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AAIS Insurance Office: Workspaces and Gathering Area

We are pleased to share the Big Reveal of one of our first commercial office spaces -- Across America Insurance Services. This project was nearly two years in the making!

Our longtime clients, for whom we renovated and furnished a home several years ago, called us when they bought a new office building to house their growing commercial insurance business.

At over 10,000 square feet, and being just a raw empty shell, I will admit that I was first a bit intimidated.

Above: The large common workspace, which will house cubicles and a gathering area. Here you see the framing for the private offices, at upper left, and the conference room windows at the far right.


The Design Intent

The space needed to be totally designed and built-out, with all utilities ran, and all the planning for up to 50 employees. The space was to have a coffee bar, gathering area, full kitchen, lobby, conference room, and several private offices. From the door handles to the bathroom tiles, from overhead lighting to desk chairs, to every piece of art on the walls, our team was responsible for making all the aesthetic choices to bring this space to life.

Luckily, our client had an architect create plans for the engineering and we partnered with the incredible Oak It Inc, who are experts at commercial spaces including car dealerships, to help with the functional design layout and to fabricate all the cubicles and other custom millwork. It definitely took a village to make this project happen.

The architect actually suggested a materials palette that was very Danish Modern and a bit casual. Since I have worked with these clients for a long time, I knew that their tastes tended something more elegant.

At our first meeting, I asked my clients, would you want your offices to look more like an Apple Store, which is very cool, or a New York law firm. Or, perhaps a Four Seasons Hotel?

It was a trick question. I already knew the answer, of course. The elegance of a Four Seasons with the professionalism of a New York law firm.

Above: I put together a palette of white marble-look flooring, mixed with rich hardwoods and materials. Soft goods of camel leather, warm grey fabrics bring the look together. Accents of navy blue, part of their branding colors, appear throughout the design as well.

At one point, someone asked me if it was ok to mix warm and cool neutrals, like brown and grey in the same space.

My answer was a resounding yes! For the past several years, grey has been such the go-to neutral, that I think people almost forgot it was acceptable, and advisable, to mix warm and cool tones. I used the analogy of wearing a man grey suit with brown shoes, which looks smashing, especially during the day.


The Main Work Space.

My client and I share the belief that providing his team with a beautiful, functional space will result in employees that are happier and more productive.

Mohawk commercial carpeting provides a soft and sound-dampening groundwork for the main cubicle space. The carpeting is actually square "tile" pieces, rather than a roll, so that a piece can be easily replaced should it be damaged or stained.

The color palette of white, grey, and camel is brought together in the fabric used to create tackboards in each cubicle. Fabric by Maharam. Custom stool with handle by Oak-It.

Each desk space was carefully thought out for form and function. Paper tray storage is wall-mounted to free up desk space. Eames task chairs provide a modern look.

The Gathering Space

In the center of the main work area is a chic and functional gathering space for small employee meetings, coffee breaks, and larger group presentations. The television rotates 180 degrees and flips around to reveal a white dry-erase board.

A custom circular confidante features matching tables for pulling up papers or a laptop.

A bar-height custom table, complete with power outlets, gives coffeehouse vibes and provides employees a place to work outside of their cubicle or office, and is a great spot for informal meetings.

The accessories and wallpaper are available through our retail showroom and are shoppable at this link.


The Corridors

The hallways and corridors feature the same large-format marble-look porcelain tile as the entry lobby, which we sourced through Floor & Decor. The main work area is adjacent to five private offices, and a corridor leads to the bathrooms and kitchen.

We clad the corridor walls in a beautiful silk-look commercial grade vinyl wallcovering from Phillip Jeffries.

The wallpaper, though an upfront investment, is much more durable than paint and is completely scrubbable and wipable. When my clients questioned the investment, I reminded them that there is a reason why hotels always have wallpaper in the corridors. It is not just for the aesthetics; it also provides a layer of durability.

Now, the silk-look wallcover is one of their favorite elements of the entire design!


I hope you enjoyed this tour!




Millwork Design & Fabrication: Oak It Inc

Construction: BR & Co.

Porcelain Flooring: Floor & Decor

Carpeting: Mohawk

Photography: Public 311 Design

Styling and flowers: Keith Fortner


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