I hope your creative juices are flowing from last week’s column! Are you still thinking outside the box?

Remember last week, when we designed an office for assistant marketing director for Hawaii News Now, Troy Siruno? Inspiring and creative, with purple and gray stripes and subliminal positive messages throughout, this was a super fun project because the space — where Troy and his team meet with potential advertising clients — had to be outside the box, over the top and impactful.

We were communicating a message that this is where creativity happens. The energy had to be dynamic, fun and inspiring. So how exactly did we make this space come alive?



Last week I told you about the visual pun that served as the focal point: Think outside the box. Well, guess what? Everything came from that mind-set: Let’s think outside the box.

The small conference table may look simple, but it’s unique. We took an image of Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon, blew it up and created a custom image overlay for the table.

When you look closely, you see by the small footprint, three words that we added: “Be the first.” Boom! Another message.

By the door, is another subliminal message that clients see as they’re leaving, spelled out in a subtle, LCD-type font: “See you later.” And, of course, no one can miss the light bulb lamp! Bing!


When you meet potential clients, the setting often forms their first impression of you. Siruno’s clients would see the messages on the wall.


They would see the reclaimed-wood console table with Hawaii News Now’s awards and baskets filled with squishy balls and things that help get creative juices flowing. And they would see the message by Armstrong’s first step. All these messages help convey what Siruno and his creative team need to reinforce to potential clients.

Most of you won’t be designing office spaces like this. That doesn’t matter. I’m trying to show you my thought process. Asking Siruno some questions and thinking about message and energy, helped point me in a direction, find items and spark creativity.

Whether it’s your living room, child’s room or home office, your space should communicate something and have an energy, even a serene one.


Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style. reStyle Hawaii, her new-concept furniture and home accents store, is open daily at 420 Keawe St. in Kakaako. For more info and inspiring photos of design projects, visit www.cathyleestyle.com.