Home Design Inspirations A Colorful Change

A Colorful Change

In the summer of 2023, Sareya Khatkur, OD, was informed by her landlord that the unit next to her practice, Brantford Optometry, was available. “He gave us the first opportunity if we wanted to take on that extra space,” she recalls. The offer came at the perfect time. “Our unit was starting to run out of space, and we didn’t have the extra room to expand our dry eye treatment and services.” Dr. Khatkur wanted to add intense pulse light therapy and radiofrequency but didn’t have the room. The expansion would triple her square footage from 1,200 to 3,600 square feet.

BACK TO THE OPTICAL

Dr. Khatkur made plans for her specialty treatment areas as she envisioned how she would use the added space. But perhaps the most surprising addition to her patients would be the addition of an optical. When she opened this practice in 2011, she wanted to focus solely on medical care, so she worked inside a specialty optical shop. Even when she relocated to have a place of her own in 2018, she insisted that she would continue this focus as she moved in next door to an optical.

Yet with the extra space available, Dr. Khatkur had a change of heart. “I realized that it is important for me to see my patients through the entire process,” she says. “I can provide the best care I can in eyecare, but if the patient goes somewhere else for eyewear and they aren’t happy, it reflects on me, indirectly—especially if it’s next door to me,” she says. “I wanted to seize the opportunity again to see patients with a seamless start-to-finish experience.” She envisioned a boutique-style optical with exclusive brands that no one else carries in the city.

Dr. Khatkur received the keys to the neighboring space in September 2023, and she took about two weeks to renovate. In early October, she opened that new side separately as + Medi-Spa while she waited for city permits to remove the middle wall. The final merged office space will be expected to be completed in February 2024.

ADDING POPS OF COLOR

The office space had originally been mainly black and white with hints of green from the space’s many leafy plants and palm trees, and Dr. Khatkur saw the opportunity during the expansion to add some color. She said she found inspiration in a pair of colorful psychedelic Gucci shoes she purchased during the pandemic. “It was a dark time, so I started wearing them to work and got an abundance of compliments on them,” she recalls. “They made everyone feel happy and inspired me to create a more colorful space.”

These Gucci shoes inspired the colorful palette in Dr. Khatkur’s expanded space.

While maintaining the original palette and tropical feel, Dr. Khatkur added color through the carpets, pillows, eye artwork and the brightly painted backdrops behind the inset optical displays. Dr. Khatkur, who is also an artist, created a custom, massive canvas to help camouflage an area of electrical paneling that needed to remain accessible. She combined the canvas with the medispa logo, custom cut by a local indigenous scroll saw artist, Kelsey Powless.

Dr. Khatkur painted this piece for her office and worked with another local artist to complete it with her new logo.

The former optical space had its lab out front, but Dr. Khatkur decided to relocate it to the back and turn the area into a reception space for the medi-spa and coffee bar.

A RAVING RESPONSE

Dr. Khatkur shares that the expanded dry eye clinic and + Medi-Spa are getting very positive reviews. The team is growing, too, as a result. Dr. Khatkur has hired three cosmetic nurses and an aesthetician who manage the new skin care treatments and products that aren’t available anywhere else nearby.

She’s pleased that the office now feels complete as a full-scope eyecare and eyewear stop, where patients can have their eyes examined, purchase prescription and contact lenses and receive the latest in custom dry eye disease treatments on site. “We wanted to make this technology more accessible to the community,” she says. “Dry eye disease really impacts a patient’s quality of life, and I’m so thrilled to be able to help treat this disease and the frustrating symptoms that come along with it.”

Dr. Khatkur recently received a first referral from an ophthalmologist’s office last week for a dry eye work- up for one of their patients, which was a welcome acknowledgement of the hard work and dedication she’s put into this project. “They recognize the technology we offer, understand it can be very helpful to our mutual patients and are being supportive in our mission to free patients of dry eye disease related symptoms.”

Dr. Khatkur is proud of each of these moments of praise from colleagues or in the form of the 250 5-star Google reviews she’s earned from her patient base in the five years since moving to this location. That’s truly an honor, she says, to be recognized this way as a new office surrounded by practices that have been around for decades. She looks forward to continuing to serve her loyal patient base, as well as exploring new ways to get the word out that she’s in town with expanded services. She’s continually looking for new products and services she can offer, and she’s adding Neurolenses in this new year.

Their practice is the only full scope practice in the area consistently offering same week appointments and she’s eager to “spread the word regarding this as well. Most offices in town have a wait time of 3-6 months. The fact we offer same week eye exam appointments really sets us apart from the competition; we just have to get that message out to the local community!” She’s brainstorming ways to advertise and says “We’re thinking about doing a billboard; no other OD offices in the area are doing them. “We have to be creative.”

The team with Dr. Khatkur’s daughter, daughter, Avanya, a warrior Retinoblastoma patient with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto). Avanya is her inspiration and encouragement.

 

Women In Optometry previously spoke with Dr. Khatkur about Brantford Optometry. Read that story here.

See other design stories here.


Would you like to share your remodel/relocation/new practice or office refresh story with WO readers? Email us here.

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