Interior

Designing a Great Workspace Part I

Creativity, Adjustability, and Collaboration. With the constantly evolving trends, these three themes create the foundation for a great workspace. Laura and Caleigh are interior designers here at The Element Group and they sat down and shared some information about the design process.

What steps do you take when designing?

Caleigh:  

Step 1: Meet the client - This gives a sense of the personality the client that the designs are for, as well as the brand that the company stands for. Always go into the first client meeting with an understanding of who they are, through research. Learn about what could be done for them and as well as things such as past projects and missions.

Step 2: See the space - Either through photos or an onsite visit to see the space is essential. This is the time to define and understand the scope of the project, what the limitations and concerns may be, begin to explore all the available opportunities, and if needed, record measurements.

Step 3: Research + Idea gathering - Based on the client meeting and site visit, the information gathered is used to establish ideas for the space and to find photos of similar or drastically different spaces for inspiration.

Step 4: Schematic Design - This is when the formal design process starts. Using all the information gathered, one can start to scribble rough ideas and gather product images that support the ideas that are generated. When defining spaces, it is vital to start thinking about the space three dimensionally through things such as elevations and sketches. The design process continues with decisions about space size and functionality. Followed by materials, furniture, and finishes needed to ensure the look, feel and functionality the client desires. Once things are finalized, the completed design development and the construction documents are assembled in order to finally build the space

How do you determine the best color scheme for the space?

Laura:

It starts with an interview to determine the desired look, feel, and approach. Their design team gets involved and talks over their branding guidelines/standards in the form of a manual. This can contain the color palette, logo and how it should be used, and specific paint colors.

Desert Financial Credit Union Layout

Usually there is an element from another branch or their logo that they want to carry over. It could could be something like walnut paneling, a specific color blue or a special carpet. Sometimes, if there is a large logo wall with video displays, one of the colors featured could be used to create a stronger brand. There is usually a neutral color prevalent through the space, and then accent colors (along with environmental graphics) are used to focus the customer’s eye on certain areas. Often the carpet is selected first and it plays a huge factor in determining the rest of the details that will be added such as the laminates, tiling and countertops. Finding a carpet that enhances and blends with some of the accent colors can provide a base for everything else.

Blue Hills Bank: Seaport

Caleigh:

Utilizing a company's brand as the start off point and finding something else we would like to highlight is key. Using those logo style colors and brand guidelines as a key, the next step is to gather materials that complement and harmonize with the brand/logo, and find materials that will make the brand really POP. If a company has a bold logo color and style and values fun and bright graphics, the goal is to bring those colors subtly into the space so that the overall impression is not overwhelming. Balance is also key with color schemes. If there is a certain orange found in the graphics or on one side of the space, one should be bringing in that warm tone on the other side whether it is through paint, fabric color, or wood tone.

What would be 3 or 4 crucial things to keep in mind when designing a modern workspace?

Laura:

  • Simplicity.  An uncluttered and sophisticated approach that emphasizes fine lines and a sleek, seamless look. A well planned space will allow extensive collaboration in addition to focused individual work. One should have more than one option in the space, this includes conference rooms with increased privacy so not to disturb the other people working, areas dedicated to individual work, and areas for the team to meet and alternatively hang out. There also should be private spaces that allow individuals to find an increased focus. Finally, there should be ample space given to an individual so they can perform their job effectively and efficiently.

Popular Community Bank Lobby Furniture: Dadeland Branch I

  • Furniture and Finishes. Furniture must be comfortable and ergonomic and both must work together to capture the feel and design of the space, be it traditional, modern, or transitional. Comfortable ergonomic furniture is something that has been stressed over and over again as it is one of the most important elements. It is crucial to have options in order to easily adapt to different body types and preferences and be welcoming and supportive of the person in it. It should be of high quality and welcoming.

  • Signage and Wayfinding. For a client, properly designed signage helps the customer identify key areas and clearly directs them around the space.

Newburyport Bank: Newburyport, Massachusetts

  • Glass. Previously, workspace design only used this delicate, yet versatile media for small window panes. Now, designers are embracing this material and are seeking to incorporate it as much as possible. Having an abundance of glass in the design improves the sleek and modern aspect of the space and boosts the moral of the people working there. Glass can be treated in a way that it can regulate heat and still provide ample light, thus reducing electrical costs.

  • To extend on that, Lighting is really important, whether it is for employees, overall illumination, or to highlight features, it should be appropriate for the task at hand.

Part II Coming Soon!

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Interview written and conducted by Bryn Baldasaro for The Element Group.

Edited by Bryn Baldasaro and Dawn Rabinowitz.

Special thanks to Laura Mynahan and Caleigh Pollard.

Color with Caleigh // Color Neighbors aka: analogous colors

Revisiting our trusty friend the color wheel. Analogous colors are found side by side on the color wheel, which are known as “neighbor” colors. Lets start with my favorite color… green. Green’s neighbors, being blue and yellow, are very cohesive and comfortable when put together in a space. Analogous palettes are great for achieving a space with a calming environment. 

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Analogous combinations are usually found in nature, which is why they are so pleasing to the eye. It is important in a retail environment to use analogous colors with a significant amount of contrast so that you can create a space that is comfortable. Creating a comfortable feeling to a retail environment will make it more likely that customers will spend time in your store, and also return in the future. 

 Similar to complementary colors, it is important to choose a dominant color and have the other colors as accents or supporting colors. This may be your brand color. If your brand color is a hunter green try to use pops of a bright sunny yellow and maybe a more muted blue, creating a great backdrop for the green. Causing plenty of visual interest, without being overwhelming. 

If you liked this post make sure to check out our post on complementary colors and bringing life into a space!

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Article written by Caleigh Pollard for The Element Group.
Edited by Lyndsay Reese.

Color with Caleigh // Complementary Colors

We are going to talk about something that you may have learned about in elementary school, or maybe even high school. It is called the color wheel!

This may look simple or complex, but it was actually confusing to me when I was learning about it in my high school art class. Starting with the basics, you can really learn how to make your space look more cohesive, and make your brand colors really POP!

Complementary colors are located opposite to one another on the color wheel. As the term says, they complement one another. These combinations, which were derived from the red-yellow-blue model, are red and green, purple and yellow, and blue and orange. Using these combinations can make a space feel vibrant and play up the others’ intensity.

Using a high contrast with both complementary colors can produce a bold, and vibrant affect to a space in order to grab maximum attention to itself. However, using a equally high contrast of both colors can be a bit overwhelming and might be the wrong feel for a space. 

You can liven up a space, while being pleasing to the eye. There has to be a balance of the two colors to have a beautiful end palette. One color may be used a lot but with less intensity and the complementary color should be used less, but at higher intensity as an accent. Bringing in accents of the complementary color will liven up the space without making the space look distasteful. This palette will bring a soothing feel and fun energy to any space. The images below show spaces that were well-designed using complementary colors.  

Make sure to come back in a few weeks and learn about analogous colors!

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Article written by Caleigh Pollard for The Element Group.
Edited by Lyndsay Reese.