Office AceAuthor:Abigail Stone
Marketing firm zakHill celebrates their success with an update of their Santa Monica office, turning to Linda Hayslett of LH.Designs to spearhead their new design
When zakHill, a marketing firm that that connects brands with big entertainment companies like Warner Brothers and Sony Pictures, were considering an update to their office space, they turned to interior designer Linda Hayslett of LH.Designs. “Having worked with Linda Hayslett on my home, I knew she would bring a fresh eye to our office,” says zakHill principal, Cynthia Hill.”
“I was excited to work on a commercial space with her as it would be a different way of thinking,” says Hayslett. Her first impression was that the dark, old-fashioned office didn’t convey how creative the firm was. She began by looking at their logo — which incorporated a vibrant orange and a soft blue — for inspiration. “They weren’t using their own colors anywhere so this helped to bring a more cohesive look into their office and show their identity better.”
“The bathroom was reminiscent of a college bar,” remembers Hayslett. “It had one small light source, dark brown walls, an offset sink, and linoleum floors.” The conference room was another area that needed significant work. “It didn’t feel like a cool place to have important meetings or be creative in marketing ideas. It had poor fluorescent lighting, a false ceiling, random furniture pieces and dull paint colors”.
Because this was a commercial space, with walls shared by neighboring offices, Hayslett was constricted by the existing floor plan. “For example, with the bathroom, I had to keep all the existing plumbing as is.”
“In the bathroom, I picked out floor tile that had similar colors to their steppingstone dots in the logo and used white subway tile from floor to ceiling with new black cabinetry to make the space feel bigger with a fun personality,” Hayslett explains. “In the conference room we added in an actual ceiling, recessed lighting on dimmers, a futuristic fan/light, bright colors and plants as well as custom furniture including a modular sofa and two round glass tables.” Quotes peppered throughout the space boost morale and make moving through the office a game of hide and seek. “Walking into the bathroom, you’re greeted with “Hello Gorgeous” and encounter “alohomora!” when you leave.”
“The employees have said that they feel more excited to come in to work. That means I totally accomplished what the partners were hoping for – excitement, better productivity, friendly and happy environment.” Hayslett relates a story that confirms the success of the new space. “One day, a former employee who’d come by for lunch was gushed loudly to me, “I can’t believe this. I want to come back and work here now!” That was a great feeling.