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Design & Inspiration

Project Spotlight: OLA Austin

By Kali |

Image: Lars Frazer; Design: OLA Austin 

OLA Austin's offices are on point with not one, but two compelling triangle tile installations. The Austin-based sustainable design firm let the pattern speak for itself in the kitchen, but went bold in a colorful blend in their bathroom. Read on to see more of this inspiring work space! 

First, can you tell me a bit about OLA? What projects do you typically work on?
OLA (Office for Local Architecture) is a sustainable design firm that focuses on commercial projects. At the moment, we are primarily occupied with tenant remodeling in historic buildings and new construction of an office building.

This project was for the firm's offices, was it a part of a remodel or renovation of your existing offices or did you just move in?
We just moved in! So far so good. We were lacking natural light in our old space so we are feeling worlds ahead now.

What were your goals for the space?
We wanted to accentuate the natural light and use recycled materials where we could. Sustainability is really at our core. We sourced reclaimed pine flooring from a historic residence that was torn down nearby. We also found a finish with low VOC’s which helps with interior air quality. Structurally, we opened up the kitchen, paired down the bathroom (but installed a walk-in shower) and converted a dark bedroom into a bright conference room. 

What was the overall aesthetic you were going for?
Light, airy, open. 

Let's talk about the kitchen first, what look were you going for her?
We wanted an open area that we could transform into a bar for events. We have a bit of a coffee problem so this is the space for our beloved espresso machine. 

Tile Shown: 4" Triangles in White Wash

What made you choose our 4" Triangles in White Wash?
We were playing around with a lot of options.  As architects, we’re always looking for opportunities to use materials in different ways and to create patterns that are unique.  We haven’t see the triangle tile used in this way, we decided to go with a point to base pattern that alternated with and up and down direction. The white wash was a way to let the pattern speak for its self by going with a neutral color, and we love white! 

Were there any other shapes or colors you considered?
Oh yes. We had all the samples for months! We were playing with the Hexite, Kite and Picket for a while.

Tile Shown: Hexite in Antique 

Now onto the bathroom, what was the inspiration behind the blend of 4" Triangles?
In the bathroom we decided to meld the white into an abstract color pattern of yellow, anthracite and pops of baby blue.  We were feeling an Austin vibe in our tile pattern. Restrooms are always fun to experiment with since they’re compact spaces and add an element of surprise when you enter.

Tile Shown: 4" Triangles in White Wash, Magnetite, Rainy Day, Daffodil and Crater Lake

What was it like designing an office space for your firm vs. a client?
Liberating and yet harder to make decisions oddly. You have to live with them!

How did the installation go? Did you face any challenges?
We asked our local hotel experts for some insider installation tips. Can’t go wrong with Moises Monrreal. He was jovial, upbeat, and super precise.

Lastly, what shapes, colors or handpainted patterns are you hoping to use in future projects?
We want to use color!

Tile Shown: Pickets in Glacier Bay 

Inspired by this office space? Order color sample online now. Need some help? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly. Working on a commercial project? Contact us

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