Get Inspired by the Chicest Communal Office
An interior designer’s office is an important place to show clients that he or she means business—and has style. But for up-and-coming designers, sometimes having a convenient space to welcome clients is not in the cards. In San Francisco, Coupar Consulting—which provides design, marketing, and PR services to interior designers, high-end retailers, and publications—is solving that problem with a communal design place, Tête-à-Tête Lounge in the SF Design Center, where clients can hold meetings or drop by to work for a few hours in between shopping and sourcing for clients. “It’s a great way to bring designers together in a collaborative space, and it means there are always fabulous people in and out of our office all day,” says founder and owner Krista Coupar Piagentini. Much like a gym, the business offers clients monthly memberships, which include a combination of consulting hours and access to the communal space.
“Our goal was to create an airy, fresh, inspiring space for interior designers that was not over-designed, so that both designers and their clients could feel welcome,” Piagentini says. “We needed to multitask with open spaces for chatting and collaborating with others but also offer private spaces as well. So we created a conference room and individual work stations, mixed in with tall communal drafting tables and lounge areas.”
“It might be different for other industries, but for us it was all about creating enough different types of areas so individuals and groups have their choice of how they want to work,” she says. “We also try to keep everything neat and tidy so it never feels stressful to pop in. Great Wi-Fi, a well-chosen playlist, and plenty of sparkling water never hurts either.”
Coupar Consulting had a tight budget for the space, so they “focused on curating ‘wow’ pieces,” and then filled the space in with IKEA finds. “Whatever didn’t come in glossy white, we painted an unexpected chartreuse,” Piagentini says. Local gallery ArtHaus also lent the office a number of art pieces, turning it into a pop-up gallery.
Otherwise, Piagentini says they “relied on overstock from my own home, treasures scored on Chairish that we refinished or reupholstered, or incredible pieces spotted in SF Design Center showrooms,” such as urchin-like light fixtures from local showroom Coup D’Etat, Palacek wire frame chairs, and sofas, wing chairs, and case goods by Kravet and Witford.