Before and After: Our Office

By Rebecca Plumb   |   February 4, 2016

One of our favorite moments from last year (ok, from any year), was moving into our midtown loft space in the MARRS building at 20th/J. If you don’t count the months we set up shop in my then boyfriend’s spare room many moons ago, this is our third legit space.

A year before our lease was to expire on our East Sacramento office we knew we were ready to step up our game. On our wish list: lively neighborhood, safe at night, high ceilings, architectural character lots and lots of light. We enlisted Kris Kalmbach of Cushman & Wakefield, a guy in the know, to help us on our search. When he showed us the flyer for a space opening in midtown’s MARRS building it was a game changer. It hit every check box on our list (hello, lively neighborhood!) and the timing of its availability was perfect.

The Before

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Originally part of a much larger office, the suite was being leased by a commercial real estate company who was maximizing the space with cubicles and traditional office furnishings. Overall the finishes were yellow or brown in tone and we really wanted (needed) the space to feel lighter, brighter and more colorful. With only one private office in our suite, we also needed to figure out how to make an open floorplan work for our team, carve out a reception area and bring in some unique, Honey-fied elements. But those windows! The ceilings!

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View from entrance

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View from conference room

Interior design is one of my passions and this became a (literal) labor of love project while on maternity leave in early 2015. To help with space planning and material selection the awesome ladies at LJ2 Interiors were a dream to work with. Jayme figured out a way to tweak the flooring to help the flow, drew an electrical plan so we could update lighting and plug in our Macs, and laid out all of the furniture into 3 unique spaces.

The floor turned out to be our largest expense and ultimately made a huge impact. Originally the flooring was broken up into 2 surfaces that didn’t work with our plan so we swapped out the woven substrate with a durable LVT,  and brought it into the lounge and kitchen. The material has the warm look of wood but super durable for commercial use and the cooler gray tone echoes the concrete walls.

The After

Entrance/Lounge

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We really like to make an entrance so creating a spot to greet our guests was important. This powder coated hot pink tank desk has actually been with us for years. We scored it as-is at a used office furniture warehouse. We rescued it from underneath a pile of chairs and knew it was meant to be.

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The lounge, our favorite corner of the office, is created with a wall of freestanding closets who’s unfinished backs were disguised with panels hand-painted by our super talented friend Jeremy Stanger of Stanger Projects. You have to see them up close to get the full effect but each line is drawn with metallic paint.

The soft seating is vintage french provincial that was actually in my grandmother’s home in the 1950’s and into my early childhood. My aunt had been storing them for decades and was just about to finally dump them when I realized we could use them. They were once upholstered grandma-style with clear plastic vinyl (I remember legs sticking to them as a kid) and had since become
cat-scratching posts in their years of storage. They were looking rough but had good bones, and I’m so happy to have them restored with fresh stuffing, cushions and bold fabrics. We had the wood frames stripped and refinished with a gray stain to tone down that red mahogany look.

Here they are patiently awaiting their makeover at the upholsterer’s shop:

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The Work Area

The main heart of our space is where all the work happens. In typical creative company fashion we have a hub of desks that allows us to interact frequently and closely collaborate.

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Chalk mural by our Art Director Grady!

Mini ‘offices’ were built out of shelving systems for Meghan and I to have quiet corners to work, make calls and have small meetings. In reality we’re often found at someone else’s desk if we see a vacant chair. We love the energy we get from our team and tap into it as much as we can.

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Overhauling the carpet wasn’t in our budget but adding color pops, lighting and accessories draws the eye up and it just reads as a neutral. Stringing café lights throughout brings the open ceiling down a bit, and warms up the space’s industrial bones. An added bonus are the lovely bokeh reflections we get from the various shiny surfaces–it makes me happy every time I see them.

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The Conference Room

The conference room is at the far end of the space, but it set the tone for the whole design. With glass window panels, the back wall is visible from the main entrance and we wanted it to be a show piece.

When I can I like to cobble together Photoshop mockups to help me visualize and test different decisions. This one came out pretty close!Conference-Room_150316

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We frosted 3/4 of the glass panels to add privacy but still allow the natural light through and kept the rest of the furnishings neutral.

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We knew right away we wanted that wall to be a main feature and focal point so once again Stanger Projects brought our vision to life. Photos don’t do it justice but each of those flowers are hand painted and the leaves are metallic gold and pewter.

The herringbone conference table was constructed by a local craftsman from reclaimed wood and is perfect for team and client meetings. We like that it brings in a bit of rustic to balance out the florals on the wall.

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And that my friends, is Honey Agency 3.0. Its really been the most fulfilling project to see from start to finish and truly feels like us. We are completely in love with the colorful neighborhood, and I for one, feel inspiration and joy when I walk through the doors each day.

All photos by the talented Michelle Drewes Photography

Looking for a commercial space? Kris Kalmbach is your guy.

Conference table: Nick Fox

Conference room light fixture: custom by Starlight Lighting

Andrew Turner Construction (our neighbors in our old building) did the heavy lifting installing flooring, paint and electrical so our Macs and fancy new lighting would turn on.

We love the ladies at LJ2 Interiors for all their expertise with the space planning, and finish selections .

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