I worked from my home for many years before finally getting a real office. Last year, we no longer all fit in the extra room in my house. It was time to spread our wings and find a new studio. A place with enough space to work, but also a place that feeds creativity, one with sitting corners, a lush tropical garden and maybe even a space to do yoga with the team. Basically I was looking for a unicorn.
At first I looked at letting an old warehouse on the grounds of another company. It was a huge space, but also one that required a lot of renovations. We needed a new roof, a floor, windows, toilets, kitchenette, walls… I wasn’t sure I could afford to make the investment, of the time needed and continued to look elsewhere.
I looked at lots of small boxes. Shiny tiles, only a few windows, most of which couldn’t open. No breeze, too little light… These offices weren't for me.
Then negotiations started for a three-floor former garment factory. It was even bigger than the warehouse, and also needed significant renovations. I imagined having to walk all those stairs to talk to my team, and the echoes when we talked to each other. But mostly, I imagined the shared lunches we would have on the rooftop from which we could see the ocean. Unfortunately, the owners had a debt to pay and I wasn’t able to pay their debt for them. Exit factory.
After I’d recovered from saying no to the old factory, a good friend introduced me to a Balinese compound. Three little standalone rooms with an open kitchen, a house temple, an upstairs outdoor yoga space and a wild garden. It felt right the moment I walked in, and it wouldn’t even need a ridiculous amount of renovations.
The move and the transformation of the compound to a light, airy and creativity-inducing space took less than a month. We knocked down a few walls, closed another one, added some windows and got the paint brushes out to create our tropical, barefoot oasis.