As the oldest architecture firm in Chicago, we needed to create a design for ourselves that was forward thinking but also classic in its approach. It wasn’t about going with the latest trends but rather selecting finishes that were representative of the firm’s history and the vintage timber loft we moved into. We were also moving into a space that was half the size of our previous office and needed to be as efficient as we could with how we used it. When we asked ourselves what our priority was we came up with 3 answers: We needed an Island large enough for everyone to gather for a birthday celebration (18′ to be exact), everyone should have access to natural light and for a design that wasn’t overly trendy or gimmicky.
The final design is a warm palette of neutral whites, warm greys, aged brick and rustic wood. We balanced this with dramatic dark navy walls and punches of golden yellow. For us, branding isn’t just about a color palette but rather a feeling or emotion. By designing our kitchen and lounge in the front of office (the prime location) instead of a conference room, we set the tone for an office that encourages morning coffee sit downs and after work happy hours. We democratized the work areas so that everyone has an equally large workstation and no one gets a “better view”. And even more importantly… despite the fact that we are designers and are presented with “newer and better” finishes every day, we love everything that we selected two years ago just as much as the day we picked it (hallelujah! That in itself is the real miracle)