Executive Office Project

Before the Holidays I was commissioned to design some executive offices for a manufacturing plant outside Kalamazoo. I am not going to lie, commercial interior design is not always my favorite job. I have always felt more comfortable designing a living space rather than a working space. It is great to get out of your comfort zone occasionally though….you never know where you will find inspiration!

One look at the current design of this office (or lack there of) and I could not refuse!! They had just been updating with the same finishes for the last twenty years or so?? Yikes!!

The offices were actually constructed from some extra space that was not being utilized. My clients were at the drywall phase when I was called to pick flooring, paint, furniture and accessories.

tile at install

First, I chose a durable commercial black slate floor to compliment the other teal green tile in the rest of the building. I was not about to let them carry on the dated tile that they had been paying twice as much for! Once they learned they could get something more attractive at half the cost they were shocked. This is why a good Interior Designer is necessary!! The photo above is during installation before grout. Looking Good!!!

revere pewter

Next, I chose a warm grey for the walls called Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. It is a pretty basic, common paint color that looks good in all types of lighting. Since we have those standard fluorescent baffles above, I had to make sure I picked a color that would not go pink.  I know the photo below does not do it justice….and looks pink! It is really not in person. There is only so much you can do with a Blackberry Camera!

progress after flooring and paint

The room looked pretty good after some fresh paint! Now, off to order office furniture!!

The client had an account already with West Michigan Office Interiors, so that made my job very easy. I took the floor plans and went to work with their staff to find something in our budget.

002 224

Luckily, they were having a clearance sale on a few floor models and some slightly used furniture. We found Hayworth used side chairs for a third of the regular retail price with the perfect fabric. The desk was also a great deal because it was a floor model that they needed to move quickly.


The only flaw with the desk was the fabric on the cork board. It was not the right colorway and it was beginning to bunch a bit so, their upholsterer got me some new fabric and had it fixed for a few dollars more. We came in thousands under budget because we chose this furniture. Commercial Design is so different than residential when it comes to purchasing furniture. New office furniture can be very pricey. A great way to keep the budget down is to find slightly used high end furniture. It keeps your cost low but you don’t sacrifice quality.

In this application, my client needed enough furniture to seat 4 people in each office because most of the small group meetings take place in the executive offices. We made it work in this small space by choosing a U Shaped desk where side chairs can be pulled up for a common work space. I also added a small work table to place in between two side chairs and an enclosed white board to hang on the wall.


The ergonomics of the desk chairs were also considered because the executives spend hours on end at their desk conducting meetings. This should always be purchased new and specific for the owner because everyone is a little different. The best thing to do is have the clients come, and sit to decide for themselves.


The furniture was delivered over the Christmas holiday and now what this space needs is artwork and some accessories! Stay Tuned!!!


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