Located in Westside Costa Mesa, CA and about a 10 minute drive to the beach, this former roofing showroom has received new life: designer Mindy Gayer transformed it into her showroom, creative design studio, and office space. “It’s in a neighborhood I grew up close to, and one that has experienced a ton of re-development in the last decade or so with many industrial spaces morphing into newly imagined design studios, retail stores, coffee shops, and creative work spaces,” she shares.
The transformation of the space serves as a great representation of her company in general. “When I first started my company in 2014 and it was just me working day in and day out, I rented a small workspace in a friend’s large warehouse in Costa Mesa and co-officed with a few other creative friends,” Mindy recalls. “As my business grew, and as our team expanded, we outgrew our office space and knew we needed to find a larger home. We looked all over Orange County for months, hoping to find a space that could transition into a cool design studio, but truthfully, we couldn’t find anything that worked well for us. It was either too expensive or too small or too run down or just not the right fit.”
Mindy and her team knew if they wanted to take on a new space and everything that goes with it, they needed to find a diamond in the rough. “Flash forward a few months… that diamond just so happened to pop up right next door to our old office space, and it was newly vacant,” she exclaims. “It was formerly an old roofing showroom that had been there for what looked like an eternity, and it was very run down.” Mindy and her close friend, Kayla Adams, decided to take over the space together and co-office. “It was a big leap for us, and having a partner to do it with made it a little less scary from a financial standpoint,” the designer says. “Around the same time, we co-founded a furniture company, Hati Home, together alongside our friends who were living in Bali, so our new studio space quickly turned into a multipurpose destination that housed all of our creative endeavors.”
For the first year, they all shared the space together, but soon Mindy’s growing businesses called for more space. They took over the entire building and began a major remodel — admittedly tackling the property as if it was their own building or home. Next to nothing stayed in its original form and everything was addressed, from the flooring and finishes, to space plans and drywall, to insulation and lighting. Mindy says the beauty of finding an old, rundown building like this one is that the design possibilities are limitless. She muses, “Because of that, we had the freedom to reimagine the space to be what we needed most.”
Of course, the biggest challenge was working with such an old property. “For as much charm as is intrinsic to the space, it presented a lot of obstacles that kept us scratching our heads,” she recalls. “We didn’t have a T.I. budget from our landlord either, so every dollar we put into the building had to have purpose, function and form because it was coming out of our own pocket and ultimately serves as a reflection of our company. It forced us to get very resourceful, determine where to splurge a bit and where to get creative, and how to plan for a workspace that could transform right alongside us each year as our business continues to grow and evolve.”
In the slideshow, Mindy shares a bit about the transformation of each area of the building, from the creative studio to the showroom. Though Covid-19 has shifted the “typical work day” a little bit, Mindy Gayer Design Co. is still thriving. “I love having a studio space that feels like a reprieve in the midst of very busy schedules for all of us. It makes such a big difference to work alongside people you love and respect, and because we work together so closely every single day, it’s really important to me that we have a work space where we all enjoy being, and one where we feel we can be creative and productive,” she smiles. “Our studio days look a little different now with more scattered schedules, and when we’re not in the studio together, I miss the faces, the convos, and the rapport that comes from all being together under one roof. I’ve never been more thankful for our design studio than I have this year – I love being there and I love that it’s a safe-haven in the midst of our current crazy world.”