Blog posts dedicated to interior design, furniture, home accessories, lighting, area rugs, paint, trends and how-to style and decor ideas.

Commercial Office Design Notes

How do you transform a space filled with fairly common colors, odd-shaped rooms, mismatched and traditional furniture into a contemporary haven of professionalism and fun? Here are my design notes on how to do just that.

Reception

Change this traditional reception desk into a show-stopper statement piece of furniture and leave the back wall open for company signage. Switch out doctor office style guest chairs into two elegant and comfortable chairs with a table in between. Since the intention is  for guests to be greeted by the receptionist and shortly thereafter meet with their scheduled person, I reduced the number of chairs and upgraded the quality and style of them to provide a visual warm welcome and reinforce the company’s on-time meetings philosophy.

Existing

ReceptionDeskReceptionAreaChairs

 

My Design

Picture 969CopenhagenCityChairGrey CopenhagenSwingTable

 

Conference Room

The existing table will stay as well the accent wall. For the table, my changes include an easy transition from traditional to contemporary through chairs. In fact, I would make all the chairs grey except for two white chairs at the heads of the table. I would change the accent wall color to match the primary brand color. The long empty wall behind the table can showcase an incredible piece of original art or illustrate the company’s mission with words similar to the format illustrated in the image below. If budget allows, I would layer the wall with an image or contemporary wallpaper for added visual interest.

Existing

ConferenceRoomTable ConferenceRoomWall
My Design

CopenhagenBergenChairCopenhagenBergenChairGrey

SherwinWilliamsLaughingOrange WalllIdea

 Office Furniture

The main office area includes one big room that has space for desks. There are three individual offices that are only accessible through this big room. The idea is to create a cohesive space amongst these multiple rooms and large open-work environment. The three offices have cool contemporary bean-shaped desks in white with glass tops and chrome legs. However, these desks are no longer available. My solution is to repeat those design elements with another type of desk in the same style but different design. I would change all of the black chairs from black to white or grey will also create a congruent, contemporary space. The individual offices would reuse the existing white chairs as guest chairs. They are the right design and color so they are ideal to include and  will save money.

The walls provide generous space for original and commanding art. Art that reflects the brand, anchors the environment and creates harmony.

NOTE: By not repeating the same desk type and choosing similar but different chairs, you can visual create the staff hierarchy within a shared space. I would put the higher back chairs in a darker color in the offices and keep lower back, lighter chairs in the main area for the support staff.

 

Existing

OfficeWhiteGlassDesksWhiteOfficeGuestChairs

My Design

CopenhagenSophusWhiteChromeDesk CopenhagenAxelDeskChairWhiteHi CopehagenAxelChairLow-Grey

 

Art

The office has generous wall space to showcase some unique retail and original artwork. Since they expressed an interest in nature themes, I suggested a few directions on this theme presented through a modern lens. Art is like adding the perfect accessories to a little black dress.

YellowFlowersPurpleflowers

bluesAbstract

Of course, there are many more items that can and should be incorporated into the office to make the space functional as well as presentable. The goal with commercial design is to start at least three months out, budget appropriately, hire a professional from the start and invest in furniture, especially chairs that will last several years. Short-term choices in lower quality items will most likely need to be replaced, thus doubling the design budget over time.

Have some ideas that you want to implement? Just reach out. I love design challenges.

Return to Our Roots – Spring 2015 Home + Fashion Trends

Spring 2015 color and style trends in fashion and interiors showcase a return to our roots as individuals and collectively as a global community. Designs reflect a connection to our ancestral and adoptive cultures while creating a new imprint that reflects our current times. After reviewing a dazzling selection of this season’s trend items (which are so juicy good), I distilled the flurry of trends down to three themes:

Reuse:  the  recycling of furniture and accessories, such as industrial components, to create upscale designs that are also environmentally conscious. This trends is found more often in home interiors.

Retro: vintage, rustic and heritage collectables remain as originally introduced and incorporated into collections or are being revamped with a modern interpretation.

Remix: a combination of design styles from contemporary cosmopolitan to boho chic and everything in between to create dramatic and adventurous individual spaces and wardrobes.

The trends are visually translated into a variety of gorgeous aesthetic options in fabric, embellishment, silhouette, materials and color. What makes this season so exciting is the unexpected and brilliant ways of integrating all of these styles – from regal to rustic, rustic to retro – into harmonious, clever and decadent spaces from our closets to our curios.

Here are some of the stand out trend items and ways you can incorporate them into your beautiful lifestyle:

Color

By now you’ve probably heard Pantone’s announcement of Marsala as the color of the year. Below are some ways to add Marsala to your wardrobe, beauty and home mix.

Every season, Pantone announces the color hues that will dominate the conversation in fashion and interiors. Spring ’15 has a veracious spectrum of vibrant and subdued colors for interiors. Fashion has a more abbreviated chart. Cross over colors include blues, rose, corals, browns and greys. What is especially exciting for Spring is the dynamic, adventurous and decadent combinations of color to create a rich backdrop for individual interpretation. You will see color, shapes and arrangements that are remixed to speak to space and its inhabitants.

MarsalaThierryMugler MarsalaChairsDomainHome MarsalaBeautyEastCoastCreativeBlogMarsalaWalls

Thierry Mugler/Turning Point blog/East Coast Creative blog

 

Pattern Playground

Patterns are funky, fresh, bizarre and breathtaking. The range of patterns is like being on a playground with an endless assortment of games and activities. Polka dots, stripes of all sizes and directions, grandiose florals and even, gingham is featured in apparel and interior fashions. The range of creative combinations in patterns and colors from rugs to wallpaper, dresses to shoes, make this trend category bold and beautiful.

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Jonathan Saunders – The Rug Co/Dries Van Noten/Knowles and Christou/Alberta Ferretti/Sophia Webster/Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Swing Fling

It’s a new century of flapper fabulosity with  modern and edgy sass. You will find fringe on purses, dresses, skirts, pillows and furniture. Keeping in swinging step, tassels are experiencing a resurgence as pillow, drape and furniture accents.  In fashion, you will find tassels added to dresses, jackets in chic and classy ways. Below are a few trend pieces that add great style to your wardrobe and home. Overall, the retro appeal of selections in this category are simultaneously nostalgic and fresh.

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Alberta Ferretti/Laura Kirar at McGuire chair/Shoecaster shoes

 

Rustic/Modern Glam

The tree that fell in the woods continues to be reclaimed and reborn into  exquisite pieces of furniture. The merger of rustic elements with contemporary design is showing up in showrooms everywhere. Keep your eyes open for handmade treasures by craftspeople who work with reclaimed materials. These tables are some of the most intriguingly beautiful pieces that captured my attention.

  BrabbusidetableBrabbuWoodMetalTableReclaimedWoodGlassTable

Brabbu furniture (first two images)

Metal Mania

Brass is back baby. That ‘90’s trim that saturated facets and countertops is back on top as the metal du jour. Show those pennies from heaven a little bit more respect, because copper is a close second as one of the season’s favorite design metals from flatware to lighting. Look for a full mix of metals for furniture to tableware, fabric to jewelry. One visually interesting design trend is the integration of metals and woods in geometric and organic shapes for distinctive statement pieces (as shown above).

BrassGeometricTablesTomDixCopperLightingKartellMetalChairs

LanvinBrassNecklace

Tom Dixon lighting/Kartell Chairs/Lanvin necklace

Spring is an exciting season. Probably one of my favorite in many years. You’ve got plenty of options for creative expression of beauty on your individual terms. As always, if you would like my creative eye to assist you in integrating any of these trends to fit your style , just drop a note.

Current Obsession: Bar Carts

My current obsession is bar carts. This strikes me as a bit odd since I didn’t grow up in a house with a bar, never stocked a full bar in any house I’ve owned and have never been a big alcohol drinker. But I gotta say, wine is always welcome and I drool over beautifully sculpted alcohol bottles. They remind me of oversized bottles of perfume, but ones that contain drinkable liquid. OK, back to the obsession.

Bar carts were super hot during the ‘50’s house, cocktail party days when nightly martinis were all the rage with family, friends and colleagues. They even showed up in offices. People used them back then and today to show off their collection of exquisite Scotches, Whiskeys, gin, decanters and glassware. It is equally about presentation and functionality.

About five years ago, they started making a comeback and now vintage and contemporary designs are finding new floorspace in homes. People are using bar carts for obvious namesake functionality as well as placing them as side tables and a credenza for other types of accessories like flowers, a few books, a bowl of snacks, ceramic or glass figurines, etc. Hey, make it what you want.

Here are some of my favorites to give you some ideas. I’m currently on a mission to find a really cool vintage one that I can pimp out. If, or when I do, I’ll be sure to share my version of a roving chic cart of beautiful bottles, libations and other fabulous decorations.

bfdaa1b123dd-furnituredesignstore karl_springer_lucite_cart_013em-midtomod VINTAGE LUCITE-boldinteriordesign VladamirKaganBarWagon VladamirKaganBarWagoninside X_1-VintageChromeBarCart-1stDibsStones Bar Whisky Mortlach-70 The-Glenrothes-Whisky-Packaging-Design HighlandParkDistilleryScotch DiamondJubileeWine_Decanter_1 2-Decanter BorisDecanter decanter-spiral-mcssl Mora-Contemporary-Horn-Silver-Square-Ice-Bucket-and-Tongs-887 VintageFacetedLuciteIceBucket ifitshipitsherebucket modern-barwareNuance WilliamsSonomaBleakerBarIceBucket Artel-Sequence-bar-glasses,01537_1