For those real estate brokerages out there reading, some of these items may be appealing if you are going to be designing a real estate office. Use these trends to make an office that agents will want to join.
A popular catchphrase over the past 12 months, biophilic design is here to stay. Closely related to creating a sustainable work environment, biophilic principles draw inspiration from nature with a single purpose of creating healthier, happier, and more productive interiors. We can hope to see more vertical gardens, moss walls, natural materials, but also indoor gardens of edibles, an increased visual connection of the inside space to the outside landscapes, as well as natural lighting.
Although by now a widely-accepted standard, sustainable building principles now translate to the interior spaces as well. The focus will shift to sustainable office layouts, which use both low-carbon materials and practices that promote more human-friendly ways of working. Companies are expected to increasingly choose durable furniture, even at a steeper initial cost, as well as adopting solutions that improve indoor air quality.
Technology and offices have been married for half a century now, but 2020 will introduce some of the latest intelligent tech office solutions. Both sustainability and wellness are a part of the show, as smart lighting and HVAC systems will allow companies to waste less energy. Simultaneously, businesses will need a model for balancing an increased influx of data and technology with the need of employees to switch off and take a break.
So, the office of tomorrow promises an increased reliance on technology in critical areas, but also a complete absence of technology in others. According to the people behind an innovative master’s degree in interior design for commercial spaces, we should examine the current context of design from a transversal, interdisciplinary perspective.
With an increased understanding that the environment where we spend at least 8 hours a day has a significant impact on our physical and mental health, designers have focused on promoting wellness, a healthy lifestyle, as well as a sense of community. This includes a wide range of features, from integrated mediation areas and climbing walls to spaces for massage therapy and encouraging stairwell use.
While large IT companies have pioneered the way on these points, in 2020, we're going to see smaller companies and even startups embracing this trend.
Outdoor work areas
For many of us, the idea of taking our work outside dates back to school days when we all hoped the teacher would let us have a lesson outside. Humans have an innate desire to be outdoors, regardless of the job they do. By creating an outdoor office space, you encourage employees to spend more time in the fresh air, charging up on positivity and morale.
While some employees might take their work outside during a break, others might decide to spend the whole working day in the sunshine, relying on their mobile devices and wireless connectivity. There are also some interesting outdoor furniture trends worth following as well.
Defined areas in open plan
While the open office concept has been the No.1 modern office trend for a while, employees need spaces where they can concentrate on work at hand without distractions. To get the best of both worlds, designers recommend the use of glass wall dividers that provide privacy without confinement. However, these barriers might seem to float in the mid-air unless you define individual areas with contemporary wool rugs, which create a perfect balance between warmth and functionality. They are highly suitable for commercial spaces as they wear out with more grace and don’t flatten easily.
Use of art in décor
Art is one of the simplest methods to add color and style to your workplace interior. However, unlike now-ridiculous images of sunsets and tropical island landscapes with inspirational phrases, you need actual art. Depending on your company's aesthetic style, the choice varies from impressionist, renaissance classics, and even abstract, if you want to perpetuate the innovative and progressive spirit of your company values.
The best thing is that you don't have to visit galleries and negotiate thousands of dollars with established masters of art – online art dealers make the choices much more affordable.
Natural oak is ideal for businesses that want to capitalize on an open concept layout – it's elegant, stylish, natural, and if it comes from sustainable harvesting, even environmentally-friendly. The calming light color of oak not only keeps the space bright but also has a positive effect on employees, boosting their productivity and morale.
As an excellent alternative to natural hardwood, luxury vinyl flooring is becoming increasingly popular, mainly owing to its cost at a fraction of real wood and zero tree loss. Available in a variety of colors and stains, vinyl tiles are a considerable upgrade from dull wall-to-wall carpets that ruled the office space for decades. Whether you use them with complimentary area rugs or not, vinyl flooring promises to become a floor of choice for a wide range of commercial interiors, from corporate publishing agencies to private plastic surgeon offices.
An essential interior trend to watch for 2020 and beyond is the increased use of reclaimed furniture and materials. Retired pieces are recycled, reused, and repurposed to become something new and chic. Upcycled products can look impressive in commercial settings, and more importantly, send a message of a great cause.
Whoever visits your company or considers applying for a position, will instantly recognize your environmental values. A perfect example of repurposing is Amazon's initiative to use old doors as tabletops in their offices, raising employee awareness on the importance of reusing.
Apart from making them more connected to nature and the outside world, commercial space designers have other methods of making employees feel comfortable and at ease. By incorporating the residential touch in the office design, you can make your employees feel at home. From living room-style sofas that can be used for power naps, to rocking chairs and sectionals that can be rearranged for small team meetings, the idea is that people can be more creative when they are relaxed.
Final Thoughts on commercial interior design
For many successful companies, the key to success lies neither in technology nor ingenious marketing schemes, but in the excellent interior design that includes employee wellness, biophilic approach, sustainable practices, and smart solutions. With 2020 on the horizon, its time you gained a competitive edge by adopting a few of these trends.
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About the author: The above article on commercial interior design trends was written by Lillian Connors. Lillian is into a myriad of home improvement/DIY projects and spreading the word about them. She’s also genuinely into green practices, cherishing the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit and what we eat, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on.