Convert a Cabin to a Cabin

MOORE, Okla. – Lucas Mundt can’t spend all his time in a vacation retreat in the woods, but he’s found the best in his office.

Mundt, 36, a former resident of Edwardsville, is a logistics analyst for Simple Modern, based in Moore, Oklahoma. The company manufactures beverage containers and also manufactures lunch boxes, backpacks and pouches.

Mundt became a viral sensation when photos were posted to Twitter of him converting his office cubicle into a lakeside cabin or hunting lodge theme.

“I wanted to do something fun in the business and when I moved into my box people were decorating and setting up their spots,” said Mundt, a 2004 graduate of Bethel Christian Academy. “I’ve helped a lot of people hang pictures or paintings, but I hadn’t done anything for myself yet.

“I decided that if I was going to do it, it would be something ridiculous and over the top. I came over the weekend and our CEO, Mike Beckham, saw it and thought it was hilarious and he put it on Twitter.The next thing I knew, two days later, was the #1 trending story on Apple News.

For Mundt, this was just the beginning of the cabin craze.

“A few people in the office thought it was pretty funny and said it might go viral, but I didn’t give it much thought,” Mundt said. “Mike Beckham texted me the night he tweeted it with a surprised face emoji and it started to get really popular.

“I woke up the next morning and there were 21,000 likes. It kept going and now it’s over 300,000 likes.

Mundt’s 12-Hour Decorating Weekend was mostly done with second-hand decor, including light fixtures, a leather chair, and a faux sheepskin rug.

Using leftover laminate flooring, Mundt created the look of hardwood flooring. He applied contact paper to make his walls, desk, and filing cabinet look like a cozy cubicle. The radiator that looks like a wood stove is purely decorative.

On Sunday evening, with Beckham’s blessing, Mundt walked into the office to remove the ceiling tiles above his cubicle and hang a large remote-activated chandelier.

“I wanted it to be budget-friendly, so the desk and walls were stick-on wallpaper that looks like a wood finish,” Mundt said. “I completely disassembled the cabin because I wanted it to look really good. I found the floor on Facebook Marketplace, where someone had posted that he had a few boxes left from a project he had made at his house, and I got them for $20.

“I got the chair for $10 from Facebook Marketplace and I got the chandelier for $10. I also bought the faux sheepskin rug and mounted animal heads secondhand.

Mundt said he got the idea for the lakeside cabin design from his love of camping, hiking and the mountains. He noted the irony of the two fake mounted animal heads, as he never went hunting.

“I wanted to find something that I loved and find a way to add my personal touch,” Mundt said. “If I think of a peaceful and relaxing place for me, I would choose a chalet in the mountains.

“I like working here, but it’s still work. I wanted to bring some of that atmosphere to the office in a unique and fun way.

The cubicle, however, was not the first example of Mundt’s creativity at the Simple Modern office. As a gift on Boss’s Day, he installed a button on his manager’s desk that would close his office door.

“We were thinking at Christmas what we could do for him, and he gets a lot of phone calls,” Mundt said. “We have a fairly open workspace here and he doesn’t want to disturb people, so he often gets up to close his door.

“I installed a self-closing device on the door and wired a maglock behind the door to keep the door open, then wired a release button under his desk. If he gets a call, he just press a button and the door will close automatically.

As a ministry student at Mid-America Christian University, Mundt built a 10-by-12-foot screened porch on a balcony he shared with a nearby dorm.

“I had forgotten that story, but we wanted something fun and different, so we did it overnight,” Mundt said. “We bought all the materials and me and my roommate built and put everything together.

“Our resident manager, who lived next door, fell asleep and that was normal, and woke up the next morning with a fully functional porch. He was the one who lifted it when he saw the photos of the cabin.

Mundt, who did not become a minister after graduating from college, instead turned to IT security in the oil and gas industry. While he was between jobs last summer, friends hired him into a temporary warehouse at Simple Modern as the company dealt with a manufacturing issue.

“A manufacturer had made an adjustment to water bottles that essentially rendered them unusable and didn’t tell our company,” Mundt said. “That little rubber seal was the wrong size and you couldn’t drink the water from the bottle. They hired a team of people for a few months, and we slammed that valve on 855,000 bottles, repackaged them, and put them all back together.

“I had friends who worked here, and I had heard it was a great company to work for, but I came here and worked the line with everyone. Our manufacturing manager was the one running the show and every day a few office workers also worked there. They were mostly high school and college students that they hired (for the temp jobs), but the way the office workers connected with these students was impressive, and the CEO himself would come to the warehouse for a day and took the line next to a 16 year old boy and poked fun.

It wasn’t long before Mundt became the project manager for the job, which led him to his current job as a logistics analyst.

“They saw that I was working hard and gave me the responsibility to see the project through,” Mundt said. “They said I fit their culture and they wanted to offer me a position in logistics.”

After seeing what Beckham has created, Beckham plans to give each Modern Simple employee $200 or $300 to decorate their space.

Mundt, who said the ideas include a beach theme and a backyard barbecue theme, is eager to see what his colleagues can come up with.

“We’ve done a lot of brainstorming, but the message behind this is that a lot of people are going back to work for the first time after COVID,” Mundt said. “This company cares about people more than its profits, and it allows you to be yourself and feel comfortable.

“People are excited to come back to the office and be able to do something like this. The whole thing (involving the booth) was unexpected, but it was nice to have strangers talking to me about their ideas and how they can do it in their workspace.

For various reasons, Mundt has changed apartments five times in the past year and a half. He admits that his cabin is much more detail-oriented than his apartment.

“I think I’ll settle in for a while, which is good,” said Mundt, who lives in Oklahoma City.

Mundt’s cabin has been shown on the Today Show and the Drew Barrymore Show and was the subject of a story for an Oklahoma City television station.

He also gained recognition from Mundt outside the United States.

“I got messages from Africa, New Zealand, Canada and a lot of other places, so it’s been pretty amazing,” Mundt said. “A website in Lithuania called ‘Bored Panda’ reached out to me with a story about the top 30 times an employee did crazy things to their workspace, and my booth was number one.”

Mundt isn’t sure what his next decorating project will be, but he added that his cabin is a work in progress.

“I’m going to make some tweaks to it because I feel like people have gotten used to it and improvements are on the way,” Mundt said. “It’s also fun for me to get creative with other people who want to do something similar.”

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