This week we ventured to the idyllic office space of Works Real Estate; a Portland-based firm known for their professional yet personable approach to helping others find their lifelong home. Filled with an abundance of greenery and natural light, all it takes is a peek to see that the the interior has been carefully considered with the client in mind. Inspired by their impeccable design intent and execution, we asked the Works Real Estate Team to tell us more about their Schoolhouse picks and how the creative process unfolded.
Tell us about Works Real Estate. How did you get started?
Works Real Estate started in 2017 with a mission to help people identify and achieve their real estate goals for life. We attain this through a progressive and creatively-minded approach that emphasizes the client experience.
For every home sold, we also donate to Works Housing, our non-profit branch which provides down payment assistance. We are driven by creating relationships with clients and community members to mobilize towards a better future with equal access to home ownership.
What was the creative inspiration behind the space?
The design intent was to restore a property that would likely have been torn down. By marrying minimalist style with raw organic tones, we aimed to create a 1960s Futurism and Frank Lloyd Wright feel that was simple yet unique.
How did you go about designing a shared office with the current landscape?
It was important to us to incorporate lots of greenery throughout — we wanted it to be a welcoming, immersive environment. While we designed the space (with Covid in mind), we wanted to make the best use of a fairly small building. To achieve this, we opened one wall in the front of the building to bring in more natural light while also adding skylights to create an open, collaborative workspace.
"Real estate can be demanding, and we wanted agents to be able to step inside and recharge."
Any specific items or features in an office that you think everyone should invest in?
To us, comfort and technology are vital to creating a productive workspace. We wanted to incorporate technology to make daily operations more efficient, seamless, and connected. Everything from keyless entry to sound zones for different moods allows customization and flexibility in the space. Comfort is also a key feature. We have a nice espresso machine and keep the fridge well-stocked with snacks.
What were some of the highlights and/or challenges of the project?
One of the biggest challenges we overcame was accounting for supply, material, and furniture delays due to the pandemic. Having total clarity on every finish and furniture piece before the project started was critical to ensure we hit our 6-month deadline.
A highlight was how the original fir floors and exposed truss ceiling turned out. When we first started the renovation, we couldn't tell what they were going to look like. Depending on the result, it could have dramatically altered the design.
Could you walk us through a few of the Schoolhouse products selected?
We were going for a “Jetson-like feel,” so we knew we wanted to pick some glossy, white rounded fixtures as statement pieces. We landed on the Luna 16" Pendants as our main light throughout because of their minimal yet homey vibe. For the lounge, we went with the Vega Chandelier and the Ray Sconces because we felt they helped set a modern tone. We had a blast picking out each light fixture – they make every room unique.
Finally, what’s your favorite part of the final design?
My favorite part is the contrast between the modern white walls and the raw, open ceiling. We also enjoy the Ray Pendant over the tulip table in our "Garden Room."
Lead Design & Project Management: Winston Murray & Kyle Moderhak
Architect: Soren Appoldt
Contractor: Calibrated Construction