This week we’re giving you a virtual tour of the Reena Sotropa In House Design Group studio space. We’ve had such wonderful feedback from features on our studio space with both Rue Daily and Western Living Magazine and wanted to take a bit of time to highlight a few last details of our home away from home!
We were in our previous office for 12 years. There were several aspects that were no longer working for us and we knew that we needed a big change:
The Client Meeting Area
In the current studio, the client meeting area shares space with Reena’s desk as well as the lounge. We’ve found that this has been a much better cross-over! Reena is involved in most of the client meetings so there aren’t as many scheduling conflicts.
We were the very first tenants in a brand new building aka. blank canvas (our favourite)! We chose polished concrete floors which we simply sealed with a clear coat. The ceilings were approximately 13-feet high with an abundance of exposed HVAC, electrical and plumbing.
We decided to keep the original ceilings and sprayed them white everywhere except the client meeting area, where we drywalled the ceiling at 9-feet to add formality to the space.
THE WORKING LIBRARY
The exposed ceilings lend a funky loft-like vibe to our studio that provides a juxtaposition with some of the more elegant details that were designed into the space. One example of this is the 20-foot long row of European style doors. They pack a visual punch and cleverly hide the sample books that are inherently messy!
We planned our new studio with the goal of re-using all of our existing furniture. The only pieces of furniture that we needed to rethink were Reena and Patti’s workspace (which doubles as the reception area). The reception area in our previous office had built-in furniture, so we decided to outfit Patti’s area with all free-standing furniture to allow for flexibility as the requirements for this space change over time.
The reception is our first opportunity to make an impression on our guests. We went with furniture which created a warm, residential vibe to help our clients feel more relaxed and give it the “make yourself at home” kind of feeling.
Reena had to give up her large writing desk because it wouldn’t fit in the new space. Instead, she opted for a freestanding secretary style desk which tucks neatly into the lounge area. We love the fact that this beautiful piece of furniture, which houses all of Reena’s office supplies, also folds up and looks so tidy in this space!
It was important that a few special lighting fixtures made the move with us! The crystal chandelier in the meeting room and the mid-century triple pendant in the reception area were purchased through antique dealers via First Dibs for our previous office space. When we were designing our new office space, we were strategic in our lighting layout to ensure these two fixtures were included.
We chose to outfit the open workspace with oversized fabric pendants from CB2. The floor to ceiling windows give us so much natural light that we rarely even have to flick the lights on but they do a great job of filling the room visually!
Do you ever get something new and wonder how you ever lived without it? That’s how we feel about our two large working islands! These custom-made islands double as a neutral “background” surface for the designers to layout finishes and they provide storage for all of our odds and ends such as tile, countertop, wood, paint, and carpet samples. These islands were a game-changer for us!
The Shop & Kitchen
We filled our hallway space, between the reception area and meeting room, with our new little studio shop! We always had accessories on hand in our previous space, although they were tucked away. This time we chose to display them. It’s a great visual inventory reminder for our design team.
At the end of the same hallway, you’ll find our tiny studio kitchen that packs a huge visual punch. We knew this kitchen would be gently used so we decided to make use of this as an opportunity to create a detail we have long wanted to design – a marble counter complete with an integrated marble sink. From there, we brought warmth to the space by selecting a rich brassy tone for the cabinets and topped them off with smoked lucite and brass pulls.
There you have it – our design studio! We’re thrilled to be able to share our space with you. This is where the wheels turn, the ideas bounce and the magic happens. Home Sweet Office!