IN A NORTH TEXAS TOWN dotted with captivating architecture — the county courthouse has long been celebrated as one of the Lone Star State’s most photogenic buildings — Dr. Seth Akins has added another point of pride to the map.

Waxahachie, a southern Dallas suburb, is now graced by Ellis County Family Dentistry, an elegantly appointed practice that required just six months to build and has already garnered accolades from the Legacy of Design organization and the American Society of Interior Designers’ Texas chapter. “It was very important for me to build an office that was consistent with my practice identity,” Dr. Atkins, 35, says. “We strive for a calming environment in which patients receive excellent service and can take their mind off their apprehension.”

A native Texan who attended Texas Tech University for his undergraduate work, Dr. Atkins sought to capture some of the state’s natural surroundings, with stacked stone and decorative wood walls throughout his practice. “I wanted to expand on something dentists do every day: mix living and non-living materials to enhance the aesthetics of a space,” he says. “We played on this by mixing the wood and stone.”

Positive feedback on the 2,920-square-foot practice from those who enter it offers daily validation of the care taken in its construction. “The layout was planned to make things as easy as possible on the staff while ensuring that patients feel relaxed in a spa-like environment” — ambiance that starts in the reception area, whose curves offer a soothing counterpoint to dentistry’s sometimes hard edges.

Dr. Atkins graduated near the top of his class at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio, then spent five years in private practice before establishing his new dental headquarters here in Waxahachie, just minutes from the home he built with his wife, Erica, where the couple live with their two school-age children.

“After the need to relocate became apparent, I attended a Benco Design Seminar to jump-start the design process,” he says. “CenterPoint was a great resource to determine our final equipment finishes and selections.” He credits interior designer Corey Allen Davey in particular with lending a certain cohesion throughout the entire space. “Everything went smoothly,” Dr. Atkins says. As smoothly, even, as that curved reception desk that greets every patient who stops by.


“Make lists — and review them regularly.”