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Art & Design at Common Desk

 - June 27, 2024
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Common Desk’s daymaking mission is to provide our city’s professionals with dreamy workspaces they never want to leave. 12 years into the Common Desk experience, we’re proud of our spaces, and our success is attributed to drawing design inspiration from the heritage of the cities we serve and pointed partnerships with their artists. From murals to installations, paint colors to materials, crafting a Common Desk location is a labor of love made to inspire creativity and professional output through visual excellence. Today, we’re highlighting the creators across our coworking markets who have contributed the pieces we love inside our breathtaking interiors. If you’ve found yourself staring at a particular mural or admiring the 3D art in our spaces, then this read is your opportunity to learn more about the genius behind the designs.

McKinney’s conference room illustrations

There’s lots to love about historic downtown McKinney, Texas. One of which, is Common Desk – McKinney Square. A trot around the corner from the square, you’ll find our North Texas location and our first art spotlight. As is a Common Desk tradition, each conference room is named after a person, neighborhood, or event pertaining to the area. McKinney Square’s conference rooms are named after surrounding streets and residential communities. Inside each conference room is a gorgeous cluster of drawings of the homes that stand tall on each road. From Tudors to Victorians, each conference room displays 4 to 6 cozy, lovely homes that celebrate the quaint, familial charm that makes McKinney so well-loved. The artist behind these whimsical illustrations is a former member of Common Desk’s design team—Katie Todd Gunn. 

An interior design graduate from UNT, Katie joined our Common Desk design department as a Junior Designer in 2021 and didn’t hesitate to share her expertise and artistic vision during her tenure at Common Desk. In the fall of ‘23, Gunn left Common Desk to start Katie Todd Gunn Studio, specializing in celebrating life’s milestones through her artwork. From personalized signage to logos and illustrations, Katie’s style and heartfelt approach result in pieces her clients can cherish for years. You can learn more about Katie’s work here and book a tour of McKinney to check out these warm illustrations yourself while you’re at it!

Piper Faust Public Art at The Ion

Everybody knows that the Ion in Houston is a force in its own league. Spread across 12 blocks of Midtown, the Ion is where Houston’s workforce goes to work hard, play hard, learn, and unlock new levels in their professional careers. We’re thrilled to be a part of the flow that makes the area unique and our Ion members on the 2nd and 4th floors continually make our day, as our mission is to make theirs. Part of what makes the Ion so great is its breathtaking design. From modern elegance to cozy color palettes and airy seating spaces, the Ion’s interior shines in our coworking portfolio. The art installations at the Ion keep the theme of grandeur and innovation alive throughout the whole campus, thanks to Piper Faust Public Art. 


What’s public art, you ask? According to Public Art Advisor, Piper Faust, it’s art that’s accessible to all. In theory, art is public, but it’s not always executed in a way that’s open and approachable to all walks of life. Faust’s art coordination efforts hinge on being seen, used, and experienced by the public wherever curated installations are launched. The Ion’s repurposed Sears building store windows are the perfect showcases for interactive, 3D, and dynamic installations that capture patrons on campus. To learn more about Piper Faust’s services and strategic planning visit her website. If you’re interested to learn about the Ion’s current exhibits before your visit, click here. Once you’ve had a chance to plan your visit, don’t forget to snag a day pass at Common Desk – The Ion and give us a review of all that you saw before your work day gets underway.

Shaylee Southerland’s Textile Art & Design

There’s no way we could share a feature on art in our spaces without shouting out Shaylee Southerland. Southerland’s impressive pieces have graced many of our locations. From Common Desk – Downtown Dallas to Common Desk – McKinney Square, we’ve enjoyed every moment of collaboration with this special and skilled textile artist. Art isn’t constricted to a single medium and Southerland’s woven pieces are a testament to that fact, adding color, dimension, and visual interest to the walls of our coworking locations. At our Trammell Crow Center location in downtown Dallas, you can find her beautiful 3-piece macrame tapestry warming up our walls. Including calming earth tones of muted blue, red, and green, Southerland’s piece fits in wonderfully with the timeless class of CD – Downtown Dallas, balancing the clean, modern elegance of the overall design with textural, natural elements. At Common Desk – McKinney Square, Southerland did it again with a 15-piece wall installation of vintage tennis racquets sporting sunny woven fibers and fabrics throughout the netting. The engaging exhibit adds upbeat feelings of movement and charm into the space, which is exactly what you’ll find in McKinney. 

Southerland, self-taught and a DFW resident, contributes large-scale statement pieces for private art collectors and corporate clients. Common Desk proudly reps Southerland’s work at other coworking locations including Westchase in Houston and East End Market in Raleigh. Here’s what our Head of Design, Austin Gauley, had to say about Shaylee’s work ethic and final product in our spaces:

“We couldn’t have asked for a better process and end product! The mockup Shaylee provided was completely on point and her installation was beautiful. She is creative and thoughtful with her work and we look forward to working together on another piece!”

Vibrant Murals by Haylee Ryan Art

If there’s one thing we’re sure about, it’s that murals are a classic way to spruce up any space. From personal to public, murals engage and diversify interiors and facades, making visually interesting and dynamic spaces to work, live, and play from. If you know us, you’ll know we’re suckers for mural walls. Two of our favorites are at Common Desk – West End and Common Desk – Addison in Dallas, Texas. Commissioned by Haylee Ryan Art, these murals are vivid, energetic, and capture the spirit of both electric coworking locations. 

At West End, located inside Factory Six03, you’ll be greeted by one of our favorite commissioned pieces in the lobby and stairwell. Ryan’s signature blend of realism and abstract art, paired with light, pastel colors depict some of West End’s historical figures. The scene is open and warm but possesses an aura of mystery as you traverse your workday through the space. The mural is a prime reminder of the people who make up CD – West End’s roots, a core portion of Haylee’s work. As stated on her website, Ryan’s work conjures nostalgia and explores remembrance through the human figure. 


The theme of remembrance shines through Ryan’s finished piece at CD – Addison. Near and dear to our hearts, you’ll find a portrait mural of our members. Because our members and guests are the heartbeats behind everything we do, we couldn’t be more stoked to have the likeness of our members memorialized on the walls of Addison for the long haul. We’re happy to champion Ryan’s theme of highlighting the everyday person through artistic mediums and her commitment to igniting curiosity surrounding the neighbors we walk past daily. There’s nothing better than our spaces being the living gallery walls for our city’s artists. For more information about Haylee Ryan Art, check out her website. If you’d like to tour Common Desk – Addison, conveniently located by the Dallas Galleria, off the North Texas Tollway, simply stop by or book a tour online!

Common Desk’s very own Design Department

Last, but in no way least, we’d be remiss not to highlight our incredible Common Desk design team and the pieces they designed and executed while with us. Over the years, our in-house designers have created beautiful spaces that give homage to the neighborhoods we serve and we couldn’t be more proud of the interiors they’ve cultivated. If you’re a well-traveled Common Desker, you probably see these pieces daily and now can place the mind behind the installations that make your location feel like home!

  • Hubcap Wall at Common Desk – Energy Square by Katrina Cotter and Katie Todd Gunn
  • Pez Wall at Common Desk – Addison by Katrina Cotter and Amy Hughes
  • POST Mailboxes at Common Desk – POST Houston by Morgan Liles, Adriana Taylor, and Austin Gauley
  • Landscape Mural at Common Desk – Wilmington by Lauren Hale and Austin Gauley 

Wrapping up, there’s one last piece of business—which piece is your favorite and what Common Desk location are you visiting next!? For more information regarding our spaces in a city near you, visit our list of locations. If you’re like us and can’t get enough of the interiors that make Common Desk special, head over to our Instagram for more media to inspire your workweek and future workspaces for years to come.

Jessica Madden

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