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Dale Salamacha

How a Sign Company Can Renovate Its Own Office

No bored room here thanks to modern design, new furnishings.

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IF YOU FOLLOW OUR Shop Ops column, you know that last year Rick and I purchased a 30,000-sq.-ft. building sitting on a pristine 2 1/2-acres in Sanford, FL. It’s actually been one full year this week since we made our move… Man, time goes fast!

In that time, we have done a ridiculous number of refurbs: renovating the full office, rebuilding the bathrooms from the wall studs out, painting the entire warehouse ceiling and walls, and installing a new 40-ft. pressurized spray booth. We restriped the parking lot, trimmed a forest of trees, and, of course, installed our very own badass monument sign!

And now that we have the major items ticked off our list, we are coming back through and remodeling each office, to match our beautiful new building. I mean, you can’t keep the same furniture, chairs and décor from your old building… That’s just ludicrous!

Just Like Fixer Upper…

And because we are a design/build shop, we are building all of it in-house! My wife, Christy, comes up with the designs; we bring ’em to life! We’ll show more in upcoming columns (or online photo galleries), but today, let’s begin with our new conference room. We sold off our old conference table and eight busted chairs went with it. We knew we wanted more people at the new table, while also efficiently using our 15 x15-ft. space with a clean, modern design.

On the back wall, Christy wanted a 4-in.-deep x 7-ft.-wide aluminum feature that cascades from ceiling to floor, surrounding the room’s focal piece, a 65-in. Samsung flat screen. Next up was a 4 x 11-ft. table, constructed of two ¾-in. layers of smooth MDF board, but since they were not available in 11-ft. lengths, we stagger-stepped the seamed-together sheets to create a very strong 1 ½-in.-thick, 4 x 11-ft. table. We supported it with 3-in. aluminum tube frame and just one 3-in. support “leg.” The other end? Mounted directly into the aluminum wall feature — with reinforced interior framing — giving us the desired, continual flow.

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But now we have a metal wall with a wood table stuck to it… That’s not gonna work, right? Enter Belbien architectural vinyl from our friends at Interior Design Solutions in Baltimore. The aluminum TV surround was left with a mill finish, while the MDF table was coated in Matthews 6001SP Polyester Primer Surfacer to give it a smooth, non-porous surface. Then we wrapped both units, bolted them together and we have a one-piece, flowing surface from the ceiling all the way to the head of the table (where I preside).

Media 1/Wrap This’ new conference room features a 4 x 11-ft. table mounted into an aluminum wall feature that includes a 65-in. flat screen TV. Blue LED modules are located below the table and in the shelving of the side walls.

Media 1/Wrap This’ new conference room features a 4 x 11-ft. table mounted into an aluminum wall feature that includes a 65-in. flat screen TV. Blue LED modules are located below the table and in the shelving of the side walls.

… Only Better!

But wait, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself… Before we wrapped the table, we upped the coolness factor. We threw it on the router table and cut an inset, 12-in. path, ¼-in. deep, running the length of the table. We painted that inset blue, then laid in a sheet of ¼-in. clear cast acrylic, sanded for frost, trimmed by ½-in. aluminum strips on each side — stupid cool! (And easily built with the help of a CNC machine. Note the 2-in. waterfall edge that puts it over the top.)

To match the new table, we painted the TV-side walls the same blue, and covered them in the same frosted, clear acrylic, held in place by a 1-in. square tube aluminum ladder frame, painted in Matthews silver.

Finishing the room out, we purchased 11 new, gray leather task chairs and installed blue LED modules under the table for an amazing underglow. But we still needed a place to display all our licenses, awards, etc. Christy pulled an idea off Pinterest and we fabricated a shelving system using 1-in. cast, clear acrylic shelves, edge-lit with more blue LEDs hidden inside 2-in. square aluminum-tube wall mounts.

Sometimes I even amaze myself…. Keep signing, y’all!

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(I would like to thank some of my amazing team that built this project: Robert Hazelton, Tim Jones, Steve Pass, and Christy, of course!)

Dale Salamacha is the co-owner of Media 1/Wrap This (Sanford, FL). Contact Dale at [email protected].

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