New Office: The BitCave

A few months ago, I had written about the search for office space, and I’m happy to report that SimpleBits is unpacked and settled into its new office. For a while now, I’ve been referring to SimpleBits as a “tiny web design studio”. That remains accurate, but the size of the space doesn’t diminish the benefit of having a place to call “home” and also a place to call “work”.
slidesAfter doing a fair amount of searching and research, there were several things that made the choice clear — a 150 year-old brick building in downtown Salem, Mass. It’s about a five minute walk from the house. Very key, and being right downtown, I’m close to other businesses, restaraunts and, well… people. But also, having a flexible landlord helps to ease the worry of having a monthly expense this large. If things don’t work out, I can opt out of the lease. Having been here a few weeks, I can’t see that happening, but it’s a nice safety net. Also potentially helpful, is the possibility of moving to larger space within the building if necessary. Moving sucks, but would suck less if you can stay under the same roof. Something you might consider inquiring about if you (like me) just need room enough for one person now, but potentially more in the future.
Probably the most important aspect of the new office’s location is what lives on the ground floor (I’m up on the 4th floor). The Boston Hot Dog Company and (coming soon) Ben & Jerry’s (Vermont’s finest ice cream). The office will get even smaller, due to me getting larger.
As for the office itself, although it’s tiny, it took a vanload of IKEA furniture to outfit it. This was my first excuse to drive 3 hours to the nearest IKEA for the best price/design ratio out there as far as office furniture goes. It also struck me how IKEA is the “web standards” of the furniture world. Choose a couch. Grab the base model. Then choose a slip cover for the color you’d like. Choose from a crazy number of storage combinations — all modular and eventually fitting together (after a few hours of assembly). It’s designed not only to look good when it’s put together — but it’s also designed to stack and travel well before it’s even put together. I was impressed with it’s use of structured markup and CSS…. err, I mean vaneered particle board, wooden pegs, and silver framework.
So now, I get used to going somewhere to work every morning again, and things feel a bit more legitimate — like there’s room to think and grow. This seemed important, and now that I’m in here, I’m realizing how right I was.