There are several theories as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, two of whom were martyred on or around February 14th. The holiday may also have been initiated as a Christian alternative to a pagan festival associated with fertility. Although the roots of Valentine’s Day may not directly relate to the love and romance we associate with February today, a few of our designers are sharing some of their most beloved current trends or design elements that remind them of the spirit of the holiday.
Since our team works with a lot of senior living communities and college campuses, we are frequently challenged to provide design solutions to make individual residences “live larger” than they really are. Incorporating ample storage is critical to achieving this goal. Finding the right storage solutions is particularly of interest this time of the year when many of us strive to declutter living spaces in our homes. There are so many options out there, it can sometimes be overwhelming, but here are a few guidelines we have developed for these critical functional spaces.
Typically we concentrate on the commercial end of things since that’s our daily focus, but for the holidays this year we’re getting a little more personal. Several of our interior designers share a few of their favorite things when it comes to holiday décor. Hopefully some of the concept images, personal photos and trends that have inspired us will provide new ideas to help make your home or business festive and inviting.
With the advent of cell phones, smart watches and other similar technologies, the fundamental need for clocks to guide the patterns of our days has surely diminished. However, that does not mean they have become obsolete for residential or commercial interiors. In fact, clocks are enjoying a design resurgence with an emphasis on style and variety making them a valuable design tool for a wide range of settings.
As the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia have been steadily increasing, the demand for specialized settings is likewise on the rise. There is also a growing movement to empower our towns and cities to better support those with dementia, so they can choose to remain in their personal homes and fully engage with others (not just others with dementia) for as long as possible. In either scenario, we believe careful and respectful design strategies can function as a silent “enabler” to support dignity, personal expression and independence to the greatest extent possible.
The word hospitality traces its origin back to the Latin words hostis, which means stranger or enemy, and the more positive hospitem, which means guest or host. The English terms hospital, host, hostel, hotel and hospitality all come from these same roots. Interestingly the first hospitality venues were hospitals, which in their initial inception provided lodging and entertainment for pilgrims traveling to religious shrines. This eventually led to our current concept of hospitality which encompasses friendly reception and generous treatment of guests or strangers.
We take many of our design cues for a wide range of senior living, healthcare, educational and other commercial spaces from today’s hospitality venues, the best of which set the standards for brand identity, style and guest comfort and enjoyment. The following hospitality trends are examples of contemporary interior design techniques and finishes that will add visual interest, subtle sophistication and personality to a wide range of settings.
Whether you love it or hate it—and you are likely to fall into one of those two categories—purple is a color option that makes a statement. Combining the calming qualities of blue and the energetic properties of red in varying proportions, purple rarely functions as a neutral tone. Whether a light lavender-gray or a deep plum tone, purple makes an impact.
Despite the fact that it’s fairly rare in the natural world in comparison to other colors, purple (or violet) is the most powerful wavelength of the rainbow, just a few steps away from x-rays and gamma rays. Purple is often associated with royalty and luxury, probably because the earliest dyes were primarily reserved for the garments of emperors. This was due to the cost and complexity of extracting dye from thousands of shellfish for a single garment. Purple can also be associated with decadence and excess, however in many cultures it is a color of mourning.
We have to admit, one of our pet peeves as commercial interior designers is working with a client to incorporate beautiful custom millwork or casework shelving into their project, only to visit the site months later to find that the shelves are empty. This is a missed opportunity to create a positive first impression, add visual interest, reinforce your brand, and ultimately define the personality of your space.
This type of accessorizing, to add the finishing touches and pull everything together, is a service RLPS Interiors offers, but sometimes clients opt to handle this in-house. We understand that it can be difficult to know where to start, so we’ve pulled together a few guidelines that apply to both commercial and residential spaces.
As with fashion, we often see interior design trends from the past come back into vogue. While wall coverings have had their critics over the years, this industry has been working hard to reinvent itself. Today, there are endless choices of innovative, sustainable and attractive wall coverings available to create bold, impactful spaces.
An important distinction is that today’s commercial interiors use “wall coverings,” typically from a 54 inch bolt, which have been tested for durability and fire resistance. “Wallpaper” is limited to residential use, typically comes in 27” wide rolls, and is not subject to the same physical requirements as wall coverings.
Most Seinfeld fans can remember George Costanza’s father randomly shouting “serenity now” in an effort to achieve calm in the chaotic world of the Costanza family. However, he may have been able to achieve the same effect by simply eliminating some of the clutter in his home.
Drawing from Japanese design principles, minimalism exemplifies the concept of “less is more.” Simplicity, openness, and often symmetry are some of this disciplined style’s guiding principles. And while the removal of non-essential elements is key, the end goal is not to create stark or sterile spaces. Instead, a minimalist approach to design helps draws attention to outside views, architectural features, key furnishings or striking artwork. The following are a few minimalist design tips to help create peaceful, appealing spaces by reducing visual distractions and interior clutter.