CoWork Conference Room

I realize I’m a bit overdue on an office update post (read: life update post) so I thought I would start back today with a few photos of our gorgeous new conference room. I stopped by the office on Monday and Tuesday this past week. Tim and I went to Ikea of Monday for some last-minute pieces, and then we spent most of Tuesday putting everything together. I’ve got a bruised foot from running an Ikea cart over it and a sore back from hanging curtains, but #itwasworthit. “This is a web hosting job,” they said.

There’s some great before photos of the office space that I posted back in November, so I’ve gone ahead and included a few below so you can see the transformation:


^right side of coworking space

^hallway of coworking space + entrance to the conference room

^inside the conference room


^The whole *new* right side of the office space. We took out multiple walls, removed the ceiling, stripped the floors & put a fresh coat of paint on everything.

^We put in glass walls to border the new conference room, and then added curtains that you can close for meeting privacy as needed. That awesome wood-paneled wall on the right is Tim’s handy work from this past weekend!

^Inside the conference room with with curtains partly closed. You can also see the entrance to our newly renovated private office on the left!

^We got a new media cabinet that will house all the fun conference room gadgets. Aside from pinning back those wires & adding baseboards, we’re set.

^The top half of this wall is now an acting whiteboard!

^View with the curtains open.

^From the inside looking out.

More updates to follow soon regarding the rest of the space, so stay tuned! I’m moving to Fredericksburg officially this weekend, and will be starting to work in the office full time as of Monday. Can’t wait for this new adventure!

P.s. If you have Instagram, you can follow us at @CoWorkFXBG for more updates!

P.p.s. Interested in working from the space? Find more info here.

A Reclaimed Phone Booth

NY’s Old Penn Station Phone Booths

On Thursday Tim and I drove to a Vintage Furniture shop outside Baltimore to pickup an old phone booth we bought on Ebay for the office. We got really lucky because the booth was in mint condition, and according to the proprietor it was part of Baltimore’s Penn Station for decades. We were thrilled to have it, and it is absolutely gorgeous, as you can see below:

Vintage Phone Booth

Vintage Phone Booth

The plan is to hook up some power and USB chargers and do a little insulation so folks can use it for private calls in the co-working space. And even if that doesn’t happen, it is an amazing centerpiece for the office. After tweeting out images yesterday, Bryan Mathers came back with a next level booth concept:

To which Grant Potter noted was an image of Jack White‘s Voice-O-Graph which is where Neil Young recorded all of his 2014 album A Letter Home:

The tweet from Grant reminded me of his experimentation with an 800 number for ds106radio back in 2011, and I would love the idea of revisiting some of that insanity in an OG phone booth. All of which provided a brief reminder of what Twitter was like before it became a political garbage dump. We’re on the look out for a second booth of the same kind, but not so sure we can get anything nearly as nice. Having two of these side-by-side (like in the image of the top of this post) would be so awesome. The Reclaim offices are going to be amazing.

Reclaiming the Back Office

I am wrapping up my trip to the States tomorrow, it has been most productive. I’ve basically done two things: worked and watched movies. I’ll have another post about the movies, but this one is about some of the work. Tim and I had plans to renovate one of the spaces in our new office, and we took care of that in no time. All while migrating servers, starting a new semester, and building momentum for our Domains 17 conference. It’s been busy, but I think doing some physical work broke things up a bit which was nice.

Back Office before it was Reclaimed

^Office space before renovation

As you can tell from the image above, the space we were working on was pretty hideous. I think anything we did to it would have been an improvement. We replaced the carpet, ceiling tiles, florescent lights, and painted the paneling. Fairly simple.

Foundry back office ceiling tile

Installing ceiling tiles and LED recessed lighting

Foundry back office priming

^First coat of primer

Foundry back office under construction

^Second coat of primer

Lauren picked the paint color for the wall (Behr’s Script White). Tim picked the light gray carpet tiles and clean, elegant ceiling tiles. At the end of a week, we had a pretty awesome looking back office for folks to use at the Foundry. I think it came out pretty well.

Foundry Back Office

^View from the Conference Room

Alternative view of Foundry Back Office

^View from the back of the office to Conference room door

This was a very fun, manageable project. You can see the ceiling is fairly low and the space in relatively small, but the make over really cleaned it up, and it feels like a spacious, comfortable room. Lauren picked out the furniture, and I think it works beautifully.  The last touch will be a few pieces of colorful art, after that we’ve  reclaimed a pretty bitchin office space—and it is just a small taste of what is in store with the other 3000 square feet!

Reclaim the Office

Lindley Estes caught up with Tim Owens yesterday to talk about the new Reclaim Hosting offices in Fredericksburg. Tim and Lauren have already written about the space, and just today Lauren posted an update with pictures of the demo work going on as well as some insights to our thinking about the redesign.

On top of that, Lindley published an article for the Freelance Star today based on her conversation with Tim. What was cool about the article is how she connected the new offices with our earlier collaborations at UMW. Tim’s first day on the job at UMW in 2011 was being thrown into a nutty office space with a makeshift TV studio and a missing Dr. Oblivion, as well as hysterical teaching assistant-once-removed Martha Burtis. The fabled Summer of Oblivion!

When Tim and I were still at UMW one of the things we talked about was having a space like the DTLT offices for Reclaim. Three years later that is becoming a reality, and that’s truly awesome. As noted in the article and Lauren’s post, we’re opening the space up, exposing the ceilings. adding a glass-enclosed conference room, laptop bar, collaborative table, private desks, booths, as well as a recording studio, green screen, and 3D printing. We even have awesome sonic professionals folks like Mark Snyder who have already offered to help out.

That said, I’ve seen enough to know posh offices don’t necessarily make the magic, that’s about the people, the vibe, and the freedom. And after our trip to Portland, it was clear we have those three right now—in fact it was being together for that week that made us think about doing this. We are all locked-in, and very much taking care of business as I suggested in a recent braggy post about just this topic. In fact, Brian Lamb commented on that post asking how we managed our distributed workflow, which brought me to the post I wrote over a year ago about settling into distributed work from Italy. All of which seems ironic given I am writing a post about our new collaborative office space in Fredericksburg, right?

Maybe, but it all seems related to me. We know we can effectively run Reclaim Hosting in a distributed manner around the globe—and I’ll remain distributed for the foreseeable future. But the idea of creating a dynamic space that can become a headquarters for Reclaim as well as a communal hub for distributed workers in and around Fredericksburg is a new challenge. And if it has any of the energy and goodness of ds106, as Lindley suggested in her Tweet above, then I can’t help but think it will be a most fun and creative one at that.

An Office Update

Though I’m currently living about two hours from Fredericksburg, I’ve been making the trip up here every couple weeks or so– can’t stay away! I’m so amazed with how quickly the office space is already transforming. Demolition started yesterday, and already we have three walls knocked down and most of the ceiling tiles removed. Jim, Tim, and I are having weekly meetings to discuss new changes and ideas for the space: including but not limited to a 1950’s wooden phone booth, 3-D Printing station, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, and a 10-foot farm table. (Check out Tim’s post to read more about our vision.) I’m thrilled.

Last week I was able to pick out a chair, rug, and two coffee tables from a local furniture store in Waynesboro- made it all the more real, let me tell you. 🙂 We’re going to be pulling in a lot of industrial gray tones with wooden & steel accents. The area itself will be very simplistic & open. An open ceiling concept with a poured concrete floor. The stuff inside the space– that’s where the magic happens. An orange couch, colorful art, and a little bit of greenery to liven the place up.

I made a quick mood board that embodies (at least for me) the vibe of the space. I want the darks and lights to compliment each other, and I want every color in the space to feel genuine and intentional. Can colors be genuine? Well, they are now.

In case you missed it, take a look at my previous post for an idea of how the space looked like before we began. Now take a look at its current state:

I spy tall ceilings & a massive coworking space!! What about you?

Fburg Office Space: Before

So you may have heard rumors that Reclaim Hosting has found an office space. It’s true, people! You can read a little more about the space here.

We’re about to break ground on some serious renovations that will completely overhaul the look and function of the space, so I thought it would be neat to document the “before” phase. There are two (two and a half?) large sections that will make up the new home base for Reclaim Hosting. The first section is shown in the picture below.
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