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Using materials to breathe new life into lifeless office spaces

Using materials to breathe new life into lifeless office spaces

As ever, at the end of 2018, interior design journal and blog, Dezeen, issued their commentary on the best office designs of the year! As we looked through the selected designs here at idesign, we enjoyed seeing how the use of different materials, hard and soft, were crucial to the creation of lively, warming, vibrant, smart, and motivating office interiors.

Offices have long felt like lifeless, dead spaces in which the personalities of workers are muted, the lighting is a ceaseless downpouring of bright light, the furniture is an emotionless assembly of utilitarian metal and plastic shapes, and the floors and ceilings span drearily, with no break in the monotony.

Simply put, these spaces have represented anything but good design, and, as a result, they’ve offered nothing to those working within them.

Fortunately, we’re now well along the road of change and designers the world over are embracing the opportunity these spaces, large and small, represent to affect the way people lead their lives – very much to the good of employee wellbeing and to the financial profit of employers.

One key ingredient ensuring the effectiveness of such designs, however, is the purposeful and clever use of different materials, which help to deliver a concept and to create successful and creative office aesthetics.

One of the Dezeen examples that really caught our attention was a legal office designed by interior architect Arjaan de Feyter. The design incorporated the use of blackened steel, dark walnut, and deep-green marble. The juxtaposition of these rich materials, deep in tone and mixing glossy and matt textures for ultimate tactility, gives the final design its high-end finish and dramatic mood. The space is one in which work can be carried out in an atmosphere of calm, maturity and comfort.

Similarly, the recent design of offices at Thomas House by Architecture studio, Soda, used materials to bring a flexible working environment space in a way that was both contemporary and true to the Regency architecture of the building. Warm soft furnishing fabrics have been nicely blended with clean, tactile, contemporary wood wall cladding. This has produced an interior that harmonises with the finer classical details of the building to create a cosy but clean interior in which to work.

Here at idesign, our design work has also thrived on office projects in recent months, with some exciting spaces needing designing for both agile and permanent workers. One of our latest projects, an office space for NHS workers, has seen the effective melange of honey-coloured woods, and birch tree silvers. We are so excited to see the end result.

As interior designers who design with humility, it’s our absolute pleasure to give clients the opportunity to provide their staff a space in which they can be fruitful and enjoy spending time. Life is too short to inhabit spaces, whether at work or at home, that do not contribute positively to mood and productivity!

Please do get in touch if you would like our help.

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