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Decorategate 2017: PayLease’s Annual Office Decorating Contest

Let’s do the math on this, if you spend 40 hours a week at work (or more – let’s be honest), that’s over 24% of your life spent at your desk. Mattress companies are always trying to sell you on the fact that you spend a third of your life sleeping, so you should invest in a great mattress. At PayLease, all employees are encouraged to decorate and design their space to a Tempurpedic-level of comfortability. Not comfortable enough to fall asleep on the job, but to create more of a personalized, ‘home-sweet-home’ vibe. White walls and empty cubicles are dreary and depressing, which is why, every year, our office holds an annual Decorating Competition!

Last year, IT went home with the gold for their alliance to the rebellion. At the front door, a Bill Lumbergh Darth Vader passive aggressively asked you to surrender to the force. Once inside, there had to be over fifty different Star Wars posters, and the Star Wars opening crawl from the first film the the series, A New Hope, was projected on the back wall. An anonymous source stated that IT may have threatened the judges with light-sabers to secure their win. This claim is unconfirmed.

When it comes to IT victories, this contest… was their only hope.

HR almost won the game with their Candy Land theme. The judges followed the brightly colored board game road to the candy shop table where they helped themselves to bowls of sour peach rings, whoppers, and lollipops. Their space transported you to the Candy Cane Forest, through Molasses Swamp, and on to Gum Drop Mountain. HR played the game fairly, and although they did not win first place… their efforts were pretty sweet.

Since last year’s contest, there has been quite a bit of movement, so those with new offices and cubicles will attempt to top what they created last year. The anticipation has been building throughout the building. Let’s meet the judges.



First up is Dave Dutch, CEO and king enforcer of “wear-your-colors” Friday. He praises those who show external pride for their favorite sports team, especially if that team is Michigan State.







Sheldon Lewis once modeled for Chubbies, so his eye for bold patterns and bright colors will be searching for the most creative and spectacular of cubicle couture.






Jim Kelly, always dressed in khakis and smile, will be on the lookout for offices and cubicles with the most economic and financially-savvy designs.






So who did this trifecta of area analysis choose to take home the gold? Our Individual Cubicle winner, Liz, won it by a landslide with her adorable M&M hut.



Clever Liz brought mini-cupcakes, cookies, and chocolates for her coworkers to match her desk decor. It also didn’t hurt her chances that Dutch’s face appeared in each window of her candy hut columns.




The group winners were a bit harder to judge as a bigger area is easier to work with, and the transformation of a larger space makes more of an impact than a single cubicle. The Marketing team tied for second place with their Peruvian Soho Lounge (aka Gypsy Den) featuring a colorful, handmade pom pom chandelier.

The combination of glowing candles, hanging vines, and cozy pillows even had our judges meditating.

The other second place winner was the “Secret Garden” found over in Client Account Management.

With the rose petal walkway leading up to a working romantic water fountain, the judges felt inspired to toss in a penny and make a wish to stay in this garden oasis all day long. Both second place winners aimed for a peaceful, zen-like ambiance. The mellow mood was much appreciated by the judges who had been worn down by their tiring journey to find the best decorated space. However, first place was awarded to the spot with a little more excitement in its atmosphere…

It must be 5 o’clock somewhere, because reps from Client Services and Onboarding teamed up to create their very own Margaritaville!

Or as Danijela accidentally strung up backwards, “Ellivatiragram.”

The judges were greeted with a bucket o’ beers and slices of pineapple upside down cake. 

It’s safe to say that those who brought treats to match their designs seemed to have the upper hand this year. When all’s said and done, no matter who won, our whole office feels a bit more cheery and eclectic. At PayLease we work-hard, play-hard, and aren’t afraid to bring a little playfulness into the workplace.

So cheers to all who participated, brought their A game, and brightened up their space. Until next year!

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