Making the bunker less like a bunker...

At work I've been moved from the spacious, brightly lit with loads of natural light second floor to the ground floor. Which feels like a bunker (thanks to the lack of windows and lots of white empty wall space). Also I live in England, and right now we're in the midst of winter. It's mostly been mild, but the point is that it's still cold, and still wet, is dark when you get up and by 4pm. It's a bit depressing. So I took it upon myself to make it feel less terrible. I wanted bright, and easy. I wanted cheap and I wanted temporary (we don't own the building). Conveniently, I'm a designer. As a designer, they kind of expect you do to random bright things. So when all the random and bright things exploded down our end of the office people just sort of took it in their stride.

Here is what I did:

Massive A4 Raster Image I found an image (thank you, creative common!), fired up rasterbator.net, and printed out 192 A4 sheets with lots of little dots on it. And then I put them up on the otherwise very white walls in my office.

Looks fun, right?

Things I learnt as I was going along...

* Woah buddy. An A4 printer was what I had on hand, but if I had to do it again? I'd go much bigger. A3, or even A2. The bigger the paper, the less time you spend cutting and sticking.

* Tape the backs together. Because we have an office policy of how you're allowed to put stuff up on the walls and blue tack is it. However, if you're not careful, the edges peel away, and you get random lines of wall. If you tape the edges together on the back before you blue tack them up, you won't get terrible lines.

* Make it a party. As a one man job, 192 A4 sheets is a lot of cutting and taping and blue-tacking. I've been doing it by myself and it's taken me ages. When I realised that if I bought a bottle of wine, put on some tunes and convinced a few people to help me out? It went by much much much faster.

* Not all walls are straight. A4 sheets of paper are, though. It's annoying, but something to factor in when you're trying to figure out where your image should go.

Cover the walls in all of the things

Just do it. Anything. All of the things. Kind of like a mood board. I went with a mix of brightly coloured things, patterns and art/typography I like.

However, not all of these amazing works of art came from the creative commons. I'm sorry artists, I am appreciating your work, and one day I'll buy loads of it (I'm especially loving the astronaut panda). However today is not that day.

Things I learnt as I was going along...

* The bigger you print it, the better. Print those logos full size. * There is a setting the printer had about printing the image to the edges of the paper. Do it. It'll alter the proportions of the image ever so slightly, but it'll mean that the naturally white border around the images is even, and (if you're a bit OCD about things like borders being even) you won't need to cut anything to size.

Tissue Pom Poms

Literally the easiest thing to make. Tissue paper is cheap, and with some leftover yarn you're sorted. This is also a good one to make into a party.

Things I learnt: * Slow and steady means less torn papers. * A gentle scrunch gives more volume. * An extreme scrunch makes it look really really sad. * Cutting the petals out is a pain, but overall makes it look better. Strong scissors and determination got me through when I decided to do it all in one. * Cut the paper in half after doing the concertina for two small poms instead of a large one worked good too.

Ribbons and Fairy Lights

Side note: I'm sorry. I'd give you bigger/better/strong/faster photos that show the ribbons in all it's glory, but I can't do it without showing stuff that I'm not allowed to show (it's all in development stuff). Sorry!

This one was simple in concept, massive pain in the ass in implementation. Still, it looks pretty. I like it. Probably the most impressive, too.

Things I learnt * Ceiling tiles are pretty delicate, and like to crumble ceiling dust all over desks. Better to wait till people aren't working. Can't drop ceiling dust on peoples heads if there aren't any people. * This was an easy job when I had desks to stand on. Less easy down the end when I didn't. * Planning was key. The random 'just get it up' look made everything look cheap. Alternating between two ceiling tiles so the loops were offset slightly looks much nicer than everything all over the place. * Ribbon curls. It does this. I had a bunch of nail polish bottles handy, so when it did curl I could use the gravity

So yes. The Bunker no longer looks as clinical or empty as it did before. Now it's overly bright, and totally appropriate for a design team.

What do you think?