Tag: office

A New Perspective on the Facebook Office

Art and communal space

After I wrote my post on the new Facebook office spaces, my friend Andy made me put my money where my mouth was and invited me to Facebook to tour the offices for myself. Since that was one of my most commented upon posts I couldn’t pass up the chance to see the campus for myself.

@awelfle shows me how to find my way around Facebook on the touchscreen. I can find his desk, the Sweet Shop or the Instagram offices now.

Alan Turing Art from Dominos

Was the campus overwhelmingly large? Yes. So much so that there are shuttle buses and bicycles to get people from building to building. But is also filled with light and art and posters and a sense of play. It was also a lot quieter than I expected it to be. People were very respectful of the open seating and kept their voices down in the open areas. They used the closed conference rooms and outdoor areas, the coffee shops and other communal areas for conversations. It was actually a very congenial environment and not at all what I was expecting.

Outside the Facebook coffeshop

There was so much art. And posters and graphics all pinned haphazardly to the walls which gave the space a casual vibe and made it feel partially like a college campus and partially like Disneyland for coders.

Even the stairs are artified

I also work in a large office with tons of cubicles and an ongoing attempt to have “open seating” despite the photo from the previous post, Facebook’s space actually has a warm comfortable vibe of a loft apartment rather than a corporate office that stripped all the walls out of the cubicles. Each employees space has personal touches that show their personality, some more than others, of course. Some folks work on large desktop machines while others work on laptops to be more mobile. Some people work on mobile apps and just wander around with their phone in their hands. What a way to function!

Outdoor area at Bldg 20

All in all, it was an inspiring day and I feel quite differently about the landscape, both inside and out, of the Facebook offices. And I’m supremely jealous that the weather is such in California that Facebook employees can essentially work outside in the roof garden 11 months out of the year. Makes me dread January in KC.

Rooftop gardens, Bldg 20

For even more photos, check out my full Facebook HQ album on Flickr. And yes, I’m eating my words a little now. At least they taste like asian noodle bowl and mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Is this the definitive modern office?

 No obstacles: Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California Washington Post

No obstacles: Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California Washington Post (via The Independent)

I was listening to Cortex yesterday and Myke and CGP Grey were mentioning the new Menlo Park headquarters for Facebook and the large, open-plan work space. This space is not a trend unique to Facebook. Many companies and office spaces are transitioning to open-plan work spaces for more “open communication” and collaborating. But is this type of space really the solution to that? Do people really collaborate more and do critical thinking in a space like this or do they end up trying to drown out all the distractions with headphones or go hide away in a closet somewhere to get some actual work done?

I find the interior space of the new Facebook office neither aesthetically appealing nor engaging for working or collaborating. It just looks cluttered, messy and noisy. The fact that no one is given any storage space nor are they encouraged to have personal items on their desk seem to only make it more disheartening and cluttered. The overly high, unfinished ceilings with cables descending down are even worse! I think of something Trevor Noah said about not moving into Jon Stewart’s office after he left the Daily Show… he talked about how the whole point of moving up in the worked and getting out of poverty meant he didn’t want to have to live in a space with exposed brick walls again and what was it with white people and exposed brick? I feel the same way about wealthy tech companies and exposed wiring? You can afford to have that sh*t covered up! This whole space gives me a case of the hibby jibbies!

For a more in-depth view of the new Facebook work space, there is a 3+ minute video tour on YouTube.

I really hope that the pendulum of the open floor plan office starts to swing back the other way because I don’t believe that this much openness is genuinely conducive to non-distracted working and thinking. I believe it leads people to seek out other places to work, or they choose to come into work either early or stay late in an attempt to avoid distrations. I think the myth of multi-tacking needs to stop. It makes people sloppy and tired. We can multi-task for a little while but, in the end, I don’t think its effective, efficient or healthy. I don’t think we, as idea workers, can come up with our best ideas when we are constantly distracted by co-workers, bleeps, or other disturbances. Yes, its nice to have a way to bounce ideas off other people, but we need to find a better way to do it other than forcing people to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with headphones on while they madly type into their laptops and mobile devices. That’s not really collaborating, is it?

Thus endedth the tirade.

The Desk Set: Cluttered but Clean

The Desk Set Header


(From left to right, top to bottom: Better Homes & Gardens, Brownstoner, Jeremy Bittermann for The New York Times, Danielle de Lange.)

I hope these spaces feel colorful and inspiring. So many of the images I find around the internet of workspaces lately have been stark white and barren and don’t feel like inviting workspaces. These spaces felt tidy but productive with evidence of people actually utilizing the space for a variety of tasks.

Adding some color to your workspace

After a week in the sun, I am having a hard transition back to my beige cubicle and windowless view. So I was hunting for some accessories to brighten up my workspace. Here’s what I found:

Peach workspace wall
A bright chair cushion or an accent wall in a bright color would go a long way to spicing up my work area.
Bright art and hangings
Fancy, fun hanging pieces like the paper and fabric chandeliers here would enliven a dreary corner. Colorful framed art would also help.
A colorful light fixture, rug and guest chair would definitely add a little punch.
A colorful light fixture, rug and guest chair would definitely add a little punch.
Bookshelves and framed artwork
Framed art, large signage letters and a bookcase would be a great addition to a workspace if I had the space.
Orange accents
Colorful storage boxes are a quick way to clean up clutter and unify the space. Now, if they’d just open the Ikea in Kansas City, I’d jump all over this.

Find more inspiration at Rue Magazine art director Maia MacDonald Smith‘s Office Space Pinterest board. Or visit the Well-Appointed Desk Pinterest board.

(click on the photos to visit the sources)

Wood You Look at That?

I’m loving reclaimed wood or deep stained wood desks lately. Whether the look is rustic, mid-century or ladylike, I love them all. Maybe its a desire to have a work surface that’s not made of MDF or faux wood veneer.

Click on the photos to link to the original posts.

(via An Open Sketchbook)
(via An Open Sketchbook)
(via aESTHETICa)
(via aESTHETICa)
(via Homedit)
(via Homedit)
(via My Old Country House)
(via My Old Country House)
(via Funky Junk Interiors)
(via Funky Junk Interiors)
(via Corey Russell on Etsy)
(via Corey Russell on Etsy)
(via Urban Wood Goods on Etsy)
(via Urban Wood Goods on Etsy)
(via Brunch At Saks)
(via Brunch At Saks)
(via Fashion Clue)
(via Fashion Clue)
(via Jen Serafini)
(via Jen Serafini)

Is your desk wood, metal or some other material? Are you thinking about upgrading?

Evergreen Office Spaces

green offices
Links, clockwise from top left: myinteriordesign.it, Pinterest, tyylijakoti.fi, Afflante, LHJ.com, Ilaria Sadun, and Brigitte.de.

With all the grey, bleak weather around these days, I got the itch to redesign my office speace with lush greens and natural woods. I want to create an oasis of greenery, woodsy beauty indoors.

Lime and Floral office sapce
(via Macs Magazine)

Putting a desk near the window takes advantage of natural light without being distracting.

green workbench
(via Design*Sponge)

I love how functional this space is – and crammed to the gills. The Vitra vintage plastic wall (available new from Design Within Reach for a mere $475) caddy is a great way to keep tools handy and makes an office space feel more like a workshop.

Green and white office
(via Real Simple)

Vanity Fair Desks


Each month, in Vanity Fair magazine (and on their website) there is an annotated photo of a famous person’s desk. For the pen geek, its a treat to see that Jerry Bruckheimer collects ornate fountain pens, that Lorne Michaels office looks just like the set created for Sutdio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and Trey Parker and Mat Stone’s office is just as messy as you thought it would be. I love Aaron Sorkin’s vintage Pen & Pencil ashtray shown in the photo above.

They also have a digital version of the My Desk column called My Phone that shows digerati’s home screens and they discuss their favorite apps.

(via Vanity Fair)

The Desk Looks Good On European Paper


The folks over at European Paper, an online paper goods shop located in Colorado (not really Europe at all!), have taken some of my desk and office pins from Pinterest and combined them with some of their lovely paper goods and featured them on their blog. Click on the images to see EP’s product recommendations that coordinate with these work spaces.

And stay tuned, their shall be more collaborations between The Desk and European Paper. Are you excited? I am!


Lucky Office Indeed

Lucky Chen's desk

Not to usurp the awesomeness of Lucky Magazine’s editor-in-chief Eva Chen’s new office but the once hallowed home decor magazine Domino is back as an online magazine and shopping portal. Just so you know.

Chen desk details

View from Chen's desk

Now, back to Ms. Chen’s office. Its a lovely light, bright, colorful space complete with sofas to lounge upon and flowers galore. Its a bit of an ideal ideal but I do love the nice clean, white desk for all the computer equipment. And I really need to keep more flowers and greenery in my workspace. I do think it cheers things up immensely.

I would, however, have put a large wooden table and chairs where the couches and coffee table are. I prefer a good working area to meet or spread out all those pages for review and editing, then couches to veg out on.

farm table
I’d recommend a good work table like this wood table with vintage metal school chairs. (via Alison Milne)
Or this beautiful blonde wood table with Bend Lucy side chairs (via The Place Home)

(via Domino)

Corporate office with flair: Meghan Goulette at Rockit Ranch Productions


A peek inside the office of Meghan Goulette, Director of Marketing at Rockit Ranch Productions shows a space with traditional modern office furniture with her own aesthetic touches to make it feel more personal and luxe. She keeps a vase of fresh flowers and a vase of oranges to give a joyous pop of color. She added some in-box trays in lime and a black ceramic dish to hold her personal items. On the wall, she added zig zag striped fabric panels for notes and inspiration. Hot pink storage boxes on the shelf help hide any additional clutter.

Do you have any techniques for jazzing up corporate office basics?

(via The Every Girl, photos by Jennifer Kathryn Photography)




Interior design team and brothers Doug and Gene Meyer shared images on their blog of their desks and the massive collage walls of inspiration in their Miami studio. They actual employ a collage technique in a lot of the spaces they design for clients. Its a feast for the eyes and a great way to brighten the space over your desk if you don’t have a window view.

PS: I love the steel tables (make your own at Ikea or buy a colorful metal desk at CB2) on wheels with the green upholstered Eames aluminum side group chairs and citrus yellow filing cabinets (the Bisley drawers or the CB2 TPS file cabinet are similar). What would you cover the walls with?


(via Doug and Gene Meyer blog)

Mad Men Modernist


Even Don Draper needs to upgrade his office furniture every season or so. The set designers for Mad Men worked hard to make the office furniture appropriate for the time period using both vintage and reproduction pieces. The article on Midcentry Modernist goes into extensive detail about the specific pieces used and the subtle upgrades made throughout the series.

(via Midcentury Modernist)

Link Love: Pinning away for it

From my Well-Appointed Desk board (clockwise from top left): A homey workspace, a very elegant workspace, a desk transformed from Martha Stewart, and a workspace from Design Sponge

This week, I thought I’d cull through all my desk, pen and office supply boards on Pinterest and give you some visual Link Love. Check the sidebar to find me on Pinterest and follow the boards that interest you.

From my Pens and Pencils Board (clockwise from top left): Pantone marker set, beautiful Edison Encore pen dipped into water for a rinse from Goulet Pens and Pelikan Edelstein ink swabs from JetPens.
From my Digital Office Board (clockwise from top left): iPhone cases from Ampersand Shop, stackable USB cords and Kate Spade desktop wallpaper
From my Timekeepers Board (clockwise from top left): large number flip clock, LED digital clock, color coding pages in a planner with washi tape and washi tape accents on a paper planner
From my Desk Accessories board (clockwise from top left): Doane 3-ring notebook paper, pencil cup dispenser, office supplies from Restoration Hardware and a desktop screensaver clock

Other folks to follow on Pinterest:

Bluetiful Desks

(via My Norfolk Nest)
(via My Norfolk Nest)

From aqua to navy, blue is a soothing color and a great backdrop for those shiny silver and black computers we all use. I have collected, from all over the internet, an array of bluetiful desks from tres feminine to manly and retro.

(via Decoist)
(via Decoist)
(via Design Milk)
(via Design Milk)
(via HGTV Remodels)
(via House To Home)
(via House To Home)
(via Pinterest)
(via Pinterest)
(via Pinterest)
(via Pinterest)
(via Apartments I Like)
(via Apartments I Like)

Do you prefer a natural work surface or would you consider using getting a can of paint and having a more whimsical desk? If not blue, what color would you choose?

(via BHG)
(via BHG)

The Workspaces of Famous Men

I love seeing he workspaces of authors and other famous folks. So finding this treasure trove of photos of workspaces totally made my day.

William F. Buckley at the eye of his personal paper storm.
William F. Buckley at the eye of his personal paper storm.

This is cluttered space where writer William F. Buckley is a converted garage. He spent a lot of his life and even died here.

Neil Gaiman's writing hut
Neil Gaiman’s writing hut

The writing hut used by Neil Gaiman is one of the most amazing little places. I would love to have a place like this someday thought I doubt I would write anything as loved or amazing as The Anansi Boys, Neverwhere, or American Gods.

Churchill at his standing desk.
Churchill at his standing desk.

The new focus on standing desks and treadmill desks aren’t a new thing. Winston Churchill was a believer in a standing desk fifty years before the Nike FuelBand.

There are a dozen other workspaces to see on Art of Manliness. Enjoy!

(all photos via The Art of Manliness)

Day of the Desks

Beatriz Macias's home work space via Apartment Therapy
Beatriz Macias’s home work space via Apartment Therapy

Today I want to share some home office inspiration, from feminine and floral to sparse and even a dark, dramatic option. Enjoy!

A black and white minimal space (via A Merry Mishap)
A black and white minimal space (via A Merry Mishap)
Abigail Ahern's tropical drama from Interiorator
Abigail Ahern’s tropical drama from Interiorator
Organized clutter via Photo Forum
Organized clutter via Photo Forum
Shabby French glam via Tumblr
Shabby French glam via This Ivy House on Tumblr
Built-ins with patterned paper via The Decoist
Built-ins with patterned paper via The Decoist, by Jessica Lagrange
Mid Century made modern with vibrant wallpaper and metal work surfaces via The Decoist
Mid Century made modern with vibrant wallpaper and metal work surfaces via The Decoist, by Charles DeLisle / photo by Art Gray
Glam and sophisticated space via The Decoist
Glam and sophisticated space via The Decoist, by Cynthia Mason Interiors

Urban Outfitters Offices






While researching for the Free People office post the other day, I also found images of the neighboring Urban Outfitters office space and thought it would be fun to share this space as well. This is part of the old Philadelphia shipbuilding yard, a series of massive old buildings with some unusual elements that create a striking, grand space.


Lots of the original architectural details of the building was preserved while adding some modern and urban looking additions. There are even koi ponds in pits previous used for bending steel.



There is a wonderful video on the MS&R site that goes into more detail, with more images of the space, that is really quite moving. I’m not a huge fan of the Urban Outfitters brand in general but I think their workspace is hugely inspiring.



Oh, all those windows! I work in a cavelike space at the moment and have serious window-envy!

You can see more images of the Urban Outfitters office at Decor8.

(via MS&R Ltd)

Kelle Howard-Deane’s Home Office

pink home office

Kelle Howard-Deane, from Habitat + Beyond Kids:

One of the great things about owning my own business is that I get to work from home. So it was very important to me as an Interior Designer that I have a space that reflects my style and is an inspiring and energizing place to come to work! I love everything about my office, it has all the essentials… flowers, candles, pink walls, my iMac, a skull and, of course, some animal print!

(Image Source: Kelle Howard-Deane, via Belle Maison)

Free People Offices




The offices of Free People are in Philadelphia in the navy yard alongside the office for Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. There is a bohemian bazaar feeling to the Free People space that mirrors the fashions that they sell.

I like that they covered the Eames Aluminum Group Chairs with ethnic print fabrics in one of their conference rooms. The natural wood conference tables are such a nice change from the laminate tables found in most conference rooms.



The work spaces are definitely not cubicles in the traditional sense. There’s lots of exposed, natural materials and natural light give the space a studio feel.


(via Garance Dore)