B. Garcia Designs transforms a 1920’s Victorian home into a modern office for Center Street Capital Advisers.
What once was a traditional 1920’s Victorian home, has now become a modern take on the conventional office look. Andrew & Gary Wayne of Center Street Capital Advisers came to B. Garcia Designs and requested a bold, out-of-the-box design solution and brand aesthetic for their wealth management office in Chatham, NJ, which will eventually be the design template for their future offices across many states. They really wanted the space to feel approachable, but also to be able to provide their clients with a boutique experience, which is why they chose a fixer-upper to refurbish and renovate into their new offices.
The moment you enter the space, visitors are enveloped by a warm, moody yet vibrant blue that makes the room feel inviting. This created the backdrop to a lot of other subtle colors, clean neutrals, as well as some pops of color. B. Garcia Designs’ main focus was to create a cohesive yet playful palette that would drive the core aesthetic of the Center Street brand.
Once you enter the lobby, your eyes will be drawn to the large textural art piece in that same deep blue that was chosen for the walls above the seating area, which creates a layered effect and adds a lot of texture to the space. B. Garcia Designs did this throughout the common areas because while the colors may be simplistic, the different textures are what help carry the whole design. They were not shy about incorporating different shapes and soft curves, which is perfectly characterized by the All Modern Kearny Loveseat in a soft blue and the Tomato Velvet Blu Dot Puff Puff lounge chairs. The design team wanted the rounded and spherical furniture to bring the eye on a journey throughout each of the pieces, creating effortless movement and flow. Because the lobby was a bit of a smaller room, they didn’t want anything to obstruct the view, which is why they went with modern lighting that was surface mounted on the ceiling that looked clean and out of the way.
As you head into the meeting spaces, especially the main conference room, they design team wanted the organic movement to continue, and lighting was the perfect way to do that. The curved light fixture added an elegant and fun accent to the room, which was also furnished by a much more traditional rectangle shaped conference table. Through the use of large-scale artwork, which you can see in the main conference room and sprinkled throughout all the spaces, B. Garcia Designs added an element that almost created another wall covering because of the sizing. The art visually holds your eye while also adding yet another texture to the room. On the other hand, simpler was better when it came to the smaller conference room, which was enclosed by glass. The team also brought in an organic light fixture by Kuzco Lighting and clean elements, to carry on that warm and welcoming feeling for their meetings.
There are three floors of offices and open work areas, and the main goal was making the space feel approachable by the workforce that inhabited it. Each space was designed to feel unique, including the bathrooms, which all have their own identity, making it so that it didn’t feel like they were forgotten. The offices themselves all have an individual aesthetic, which fits in perfectly with today’s modern work culture. Each office was outfitted with a standing desk by K Offices for mobility and flexibility, giving Center Street’s employees the ability to adjust how they would like to work. The design team also made sure that each office had the option of using the overhead lights as well as a task lamp, that way each person would control their own optimal comfort.
Last, but quite certainly not least, is the third-floor lounge. One of Center Street’s must-haves was a place where their staff could decompress after the many hours they put towards their projects and clients. They wanted a lounge where they could hang out, have an after-work cocktail, play a quick game, kick-back, watch TV, and relax. The space features an elegant ‘Eat & Play Table‘ designed by Jennifer Fisher that serves not only as a stylish dining space, but also the perfect spot for a quick match because of its removable net.
The lounge almost feels like a tree house, which made the B. Garcia Designs team lean into a deeper and moodier aesthetic, in contrast to the rest of the office, by creating a bar and using a beautiful deep charcoal color on the wall. A pop of elegance was brought in by incorporating copper tones in the veining of the marble tile used in the backsplash of the bar, and also in the velvet fabric of the chair, and the artwork.
In essence, this is a whole different and modern take on how companies are creating their work environments. By taking these residential spaces, like this Victorian home, and transforming them into workspaces, you bridge those two energies together and create something very unique and grounded. All these elements create a much more approachable and balanced work environment for the staff and clientele.
The co-owners of Center Street, who are brothers, expressed how they would like to use each space, and the sizing and location of all the desks to maximize on the comfort of their staff and the overall flow of the office space. Management checked in with their employees to discuss their wants and needs before reporting their findings back to the design team. Some unique design requirements that involved extra research were the acoustic wood and VCT flooring, as well as standing desks.
- ALAN SCHATZBERG & ASSOCIATES
- ALL MODERN
- Lobby: Blue Sofa, End Tables Set, Area Rug
- Small Conference Room: Oval Console Table, Antique Brass Lamp
- 1st Floor Open Offices: Table Lamp
- 1st Floor Offices: Table Lamp, Lounge Chair
- 1st Floor Bathroom: Half Moon Wall Mirror, French Blue Vanity, Black Carbon Faucet
- 1st Floor ADA Bathroom: Decorative Wall Mirror, Matte Black Faucet
- 2nd Floor Offices: Marble Console Table, Marble Lamp, Oval Console Table, End Table, Sofa, Armchair, Iron Side Table
- 2nd Floor Bathroom: Single Arm Wall Sconce, Decorative Mirror, Walnut Vanity
- 3rd Floor Offices: Geometric Pendants, Ottoman,
- 3rd Floor Lounge: Area Rug,
- 3rd Floor Bathroom: Overhead Vanity Sconce, Decorative Mirror, Vanity, Matte Black Faucet
- BLU DOT
- Lobby: Spot LED Surface Mounts by RufatLights
- Large Conference Room: Decorative Linear Chandelier by Uniquelightinghome
- Large Conference Room: Vertical Linear Wall Sconce by KarmenLuxLight
- 1st Floor Bathroom: Vanity Wall Sconce by KarmenLuxLight
- K OFFICES
- AIS Calibrate Laminate Height Adjustive Desks
- ‘Sit on It’ Amplify High Back Task Chairs
- LEFTBANK ART
- Small Conference Room: Ampersand Pendant
- NORTH SCULPTURE COMPANY
- WEST ELM
At the heart of this project is the creation of a new way that wealth management offices are designed and operated. There are no other offices that look like this in the wealth management sector. It’s usually a very male dominated industry, and designed heavily on the tech side. Often, the employee is rarely taken into consideration, regarding acoustics, well-being, ergonomics, as well as the emotions that color has within the design. The B. Garcia Designs team created a first of its kind within this sector and are now currently designing other offices based on this template.
- Buchholz Architects
- Photography credit: Justin Cole