Ban.do: The Front Room
The Party House is finished, obviously. We don’t celebrate with $100 bill money confetti cannons for nothing. All it took were 2 designers, 1 creative director/former stylist, 8 months, a budget that we refused to calculate, 42 disco balls, 19 gallons of glitter, and 3 sacrificed kittens. It was incredibly fun, creative and ultimately just so satisfying. Working with a good friend as a client could have its challenges, but those challenges are easy to overcome if you have a mutual love of the color pink, champagne and vintage wonderfulness.
Click through to see the whole design project.
But no big design can be revealed without a quick recap of the project:
Before blew up they were like all small creative companies – outgrowing their modest studio to the point that it was becoming not only uninspiring but probably illegal. There was just too many people and too many yards of tulle in one room to function properly.
So they got a bigger/prettier space that was 100% a blank canvas. A canvas that needed to be COVERED in happiness, ready to be painted with our 7 years of friendship in the form of design and style.
See the rest of the blank ‘before’ photos here.
The process for any of our projects is as follows: find inspiration, make a floor plan, make a shopping list so you know how much and how big, shop, install, solve a problem, re-assess, shop, install, solve a problem, spend HOURS AND HOURS on minutia, install, style, shoot, smile, feel satisfied. That’s how you do it. (Want more info on our actual process then click here and watch ).
It’s a long complicated process and the better you are at it, the easier you make it look.
So first up was the inspiration:That is how the space was to ‘feel’. In case that was too conceptual she sent through this, too:
Then we created a floor plan and layed it all out (but not after laying it out like 4 different ways, see here). The tricky part? Making sure the right amount of desks and people fit and yet the flow worked, and then obviously making sure that we weren’t laying it out with desks that were fantasy dimensions – these desks needed to actually exist and be affordable and available.
Then we spent months pulling it together. It always looks so easy – you shop and arrange furniture and Viola! You are done!!! But it’s not like we have ever created a disco ball room/wall before, or hung color blocked curtain panels on sliders or built a whole wall of pegboard. So figuring out all the logistics, solving problems and adjusting really becomes your full-time job. We planned the install in a few different stages – the major pieces of furniture came in first and got put together/installed. Then we planned more and more, and set aside a few days that we would install more of the fun stuff – gearing up for the shoot.
The first round of installation was really just to get it functional and see how all the pieces looked together. You can design/every single detail before you even see a space, but I personally think that kind of ‘designing’ creates generic spaces. You really need to see and feel things in a space before you can commit to other things. It’s like planning an outfit on a computer or even planning it laying down on your bed – you kinda need to put the pieces on before you know if it REALLY works together or if it’s just ‘fine’.
Jen and I found these huge letters ‘RAD’ at the flea market for $15 each. Serious bang for your buck. We really wanted a feature there and we didn’t want to spend $5k on a custom mural or anything too crazy. So this was a pretty awesome cheap solution. We installed them with french cleats.
But Jen had painstakingly wrapped the edges with brass foil tape and it was slowly (and then quickly) coming off. So while these are up in the shots, they ultimately just weren’t the right fit and the peeling tape was really annoying to everyone.
At this point a lot of the major elements were in – the plexi on the desks (details on that later), the color blocked curtain panels (details on that later), the secret wallpaper, the disco ball wall – and obviously all the major pieces of furniture and storage.
Installation day is always a lot of fun and work. We were pretty slammed with work during this time so we did this on the weekend and Jen, like the party den mother that she wants to be, made us all DELICIOUS bloody marys and we ate tacos all day.
I want that table for me, it’s from and pretty much makes any space look modern and fresh.
Then a few weeks later we came back to shoot it, to pitch out for press. Most people just take scouting shots with their iphone to send out as a teaser, but naturally, not us. We hired and I styled it so we’d have wonderful scouting (and ‘almost done’ shots). Thanks, Kelsey!
At this point the space is pretty darn finished and looking as young, fun and cheeky as those chicks.
The peg board wall was something they needed (that is a good idea to steal) because it’s where they display their new product and set up their merchandising before trade shows. This studio isn’t a store so they don’t really need to put quantity on there, but they need to be able to look at product and arrange it how it makes the most sense for both the stores (merchandising) and the trade shows where most of their buyers place large orders. We hired someone to install this because that wall had crazy cut outs and it just wasn’t something easy to just throw up there safely.
I’m not sure you noticed but there is a room of disco balls with plexi on both sides. Its kinda wonderful. And I wish that you could properly see how wonderful that wallpaper on the underside is – it’s a nude-toned glitter and man, it’s so great.
This is the area where they eat lunch and chat about boys.
It looked pretty good we thought, possibly 90% as good as it could on the budget we had, but I thought it was missing a few elements that would make it go from ‘Kinda blase’ to ‘All you can eat buffet’.
So when came to feature it ( took these photos below) we decided to pull a trigger and paint a couple of walls with that pink diagonal stripe pattern (details on that to come). It just needed a feature, something to punch it all up and help it match the inspiration board more.
Ok, so just to be clear – all the above ‘after’ photos were the ‘almost after’ and here (below) is the final, final final AFTER.
We probably should have done all of the shots BEFORE the confetti cannon – but man does it make a nice messy background, right?
Note to self: don’t be the one sitting the closest to the camera when you are pregnant (you look the biggest). That dress is not my friend today. But also I can’t believe how suspenseful champagne confetti cannons are – you know its coming but it’s still SHOCKING. These girls practically snort confetti over there and they were all still given a small heart attack when it went off.
Then on the other side of the room we have this (pre confetti cannon):
Where else do you store your piñatas? Just piled in the corner, obviously.
The plexi dividers on the desks are still one of my favorite elements that we did. We are doing a post about the details but in case you are desperate for some quick knowledge – it’s all custom and not from stores you can order from (google your local plastic or plexi dealer). We were going for a pseudo Her, the movie cubicle feeling. The desks up against each other made the most sense for the layout and they were super affordable (from ) but they needed something to elevate them and make them feel special. We chose all different plexi (some opaque, some mirrored, some pastel and some neon) and custom ordered all of them, then drilled them in.
I’m doing a whole post about the stripes (that are strangely easy and impactful). We actually ended up painting the pink ceiling and walls back to white last weekend because it was just too much – the stripes were awesome but the pink was a bit cave-like for people to actual design product and look at colors in. We took it slightly too far. The mood board on the wall you see in the above photos was a custom acrylic board that was a mother of pearl finish and just so pretty. I felt that on the white you couldn’t really see it and I thought that it would pop out so much more on the pink, but it just reflects the pink everywhere and it gets lost anyway.
The studio has 3 more rooms that we’ll be revealing all week. This is the space where most of the girls work and a lot of social media happens. Let’s do a quick recap – from where we started to where we finished:
I love that the pineapple is just sitting there, drinking its coffee, mocking everyone working.
The space really went from ‘Kate Goselin’ to ‘Ryan Gosling’.
There you have it – The studio front room. It’s so happy and fun, and pretty much instantly makes you want to drink and dance.
We pulled together a ‘get the look’ below. In case you are like where are those amazing chairs they are sadly all vintage. Same with the sofa and the hanging lamp. We’ll try to get links to the wallpaper and the fabrics for the curtain panels when we do those posts, too.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.
It’s a pretty darn happy place. But that’s not all – coming the rest of this week is Jen’s office (which is one of my favorite rooms to be in the world), their conference call/storage room (dubbed the champagne room, obviously) and their pop-up store. Plus all the details that you might be wondering about – the stripes, curtain panels, plexi projects, secret wallpaper, and disco ball wall.
I’ll have all of you snorting confetti by the end of the week.
*The first round of ‘after photos’ and all the progress/installation photos by Refinery 29 ‘after’ photos (and portraits) by . Check out the whole Refinery29 tour Want more info on the whole process? Check out these posts: The Beginning | Floor Plan & Progress | Ban.do Update | The Ban.do Studio Design Reveal – Jens Office | The Ban.do Champagne Room | 1 Day DIY Striped Walls
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