When Brett, the owner of EngageME Consulting, approached me to design their new office space, I was as excited as I was nervous. This would be my first commercial design and installation, and for them it would be their first real office space, so a big milestone for both parties. Obviously I said yes and I am so glad I did. It’s been one of the most fun and rewarding projects I have worked on – and also the first project that I’ve taken from start to finish with my new team member, Charly, who was amazing.
As a young start-up company, the EngageME team spent most of their first years huddled around Brett’s dining room table. The company’s client portfolio grew quickly and it was soon time to take the big step. The team had a pretty clear idea of the style that they wanted for their office interiors. Employee satisfaction is one of the core values that this company preaches to it’s clients, so it was a definite case of them wanting to practise what they preach. The brief was to create a work environment that felt less corporate and more like a cafe or hip hangout. It had to be stylish yet unpretentious, functional yet comfortable – and most importantly, a place that the staff and guests would love coming to.
We settled on an industrial minimalist style with lots of greenery, where monochrome contrasts against raw wood elements and the company’s corporate colour palette of lime green and charcoal. After spending some time with this enthusiastic team, I quickly realised that there’s no such thing as ‘business as usual’ with them. They are a company committed to taking the road less traveled and they were open to any ideas and suggestions, including getting their hands dirty during the installation.
Their company logo features tin cans used as old school ‘walkie-talkies’, symbolic of communication, so we ensured that this was reflected in the design with the use of some actual tins cans. We also supersize this theme with two big oil drums, that work as tables for some of the large pot plants, but can also multi-task as cafe tables for in-house events.
A few of the walls have had the Jotun Lady Design treatment with their awesome white brick effect. We are big fans of Jotun Paints around here. The brick wall is a key feature in the brain-storming / chill out area, where we installed a cafe style bar counter across one of the gorgeous windows, and a comfy sofa where staff can contemplate their contributions to the ‘Big Ideas’ chalkboard wall.
EngageME has a super talented illustrator on their team, Bug Fawcett, and we didn’t hold back on using her extraordinary skills to the absolute max. Not inly is Bug responsible for every art illustration you see in the office, but she also designed the mural in the entry / reception area – a graphic representation of their company story, complete with personal details that include the whole team. Another person, who made a huge contribution to the office was Rob Webster, a friend of Brett’s and an amazing carpenter. Rob handcrafted most of the wooden pieces of furniture, including the huge conference table, which is pretty much the centre of the action in this office.
I am really pleased with the end result, but more importantly, the client is thrilled, mostly because I put a large cookie jar in their kitchen, but also because the outcome exceeded their expectations and that’s music to my ears.