Designing an office that feels like homeBy Jennifer Sperry • Photography by Dan Cutrona
Real estate developers Gordon and Annellen Pulsifer know firsthand the benefits of thoughtful planning and design. Their business, First Resource Companies, specializes in the development and management of multifamily properties. In other words, the Pulsifers and their First Resource team work daily to create affordable housing, beautify buildings and enhance and revitalize communities throughout Massachusetts.
When it came time to seek out a new, larger office space, Gordon and Annellen knew that a serious investment in the workspace’s design would positively impact not only the company’s image but also the happiness and productivity of its employees—including themselves.
They decided to purchase an architectural gem, complete with stone façade and turret, in Hanover just a couple blocks away from their existing office. After a successful collaboration with designer Judith Gamble-Whalen of Roomscapes Luxury Design Center on the renovation of their own home, they renewed the partnership once again for the commercial project.
“Their home’s interior was traditionally styled, but Gordon and Annellen wanted the new office to have a more crisp, modern feel,” says Gamble-Whalen.
Relying on the same creative concepts and quality materials she employs in residential design, Gamble-Whalen used pattern and texture to differentiate workspaces while maintaining a seamless flow throughout. Warm cherry tones evoke tradition while glass and metal accents provide a modern edge. Strategic use of blue reinforces the company’s brand.
The reception area sets the stage for a powerful first impression. Anchoring the building’s turret, the space vaults up to a peaked ceiling where a series of windows brings in natural light on even the dreariest days. Custom cabinets topped by stone counters comprise the reception desk. “We chose a textured laminate for the cabinets that suggests the appearance of driftwood for an elegant, coastal feel,” says the designer.
A backlit, brilliant blue lava stone panel, capped with an elevated, handmade glass countertop, punctuates the desk. Overhead, amber pendant lights contrast the room’s cool blues and greys. Corporate and community awards, displayed on glass shelves inside a stainless steel recessed insert, showcase the company’s accomplishments.
The nearby conference room impresses with expansive cabinet built-ins that display awards and a mounted flatscreen TV. Blue makes an appearance as the display case’s accent wall (backlit with LED film) and in the leather chairs. A ceiling soffit detail mimics the conference table’s shape. “We had it faux-painted to match the table and cabinet finish,” says Gamble-Whalen.
An even deeper blue dominates the tile backsplash in the kitchenette, where durable, easy-to-clean laminate cabinets and appliances accommodate coffee making, lunch preparation and even entertaining. The island, crafted from “azul aran” granite, sports a unique and sturdy X-shaped base.
Creature comforts continue in the powder rooms and bathrooms, where soothing greens and beiges dominate. Cabinets store towels and personal items and employees can even shower in the upstairs bathrooms after an early morning or lunchtime workout.
Perhaps the most comforting place of all is the seating area in Gordon’s office, a favorite resting place of Molly, the couple’s golden retriever. “It’s the perfect spot for conversation and informal meetings,” explains Gamble-Whalen. An eye-catching travertine slab with hues ranging from smoky taupe to blackened ember surrounds the contemporary gas fireplace.
From private offices to public spaces, the newly unveiled headquarters reflects its resident company’s priorities and values while prioritizing and valuing its workers. In business, first impressions count, and now First Resource Companies makes a great one.
For more information on Roomscapes Luxury Design Center, call 781-616-6400 or visit roomscapesinc.com. Its award-winning 15,000-square-foot showroom, located at 40 Reservoir Park Dr. in Rockland, Mass., is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments encouraged.