Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The 48 Hour Makeover

I was out with the ladies Thursday night when I got a call from California.
It was a potential client with a shocking request.
Client: Hi Nicole, I saw your work online and loved it. I wondered if you're free to redo an office space. 
Moi: Sure thing. When would you need this done? My schedule is a bit insane but maybe I can get it done late September/October? 
Client: Oh, I  need it completed by Tuesday. 
Moi: Tuesday of which month?
Client: This Tuesday. The day after Labor Day.
I, Ms. Chatterbox, former journalist was speechless. This person had clearly lost her mind. It's Labor Day weekend lady. WTH?
She apologized profusely but they needed this done asap so new clients could have a calm and serene space to visit when the office opened on Tuesday. 
This would be impossible. First off, I try my best not to work on Sundays. Second, it was a holiday weekend and while I had nothing planned - a first - I kinda wanted to do just that this weekend. Nothing. Third, I don't know you lady, so how are we going to handle money and logistics on a holiday weekend to get this done? This could not work. 
Turns out, she was a persistent one and next thing I knew, I'd agreed to see the office at the crack of dawn on Friday (after all, there is that pesky day job that I needed to get to by 8:30 a.m). 
By Friday afternoon I'd whipped together a proposal, Debbie had pulled together an inspiration board and by 3 p.m. we'd signed a contract and figured out money transfers etc. (by the way, this was an eye-opening exchange on the issue of trust. Again, she didn't know me and vice versa, and here we were under a contract and exchanging bank account and tax ID info).  I sweated that one out for a minute, but it's also forced me to put a new plan in place for such future requests.
So there you have it, my weekend of nothing, had morphed into a weekend of a LOT.
The task at hand: We could not paint. This was a weight loss center and the chairs had to remain. No live plants (this kills me of course, a hater of the artificial plant) and no scented candles. It wasn't an impossible task, but we only had one day to shop and it would mean sourcing and shopping only for items that were readily available since we had no time to ship or order etc...
Here's how it all went down....
Sigh. Blue walls. Not my favorite color ever. And the chairs? No way I could work with these.

Here's the board we presented before we were told the chairs had to stay.

Ikea was the best source for quick art and affordable frames. Side tables from West Elm would fit the tight space and I snagged a glass coffee table from a trusted vendor, Blue Source Furniture to showcase the rug which was also from Ikea. The table was the perfect size and would not make the room feel overwhelmed with the additional pieces.    

I opted for floating shelves under the TV instead of a media console which would have take up valuable real estate and they didn't really have much to store inside such a unit. The shelves were great as a place to display items and house the remotes.  

This console table from Ikea was the perfect size and set a great tone as their clients entered the office. Screams calm, yet fun and energetic. Even the fake plants look a bit real. Accessories from Home Goods, Pier One and West Elm add the finishing touches.

We ditched the old shelving in this office and added storage that mimicked the white pieces we had in the waiting room. Items are also from Ikea, West Elm and Home Goods.

More art work added some calm to that room as well.            

We couldn't do much with the sleep rooms, so we just added some artwork, softer lighting on a side table and simple shelving, all from Target. 
All photos are by Circle Ten Media
 It was a heck of a race to get it all by Sunday evening. Major kudos to my team who pushed through to get it done. I gotta admit that it was fun because it was such a time crunch, but I'm pretty sure I'll never agree to such a project again. My feet still ache. 
The bottom line is that our client was ecstatic, sent a wonderful thank you note and the staff could not believe the transformation when they came in on Tuesday. We're thrilled that they were thrilled. 
Of course on Monday Debbie and I shut our phones off and did nothing. Whew. A crazy 48 hours and quite a memorable Labor Day weekend.


  1. The spaces look beautiful, especially considering the limitations you had! I'm thinking I need to take a trip to Ikea!

    1. Thanks you! It was insanity. I wish I'd had more time, more funds etc...and woke up on Monday thinking about all the things I would have done differently! so it goes. Did what I could with a major time crunch. Learned a lot about time management I tell you that much!

  2. fantastic as always nicole and debbie

  3. You are a miracle worker! I'm so impressed and with such a fast are the Queen of Can-DO!! I love it. COngrats. That is what I call customer service indeed.

  4. the transformation looks awesome! definitely more up to date and chic than before!!

  5. you totally transformed this space, it's fabulous now!! <3

  6. Wow, great job ladies! What a task, and you met the challenge so well. Congratulations! That ought to bring you referrals!
    Hope your feet have recovered!

  7. Thanks ladies! It was brutal but we learned a lot and may have very well discovered a niche for us here so we can't complain. Thanks again for all the love.

  8. Nik you are amazing! The results are fabulous enough to make me forget about the wall color (except for turquoise/Greek tones, I hate blue walls).

  9. Wow, that's quite a bit of work you got done--I like what you did even though you weren't able to change what you would have liked to.

  10. Pay pal lady!! But it looks much better after uour work. Good job

    1. I love PayPal but like Square, the funds take days to clear. I couldn't work with that with a client I'd never met! Bank transfer was the way to go - instant, instant.


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