By: Sayeh Pezeshki
It’s rare that I come across a commercial office space that feels just like home. Sure there are elements that bring in a “homey” type vibe like your favorite colors from home or a piece of furniture. A lot of times when someone wants to bring in the feeling of home they do so in a not so aesthetically pleasing way. An entire office space that feels like home(and is stylish too), however is a bit more rare. Here is an inside view of the Brownell Travel, my favorite home away from home office space.
Describe your office space to us
Our office evokes the wonder of travel. We have large-scale photography and antiquities from around the world that envigorate our staff and excites our clients. We used residential furniture and textiles to give the space a comfortable as opposed to corporate feel.
· Gorgeous large-scale travel photography from around the globe
· A custom iPad wall with a relief of the world (looks like gorgeous embossed paper) and iPads for each continent
· Antiques and antiquities collected by our travel advisors and clients over the last 125 years
· Residential furniture and textiles – not standard commercial
· Fresh flowers delivered weekly
· An embedded flatscreen with photo and video of the world’s most beautiful destinations
· A large demonstration kitchen where we host events and welcome guest chefs from some of the finest hotels in the world
Where did the inspiration for your office space design come from?
As clichéd as it sounds, we drew inspiration from the world. We took the best elements of our favorite hotels and resorts and combined them with antiquities collected from the seven continents.
What is your favorite part/design of your office space and why?
The most powerful thing about the space is how it combines our 125-year history with cutting-edge technology. We have integrated priceless art and artifacts with a first-of-its kind iPad wall. We have a combined conference, reception and entertainment spaces. We have state-of-the-art training functionality with high-res projection system, sound system and computer networking and integration, but when you view the space – you only see the beauty. The hardwood floors, wood-trimmed coffered ceilings, granite demonstration kitchen with a custom fabricated map and beautiful art.
Do you feel that having a well designed and inspiring office has changed the way you and your employees work?
There isn’t a doubt in my mind that our move into this space has fundamentally changed the way we operate and the day-to-day satisfaction of our employees. Each member of our staff has contributed to the design, either by sharing travel photography that hangs on our walls or is integrated into the multi-media presentation featured on high-res flatscreen above reception; or through their self-expression in their own offices. We gave our travel advisors the ability to design their own offices. One has chosen to decorate with floor to ceiling oil paintings she has collected during her 30 years as a travel advisor, another choose a cool blue (Quiet Moments, Benjamin Moore), silk faille drapes, and images from luxurious Caribbean resorts.
If you could use one word to describe the feel of the office space, what would it be?
Tell us about your company and what it means to you to have a well-designed office space.
Brownell is the oldest leisure travel agency in North America. For more than 125 years, we have been the leading purveyor of life-enriching travel for a select number of guests. Our headquarters serves as a reminder to our staff and to our clients of just how powerful travel can be. Although we work with clients in all 50 states, it is important to us that our HQ is a stately reminder of the type of experiences and the level of service we provide. Our office is a sharp contrast to the “strip-mall” agency with faded travel posters and metal desks – and so are the trips we produce!
-Haisley Smith, Director of Marketing