When I first came on board with Atlanta Best Media—publisher of Atlanta Home Improvement and Best Self Atlanta magazines—everyone buzzed about the upcoming office renovations, telling me, “We’re about to change everything!” After talking to the company leaders, Sherri Adair and Patti Stephens, I learned that they hadn’t changed much of anything since first moving into the building in 2002 and it was time for an update.
The office design needed to reflect the vibrant personalities of the people working here and the dynamic magazines produced. Atlanta Best Media was ready for some “Home Improvement” in order to showcase its “Best Self.” Adair and Stephens had new business developments on the horizon and wanted the office space to grow along with their vision.
And, the needs of the office staff had changed considerably over the years. Workflow moved throughout the magazine departments differently than it had when they first launched. No longer effective was the sea of cubicles accommodating large desktop computers and heavy CPUs. Most of the account executives now used laptops, tablets and smartphones, providing better flexibility for sales calls. Rows of filing cabinets took up space and gathered dust now that crucial files were backed up onto servers. The editorial and production teams also streamlined their process with larger screens and enhanced digital capacity replacing sketchbooks and planning boards. The conference room, situated in the center of the office, could no longer seat the entire staff, with narrow hallways winding around it—leaving the departments closed off from each other.
Adair and Stephens called on Jessie LaFalce of REVIVE Design-Build to help them with a new design and to manage the renovation. LaFalce noted: “This office has been part of the Atlanta Best Media family for 15 years, but it needed a facelift after all this time. It felt like a library—it was dark and dated. We mixed modern and rustic with timeless neutrals, and then brought in color for contrast and dimension. Every part of the office ties into the others—grays and warm whites in some elements and then orange and red elsewhere.”
The budget was firm and the timeline short. Very short. The magazines had to stay on a regular production schedule no matter what might be going on in the office, and staff worked right through the construction. Some days, we held our meetings wearing dust masks or screaming to be heard over saws. For several weeks, we abandoned our professional wardrobes for sweats as we shuffled about on the plywood subfloor and carpet remnants, maneuvered around hanging plastic sheets and packed boxes. Ultimately, LaFalce coordinated everything perfectly—holding off on the heaviest construction until after the January issues went to press, allowing us to work remotely during the holiday season. Adair raves about her efforts: “Jessie worked night and day to make this happen for us. She kept every detail on track and within our budget, managing all areas of the project. Her fresh ideas and incredible energy kept us so excited. It turned out better than we could have ever imagined possible. I can hardly believe what Jessie accomplished here! What a feat.”
We all returned to celebrate the New Year of 2016 in a beautiful, new office space.
LaFalce applied an “open floor plan” approach to the office, much like those in high demand for residential renovations. Opening up the space immediately changed the energy and enlivened the environment. The new flow allows for a variety of office events, from client conferences and larger staff meetings to magazine photo and video shoots to casual entertaining. Staff members now collaborate in comfortable seating areas, instead of crammed into cubicles. Departments are more accessible to each other, encouraging brainstorming and group participation. The casual, postive mood matches the tone of our publications, as well as supports our evolving media company as we develop new print and digital products to provide additional resources for readers across the city.
THE AMAZING MAKEOVER TEAM AND THEIR PRODUCTS/SERVICES
REVIVE Design-Build, Jessie La Falce, 404-993-2366
Atlanta Audio & Automation, 770-977-9110
Sonos® smart speaker system
Christopher Smith, 678-860-0333
Bin There Dump That, 404-692-2838
Mister Sparky, 770-882-2489
MODA Floors & Interiors, 404-477-3744
• Luxury Vinyl Tile Planks—U.S. Floors Coretek Plus, Blackstone Oak
• Carpet—Carpet Tiles in Chatterbox by Shaw
CONFERENCE ROOM DOOR
Overhead Door, 404-222-2836
Florida Tile, 770-769-1760
• Foyer—Vietra Art, Alabastro stained glass line
• Waiting area—Stacked Mosaic, Level 10 Cool
• Bathrooms—Platinum Suite; Level 10, Ornament Cool; Alava Rhombus Cottage; Earth Stone, Cliffside
Flawless Painting, 678-386-7899
• Sherwin-Williams—Repose Gray, Dorian Gray, Alabaster