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Are you putting up with an office environment that is less than ideal? Perhaps counter-productive? Marie-Christine (MC) loved her job, but in her small office she was fighting for space along side a huge old industrial pipe. And the boring beige paint job did nothing to stimulate the work ethic. Fortunately, MC has the greatest boss on the planet, and he decided to surprise her with an office makeover. But would Mr. Bailey mind giving up part of his office space? We put his good nature to the test.
Monday morning never looked so good! There is no reason why your workspace can't be fun, and even a little funky (although that word terrified the boss.) MC''s office was right beside his; they shared a wall. To give MC a little more space, we cut a hole in this partition wall large enough to hold her filing cabinets. On her side, they now sit flush to the wall, jutting into Mr. Bailey's office. He lost a little space, but gained a very handsome cherry wood display case that fits over the cabinets. MC's walls are now a tranquil blue/gray with a grid of pebble yellow rectangles adding pizzazz and personality to the partition wall and the cabinets. And those hideous pipes have been hidden behind a stunning movable screen that's decorated with the company logo. A special metallic paint was applied under the base coat so that the screen is magnetic and doubles as a notice board. These space and decorating solutions would work well in a home office too, and the impact on the way you and MC feel about work when you brighten up your surroundings is enormous. Anyone for overtime?
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We were after a soft lighting solution that would be fun and fanciful--very low tech. The fabric we chose for the shade was spandex, which was a little too stretchy as it turned out. Using 3/4-inch plywood, we cut two circular rings, 12" diameter, 3" wide, and 6" diameter, 1 1/2" wide. Velcro was glued to the outer edges of both rings and to the top and bottom of a two-foot length of fabric. Velcro the fabric to the rings, the smaller one on top. Install a light so that it hangs about two-thirds of the way down the shade.
A movable screen is the perfect solution for hiding clutter or an unattractive corner, as well as dividing up space in the office or at home. We used three hollow-core, flat-faced doors (each 1 3/8" x 24" x 80"), and attached all the hardware first so that the holes were drilled before painting. To give the screen proper stability we shopped at Rona for industrial wheels and doorstop feet and the handles. Remove the hardware to paint the doors. Both sides were primed with an amazing product--acrylic magnetic paint, then left to dry and cure for 24 hours. Then we applied two coats of the blue/gray base coat. Projection stenciling is a very clever method for transferring a large design onto any surface, and it's not difficult. We printed the company logo onto a sheet of acetate and projected the image onto the screen. We drew around the design with a pencil, then turned the projector off and filled in the pattern with two coats of white paint. Reattach the hardware and you have a decorative screen that has a magnetic surface perfect for attaching office memos and to-do lists.
Mr. Bailey's office wall unit was custom built at Rona to cover up the back of MC's filing cabinets and Mr. Bailey gained in the deal too because he now has a handsome cherry wood display unit for his prize collection of beer bottles.
Walls and Filing Cabinets
To give MC some much needed additional space in her office, a hole was cut in the partition wall (not a supporting wall) between the two offices so that MC's filing cabinets could be pushed in flush to the wall. The cabinets were given a coat of metal primer, and the wall and cabinets painted Para Paints Early Morning Gray. By painting the architectural pattern over the wall and cabinets, they visually become one unified surface. Calculate the measurements for the rectangles. We chose a 2-inch border around each rectangle and for all rectangles to be complete. Ours were roughly 12" x 15". Mark off the grid with a chalk line and tape underneath or to the right of the lines with 2" tape. Now paint the rectangles in Para Paints Pebble Beach. Remove the tape and cut a stencil to round out the corners. Fill in with the blue/gray paint. To hide the backs of the filing cabinets now jutting into Mr. Bailey's office, we designed a custom display unit built at Rona from birch and cherry wood.