FP fans, meet Tiffany McLain, a therapist in San Francisco, CA!
1. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
I suppose I would describe my office as hipster chic qua grandma’s cabin.
It incorporate elements of history – like my grandmother’s old timey phone with the mouthpiece that comes out and the turning majigger on the side – and combine that with random elements of the new, like a bright yellow billiard ball.
It’s quite urban, in that it captures a mix of cultural and historical narratives. At least, that’s my hope. I’m no designer!
2. WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
I’d like them to get a sense of leaving the world and entering a new, separate space.
There is even a tiny passageway, book-ended by two doors, between the office and the waiting room. In that tiny space of limbo – I have a range of items: a key, an illuminated Edison bulb, the complete works of Freud, a gas lamp.
I want them to feel a mix of the old and the new, creativity, possibility. An expansion of that allows them to look inward, inspired by their surroundings.
3. DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
Nothing at all comfortable. HA! I hear that the client chairs are comfortable, but beyond that, it is you, me, and the your mind castle, as Cumberbatch as Sherlock would say.
4. WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
Whoofta! It was a journey. I really wanted my space to be a reflection of the things that inspire me, but I’ve struggled to decorate in the past.
It was helpful that I was starting with a totally empty space that I could build from the ground up. My brother-not-in-law, Robb, was instrumental in helping me re-design certain elements. In fact, he knocked out a wall and made entryways where there once had been none!
It just so happened he had a friend who was renovating a home and they were throwing away an old redwood fence. A group of us went over and tore the fence apart – despite spiders and termites and all manner of monsters – brought it back and Robb placed this restored redwood in the bathroom (to cover up an old shower) along one wall of the office. It is beautiful.
He then had the idea to add a giant piece of sheet metal on a sliding mechanism to cover my entryway to the bathroom. All of that kind of gave the space its own vibe and granted me permission to play with the rest of the decor.
5. ANY ADVICE FOR THERAPISTS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT AND DESIGNING THEIR OFFICE FOR THE FIRST TIME, OR SEASONED THERAPISTS LOOKING TO REDESIGN THEIR OFFICES?
Wow! I’d say they should definitely check out your site! It was quite hard for me to find examples of spaces that were unique, that inspired me.
I did very much enjoy looking at images online from Sebastian Zimmerman’s series, Fifty Shrinks. I was particularly inspired by Jamieson Webster’s space. I’m sure her office had a big influence on my own design.
Tiffany McLain is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) in San Francisco, CA…