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PROJECT FEATURE: Behind The Scenes - Design of Lending Heights Mortgage Company Office in Oakmont

Could you imagine starting a business with your significant other, and then, during the same calendar year, building a 5,000 SF custom office space AND planning your own wedding? Oh wait, I forgot to add - during a worldwide pandemic? Well, that is what my clients Jason and Kristen Cecco of Lending Heights Mortgage Company did.




I met Jason at a YPN Event, a networking group for young real estate agents, which Lending Heights Mortgage Company was sponsoring. I mentioned I was an interior designer, and he said, "Do you do commercial? We're building an office."


Yes, actually, I do.


He scheduled a Design Consultation. During the consultation, I met with Jason and his fiancé Kristen. We thoroughly discussed their needs and wishes for the space, and I started to formulate a plan. We were meeting in their prior office space, which was only about 600 SF, (it was teeny-tiny!)


BEFORE - New Office Space

Our first site visit to the new office space.

After listening to all of their criteria, I based the design around the following things:

  • Jason really loves bright, vibrant colors

  • They wanted the space to be friendly and inviting... it's all part of their company culture!

  • They wanted it to feel open, light and airy, preferably with glass walls

  • The budget wasn't huge, so we had to choose were to "splurge" and invest selectively

  • As a company, they are about 98% paperless. They are efficient, lean and tech savvy. The space needed to reflect their forward thinking business mentality.


I started to envision a space with mid-century modern styling and textural accent features. This company is thoroughly modern and cool, and their space definitely needed to reflect that. I spent several weeks collecting images, editing design ideas, and putting together a 20 page Conceptual Design Presentation. This presentation allow Jason and Kristen to visualize and picture exactly what their new office space would look like, including 3-d renderings.

During this time, DTSH Interiors sent an architectural draftsperson to the site to start creating a drawing set. I then laid out the space and exactly how the office would be designed. There would be 4 managers offices, a large conference room with lots of natural light, a reception lounge by the entrance, an open office area with desks and a shuffle board table, a lounge area in the back with a kitchenette, two bathrooms, and a smaller conference room as well.





We scheduled their Conceptual Design Presentation meeting, and I was both nervous and so excited to show Jason and Kristen the design plan I had come up with. What would they think? Would they like it? Would they request 1,000,000 changes?





Well, I'm happy to say, they LOVED it. There were almost no changes to the original plan. We were all on the same page, envisioning the same space. Now we just had to bring this design concept into reality! (no big deal, right? )


The space we would be renovating was in a large storefront commercial office building in Oakmont. Previously, it had been a clothing boutique. Jason & Kristen signed their lease, and it was officially happening!


I had shown them 3 possible floor plan layouts for their space. They chose one of the three layouts, (and... they picked MY FAVORITE option!)