How to Select an Office Interior Designer

Finding the right professional to design your new office space is critical. After all, business owners and office managers are likely great at what they do, but may lack the vision for a well-designed, cohesive office space. A professional can come in and maximize the potential in your space, seeing possibilities that you may have overlooked.

While it’s recommended that every office move involve a designer, connecting with the right individual can be a challenge. A good choice would be an interior design professional with experience designing corporate spaces. If you’re managing the move of a large company, it’s critical that you find a designer who has experience with office spaces that may have multiple floors that must be unified. It’s often helpful to seek referrals from companies similar in size to yours who have moved recently, since you’ll likely have similar needs.

It’s also critical to find your office designer early. Ideally, this professional works closely with your architect to plan an office space that is a perfect fit for your company. Your designer can advise when it comes to architectural elements like woodwork, recessed shelving, and other details. If you wait until the last minute, you’ll limit your options for customizing your new space. Continue reading »

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How to Design a Green Office Space

Businesses today are more concerned than ever before with the impact of their operations on the environment. While any office space can be made more environmentally-friendly, it’s often much easier for businesses to make earth-friendly changes during an office move. By selecting green materials, introducing energy-efficient products, and making other relatively cost-effective changes, it’s not too hard for businesses to go green in a big way when moving to a new office space.

One of the most important things to consider in green design is the space itself. Is the space just the right size for the company, or is it too big, meaning there is wasted square footage that must be heated and air conditioned? Does the space provide plenty of large windows for natural light, allowing employees to keep the lights off on sunny days? Natural lighting is also good for employee wellness and good indoor air quality, making windows one of the most important elements to consider in overall office design.

Once an office space has been selected, consider the materials used to fit out the interior, furnish the rooms, and even decorate the walls. Natural, sustainable materials are readily available, especially with today’s focus on earth-friendly design. One costly but elegant and reusable option is glass modular walls, which allow businesses to divide an interior in many smaller offices without building new walls that will ultimately be torn down when another tenant moves in. Continue reading »

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Why Lighting Is Crucial for a Successful Workspace

Lighting is a big deal. When you look for a new apartment or house, you always consider natural light. At an art exhibit, the way the light hits a sculpture or painting is nearly as important as the artwork itself. Lighting affects how we feel about things, not just emotionally or aesthetically, but physically. Simply put, we need light to see and avoid eye strain which can lead to permanently impaired vision. Yet with all the importance we seem to place on lighting in our everyday lives, whether in the home, at a basketball game, or taking in some beautiful pieces at a gallery, lighting in the work environment somehow doesn’t rate.

With tons of computer monitors, overhead fluorescent lights, and some natural light thrown in, most offices are a recipe for eye strain and fatigue. You know that feeling you get after staring at a computer for a huge chunk of your work day? Suddenly everything seems out of focus and there’s a dull ache behind your yes? That means the lighting in your office is deficient, and your eyes (and your business) are suffering for it. With vision-impaired employees, productivity is sure to suffer. Plus, fluorescent glare is not exactly an enticement for your clients either.

So how do you make the switch? Just a few simple lighting tips can really do the trick for your business. Here’s an easy one to start off-angle all office monitors so that they are situated at a right angle from the closest windows. This will help eliminate computer glare and lessen employee eye strain. Installing adjustable blinds may seem like a no-brainer, but finding the right allowance of natural light into the office will also hugely reduce computer glare. Continue reading »

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Executive Suites Bring Flexibility to Your Office Floor Plan

Settling on a new commercial space for lease is a daunting process. After you and your moving team have finalized a space and design strategy for your business and conducted a lengthy search for the best space, there is still a long haggling process between lawyers as the final price is hashed out. Then, once that is said and done, your business is now chained to a space for five or ten years. Who knows to what extent the economy, real estate market, or your own business could change during that time? Consider where your business is now and the growth expected over the next few years. Is such a lengthy commitment best for the company? Where can your business turn for more and better options?

Executive suites allow companies expand into pre-designed spaces that meet their needs. An executive suite rental is a short-term, pay-as-you-go system that offers furnished offices, meeting rooms, and work spaces for growing businesses. This is especially a great option for new businesses that are just starting out because all services are provided for you at a flat rate. Instead of pouring a large amount of money and time into a commercial lease, office design strategies, and bid haggling on movers and IT staff, a business can simply rent an executive suite at a fixed price and actually focus on what’s important-running the business. Then, when your company does have increased success and needs to expand, it is easy to end the current rental agreement and move into a larger executive suite that better fits your new needs.

And don’t think just because you’ve turned over the office design reins to a commercial property owner that you won’t have a choice when it comes to aesthetics. Continue reading »

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How Office Designs Are Born

Before signing onto a new commercial lease, you should meet with a professional space planner to consider the needs of your business. This is a great opportunity to discuss a modern floor plan for the new office. Forget the square cubicle and grayscape office environment we all seem to associate with work. Today, well-designed offices are open, efficient, energizing spaces. The idea behind modern office design is that a work environment should energize and inspire employees while actually improving day-to-day work functions. So how can you start to envision your modern workspace? Begin at the bottom and work your way up by first creating a floor plan!

Creating a cohesive floor plan is a crucial part of office design. Typically, you will spend a few months discussing the company’s needs with staff, management, and a space planner before you begin the commercial real estate search for a space that fits your goals. First, consider the number of employees that will be moving to the space and any new hires that may come with the move. Then, consider their functions. If your business requires a good deal of collaboration between employees, you may want an open floor plan where employees can move from one work station to the next in an efficient and fluid way. If your business requires more solitary work, then you may want to section off certain areas of the office for privacy. As you work to create individual or group work stations, make sure that your floor plan is using space efficiently. With modern design strategies, it is likely that your current-sized business can fit into a smaller space. More employees do not necessarily mean more space. Continue reading »

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Living And Working In Sustainable Environments – Load Balancing

An important part of reducing cost as well as saving resources will be the technique known as Load Balancing. Often municipalities get offered energy at night for free or even being paid to take a certain amount of energy at low usage times.

This is mainly due to the efficiencies of turbines at a certain production rate. This means that if you can take and store that energy at times of overproduction and use it at times of high demand instead of taking power from the grid, significant savings for energy providers and consumers can be achieved.

The only practical storage technology today are batteries, as conversion into hydrogen gas is currently too expensive a solutions while flywheels can only be used for very short-term storage. If you happen to have a lake of course you can pump water from a lower level to a higher level and drive turbines when you need the extra energy. Continue reading »

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Creative Uses for Black Light Reactive Carpet

You have probably seen black light reactive carpets in bowling alleys for those really awesome galaxy bowling times. There are many other uses for the fun designs and neon colours that are woven right into these unique carpets. Though the colourful designs reflect to a black light with a neon glow, they are just as wonderful when all the lights are on. The bright colours are extremely appealing to children and make a welcome addition to most day care settings, dance or gymnastic facilities or even the local ice cream parlour.

Every child loves colour and when creating an environment specifically for them it is important to catch their interest, make them feel comfortable and get them interested in playing and spending time there. The brightly collared patterns in commercial UV reflective carpets are a sure fire way to brighten any boring room. Day care centres can take advantage of the stain and fire resistant treatments that are available for these wonderful carpets. Most people instantly think of painting walls when looking to brighten up a space, it is really easy to forget the impact the carpet beneath your feet can have on the overall look of the place.

Dance facilities are always looking for new ways to bring some artistic flair to their studio spaces. Though the dance classrooms are typically floored with hardwood the entry spaces and dressing rooms are the perfect place for the beautiful and interesting patterns of neon swirls that adorn many UV reflective carpet styles. Continue reading »

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Office Design Moves Outdoors

Today many successful businesses relocate their offices not only because of company growth, but also to create more efficient and enjoyable workspace for their employees. The basic thinking goes, if you are going to spend a great deal of time and money preparing these new offices, why not make them into workspaces that actually invigorate your staff? If you’re a business owner or office manager thinking along these lines, then you’re already on track to a successful office relocation and a bright future for your business. I just have one more idea to add to your modern thinking-outdoor space.

If the new commercial space you leased comes with a bit of green space, why not dress it up a bit? In the warmer months, this space can be enjoyed by clients and employees alike, boosting morale and encouraging fresh ideas. Businesses that thrive on creative thinking often have contemplative spots that spur employees’ eureka moments, but even if your business is not in creative a creative field, it can benefit simply from happier employees who more eagerly do their jobs.

You may also want to consider an outdoor space or courtyard for practicality sake. Most businesses have employees who smoke. Rather than have smokers congregate in the front of your business or near some sort of entryway, you can create a designated, private outdoor space that is set back from the public eye. Continue reading »

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Too Much Light On Your C-Store?

Now then, it is widely known that if you have a well-lighted facility it tends to curb crime, and it also makes the patrons and customers feel more comfortable, it looks safer in the light. Nevertheless, there are those crime analysts who will argue that it is merely a false sense of security, and whereas that might be true, a well-lit facility will bring in more business in the evening hours. But just how much light is the right light? After all, there is something to be said for light pollution, because it seems to put a glow around the facility which can be seen for miles.

All that light is cumulative, and NASA recently put out an interesting set of digital pictures coming from a satellite where you could see all the major cities in the United States from space based on the light they produced. Humans spend a lot of energy on light, but perhaps in the future they may not because most of the outdoor lighting we have will be energy efficient LED lighting.

There an interesting article in Illumination in Focus titled; “Cree provides indoor and outdoor LED lighting at Sheetz convenience marts,” published on November 29, 2012, which stated; “Sheetz, a chain of convenience marts selling food and gas, has chosen Cree LED lighting to retrofit more than 130 locations, with indoor and outdoor SSL fixtures delivering 45% to 55% savings over the prior lighting.” Continue reading »

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A Checklist to Design a Floor Plan

A floor plan is very important. It will largely determine how your house will turn out. While hiring an architect is required in some states prior to the construction of a house, you may still want try to design a house floor plan yourself. You will find lots of software programs on the market that can help you with designing a plan layout. Once you have finished your design, you can seek the services of an architect or building designer to help you improve on the beginning stages of your concept.

First and foremost, you should first consider how big your house is going to be. Determine what square footage you plan to max out at. Big houses used to be trendy; but ever since Sarah Susanka started a trend with small houses, homeowners are now choosing smaller houses over big ones. The key is maximizing the available space within your set amount of total square feet. Even if your house is small, you can still make it comfortable and cozy. You just have plan traffic flow and know about correct furniture placement. Position your things in a way that they do not hog space.

Next, you should consider your geographic location. A busy street or the size of your lot may put limitations to your options. Nevertheless, you should also consider any features that you would be able to take advantage of such as trees. Continue reading »

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