One of the hallmarks of “creative office” space is the deconstruction of the walls that divide everybody and the collaboration and fresh ideas that spring from large, open spaces. Many of the images we see are of the most dramatic spaces created for large tech juggernauts. While these pictures are eye-popping, they also tend to scare off small and mid-sized business in more traditional industries. But fear not – creative concepts can be applied in smaller offices with great functional and aesthetic effect.

I am working with a regional accounting firm eager to change the feel of their space. This desire is motivated by the most profound reason: they know that they are competing with other firms to attract the best and brightest millennial accounting talent and want to present an environment that is cool and alluring. Want to know the secret to achieving this goal in a traditional office building setting? One word: furnishings.

Most people think of bow truss overhead structures, exposed air conditioning ducting, and concrete floors when creative office is mentioned but furniture systems are at the root of the functionality of creative space. Work surfaces are replacing work stations. Task seating is critical to wellness and productivity over the long term. Soft seating with style contributes mood enhancing color and, well…style.

For the accounting firm remodeling their existing offices, we started with a fresh space plan that carved out the open space. Then I set up a meeting with one of the largest dealers of modern office furnishings who could not only present a vast array of new concepts and materials, but could help them with the design and “spirit” of the space.

“Creative” not only describes the finished space but the inspiring process of getting there. Get a good broker on your team who can lead the way…and have fun!