The Challenge

I can vividly recall Garth O’Neill and his wife Brenda strolling into our showroom in late 2017. He said “I’ve heard that Open Mind Interiors are the people to talk to about planning a new office in the Whalen Building”.

After an initial meeting, in their newly leased space on the 3rd floor or the Whalen Building with its spectacular view of the waterfront, Garth was able to share his vision for his new office with us. Garth’s team was a pleasure to work with right from the start. We were fortunate to be able to engage Garth and his staff in our preliminary planning meetings allowing them to share their needs and feedback on our ideas and proposals. They knew how they wanted to work in the new space and we did everything we could in our planning to accommodate.

The Concept

Having completed the installation for the O’Neill Associates space in 2018, I recently posed the questions below to Garth O’Neill to recount how he felt about the outcome of his space now that his team has been working out of it for a while. His comments are below:

OMI: Why did you select your current location to be the new home of O’Neill Associates?

GO: It’s a beautiful, unique historic building, with waterfront views and in the fast-rising north T Bay business district. Vibe of the area is great. Space had expansion possibilities

OMI: What were your company goals for the design of your office interior?

GO: We wanted our new office to be modern and comfortable and expandable, to “impress” clients and to set the bar high for new and emerging firms, so we could attract and retain best staff and lawyers (which we have done), and be “top of mind” for anyone looking for Labour and Employment lawyers, and for those looking to be part of a new dynamic firm.

OMI: What did you like about the process of working with OMI’s team?

GO: Easy to talk to OMI folks; they had lots of ideas and plenty of experience, so were able to give me guidance on steps and things to consider that I had never thought of. Their experience with projects in our building was invaluable; they are responsive to email and phone calls and seem to “get us” and what we are trying to do.

OMI: How would you describe the quality and aesthetic of the furniture, carpet and wall products that were incorporated into your space?

GO: The furniture and wall products are “top notch”. Clients and other visitors to office constantly compliment us on the look and feel of the office. Many clients come early to appointments just to have a bit of time to relax in the comfort of our client lounge with views of Sleeping Giant. OMI had great suggestions – e.g.. standing desks for everyone.

OMI: How has your new space effected your business overall?

GO: The effect on our business has been tremendous. As a new business (and a new concept within the legal community), the early impressions we set with our clients and the community were the key to early success. From our Grand Opening onward, people could see that we “mean business”, and are unsurpassed in Thunder Bay.

OMI: Would you recommend Open Mind Interiors to others?

GO: I would definitely recommend OMI to others. Two and a half years in, we are already working on an expansion and did not hesitate to go back to OMI to work with us on it.

The Outcome

Our team at Open Mind is thrilled with how the O’Neill Associates space came together.

Being clients ourselves, we have found meeting in the O’Neill space to be private with a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. We are now working with this firm on an expansion space and wish them continued success in their new home.

When we decided to open our office, OMI were the first people we approached. We had hundreds of questions on process, possibilities and outcomes, and they worked with us every step of the way to create an even better outcome then we could have envisioned. They are a huge part of our success; we are thrilled to be working with them again on our current expansion.
Garth O’Neill