Carly Nemtean is practically bouncing off the yet-to-be-built walls. The energy is palpable as she points out where the receptionist will sit, the future location of the “wellness room” and the size of the materials library.
We’re touring The Collective Workspace. On the day of my visit, the space isn’t open yet, but Nemtean and co-founder Rocco Verrillio are working furiously to be ready for their November launch. Framing is in place but the glass that will separate the private suites from the more public hub area hasn’t been installed. I have to watch my step because the flooring isn’t in. Still, Nemtean and Verrillio’s vision is obvious. Walking through the space I can picture not only the office, but also the community they are intent on building.
The Collective Workspace is a co-working space dedicated to interior designers, architects, architectural landscapers—“anyone in the business of design,” as Nemtean says. “There are so many different aspects that come together, so this is a place for them to meet, have a community, look at materials and meet other like-minded people.”
Four membership levels cater to businesses of various sizes—from those content with club access and a hot desk all the way up to 375-square-foot offices with private kitchenettes.
With membership comes all of the amenities an office can provide—a receptionist, boardroom where members can meet with clients, and storage for all the samples industry professionals lug around. All of this is usually out of reach for architects, designers and stagers—most of whom are small-business owners.
“It creates a level of professionalism that we can offer to small designers—they can come in here, and have the materials library, sit in a proper boardroom, have a receptionist, there’s water on the table. It looks like a larger-scale firm,” says Verrillio, “and it creates a community culture.”
For the co-founders, community culture is what The Collective is all about. There will be a café kitchen with bistro tables where members can grab a drink and bounce ideas off of colleagues, and a wellness room where they can attend workshops and meditation sessions.
The space will also feature a 3,000-square-foot library brimming with samples of tiles, fabrics, lighting—anything they might need when planning a project. A librarian will be there to assist and to connect members with various vendors.
“This is about community, sharing your ideas, helping the people in the space and looking for help,” says Verrillio. No wonder they chose “Let’s work together,” as their motto.
Photography: Kieran Darcy