Bringing some summertime vibes into the interior office design can boost morale and productivity. Irrespective of the season, here are some ideas for creating a summery atmosphere in the workplace.
Summer is here, and the warm weather is good for offices no matter what people are doing. First, people are happier during the summer than during the rainy season. This is often because more sunlight is linked to positive moods.
When employees are happier and more positive, their productivity increases, which can help improve revenue and customer service. So it’s unsurprising that you’d want to keep that summer vibe in the office all year. It is just another angle to already-used well-being tricks, but it may provide additional inspiration for office design.
Make the most of natural light.
The first thing you should do is maximize the natural light in the office. A ceiling and large windows are the simplest way to ensure that as much light as possible enters the office. Because of the regulation of body clocks, the more natural light you allow into your office, the higher the level of well-being for staff.
Using natural, light colors in your office is another way to maximize natural light. Pale yellows, greens, and blues should all be included. Lighter colors reflect light, brightening up the office. Using too much white, on the other hand, should be avoided. Some members of your staff may become depressed as a result of this.
Include plants in your office interior design.
Plants are an excellent way to bring summer into your office. Tulips, daffodils, and bluebells are beautiful plants for representing the summer season.
Plants have been shown to improve mood in the office for several reasons. They also raise the amount of oxygen in the area and help eliminate carbon dioxide, making it hard to work. This is a process called phytoremediation. The best indoor plants for this are bromeliads, dracaenas, and spider plants.
Choose the right flooring.
One of the most critical aspects of creating a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere in an office is selecting the appropriate commercial flooring. Vinyl with the look of light wood is an excellent option to consider installing in an office that doesn’t get a lot of natural light because it reflects light and gives the impression that the room is filled with more natural light. This type of flooring is also simple to clean and maintain after it has been installed.
Open up the office.
Another significant factor that should be taken into consideration is making the office more of an open concept. The open floor concept of the offices allows light to travel throughout the entire level. In addition, open workplaces enable staff members to communicate more effectively with one another and can boost morale overall. Utilizing natural and light materials in these areas and thinking about plants and other such things can help concentration, especially if natural light is not an option. It is, however, important to have quiet spaces where calls can be made and people have a place to concentrate on what they are doing.
Practical Interior Design Ideas to Keep the Staff Productive
Office managers, business owners, and facilities managers constantly seek ways to increase team productivity. It can seem challenging to keep your office inspiring and new in a continuously changing workplace thanks to co-working, home working, and flexible hours. We examine several tried-and-true interior design ideas to increase output and energize and motivate personnel. These interior design tips are ideal for modern business, whether adopting cutting-edge commercial flooring, altering the office layout, or streamlining your workspaces.
1) Fun interior design concept
Innovative companies that have embraced fun workplace interior design ideas include Telus, PruLife UK, and KMC. Employees will want to work in a fun environment and be more productive. They may even stay later and socialize while at work. Despite the seeming contradiction, integrating work and leisure is critical to hiring new employees and rewarding current ones. You don’t have to go as far as Onefootball HQ, which has a headquarters with goalposts and a three-lane jogging track around the office.
Still, these forward-thinking companies have succeeded in establishing exciting and enjoyable working environments that employees want to be in. As simple as adding a table tennis table to the break room, adding candy dispensers to the decor, or designing more inspiring breakout spaces with humorous messages are all examples of how you can inject some fun into your workplace. These actions show the company’s desire to engage with the workforce.
2) Energizing indoor spaces
Particularly when it comes to the colors you choose for your office, a fun interior design concept may be a terrific tool for inspiring and energizing your workers. Yellow, blue, and orange are vivid and striking colors that enhance happiness and productivity. Use vivid office accents, particular feature walls, vibrant commercial carpets, and carpet tiling to incorporate these colors.
3) Consider the senses
The multi-sensory approach to interior design has grown significantly recently, and this can be a terrific tool for boosting productivity. Pine, peppermint, and citrus can be used as sprays, diffusers, and plug-in air fresheners to increase alertness, mood, and energy. Another sensation that has previously been neglected in office design is hearing. Allowing employees to use headphones to filter out noise is another wise move. Seated, quiet rooms might be ideal for them to focus away from the bustling office.
4) Promote the development of ideas
The interior design concept of many forward-thinking companies’ offices has idea generation built-in. You may promote innovation and new ideas by giving your workers a place to store and present images. This could be achieved with a whiteboard that anybody can write on. A wall for workers for post-it notes or a meeting space where the entire company can discuss fresh ideas. Designating an area for ideas isolated from the rest of the office enables people to study concepts, exercise, and feel engaged and motivated by the organization.
When we think of branding in the workplace, we often think of big, bold graphics, logos, and signs. But does that show what a company stands for and its mission?
Before deciding on the right branding strategy for an office, knowing what an organization stands for is essential. A workplace design that reflects brand values encourages teamwork and mentorship while giving employees a sense of belonging. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. A strong workplace strategy encouraging people to be themselves is the key to thoughtful, brand-centered design.
A Reflection of Company Values
While developing and implementing effective workspace design, workplace strategists and designers must consider a company’s needs. How an organization and its employees’ function will significantly impact design decisions, ensuring that procedures speak to the brand, enhance productivity, and promote employee morale. Designers may create an inspirational office atmosphere that seems both new and familiar by communicating a brand’s ideals with authenticity in mind.
Through workshops, visioning exercises, branding brainstorms, and artistic work sessions, strategists can uncover an organization’s values using an ethnographic approach. These qualitative methods are intended to extract information that will assist clients in identifying their objectives and the story they wish to convey through their space.
As a result, designers may develop spaces that reflect an organization’s needs, down to the minor aspects that may have been overlooked. An in-depth study provides the information required to understand a firm’s core and how its employees function while maximizing how they interact within the space to convey a compelling brand story. Looking ahead and discussing business goals and a firm’s future can help optimize the office space, creating the flexibility required for long-term growth.
Workspace design captures and incorporates a brand’s culture and objective into the design. Creating a connection between the brand and the workplace goes beyond what we know of a standard branded environment. Instead, it develops micro-experiences contributing to a business’s actions, goals, and values.
Brand Authenticity and Thoughtful Workspace Design
Branding is about recognition, which means logos and advertising to most people. Workplace branding supports organizational values. Instead of heavy branding moments, authenticity can be shown through touchpoints that combine layers of information, Such as creating different experiences and zones that reflect the work being done or making spaces for employees’ well-being. It’s more about designing around the activity and what it needs than creating a specific branding moment. Wellness and yoga rooms have become more popular as employees return to work. However, even if the space is excellent, it doesn’t make a difference if the staff doesn’t use it because there is no connection. To truly reflect the brand, it’s essential that these spaces reflect what’s important to the company and its employees and that they actively encourage employees to use them.
A balance of subtle and robust branding helps reduce the likelihood of an office seeming too professional or overly cutesy. Factors such as materials, colors, images, and mixtures of spacious meeting places and quiet rooms can improve staff engagement when contrasted well enough to convey an organization’s personality. Key branding moments executed more creatively and experientially appear more integrated and combine components to communicate the brand story. Trends change, and what works in one workplace may not work in another. To endure the test of time, workplace designs must be timeless and adaptable so that they may expand as the company grows.
A Physical Expression of Corporate Culture
A connection to a physical location can raise mood, energize, and relax when created with a human-centric lens. Employees are at the heart of a company’s culture and must be nurtured in a positive environment.
The office can be a place of learning, growth, and socialization. The best workplaces make employees feel connected to the brand as soon as they enter. Organizations must realize how significant these characteristics are to their staff. Whether through high-impact times where cooperation thrives or moments of planned stillness that maximize workflow.
Workspace design that effectively translates employee demands and what a brand stands for empowers employees and promotes a healthy culture. A genuine connection to corporate values can improve employee retention, recruiting, and workplace evolution.
Over the last three years, striking a work-life balance has become more complex. Remote work has clearly drawn a line between the two, leading many people to identify primarily as having a work life and a home life. This viewpoint portrays the “office” — whether in person or two feet from their bedroom — as a stressful part of their day, where negative energy seeps into non-work hours. As a result, it is vital to consider human-centered office interior design as a driving force behind a successful office and its staff. Recognizing employee health and well-being opens users’ eyes to the possibilities of making the workplace a positive part of their day rather than a stressful part.
Why Do Offices Need Positive Energy?
A design approach based on emotions and feelings is all about creating stimulating surroundings that give power back to the user while also supporting their mental and physical wellness. Timeless, minimalistic interiors remove excess from the equation and focus the energy on the individuals in those physical places. We’ve all been in situations where we couldn’t concentrate because our workplace was unorganized or there was too much noise.
When there is a less visible distraction, our thoughts are likewise at rest. This leads to a positive and creative frame of mind that is free of tension. The idea is for that emotion to stay with the user throughout the day and for them to be excited to return to that sensation evoked by the thoughtfully-curated office interiors the next day. Changing mindsets is challenging, especially when you are not in a healthy environment that would assist you in making this beneficial mental adjustment. In a safe, familiar office, users are more likely to be vulnerable.
Implementing Energizing Design Concepts
We must build spaces where people desire to work and socialize in addition to instilling positive energy. It’s important to use design elements that stimulate the five senses and help employees feel confident in their surroundings. An open, uncomplicated layout connected by arches rather than lockable doors creates a needed flow and encourages healthy workplace interaction. Building such relationships has a safe environment free of public speaking apprehension. And in the chaos of a regular workweek, lounge rooms are better for comfort than work. A designated location for unwinding, sharing lunch with a coworker, or celebrating helps to keep the positive vibe cyclical. The following features indicate a pleasant, homey atmosphere and should be considered while creating workplace interiors.
Some Work, Some Play
Design considerations are not confined to building and furniture materials. Team building is essential for creating a happy, healthy workplace. And recreational places can break the daily monotony, embrace internal camaraderie, and generate more robust relationships between coworkers. Friendly competition on foosball, ping-pong, arcade, and pinball machines activates a brain region that is usually idle during the workday. Which makes breaks even more appealing.
When these tenets are satisfied, the team celebrates individual triumphs as much as group successes. Thus, instead of seeing going to work as a chore to maintain their 50/50 work-life “balance,” people look forward to continuing their work from the day before and coming in with an open mind.
Today’s office workers want soft home aspects, flexible furniture, and hybrid workspaces. As well as design touches that might be added to these functional places to inspire employees. Improved acoustics, sustainable structural characteristics, technology-backed buildings, and digital tools in conference rooms and shared areas are popular. Architects and designers must remain open-minded and focused on user well-being as office spaces adapt and grow.
This article is based on Fernanda Ruelas, Emotion’s Leading Role In Designing Positive Workplace Interiors, published in Work Design Magazine.
“Our goal in the factory is to ensure that production processes deliver products of maximum quality in a profitable and timely manner. My job is to optimize day-to-day activities while minimizing the costs.”
Meet Arjay Rogelio, one of SDW’s experts who oversees workshop production. As the Joinery Production Manager, he is fully responsible for all production processes on the shop floor, ensuring that manufacturing runs smoothly and efficiently. He supervises, mentors, and motivates the workers and organizes functions from site plans and shop drawings. These requirements are frequently complex, and he is expected to deliver solutions on schedule and within budget. He also organizes the installation of manufacturing products at the project site to ensure a smooth transition. He oversees and resolves any ongoing issues or punch lists, which must always be completed promptly and effectively.
Arjay is relatively new to SDW. However, he has over ten years of construction experience and more than six years of international production experience in Saudi Arabia. Before joining SDW, he worked for a construction and steel fabrication company in the Philippines. After that, he went to work for a kitchen furniture company in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Because of his excellent track record and performance, he is regarded as one of SDW’s Experts, specifically in production. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering degree. A path quite far from his chosen profession now. But he is happy and thankful because this is his dream job. A bachelor at 33, Arjay has quite an achievement on his cap, but he still has more to offer. Let’s get to know him more as he answers questions about his job and career.
How did you end up in your current role with SDW?
I came back to the Philippines from Saudi Arabia during Covid and decided that I had had enough of working abroad. The previous Production Manager of the Factory was resigning to work in Australia, and during that period, my role was CAD and Design. When the previous manager left, and because of my skills and experience in Saudi Arabia, GM promoted me to Production Manager.
What does your job entail?
As Production Manager, I have complete responsibility for all production operations on the shop floor to ensure manufacturing remains a smooth and seamless process. I monitor, mentor, and motivate our workforce and organize workflows from site plans and shop drawings. These requirements are often complex, and I am expected to deliver solutions timely and within budget. My job is to optimize day-to-day activities while minimizing costs. I also arrange the installation of products from the factory at the project site to ensure an efficient transition. I also manage and rectify any snagging issues or punch lists, which must be done promptly and effectively. Our goal in the factory is to ensure that production processes deliver products of maximum quality in a profitable and timely manner.
What is your expertise?
I have more than six years’ track record as Production Supervisor during my assignment in Saudi Arabia. This has given me the necessary skills and experience to manage production in SDW Factory in Sucat. In Saudi Arabia, we had an automatic turnkey factory producing joinery items, including windows, doors, and kitchen cabinets for high-end housing developments.
How do you feel about your job and being regarded as an expert in production? Do you like working with SDW?
I’m happy and thankful because it is my dream job. Right now, my job helps me leave my comfort zone. Working with SDW is a fantastic experience. Every day is different, with different challenges to overcome with my team.
What type and size projects have you built?
In my previous Saudi Arabia project, I handled Saudi Aramco Housing Projects 250 Villas supply & Installation of Kitchen Cabinets, Solid Wooden Doors, Flush Doors & Wooden Trellis. The monthly income for the factory was nearly one million USD.
What is your dream project?
My dream project for the workshop is to get clients/projects internationally and export our items/products so I can visit another country for free.
How do you handle the pressure?
I wouldn’t say I like to let stress take over a situation. Instead, I want to stay focused on the task at hand. For example, if a client isn’t happy with our product, I focus on proactively communicating with them instead of dwelling on it. I like to get to the bottom of the issue, troubleshoot it, and then find common ground to allow us to move forward.
Since you joined SDW as a production manager, have you ever experienced conflict with superiors, and how did you handle it?
Respect is always intact, but disagreements are always healthy as a way to express and receive ideas. I learn a lot from this, and I hope some of my ideas also bear fruit with my superiors.
As Production Manager, have you ever experienced conflict with clients, and how did you handle it?
Differences of opinion will always exist during a project fit-out, and sometimes clients’ expectations can be unrealistic. It is essential to try and win hearts and minds, using a process that breaks the issues into segments and initially into where we can find agreement. Compromise is always best for both parties and involves give and take on both sides.
What actions would you take if a project falls behind schedule or exceeds the project’s budget?
There are many reasons why this could happen, from material issues to the workforce. First and foremost is to try remedial measures on the shop floor. If this is not succeeding, I will flag issues to General Manager, explain the reasons and contributing factors, and make realistic proposals to turn things around. The essential things are transparency, sharing problems with our team, and not trying to shoulder everything myself.
As SDW’s production expert, what has been your biggest challenge on site, and how have you overcome it?
As production manager, the challenge on site is the layout problems & approved drawings are always different. So before starting production, we must take actual measurements and revise the shop drawing.
What would you do if some of your workers were not using the necessary safety equipment?
During toolbox meetings, we always inform them to use PPE inside production for safety.
How would you describe your ideal work environment?
I would first consider safe and complete joinery cabinetry tools & equipment. Have a full professional member of teams in the respective category.
As SDW’s production expert, how do you approach leadership?
A leader can lead others and build solid relationships in the team, have integrity, accept responsibility for the team, and possess natural authority.
It takes a group of highly qualified individuals from different backgrounds and fields of expertise to achieve a common goal. Arjay is part of SDW’s expert team that works to complete successful projects. Please get to know more stories about our team.
Companies and buildings are feeling pressure to do more for the environment, so they’re using sustainable practices to do so.The world of work is constantly evolving, so office design has to keep up. Here are five trends that we are seeing that will continue into 2023.
The office sector will have to adapt to new ways of design that are more eco-conscious, and this is already being seen.
Organizations can be expected to integrate the remote and in-person employee experience by installing new, flexible technology within meeting rooms, common areas, and individual offices.
The multi-modal design also impacts the post-pandemic workplace due to its benefits to workers.
Workplace design is being pulled in a million different directions. But it must also be flexible, sustainable, data-driven, multi-model, and integrate all necessary and new technologies. Here are the top five workplace design trends that will make their way into 2023.
1. Net zero buildings will gain more momentum
Net zero means reducing greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible to zero. For a long time, net zero buildings have been gaining popularity. As the world continues to suffer from climate change, more real estate companies may adopt the net zero approach.
About 40% of annual global carbon dioxide emissions come from buildings and construction. The future design of these buildings/offices will reduce carbon emissions by using sustainable materials and suppliers.
The office sector will have to adapt to new ways of design that are more eco-conscious, and this is already being seen — the best examples being La Jolla Commons in California and The Unisphere in Maryland.
2. Companies are solidifying how hybrid and remote work will shape the physical office space
Tim Gawel, Market Sector Leadership Associate Principal at sustainable design firm HED, told Allwork.Space Many organizations are unhappy with how their current office supports hybrid work and virtual interaction as 2022 winds down.
Companies have solidified their hybrid workplace policies and are looking to redesign their offices to support remote and in-person workers over the past six months. By installing new, flexible technology in meeting rooms, common areas, and offices, Gawel expects organizations to integrate the remote and in-person employee experience.
“Conference rooms with technological integrations that allow everyone to have the same on-camera appearance and audio quality are one of the major design elements we expect to see in the new year. We’ll also see technology enabling live working meetings with constant video and audio connectivity and the ability to move around the office while interacting with virtual employees. Gawel told Allwork.Space, “Organizations that consider the entire workplace, both virtual and in-person, in their 2023 renovations will have the edge over those who update their office furnishings.”
As employees return to the office and further embrace the hybrid experience, there is less need for individually “owned” spaces like closed offices. More emphasis is being placed on a team and community-centered areas that can be utilized for various events.
3. Data-driven design will be in demand as organizations create their office design strategies in the new year
Many organizations have approached facilities with a trial-and-error approach about what works best for their company and employees. The pandemic has shaken that tactic and created a demand for an evidence-based approach to office design.
The data-driven design considers worker behavior, such as office/coworking space activity.
Data-informed workplace design optimizes office space use by utilizing real-time data and trends, increasing productivity.
Gawel predicts an increase in facility analysis, user feedback, tech and furnishing prototypes, and space concept testing in 2023 to help companies make data-driven office design decisions.
4. Multi-modal design will optimize the future of work
Multi-modal strategy is making a significant impact in the post-pandemic workplace due to all that it offers.
This workplace design includes deep-focus spaces for quiet work, “soulful” spaces with comfortable and creative furniture and conversation nooks, innovation or event spaces, formal gathering spaces, and community spaces.
This design can help to break down silos and encourage greater collaboration and interpersonal encounters. These spaces allow more movement and usage because employees don’t have to remain at a desk or area.
“Multi-modal working combines layers of a well-considered, simple technology with pragmatic design solutions and is overlaid with storytelling and relevant experiences that optimize the work experience,” according to Forbes.
5. Offices are greenwashing rather than achieving biophilic/sustainable design
Companies and buildings are feeling pressure to do more for the environment, so they’re using sustainable practices.
Some are engaging in greenwashing instead of actual biophilic design; greenwashing is a false impression of sustainability. An office filled with aesthetically pleasing plants doesn’t mean that it isn’t still contributing to climate change.
You create a biophilic design by connecting people and nature within their built environments. The most effective biophilic method considers the environmental impact of every incorporated aspect, placing importance on sustainability over “green” looks.
Biophilia is becoming increasingly demanded by office workers. Because they want to accommodate workers and get them back to work, companies are listening more.
If organizations want to be sustainable, save money, and gain social popularity, they must become truly green, not just greenwashed.
Let’s look at this lovely Chinese interior design style in honor of the Chinese New Year.
Of all the decorating trends and style stalwarts, Chinese interior design is one of the most unassuming. Asian design is one of the most powerful and memorable design dynasties. It flourished despite receiving less attention than Mid-Century, Scandi, or Baroque.
What is Chinese interior design?
Several images come to mind when you close your eyes and imagine a typical Chinese interior. It’s hard to pin down a country with such a rich and long history.
Sleek surfaces of dark, lacquered woods, dimly lit decorative lanterns, meticulously hewn latticework furniture and screens, and color palettes that often blend warm neutrals with punchy, saturated tones of red (China’s luckiest color), blacks, and golds.
All true of a classic Asian interior, a design direction drawn from thousands of years of Chinese culture and decorating evolution, dating back to 1000 BC.
Asian design embodies zen. Chinese-style interior design will often build this sense of harmony by blending complementary influences across the continent.
Japanese and Chinese interior design elements often combine with the delicate nature of traditional Japanese design. Offsetting the boldness of the Chinese aesthetic narrative.
Chinese interiors are harmonious, well-decorated, and well-managed.
What are the characteristics of Chinese interior design?
Chinese interior design features rice paper lanterns and cherry red and gloss black palettes.
Wood is known not only as a food staple to China’s national treasure, the giant panda but also as a Chinese symbol of virtue. It symbolizes traditional Chinese values and the potential harmony between people and nature.
Ancient China called the plum, orchid, bamboo, and chrysanthemum “the four gentlemen.” The pine, bamboo, and plum “three gentlemen in winter.” The deep root symbolizes resoluteness, and the tall, straight stem honor.
These deep meanings make bamboo so respected and wanted in inspired Chinese interiors. Whether as a photo frame, a mirror surround, or even a lampstand. And Chinese architects are increasingly turning to bamboo as a sustainable building material.
Lacquer techniques are synonymous with Chinese interiors and more popular during the Ming Dynasty. It’s a skill over 1400 years old and takes time and discipline.
The makers would build up layers of different lacquers to carve into and create impeccably artistic scenes on elaborately decorated luxury furniture. One of the most famous examples was the Chinese Coromandel screens that used various lacquering techniques.
Kuan cai (incised colors) is the simplest, but one piece of furniture can use up to 30 techniques, each with 100 stages. Lacquering wall finishes are newer.
Whether used for decorative or room-dividing purposes, screens are commonplace in Asian interior design. Shoji – a door, window, or screen used in Japanese architecture made from translucent washi paper and a lattice of bamboo – are the most mimicked.
Chinese interior design uses similar screens, and folding screens adorned with incredibly detailed murals, often mythological or historical in theme. One of the most famous examples was the Chinese Coromandel screens that used various lacquering techniques.
The folding screen began in ancient China and was soon taken up by France and Sweden.
Because of the respect for detail, precision, and decoration, latticework is often seen in Chinese interior design. Lattices can be seen on anything from cabinet doors to shutters.
Screens also add an element of privacy and seclusion. Traditional canopy beds can have lattice or fretwork on the wood paneling’s interior and exterior, with the patterns they trace being geometric and more contemporary or floral-based.
Unique and magical, Chinoiserie wallpapers were (and still are) often painted by hand using lustrous hues and fastidious detailing.
Although not traditional to Chinese design — instead a European creation to represent the beauty of Chinese art and scenery — they flourished in the 18th century and became more widespread in the 19th – there are original examples in the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and the Yellow Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace.
Chinoiserie wallpaper (real or imitation) can be used in panels, line the inside of a closet, or as a backdrop to display fine china or crystal. It is known for fading slowly and elegantly. It is also one of the most covetable wall coverings available,
Ruling China from 1386 to 1644 A.D., the Ming Dynasty is renowned for many things, such as population doubling, trade expansion, drama, literature, and creating world-renowned porcelain. Amongst these, furniture characterized by the period became one of the most revered examples of Chinese interior design, particularly the Ming Dynasty tables.
Made from precious wood and showing superb craftsmanship and joinery, these tables would often be simple in structure with minimal decoration. This would allow the natural beauty of the wood to shine and the decoration to be appreciated fully.
It’s often referred to as the golden era in the development of Ancient Chinese furniture, so unearthing a Ming Dynasty antique table is one of the richest ways to celebrate Chinese interior design in your home.
Another icon in the history of Chinese furniture is the wedding cabinet. A traditional gift given to the family of the groom by the bride’s family, it was the centerpiece of her dowry. As such, they were generally elaborate in their carvings and etchings and often had a large central brass plate and locking bar. Today, they’re collector’s pieces and work well as storage closets and drink cabinets.
Like most considerations in Chinese-style interiors, history informs the path. Another ancient technique used for decorating pieces made from metal is Cloisonné.
Metal wires are soldered to the form, such as a vase or piece of jewelry, in decorative patterns and then filled in with enamel, colored glass, or gem inlays resulting in a mosaic-like quality to the finished piece, although much finer.
The delicate nature of cloisonné appealed to Chinese taste and, by the 14th century, was being used in China to decorate items such as vases and bowls. Today, you can expect to see at least one cloisonné piece in a Chinese interior, be it an ornament or a trinket box.
Stools are a staple in Asian room sets, and one of the most iconic designs is the barrel-shaped Chinese garden stool. Initially, it was used in China purely in outdoor spaces.
Wherever possible, Chinese homes emphasize the landscape and courtyard or garden. Or, even if the garden were visible, the garden stool moving into the home was a way to build a bridge between the indoors and the outside world.
These stools were used inside and out for seating and as a side table. They’re available in carved wooden designs, as the traditional garden stool was made, and glazed stone or porcelain is deemed more suitable for our interiors. Lattice work is not uncommon on stool designs, either.
Chinese interior design trends
The Marie Kondo effect is pan-Asian, though Japanese. Thus, Chinese customs of ordering and keeping only useful items in the home have fueled the decluttering trend. Chinese interiors avoid clutter, which drains energy.
Natural materials are another popular Chinese interior design idea. Chinese people value nature, honor it and recognize the benefits of using natural resources. Whether it’s wooden furniture, natural fiber rugs, or stones as spiritual grounding, bringing nature into our homes helps us relax.
Another trend in Chinese interior design is using screens to divide a room. Over the last decade or two, a seismic shift has been toward open-plan living. So we’ve slowly begun to gravitate toward the broken plan.
Separated rooms mean we divide the space between cozy pockets and zones of activity. Modern Chinese interior design applies decorative screens to large rooms to divide space.
How to incorporate Chinese Interior design in your home
Chinese interior decorating can be minimalist or maximalist, like any design influence. But perhaps three key stepping stones will steer your scheme in a (far) easterly direction. The decision is how much pressure to apply to the pedal and how much to turn up the volume.
How overt or subtle do you wish the interior design to dominate your room? And remember, even if you combine all three of the following, your scheme can still err on the quieter side of Chinese design.
Richness in color is another tenant of traditional Chinese interior design. A rousing Asian design symphony will play from your space when ruby red walls, ebony or mahogany fine furniture, gold relief work, gilt decorative accents, and brass metallics combine.
If something so strong doesn’t suit your taste, choose one of the signature Chinese colors and use it in several places to draw attention. Such as a chorus of dining chairs, a decorative screen, or the colors on your walls.
Chinese design isn’t so much a rejection of bold lines and sharp form. But, it embraces and champions decorative form in a very big way.
To truly develop a Chinese-inspired scheme, you’ll need to make room for ornate carvings on furniture or lamps. Seek intricate fabric patterns and embrace the more-is-more approach to room details. All the while keeping everything else very much about less is more.
As a senior site QS, I love that my job doesn’t limit my learning to paperwork and the office. It lets me experience site operation and quantity surveying firsthand.
Roxanne Espiritu was looking for her next job as an aspiring professional when she discovered SDW had an opening for a Senior Quantity Surveyor. “I was still in the province working for a private construction company as a project engineer. I was looking forward to returning to Manila after having some time to breathe when the epidemic hit. One of the firms I’ve seen people apply for is SDW. I browsed its website and what impressed me is that the executives are composed of both locals and foreign nationals.”
Roxanne has worked for six years since graduating from Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. She has worked at four different construction companies. She is one of SDW’s notable women in construction who, despite the difficult job in a male-dominated work environment, has excelled and proven herself.
Let’s get to know Roxanne as we asked her some questions about her work and construction.
What does your job entail?
As a Senior Quantity Surveyor on site, one of the most critical aspects of my job is to check that the scope of work being implemented by the operating team is right and following our contract. These include the location, quantity, and cost of each activity. And because our company engages other subcontractors to complete some of our jobs, I also need to analyze their performance and certify their billings. Finally, we must prepare our monthly billing claim, containing all necessary documentation.
What is the best part of your job?
As an engineer with experience in site operation and office work, I would say that one of the best parts of my job as senior site QS is that it does not limit my learning to paperwork only and on the four corners of the office. It allows me to explore and experience firsthand the correlation between site operation and quantity surveying work. It also challenges my knowledge and ability to work effectively with the two different construction departments, the operation site team, and the commercial team. They are very different in many ways but also very connected. This kind of work setup improves my negotiating skills and allows me to immerse myself in varying levels of understanding.
Do you like working with SDW?
In my more than three months with the organization, I would say that one of the benefits is having an environment that encourages you to speak English. It enables me to gain confidence and improve my communication abilities.
What has been the most memorable moment working with SDW?
My daily experience in the company is, I believe, memorable. Every day is different, adding to my recollections of the company. My regular conversations with coworkers or managers, whether at work or during breaks. Those days appear to repeat themselves or when nothing happens. Those days, I don’t say much since I have a lot on my plate. It is also how they make you feel significant as a team member and how they make you feel during those demanding schedules and submittals. Those are the things that will remain.
What personal qualities help you be pleasing in your job?
Listening with analysis is one of my skills that gives me an advantage over others. Next, I am not scared to make decisions and hold myself accountable. Humility, as well as an understanding that learning is a never-ending process, has greatly assisted me.
Who inspires you?
My family, like others, is what keeps me going. My ambition is to provide them with a comfortable lifestyle and enable other family members to realize their dreams.
I didn’t picture myself working in industries other than construction. I believe it is my professional calling and that I was born to do it. My manner of thinking, desire to construct things, and create solutions are all aspects of who I am.
What are the advantages of being a woman in construction? What are the disadvantages?
One of the advantages of being a woman in the industry is that they will assume you are organized and good at documentation because it is typically reserved for women. However, I must say that sometimes it is also a downside because they will limit your role to that and will give the more physically demanding activities to men. For this reason, there is no equal opportunity for both genders.
What is the biggest challenge of being a woman working in construction?
As a woman in the industry, aside from the fact that it is mentally and physically exhausting, it is a great challenge to prove that we are equally capable as male engineers. Not only in terms of strength but also in effectiveness on site or in office work, intellectual or physical, in management or operation.
How do you handle the pressure?
When there is the pressure at work, I try my best to stay calm and intellectual. For me, this is how it works. I need to stay focused. Keep attention to the details, then work it out.
What advice do you give a young woman entering the industry?
I would encourage those young ladies who want to pursue a career in the construction industry to do so because it is an adventure. It is very challenging and fun but exhausting at the same time. So I think for you to be able to enjoy one thing, you must love it. I mean not only in construction but in general. So yeah, if you think you are passionate about this industry, go for it.
How do you think construction can attract more female candidates?
I think the construction industry itself is very attractive. It is so inviting for those people that are interested in joining. I mean, it is mentally, physically, and socially challenging. There is no need to convince the girls to be part of it. We need to expose and educate the younger generation about it so that they will appreciate and see how beautiful it is.
I am proud that my professional career is in the construction industry, mainly because being a female engineer is something to be proud of, and I am doing what I love.
What do you think is the most important change happening in the construction industry?
As construction advances, we could see more and more women in the industry becoming normal. The industry is embracing female potential and contribution. Both men and women are now working together with the same responsibilities and accountabilities.
In this day and age, women are more empowered. Women holding positions in a male-dominated industry gets more common. Get to know more about SDW’s women in construction here.
As the new year begins, Dezeen asked 12 interior designers and architects about their predictions for the interior design trends that will dominate in 2023.
Interiors feature maximalism and weirdness.
British interior designers Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead of 2LG Studio believe interior design will be wilder and weirder this year.
“It’s violent time we are living in,” the duo told Dezeen. “There is anger in the world, and design needs to reflect that dynamism and not shy away from it. The deco period has been important to design for several years, and we are now looking to expressionism and cubism for bold inspiration.”
“When the world gets too weird to comprehend, the designs of the moment reflect that. Let’s all get weird and express our wonderfulness.”
One of the overarching 2023 design trends looks to be maximalism as the world gradually moves on from the more pared-back interior designs that have been popular over the past two years.
“Last year saw a shift towards maximalism, experimenting with patterns and rich color schemes,” Sanchit Arora of New Delhi studio Renesa told Dezeen.
“This year will continue this trend with a fresher fervor. There will be bold and forward designs that give increased personality to the space. For both commercial and residential areas, clients opt for customized patterns and colors rather than conformable products that suit just any space but compromise on standing out.”
Bolder colors and prints will take center stage.
While interiors last year often bore a discrete, natural color palette – as evidenced by the homes in our list of top 10 home interiors of 2022 – 2023 look set to be color-drenched.
“I think I am seeing, after a few years of a mostly conservative approach to color, a more fresh and daring use of color,” Raúl Sánchez, founder of Barcelona studio Raúl Sánchez Architects, told Dezeen.
“We are leaving the haven of neutrals and stepping into a rainbow!” added interior designer Pallavi Dean of Roar.
“The safe beige, grey and white walls are on their way out, and we are experimenting with bold hues and darker tones to add depth to the space,” she added.
“Tread with caution when you choose your shade; it can impact your mood and change your perception of the size of your space.”
Spatial designer Adi Goodrich thinks color will be especially prominent in kitchen interiors.
“I think people are finally embracing color and will choose to redesign their kitchens in a wash of color,” she told Dezeen.
According to interior designer Kelly Hoppen, neutrals are firm but increasingly complemented by bold prints.
“The way we use our homes has evolved over the last few years as we appreciate the comfort and warmth of our own spaces, especially as many people are still in part working remotely or hybrid working,” she told Dezeen.
“This will continue to reflect our color choices, and so for multifunctional yet homey rooms, calming neutrals will be favored, including cozy greys to classic beiges and taupes,” Hoppen added.
“That said, bold prints are making a resurgence, and the asymmetrical feel in rooms will be huge. Wallpaper, which is also coming back, will be used through 2023 decor. For example, textural walls can be used as a backdrop for artwork or asymmetrical wallpaper borders to add contrast.”
Rich and tactile materials dominate
According to the designers, tactile, rich materials will be prevalent in the coming year.
“We are craving a ‘multi-sensory palette,” said Dean.
“The recent pandemic deprived us of one of our most ‘human’ senses: touch. In response, I feel it will become increasingly important for designers to use materials that bring tactility to the interior scheme and devise spaces that provoke emotion in its users.”
“In the post-pandemic space, the well-being of the end user is considered more than ever,” agreed interior designer Tola Ojuolape.
“Humble materials and finishes that give rise to a relaxed sophistication will continue to dominate the interior design trend landscape. Lime plaster walls and finish, brick, and natural wool will be visible.”
Meanwhile, an increasing appetite for bold designs could lead to some currently popular materials falling out of favor.
“I think the era of birch plywood might be coming to an end,” Goodrich said. “I believe richer woods like walnut, cherry, and red oak will be seen more in interiors moving forward.”
“Bold, colorful marbles balanced with neutrals will be particularly trendy,” predicted Hoppen. “People will be eating in a lot more in 2023, so table tops (especially marble) and dining spaces will make a huge comeback–perfect for those looking to entertain.”
Studios are also open to working with new materials this year as they strive for more sustainable designs.
“Materiality excites us as a studio,” 2LG said. “Mushrooms are going to become more important. Brands like Mylo Unleather are making waves and getting us excited about mushrooms’ possibilities as an ethical and sustainable alternative to animal skin.”
Interior designer Kelly Wearstler agreed: “Sustainability will continue to live at the forefront of all design conversations and innovations. I have been very interested in the rise of mushroom leather.”
“This fabric innovation has already been revolutionary for the fashion industry, offering a sustainable alternative,” she added. “I expect we will continue to see its presence grow within interiors and design.”
Sustainability is becoming a “necessity.”
Designers are also more focused on Sustainability than ever before and wary of greenwashing.
“Sustainability is an evolving subject in the interior space; this will continue in 2023,” Ojuolape predicted.
“Designers will continue to find ways to ensure it is considered and adapted into the life cycle of an interior project from the onset.”
“Intentional and deliberate education will continue to ensure resourceful materials selections, upcycling and reuse of furniture, and smart reduction of plastics and waste,” she added.
“As we confront ourselves with the ever-increasing issues of energy consumption and global warming, interior design projects will be greatly affected in many aspects,” Japanese designer Keiji Ashizawa predicted.
“I believe projects that trace the context of sustainability will become a necessity, and it will no longer be something that is merely spoken about as an idealized concept,” he added.
“I think it’s safe to say we are all sensitized to greenwashing,” Dean said.
“Designers and clients are better educated about their work’s impact on the environment and steer clear from box-ticking certification goals. Instead, the focus is on long-term strategies – waste disposal, efficient MEP systems, and better construction methodologies.”
Human connection meaningful after the pandemic
The importance of working together as a community was also highlighted by many of the designers Dezeen spoke to.
“Due to the pandemic, we have all been more or less isolated – so what we see is a longing for truly connecting and interacting with the world around us again,” said Norm Architects partner Frederik Werner.
“Translate that into the field of interior design – and we see how we seek tactility, sensibility, and natural materials in the constant pursuit of well-being.”
Australia-based designer Danielle Brustman agreed, saying: “There seems to be a sculptural and more organic design trend growing in interior design. There is a return to the soft curve and using more organic materials. We have all been rocked by the Covid pandemic, and I think people require some nurturing.”
This theme of the community will also play out in the production of design projects, predicts Ashizawa.
“After experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic, I believe there will be more opportunity to reflect on the community – along with the cost of import and logistics leading to a slower progression of projects,” he said.
“This would spur the expansion of community-based projects that focus on cultural values of local production for local consumption.”
Similarly, Alex Mok of interior design studio Linehouse believes the difficulty of the past year will enhance the need for collaboration.
“2022 was a difficult year for many countries and cultures, so we look towards 2023 with a focus on human connection, authenticity, and social interaction,” she told Dezeen.
“We’re seeing a greater consideration on the use and purpose of spaces beyond form and instead activating communities. We hope to see more projects revitalizing existing buildings or connecting to local crafts.”
In a cultural moment shaped by countless challenges, Pantone’s color of the year for 2023 is a bold shade of red that speaks to the strength and vitality needed to forge a more positive future. PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta, a vibrant and nuanced shade of crimson red, is a study in contrasts. The color’s origins are grounded in nature, drawing on warm and cool tones. It has an electrifying hue found in both the physical and virtual spheres. It speaks to the diversity of our contemporary world.
Now in its 23rd year of selecting the annual color, The Pantone Institute considered the onslaught of challenges people have faced recently, like the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they have shaped perspective, values, and attitudes in finding a color for 2023.
“We chose this color because it was an unconventional shade for an unconventional time. Something that could present us with a new vision,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the institute, tells TIME. Viva Magenta, Eiseman notes, communicates power. But in an assertive, not aggressive way. “It’s a color that vibrates with vim and vigor. It demonstrates a new signal of strength, which we all need for a more optimistic future.”
Eiseman, who described Viva Magenta as an “animated red, pulsating with movement,” points to nature as one of the main inspirations for the Pantone color selection this year. Namely, the cochineal dyes derived from insects used since as early as the second century BC. To imbue rich red hues on fabrics and paper with the increasing influence of technology in our contemporary world. It is strongly reflected in the touchscreen-inspired shade of last year’s color of the year, the vibrant periwinkle blue. Very Peri has a reminder of the primordial world with a shade like Viva Magenta is a chance to revisit, honor, and reconnect with history while imagining a brighter future.
“We’re hoping that the symbolism in this color will create a dynamic world that encourages experimentation,” Eiseman says. “One that leverages the virtual within the physical realm and emboldens our spirit to explore groundbreaking possibilities.”
While the color has deep connections to both the past and the present, the institute wants to be clear that it’s also a color that’s undeniably fitting for the present, a shade that encourages all people to live life boldly in the moment.
“The name of the color itself tells you this is a color to celebrate with, an exuberant color that promotes optimism and joy,” Eiseman said. “It’s what we call a boundless shade, a real standout statement. There’s no way you’re going to walk into a room if you’re wearing this color and not have attention go to you. It’s audacious. It’s witty and inclusive—it welcomes anyone and everyone with the same rebellious spirit.”
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