. Our goals, vision, resources and constraints. Morgan and her team are experts at thinking outside the box and that’s how I had to approach this project.
When it comes to building mood boards, Kayla and Morgan at construction2style are whizzes. They put together a vision from all the parts and pieces I shared with them, compiled it into a mood board and accompanying spreadsheet, and we quickly got to work.
Since we had used up our budget on renderings, we got creative and found someone who needed tile and was up to barter. In the local entrepreneurial scene, it’s a lot like the good ol’ days but instead of trading four oxen for 12 chickens, you’re trading a handmade tile backsplash or bathroom floor for mega-renderings, elevations and material take-offs.
Design changes everything. Now, I realize I’m in the business of designing and uplifting spaces but 99% of the time it’s for others. The degree of intentionality that construction2style puts into developing this space and ensuring our renderings reflected our brand, our vibe and our vision for the level of where we’re taking our tile game is strong. When our friends at Dohmicile revealed the renderings, I felt like Cinderella greeting her carriage. They’ve crafted the sense of a creative place – one open space, but with distinct workstations. Plus, Morgan fell over when she saw the renderings, so I knew we had a home run on our hands worth sculpting and fighting for.
One of the things that struck me most about this design was that there were solutions for collaboration – desks not facing walls, work islands with storage down the middle. For us, this will be a game changer. Another big help? Having a spot on the walls to personalize your zone. Rather than having a few tile samples clutter your desk, you can prominently display them on the wall. There’s also more of a transition from the common hallway of the building to the office, and this provides another element of storage.
It's important for the team to have some secure cubbies to store valuable items and we reached a simple solution. We’re going to adapt this design a bit, working backward from standard lockers to create a more custom look that’s still functional and secure. We’re partnering with Manomin Resawn Timbers for this build-out. We decided to use reclaimed Douglas Fir Timbers for our entry because of its limited environmental impact as a renewable resource. Sarah and her team operate with precise milling that accentuates the best qualities and unique character of each and every board. The attributes, the history, and the stories her timber will bring to this space are perfect considering this building was originally brought to life in 1902. Some of her reclaimed timbers date back to the 1820s.
One unexpected outcome of sharing these 2.0 designs with my team was that I could feel the excitement – the GIFs and expressions were flyin’. I’m likely dating myself as a proud Gen X, but the millennials were loving the design vision. This leads me to our next partnership with Room & Board. Their company, their values and the respect that they have for craftsmanship has been a lovely connection for us, as we manufacture a bespoke line of tables made with American Steel right here in Nordeast Minneapolis topped off with our exquisite tile. You can check out more on our Doro table collection here.
We reached out to Room & Board with an interest in telling a great visual story to showcase Business Interiors, the commercial side of Room & Board. I think many conceive of them as a residential supplier, but some of their most beautiful products were made to withstand the wear-and-tear of a well-used commercial space. Their tagline says it all: “Residential Style. Commercial Capabilities.” Our friends have been ethically sourcing furniture from over 15,000 craftspeople for the past 40 years which warms my heart, especially since we’re a part of that fabric. I take great pride and joy knowing our team gets to sit on one of their well-made office chairs – experiencing the difference of support.
It takes a village to bring a vision to life. While there have been several missteps along the way, I’m reminded of the following quote:
“Success is not the absence of failure; it’s the persistence through failure.” ~Unknown
I’m humbled to be able to stand up, rethink this Design Studio concept, dream of all the future community collaborations we’ll host and envision what magic will come out of this wonderland. This experience has really reawakened me to the power that design has to elevate space, and the importance of partnering with exceptional brands and dedicated craftspeople.