FP fans, meet Cindy Norton, a therapist, business consultant, and therapist web designer in Asheville, NC!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
The journey to my current office began long before I moved in. I have a colleague whose office I visited several years ago. She was located in a beautiful, well-maintained historic building in downtown Asheville.
From the moment I was there, I fell in love and knew that I would one day have an office in that very building. Now that I’m there, I couldn’t be more pleased.
I love having a downtown location and to be amidst the vibrancy and convenience of the city. I can pop downstairs to an amazing coffee shop or meet a friend for lunch.
As a couples therapist, my clients also love having the opportunity to go to lunch, enjoy a nice dinner, or have drinks after their session.
My office is a comfortable, fun, relaxing oasis in the middle of a unique city, with a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. I was lucky enough to find myself in a 6th floor office that faces west for the beautiful sunset. My evening clients can attest to the breathtaking view.
When I think about the style of my office, it’s a little bit of everything. My office is a reflection of me and my unique style.
I see glam and simplicity, modern and comfortable, bohemian and eclectic, whimsical and eccentric, nerdy and posh.
I have chosen to honor my nerdy side with an oversized 20-sided die, Star Wars pillows, a foil print of the platform number from Harry Potter, and restroom keys that are on Tardis and Millennium Falcon key chains.
I want to add one more thing here, and that is VELVET! I knew that I had to have a velvet couch. I love the look and feel of velvet. It’s so buttery-soft and comfy.
And I couldn’t be left out, so I have my very own oversized, green velvet chair that’s perfect to curl up in and write notes or update my social media.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
I hope that the vibe of my office is both energizing and calming, and fun and relaxing. A place that looks nice and well put together, yet somewhere you can be comfortable.
These vibes are divergent, but have a deeper meaning and purpose.
I specialize in working with couples, and in my office I often see how couples are so very different, yet love each other so much. I wanted my office to reflect these differences and still be in harmony.
These differences are the main reason for my choice of the light blue pillow featuring a giraffe wearing sunglasses yielding a sword riding a shark. It’s a fun story I tell my clients when we are on the topic of understanding and appreciating individual differences.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
Of course! I’m all about comfort and making my clients feel welcomed and cared for.
There’s actually a small sign that says “Creature Comforts” that directs clients to healthy snacks – because no one wants to be hangry in session!
I also offer cold, room temperature, and hot water. There’s an assortment of teas, as well as a mini fridge stocked with a variety of drinks, including LaCroix, kombucha, coconut water, fruit juices, natural energy drinks, and cold brew coffee.
There are comfy pillows and blankets for clients to use, and I think I can lay claim to having the softest pillows and blankets around!
I’m not sure if this counts as a creature comfort or not, but the view from my office is pretty amazing too.
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
One of my favorite things to do is to take an empty space and make something amazing of it. I designed and decorated my office all on my own (with a little help from the Wayfair app).
For the months leading up to moving into my space, I would browse Wayfair and add items to my idea board.
I think if I were to design another office space for myself, it would be completely different yet have the same feel. I don’t come from the traditional sense of design where you identify a theme like modern, traditional, or contemporary and design around that.
I just start looking around, buy what I like, and it seems to pull itself together.
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?
Put yourself and your own unique style into your office. You are going to be the person who spends the most time there, so you should be comfortable.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t keep your clients in mind, but you shouldn’t be designing your office just for you clients either.
Your office is a reflection of you – your clients are coming to see you because of who you are – when you feel at home in your space, so will your clients.
Cindy Norton is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) in Asheville, NC…
Learn more about her work at:
Mountain Practice Journeys (for therapists)
Photography by Sarah Hooker Photography