Real-life design: A midcentury medical office

A few months ago a local nurse practitioner asked if I’d help with the design of her new office. The building is classic midcentury with beautiful lines and generous windows.

To make things tricky, though, this client does not like warm woods typical in midcentury design. So I had to get creative and took cues from other midcentury spaces with warm whites and dark woods, like this:


I pushed her hard to embrace the architectural integrity of the building, but I also didn’t want it to look like a time capsule—no boomerang-shaped patterns here. So we went with clean lines in the furniture and flooring and organic shapes and textures in the rugs, mirrors, lights, and pillows.

Here are the two mood boards for the space. The sofa, pendant lights, and floor tile have already been selected, as well as a coffee table similar to the one seen here. The first board takes its cues from peacock blue, which the client loves, and a soft palette:

The second one feels more modern with colorful art and those fun blue chairs:

Background color is SW Alabaster

Our main goal was for the reception area to feel cozy, more like a living room than a waiting room.

Which one do you prefer? Leave your thoughts in the comments. •

Aqua pillow
Block-print pillow
Faux-leather chair
Lilies print
Blue rug
Floor tile
Coffee table

Second board
Bluish rug
Blue pillow
Green pillows
Blue chair
B&W print

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