Optometrist James McCrum enjoys his job so much he lives at the office. Literally. As documented in a 2005 feature in Pacific Northwest Magazine, Dr. McCrum and his wife, Paula Whelan, converted the bare walls of what used to be a commercial building into a modern, urban-chic home office where they can live upstairs and work downstairs. The daunting project took a year and a half—about three times as long as they had originally planned. Whelan called upon her instincts as an artist to help design the 1,700-square-foot space. She used artwork made from swimming fins and roller skates and installed stair treads that are actually the repurposed rafters from the former building. Vibrant, playful pieces from Whelan's above-garage art studio spill over into the Eyeballs office, where lime-green chairs and bold, red mirrors complement her innovatively painted lampshades and eyewear-inspired artwork. Adding to the fun atmosphere, the reception desk boasts a blackboard where patients can doodle anything they want or copy poems discovered within the eye chart.
And the decor isn't the only aspect of the shop with a decidedly vivacious vibe. The lighthearted, friendly staff aims to make shopping for glasses fun and encourages leisurely browsing of boutique frames neatly arranged in drawers and open wall displays. Together with fellow optometrist Dr. Chris Hettinger, Dr. McCrum does his part to make each guest's visit a pleasant one by using a state-of-the-art retinal camera to check for issues such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.