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Office Evolution: A Modern Day Ad Agency Gets a Fresh Creative New Look

MAY 31, 2016
Photo credit: Julia Sperling

A nondescripts San Francisco storefront was recently given the Decorist treatment for a dream client with finely tuned design chops of his own.

The newly formed digital ad agency, Partners in Crime, is the latest venture for longtime Bay Area creative director Stephen Goldblatt. Our very own Head of Design, Ashley Redmond, worked closely with Stephen to echo his creative philosophy for his new work space. As you can imagine, when two creative powerhouses get together, things can go wonky quickly or gel nicely into a winning collaboration. In Ashley and Stephen’s case, things just clicked!

Masculine Office

We sat down with Ashley to get the skinny on her design process and what it took to transform this space into a fresh, creative environment that exceeded her client’s expectations.


What was the “before” space like and were there any floor plan challenges?

The space wasn’t without its idiosyncrasies and layout challenges. The structure itself is a “railroad” style building so common to San Francisco. This means that it’s unusually narrow and has adjacent buildings on either side butting up to it. Needless to say, this doesn’t allow for a whole lot of natural light, especially in the central area where we had planned to house the meeting areas.
Before Office transfomation

Before Office Makeover


What overall vibe was your client going for?

The design goal was a tall order in that the space needed to be modern, masculine and eclectic but in a cohesive way with a  lot of intention behind it.

Masculine Office Sitting Area


How would you describe Stephen's design style?

We had fun referring to it as “modern man cave.” I would say it’s rich, sophisticated and layered, and tells a story of who the company is and how Stephen got to where he is today. In already knowing his vision, it made it easier for me to translate it into the overall design.   

Stylish Office Makeover

What were his goals for the space and its functionality?

Stephen wanted to showcase his brand in an elevated way that also felt true to his own style. It was important that there be multiple work areas and meeting spaces that could be both private and collaborative. He wanted table areas that would allow his team to have proper conferences, but also areas where they could meet more informally and comfortably.
SF Agency's Conference Room

Boho Office Space


Did you end up reconfiguring the floor plan?

We did some minor interior demolition and made a few happy discoveries in the process. One buried treasure was the existence of vintage pocket doors that allowed more light to reach the center of the space, while lending the versatility to either be private or open to create a nice flow.


What are the highlights in the new space from a design perspective?

Stephen happens to be an avid art collector so it was a joy incorporating his personal collection as well as works of his own (check out his collection of artisan walking sticks at Hello Mill Valley Walking Stick Company) into the space. Art and books feature heavily throughout, and the gallery walls turned out beautifully. Stephen wanted a Chesterfield sofa and I ended up finding this great piece that married the modern and masculine vibe he was aiming for.

Built in bookshelf ideas

Artwork in SF Office Space

Interested in working with Ashley or one of our other talented Decorist designers on your next commercial or residential project? Get started today!

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