Recently during focus groups at a senior living community, we were somewhat surprised when an elderly woman living in personal care pulled us aside to share her desire to have a designated space for happy hour so she could enjoy a drink before dinner. In retrospect, it probably should not have come as a surprise that someone would simply want to continue a cherished tradition she had enjoyed throughout her adult life. While health issues or medications can be an issue for some older adults, many are increasingly expecting appealing bar options in senior living. This upward trajectory is expected to continue as the Baby Boomers reach typical move-in ages. A growing number of active adult and senior living communities are introducing sleek bars, cozy pubs or flexible lounge spaces to respond to the demand. Some communities are also incorporating specialty coffee and tea selections into their bars to provide something for everyone.
As the lines have blurred between work and home, interior designers have helped employers create more varied, flexible settings that feel less like a formal institution and more like a comfortable home-away-from-home. Resimercial design, creating workspaces that feel more homelike than corporate, is a fairly recent trend that has grown in popularity. According to Wayfair, the style became a “legitimate design movement,” at the 2017 NeoCon conference, a major annual event for the commercial design industry. To explore this new style, we’ve asked a few of our interior designers to share their thoughts about the resimercial design trend.
When we think about interior design, we tend to focus on the visual aspects. Magazines, home improvement shows and retailers highlight “wow” spaces, focusing on the final touches and products deemed essential for beautiful results. Other aspects such as functionality, comfort, ergonomics, health or safety, are often an afterthought, if we consider them at all.
Island workstations, smart appliances, accessible cabinets, touch faucets, lighting innovations—the list goes on and on for what’s new in kitchen design! Eric McRoberts and Jessica Jack attended this year’s Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) to see the latest innovations and products that manufacturers are featuring, especially since their top picks are typically based on consumer demands, color trends and emerging technologies. The following are a few of our favorite concepts which can be applied to kitchens of any size.
According to Wikipedia, the chair has been used since antiquity, although for many centuries it was a symbolic article of state and dignity rather than a functional item for ordinary use. Once chairs emerged beyond privileged status, they became ubiquitous in many cultures leading up to today where chairs are an integral furnishing selection for homes, offices, schools, restaurants, meeting spaces, theaters, and numerous other settings. Design considerations include durability, ergonomics, functional features (e.g. stackable or folding, task specific heights or styles, etc.), maintenance and, of course, design style.
Tiny living is having its day, with more people than ever taking on the challenge of living small or at least paring back to focus on the essentials. By now most of us are at least somewhat familiar with Marie Kondo’s recommendations for getting rid of items that no longer “spark joy.” Even thrift stores are feeling the effects of her books and Netflix series with donations trending up from previous years.
Record-breaking lows, wind chills, snowstorms and precipitation mixes can make the winter months seem long in much of the United States. Even places like Phoenix, Arizona and Southern California have recently experienced unusual snowfalls. As many of us are already looking forward to the arrival of spring in the next month or two, there are a number of ways to brighten interior spaces during the remaining cold and dark days of winter.
January seems like a good time to highlight yellow–the color associated with warm, sunny days. As with any color, yellow elicits a variety of responses and the emotions evoked are typically related to the specific hue and extent to which it has been applied. Lighter, muted tones work well as a soothing background neutral. More saturated, vibrant options can help to brighten spaces and create the illusion of light.
Signs are a fundamental aspect of commercial interior spaces. Most of us barely notice the many signs we encounter in any given day—until we find an example that’s poorly executed. Getting it right not only involves understanding current building codes, but also working closely with clients to develop functional, appealing and brand-consistent solutions—whether building code-required evacuation plans, room labels or directional signage, venue-specific signage or donor acknowledgements.
While some have questioned their long-term viability, both public and private libraries are reinventing themselves and, according to the 2018 American Library Association report, continuing to serve as a valuable resource for diverse groups of people. Libraries face many similar challenges to those of retailers, as large numbers of people turn to digital resources. However, the convenience of digital shopping, reading, learning, communicating and so forth can be isolating and less rewarding. This is where public libraries can step in to provide positive interactions, teachable moments and a collaborative community experience available to everyone regardless of their financial status.