Moving away from the over-creative Google-type clutter, office design is becoming more practical in 2015.
“After years of trying to replicate the Google office, common sense is finally prevailing over quirky, underutilised, budget-consuming white elephants. Instead, we are witnessing the making of a far more practical, grown-up office,” says Jenny Seddon, design director at Paragon Interiors.
1. Spending wisely
For 2015, keeping costs low will still be an important consideration.
2. Designing with staff in mind
The value of staff and their well-being will also be top of mind for businesses when it comes to designing modern office spaces.
3. Communal spaces
The rising cost of rental space will require designers to work harder to provide cost effective, multifunctional communal spaces for employees. Large canteen’s that are used for an hour a day and abandoned outside of lunch times are a thing of the past.
4. Locally sourced finishes
With the emphasis on durable yet inexpensive finishes, specifying local equivalents of imported base finishes, such as floor and ceiling finishes, will assist with keeping the costs down and inspire more creative use of every-day finishes and furniture.
5. Smarter open plan
“Whilst the emphasis on open plan will remain, it is recognised that this does not suit all job functions,” she states. She explains that it needs to be a space where people can perform tasks without distraction, but also have easy access to one another, therefore design will aim to meet off-the-cuff meeting requirements in a comfortable, yet practical area, in close proximity.
6. Private focus areas
“Areas for private phone calls are vital, as are focus rooms where staff can take a break from the office hubbub to focus on a task that needs their full concentration. These rooms will be slightly larger, where small teams can work for short periods, for example while brainstorming,” she says.
7. Inspired design
Interesting lighting and wall coverings, or the clever use of typography on surfaces, will be key features, with bespoke graphics and methods of custom designing, weaving, printing, laser cutting and 3D modelling becoming more affordable and popular.
8. Featuring local designers
Sourcing accessories, furniture and art from local designers is also a growing trend.
9. Individual expression
“As the modern employer-employee relationship shifts to one of partnership, office design is adapting to allow staff more individual expression, leading to the increased use of white boards and chalk and pin boards,” Seddon states.
10. A homelier look
The increasing importance of finding ways to make staff more productive and comfortable is further pushing office design towards a homelier look and feel with softer finishes, edges and lines creating environments that are inviting and comforting.
11. Pause areas
Furnishings such as sofas in pause areas and plug sets at alternate work stations also make office workers feel at home while at the office. These spaces provide workers with a choice of where to perform certain tasks.
12. “Happy” fabrics
“Fabrics are steering away from the true colour ways of corporate identities, and instead make way for colours that evoke the ‘happy’ transmitters in our brains,” Seddon adds.
13. Bringing the outside in
Colours will be influenced by the sea: Mediterranean blues, turquoises, through to olive greens, palm greens, dusty mint and touches of orange and rust with soft, serene neutrals, pale pinks, flamingo pink and flesh-coloured tones. There will also still be neutral greys and charcoals and a bold mixing of strong colours with soft pastels.
14. Natural and exposed materials
Seddon says materials such as timbers and metals are still on trend, keeping the finishes natural and exposed as opposed to hidden behind a thick layer of paint, stain or lacquer. “Materials will include clouded and tinted glass, gauzy fabrics as well as chalky florals and textures like rough suede and leather,” she adds. “There will be a continuation of the use of warm metallic materials, such as burnished gold and bronze. We will also see wicker or rattan returning to indoor areas, accompanied by rustic woods and the sustained use of bamboo.”
15. Interesting textures and weaves
“The trend is to move away from the boring striped chenille or dotty equivalent and introduce solid colour blocking in interesting textures and weaves. The 1980s polyester-based fabrics, whilst still hardy and durable, are being left behind to allow for more natural fabrics such as 100% wools, which are able to be upholstered along the softer curved lines of the inviting modern-day office,” Seddon concludes.
Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to Paragon Interiors for the information given to compile this article.