I’ve decorated many homes, apartments and small office spaces, but I had never taken on a large-scale commercial project until I had the opportunity to design the offices of the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. They were taking over half a floor of a high-rise building, and I got to work with building management in transforming a previously occupied space, specifying teardown, build-outs, materials, finishes, everything. The building management team was wary of me and my crazy ideas; I am not the kind of designer that picks Swiss Coffee for the walls. But when the project was completed, they had to admit that the space looked spectacular. (I always make contractors nervous with my ideas in the beginning, but they always come around after they see the finished project, and then they trust me after that.)
I went for an “old-time journalism” meets new media concept, combining vintage graphics with pops of modernism. Every door was covered with black and white murals (printed at muralsyourway.com), so as you walk down the hallway, you see a gallery of 9′ tall photographs. The best part about the murals (other than the fact that they look fabulous) is that they’re peel and stick – and repositionable – so they were so easy to install. At one point I didn’t like the placement of one of the murals, so I just peeled it off one door and put it on another.
Atlas Carpet Mills provided carpet remnants so that the carpet design would be a mishmash of colors and designs. It adds to the kinetic atmosphere of a publishing office always on a deadline. The carpet design was installed by a fantastic floor covering company that understood my vision and was excited about implementing it – Bob Mardigian Floor Covering. Bob was the best! Before the carpets were installed, he walked me through the entire space and marked off where each carpet remnant was going. It’s not easy lining up those sections so they’re seamless, but he did!
In the lobby, I decorated the walls with QR codes for JewishJournal.com. I love the graphic nature of the QR codes. They’re like modern day fret work. Also displayed are three generations of vintage typewriters/computers – an old Corona, a midcentury Smith-Corona, and a 1994 Mac Powerbook 145b.