AN OFFICE PARTY needn’t be a dull affair. In fact, the folks behind some of Sacramento’s creative agencies are proving that throwing a stylish get-together is all in a day’s work—especially when the office is designed with entertaining in mind.
At the graphic design firm Position Interactive, which recently relocated to sleek new digs near downtown’s DOCO complex, owner Ali Zamanian sees workplace gatherings as an opportunity to make and strengthen connections, both personal and professional. To that end, he enlisted Kaila Niles and Emily Wilder of WOOL Design, a local residential and commercial interiors firm, to create an adaptable space capable of hosting talks, classes and social events on a whim.
“Three thousand square feet is a lot of space for just six people, but we set it up so that we could have experiences here,” explains Zamanian. “I wanted to have a space that fosters the creativity of everyone who works here and where we can collaborate with the rest of the creative community and bring people in who we might not otherwise have met.”
To create the sort of open atmosphere that Zamanian was seeking, Niles and Wilder reconceived what had previously been a dark room with black ceilings, mini blinds covering the tall windows and segmented work areas that made the space feel smaller than it actually is.
A fresh look was achieved through light-toned flooring, white walls and ceilings, and two towering fiddle-leaf fig trees that breathe life into the room. Vertical wooden slats affixed to the walls add texture to a space that pays homage to both Japanese and Danish design.
“Our intention was to take everything away and restore the beauty of the building itself—the architecture, the skylights, the windows. We wanted it to be natural, minimal and modern, but also timeless,” says Niles. “We also wanted a space where they could be creative in all these different ways, so everything can be rearranged to accommodate various events.”
At a recent party attended by friends and colleagues, a communal worktable doubled as the buffet, where chef Christopher Barnum-Dann of Localis laid out a decadent spread of small bites and Zamanian poured wines from Bailarin Cellars. Zamanian is a partner in both Localis and the winery, and his gastronomic pursuits are another way for him to embrace creativity in his life.
“I feel that food is an experience as well as an art, and I like enjoying it that way,” he explains. “I don’t see Chris as just a chef; I see him as an artist, so when you eat his food you’re experiencing his creativity through his medium.”
But more important to Zamanian than what’s on people’s plates is whether his guests are enjoying themselves. “I like to make sure that everyone at a party gets introduced so there’s never someone who’s not feeling part of the group,” he says. “I want everyone to meet new people and have a good time.”
As for the sophisticated new workspace, Zamanian believes the design investment has paid off. “I feel like the space you’re in really feeds your creativity, and this place has definitely done that.”