Catalyst Ranch recently held a Cubicle Makeover Contest in honor of Administrative Assistant Day. We asked admins to send in photos of their boring cubicles. We were inundated with entries and it was one of the hardest decisions we’ve made in a long time to pick just one winner. Inevitably, you want to help everyone! However, Andrea, an Executive Administrative Assistant from Kraft was selected as the winner. We sent everyone lovely consolation gifts that would help perk up their desks even though they didn’t get the full makeover.

 Here are some BEFORE photos of Andrea’s cubicle:

We then interviewed Andrea at length in order to tailor the cubicle to her. We asked about her likes, dislikes, how she uses her workspace, the sorts of environments she enjoys spending time in, what she does to relax outside of work as well as any workplace restrictions we needed to consider. We started brainstorming based on everything Andrea had shared with us. We decided to theme it in nature as Andrea lives pretty far out, surrounded by forests and enjoys nature-filled vacations. Therefore she must have a tree in her cubicle. How could she not? We found some beautiful decorative florist branches from which to form the tree and strung it with Charlie Harper’s animal illustrations from the 1960’s.


We also wanted to make sure that Andrea was surrounded by inspiring images that would help her see the world in a slightly different way. We searched out artists who used nature for their inspiration. One such artist is Angel Morgan who photographs formal gardens and vintage glass ceilings. He then multiples sections of the image to form a kaleidoscopic visual. We took his purchased images, printed them and turned them into magnets which would cover Andrea’s overhead bin doors.


We did something similar with the work of other artists.

Everything we installed in Andrea’s cubicle is easily moveable so that she can take it with her no matter how many times she moves desks. She can also re-arrange the components as often as she likes to keep things fresh. Here are some other photos of Andrea’s new cubicle.

Now, I have to tell you that Andrea was quite anxious about the actual installation. We arranged to do the work while she was at lunch. She was worried that it would all be too much and that she’d have to take down a lot of the items we put in. Instead, when she came back to her desk, she was incredibly pleased and really like the whole. It was perfect and perfectly suited her. Nothing needed to come out.

We waited a week after the installation before asking Andrea how she was enjoying her new cubicle. Here’s what she had to say:

“I LOVE IT!  It certainly generates a lot of comments from others as well!  I enjoy explaining my good fortune to all who ask.  The tree is everyone’s favorite part of my cubicle.  I am also a lot easier to locate when someone is looking for where I sit.  But the feedback has been tremendous and I can’t complain about all the attention it is giving me.  I have the most colorful homey cubicle around.  Thanks for contacting me … I was going to drop you a line thanking you again for everything and to let you know how many times the Catalyst Ranch has been mentioned around here.  It really makes a difference to dress this little place up!  Maybe that is why I have been grouchy the past 13 years!!!!”

We’re thrilled that Andrea is so happy and that we’ve helped create an environment that she and others enjoy working in daily. I guess this will be our new annual contest!