Parisian Inspired Office Space in San Francisco
May 13, 2015
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This San Francisco office space captured by Jonah Podbereski is equal parts Parisian flair, perfectly placed pops of modern color and loads upon loads of architectural charm. And the building has come along way from its saloon and brothel days. See how Josef M Design transformed a space with a whole lot of history into a modern office for Grow Marketing that puts the g in goooooorgeous.

History of the building:

Our building, which was once two buildings, was built in 1907 following the 1906 earthquake. It originally housed a saloon and brothel on the upper floors, which was famously known as the Pacific, the Nottingham and the Seattle. Spider Kelly, the name Spider coming from the proprietor’s former career as a lightweight boxer, used to be a tenant on the ground floor saloon, which was a favorite watering hole for sailors and had an especially sleazy reputation. It was considered the “worst dive in the world” for the excessive drinking, adult behavior and gunfights. While our building has a truly unique history, we love to note that 150+ years later, we have found a much better way for ladies to make a living than their sisters did back then - and keep all the money.

The initial vision:

Nothing in our office was designed without intention; every wall, detail and plug was plotted with care. We wanted an open-floor layout with several nooks that would make our team excited to come to work. We spend so much time here that we wanted it to feel more like a home than a traditional office space.

Favorite pieces and spaces within the office:

We love the arches in our upstairs conference room that Josef found at a salvage that once belonged to the Gettys. For sentimental reasons, we also like that Gabrey’s desk is the original desk we shared when we started working together on our first project in her apartment fourteen years ago.

An Art Nouveau railing sourced from Argentina was also incorporated to tie in with original ironwork on the windows. The decorative design is also seen in the grand stair risers, which were laser-cut with a similar intricate pattern.
Cassie... My favorite room is The Nest. It is made of authentic materials (e.g. brick, window beams, etc.) from the original 1907 build when Spider Kelly used to occupy it. Add luxurious fabrics and prints, a view of the bustling team, a vintage low-hung chandelier and French door windows casting natural light and you have the perfect spot to nestle in for a few hours.
Gabrey... My favorite space in our office is The Arches. I find myself inspired while sitting at a reclaimed farm table under the gorgeous arches our designer discovered at a salvage yard and looking out the window at the Transamerica Pyramid. This space makes me feel grounded in San Francisco history as I am surrounded by the brick and timber of our Barbary Coast building and the awe-inspiring skyline.
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Walkthrough of the space:

The front welcome area is French and feminine with formal seating, beautifully molded and adorned walls and antiques. Adjacent to the reception area is an all-glass conference room where we frequently host clients. As you walk through the welcome area, you are presented with one of our main workspaces, split into four-desk pods, all with splashes of color and clean, modern touches.

To the left of this main space is our kitchen, which feels like a café with small antique tables and bar stools, accompanied by modern appliances and a green counter/backsplash along with a wall of dramatic pop lights that spell out “mangez.” Towards the back half of the third floor, we have all sorts of nooks and crannies that were designed with intention to keep our team feeling creatively inspired. Conference rooms and collaborative work spaces all have unique decor that inspires the name of the space (such as The Grove) where our team can work solo or collaboratively as well as conduct client calls and video conferences.

In the middle of the third floor is our grand staircase, which leads to a fourth floor where three executive offices are separated by floor to ceiling drapes in a black and white chevron pattern with white antique desks and French chairs, each with their own patterned fabric, set upon complimentary pink and beige carpets. A bar and lounge area serves as a spot for bi-monthly team meetings and informal happy hours while on the other side of the stairs a reclaimed farm table is offset by ornate white arches that came from one of the Getty’s apartments. Throughout the space are framed black and white photos from the early history of the building, mingling present and past