Coworking office spaces are definitely flexing their creativity muscle as of late. Carly Nemtean and Rocco Verrilli have done just that to craft a chic and hardworking space for Toronto-based designers, architects and builders to meet, work and engage with one another.
When The Collective workspace opened in November 2019, the 13,000-square-foot facility by Nemtean and Verrilli’s firm, Carriage Lane Design Build, it was immediately embraced — industry professionals were quick to sign up for space in the office’s gorgeous digs. Full of fabulous features — including reasonable rent-share programs, meeting spaces, a storage facility, kitchen café and private offices — the impressive central materials library is one of the most coveted areas of the workspace.
At 2,500 square feet, the library is all about inspiring designers who specialize in residential and commercial design, and offers ways to streamline their process when it comes to collecting samples, ordering products and presenting to clients. “We’re truly a one-stop shop. Designers, for example, can source flooring, pull project materials, take samples to the boardroom, and have their clients come in and see the selections they’ve pulled. It’s a designer’s dream library,” says Nemtean, co-founder and CEO. “Our premier vendors have space where they can show a curated selection of what’s popular and what’s coming soon, as well as their sample library. Vendors have great benefits like lunch-and-learn presentations with residents and access to the expertise of our materials librarian, Lisa Ceci, who manages the library and connects our community to drapery, hardwood, flooring and other professional vendors.”
Not only are designers encouraged to share materials, there’s a real camaraderie among residents and they’re often inspired to exchange ideas. “With nearly 60 vendors and residents, idea-sharing is something we love to see,” adds Gabi Eliasoph, the digital and community manager. “Just because residents are in the same industry, it doesn’t mean there has to be competition. Instead, we’re building a community.” Nemtean says it’s gratifying to see residents and vendors sharing information, pooling resources and mitigating issues together. “The industry has really changed and we’re embracing teamwork and collaboration.”
Photography by Stephani Buchman