By Design – Mood Boards & How We Create Them

Minimalist, eccentric, contemporary, collaborative, office-intensive…these are just a few words that a client could present to our design team when voicing what they want for their new office space.  Where do we begin with bringing their idea to life, while putting our Artisan stamp on it?  We asked Dani and Katie who make up our design department to give us the rundown.

Where do you begin when building a mood board for a client’s space?

Dani: For the most part, clients come to us because they already have an appreciation for our aesthetic.  So it’s a mix of pulling finishes, textures and spaces we’re drawn to as well as creating an overall vision for their spatial direction.  We think about what would improve their brand and how can that be implemented in a way that’s cohesive, functional and beautiful.

Katie: First, we love to get an understanding of the client – what they do, what they believe in, what kind of spaces, textures, and colors make them feel productive and good. Then we’ll use that information to find imagery and materials that evoke that mood and act as a guide as we develop the design. 

What is the best piece of advice you could give on how to find success in mixing materials, patterns, finishes, etc.?

Dani: If you want to mix colors, materials, patterns, finishes etc, be cognisant of tone.  Katie is probably tired of hearing me say ‘tone on tone’ – but it’s a great way to achieve an interesting palette without overwhelming your eye.

Katie: With how we approach this at Artisan, our advice would be to consider a delicacy and balance to the palette when deciding on materials – combining textures, colors, and visual weight to create a timeless mood. 

What if a client is drawn to a completely different aesthetic than what you, as a designer, are normally drawn to? 

Dani: This a great question and one that I get from ‘non – clients’ a lot.  As noted earlier, it’s pretty rare that a client would come to us without understanding our aesthetic at least on a basic level and honestly I’d recommend another great designer if I felt they were a better fit.  The last thing you want as a designer (or client!) is to have to convince a client that your vision for their space makes sense.  That being said the design process is a collaborative one and often, the most interesting spaces are the ones where a client suggests something that we never would’ve and it’s the most unique and interesting part of the space!

Katie: I think a great skill for a designer is being able to adapt! Sometimes if a client’s vision doesn’t align with ours, we challenge ourselves to meet in the middle and find ways to satisfy their specific asks while keeping our foundation of a neutral, functional, and timeless approach. 

Follow us on Instagram to see our weekly MaterialMondays highlight – a mini mood board, if you will!

Want to learn more about how Artisan can create a space that suits your needs? Click here to take our 5 minute quiz and get started today.

By Design—Q&A with Anchor & Canvas

We are particular at Artisan in that we are committed to working with vendors and contractors that we have vetted and trust, as they help to shape the final product for our clients. Anchor & Canvas is exactly what we look for in a vendor in that way and therefore we bring them on to build custom furniture pieces – designed by us here at Artisan.  We took a trip to their Brooklyn workshop to see a bit of their build process, and asked their Lead Fabricator, Piotr Shtyk, a few questions as to how they take our designs and turn them into real life quality pieces.  

What is your general process when working with design clients? 

It usually starts with a request for a quote. We review the visual materials and start a conversation to fill in the gaps. The goal in the beginning is to figure out the intended effect of the piece, find out what details are important to the designer and what is left to us to decide in consideration of structural integrity or economy. We often send drawings or models back and forth to confirm the details that are most important to the quote. Once everyone is on the same page and we know exactly how we are going to build it, we provide an accurate estimate. Then comes the final model, and the drawings we generate from the model, and once those are approved, we make the finish samples. We like to document the process and send a few pictures to the designer as the piece starts to take shape, and then again once the piece has been completed. 

What is your favorite part of the process and why? 

There are two definitive moments in the process I particularly enjoy. Arriving at an elegant solution to an engineering problem is very rewarding and the feeling stretches into the build process when parts just click into place like pieces of a puzzle. Then there is the moment of seeing the piece assembled for the first time and realizing how remarkably similar it looks like the rendering we made just a couple of weeks ago. I recall twirling it around on my monitor, and now here it is on the floor, tangible and, more often than not, very heavy.  

What is the most exciting challenge when getting new furniture designs to fabricate? 

The most exciting challenge to me is an opportunity to use a new technique or process that really stretches our abilities just past our typical comfort zone. It should be far enough removed from our skillset to force us to really focus and learn, while being related enough that we have a solid foundation upon which to build that knowledge – that’s the sweet spot.

Stay tuned for the final products! 

Ready for an Artisan space of your own? Click here to take our 5 minute quiz and get started today.

Artisan x Malala Fund – The Inaugural Project

Since March is Women’s History Month, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by featuring the incredible Malala Fund.  Our Co-Founder and Head of Design, Dani, and our Head of Project Management, Tucker, weigh in on how Artisan came to work with the girls’ education non-profit and what Malala wanted in terms of design and build.  

How did Artisan get connected to Malala and ultimately end up working with her to design and build the Malala Fund’s office space?

Dani: ‘Amanda, Chief Operating Officer of Malala Fund, actually reached out to me after following my Instagram account! It’s quite surprising the caliber of potential clients that social media brings.’

What was Malala looking for in terms of design and build?

Dani: ‘She was looking for a space that integrated the organization’s branding and ethos in a cohesive way.  After meeting with the team and understanding that they wanted a bright space filled with plants, we wanted to focus on the overall architecture.  We sourced materials, furniture, and decor that allowed those areas to shine while keeping the aesthetic light and playful.’

What was the biggest challenge, as far as Project Management goes, in executing Dani’s design?

Tucker: ‘The Landlord was underway with construction of a pre-built unit by the time Artisan was brought on board. Implementing change to an in-progress project required lots of coordination between Artisan and the Landlord team, and constant communication between Artisan’s design and PM groups in order ensure the final product would meet Malala Fund’s expectations and Artisan’s quality standards.’

To see more of the final product, follow us on Instagram and stay tuned for additional photos coming soon!  

Want to learn more about how Artisan can create a space that suits your needs? Click here to take our 5 minute quiz and get started today.

‘Her Workplace’ Interview Featuring Our Very Own, Carleigh Bettiol

Her Workplace – a newly launched, female-founded platform that provides a safe space for working women to network, share stories and knowledge, and build long-lasting relationships – has interviewed Artisan’s very own, Carleigh Bettiol, on what it was like to transition from a career on the Broadway stage to working in commercial real estate. 

Carleigh spent several years on Broadway, with one of her biggest accomplishments being as a member of the original cast of Hamilton. Although she loved performing and acting, after experiencing the lack of promotional opportunities as a Broadway performer, she decided to completely change industries.

“Coming from a different industry, I’d like to prove to myself I can be successful in something completely new to me.” – Carleigh Bettiol

Read the entire interview on Her Workplace here.

Artisan Mentored | Meet Jania

Passion for mentorship and community is a tenet of the Artisan mission and thus, Artisan Mentored was one of the first programs we launched, inviting one high school student into the office once a week to shadow various members of the team.

To say it’s been a pleasure getting to know Jania would be an understatement. The very first mentee of our Artisan Mentored program, she is a breath of fresh air, bringing excitement, enthusiasm, and a unique perspective to the office every Thursday. We will certainly miss her and want to share some invaluable insight from her experience at Artisan.

What grade are you in?

12th grade

What attracted you to the mentorship program at Artisan?

I was interested in the mentorship program at Artisan because I had no prior experience or exposure to the commercial real estate industry. I thought that it would be a great opportunity for me to learn about a new career field and broaden my horizons.

Do you have an interest in the field of commercial real estate? You can be honest!

I definitely have interest in the field of commercial real estate because of Artisan. In the past, I would’ve never thought that commercial real estate would be of interest to me but after being able to see what the different ‘subfields’ of real estate look like, I would be interested in exploring it further in the future. 

What’s your favorite subject?

In school, my favorite subjects are typically any foreign language or science classes. I enjoy foreign language classes a lot because I hope to one day become a polyglot. In the past I have studied Spanish and Turkish at school but am currently only fluent in English. Science is also a class that interests me a lot because I think it is the perfect combination of creative and logical thinking which is what I appreciate the most.

What’s your favorite project you’ve ever completed?

My favorite project that I’ve ever completed would be a community service initiative that I created called ‘Knot It!’ The purpose of this initiative was to create 100 knot tied blankets for homeless youth in the greater Harlem area. After pitching my idea to my school’s board, I was able to raise over four thousand dollars to fund the program. The program was fueled by student volunteers at my school and we would meet after school to tie the blankets and hang out. One unique thing about this program was that at the time most students were still attending school online (as a result of the pandemic) so this was an opportunity for scholars to participate in therapeutic crafts while meeting other students and socializing. This project started out in April of 2021 and by October we’d met our goal and donated the blankets to a shelter for adolescents and victims of domestic abuse.  

What do you do for fun?

For fun I like to read, participate in arts & crafts, and watch TV. Dystopian fiction is my favorite genre of books but right now I am reading a novel called The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell. My 

all time favorite book series is The Hunger Games but I am also a big fan of the Twilight series. I love learning to do all types of crafts but some of my favorites are sewing, making jewelry & lip gloss, and making things out of clay. Lastly, like most other teens my age, I enjoy watching a wide variety of TV shows as well. I am currently watching a k-drama called Nevertheless, and an anime called Hunter x Hunter. My favorite movie of all time is A Walk To Remember. 

Where do you feel most inspired?

I feel the most inspired at home because I feel like I am in my most comfortable setting where I can allow myself to think creatively and try new things. On the other hand, I feel inspired whenever I am at Panera Bread because I don’t have the distractions that the comfort of my home provides and it is somewhat of a ritual for my mom and I to go there to get work done so I feel like it is a place where I am the most productive.

Biggest takeaway from your mentorship?

In being a mentee at Artisan my biggest takeaway would probably be to feel comfortable with stepping into the unknown. In working with everyone at Artisan, I felt I had a lot to learn but realized that in asking more questions, and being ready to receive help, I would find myself absorbing more and more information. In addition, I realized I had to take a new spin on what ‘creative confidence’ meant to me. In a lot of cases I realized that I needed to put myself out there and be slightly vulnerable to get the help that I needed which really helped promote the growth that I saw during my time here.

Thank you so much, Jania, and best of luck in your future endeavors! Please keep in touch.

Interested in reading more on our Artisan Mentored program or applying for a Mentorship with us?  Click here!

Officemates | Meet the Artisan Brokerage Team

When in Doubt, Choose Change!

The number of workers quitting their jobs hit record highs in November 2021, with 4.5 million people voluntarily resigning in the US, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report. The workplace is certainly changing and Artisan is excited to be a part of its next chapter.  Companies are scrambling to figure out how to not only attract talent, but retain and develop it in the wake of the pandemic fueled “Great Resignation”.   The solution according to Artisan’s experienced brokerage team? Flexibility and innovation.

WFH? Hybrid? More space, less space, no space? Help!! 

Don’t worry, Artisan’s experienced brokerage team is advising clients across various industries on their post-pandemic return to the office.  Based on your concerns and current space configuration, they will work with you on the ideal workplace strategy then help you find it and implement it.  What makes Artisan different from other advisors? The brokerage team works in collaboration with its in-house design, furniture and project management teams to transform both physical and virtual office spaces.  Artisan creates environments that employees want to go to and want to be in. The team is confident if companies embrace change, flexibility and innovation we will all be entering the “Great Return” soon.

Meet Artisan Brokerage

Leading Artisan’s brokerage team is Co-Founder and COO, Sarah Pontius. Sarah is a seasoned industry veteran with over 18 years experience of deal structuring and transacting across NYC’s commercial real estate industry. Georgina Cook is VP of Brokerage Services with over 7 years experience at the two largest brokerage firms worldwide and manages the client relationship through the brokerage process, overseeing the market research efforts, negotiations and deal closings. Brokerage Services Associate, Carleigh Bettiol, supports deals and client relationships, internal coordination across the business lines, as well as Artisan’s social media presence. They’re a dynamic group ready to find you the perfect space. Are you ready to work with the Artisan team? Click here to take our 5 minute quiz and get started today.

A Whole New Working World—Post Pandemic Trends in Office Space

Heading into the infamous shut down of March 2020, it was impossible to predict how the commercial real estate market would re-emerge. Who would be going back into the office and when? What will employers’ space requirements look like? How is the contemporary view of office life and culture going to change? A keen understanding of their clients’ needs, loads of industry insight, and the benefit of forward-thinking has certainly firmed up Artisan Alliance’s plan for the future and helped to identify key trends pertinent to finding, designing, and building the ideal post-pandemic workplace:

“An abundance of natural light is at the top of most of our clients’ “wish lists” when we’re touring buildings. It can transform the look and feel of a space while enhancing the design it illuminates. Light plays a key role in creating an environment that is warm and at the same time inviting; the type of welcoming environments we like to deliver.” – Sarah Pontius

Focus on Health and Wellness

Evidence shows that employees have found a renewed interest in their wellness journeys over the last year and a half—the need for natural light and open spaces has topped the list of must-haves when it comes to heading back to the office.

Sharing is Not Caring

An abundance of caution must go into each and every seating chart and while unassigned seating was gaining popularity, employers who choose this route must rethink their reservation systems in order to account for safety, utilization, and schedules.

Do Not Disturb

One interesting take away from WFM life is the increasing value of privacy. Whether their home offices were in dedicated rooms or makeshift spaces, employees feel that in order to be productive in their new workspaces, they must have some semblance of privacy.

Inside and Out

Both pre and post pandemic trends have shown that employees who spend a portion of their work week outside the office report higher workplace satisfaction, engagement, and commitment and for employers, that means crafting a new hybrid approach.

As a result, Artisan has arrived at the idea of resimercial design. Clients should feel as though they’re in a space of their choosing, when at work. Cafe-type spaces—somewhere in between the home and office—will accompany informal areas that function as office spaces but feel like home, while Artisan’s upcoming furniture line will be customized with commercial-rated fabrics and ergonomic intent. In short, Artisan spaces are where you want to work, plain and simple.

The Art of Reinvention—How Artisan is Disrupting the Commercial Real Estate Industry

Passion for their work, an eye on the future, and a strong presence in their respective industries are three ways in which Dani Arps and Sarah Pontius are aligned professionally, a list which now includes a vested interest in disrupting the commercial real estate market.

Inspired by seeing her interior design work, Sarah messaged Dani via LinkedIn one fateful day in December of 2019. They spoke at length about the design and real estate industries and ways in which they could work together until they arrived at an inherent issue they both experienced. Why is the industry so disjointed? Why is the process of finding, designing, and building an office space so convoluted and difficult to navigate? Why isn’t there more communication and collaboration between industries? And why isn’t there a better work culture in the design and real estate industries in general?

The short answer to all of these questions is Artisan. At a time when the working world desperately needs a fresh start, Artisan takes the guesswork and frustration out of creating a new office space. They’ve reinvented the whole process, enlisting trusted experts in brokerage, design, and project management to collaborate directly and elevate the entire experience—one team held accountable from start to finish. Like a custom starter kit for your office, they listen to clients’ needs and transform requests into results that far exceed expectations.

It’s personal, it’s professional, it’s Artisan Alliance.

Stay tuned for more updates from the Artisan team.