My baby sister has just started an internship at a big  law firm in the CBD. Alright, so she’s not really a baby; she’s in fact, she’s soon to graduate from a double degree at the ripe old age of 21. Still, it’s a moment. That’s why I insisted on accompanying her to the door on her first day.

Aside from the whole thing of my baby sister being significantly more qualified than I am, I have to say that I was pretty blown away by the experience. I’ve never seen such a swanky yet hip workspace – this place must have been done up by some pretty serious office interior designers. Melbourne legal firms not being places that I generally frequent, I don’t technically have a lot to compare it to, but I can call an off-the-chain work environment when I see one.

What’s so amazing about it? Well, the main thing that struck me was how the office managed to capture the particular flavour of the company. I’m talking a certain kind of venerable respectability and solid foundations conveyed through traditional, high-quality materials, alongside unexpected elements of contemporary style and tech-savvy features that point to the up-to-date nature of the firm’s work.

Listen to me. I sound like I’m advertising something here. I suppose, being a designer myself (albeit of the graphic persuasion), I have a well-developed appreciation for things that balance form and function, so I’m probably nerding out a bit harder than most people would on this. The fact remains, though – when it comes to contemporary commercial space fitouts, Melbourne might be leading the charge.

My sister’s pretty lucky to get to work in such a nice environment right off the bat. Having said that, it could well spoil her for future jobs that come with, well… normal offices. Then again, it seems likely that we’ll see more of this type of custom design and construction filtering down into workspaces generally. That’s design trends for you.