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Spaces We Love: IDEO

By Star Hughes-Gorup

IDEO, one of the world’s most innovative companies, has one of the world’s most innovative offices. The global design firm has 10 offices throughout the world – from Singapore to London to Chicago – each of them unique in style, but connected in its brand and values. IDEO’s San Francisco office is located in the Port District…and it doesn’t get much cooler than this. The building has incredible bones.

Antique hardwood floors? Check.

High ceilings and metal trusses? Check.

Water views? Check.


The historic elements of this building are nearly impossible to duplicate – but that doesn’t mean you can’t recreate many of the amazing design elements in your own space!

So you don’t have antique hardwood floors, and you’re on a budget? Try a Luxury Vinyl Tile. It won’t have the exact same look, but it will create the drama you’re looking for, at a fraction of the price, and in a much more durable material. Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) comes in all designs and textures – from whitewashed woods to warm, natural-colored woods, to stone!


If you’re looking for the high ceilings and metal trusses, try out an open ceiling concept. Paint the ceiling white, with silver hard ducting to add character, and you’ll add both character and at least another foot to your ceiling height. Keep in mind that this can be expensive. Traditional “drop ceilings” are deceivingly more economical than open ceilings because of the work and materials required in cleaning up a ceiling enough to leave it exposed.

If you love the idea of water views…hire a good broker! Unfortunately this is one of the few things that great design can’t fix!


IDEO utilizes all types of workspaces in their San Francisco office – including large open areas filled with benching stations, small one or two-person phone rooms, and larger multi-person breakout rooms. Creative companies today – and employees of those creative companies – are moving towards a wide variety of work spaces and set ups to allow for flexibility, fluidity, and collaboration.


The details in the space, such as this Instagram art installation, add life, character, and personal touches to the space – and show that every detail matters in making a space beautiful. The best part of this Instagram collage? It’s incredibly easy for any company on a budget to recreate, making just a regular wall into a showpiece that reflects the brand of your company.

Thanks for the great ideas, IDEO!

Star Hughes-Gorup is a senior vice president and director at Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate firm with offices across the nation. Star is a key member of Hughes Marino’s brokerage team, where she specializes in tenant representation and building purchases. Star also makes frequent media appearances to speak on business issues from a millennial perspective, and blogs about life as a woman in a male-dominated industry at starhughesgorup.com. Contact Star at 1-844-662-6635, or star@hughesmarino.com.

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