Office Gallery International (http://officegallery.net), a Norwood, MA-based leading provider of office furniture and design services for the business community since 1989, recently completed an office design and outfitting project for E. A. Stevens Co., Inc.
Independently owned and locally operated, E. A. Stevens Company, Inc. was founded in 1903 and offers quality insurance coverage, a high level of professional service, and a long-term relationship. They offer both commercial and personal insurance as well as life and disability insurance, representing several regional and national carriers. The agency is now owned by Thomas P. Cares, Jr., CIC (president) and Kelly Clifford Watrous, CPCU, CIC (vice president).
E. A. Stevens Company first reached out to Office Gallery in 2018, when they thought they might be leasing new office space in Middleton. Watrous found Office Gallery online and was very impressed with their work for other clients. Although Watrous liked the initial designs, the company ended up finding a new space to purchase instead: a two-story, mixed use residential building, built in the 1970s, with approximately 4,400 square feet of office space across two floors.
Based on her initial interactions with Office Gallery, Watrous immediately contacted them again once the sale went through. “The building looked like a residential home but needed a lot of work on the inside and out so we completely gutted it and basically had a blank slate to work with,” Watrous recalled. “Plus, we were coming from a dated 1980s-era office with low cubicles that were orange and brown so we wanted a new space with modern, functional pieces. Hilary (Troia, president of Office Gallery) came in, designed some workstations and offices with furniture to suit our needs today, and did a fantastic job meeting and exceeding all of our expectations.”
The Office Gallery team worked on a large conference room, a couple of smaller conference rooms, three executive offices, five additional offices, 11 workstations, a kitchen and reception area. Work started in August 2020 and was finished in late spring of 2021, due in part to construction delays as a result of the pandemic.
E. A. Stevens Company wanted functional, ergonomic pieces within a neutral palette. The color scheme Office Gallery and E. A. Stevens Company chose is cool with blue greys in the offices, light tan in the workstations, and pops of sapphire blue found on the seat chairs and bulletin boards. The neutral scheme also allowed employees to customize their offices and workstations – which feature sit-to-stand desks in both nutmeg and coastal grey finishes and complimentary file cabinets, storage spaces and overhead surface areas – and bring in their own accessories that enhance the overall look and feel of the space.
The large conference room features Benjamin Moore paint on the walls in Gray Owl. The table is a lighter shade of gray (Ashed Oak) and is customized with pop-up towers in three sections to plug in laptops and other equipment needed for presentations. The table seats about 12 people in black leather chairs with chrome finish. The room also features a 75-inch TV screen, ideal for trainings and presentations, with a credenza piece running underneath to provide a sharp, clean storage surface. The smaller conference rooms reflect the larger room but have smaller round tables in the same Ashed Oak finish with four black leather/chrome chairs.
As the initial greeting point of the office, the reception area features different elements that tie all the themes together – a flat front desk paired with two guest chairs comprised of a darker blue/gray fabric with cherry legs and a round table between them with a white marble top and chrome legs. And for a more relaxed setting, the kitchen/break room has a happy, unexpectedly colorful feel with light green walls and red chairs along with round dark gray tables. The pairings create a look that is simple yet fun.
“This was such a large investment and undertaking for us, and we found in Office Gallery a partner that came in on budget while developing a full-scale office design for us,” said Watrous. “They took the time to suit our individual business needs and the results speak for themselves!”
“We were thrilled to work with Kelly and her team at E. A. Stevens Company,” said Troia. “We loved helping them imagine the possibilities of this new workspace, and understood how much of a big investment this was for them. We’re so glad to see how much their employees enjoy this new look, and how well the design is working for them!”