The Smile Studio: Lobby

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The role of the architect, or the designer, is that of a very good, thoughtful host, all of whose energy goes into trying to anticipate the needs of his guests- those who enter the building and use the objects in it

Charles Eames

The Smile Studio is a dental office in Orem, Utah. Our number one goal was to make a comfortable and professional work environment for the staff and their patients. The previous owner of the space was also a dentist, but had vacated several years prior. As a result of the office sitting for a while, there were problems with the finishes. The finishes had not been commercial grade and as a result looked extremely worn. After walking around the office on our first meeting, it was clear that a complete remodel would be necessary to achieve Dr. Elli’s goals.


Do you see how far the lobby ceiling hangs down? We still have no idea why it was built like that. After some investigation it was determined that some ducting could be moved and the ceiling could be raised to be the same height throughout the entire office. Raising the ceiling was the number one priority. A higher ceiling really helped open up the space and make everything appear larger.


Smile Studio.jpg

The room seems so large and open with the ceiling raised. White walls and contemporary art appeal to their target clientele. Blue was chosen as the accent color because it is the color of The Smile Studio’s logo.

White walls could leave the office feeling cold and uninviting. Using wood elements creates a sense of warmth and keeps the interior casual. The stone wall is made with split face stone mosaics. With so many sleek finishes throughout the office we love the texture that is created by this feature wall.

The cabinet shown here is actually concealing a refrigerator full of drinks. When patients come to the smile studio, they can visit this “nutrition bar”. There are snacks on top as well as inside the cabinet. A small trash can is also concealed.

One of my favorite aspects of the reception area is the built-in shelves. Here we were able to add some interesting artwork and accessories along with books for patients to read. Of course we kept the children’s books at the lower level so they could easily be accessed by younger patients. Dr. Ellis works on patients of all ages so it was important to make sure that adults and children alike are comfortable in the space. What better place for a child to read a book than on their very own pouf? All of these little touches help with the overall comfort of patients and help ease anxiety.

Check back soon for more details on The Smile Studio office!

Hester Aba