Fujitsu Headquarters by Woods Bagot is an example of a trend in interior design we noticed in 2014, low lounge furniture for meeting and collaborative spaces.
Last year we forecasted a few trends in interior design that we expected to see in 2014 (click here for part 1 and here for part 2). Well, now we’re looking back and seeing that some of those predictions rang true but, some projections also did not. We figured we’d give you an update on those predictions and how they may continue to have in impact in 2015.
Don’t get too comfortable.
In January 2014 we anticipated that office spaces would include much more comfortable seating, we did see a little bit of this; however employers were concerned that some of the furniture was too comfortable with the potential to hinder productivity. The balance of comfort and productivity was met with a residential aesthetic using commercial style construction – including denser foam and more upright positioning. The concept of the working lounge was also experimented with in 2014, with higher lounge style furniture or lower meeting tables to correspond with typical lounge height. We think this approach is a great one because it marries the homey feel with the corporate.
Many furniture manufacturers including Coalesse are now developing lower, more casual furniture like the table above for collaborative work environments.
It’s locally crafted? I must have it.
This might be our most favorite movement of 2014 – valuing the local talent of artists and collaborating with them to make beautiful interiors and representing the locality of a space. It was seen in 2014 in all mediums, including food, drinks, clothing, furniture, and art and in the majority of our own projects we included at least 1 item that was custom manufactured by a local artisan; and boy did they make a huge impact on the space. Not only visually, but they also provided a conversation piece for employees or customers that visit. We think this a movement that isn’t going anywhere fast and we’ll see lots more local love in 2015.
We certainly had a number of opportunities to work with local artisans this year. Our project The Boutique, pictured above, is one of them. The stunning 3D tile was crafted and installed by Carolina Sanchez de Bustamante at Arte Funktional.
Did you see that biker-grunge interior? We didn’t either.
We predicted that the interiors of 2014 would be influenced by the biker-chic or refined grunge that we saw in fashion. But we didn’t see any, did you?
Interiors might not have reflected the plaid, leather, and studs that would entice anyone to shred on a guitar, but we did see influence from 2013 fashion making waves through the interiors of 2014. Remember how everything had to be ombre? From hair, to nails and furniture, and yes even our interiors; designers from all mediums were obsessed with the lovely quality that transitioning colour creates. In interiors it was used in fabrics, paint, furniture, and even commercial carpet. We think this trend is a defining point for 2014 (as lovely as it was). Maybe 2015 will bring on the biker-esque look made popular by rock’n roll or Sons of Anarchy.
Although we didn’t see a insurgence of biker-grunge styling in interior design last year, we did see the influence of fashion. In the project above by Nendo it’s obvious that the ombre trend was a source of inspiration.
Grab your acoustic guitar and gather round.
Our prediction that camping inspired spaces would progress to the interior was right; string lights, benches, plaid, and the cabin feel were all seen in 2014 from retail spaces to offices. There’s a real sense of people coming together when you’re camping and businesses used that to create an experience for their users. In 2014 we also saw businesses showcase more rudimentary finishes as an aesthetic, such as exposed plywood, OSB, and dimensional lumber, giving a real rustic and cabin feel to interiors. We’ve also introduced this flavor in one of our upcoming projects, so stay tuned!
The WeWork space by Spector Group had a bit of a varsity, camp vibe. We thought it was a fun twist on our prediction for interiors that had a cabin feel.
I need privacy, please.
At the beginning of 2014, we predicted that more clients would request private offices once again as the completely open work area posed too many challenges and hindered focus and privacy for many employees, and we were right. But don’t be fooled, collaboration spaces are just as important as they are in the open office environment, we saw them shrink to smaller informal meeting areas for 3-4 people. They featured more comfortable furniture and integrated technology as well. The combination of both open and closed office environments allows for some of the most dynamic floor plans we’ve seen so far, and the use of glazing, interesting materials, and attention to spatial flow visually impacted the sense of openness. We think this is going to continue through to 2015 as businesses really think about their corporate culture and how their space can cater to it.
Aker Solutions sure felt the need for private offices and their design team at Peldon Rose delivered with this sleek, yet open workspace.
Now, now, share with your friends.
For the last few years, developers catered to the needs of the start-up companies by introducing shared space for multiple companies and these have surfaced in cities throughout North America,. Here in Kelowna, we have the Okanagan Centre for Innovation currently under construction and aimed at new start-ups or small businesses who will share various meeting and presentation spaces to meet their growing business needs. We think it’s a great, innovative way to use a building and to fuel the local economy.
In 2014 we anticipated that these dedicated buildings will offer a portion of the buildings to full time leases and maintain a shared building economy for larger spaces, such as auditoriums, meeting spaces, and cafeterias. This type of approach has created a dynamic mixing of companies to cater to creative collaboration between similar company structures. We think that these buildings are going to be more popular within the next decade to reflect increasing real estate costs and valuing multi-disciplinary ideas.
Co-work spaces continue to trend in 2014 and surely for years to come. There are a number of co-work spaces here in Kelowna and the new Okanagan Centre for Innovation designed by our friends at Mieklejohn Architects is under construction and soon to be added to that growing list.
Spread the Word
Environments with high ceilings, hard surfaces, and open layouts have been pretty common place in the last few years, but with these it posed new challenges in 2014 for acoustic control. We envisioned acoustics being integrated with furniture, fixtures, and materials in order to meet the needs of a space and we were right.
The Hatch team have come across some really interesting products in 2014 which not only look great, but also function as acoustic elements creating privacy or division. No longer is acoustic control an after-thought that needs to be applied after the building is occupied, thus becoming an eyesore. It’s now integrated within the design to enhance the space for users. Our recently completed Grand Forks project is a great example of how our design team incorporated an interesting acoustic element as a design feature – check back soon for photos of the space.
As seen in the above rendering, our design for Grand Forks City Hall incorporated the Quartz acoustic solution (also pictured, right) as a main design feature.
» Happy New Year! Is it time to update your workplace? We can help. Contact Hatch Interior Design located in Kelowna, British Columbia – Because Good Design is Good Business™.