When we moved from Ohio to Utah almost four years ago, we moved without the security of jobs waiting for us on the other side of the country. Of course being self-employed and owning my small business meant I could pretty much work from anywhere, but we had no idea what Emmett’s employment future looked like. Believe it or not- outside of renovating our house, he has a regular nine to five job. I know, I know… he is a superstar! He basically has two full-time jobs. His degree and employment areas of expertise are in business management, finance, and accounting. Luckily, a few months after we settled in Utah (in our previous home), he landed an interview with a local company called Mapleleaf. I could tell he was really excited about this opportunity. Here we are years later, the company has been growing & evolving, and Emmett has worked his way up the ladder to COO. I’m extremely proud of Emmett and his co-workers for their success, that’s why I was pretty elated when the owner of the company asked me to help in designing their new office space. We’ve become friends over the past few years and I felt so honored that he trusted me to help. Their new building is huge, so I decided to break this blog post into two parts because I ended up with a LOT of reveal images. Today, I’m sharing the first level! Click through for a peek at Emmett’s company office and the first part of the big reveal. You’ll find a reception area, reception seating, the conference room, the employee break room, and a reception bathroom. Ready to see and hear all about it? This post is a big one!
For sources, I’ll drop shopping sliders below applicable images! I think it will be easier to navigate than a GIANT roundup.
Mapleleaf began as a cabinetry company years ago (they actually manufactured the custom cabinets I designed for our previous kitchen), but have since evolved to produce cabinets, fixtures, and systems for commercial companies (basically anything custom)… think cabinets and things for hospitals, schools, storefronts, restaurants & multi-location businesses, grocery store fixtures, displays, etc. They still tackle a few residential projects here and there, but for the most part their business works with other businesses (B2B). It’s easy to see why Emmett was excited to work here- he obviously fits right in and loves this type of problem solving. The products they make in Utah can be found around the world. In the past year, Emmett has visited Ghana, Colombia, and Haiti to install special projects… they figured out he was handy, and he jumped at the opportunity to travel along on some of their international jobs.
Anyway… that’s a bit of the Mapleleaf backstory. The team is filled with wonderful, passionate people and I feel lucky to have been a small part in creating a space for them to work and enjoy. I began by rebranding their logo and identity early last year. That’s right- I had to put my graphic design hat back on for a hot minute. Once the new identity rolled out, they wanted to get the ball rolling on renovating their newly acquired building for employees. I worked alongside their hired architect to select finishes, fixtures, building materials, paint colors, and I designed all of the door graphics, but my main job pretty much began after the renovation was completed. I was in charge of selecting and purchasing furnishings for the entire place. It was no small task- the building is 30,000+ square feet! It had also been about five or six years since I tackled a commercial project, so I was honestly a little nervous. I feel like more of a design blogger than a “real” interior designer these days. I stopped taking client projects a couple years ago and worried I would be rusty.
The overall feel of the office is masculine and industrial with warm wood tones throughout… after all- these people specialize in wood products! They actually built all of their office desks (including the custom lit reception desk, pictured above) and cabinetry themselves. The office is filled with natural light and they have multiple large windows throughout. I bought them live plants, not really sure how they’d do or if they’d even survive, but they’re all THRIVING (shoutout to Dana for taking good care of the plant babies!). You’ll also notice a lot of glass walls in tomorrow’s post once I share the second level.
Initially, they were not sold on my idea to polish the concrete floors and were more interested in installing commercial carpet on the main level. I love the industrial, aged look the concrete brings to the space. Plus- it’s very durable, budget-friendly, and easy to clean! They do their production and manufacturing in house at this location and there is a GIANT shop / factory under the same roof, so a little dust is inevitable- this flooring really made the most sense and is an easy fix, if footprints are tracked in and out of the shop into the office space.
In the reception area, I wanted to include a coat tree, an umbrella holder, a bench, the reception desk (which is more like a sculptural piece of art centered in the space), a seating area for clients, and some additional chairs. There is some really fun play on angles and shapes in this space!
Across the room from the bench is a nice little seating area… complete with a frame TV (that’s not just art, my friends)! Does the marble coffee table look familiar? It should! It’s the same one we have in our basement media room. The first one arrived with a small chip in it. I swapped our table for theirs, so the one without imperfections could live at Mapleleaf.
I included two swivel chairs with wood plinth bases that match the reception desk. Emmett says these swivel chairs are his favorite chairs in the entire office… which was surprising to me, because he has leather swivel chairs in his office (which you’ll see tomorrow). These chairs are super nice and photos don’t really do them justice.
It’s cool walking into a beautiful office (that I don’t even work at) where everyone knows my name, says hello, and has friendly conversation. I’m telling you- the nicest people on the planet work here and I’m so happy I was able to share my creativity to design a space for them. This project was definitely one close to my heart because I know how happy this place makes my husband!
The main level is primarily common spaces for employees and clients… that’s why it isn’t too personalized. It’s filled with professional spaces to host meetings, clients, and guests… as well as some common spaces for employees to enjoy (like the break room, you’ll see later in this post).
The owner had a vision of a frosted glass walled conference room from the very beginning, so I can’t take credit for that idea… although I did design the frosted glass with the logo. I like that it gives the conference room a little privacy, while hinting at what the space is used for.
All of the glass walls throughout the office are black framed and look very industrious- especially sitting atop the concrete floors. We wanted to keep the walls bright and clean.
Inside the conference room sits a custom designed conference table. It’s a 10 foot live edge table made from a single slab of wood! Isn’t it beautiful?! The base is made from reclaimed steel I-beams, so it’s super heavy duty.
I also wanted to include a kitchenette area that would be convenient for breakfast or lunch meetings. Mapleleaf built the cabinets and the custom floating shelves I designed. I love that the edges of the shelves are wrapped in black metal… it’s a nice finishing detail that ties in the industrial look. I’ll link the conference room sources below…
In terms of art, I kept it super simple, masculine, and minimal. It’s kind of a nice surprise to turn the corner and see the styled kitchenette and bank of cabinetry with floating shelves that adds personality and warmth to an otherwise serious space.
I wanted to surprise Emmett and his boss by adding an expected item to the conference room. I reached out to Zephyr (remember when I went on their amazing Designer Retreat?), and asked if they would be willing to send a black stainless beverage cooler. It actually wasn’t a part of our initial plan or cabinetry drawing, but I knew it would make the space and would be very functional for meetings! Luckily, they said yes. BIG THANK YOU, Zephyr team… I really love you guys (and your products). It was a fun surprise switching up the cabinetry drawing and inserting that unexpected element.
I’m pretty sure I became the MVP of the conference room design thanks to that beauty pictured below. It really is perfect for this industrial space! I actually fell in love with the wine cooler in their showroom when I visited, but knew that wouldn’t be appropriate for a conference room. I opted for their beverage cooler for Mapleleaf instead, and I’m hoping to use the wine cooler when it comes time to renovate our basement kitchen! Wouldn’t that be awesome for all things entertaining down there? I can see it now… movie night with wine!
I stocked their cabinets, cooler, and shelves with all of the things they might need to host lunch meetings… coffee cups, glassware, pitchers, beverages, napkins, flatware, and coasters (so nobody messes up that pretty wood table, ha!).
Before we leave the conference room- there are some cool things about this cooler unit I wanted to share…. the shelves slide in and out, so you can easily grab and stock beverages at the back of the unit. That was one of my favorite things I noticed seeing it in person at the Zephyr San Francisco showroom.
The shelves are adjustable and it holds up to 112 cans! There are also nice little grooves for bottles to rest in, so they don’t slide around. My favorite part though? You can set the color. It has three different settings! Since this is a serious space, I figured the neutral bright white light was best, but there are fun colors to play with as well (light bright blue and amber).
The cooler is also finished on all three sides, so technically- it doesn’t need to be sandwiched into cabinetry. I just prefer the built-in look, but it can definitely free stand on its own, if you’re in the market for a beverage cooler! I’m telling you- these things are the nicest ones I’ve seen. They even have dual climate ones for beer & wine (which is what I want for our basement someday). FYI- Emmett picked the beverages, so no judgements. Haha!
I also had another Frame TV installed in the conference room. I figured it would come in handy for meetings and presentations. The white board goes on the back wall, but has yet to be installed. That should be happening any day now.
So that’s the conference room! What do you think? I really like that space and hope it will provide a wonderful meeting place for employees and clients. I met Emmett at his office the other day and it was fun to have lunch in here and admire all of the beautiful finishes.
Moving in the other direction through the lobby or reception area… is a hallway that leads to a reception bathroom, employee offices, and the break room.
This bathroom is simple, yet impactful. The architect somehow missed my tile selection and I arrived at the jobsite one day to see a LOT of beige tile installed in the space. I knew I needed to rework the design and think of something that would make a statement and make this reception bath feel less blah (or beige). I loved the idea of a high-contrast infinity sink with a waterfall edge. We ended up finding a slab of nero quartz and the fabricator vein matched everything to perfection! It turned out really nice and looks super sleek in the office.
Unlike the other bathrooms at Mapleleaf, this one isn’t used very often. It’s mainly for clients waiting in the reception area or people using the conference room. Therefore, I was able to get more creative with this space. Instead of the powered soap dispenser, I was able to use a pump, I swapped the towel dispenser for a tray of towels, etc. There are lots of other ADA compliant (Americans with Disabilities Act) bathrooms in the office (and on this level), so I was able to treat this one a bit more like a residential space. It still has grab bars and the appropriate clearance under the sink, but I had more room to play with accessories- like the soap and towels.
Does that faucet look familiar? It should! It’s the Brizo Litze, which is the same faucet we had in our bathroom at our previous home. I loved the industrial details so much (ugh- that knurling is gorgeous!), I knew it would be a perfect fit for the space.
The last stop on the main level tour today is the break room. It’s the place where employees can store & heat food, grab drinks, sit for a break or lunch, charge their phone (or other tech), and just hangout or relax.
There are entrances to both the office portion of the building, as well as the shop where products are being manufactured… which is why the safety glasses sign is a necessity.
There is plenty of counter space for food or lunch prep, a full size kitchen sink, coffee, and more in the break room. It’s a pretty large space in the center of the building on the main level.
In addition to the fancy soda machine pictured above (which the employees LOVE- including Emmett and his obsession with Dr. Pepper), this room has plenty of cabinets for food storage, four microwaves, and two full size refrigerators. It makes it very easy for multiple employees to take their lunch break at the same time. I’ve become friends with many people who work here through Emmett, so it’s fun to pop in during lunch, head to the break room, and say hi to everyone! It’s such a happy place. I’m still on the hunt for additional art for this room, but good things take time.
If your company or business is ever in need of fixtures, cabinets, or custom systems- be sure to keep Mapleleaf in mind! They work with clients all over the world. Or- if you’re local to Salt Lake and are job hunting- they’re always on the hunt for good employees! There is my shameless plug to help Emmett with the business he is so passionate about. Honestly though… I’m super grateful for Mapleleaf and the amazing work community, friends, and close-knit circle we’ve become apart of since moving to Utah. Moving away from friends, family, and everything you know without job security can be daunting (to say the least), but with hard work and positive attitudes, I can confidently say- Utah feels like home now and we’re so happy here. We both have jobs we absolutely love and can’t complain. Mapleleaf is a big part of that!
Be sure to check back tomorrow for Part 2 of the reveal… we’re headed upstairs to the second level! There is a design resource room to share, bathrooms, tons of employee offices (including Emmett’s), and I’ll give you a peek into the shop. What do you think so far? Can you picture Emmett working here? The office has been so well received by his co-workers. I’m so glad they’re loving it! If you work in an office setting- do you have a similar setup? Are you a fan of your current office or building? I feel like environment makes a big impact on employee happiness. It has been years since I’ve worked in an office environment!