How to Choose the Right Office Space: Location, Location, Location

This is the first in a three part series on choosing the right office space for your business.

Whether you are considering expanding out of your home office or just relocating, there are many factors that go into the selection of your new office location even before you start the interior design.

The first rule in real estate is location, location, location. But before anything else, assess your budget. What can you afford to spend on a per square foot basis? How much square footage will that get you in your first, second or third choice neighborhood?

One of my clients was recently faced with an important office decision stay or relocate? Her rent was about to increase 30% one year into her lease. Her number one priority was her office location. She is an investment manager in a small town with a prestigious address. Her clients would expect nothing less. Her office offered her close proximity to home so that she could be home when her children get off the school bus. She could walk to the post office, the train to New York City where she commutes at least once a week to see clients and to downtown for lunch or a cup of coffee.

Getting your office space location right can make or break your business. If you are a retail store, you want to be located with other stores, near lots of foot traffic, restaurants etc. If you are a technology firm, it may be less important to be located down town depending upon the types of employees and clients you want to attract and retain. And then of course there is the precarious balance between budget and your idea of the perfect place.

Here are some thoughts to keep in mind as you start your search.

1. What kind of neighborhood is it? Will your employees feel safe leaving there at any hour? If the cost per square foot is low check to see if the neighborhood has a repuation for safety. Likewise how will your clients feel coming to that neighborhood? Is it easy to get to? What image does the town or city project? Is it hot and trendy? Traditional or family oriented? Urban or suburban?

Source: via Avery on Pinterest

Clients will make immediate judgements about your business simply from the address. My client needed her New Canaan, CT business address for that prestige. In Fairfield County, if you are a high end residential interior designer it doesn’t matter if you work from home but you must have a trendy town in your address – think Greenwich or Westport. If you are a corporate interior designer, having the Post Road or Stamford or Norwalk in your address is much better. And you are not nearly as likely to be working from home. Small boutiques fare best in small trendy towns while we expect to see our large corporate offices in our local cities.

2. Is your office readily accessible? What is the transportation like? Can your employees take a bus or a train to work? Is there ample parking for your employees and clients? Keep in mind that if you are interested in green initiatives that these questions take on even greater meaning. Can you provide a bus or van from the train station if you are located too far away? Assess your existing employees daily commute as it is now and compare it to your future location. Consider alternative travel routes for visitors and clients.

3. Which amenities are nearby? Are there local restaurants where your employees can have lunch or you can take a client for a meal? Is there a printer nearby for a last minute brochure? Can your assistant run out for office supplies if needed? Is there a local bank, pharmacy or grocery store, where your employees can run their errands at lunch or cash their paycheck? What about access to day care? Convenience buys lots of employee goodwill.

Next time join us for choosing the right building for your new office in part two of this series.

I am passionate about bringing my client’s brand to bear through the design of their space. Not only do we improve employees’ productivity and the functionality of your space but we ensure that your clients experience your company’s brand through your office environment.

To set up your complimentary consultation call for your new office, please contact us at

Love to hear from you in the comments – what would be your number one factor in choosing your ideal office location?

(all photos found on Pinterest and attributed and linked as above)

Magical Monday: Interior Designers at Spring Awakening

The Spring Awakening event at Le Beau Chateau in New Canaan last weekend was wonderful.  I do hope you had a chance to see it if you live locally.  But for those of you who did not, I am posting just a little taste of a magnificent evening.  On Wednesday night, we were treated to not only beautiful tabletop design by fantastic interior designers, but delicious hors d’oeuvre, wine, and singing.  On a social media note, this was my first chance to meet so many wonderful interior design Twitter friends in real life.  We had a great time!

Hairspray by Priscilla Potenza

Priscilla Potenza’s interpretation of Hairspray made me laugh out loud.  This design is so much fun!

Patty Tomasetti's Bye Bye Birdie

Patty Tomasetti created a guitar inspired tabletop for Bye Bye Birdie that would have had my husband green with envy.  Love the records as placemats.

Irwin Feld's Breakfast at Tiffany's

Far and away my absolute favorite design was by Irwin Feld.  I know, I know I am friends with Marcy Feld, but still… it was breath-taking.

Breakfast at Tiffanys

Beautiful art, a simple bench.  Note the repetition of the swirl pattern in the horse and in the mirror and the hint of lace on the lamp in the corner.  It is all in the details…

Tiffany Blue

What says glamorous luxury better than sparkle, strawberries and the little blue box?

The Love Nest

Go ahead, tell me you don’t want to lounge in this chair…

The Chair

The fabric that inspired the design.  I can’t get over how gorgeous it looks on these swanky bar chairs!

Hope you enjoyed this quick tour through Spring Awakening.  Which was your favorite design?  Let me know.  I love to hear from you.

Thursday Treasure of Interior Design: Spring Awakening at Le Beau Chateau

The designers are busy readying their tabletops for the Spring Awakening event at Le Beau Chateau in New Canaan, CT next week.  Twitter friend, Laura Newman, who I met IRL last week at the Toast the Tour event for Near and Far Aid (so much fun!) has been sending me information about the upcoming event.  I can’t wait to share it all with you.

Spring Awakening is a Broadway inspired tabletop show to benefit Summer Theatre of New Canaan.  It begins on Wednesday May 12th with a Gala Opening in the evening and runs through Sunday May 16th.

A 22 room mansion set on 52 acres, Le Beau Chateau is  one of the last great estates of Fairfield County.  Purchased in 1952 by Hugette Clark, it has remained unfurnished and unoccupied for decades.

52 breath-taking acres!  Believe me, in Fairfield County, even two acres is a lot of property.

The floors are beautiful – simple elegance.  I can’t wait to see what the designer of this room will conjure up!

A grand staircase with the motif of the iron railing enhancing the wonderful curve of the stair.

I love the clean look of this kitchen with a large stove and lots of countertop workspace.

Won’t you join me next week at Spring Awakening at Le Beau Chateau?  It’s sure to be an amazing trip through a found treasure of Fairfield County.

To purchase tickets, go to

Through the Grecourt Gates

Last night, I dragged my husband, Bob, to see the movie Julie and Julia in downtown New Canaan.  Yes, he ended up liking it…  I loved it, but that was never a question.  Julia Child was a Smith College graduate, as am I, and I was not going to miss this movie!  The theatre was packed and we were lucky to get a seat.

As a side note, Bob grew up in Norwalk so he seems to know everyone.  I moved here from the city and so I don’t know nearly so many people.  At the end of the movie, we ended up in the best conversation with the couple next to us.  Ends up this would be my night for a connection!  The wife is a Smith grad too.  She also lived in Martha Wilson house, though she graduated a few years before I did.  I have the best memories of Smith and even better memories (if that’s possible) of Martha Wilson house.  We reminisced on and on about candlelight dinners and afternoon tea, while they rolled up the sidewalks of New Canaan around us.  Numbers and e-mails were exchanged and we will definitely be staying in touch with this couple!  What a lovely way to end an evening with new friends and future plans.

Smith College Grecourt Gates

Smith College Grecourt Gates

Since this is a design blog and I can’t get Smith College off of my mind, I have to share with you some of the wonderful photos I found on Flickr of the architecture and gardens on campus.  The first is the Grecourt Gates with the tower of College Hall in the background-love the iron scrollwork.

Smith College Lyman Plant House

Smith College Lyman Plant House

The Lyman Plant House is surrounded by gorgeous gardens seen on my walk to classes each day.  In the fall, there is a mums show and in the spring, a bulbs show–both heavenly…

Smith College Brown Fine Arts Center

Smith College Brown Fine Arts Center

Smith College has one of the premier college art collections and what an amazing building it is housed in.

Smith College Ford Hall

Smith College Ford Hall

The new building for Sciences and for the Engineering Program (first of its kind for women).  I have not seen this building yet, but am looking forward to a closer look at those great glass windows.

Smith Campus Center

Smith Campus Center

Wish I had a photo of the old Campus Center from my time…  This is spectacular in comparison!

Smith College Paradise Pond

Smith College Paradise Pond

What’s not to love about Paradise Pond?   School-wide rowing competitions held in the Head of the Paradise–fun…

Smith College Martha Wilson House

Smith College Martha Wilson House

Last but not least, my home for three of my four years…Martha Wilson House.  Head of the Quad, I received my diploma with so many others on our front steps.  Also, I met Julia Child on these very same steps when I was a student.  Memories don’t get any better than this.  Think I have a visit to Smith in my immediate future.  Can anyone say Mountain Day?

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