Solo Act: seeking solitude at the office

There’s been a big brew ha ha about open office layouts of late. Claims of lowered productivity, less collaboration, more distraction. The exact opposite of what the experts claimed would happen a few years back.

Cole and Sons . Woods and Stars wall covering. Just a little bit of calm.

I don’t mind an open office environment. My very first job at an architectural firm I sat in the wide open with all the other employees. I loved it. Between opening and reading the mail and listening to the conversations around the office, I might have been the second most well informed person in the company next to the Founder. Pretty good if you ask me.

Later, I had an office and then I didn’t. The rising cost of real estate forced the shift. Having gotten used to the private space I thought I would hate being on a floor with no walls and 250 people. I didn’t. I liked it quite a lot. I even found the weekly battles of the genre of music that would be played RATHER amusing. As far as my experience went – I did in fact collaborate more – and that was pretty cool. When the economy tanked and we had to give that floor back, I never felt so lonely as I did returning to a private office.

Wayfair . Wrought Studio Sease Lounge Chair $233.99

So hype or not, the cost of real estate is going to continue to rise, so finding ways to whittle down that SF is probably here to stay. One pretty great residual benefit of the open office is the specialty spaces that come along with them. A huddle room, how cozy. A phone booth, a Mother’s Room, a Meditation Space, a cafe with snacks, and wi-fi simply everywhere you can drag your device. As a writer I sometimes just need a change of scenery to spark the creativity, and our conference rooms are often booked, so I have been charged with designing a little space to take a call or a brief breather. Comfortable but not so comfortable you wouldn’t want to leave.

All Modern . Swan Swivel $339.99

I feel generally good about what’s been selected but am a little uncertain about the chair. The chair will make or break the space. Advice welcome.

All Modern . Alberto Swivel Wingback $349.99

Happy Sunday.

Fall in Line with Fashion

The Gates have opened even wider with Elements of Style, Erin Gates new product line entitled:  Elements.  Whoever said “success begets success” was referencing just these types of phenomenon.  Blog, booming design business, book(s) – a second is underway, jewelry line, pottery line, and now full blown product lines which can be found on Wayfair and All Modern.

elements

Erin Gates brings Elements of Affordable Style to your home through Wayfair and                  All Modern.

You’ll find pillows in her signature leopard print.  This is an element of her style that precedes this Fall’s trend, and is near and dear to her heart.  Not only does she have quite a few pairs of shoes in this spotted animal print but she wasn’t afraid to bring a little of this Sub-Saharan grace to the runner on the stairs in her entry.  Meow.

Left:  Elements. Leopard Print Pillow $48. Allmodern.com  Right:  Zara . Leopard Print Shirt $39. Zara.com

The bold black and white stripes that to me seem so very French make an appearance in throw and lumbar pillows, as well as the wrap on the scented candles.  Sweet Smoke, Lavender Leaves, and Blackberry Pumpkin, Juniper Moss, and Currant Rose are the alluring combinations she has imagined to fill the air in your home.

Left:  Zara .  Off the Shoulder $39.  Right:  Elements . Solid Stripe Throw Pillos $38.

Throws and ottomans, baskets, and lamps in warm hues, cozy fabrics, clean lines, make it appear as if it’s easy just to throw it all together.  I wonder how much Erin would charge for a paint by numbers guide?

Left:  Max Mara . Striped Skirt . $595. maxmara.com  Right:  Elements . Sweet Smoke $18.

The line was well received – many items sold out almost immediately.  Still others never made it to the site, but Erin assures us, that like any product launch, bugs need to be worked out of the system.  Elements 2.0 will be along shortly.  Your wallet might just welcome the pause.

Left:  Elements . Ottoman $68.  All Modern  Right:  Max Mara . Gray Coat . $2,850.

Congratulations Erin, and thank you for opening the “Gates” to a beautiful and affordable collection of home wonders.