Branded for comfort

A soft, somewhat residential-style environment makes these law offices equally welcoming for family and corporate clients

A view of the breakout area, green, brown furniture, interior design, office, restaurant, table, brown
A view of the breakout area, green, brown and white tiles and grey carpet, many white tables and chairs, brown and red seats, white cabinetry and benchtops, red bar stoools, many diffrent shaped lights mounted from the ceiling, stainless steel appliances, brown, green, white and grey walls, cream walls, beyond, white leather bench seats around the perimeter of the room.

Before fitting out new offices, it's well worth investing time in researching the needs of both clients and staff, as well as considering the image the company wishes to project.

John Dunn, lead designer at interior design practice Geyer, was asked to design new offices for long-established law firm Gilshenan and Luton.

"Before we began our planning, we carried out a study of the company's culture, brand, staff and clients and combined this information with its functional requirements. Because the practice covers criminal, family, property and corporate law, they wanted an environment where everyone, from families to professional clients, felt comfortable and at ease," he says.

The base building carpet was dark grey and taupe with pistachio highlights, which set the tone for the colour palette.

View of a reception area, black tiled floor, architecture, bathroom, floor, flooring, interior design, room, tile, gray, black
View of a reception area, black tiled floor, white walls, artwork, two woven statues, white leather seat, wooden and glass reception desk, glass dividing walls, a strip of grey carpet.

"Combined with textured taupe walls, this gave us an earthy, warm palette that creates a soothing, passive atmosphere, which fits in with the company's brand and culture. It also helps establish a more approachable atmosphere than an opulent decor, which both staff and clients could find intimidating," says Dunn.

Furnishings were chosen from a variety of sources, including some styles designed for residential locations, and in a range of colours, to help create the required atmosphere.

One planning issue in the fit-out was the distance from the lift lobby to the reception area. A screen, made from reeds sandwiched between two sheets of acrylic, makes this journey more interesting and provides privacy for the small meeting rooms that line the passageway.

To give clients a level of privacy when they arrive, a large structural column shields the waiting chairs from the main reception desk. Glass mosaic tiles and wicker standard lamps around the base soften its appearance.

View of an individual office, carpet, large sqaure apartment, architecture, condominium, interior design, real estate, window, black
View of an individual office, carpet, large sqaure windows and dividing doors, long leather bench seat, white circular table and steel chair.

Because most clients are individual not commercial, a family room is provided where children can watch TV or play with toys while their parents are seeing a lawyer.

Part of the design was to consider staff needs. A large breakout area, with cosy seating areas, dining tables and chairs, a big-screen television, a kitchen and a bar for after-work functions, encourages communication between departments.

"To ensure consistency between staff and client areas, the same colour scheme has been carried through the entire fit-out," says Dunn.

Credit list

family room Location
Gilshenan & Luton (Brisbane)
Project manager
MPS Corporate Property Advisors
James Ross Manufacturing
Tretford cord carpet from Gibbon Group; Masland Reggae from Whitecliffe Imports
Reception tiles
Better Tiles
Wall treatment
Echo panels from Woven Image
Operable wall design
Spacial Concepts
Special paint finish
Wattyl Granosite in Granosahara
Workstation fabrics
Wow & Cool from Textile Mania
Workstation chairs
Gregory Savvy from Innerspace
Reception and breakout coffee tables
Segis Alphabet from Interior Equipment
Breakout area bench
Armstrong Katalog from Fuse Furniture
ASign Design
Schiavello Fitout
Queensland Glass
Window treatment
KWA Blinds in Charcoal Bronze
Wall tiles
Vixel Glass mosaic from Domus
Acrylic wall coverings
3Form Varia Collection from Grosvenor Glass
Operable wall fabric
Designtex from Loop Textiles
Dulux, Bristol
Zenith from Formula Interiors
Office chairs
Herman Miller Mirra from Innerspace
Charles Wilson CP101 chairs, Bertoia Diamond side chair, Werner Platner side tables from Fuse Furniture; Eames Mould plywood chairs and coffee table from Innerspace
Office visitor chair
Kusch & Co Hola from Interlink
Breakout meeting tables
Carma Tables and Stylus Tables from Stylecraft

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