Office Makeover Part 1: The Process

5 years ago  •  By  •  2 Comments

If you know us, have been a client, or if you’ve actually taken the time to read through our about page, then you know we aren’t some hoity-toity, big-city design firm. We’re small. We’re family. In fact, we even call Ashley’s home our office. That’s right! We work in a home office. It’s very authentic, sometimes with loud kids stomping above our heads and rowdy dogs playing tug-of-war in the middle of the office (and sometimes we get rowdy and play tug-of-war, but that’s a different post altogether).

We moved in a few years ago, but didn’t get around to putting a well-designed space together until earlier last year when we called upon past client and über talented interior/furniture designer, Samantha Pattillo, to breathe some creative life into our sterile, newly-built space. We wanted a chic industrial vibe, with pops of our signature red throughout.

Her process started very similar to our own, with a Pinterest board full of accessories, furniture and rooms we liked (great minds and all that). We then filled out a questionnaire, which gave Samantha insight into how we would be using each space, what kind of problems we currently had and what type of environment would best suit our team. Since Samantha is local to us, she was able to visit and take measurements of the rooms and take inventory of furniture that was to stay. From the Pinterest board and questionnaire, Samantha pulled together this initial mood board.

Braizen Office Interior Design Mood Board by Samantha Pattillo

She came back a few weeks later will a packet filled with AMAZING renderings of her vision, along with print-outs of each major piece that we needed to find or purchase, the budget estimate, and timeline. We didn’t really change very much except artwork and accessories that were placed at the end. Although, there were a few things that Ashley’s husband, Paul, was able to DIY instead of purchase and that saved us some major dough.
Braizen Office Makeover Floor Plans by Samantha PattilloBraizen Office Conference Room Design by Samantha Pattillo Braizen Office Interior Rendering by Samantha Pattillo Braizen Office Interior Rendering by Samantha Pattillo

We settled on keeping our Ikea Wingback Chairs, a vintage, metal library card catalog, four white ikea flat files, Walt’s hand-made desk and a tan cow-hide rug from World Market. There were a few pieces of art that we kept and a few accessories too.

Samantha took care of ordering anything that wasn’t being custom made or antiques we needed to track down, which made the process really easy and kept us on track with the project. It didn’t take long for beautiful stuff to arrive at our doorsteps. Below: Pillow, Floor lamp and File holder from Anthropologie. Pipe lamp from New Wine Old Bottles over on Etsy and Accordion Scones from West Elm. These are just a few of the little details.

Braizen Office Makeover Accessories Braizen Office Makeover Accent Lighting

We took on a lot of DIY projects to save money, including any painting that needed to be done. It wasn’t too much, just two feature chalkboard walls and red stair risers.

Painting Progress

But before we could continue, we had to re-stain our concrete basement floors because weren’t happy with the previous product we used. Unfortunately, that meant removing the previous finish and sanding concrete, which is not the most fun thing ever (think root canal with a side of filling out your taxes). It also meant that we had to move everything out of the office. Computers went upstairs to the dining room table and everything else went into a storage unit. The whole messy process took a little over a week. Good times were not had, but the final results were pretty awesome.

Floors-in-progressThe temporary office space

One of out favorite parts of the process was digging around for pieces at Scotts Antique Market. We found our conference room table there – a 1920’s drafting table base, which is very meaningful to Ashley and her husband Paul because they met while majoring in Architecture. We ordered a more modern metal top from another vendor at Scott’s and we also picked up a few knick knacks too.

Scotts Antique Market Cast Iron 1920's Drafting Desk Base

Another piece we had to scour for was this vintage type cabinet. No luck finding that at Scott’s, but we found one on Ebay available for pickup at an antique shop in Birmingham, Alabama. Amber and Ashley got to take a Friday field trip to pick up that bad boy. Totally worth it.

Vintage Typographers Cabinet

Samantha also designed an amazing floating two-sided desk for Amber and Ashley. We found an awesome local furniture maker via Angie’s List who was able to create this massive desk on a short deadline. He even met all of us at a local lumber yard so we could pick out each and every piece of wood that went into it.

Peach State LumberCustom Desk Build in progressCustom Desk Installation

In order to get the color just right, we had to use two different stains: a weathered gray stain over top a dark walnut stain. The results were perfect!

Desk Finish

We found an awesome deal on Wormy Ambrosia Maple and also bought enough to replicate these shelves from Restoration Hardware, built by Ashley’s husband.

DIY Rustic Industrial Pipe ShelvesRustic DIY Shelf InstallationRustic DIY Pipe Shelves

We also custom made all of our curtain rods using the same industrial metal plumbing pipes.

DIY Pipe Curtain RodsInstalling Pipe Curtain Rods

We replaced several pot-lights and other fixtures with gorgeous new pendant lights. Thanks to our in-house electrical team for installing them. Paxton Glass 9-Light Pendant from Pottery Barn. Antiqued Metal Drum Pendant from Restoration Hardware.

Installing Pottery Barn Pendant Lights Pottery Barn ChandelierInstalling Restoration Hardware Chandelier

Samantha found a place to store our large book collection by outfitting our back wall with these Ikea floating shelves.

Floating Shelves Installation

ChooChoo kept an eye on things during the whole process… she’s a stylish supervisor.

ChooChoo the SupervisorIkea Floating Shelves Installation

We also spent a lot of time just  organizing all of our stuff. We stacked our Ikea Alex cabinets two-high and filled that sucker with all of our art and office supplies. We have a lot of art and office supplies (seriously, we could start our own store). There were also a couple of closets that got new shelving and clear bins for storing print work samples.

Art Supply Organization

Amber, Ashley and Samantha bonded over boxes and binders at The Container Store.

Shopping at The Container Store

One of our favorite parts of our whole office is the Stikwood wall in our conference room. We get so many compliments on it. Stikwood is super simple peel and stick solid wood plank. It literally has double-stick tape on the back. Super easy to install.


Install Day was llllooooonnnnggg and exhausting and Samantha actually had to come back another day to put a few more finishing touches on the rooms.

Install-Day1 Install-Day2braizen-2014-1001

Stay Tuned for The Big Reveal!

Comments 2

  1. Marilyn
    Looks like it will be great! I have thought about purchasing the Pottery Barn 9 light pendant light. I was wondering -- are the cords hanging down adjustable ~ are they able to be shortened a bit?
    • Ashley
      I'm honestly sure. My husband and Amber's husband tag-teamed the install and we don't recall any adjustments being made, but maybe they weren't needed.

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