How you can create a stylish and functional modern office

How you can create a stylish and functional modern office

There’s a lot that goes into designing or redesigning an office space, and you want to know that what you get is what you’ll want to keep for the foreseeable future. To help you consider some of the intricacies and considerations that will be made throughout the process, Penketh Group take you through some of the things to keep in mind when planning your office fit out.

Open-plan, modern office

Create some room

Open plan offices are a popular option when it comes to creating contemporary office spaces. They can make an office feel more spacious and friendly, while also encouraging collaboration, which can help your staff work more efficiently.

In an open plan office, some of the most common complaints made by employees are over sound privacy, and noise level. Thankfully, there are some modern-looking and stylish ways that you can help keep noise at a manageable level, while maintaining a contemporary feel around the office.

You could place some colourful wall partitions around the office, which can be used to keep different teams grouped together within the office, facilitating collaboration, while reducing noise level. Acoustic wall panels are another great option. They can be an integral part of your office’s design, while keeping noise at a manageable level throughout the office.

Colourful office partitions

However, a fully open plan office could likely benefit from some smaller individual offices, to help staff working on a tight deadline to focus in comfort and privacy. Instead of conforming to a stereotypical office.

Set out some individual work areas that provide a balance between comfort and functionality. Keep it enclosed so employees can work undisturbed, but keep it colourful and bright so they don’t feel demoralised. Many employees often feel like they need to take a break from their usual workspace once in a while, so the change of scenery can help keep them motivated.

Modern office in vintage industrial interior

Make it unique

You could design your office around certain themes and commitments that you’ve built your business around, which help reinforce those commitments in the minds of your customers, staff and competitors.

For example, if sustainability is something that’s important to you and your business, look for furniture made from recycled materials, allow a lot of natural light into the building, and place plants liberally around the office.

Plants dotted around an open-plan office

Or you might decide instead that cutting-edge technology and innovation is what defines your business. So you’d include video-conferencing facilities, touch-screen PCs, and a variety of entertainment gadgets for staff on their break, while designing the office with a minimalist and sleek look. The addition of such technology will help encourage collaboration and efficiency in the workspace, while helping to define your brand image further.

Whatever you decide that your business and office space needs the most, you’re sure to be left with an office that meets your needs perfectly, especially when it’s designed in collaboration with industry experts who know exactly how to help you the most.

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Get their look: Classic design lounge diner

Classic design lounge dinercredit

This lounge diner belonging to Toronto-based architect, Stephane Chamard is tastefully filled with classic design furniture pieces. Examples from international leviathan designers, manufacturers and retailers in the interior design world such as Holmegaard, Otto Brauer, Vitra, Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, Norman Cherner and Serge Mouille. There are also contemporary, classics-in-the-making such as the green Ploum sofa designed by brothers, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Ligne Roset.

The rest of the house is equally awe-inspiring – go take a look!

  1. LZF Link SG in cherry designed by Ray Power
  2. Mouille three arm floor lamp
  3. Large olive green Holmegaard Kastrup Gulvase designed by Otto Brauer
  4. Vitra Eames House bird
  5. Vintage Laurids Lønbørg kinetic ball sculpture
  6. Ploum 4-seater sofa designed by R. & E. Bouroullec
  7. Saarinen round dining table
  8. Cherner chairs for Plycraft

Get their look: Classic design lounge diner | H is for Home

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Is this the end of open-plan living?

Interior glazed sliding doors

Over the last two decades, the trend for open-plan living and wall-less dwellings rose faster than you could swing a sledgehammer; however, over the past few years, we’re seeing a complete reversal in interiors trends with home-owners opting for more traditional, segmented living spaces.

There are various reasons as to why this could be. The practicalities of an open-plan living space are not as obvious as you might think. Downsizing all the possessions and knick-knacks you acquire over the years is no mean feat, not to mention the daily struggle of keeping every surface clean and tidy if you have children or room-mates. In fact, families who have previously opted for open-plan living are reverting to traditional, divided rooms as a more practical way of living, according to Jane Green from the Telegraph. Individual rooms provide quiet sanctuaries for homework, reading and watching your preferred Netflix series, and people are suggesting they prefer to cook in the kitchen in peace, without having the constant interruptions from a television that can be seen and heard over the worktop.

circular dining table and turquoise-pained chairs

There is no doubt, it seems, that separate rooms provide areas of sanctuary and quiet which in turn, create cosier, more inviting spaces to spend time to undertake your preferred activity of relaxation. One might even argue that segmented rooms are actually driving families back together in a more traditional sense, since the kitchen and dining room are becoming device-free zones, promoting a healthy appetite for dinner conversation.

Dog on a lap on a sofaWith this in mind, we’re thinking about the more conventional ways you could furnish these individual living rooms without compromising on style. First things first, retrieve that box of ornaments from storage and choose a selection of objects that will look fantastic displayed in a bespoke alcove bookcase by The Bookcase Co. Think about quality curation, carefully selecting objects that work well together based on a specific colour palette, as opposed to quantity.

A slim and stylish desk for homework or working from home is essential. This mango wood version from Swoon is effortlessly chic and compact and will fit in alcoves, smaller rooms or even under the stairs.

Enormous three-seater and corner sofas might work well in gargantuan open-plan living areas; however, smaller spaces call for smaller sofas. Create cosy nooks for books with a two-seater sofa from Arlo & Jacob. The perfect size to snuggle up to someone, or stretch out and make the most of some quality alone time.

Dining table & chairs with a tall cactus in the backgroundA well-placed rug can instantly update your interior, bringing with it warmth, pattern and texture. They also help to create zones, if you do happen to have a room on the larger size and want to break it down further. You’ll find a vast selection of traditional and modern rugs from OKA, with the option of wool and cotton, amongst others.

To avoid areas becoming too dark and closed off, this slender floor lamp by Perch & Parrow is fashionable and functional; perfect to shed some light on those newly created cosy corners of your living room.

6 ways to bring sunlight indoors

6 ways to bring sunlight indoors

If some of the rooms in your home are on the dark side and could do with brightening up, there are lots of different tricks you can use to bring sunlight indoors.

Two Velux-type windows in a bedroom

Skylights

Installing a skylight or Velux-type window has one of the most dramatic effects possible, allowing sunlight to flood in from the open sky above. They really can transform a space from dark & dingy to light & airy. There are lots of attractive blinds on the market specifically for this type of window from manufacturers such as Roofwindows.co.uk.

Bathroom with a mirrored wall

Mirrors

Mirrors are a great, inexpensive way of increasing the amount of sunlight coming into your home. Placed strategically opposite a window, they bounce and reflect light around a space. They work especially well on dark stairways and bathrooms.

Desk and chair against a brilliant white wall

Reflective walls

Various companies have developed interior wall paints which contain light-reflective particles. It’s a subtle, clever way to maximise natural light entering the property.

Glazed internal sliding doors

Glazed doors

Glazed doors (both exterior and interior) can make a real difference to the amount of light entering a house and dispersing it throughout the rooms contained within. B&Q have a huge range of glazed doors – traditional, folding and sliding. Similarly, glazed wall panels can divide up larger open plan spaces – creating defined zones for living without blocking light. They’ll need to be made of toughened glass if safety considerations demand it of course – small children or boisterous pets running round, for example.

Daylight bulbs

Daylight bulbs

If you have a room that is windowless and at the centre of the house, you can easily fake natural sunlight these days. There are now specialist bulbs on the market that mimic sunlight, illuminating your room with a sunny glow.

Open-plan living area

Remove unnecessary partition walls

If it’s not load-bearing, removing a wall won’t require the installation of an RSJ – and should be relatively inexpensive. If it’s made of plasterboard rather than solid stone or concrete it’s even easier! Removing walls between kitchen and dining rooms has become common practice. One of the major benefits of this is to allow light to flow between the front and back of the house. Other common areas where this can have a dramatic ‘opening up’ effect is the hallway, landing and larder areas.

Can you think of any other great ways to bring sunlight indoors? We’d really love to hear your thoughts.

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Get their look: Open-plan garage conversion

Open-plan garage conversioncredit

You’d never have guessed that this open plan garage conversion in Sicily was once upon a time a place where vehicles would have been repaired. It’s obviously a former industrial or commercial building with nods to its previous incarnation in the exposed zinc pipes and painted bare brick walls.

What would probably have been a fairly dirty workplace has been completely transformed by the owner into a bright, pristine, white box for relaxed living.

  1. Verner Panton Topan pendant light
  2. New & reclaimed chestnut sleepers
  3. Post-modern tessellated marble coffee or cocktail table
  4. Evan round planter (50 cm Ø)
  5. Rope doorstop
  6. Patricia Urquiola Tufty–Time sofa

Click here to see some more of the interiors & exteriors we’ve featured in our Get their look series.

Get their look: Open-plan garage conversion | H is for Home

How to make the most of a small bathroom footprint

Ariel view of a small bathroomcredit

No matter what the shape and size of your home, youll always want it to be as stylish and comfortable as you can make it. When it comes to the bathroom, the three key things people look for are practicality, storage and luxury. Even if you’re dealing with a footprint that’s rather small, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve this by paying close attention to detail with your design features. Here are a few tips to get you started…

Start with the tiles

Campact bathroom with mushroom coloured tilescredit

As soon as you start to put colours and tiles on your walls, your bathroom can instantly appear larger or smaller. If you’re already dealing with a tight footprint, go for lighter, elongated tiles that give the appearance of a brighter and longer room. Try to stay away from pure white, as this can often be a little too dazzling.

Instead, light grey and ivory make good off-white colours which will still enhance any light that hits the walls. Consider adding a border tile too, which is again a slim, long design, so that the person entering the bathroom is instantly given the impression of more length.

Think about fixtures and fittings

Compact corner bathcredit

Next, it’s time to think about the bathroom furniture. If space-saving is your ultimate goal here, then you need to look at a variety of different designs and styles to find what you like. For example, a large, traditional roll-top bath would be completely impractical for a smaller bathroom, but you could get a corner bath with shower that has traditional features, so that you still have the look and feel you desire. Consider additional items like floating toilets, where the cistern is concealed within the wall, so as not to take up precious floor space.

Start thinking vertically

Vertical shelving in a compact bathroomcredit

Now that you have your colours and fixtures all in place, in order to make this space usable, you’ll need to turn your attention to storage. Whether you have three children and their bath time toys to worry about, or you’re a leisure-lover with dozens of pampering products laying around, don’t think of your walls as dead space, and start using them more creatively. You can opt for the more conventional wall-to-ceiling units, or go for hanging compartments and shelving units that can be easily moved as your needs change.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to use every single nook and cranny in your space. You can easily have vanity units built to conceal pipes and such, but can you use that space for anything else? If you have an awkward recess in one wall, look for what tailored storage solutions there are around, so that you can turn it into something useful.

We hope this post gave you some inspiration – if you have any more ideas for small bathroom solutions, please let us know in the comment section.

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