the green bean

When my client, a vibrant and caring CEO called me about her company's depressing, little-used cafeteria,  her mandate was clear; create an inviting coffee-shop-style lounge where her staff could eat, relax, hold informal meetings, and bring their laptops for quiet work. The challenge was significant; the cafeteria also contained a large obsolete kitchen with commercial fittings that had not been used in years.

Based on feedback form a company-wide survey of staff I conducted, I set out to create a comfortable lounge with an "organic, edgy urban" style. I expanded the size of the cafeteria area into the former kitchen, to allow for a wide variety of seating: cozy booths, a long banquette, and two conversation areas in the room's centre. A compact, functional servery at one end of the room includes the requested multiple microwaves for heating lunches, a small refrigerator, a coffee corner, and pull-out recycling bins.

The blue/green colour scheme, inspired by staff feedback and the lively sofa fabric I found, is grounded by charcoal in the servery backsplash and leather-look seat cushions. Low-maintenance barn-board-look vinyl flooring and horizontal wood-grain laminate cabinetry ass warmth and organic texture.

A small galley kitchen offers abundant storage and is ideal for preparing the traditional Friday staff breakfasts and other special-event meals.

Everyone loves the new lounge- the "Green Bean," as it has been dubbed, is now the place where employees enjoy lunch, curl up in a booth with their laptops, grab a coffee, or gather on the sofas for informal meetings.

2013 Canadian Decorators’ Association award winner