What’s the nicest gift your significant other ever gave you? Bouquets of flowers, diamond earrings, an unexpected vacation? Well not even a few weeks after their wedding, this newlywed bride had a sweet, secret surprise up her sleeve…
Princess and Mike are the picture perfect couple. They recently relocated to Houston, TX and were preparing for their wedding and building a new life together. A new marriage, upcoming graduation and budding careers were just the beginning, as they felt incredibly blessed about the journey they were on.
A few weeks before their wedding, Princess reached out to me about BLB’s services. She was planning to surprise her husband with an office upgrade. A few months ago, he became a marketing executive at a financial services company earning him a beautiful new office and breathtaking view in a Houston high-rise. Though he’d been in the space for some time, it was a blank canvas with bare walls, dark wood furniture and little room for inspiration. Princess wanted to change that, so she conspired with Mike’s assistant and I to makeover the space in 24 hours right under Mike’s nose. Here's the "Before":
That Saturday morning, I drove up to Houston from San Antonio. The 3-hour trek up I-10 lasted about twice the length of time due to an early morning accident and some unexpected construction on the roads. But delayed, is not denied – most of the day was left and there was plenty to accomplish! Upon arrival, I met Princess at At Home, one of my favorite stores to kick off a shopping day with clients. At Home Stores, formerly known as Garden Ridge, have been popping up all over the country offering a huge variety of home furnishings and décor for any household. Though the merchandise is predominately residential, I figured we’d begin our search here with a rug and a few knick knacks hoping this one-stop-shop destination would fulfill most of our needs for the space.
At Home was a huge success! We found a beautiful navy and tan diamond-patterned rug that was large enough to over most of the office space under Mike’s desk. It was masculine and professional, but would add just the right amount of color to the existing bland carpet. We also located a few additional décor items including a metal canvas with a city skyline much like the one peering through the office window. After a quick lunch at Chipotle, we hustled on to the next stop: HomeGoods. There we found more knick knack items to add to the bookcases, scented candles, baskets and a faux potted plant to add a little maintenance-free greenery to the space. Our last stop was Staples to photocopy Mike’s Bachelors and Masters degrees for the new frames Princess located at Michael’s. We’d later hang these with 3M Command Velcro strips above his desk computer on the office’s back wall.
Once we returned to the office, the real work began! We unloaded all of our purchases and mementos Princess selected up the elevator of the office building. We then cleaned and dusted everything in sight and rolled out the new area rug under the heavy mahogany desk with the help of Mike’s staff. As I worked on organizing the shelving with Mike’s books, family photos and mementos, Princess arranged his awards, globe and beloved Green Bay Packers helmet adding some of his character and interests to the room. She’d later add a framed jersey from Mike’s athletic days and a Green Bay football to the space as well. Once all of the items were in place, we gave the office a quick coat of Windex and Lysol, and I took photos before the evening snatched all of the remaining natural light away. The long Saturday ended with success!
This was my first commercial project and though small, I’m pretty proud of the result. Take a look at the "After":
It is easy to forget how much time we spend away from home and the value of enjoying your workspace just as much as you do your humble abode. This generous bride recognized that importance and wanted to make sure Mike felt comfortable in his new office in their new city. Though the surprise was almost spoiled, we still managed to shock and exceed his expectations, which made the couple very happy. I’m grateful to Princess for allowing me to be a part of this surprise gift to her husband, one that I’m sure will be the first of many!
On to the next project….
Rug – At Home
Metal Canvas – At Home
Globe – HomeGoods
Degree Frames – Michael’s
Basket – HomeGoods
Potted Greenery – HomeGoods
Candle – HomeGoods