Our Teacher’s Lounge Makeover is Live!

By Chanel Dror
an unbelievable surprise teacher's lounge makeover

If you caught this post from a few weeks ago, you know that amidst the holiday madness, our team has been taking time out this season to participate in HP‘s #ReinventGiving holiday campaign. When we moved into the #CSBungalow, we were reminded of what a huge impact our surroundings have on our mental and emotional state, so when we were challenged with the task of “paying it forward,” we took inspiration from our new office, and decided to give the gift of a sanctuary workspace to a group that is truly deserving: local elementary school teachers. I couldn’t have been more thrilled to head up the re-design of the Casis Elementary teacher’s lounge, and based on the teachers reactions when they saw the reveal, I think we gave this group a gift that they’ll enjoy for many years to come.

photography by Molly Culver

Although the original teacher’s lounge was dreary, it actually packed a lot of potential. As soon as we spotted the windows and authentic mid century details, we knew the space could be transformed into an inspiring space for the teachers.

This corner of the room was essentially wasted before. In order to make it work for our teachers, we turned it into a casual lounge area where they can kick back, relax, and escape for even just a few minutes in the day.

pictured: Catalonia Woven Chair; Rosemead Oval Coffee Table; nuLOOM Hand Woven Jute Rug

I knew I wanted to infuse the space with pops of color to make it feel cheery. This small blue settee is just the right size to seat two comfortably, and the curved back allowed us to neatly tuck it into this corner.

Before, this wall of windows and glass blocks was totally wasted on this kitchen cart. We came up with the perfect way to really make use of it…

Behold, our wall of bar seating! With this arrangement, teachers can pull up a seat to work on their laptops while looking out onto the beautiful lawn.

With the Spectre x360, we were able to view and edit high res photos, and sketch and draw out all our ideas for our teacher’s lounge process. Doing good is always fun, but when you get to use this device, it’s easier than ever to “pay it forward.”

pictured: Counter Height Pub Table; Carlisle Metal Counter Stool

The previous seating arrangement consisted of one large table in the center of the room, with about eight chairs placed around it. A number of teachers complained that they hardly ever ate lunch in the teacher’s lounge because of the lack of seating, so we knew this was a problem that needed solving. This was a big design challenge and it was so helpful to be able to ink a few solutions using the Spectre x360 allowing us to seamlessly figure out what layout & furniture would work best.

In addition to the lounge area and the bar, the teachers now have two expandable dining tables in the center of the room. We think that all this seating will create greater opportunities for collaboration and creative thinking amongst the teachers, and did you notice our amazing dining chairs? They look clean and modern, but they’re super comfortable too.

A bunch of ranunculus in a vase instantly brighten up the space, while these cute salt and pepper shakers add a bit of whimsy.

Nothing adds life to a space quite like indoor plants, and studies have shown that they actually increase attentiveness and focus as well. We made sure to provide the teacher’s at Casis with a selection that was easy to maintain, so Snake Plant and Golden Pothos were the way to go.

There wasn’t too much room to improve the kitchen area, but it’s amazing what a difference a few decorative accessories can make. Can’t you picture teachers gathering in this space to catch up and brainstorm over coffee?

pictured: 12 oz paper coffee cups; Pantry Scandinavian Kitchen Canisters

Before, this area was overflowing with miscellaneous catering and housekeeping items. We edited everything down and rearranged it, then stashed any extras in matching white storage bins above the cabinets.

Planning this project was such a fun challenge. We couldn’t have done it without our HP Spectre x360, pictured here in its leather laptop sleeve.

The device is so slim and lightweight, we were able to easily bring it along on our site visits and shopping trips.

The pièce de résistance? We mounted some marquee letters displaying the school’s name for a personal touch. Hopefully the teachers feel pride when they see it, and who knows, maybe they’ll feel inspired to give back to their communities even more this holiday season.

Thanks to everyone who helped bring this project to life, especially to HP who presented us this fun opportunity, and Target who provided all of the furniture. We’re so grateful to the teachers and administration at Phoebe’s school (and every school!) for all that they do, and hopefully this little moment of wonder will make their holidays a bit more magical.