An Office Upgrade & Expansion | Orange Coast Lender Services - Case Study
AN OFFICE UPGRADE & EXPANSION | ORANGE COAST LENDER SERVICES
This article features a case study of Orange Cost Lender Services,
a title company headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, and how we provided
furniture planning, design, and project management services for this client.
Studio SMC started working with Orange Coast Lender Services (OCLS) in 2019 when tasked to help with revitalizing their existing office space. SMC provided design services including finish selection, artwork, signage, and decor for their office. Our design team was challenged to make meaningful design choices that were impactful while still meeting the budget.
About 2 years later, OCLS brought us back in to help with an expansion of their office space. The mission this time included combining 2 vacant office suites with the existing OCLS suite to encompass the whole floor. Providing not only design services this round, but also furniture layout and procurement, and project management, SMC worked alongside OCLS and the contractor to cohesively blend these very different spaces together successfully. We worked with the building architect to specify finishes, including paint and flooring that was specific to OCLS branding.
PHASE ONE: OFFICE UPDATES
COLOR AND BRANDING
Our team met with OCLS initially in 2019 for a small office upgrade project. The task was to take a dull, average office space and refresh it by incorporating color and aesthetics. The existing space lacked energy, and the color scheme and atmosphere had little resemblance to their company and who they were. Being their headquarters, it was important to OCLS that their office space reflected their image and the core values and visions that they operated on.
Existing OCLS space - 2019
On the contrary, their corporate office in California had recently undergone an office upgrade that sparked the design intent for the Pittsburgh office. Our team referenced the color palette that had been established and determined how the colors would be laid out for this office. We designated specific walls that would receive accent paint, and planned for writable surfaces on others. These accent walls and “write walls” that were placed throughout the office were designed to encourage collaboration and stimulate creativity, while also promoting productivity and rejuvenating the atmosphere of the office.
GRAPHICS, ARTWORK, & ACCESSORIES
In addition to branding the office with a new paint scheme, we also incorporated the company image through graphics and artwork. We designed and created vinyl wall graphics, including an inspirational and motivating word wall, and curated a selection of artwork that related to the branding package. We sourced and worked with a local signage company to create wall-hung acrylic logos for the reception and conference rooms. Included in this office refresh was also procuring budget-friendly resources for office decor. Using a variety of local shops and online retailers, we were able to find the perfect pieces to complement the design.
PHASE TWO: EXPANSION
SCOPE AND TEAM
Phase II started in late 2021 when OCLS reached back out to request our services in helping them with an office expansion. The floor they currently occupied had 2 vacancies that were available to them through a first right of refusal, and they opted to take them both, expanding their occupancy to the entire floor. When SMC was brought in on this project, the building architect had already determined the layout of the space, and lease negotiations were complete, so we worked with both the architect and landlord, along with the client, to select building finishes that satisfied both budget and branding. We helped resolve visual gaps between the 3 very different spaces and were able to improve the overall design to create an aesthetically uniform space.
FURNITURE PLANNING & PROCUREMENT
As OCLS was expanding into these additional spaces, the need for furniture was evident. We started by programming with the OCLS team to get information about their vision for the outfit. We asked questions relating to the desired look, work styles, quantity requirements including growth, and budget. We had decided that there would be some furniture reuse and replanning, along with new product needed, including all new systems furniture. With that information, we put together a presentation that outlined different furniture options, finishes, and layouts. These selections were also categorized into budget price groups that aided in the decision-making process.
Once we had a finalized furniture layout and a good understanding of the look and style OCLS favored, we wrote an RFP for furniture procurement services that was distributed to local dealerships in the area. The RFP included all of the specifications that had been discussed with OCLS and outlined the requirements of the scope of work so that all bidders would have comparable, competitive bids.
After all bids were received, Studio SMC reviewed them internally and created a bid summary sheet. This document included all of the original bid submission information, and our professional input and recommendations, including bidder communication evaluations, evaluations on products offered, and valuation on overall bid package submittal. After presenting our summary, OCLS had their own internal review and selected which furniture vendor they wanted to award.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND OVERSIGHT
Post-award, Studio SMC worked closely with the selected furniture dealership to refine the quote and finalize specifications. We reviewed quotes for accuracy and consistency and helped to facilitate the ordering, delivery, and installation process.
As construction was ongoing, Studio SMC made weekly site visits to check on progress and take photos.
Once construction was complete, Studio SMC was on site for the furniture installation to ensure everything was being executed as designed, and to be a resource for any questions the installers or OCLS may have had during the process.
After the installation was complete, Studio SMC walked the space with OCLS and completed a punch-list report. Any items that had been damaged or installed improperly were noted and reported to the dealership. All punch items were minimal and were resolved in a timely manner.
ARTWORK, GRAPHICS, AND SIGNAGE
Concurrent with the furniture RFP process, SMC was also working on designing an artwork package. We planned for the repurposing of existing graphics and artwork while finding and designing coordinating pieces to complement the space.
OCLS was a great client to work with and we really enjoyed providing them with our services for this project. We thank them for this opportunity and look forward to working together again in the future!