Peacock tail feathers up close.
Peacock tail feathers up close.

“The Office”… on a Saturday.

Early on in my career as office manager, at a little non-profit called Partners for Development, I was asked to re-do the office. They decided that I had an artsy look about me and was therefore qualified to re-design the whole space. That is non-profit mentality for you in a nutshell.

Painting the PFD logo on the wall. Painting the PFD logo on the wall.

At an international non-profit with a mix of personalities who all had strong opinions about how it should look, I had to marry ideas that included “clean & modern” with “island tiki-bar” and I had a budget of $3000 to overhaul 1600 square feet of space.

The reception area. The reception area, after.

This was before Simply Turquoise ever got started, so the before pictures I have are really during pictures. I wish I had taken more before photographs so you could see the dramatic transformation. Here they all are, me and the interns painting away on a Saturday.

Office reception area, cleaning it out. Office reception area, cleaning it out.
Hallway space. Hallway space.
Intern Emily, painting the kitchen. Intern Emily painting the kitchen.
Conference room. Conference room area.

After a lot of thought (about where to put extra work stations and trying to carve out a small space for eating into what had been a storage area) the creativity began.

The Cafe. The Café.

I used bold colors, a beautiful collection of hodge-podge art and sculpture, and graphics for promotional materials as the basis of this makeover.

A Promotional Poster. A Promotional Poster.
Sculpture on display. Sculpture on display.
A painted cloth found in a closet. A painted cloth found in a closet.
A painting from Nigeria. A painting from Nigeria.

One of my co-workers actually did a double-take, and looked at the door to make sure he was in the right office suite, the change was so dramatic. He did not even recognize our office!

I used maps to highlight PFD's presence world-wide.

Maps highlight PFD’s presence world-wide.

I displayed a clean-burning cook stove we manufacture and distribute in Tanzania and framed a poster explaining what that lump of metal in our reception area actually was.

Jatropha stove. Clean-burning stove that burns Jatropha seed.

Using a projector, I traced the PFD logo onto the wall leading to the café space.

PFD Logo. PFD Logo.

Together with interns, community service hours and volunteers, we transformed this space to reflect our identity as an international non-profit.

Photographs from our programs. Photographs from our programs.

The goal was to give visitors an idea of what we are about as an organization as soon as they walk through the door. The change in this office space created a more functional working environment, and brought our mission as an organization to life in a headquarters far away from the action.

© copyright 2013 Mariam d’Eustachio and Valerie Snogren.

4 responses to ““The Office”… on a Saturday.”

  1. Savvy ability to adapt sense of agency’s mission into decorative but functional setting. Amazing, Mariam. Thanks for sharing with us. Take more pictures. Love, PAT


    • Thanks Pat! This was one of the motivating factors for Simply Turquoise. It was such a success that I thought I should take this show on the road.


  2. WOW! You did such an awesome job – those spaces are totally transformed and became so interesting and warm and welcoming! Bravo!! (do you do convents?) 🙂


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