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.
Many designers will tell you that great ideas are built upon the concepts and creators that came before them. This month we are highlighting a few of the earliest innovators who paved the way for today’s interior design professionals. Although there were certainly others who came before these few we’ve highlighted here (in fact, some sources trace interior design all the way back to ancient India), the following individuals have been heralded as some of the earliest American influencers for what has evolved into the contemporary interior design profession.
Furniture, accessories, color – these things are typically among the first that come to mind when we think about interior design. However, these terms relate only to interior decorating rather than the full breadth of interior design. While interior design does involve these important final touches, there’s a lot going on beneath the surface that can have a tremendous impact on how a final space feels and functions. We’ve asked a few of our designers about some of those behind-the-scenes features that can easily be overlooked.
Physical workspace is an important, often overlooked, component of employee satisfaction – not only for recruitment of new employees, but also for maintaining your existing workforce. The evolution of the WELL Building Standard reflects growing awareness and interest in creating healthy workspaces that promote employee engagement, productivity, health and well-being. Launched in 2014 by a former Wall Street veteran, Paul Scalia, WELL originated to promote a healthier version of the modern office.
Outdoor pools are associated with warm weather fun, relaxation and low impact exercise. Indoor pools can offer these same benefits year-round in every climate. However, indoor pools require careful considerations by the design team to provide a comfortable and appealing space that will endure for many years. We’ve asked a couple of our designers for their thoughts and ideas to create a successful indoor pool space, also known as natatoriums or aquatics centers, whether for a retirement community, school or college campus, community center, hotel or other hospitality venue.
An area rug is a great design tool for anchoring a space. Few finishing elements are as fundamental or transformative—so it’s critical to choose wisely. Size, color, pattern, texture and shape must all be carefully considered. At best, a wrong choice will be a missed opportunity to create a cohesive and appealing first impression. At worst, the wrong rug will clash with other finishes or throw the room off balance. Here are a few mistakes to avoid when choosing an area rug for your space.