A huge milestone has been reached this year for Wegman Design Group (WDG). The interior design firm, local to the Southwest Florida Region, is in the midst of celebrating its 20th year of business that has been rich in client relationships, successful projects, and thoughtful designs.
Known for their sophisticated eye and keen listening skills, the firm’s mission to add “Creative and Intelligent Design solutions” has kept the firm growing in South Florida and beyond.
WDG’s primary focus is on commercial interior design which entails a wide variety of business types including those in hospitality such as clubhouses, restaurants, bars, and hotels; in medical with dentistry offices, surgical clinics, and wellness centers; in retirement communities including Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Memory Care.
For instance, the group turned a Mediterranean style sales center into Oxbow of Fort Myers, a downtown hotspot for dining integrated with a rustic but chic adventure outfitters. For The Westin Cape Coral Resort, they took a 35,000 square foot conference center addition and illuminated the space with elegant custom lighting and biophilic wood trim features representative of mangrove canopies, all while conforming to the multi-use requirements.
At the helm of its diverse portfolio is its Principal Lori Wegman, who admits the continued growth of the business comes from focusing on true collaborative effort with its clients and focusing on quality results no matter how big or small.
“Seeing the results of the work of building a successful business has been very rewarding,” said Lori. “There’s an enjoyment that comes from getting to work side-by-side with some of the most amazing people, architects, engineers, and business leaders while establishing relationships that are truly amazingly long.”
One of Wegman Design Group’s first clients was the Esplanade Condominium on Gulfshore Boulevard.
“They took a chance on a new designer in town – and to this day – remain a client,” Lori said. “Other clients have been with the firm for as long as 18 years, such as Moorings Park and Shell Point – 14 years. It’s not unusual to get a call back years later from a client who is asking for a reinvention of a space we previously worked on because they feel they can trust our firm. It’s such a rewarding feeling.”
With a hub in Naples, Florida, the firm’s reach has extended into Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and Louisiana as does their recognition.
In 2017 the firm won a Grand Aurora Award for their work at Moorings Park Grey Oaks, which is recognized by the Southeast Building Conference and signified first place for the Best Continuing Care Retirement Community – Purpose Built (i.e., new construction).
In 2019 the firm won first place in the EFA (Environments for Aging) Design Showcase Competition against the nation’s leading senior design projects for their work at The Crystal, a dining venue within Shell Point Retirement Communities in Fort Myers, Florida.
National accolades have also been received through their work in clubhouse design. In 2020 WDG won 1st place in Golf, Inc. Magazine’s Clubhouse of the Year: Clubhouse Renovation for Pelican Sound Golf & River Club. This was followed up in 2021 by the 3rd place win for their renovation of Hideaway Beach Club in Marco Island, FL.
While the firm has a long track record of successfully creating world class designs and great place experiences, Lori is excited about the future.
“Wegman Design Group is very well known in Southwest Florida, but we’re also starting to be recognized for our work throughout the state and even in different cities throughout the country,” recalled Lori.
More than creating compelling décor, the firm aids in the strategic planning of their projects which begins at a project’s inception and involves focus groups, market research, and detailing the core branding that will define a space.
Lori added, “By strategically synthesizing the goals of our clients with the unique possibilities of a space, we can positively influence the overall reception by the patron. It is possible to intuit emotion and special experiences in the built environment.”
She continued, “We see this in clubhouse design as we make even more tailored amenities with even higher preforming materials than ever before and in senior living with an expanded idea of what aging well actually encompasses. This means, knowing who is going to be using the space, what their specific desires and limitations are, and staying on top of the current studies and relevant research, i.e., really knowing who your client and end users really are.”
To further enhance the parts of businesses they’ve come to know and love, a natural evolution has been to expand the firms’ services in Environmental Graphics and Branding by adding an in-house Graphic Designer and Photographer to their team.
Refreshing logos and monument signs, capturing creative photography for artwork or marketing usage, and developing brand guidelines that maintain a consistent look and message across multiple mediums are some of the fine details that link the interior design with the overall experience their clients provide.
The firm’s leadership team currently consists of 5 Director level professionals. Design Director Loren Wegman, who leads clubhouse projects and who has produced consistently award-winning work.
Design Director Meghan Kolund, whose background in healthcare design has made her a huge asset in tackling the 195,141 square foot Larsen Health Center currently under construction at Shellpoint.
Kelly Scott, Senior Project Manager has had a hand in directing many successful projects. Scott’s work on the Community Center for the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples is highly anticipated, the project benefits of which will have a meaningful and positive impact across our community.
The work of our newest Design Director, Amber Caton, led to a Grand Aurora Award in 2019 and is a testament to her excellence.
We have recently welcomed in a new Director of Finance and Operations, Susan Wulber. Her education and background have continued to elevate our processes and procedures.
The core team has also added another two designers, for a total of 4 hires within the last year. “We were able to grow our team, one special person at a time,” adds Lori.
“The stellar senior designers, design assistants and awesome procurement team add fresh perspectives and tools that enrich the whole firm.” Lori elaborates, “The fantastic professionals outside our company add a level of craftsmanship, ingenuity, and technological advancement that I continue to learn from. Especially those professionals in architecture, engineering, and the construction community where all our work is done in some kind of partnership.”
“We look forward to working with these new and exciting clients and encourage other businesses, builders and individuals to contact us to see how our 20 years in the business can help them solve their design challenges.”
To learn more about Wegman Design Group, its team, methodology, services, and to visually review past projects call 239-596-8551 or visit WegmanDesignGroup.com.