How would you decorate a (corporate) office?

auntjenDecember 8, 2010

I have been promoted at my company (in the energy sector) and will be transferring to a new workspace soon. My new office, part of a restored building built around 1920, is lovely - lots of heavy, ornate dark woodwork and crown moulding - and has quite a bit of presently blank wall space. In the office I'm currently in (and have had for quite some time), I've accumulated some rather flambuoyant decor - those of you who know me know I love Mexico, the southwest, and color, and my current office has long been a reflection of that side of me. The new office, however, is at a higher level in the organization and I don't think "colorful Jen" will transfer well to the new position, so I am going to save the vibrant artwork for home.

I am able to bring in my own artwork to decorate my new office, but want it to be appropriate to an executive assistant's digs. My new boss has decorated his office in a very traditional manner - he has several beautifully framed lithographs of wildlife displayed along with his mahogany furniture, tufted leather sofa, antique clock, etc. For my office, I will need two rather large framed pieces (prints probably since originals would be cost-prohibitive, I'm sure!), and just wondered what you would choose to display if you were in my shoes. Any thoughts or suggestions on what would be lovely to look at on a daily basis, but not too "out there" (as is my usual decorating tendency!) - ?

I should add that whatever decor I bring in will belong to me, not the organization. That's why cost is going to be a factor. ;-)

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Everywhere I've worked, women who decorate their own offices with their own artwork bring in exactly what they like. If they want bright colors, that's what's on the walls. If they want still lifes, that's what's on the walls. If they want family photos, that's what's on the walls.

I'd go with the colorful Jen. It's you...that is, unless your personality has gone drab with the promotion????

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:38AM
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It's not that at all. I'm simply taking cues from those around me (particularly my new boss), who are running this ship. I thought I made it clear that I'd still be enjoying my "crazy color" at home. ;-)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:41AM
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I agree with patser. They promoted you because of you, not because you're like everyone else. If color inspires you, then you should have something colorful in your office. And if you have something that is reminiscent of your travels, that could inspire an interesting conversation with a new colleague.

Congrats on your promotion!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:46AM
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Thanks for the congrats! :-)

Perhaps I'm not making myself clear. It's not color per se that's the problem ... it's more a matter of needing to do color in a more upscale, "classy" kind of way. My Talavera frogs climbing up one wall are not going to be appropriate in the new environment, for instance.

I have a couple of Steven Morath framed prints hanging in my current office that I was considering bringing down with me ... although they don't "go" with the tone of my boss's decor -- (here are their images from Google)

They are nicely matted and framed though, and do reflect aspects of the energy business (with the gas pumps!). I dunno - I really do like these prints (they are the same size but matted and framed differently), but am just feeling a little uncertain about how to best select my new decor.

I have a large canvas painting at home - sort of an abstract southwest landscape - that might work on one large wall. (Of course, that means I then have a naked wall at home. ;-))

Thanks for helping me to think this through. I know they want me for me - my skills and knowledge, that is - but I don't want to charge in and overwhelm the place, turning it into "Little Mexico" the way I kinda have in my current office.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 11:10AM
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Have you thought of vintage poster art--like WPA ones--that tie in with the mission of your company? The reproductions aren't expensive.

I like the National Parks ones, as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: WPA posters at L/C

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 11:11AM
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I think you're going to end up unhappy with the art if you pick something to blend in, rather than something that you like.

Colorful is good. Maybe pick art that has a traditional scene, but lots of color.

Your new boss's decor says a lot about him. He isn't afraid to have things in his office that are traditional, staid and sober. You shouldn't be afraid to show your personality a bit either.

Since this new job is a promotion, I'd try to find things for your office that are of very good quality. Perhaps have fewer decorative things in your office than you did before.

If you are really worried about your boss's reaction, bring in one piece of colorful art and put it up. See what your boss's reaction is. If he is positive or neutral, you're good to go. If he seems negative, then maybe you should move in another direction.

Since you like the Southwest, I'm thinking maybe color photographs of some of the rock formations out in the desert. There are some taken at sunrise or sunset that are full of color. Or even put a colorful serape on the wall. It doesn't have to be in a frame to be art.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 11:18AM
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Ideefixe, I like those very much. And you have just reminded me of Gustave Baumann's work, which I adore. Hmmmm ... Perhaps a WPA poster, along with a couple of framed Baumann prints would be nice to "live" with in the office.

Here is a link that might be useful: Baumann's works

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 11:20AM
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If you are an exec assistant, definitely complement your boss's decor ... reflect the mahogany and the formality in the frames of the prints, for example.

The subject matter of the prints could be to your taste - maybe a print by a noted Mexican artist, a scenic of your favorite Mexican resort, something like that.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 11:21AM
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Congratulations Jen! Very exciting news!

I think you could use the Morath prints. Consider having one of them re-framed to match the other so they are a set and can be hung together on one wall. The idea of a single large piece would be great, too. I think that so long as you avoid the hodge-podge look and hang the colorful art in a tasteful way you'll be fine. I agree about losing the Talavera frogs. ;-) And don't worry about the empty wall at home...I know you can solve that problem.

A large tropicalesque plant might also be a "neutral" that fits your style. Maybe you can find something on CL or Freecycle that has outgrown its home. I know I have seen such listings before.

Do you get to paint? Do we get to see pics?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 11:28AM
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Congratulations Jen! My first thought was traditional, but when I saw who was asking I thought "that won't work for Jen!". It would be a shame for you who loves colorful Mexican art to to be surrounded by anything less lively, but because of the promotion and how your boss has his office decorated I'd either ask him or another executive assistant what they thought. If your office is what is first seen of your bosses area it might be best to use his lead in decorating your office.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 12:54PM
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O'keefe prints are colorful, southwest and classy at the same time especially if framed in a classic style.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 1:34PM
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Jen! First of all CONGRATS!!!! YAY for you!

Secondly, you work in a law office don't you? I'm thinking your office may be a tad formal or perhaps sedate is a better word. I think I'm getting your meaning and I don't think you are toning yourself down means you are not being true to yourself or what you like. In fact, there are probably styles you like but don't use at home that might be more appropriate for your office.

I really don't have much to offer, just wanted to congratulate you. You have some good ideas here and I have no doubt the office will turn out great.


    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 2:24PM
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I have a huge palm in the corner of my office, with a few other plants on top of book cases and filing cabinets. I have very little art work, but do have diplomas and a gigantic white board calender to keep me organized. Then I have family photos, which I change up on a regular basis.

Since I spend more time at work than at home (it seems!) I like to have it feel comfortable.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 5:14PM
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I would advise against the Steven Morath framed prints as I think you wish to portray a more professional image than they do. Given your boss' decor you could certainly do color but in a more traditional way. Framed photos of the southwest, framed talavera tiles, Baumann prints would all be more conservative but still colorful.

Keep whatever wild images you like on your computer desktop background for your own enjoyment.

Congrats on the promotion.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 5:51PM
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I have to agree with luckygal.

The energy sector is naturally a fairly conservative sector to begin with, and it sounds like your boss likes a traditional decoration scheme.

Being an administrative assistant, I know the importance of what you're talking about. I think the Morath pictures are a bit too colorful and flamboyant. I'm confident that you can find something more traditional and less flamboyant to complement your boss's artwork, but still have some flare and something unique about it.

It will take some searching but it most definitely can be done.

Congratulations on your promotion. I believe you're thinking in just the right wonder you were promoted to executive assistant!

In any event, I strongly feel that art in an office should complement the office, not overwhelm it. So your inclination to go towards something more sedate is good intuition. It's distracting going to someone's office and looking at a giant technicolor picture or something.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 8:29PM
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Thank you all so much for your kind words and understanding/encouragement! I have put aside the Morath prints and will either use them at home, or - and this is such a wonderful thing - advertise them on my company's electronic bulletin board, where there seems to be a buyer for everything! (I've already sold one large print to a coworker who had admired it several weeks ago when she was visiting in my office.) Tina, I have been working for attorneys in a corporate environment, but my promotion will have me assisting one of our top tier executives, where the atmosphere is somewhat different. I agree with those who have said I should take my cues from my new boss's decor. I think krycek1984 is correct that I can find something unique but complementary - and yes, it is going to take some searching. The fact that I have such large expanses of wall space may be problematic. I've seen a few things online today that I liked, but the scale is much too small. And I don't want to try to fill the walls with a lot of little things. Anyway, I'll keep searching and in the meantime, if anyone stumbles across something and thinks of me, please share what you've found!

And now I must go and clean up the awful mess that my naughty cat has just made by shredding a box of Kleenex. Thanks a lot, Molly. :-/

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 9:17PM
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Check out grasscloth wall coverings. Lots of books in Lowe's etc. It's classy but not traditional and depending on what colors you go with will set the tone for artwork. I would never try to outdo the boss.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 11:24PM
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OK, I'm still thinking this to death ... but it's fun! I'm leaning a bit towards landscapes at the moment, and since I have such a fondness for the southwest region of the U.S., the work of David Tracy (who sells on eBay!) caught my eye. I have one of his paintings in my home and it's quite nice.

A pair of paintings from his New Mexico "collection", framed nicely and in fairly substantial frames, would work well on one of the office walls. Because my new boss has wildlife artwork (and a gorgeous marble table with some sort of gazelle or antelope decorating the base), this one in particular might be a good complement:

and I like it paired with this one:

The latter is reminiscent to me not only of places that I have enjoyed spending time, but also of an important area of the country where my company engages in business.

Any thoughts about these, or any other works in the link?

FWIW, I have pretty much decided that I don't want floral artwork in my new office - too feminine and *ahem*, dare I say it? - weak. ;-) (But I love florals for my home!) Anyway - does the antelope say "I'm fast and efficient, just about to turn and dash!"? Or "Duh, I'm just standin' here chewin' on somethin' and starin' atcha."

Here is a link that might be useful: David Tracy Gallery

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 11:33PM
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Oh, I'm definitely not able to change the wallcovering. Anyway, there's already a neutral grasscloth (or grasscloth-like) covering on all of the walls in the office. Not trying to outdo the boss (I couldn't begin to even if I wanted to! ;-)) - simply trying to fit in and be the best me in this new position, in every way possible.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 11:39PM
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Nanabella, I just found a picture on Google that reminds me a lot of the covering presently on the office walls. Very pretty stuff! :-)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 11:44PM
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If the clients coming in to see the boss are well heeled,in a hurry, very formal,etc. They won't like sitting & waiting for the boss so a soothing scene would be received better I think. A calming waterfall in the mountains, majestic rock formation, sunset over desert. The critter irritates me & I don't have to sit & look at him for 30 minutes! Your boss wants your abilities but may not appreciate it if the 1st impression your clients get is to go in & complain to him about that "thing on the wall" a couple of drs. offices I've sat in had stuff I could hardly stand to look at & I've even gotten up & moved to other side of room so I didn't have to look at it. Kind of like sitting with a bunch of cancer patients & Paula Dean(cooking lady) came on, patients were snickering & shaking their heads as she piled on the fat & eggs & butter. Finally someone asked why they had that show on. They got permission to turn TV off. I have nothing against the lady but these were cancer patients & not feeling too well, nauseated from chemo, no appetite, too much "sweet talk" Once off they all said, that's better! Moral is you don't want to turn the clients into grouches before they get to boss.Good Luck & enjoy your new job!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 12:33AM
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First I have to say that unless you know for sure, don�t assume your boss� office is decorated in HIS taste, but perhaps that of a spouse/significant other or interior decorator who is trying to create a certain atmosphere.

That said, I think those who have suggested that you need to reflect that feel in your own office are correct. This isn�t about proving who you are, it is about being part of the corporate, upper-level team. Certainly I think you can bring in some art that speaks to you, but I think landscapes with the more late day colors of the southwest. Perhaps the WPA things (which are often amazing) will allow you to express yourself, tho they are a little later than the era of your building if it was built in the 20s.

Since you are a lover of color and landscapes, have you considered a couple of Maxfield Parrish prints? Definitely from the era of the building, and very elegant but color rich. Here are some on

maxfield parrish

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 1:37AM
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Congratulations on your promotion! I do like the landscapes that you posted above - they have color but can still work within a more formal setting. I think you're right to consider the work environment and furnishings when considering what to choose, but it still needs to be something you enjoy looking at!

Knowing your style, I was thinking some landscape photographs in mostly subdued colors except one strong color would look great - like a desert at dusk with a beautiful orange sundown behind a cactus or something similar. Does that make sense?

Now you have me motivated to order some wall art for my office! I'm a government attorney and our offices are pretty boring. Most attorneys have landscape prints hanging on the walls, along with certificates and degrees - except for me.

I have a few framed family photos on my bookshelves but my walls are otherwise bare, unless you count the several pieces of "art" my daughter created while visiting one day. She drew several pictures of Spongebob with yellow highlighters, stapled the papers to add texture, stamped my "Approved by __________" signature all over them, and then taped them to my walls. Love the pictures, but it's pathetic that they're my only decor!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 3:04AM
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i think the 2 landscape pics you posted are VERY sedate(the antelope one DOESN'T say fast efficient to me!! lol!)... i think i would want something abit more energizing, myself.

i agree with les---i would not assume your boss decorated his office himself-nor would i assume that he/she would want you to decorate in a like manner...complementary, yes... i think it says alot that you're allowed to hang/decorate with your preferences!

i wouldn't invest in too much yet...i probably would get a better feel for the environment before i began working on the decor! if i worked in an office fulltime, i'd want the atrwork to be what i really liked and inspirational/uplifting!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 6:56AM
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Can we assume that the wall coverings, paint color, wood trim, furniture style/wood is the same between the two offices? If so, to me that provides the continuity between the offices.

I'd still go with art that reflects me and isn't chosen because of how I think I should be perceived either by the execs or clients.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 10:04AM
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Thanks for the additional input! I am not 100% sold on the paintings that I posted, although I do like them and I could see myself living with them. I like the idea of landscape photos too and will also look in that direction. The Parrish prints are certainly gorgeous works of art, and I will take a closer look at them. I'm not sure they're 100% right for me, but will definitely keep them in mind.

Can we assume that the wall coverings, paint color, wood trim, furniture style/wood is the same between the two offices? If so, to me that provides the continuity between the offices. -- Yes, the entire wing of the floor is very cohesive in style.

. . . I think those who have suggested that you need to reflect that feel in your own office are correct. This isn't about proving who you are, it is about being part of the corporate, upper-level team. -- Precisely. We will not be dealing with clients, but with the upper eschelon of corporate executives. This isn't about my free expression; it's about fitting in. That's not always a bad thing.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 12:14PM
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Bear with me ... I'm still playing. I love that we can post here and see how items look together! ;-D

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 12:19PM
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You have to decorate the space you will be occupying for a large portion of the day the way YOU like it. Don't try to imitate your bosses style- if you do you will feel stifled and claustrophobic in a short time.

On the other hand I do agree with keeping up your professional persona. Some people here wrote that you have to be yourself. I disagree to an extent. Your office must reflect you BUT in your MOST professional sense possible. Business related acquaintances will enter your office and automatically judge you by the decor you chose. Something TOO colorful or eclectic may give an impression you want to stay away from in the corporate world.

My advice is to decorate the office with an overall classic and professional style but accent with some pieces, paintings, lighting or accessories that just SCREAM you! Have at least a few things that you love and make you happy. You will notice these the most and everyone else entering will just get the overall picture of professionalism accented in your uniqueness.

Good Luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Find design Ideas

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 12:34PM
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Thanks for the advice, but please don't spam my thread.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 1:05PM
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I love the landscapes, and he's AFFORDABLE!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 1:20PM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

auntjen, my very best congratulations to you on your promotion. I must say, that IMO, you are right on point regarding not moving your current, lovely paintings into your new office. I have just retired from the corporate world and know how it works. We may not like the attitudes, but in order to maintain our jobs can make adjustments in these type of decisions.

A young lady in my previous office received a promtion and very happily put up pictures very similar to your current ones. She was promptly called into the boss' office and told to take down the pictures and that did not reflect well on her or her new position. Not a propitious beginning to a new job.

Here is a picture you might like; it is by Moses Soyer and is entitled "Artists at Work WPA". I have also posted a link to some other colorful pictures that are by old masters. So there are pictures out there, you just have to find a compromise that fits you and the organization.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures for Consideration

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 1:32PM
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Thank you lazygardens! I really like them too. Yes, he's very affordable. My husband bought the painting from him that I have hanging in my living room at home (it's a group of Zuni women carrying gorgeous pottery jars on their heads), and I was surprised at the quality - and the price! Of course, framing would add a small fortune ... unless I could manage to sweet-talk my dad into crafting frames for me. ;-)

Lazygardens, do you like the landscapes together?

Oh, I thought I should address the thought that perhaps my new boss didn't decorate his own office. You are absolutely right, he probably did not. But I can say with certainty that he approves very much of the decor. If he didn't, he wouldn't be living with it. He wouldn't have to. ;-) And it's apparent to me that he does care about how his office looks. That's why I think his decor is an extremely accurate gauge for choosing my own.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 1:34PM
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Congratulations, This is a very big deal! A word of caution. This my experience here - FWIW-
In some corporate/business/association environments, it is frowned upon to decorate an office upon moving in. The priority is to get moved in efficiently enough to begin working ASAP. It is actually frowned upon to decorate with anything but a photo or two on the desk- yes there are still bare walls here in the building.
It is also important to demonstrate that your priorities are straight and that you dont have too much time on your hands. Are the men's offices decorated too? It still matters in some businesses.
Like I said, that is how it is here.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 1:35PM
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Thanks, cooperbailey! I totally get your point! The office is presently a blank slate because the person who has been officing there was only "on loan" from headquarters for a brief period and since she knew she was temporary, she didn't decorate. I definitely don't plan to barge in and start "inflicting" my artwork on the space immediately ... I'll give it some time. But I am also taking my cues from the fact that all of the other, permanently occupied offices are decorated (in a traditional manner), and I don't want to be in my new digs too long before adding at least a couple of touches that indicate I realize I'm in my new corporate "home." And that is why the artwork itself is so very important to me. It has to be just right. It has to be complementary, and it has to be "classy" (for lack of a better term). I intend for my new office to be uncluttered but "finished." I want my artwork to say, "I'm here to work; let's get down to business."

I hope I'm making sense. As I said, I am very mindful of the point you've made, Cooperbailey, and I will proceed accordingly. :-)

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 2:01PM
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Jen congrats! what a fun new change in life!

OK my two cents....I had an executive assistant and I did allow them to decorate their own offices within certain limits. First, your mexican art wouldn't have made the cut. It's sweet, wonderful, whimsical, but you don't work in a sweet, wonderful and whimiscal industry :oP So finding a way to embrace something more staid is imperative.

My office (banking) was decorated in 13th to 16th century documents. Sounds expensive...but I'd had these for my office since I was the secretary to a secretary :oP I bought the pages on ebay and framed them in classic wood frames. They were in german and latin, and just basically black and ivory, but their gorgeous print, some hand colored letters, and burgundy wood frames made them really stand out. They were always complimented and noticed. They looked fabulously expensive but definately were not!!

My favorite assistant (and the one who got my job eventually after a few promotions) decorated her office in 1920's art deco prints. They were sky scraper, close up photo's of building elements, etc. All in black and white with the occasional red or green accent. Gorgeous stuff and it complimented my art very well. Given the age of your building, it would also compliment the building and fit right in. Art deco is not boring! You could have some real fun with it...or consider art deco period (reproductions framed) travel posters, which cost nothing on ebay. I did my son's bathroom with them. You get color, but nothing objectional and they're fun. And here's the great love these and no matter what anyone tells you, you need your boss to like going into your office.

In my husband's office (which I am decorating) I'm going with antique oil prints from the art deco period. Energy related and fun as well, giving nice pops of color without screaming (and yes against the same grass cloth LOL) The sinclair dino print is one of my favorite (you can find it at the link below if you enter art deco oil as your search). Shell spirit motors as well.

I love your mexican vibe and your colors, but trust your instincts...the office isn't the place for them. You are now a part of a team, and the team leader defines what happens in the office. You don't have to let you just have to find you somewhere else :) It's a great way to open yourself to a new vibe in art.

Here is a link that might be useful: art deco poster with color

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 2:01PM
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Well, why don't you *ask* your new boss if he has any suggestions or prefefences for your art? That's what I would do first. He may have strong likes or dislikes; it would be smart to follow them (and offer him the right to and appreciate a chance to approve/disapprove). Or he may "wave you off" and tell you to pick whatever you like. (I know I personally wouldn't want my assistant hanging up anything I hated, but maybe he's super easygoing!). Thanks for sharing that artist's link too; he has some great pieces.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 2:05PM
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Thanks, Igloo. You've expressed so very well everything that I've been mulling over in my mind! Off to look at your link now. I love the idea of art deco prints. You think boss-type guys like those, huh? You may be on to something here, woman. :-)

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 2:07PM
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Now that Igloo's got me thinking "architectural art", I am intrigued by some of the things I'm finding. This piece especially speaks to me. There's just something about the pillars and how they support that feels appropriate for my new job.

I'm sorry if I'm annoying with my frequent posts to this thread. My grandmother had major surgery two days ago, and today we just learned that she may have had a stroke and contracted pneumonia. She is currently undergoing tests to see what's going on. Looking at art is kinda keeping me (relatively) sane right now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Etsy photo

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 5:13PM
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Cool - I just found some photos online that show some of the interior of the building I work in. These photos depict the lobby of the building and not the floor that I will work on, but still give a feel for the gorgeous architecture in this place.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 5:23PM
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Congratulations Jen! How exciting! And what a beautiful building to go to every day.
Just throwing this out there....
What about framing old ads from the energy sector? Something like this

Hoping your grandmother is doing well.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 8:37PM
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If you are looking for landscape photos I know a brilliant photographer, and no, this isn't spam, I've posted here on GW awhile. Check out his pics and read his bio. Interesting guy and he lives in Arizona. From his website: "My photographs have been published in many nature, agriculture and photography magazines and books including Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography, Birding Magazine, Audubon Society publications, National Geographic, Barron's, the UK's Practical Photography and many other publications. The US National Park Service uses some of my images in their National Park Brochures as does the Fish and Wildlife Service. Several zoos from around the world (North America, Asia, Europe) use my photographs for their identification displays."

Here is a link that might be useful: E.J. Peiker, Nature Photographer

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 11:41PM
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Definitely love the architectual print and the photos of your building's lobby - which is gorgeous!

One of the executives at my work recently retired and she gave me some framed photos that were hanging in her office. They're black and white close-ups of the City's historical courthouse and they highlight its beautiful architectual details. I admired them and told her that my DH and I were married there, so she passed them on to me. I plan on using them in my home, but they'd be perfect in the office.

I'm sorry about your grandmother and wish her well.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 1:32AM
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Wow what a beautiful building you work in Jen.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 2:46PM
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So sorry to hear about your grandmother. I hope she is soon improving and heading towards recovery.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 2:55PM
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((Jen)), sorry I missed seeing about your Grandmother. I do hope all works out well. I'll add her to my prayer list.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 11:00PM
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Oh, my, auntjen, congratulations on the great new job, and on working in one of the most beautiful buildings ever. I hope you don't mind, I was so captivated by your pics that I right-clicked on properties, and got through to an architectural blog where the photographer chatted about the building, showed more pictures--what a conference room! And the "teller cages" are a work of art, as is the whole building. You seem to have really sized up the challenge and huge opportunity before you.
Of buildings I have been in that ring a bell with this, I would say yours is one part neoclassic Park Avenue penthouse, one part fabulous old Chicago bank, and one part Georgetown Park Mall (late Victorian feel). Such a pioneer of it's time!
You have so much rich material to work with given the building you are in and the company that you work for that values and puts their money behind historic preservation.

If you can get your hands on a copy of the original deed (probably ornately handwritten)and get that blown up and maybe displayed near a contemporaneous early map of the area, that would be great. Maybe start with a sepia-toned
picture of an Indian scene or portrait from the area, then follow with the deed and the map; then follow with the picture of the earlier building that stood where you are; then something on the famous architects that designed your building (and a small side of the Equitable Bldg. in New York that it is said to be patterned after--maybe some early newspaper clippings when the building was dedicated or first opened; Newspaper clippings or photos documenting
the purchase of the building by your company--the next promotion is just around the corner!
There are some graphically interesting, non-stodgy bits about the Otis Elevator Company, which you could maybe throw in for informative fun.

Here is a link that might be useful: The more-than-fabulous auntjen headquarters

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 1:10AM
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Anna, thank you so much for sharing the link! I feel so fortunate to work for a company that has done some wonderful things in the historic preservation arena. My company has not only renovated the building in your link, but numerous others, each time producing a masterpiece. The latest building renovation project included these Roman warrior/guard heads placed atop window arches and they're gorgeous. The second pic shows you how large the things are.

While the rest of the building in which I work is not as opulent as the bank lobby, it's nevertheless been just as lovingly restored with careful attention to detail, combined with high functionality compatible with today's technological office needs. It's the best of both worlds! Our folks in charge of facilities have amassed a fabulous collection of historical data on our buildings and the surrounding area, and much of those pieces have been turned into art displays.

I so appreciate all of the ideas I've been given in this thread! I'm still researching to see what all is out there that might be the perfect touch for my new office.

Thanks too for the kind words about my Grannie. She was actually a little bit better yesterday, but she's still got a very long way to go.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 3:26PM
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Jen, I'm glad to hear your Grannie is doing a bit better. I do hope she keeps climbing back up to optimum health. I'll keep her in my prayers.
That is one gorgeous building. I love historic architecture and love to hear stories of it's beauty being restored. Omaha, the largest city I live near too, has had a terrible history of destroying it's beautiful buildings, but that seems to be changing in the last decade I'm happy to say. Off to check out the link Anna posted.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 11:29AM
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I had to come back here and "play" some. Hope ya'll don't mind ... this is just too perfect of a place to post items from different sites together to get a feel for how they'll look together!

OK ... After spending time in my new digs, I noticed the beautifully framed black & white photos lining the walls down the hallway, above the chair rail (I think that's what it would be called?) that's about shoulder height. They are gorgeous images of the desert southwest. We seem to have a bit of disparity in subject matter, but somehow it just works. I have been told that I should make my new office space "mine" - but that still doesn't mean turning it into color-fest (saving that for home, like I said! ;-)) -- instead, I've been really drawn to an uncluttered arts and crafts vibe.

I've got this lamp on order for the credenza behind my desk:

- and want to see if any of these pieces work with it:

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 11:44PM
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Of course, the scale is off here ... The lamp is 25" tall and the framed prints are 22.5" x 22".

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 11:46PM
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'Scuse me while I keep playing ... ;-D

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 11:48PM
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    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 11:57PM
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Forgive me ... ;-)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 11:59PM
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Still drawn to David Tracy's work (this would have to be matted and framed in a fairly beefy frame) ...

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 12:13AM
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Last one. I promise. (For tonight. ;-))

I dunno ... is that kind of a scary tree?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 12:18AM
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Congratulations on your promotion Auntjen! I am so happy for you. :)

How can a tree with cute little birds in it be scary? That is my favorite one of the ones you just posted. I think it looks magical.

Love the lamp.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 6:18AM
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With the wood of the picture frames blending so well with the lamp base, it seems to me that any of those pictures would be lovely.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 8:02AM
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Congratulations Jen! :)

I really like all the art with that lamp but my favorite is the tree/birds and my 2nd fav. is the next one down with the mountains and trees. Looking some more, I like the David Tracey one 3rd.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 8:36AM
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I never met an arts and crafts lamp I didn't love and I have a big crush on yours!
I vote for cactus flower. Vibrant yet understated.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 8:54AM
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Love, love, love the cactus flower. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 9:15AM
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I like the dramatic (not scary!) tree and the cactus flower. Either one is "bold" enough to add a little zing. But they are all nice; no bad choices there!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 10:53AM
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Thanks for the input! You guys are tremendously helpful! I really like all of the artwork in the mission-style frames too ... my only concern is that they might be a tad small for the space. Need to measure the wall area to know for sure.

Still playing around, if you'll bear with me ... ;-)

...Might not have quite the impact that the framed mission prints do.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 5:19PM
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I just ordered the mission-style framed tree print. It just complements the lamp so well, and I think it will be a lovely thing to look at in the office. I like the idea of adding some framed arts & crafts tiles on adjacent walls - something like this:


...and perhaps a vase like this atop the credenza or desk area:

Clean, uncluttered, beautiful. :-) What do you think?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 11:23PM
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Congratulations auntjen on your promotion !

That vase is to die for, and I love your recent wood framed choices, you really found things that work in the context and are classy, I could look at those all day.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 5:54AM
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Beautiful! Congrats to you~~

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 7:10AM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

Love the oak leaf and acorns framed tile and think it will look very good with the beautiful print and lamp you have chosen. Not so sure about the color of the vase. Can hardly wait to see your final selections and then pictures of your office.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 8:05AM
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Classy choices, IMO. Lucky you to have a new job and your own office!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 11:13AM
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Thanks so very much for the kind words! I can hardly wait for my lamp and framed print to arrive! The tiles and vase were really just ideas for the style direction I'd like to bring to my new office space. Now that I have a couple of items as a starting point, I can bring in a few more things over time as I find those items that truly work best. I have been a fan of mission/arts & crafts-era furnishings for a long time, and am crazy for the Stickley pieces I was able to purchase "in my past life" when funds were a lot more fluid. ;-) (I can't touch Stickley now, but there are lots of fine "non-name brand" items out there.)

I appreciate all of the suggestions in helping me come to a decision!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 11:59AM
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Send your pictures to the folks at Eon and they will design it for you- they did helps to have interior designers on staff like they do! or call them 720-570-5400. Ask for Merrin, Ashley or Van and they will take it from there...

Here is a link that might be useful: Office Products and Furniture in Denver or Nationwide

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 12:21AM
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office guru, no one here will patronize your business because we don't support:

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 12:28AM
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I wondered why the heck this thread was resurrected after more than three months.

Spammers stink. Stinky, stinky spammers.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 10:09AM
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