Startup Spaces: How Shift turned a bland office into a DIY haven

Nestled on the top floor of a nondescript office building in West Des Moines, the team at Shift has made the most of their shared space with agency Performance Marketing. When Shift moved in last August, the space was your typical, drab office space—fluorescent overhead lighting and beige walls. But now, thanks to the DIY

Sponsor: Thanks to turnstone, an office furniture company focusing on small businesses, for supporting Silicon Prairie News. The company is sponsoring our monthly Startup Spaces series.

About the author: The Turnstone Tip is authored by Jenny Gauld, space planner for turnstone.

Shift turned its traditional office in West Des Moines into a space that felt like home with some DIY woodworking, dimmed overhead lights and comfy seating area. 

Nestled on the top floor of a nondescript office building in West Des Moines, the team at Shift has made the most of their shared space with agency Performance Marketing

When Shift moved in last August, the space was your typical, drab office space—fluorescent overhead lighting and beige walls. But now, thanks to the DIY talents of Shift’s eight team members, the office space feel like home. 

Matt Glynn, partner at Shift, says the space helped the team come together and create its own identity. 

“We were intermingled among the Performance Marketing team, so this is the first time the group got to sit together and it’s made them a really cohesive group,” he said. 

In the roughly 1,200-square-foot space, Shift has managed to not only fit its team members into sectioned off workspaces, but also create custom desks, a wine bar and living room of sorts. 

Though the space is fitted with fluorescent overhead lights, a stop into Shift’s office on any given day will find those lights switched off and the space’s custom fixtures and tableside lamps turned on. 

Glynn and the team created the desk’s exteriors to match the office’s rustic entryway, which is complete with an entertainment center, comfy seating and a giant jar of Gummi Worms. On the opposite side of the wall, the Shift office harbors a full-service wine bar, perfect for weekly tasting nights and celebratory occasions.  

Turnstone Tip 

Shift’s new home in the heart of Des Moines is a testament to the hard work and DIY efforts of their committed team. We love their use of reclaimed wood throughout, which lends a warm, residential feel. With desks wrapped in wood and feature walls clad in the same, the space gains character and instant personality.

We also applaud how Shift elevates office culture among their team. Their fully-stocked bar, funny notes, gaming centers, stuffed animals and book collections all hint at the value placed on authentic culture in the workplace. 

Shift’s gaming center would make a perfect home for Buoy. With the ability to rock and wobble, gamers can lean in and play with passion. And weighing just 20 pounds, Buoy is also portable, making it easy to pull up a seat for impromptu collaboration. By adding a turnstone Personal Table to the lounge space, team members would also gain a work surface.

Finally, a turnstone Simple Stand Up Table coupled with Scoop Stools would add a nice place to congregate at the bar and aid in continuing to build a great community at Shift.”

To submit your startup for consideration, email to tell us why your company should be featured, and include a few photos. 

Shift opted for old-fashioned canister lighting instead of the office’s traditional overhead fluorescents. 

The office entryway is the perfect place to get some work done while snacking on Shift’s Gummi Worm stash (center) or take a load off after a long day. 

Just inside its entryway, the Shift office comes complete with a fully stocked wine bar, which comes in handy for the team’s occasional tasting nights. 

Keeping with the space’s DIY theme, the Shift team constructed its wooden desk exteriors to match the woodwork in the office’s entryway.

Bright colors and knick knacks adorn Shift’s space and help its office match the energy of its team members. 

This post has been co-authored by our sponsor, turnstone.

Credits: Photos by Frank Merchlewitz.

About our sponsor: turnstone believes that our world needs innovative entrepreneurs and successful small businesses. We champion the idea that intentionally designed spaces and a vibrant office culture play a big role in this success. That’s why we’re committed to making it easier for leaders to leverage space and culture to help their companies thrive.


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