A+E Network’s Office Lounge
Lights! Camera! Action! We are feeling the thrill as we prepare to redesign an office lounge space for A+E Network, the television network responsible for hit shows like Top Gear and Storage Wars. Fun fact: They also own the Lifetime, History, and FYI networks where our own Kathy Kuo was a judge on Rowhouse Showdown. A+E Network executives reached out to us at KKH to design a hip downtown office lounge for A+E Network’s hardworking employees. The almost 4500 square-foot space is certainly a big enough area to work with, but currently the room has the appearance of a cavern—large white pillars, a lot of empty space, dim lighting, and exposed piping and ventilation that hangs from the ceiling like stalactites. The tables employees sit at are white plastic utility tables, and coffee drinkers enjoy their morning fix at a long office desk that has been repurposed as a makeshift coffee bar.
Unfortunately, for a place as cool to work at as A+E Network, the space said something like: “Oh, it’s you again. Welcome back to your humdrum, nine-to-five life.” Needless to say, it was definitely time for a makeover.
Get It Quick
how to design corporate spaces that are beautiful, functional, and collaborative:
- blend modern elements with traditional elements for a visually-layered look
- select warm, natural colors (think reds, browns, and whites) for a cozy atmosphere
- choose lighting that is warm and inviting…but also functional
- arrange seating and tables to easily facilitate collaboration and bonding
Here is the challenge: How do you design an office lounge that maintains professionalism without creating that cold look that haunts too many corporate spaces?
Here is our strategy: Use both modern and traditional elements, blending together eclectic patterns and textures, to create a visually layered room that provides a warm and cozy atmosphere that’s still sleek and professional. While we want the room to be gender-neutral to retain its corporate nature, we’ve added vintage-inspired (and sometimes, just plain vintage) decor to blend in some of the old with the new industrial appeal of the space. Luckily for us, the exposed ceiling already gave the room a naturally industrial feel; we just needed to show it some love. To make a space feel a bit more cozy, just add warm, natural colors (especially in A+E’s office space, with black wall-to-wall industrial carpeting and walls for windows). For this space, we used warm browns, creams, reds and steel grey tones. Our design has a humanistic aspect to it, as nothing is deemed “commercial grade.” Lighting also plays a big role in how we feel and see a room. We chose to incorporate beautiful table lamps. Not only do table lamps make the space more functional, but the glow of a table lamp when you’re in a meeting with a colleague feels more like having a meeting in your home, where the environment is more intimate and collaborative.
Below, we’ve shared the moodboard we created for the project. We hope it inspires you to add some warmth and love to any space that needs it in your home:
We think it is so exciting that A+E Network is recognizing how lounge spaces in corporate environments do not have to feel corporate. Research shows that the visual information that surrounds us in our environment deeply impacts our daily life—from our moods to our stress levels to our levels of fatigue. Think about this the next time you are making design decisions. Create a space that is indicative of the room’s purpose. When do you best get work done? How do you like to feel when collaborating with other people? We’d venture to say that for most people, bland rooms with white walls, minimal decor, and all-grey tones are probably not the most conducive for great work. We absolutely adore our friends at A+E Network, so we’re very proud to be part of a design project that our friends can use daily that is beautiful, functional, and inspires collaboration. Stay tuned with us throughout June for more on the A+E Network Lounge and how to design corporate spaces!
Kips Bay Decorator Show House
As if A+E wasn’t exciting enough, I’m pleased to announce that Kuotes will be visiting the 2015 Kips Bay Decorator Show House. …let me say that again. KIPS BAY DECORATOR SHOW HOUSE! As you may know, each year twenty-two of the nation’s best designers are tapped to exhibit their style in a unique space at one the most prestigious showcases. This year, that designer’s paradise will be the the Arthur Sachs Mansion, a beautiful 9,600 square-foot townhouse situated in Manhattan’s iconic Lenox Hill. Talk is already a-fly about this exquisite event, with endless praise for Philip Mitchell’s “Torridon Stair Gallery” and displays from many of KKH‘s favorite designers, including Thom Filicia and Cathy Kincaid. Keep your eye out for a review post later this week!
Lastly, Kathy Kuo Home is excited to announce a revitalization of the Kuotes blog. The relaunch will come with a whole new look and more frequent postings ranging from Q&As with designers we love to helpful how-to’s for all of your interior design needs. More information to come soon!