Despite the documented benefits of getting outside and experiencing nature firsthand, students spend most of the day indoors and a growing proportion of that time is spent staring at a computer screen. This reality reinforces the value of applying biophilic design principles to a new school building or campus renovation to create a better learning environment for students.
Biophilic Design Defined
Biophilic design has received growing attention in recent years. The idea that nature connections help to inspire, calm and nurture us almost seems like common sense. Biologist Edward O. Wilson, who literally wrote the book “Biophilia,” describes our innate tendency to affiliate with nature.
Biophilic design acknowledges this reality and focuses on strategies to increase occupant connections to the natural environment. This is achieved through a combination of direct connections, simulated nature, and space and place conditions.
Aesthetic appeal is obviously an important component of interior finishes such as resilient flooring. However, there are a myriad of other factors required to provide more than just a positive first impression. As interior designers, we are constantly researching products and reviewing quality of construction, durability, and environmental impacts. We consider conversations with our clients regarding maintenance procedures and goals to be crucial for selecting the most appropriate product for each application.
Enduring appeal requires not only quality materials and manufacturing, but also proper maintenance for each flooring type.
When we think about interior design, we tend to focus on the visual aspects. Magazines, home improvement shows and retailers highlight “wow” spaces, focusing on the final touches and products deemed essential for beautiful results. Other aspects such as functionality, comfort, ergonomics, health or safety, are often an afterthought, if we consider them at all.
Island workstations, smart appliances, accessible cabinets, touch faucets, lighting innovations—the list goes on and on for what’s new in kitchen design! Eric McRoberts and Jessica Jack attended this year’s Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) to see the latest innovations and products that manufacturers are featuring, especially since their top picks are typically based on consumer demands, color trends and emerging technologies. The following are a few of our favorite concepts which can be applied to kitchens of any size.
Outdoor pools are associated with warm weather fun, relaxation and low impact exercise. Indoor pools can offer these same benefits year-round in every climate. However, indoor pools require careful considerations by the design team to provide a comfortable and appealing space that will endure for many years. We’ve asked a couple of our designers for their thoughts and ideas to create a successful indoor pool space, also known as natatoriums or aquatics centers, whether for a retirement community, school or college campus, community center, hotel or other hospitality venue.
Since we focus primarily on commercial interiors, our goal is to balance constantly changing trends with timeless design solutions. The spaces we design often need to maintain their initial appeal over the course of several years. Brick can be a great option for a design accent that will stand the test of time. This distinctive, yet flexible element can take on a number of different looks to make an appealing statement without feeling too trendy.
Patterns are back and making a HUGE impact across the industry in everything from interior design to fashion to rolling pins.
As is often the case, many of the floral prints, tropical vibes and geometric patterns that are dominating current fashions are now popping up in interior spaces. Both fashion and interior design trends reflect a constantly evolving blend of tradition, culture and innovation that influence self-expression whether it is your personal or business brand.
Patterns, like bold colors, add visual interest and often serve as the focal point for a space. They foster a sense of energy and dimension that are difficult to achieve with color alone. When done well, patterns have the power to transform any space or object into quite a showstopper with rich and distinctive interest. While going bold can be daunting, it does not have to be. The challenge is developing the right mix of elements to effectively interact and balance one another, ultimately forming a cohesive whole that is both unique and inviting. If you are scared of jumping in feet first, start small, with a gorgeous pillow or a unique piece of art.
As the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia have been steadily increasing, the demand for specialized settings is likewise on the rise. There is also a growing movement to empower our towns and cities to better support those with dementia, so they can choose to remain in their personal homes and fully engage with others (not just others with dementia) for as long as possible. In either scenario, we believe careful and respectful design strategies can function as a silent “enabler” to support dignity, personal expression and independence to the greatest extent possible.
As with fashion, we often see interior design trends from the past come back into vogue. While wall coverings have had their critics over the years, this industry has been working hard to reinvent itself. Today, there are endless choices of innovative, sustainable and attractive wall coverings available to create bold, impactful spaces.
An important distinction is that today’s commercial interiors use “wall coverings,” typically from a 54 inch bolt, which have been tested for durability and fire resistance. “Wallpaper” is limited to residential use, typically comes in 27” wide rolls, and is not subject to the same physical requirements as wall coverings.