Saturday, June 26, 2010

Temporary Wedding Nest...?

I work for Priscilla of Boston, a bridal gown manufacturer, in a character-filled building that has been here probably since Paul Revere was trotting through Boston.

Just kidding! ...But the brick factory was probably built somewhere around the turn of the century.  Being that our company is one of the oldest {and still going strong} bridal gown retailers in the country, we have also been renting this monstrosity since the 1960's.  Yes, you read that right: renting. Through various owners and changes of hands, we have always had our name over the front door. 

The caveat that goes along with our creaky homey-feeling office is that all our furniture is the same age. I believe the last time they bought conference room chairs was sometime during the Nixon administration and boy-oh-boy can you tell. Recently under new direction here, my general manager approached me to fix up our foyer and make it into a small guest waiting area and reestablish it as the museum it once was. At the time it had been an eyesore of a huge open closet with old forgotten sweaters and Christmas decorations that no one bothered to take out around the holidays. The walls were beige and the 4 foot high wainscoting was painted chocolate brown {a sure-fire sign of the 70's}and made the wide hallway feel narrow. There was a beautiful credenza in dire need of a little TLC sitting in the closet completely unused.

I solicited the help of my co-worker Megan and we got to brainstorming. We knew we were on the tightest budget imaginable and had few hands to help us.  First things first: paint.  We got a few gallons of the Beher Swiss Coffee in an eggshell finish and one in a high gloss and got to painting. All that chocolate brown? Sayonara!

You'll notice our logo on the wall above the time clock. {Unfortunately, there are some things we could not compromise on despite their unsightliness. The time clock was one of them.} We had toyed with different methods of execution of this but nothing seemed as cheap and quick as the good old fashion projector tracing.  We busted out our projector and hooked it up to the laptop displaying the logo.  Megan and I hopped on our ladders, pencils in hand and traced away. Once we had traced the entire thing, we busted out our "Priscilla Purple" paint. {Once upon a time, the logo and all the branding goods were a very deep purple with accents of lavender, which can still be seen to this day around the building. Most of the carpeting is a very deep purple and in the occasional nook and cranny, you'll see new paint chipped away to reveal the old lavender.} A short while later, we had a brand new logo inviting all of our guests into our building.

Our second big change was the closet. We tore out the shelf and the rod to make it a quasi-stage for our display of juxtaposed new and vintage gowns.

As you can see, we also painted the inside of the closet the deep purple to highlight all the white and ivory gowns. I stole the gorgeous vintage mirror from inside my office and propped it up in the corner for depth. We also had a small portion of carpet installed in order to delineate the space from the rest of the hallway. 

Our last big project was the credenza. It took 3 sets of hands 2 days to clean the whole thing and polish all the brass on it. We were covered in the {toxic} brass cleaner for the rest of the week, but it was worth it. We draped black velvet we had hanging around on the bottom of the display case and layed out vintage accessories, old photos and Life magazines.

There were already the posters that depicted each decades' styles hanging on the walls so we put those back up and eliminated a few other -very 90's- photos. Megan and I headed out to Home Goods and bought 2 faux-leather high back chairs for our guests to relax in and a new lamp to provide a softer light than the neon's we can't remove.

Since we were pretty much out of cash by this time, we wrangled a cafe table from the kitchen and threw over it a white window sheer I brought in from home as a makeshift tablecloth that we adorned with the latest bridal magazines to peruse.

All in all, for about $400, mostly spent on paint and the two chairs, we brought this hallway from storage area to a beautiful, welcoming guest space and museum. And all having to keep in mind that we were renters and could not do that much damage.

Since this project my General Manager has asked me to fix up our conference room as well! Stay tuned to see how that works out!

PS: Happy 100th Blog Post to Temporary Nest!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Heya Nesters! I always love your feedback! So dish, because we all want to hear it! <3