The Cricket Design Works office looks and feels like a modern urban loft apartment.
Light hardwood floors, an exposed brick wall and a handmade sliding barn door are among the décor choices that make the space feel more like a home than an office.
That lived-in feel was what appealed to Kristin “Cricket” Redman, founder of the visual communications agency. Redman had frequented the space, located at 1925 Monroe St., when it was a tea shop, and jumped on the chance to rent it when her growing agency was looking for a home in 2006.
“I remember being up here and thinking how amazing would it be to live up here, or work up here,” Redman said.
In the ten years since, she has worked to curate a home away from home for her seven full-time employees.
“This did not happen fast,” she said, gesturing to a conference room outfitted with items gleaned from Craigslist, Century House, Blu Dot and Design Within Reach.
Pieces were chosen with the careful eye of a designer — and on a budget. Redman admits that there was a certain element of thriftiness that made it all come together.
There was also some good, old fashioned elbow grease. Several of the office’s furniture pieces were constructed by Redman and her husband, including a massive, sliding barn door that separates the office conference room from a common workspace.
A barn wood sliding door, constructed by Cricket Design Works founder Kristin Redman and her husband, divides the conference room (on left) from the rest of the office at Cricket Design Works.
Finding the right shade, length and grain of brain wood was quite the endeavor, Redman said.
Mixed in among the homemade and curated furniture are pieces of client work, including bottles of Mad Maiden Shrub and jars of Wilson’s mustard pretzel dip (Cricket did the packaging design for both) and a hanging mobile for the Madison Public Library, which Cricket helped with its recent rebranding effort.
There’s also a wall Redman affectionately calls “the Fail Wall,” peppered with designs beloved by the Cricket team, but rebuffed by clients.
Fittingly enough, the kitchen island, situated directly across from the wall of deferred designs, plays host to “crits” — group critiques of work carried out by Cricket team members.
“It’s easier to stand around and drink a beer and receive criticism than it is to sit in a conference room,” Redman joked.
The main office entryway is adjacent to the kitchen. The entryway features a large grey and gold mural, painted by Cricket team members, that reads, “Look inside.”
“That’s really the essence of branding,” Redman said.
The entryway at Cricket Design Works features a mural painted by employees.
Next to the mural, a long, mossy green carpet leads into the main work area in the office. The grass-like look of the carpet was intentional, Redman said, and meant to incorporate a sort of natural, outdoor feel.
The carpet complements a large number of big, leafy plants scattered throughout the space. Redman also puts a fresh-cut flower on each of her employees’ desks, when the season allows.
The primary office area at Cricket Design Works features a grass-like carpet and convertible standing desks for most employees.
The main workspace at Cricket is open and airy. Employees are perched at desks that convert from standing to sitting with the push of a button. More examples of work are pinned to a long, cork board-looking wall that runs the length of the office (“That was another project,” Redman said).
There are also a few client products, including pudgie pie irons, displayed near desks.
As a finishing touch, Annie, a fluffy dark-haired dog is resting on a pillow at the end of the office. Her snooze is far from interrupted by the steady hum of Cricket work around her.
Why would it be? It feels just like home, after all.
Picture and article sourced