The majority of my work at the firm was small to medium sized offices. Typically a leasing agent or broker would call us in need of a feasibility (space plan in a potential space). I would do the plan incorporating their needs, number of offices vs workstations, reception, boardroom etc. After the plan is done I would give that potential client a fee proposal from us, the engineer and in allot of cases a rough project budget that I would have a contractor put together. These smaller offices don’t have huge budgets and really go into the process only looking for new carpet, fresh paint and some new furniture to fill in what they are missing.
These jobs were always among the most rewarding. Strange that the smallest budgets and seemingly least room for creativity were rewarding but they really were. The clients always have really low expectations. They’ve typically never worked with a designer and any furniture they have was bought at one of the commercial spots with a store front, or Ikea, or worse – The Business Depot. The process of educating and enlightening them about just how many affordable, high design options are out there is really, well, rewarding. There has been a shift the past 5 years in the idea of what an open workstation is. Trading desk style long work desks have become incredibly popular. It was a design that came first out of Europe and with that a sizable price tag. Lucky for you the local be it US and Canadian markets have caught up and are producing some simplified, economical versions. I’ve worked with my commercial dealer to put together some standard configurations that I will carry as staples on designerfriend.ca. you can have us do a layout for you using these options or if your plan calls for something more specific then the dealer will guide you through the options. We are always here to offer advice or guidance. We can help you with any sized space.
Beyond simply saving these clients money, we also always gave them the same level of design as a high budget client would receive. The whole idea behind working with a designer is having the knowledge to use materials or products in a non conventional way. The result is a custom look. For example the reception is a companies first impression. so often I see a generic melamine desk with a couple of chairs from Ikea and a coat tree. if they’re really making an effort maybe they’ve framed a few awards and hung them with pride over the receptionists head. Sure we shouldn’t judge a guy by how he dresses – but it’s instinctual. we see, and we like, or we don’t and that seed is planted. That’s why I have a job! So let’s give you a contemporary walnut reception desk with bent stainless steel transaction top. A slick bench on one side and two leather and metal chairs on the other. We’ll use some frosted acrylic panels on airline cables to block the view to the work area beyond and drop a custom light over the desk. While we’re at it let’s use a solid wood dining table for the meeting room with some fixed height aluminum and leather chairs. Just because the Staples catalogue calls them conference room chairs – does not mean you need them is yours….
I really want people to know how simple it is to create something you will have pride in. A space that reflects the brand you’re trying to create and also adheres to the budget that you’re comfortable with.
I’ll share a few images of some new open desk concepts today. I’m also having custom reception desks manufactured as part of my core line. there will be two standard sizes offered in 3 woods and a lacquer white. All available to order online and as always we are here to do a quick floor plan for you to ensure the scale is correct and the space is being used most efficiently. Your designer friend, making life easier again!