Styling Tips from the Studio McGee Office
25,000 square feet is a true feat.
We absolutely loved getting to put our design chops to good use in our very own new office. And while there’s so much we could’ve done with such a vast space, we wanted to land somewhere that felt cozy, seamless, and intentional. To help you do the same with whatever interior you’re outfitting, we’ve summarized a few key styling tips taken from the labor of love that is the Studio McGee office.
“The vision for this space was blending the functionality of a workspace and the feeling of home.”
No. 1: Create a sense of ease at the entrance
A foyer is the first impression, and should feel as welcoming as someone’s home. So often, sitting in a lobby has an isolating “fishbowl” effect, so we wanted guests to feel a refreshing sense of ease. That’s why we went with a warm gray for the walls, plush seating, and a shorter, curved reception desk to keep the entrance from feeling too rigid or uninviting.
No. 2: Use recurring motifs for consistency
In a space as long and open as this, creating zones helps it feel more intimate and purposeful. To keep each pocket from feeling random or solitary, try using repeating light fixtures, patterns, or rugs for consistency. This way, different zones can take on a personality of their own, but still look cohesive in the grand scheme. We’ve even used the repeating pendant lights across different Studio McGee offices over time — making it a common thread that helps each new place feel like us.
From our previous office space
No. 3: Prioritize unplugging
Our Design Library is a place for offline inspiration. You, too, can cultivate a place to unplug from daily screen time. This area uses island tabletops for feeling and arranging (tons of) physical samples, as well as shelves upon shelves of books to peruse. A change of scenery is always welcome in any home or office, especially when it’s easy on the eyes.
No. 4: Follow the light
Speaking of breaking from screen time, always take full advantage of windows for their natural light and, if you’re lucky, the view. Even our windowed hallway is lined with benches, making it a functional space to escape and let our eyes relax for a few.
No. 5: Keep kitchen and dining areas convenient
No matter where you are, every kitchen becomes a popular destination. Make sure it’s utilitarian enough to meet the needs of daily use. Knowing this is a place where people naturally convene, we stationed a big, oval island in a central spot for eating, lingering, and celebrating special occasions together. Then there are several bistro tables for smaller-group bites, and a snack counter for quick drive-by getaways from the desk throughout the day.
No. 6: Apply a basic, predictable design system
With so many self-contained spaces, it’s easy to get caught up in how to treat each one — especially when it comes to walls. We came up with a system for what types of spaces we’d paint, plaster, and wallpaper to help with continuity (and easier decision-making!). It became simple: light-colored paint in open areas, different plaster shades for medium-sized conference rooms, and grasscloth wallpaper in the large conference rooms. Sometimes, more creativity strikes once given a few restraints.
No. 7: Make room for different workstyles
Especially in the age of working from home, an office should call on those same comforts, with the added benefit of collaboration. If there’s anything we’ve learned over the last couple of years, it’s that being chained to a desk is no longer the norm. So we designed our office so that everyone has a place to thrive, change up their scenery, and interact with each other. Consider adding little nooks, like these white oak built-ins; cozy lounge areas; and of course, desks with monitors for heads-down work. After all, a well-considered space, both visually and functionally, will always be a well-loved one.
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