One-Day Office Makeover Challenge in Seattle

With one day to do it and limited resources, The Stable's new Seattle office needed a quick and creative makeover, complete with original art work made in record time. Here's how you can go from neigh to YAY, too!



The cozy new seating area. Simply rearranging the existing furniture away from the walls and tying it together with a plush rug made a huge difference,



I love a good home or office makeover challenge.

This sort of thing is right up my alley.


Ever since I was a little girl, I've always enjoyed rearranging my bedroom furniture and belongings on a monthly basis. I was constantly trying to find ways to organize, decorate and improve my humble little room. I didn't grow up in a household with a lot of money to spend on decorative items, so I've become really good at making my own. This is a skill that comes in handy to day!


Case in point...


My fiancé, Nik, and I recently took a trip to Seattle to visit the brand new office space for the second location his agency, The Stable. When we arrived at the bare-bones office, it was screaming for help! The office had desks, chairs and a few random pieces of furniture scattered throughout (including a couple couches, a coatrack and pin-ball machine) and lots and lots of white walls. It did not (yet) have the same inviting vibe of The Stable's main office in Minneapolis, where the open, collaborative environment is modern and industrial.


With one day to do it, and limited resources, Nik and I transformed the office space with a little help from the nearby Target, Dick Black and some good ol' hard work. And in the end, we didn't need to spend a lot of money to make the space look expensive.


My immediate plan was to get to work on creating as much art as possible to fill those bare walls. Art is the first place I start when I am thinking of decorating a room because it's always naturally the focal point and sets the tone of the space. And, well, I am an artist and I know how original art can really bring life to a space. Furniture, rugs and other decor comes next.


Conveniently, there was a Dick Blick store located right next door to The Stable's new office, so I loaded up on the necessary items to paint with (see photo below). I bought several nice big, thick canvases to do some quick abstracts on as well as some small squares that could be placed throughout the office. I usually only use thick canvases for my paintings because they look more substantial on a wall, don't need to be framed and they are sturdier and resist warping. Abstracts are relatively easy to paint quickly especially when the color pallette is limited, but they still require some thought. A good artist friend of mine gave me a helpful tip when painting abstract art: you need to think of the title, a feeling or a real subject before touching the paint brush.


Abstract art isn't just random shapes and lines, it's a feeling or experience that can't be explained with words, but can be captured visually on canvas. And, they can create energy, flow and a modern cool-factor to a space.


I spent most of the day creating a total of nine paintings, ranging in size from small to large, some on canvas, some framed on paper. To keep my projects as simple as possible, I opted to paint minimal, modern abstract pieces. For the larger paintings, I used high-contrast, graphic shapes and lines to quickly add some energy and interest to to the main room. The smaller paintings add pops of color and texture to the adjacent room and can be arranged together or apart.



My makeshift mini-art studio for the day and the bare essentials.

I also found some supplies at Target. While these little craft paints are not ideal for paintings, they're quick and easy for little projects that require a quick pop of pre-mixed color.

I used thumbtacks to hold the paintings on the wall in place of an easel. This big, fat cheap brush is one of my faves for abstracts.


I like the flow of a triptych on a long wall because the shapes fill the space in an interesting pattern.




While it was an excellent place to start, creating art was only one part of the office makeover.


Nik and I needed to create some inspiring work areas for the new employees. No sense having cool art and nowhere to enjoy it! The space needed some furniture, lamps, decorative items and organization, but we were strictly limited in time, shopping options and on what we could fit into an Uber.


So where did we go? Duh. Target. But to add an even bigger challenge, the nearest Target wasn't even a real Target. It was one of those new mini-Targets that only has a small selection of home furnishings and decor.


Nik and I stuffed our Uber to the max with our Target bounty. We found a cool tapestry piece for $50 (I think it looks more expensive) to break up the types wall-decor. We found a big, plush rug for $99 that looks perfect over the cement floor and ties together the new seating area.


The shelf (pictured below) was already existing, but it needed some serious shelf-styling. Not sure if shelf-styling is a thing, but I think it is! A thoughtfully curated shelf is a work of art in-and-of itself. I like to mix books, mini-artworks, plants and shiny metal pieces. I don't advise trying to fill a bare shelf in one day because they should include personal items that are special, not just things from mini-Target.


I also love cool modern plants... tropical kinds specifically. I have them everywhere in my home and studio. While the mini-Target did not have any real ones (sad face), we bought every fake succulent and acceptable plant they had. It was either fake plants, or no plants, and I think fake plants are better than none!










#officemakeover #abstractart #thestable #seattle #valeriecarpender


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