Photography by Phil Crozier.

High ceilings, polished concrete floors and plenty of natural light added up to a loft-like look in this Calgary financial office. But the firm's owner was aiming for a more sophisticated space, so he brought in designer Reena Sotropa of Reena Sotropa In House Design Group. €œThe owner is a pretty young guy, and the building itself resembles a warehouse,€ says Sotropa. €œSo he wanted to make sure that the interior kept that same industrial vibe, but didn€™t get too funky€”because a lot of his clients wouldn€™t be comfortable with that.€ The shell of a space needed to be transformed into something that finance folks would take seriously.

So the designer set out to create a hybrid design: part industrial loft, part old-school gentlemen's club. €œWe wanted to instill a little bit of an old world, time-worn feel,€ says Sotropa. A difficult task in a new build, but they tackled it brick by brick€”literally.

Sotropa started by building feature walls of floor-to-ceiling brick, which felt foundational rather than tacked on. €œWe were able to warm up the industrial feel through finishes that had a patina,€ the designer says. The bricks had rough, reclaimed-looking edges, metals were chosen for their texture and natural materials were incorporated whenever possible. Furnishings-wise, comfort was key: €œWe tried to give it as residential a feel as we could, just to combat the kind of coldness that a loft space can exude.€ An olive-green sofa, cognac leather chairs and a custom walnut veneer desk by MR Construction cozy up the reception area. In the conference room, another custom solid walnut table from Calgary's Out of the Woodwork and blue-green chairs get to work. €œFor the colour scheme, we knew that navy blues and olive greens€”basically sort of men's suiting colours€”were going to be a good direction to go in,€ says Sotropa.

The open kitchen had to double as a paper management area, so Sotropa designed a strong division to keep the coffee away from the photocopying. The kitchen's cabinetry (white vs. muted green) and backsplashes (hexagonal marble vs. walnut veneer) secured the separate€”but connected€”space.

€œWe didn€™t want it to feel intimidating or cold, and I think the finishes actually worked really hard to get us there,€ says Sotropa. The final result is a space that's stylish, comfortable and ready for business.