IN THE HUMBLE, TEXAS, neighborhood in which Dr. Abby Hussamy-Kanj both lives and chose to establish Sky Dental, she often runs into her patients while out on errands. It’s fitting, then, that she chose to make her practice resemble a home, both inside and out.
“I wanted the building to incorporate traditional and modern elements,” she says. “Stainless steel, wooden beams, curved soffits to match the curved floor — and modern dental equipment.”
After she purchased land in Humble, just north of Houston, she designed a space with enough room — a commodious 7,000 square feet — to accommodate a staff that was certain to grow. The break room includes a table that seats 12 people and lockers for 18.
The space’s hominess extends to an abundance of windows that let natural light pour in while showing off plants and trees outside chosen specifically for their visual appeal. The fact that Dr. Hussamy-Kanj did her homework certainly helped bring it all to fruition: “I knew I had one opportunity
to build the office that I would practice in for the rest of my career,” she says, “so I spent hours researching dental-office design and reading what other dentists did — or wish they had done — when building theirs.”
The practice is decidedly green, too. “As dentists, our footprint on the environment is huge,” Dr. Hussamy-Kanj says. “I wanted to do what I could to minimize that.” She therefore incorporated features such as an amalgam separator, Sterisil water-filtration system, Midmark G4 dry vacuum and compressor, a recycling Dumpster, foam insulation and insulated, tinted windows.
Finally, the color scheme — dominated by a soothing gray — was chosen specifically for its calming yet appealing effects. “I wanted my space to be relaxing, bright and comfortable,” she says. “I’m most proud of the design as a whole. The flow and layout of the space makes it work.”
Hurdles included uncooperative weather that delayed construction and materials (mosaic tiles in particular) that went out of stock. But Dr. Hussamy-Kanj soldiered on. “Now my patients continually compliment the office, and I enjoy the environment in which I work,” she says. “It makes my labor of love all worthwhile.”
DR. ABBY HUSSAMY-KANJ’S CONSTRUCTION TIPS
- DO YOUR HOMEWORK, AND LEARN AS MUCH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN.
“I was planning for this project almost a year before we broke ground.”
- PLAN TO EXCEED YOUR BUDGET. “No matter how hard you try, even the best-laid plans will have glitches. Don’t be heed-less, but know that cost overruns just sometimes happen.”
- STAY ON TOP OF YOUR CONTRACTOR. “I was at the job site almost every day; I passed it on my way to work and home. It consumed so much of my life at the time. Even though I’m not an expert, the fact that subcontractors saw me every day meant they knew I was on top of things.”