Home Design Inspirations OD Deposits Hope for Her Future in Renovated Bank Building

OD Deposits Hope for Her Future in Renovated Bank Building

Dr. Hornberger sits at new office - a renovated bank building
Dr. Hornberger

When Samantha Hornberger, OD, opened her box of Halloween decorations, she realized she was going to need a whole lot more. In February, Dr. Hornberger moved her practice, Bright Family Eye Care, from a second-floor, 1,400-square foot location to a one-level brick building about three miles away, still in West Harrison, Indiana. She tripled her space, and now has an entire wall of windows, compared to one small second-floor window before.

She recently had a conversation with her staff about decorating the office for the Christmas holidays. With a much larger optical and a separate, comfortable waiting room, she’s thinking she may well need two trees. “Before, no one could see,” she says, saying that she and the staff affectionately referred to the old space as “the cave.” Now, she’s along a road that brings people from nearby towns to the restaurants and grocery store, so decorating for holidays is a whole new imperative.

ROOM TO MOVE

Dr. Hornberger tripled the space with her recent move.

Dr. Hornberger made the decision to buy the building – a former bank – when she realized there was no option for expansion but a strong need for one. “We were just bumping into each other,” she says. “We had outgrown the space and made use of every square inch we could,” she says.

In fact, she kept supplies in her own basement. “When the staff needed paper towels, they’d have to text my husband,” she says.

Now, it feels like they have loads of room. She has expanded from two exam lanes to five, with three of them currently outfitted as digital exam lanes. The other two are used for follow-up visits for dry eye and glaucoma patients.

A “SAFE” SPACE

bank vault door
The old bank vault – with its immovable door – is now a contact lens storage area.

Converting a building from its former design took some effort, of course. A prior owner had already removed the drive-through window, but the bank vault is the definition of an immovable object; it’s a concrete-lined block with a massive vault door. It now serves as her contact lens trial room, and she has been able to order more trial sets of lenses as a result of the bigger space. It’s conveniently located near the three exam lanes she uses most often.

And it’s a great feature. Patients love seeing it. “I’ll occasionally ask kids if they can ‘just shut that door for me.’ Of course, they cannot budge it,” she says. It’s one of the fun features that highlights the history of the building.

She worked with two architects to configure the space, but even still there were some surprises. “We had plans for a passthrough in a hallway between two parts of the office, but we found out during remodeling that this space was concrete-lined, too. So that became a tech closet,” she says, creating some coveted storage space.

Room to display frames makes the optical options seem more interesting.

The old bank records room had a massive fireproof door on it; she replaced that with a barn door and that’s now the dry eye spa. She had begun to offer more dry eye treatments in her old space, but she has since added intense pulsed light equipment and loves having a dedicated room for the procedures.

The open and airy reception area and optical are striking. “We expanded our frame inventory a little. But even though the number of frame options isn’t much higher, it looks like we carry a lot more because it’s easier to see the frames,” she says.

NEW COLOR SCHEME

In the old office, the color scheme was blue. In this new space, it’s more neutral and natural. The walls are a warm white, and the trim work and doors have been painted with a dark gray color (Sherwin Williams Iron Ore). The desks in the optical area are a dark wood, and the chairs are a green leather to match some of the green accents in the cabinetry.

Incidentally, Dr. Hornberger made a shift in her social media around the same time. She had been doing her own, but sometimes, that meant long lapses between postings. One of her staff members has a degree in marketing, so she took over, and the posts now have a cohesive look and feel, and new posts appear consistently. The green and teal have carried over into the social media postings too.

MORE TO GO

Even though she’s been in the space for about nine months, there are still pockets of work-in-progress areas. For example, all three of her exam lanes are identical. “I never know which room I’m in or which one I just left,” she says, laughing. She plans on wallpaper accent walls so that each room as a distinct personality.

As the interior approaches its final stages, she will turn her attention more to the outside. “We had to replace the entire roof,” she says. Next up is replacing the old vinyl awning with a black metal, just as she’s updating the flashing with that same black metal look. “We haven’t hung a permanent sign yet, because I wanted to get the awning in place first,” she says.

Then, perhaps in the spring, she’ll paint the brick a warm white or a light gray. But first, she has to go source yards of garland and decorations to get her large space holiday-ready.

There’s room for everything now without having staff bump into each other.

Read the story from July 2022 while Dr. Hornberger was experiencing construction delays for this practice – and how she managed that experience.

 

Have an aesthetically pleasing practice? Get featured—email us here.

Check out more design inspiration stories from WO here.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

WO Board Perspectives: Handling Difficult Conversations

You never know when a difficult conversation will happen. They can pop up urgently or be those discussions that you know you need to...

OD Determined to Provide Patients Highest Level of Care She Can

Malique Payne, OD, never had a goal of owning three independent practices next to a Walmart Vision Center. But in the nearly 10 years...

Meet the Student Advisory Board: Abby Wilhelmi, ICO

Abby Wilhelmi grew up in Beach, North Dakota, a town of about 1,000 people—“ironic, I realize, considering North Dakota is about as landlocked as...

Giving Back to the Optical Community

L'Amy America unveils the launch collection of 2BB: Eyewear, in collaboration with Two Blind Brothers at Vision Expo East 2024. This innovative eyewear line...