2010 CH+D Award for Commercial Design: Jay Jeffers

Approaching the offices of Jeffers Design Group in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, you would never anticipate the wondrous space inside. A warehouse, which once served as an auto shop, is now home to a cavalcade of inviting work areas that show off the designers’ talents in their best light. Theatrical floor-to-ceiling drapes in the firm’s signature color, persimmon orange, divide the 3,800-square-foot loft into several sections: a lobby area at the front is followed by a main office, library and conference room. Ornate wire chandeliers hang from the original wood beams. The polished concrete floors and raw concrete walls create a dramatic backdrop for tufted upholstered seating and light wood office furniture, as well as artwork and distinctly residential accessories. “I love the raw, urban feel of the space—it’s very different from my home,” says the principal of the firm, Jay Jeffers. “I wanted to take advantage of the architecture while making it a place where people would want to come to work.”

The studio was designed to be a versatile and communal workplace. Lounge areas encourage casual collaboration, and desks are paired up to inspire teamwork. The library provides ample sources of inspiration and information, with its wraparound shelves for books and sample materials. Behind it, a staircase leads to more offices in a loft, located over a working kitchen at the back of the building. And since the seating can be easily rearranged within the open floor plan, the studio works just as well for fundraisers and dinner parties as it does for work days.

“When I first saw the building, I had to do everything to contain my excitement,” says Jeffers. “The centralized location made it easily accessible, and the urban textures allowed for a rich color palette. I feel so lucky that I get to work here every day.”

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