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At this time of year, many of us find ourselves looking at the exciting new design trends for commercial spaces. It is important to customers and staff that offices and reception areas are smart, welcoming and user friendly. First impressions definitely count and a pleasant working environment lifts everyone’s spirits and sense of well-being. There are new trending colours, textures and furniture shapes.  Why not welcome in 2021 with some New Year design trends?

With so many people spending months working from home, there is a definite shift towards a more relaxed and flexible approach to office design. Adequate space and pristine kitchen and toilet facilities are essential in these COVID-19 days and they demonstrate to staff that their well-being and safety is top priority. Another important consideration in our modern world, is the use of sustainable and recycled materials wherever possible. The new design trends for 2021 will definitely make the workplace look and feel better. ( www.hackrea.com/stories/modern-office-design-trends-2021/) 

Colours and textures

This year’s new colours for commercial spaces are taken from the domestic palette. All the earthy tones are popular for paints and furnishings. Colours include rust, greens, all shades of brown and deep wine reds. These are perfect for offices, as they are relaxing and less intimidating. These mellow shades can be used like a canvas and livened up with splashes of a bolder accent colour. Highlight accents using burnt orange, lime green or turquoise all provide great contrast. Once again, wood is the most important material for office furniture. The emphasis is on old, secondhand or upcycled furniture in lighter woods such as pine and oak. Interesting pieces of driftwood are being used as attractive features on counters and coffee tables.

The New Year design trend is flexible room design.

Floresy - meeting place design trends

Work places are losing their formality

With many members of staff still working from home or continuing ‘flexible working’, companies find themselves needing to adapt their work spaces. Good video conferencing facilities are becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. These facilities will be vital for much of 2021. In some companies, this form of communication has proved so effective, that it will always be used now. Suitable comfortable areas for video conferencing are essential.

Consider adapting large office spaces to maintain social distancing. Once restrictions have eased, there will be the requirement for privacy for private meetings or customer visits. Perspex and glass screens have been widely installed for use during the pandemic, but many companies are now looking for alternatives that do the same job – but are more visually appealing. Planters, ‘living walls’ and huge indoor plants are all effective and versatile as they can be re-positioned. Fabric screens are popular as they add colour and can absorb noise effectively.

The pandemic has triggered dramatic changes in the workplace. Many companies now feel that as many staff members are only coming in on certain days that  ‘hot desking’ is the way forward – rather than having designated desks. Create a spacious and comfortable’collaboration zone’ for staff. These are areas where they can meet and sit comfortably, whilst they share ideas or discuss projects.

Resimercial design is gathering momentum

For the last few years, ‘resimercial’ has been a buzzword with interior designers. The is a blend of the words ‘residential’ and ‘commercial’ and it describes bringing home comforts into office design. After so many months of home working, this idea is proving increasingly popular. A more relaxed work environment helps promote happiness and mental well being in staff. Resimercial styling softens the starkness of the office by introducing indoor plants, warmer lighting and attractive wall paintings and pictures. Build on this style by adding softer seating, coffee tables and rugs.

Floresy - Reception area design trends

Reception areas are very welcoming

Reception areas are becoming boutique

The character of a company and hotel reception areas is dramatically changing. Both are losing their clinical and corporate character and gaining what interior designers call a ‘boutique style’. New style receptions feature statement wallpapers, softer paint colours and eclectic collections of comfortable seating. Colourful tactile fabrics that are different from the usual corporate array can banish blandness. There is a gallery approach to wall decoration, this groups interesting paintings or photographs with a common theme.

The idea behind these design changes is that receptions should be welcoming to customers and in no way intimidating. Customers are more likely to relax and linger in them. Receptions with a relaxed feel, will make customers feel more comfortable about asking for any advice they may need.

Restaurants are softening their design trends

Floresy- plant design trends

Rustic charm is emphasised by large plants

Many diners love to feel that their favourite restaurant is ‘home from home’. One of the trending styles for homes in 2021 is rustic charm and this is also good for restaurants. Rustic charm is a perennially favourite style. It works well in older properties with wooden beams and panelled walls, but the new take on this look works in bright, modern spaces too. In the past, rustic charm meant everything in the room was in this style, but the modern twist for 2021 is to develop the theme using just a few key pieces of furniture.

Successfully create a warm, comfortable ambiance in your restaurant, with some rustic charm. Introduce this design trend effortlessly, with the addition of a grandfather clock, traditionally styled chairs and a display of antique glasses. Indoor plants are a big design feature for 2021 and some traditional leafy plants such as ferns and palms accentuate the look perfectly. Climbing and trailing plants can be cleverly used to decorate bare walls and staircases as well as conceal doorways.

There are many exciting ideas for interior designs in 2021 that will dispel the clinical look still found in so many commercial spaces. Why not make it your New Year’s resolution to ring the changes in yours?

The global COVID pandemic has driven us inside. But one positive has been a surge of interest in interior design.

During this time, we’ve had the opportunity to decide what home improvements need to be made. For interior designers, a chance to look at new concept ideas to accommodate our new normal.

New trends include clever home offices and ‘flex space’  which ensure homes grow with families. With the housing market at a standstill, this new use of space means less need to move.

As England experiences lockdown mark 2  and restaurants and bars, close we are all missing the ambience of our friendly locals.

So what can be done about this?

Creating a home bar

Well, home bars are also trending and with Christmas on the horizon, they’re likely to be very popular this winter!

Home bars can the ideal way to relax at home after a long day and to offer an intimate social atmosphere for others to share. There’s something very appealing about being able to whizz up a couple of snazzy cocktails in the evening!

There’re many great ideas for home bars and some of them are enjoying a renaissance. The 1920s bar cart and globe drinks holder are proving popular once again. They are relatively small and versatile. You can even find designs online for making a DIY version! Home bars are being created in spare cupboards and on the top of sideboards.

Do your research

For interior designers, you’ll be able to show your clients how a home bar can be cleverly incorporated in dining rooms and kitchens as finding space in many homes can be a challenge.

Remember to question your client about their favourite bar. What kept them going back? What did they like about the ambience? Why did it feel comfortable and like home?

Floresy - researching ideas

Design ideas

Once again, the curved corner bar is proving popular. If your client does have space, you can design a flamboyantly themed area with a wet bar (a bar with a small sink).  Finish the design off with stylish bar stools and consider a wine chiller as an extra feature.

For those working with a smaller area, the bar will need to be incorporated into another room. Proportions will be an important factor, so bear this in mind.

The home bar must be in balance with the rest of the room and compliment the décor, style and colours, as this will ensure a feeling of spaciousness. Using cleverly placed mirrors and lighting can also help.

When designing a home bar they should be well organised and look inviting. Some smart-looking glasses and somewhere handy to keep all the necessary bar equipment are essential. For making cocktails, there’ll need to be somewhere to store mixers and garnishes too. 

The winter of 2020/ 2021 is certainly going to be a long one. If the second lockdown continues beyond 1 December, the option of having a home bar is a very appealing one.

The most famous cocktail book of them all, the iconic – Bartender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas (1862) is certainly going to be on lots of people’s Christmas lists this year!

Whether you’re planning to refurbish your reception area, restaurant or staff meeting rooms, it’s important to make the space attractive, workable and memorable. One of the best ways this can be done is by introducing a few interesting pieces of antique furniture. This can help create an intriguing combination of contemporary and vintage designs, using textures, shapes and styles.

Say Goodbye to Bland

Much of today’s modern furniture is practical but can sometimes be bland. However, you can greatly enhance them with the inclusion of a few special pieces of antique furniture. These additions will introduce a sense of warmth and grandeur. Antique furniture oozes history and character and its style portrays the high levels of craftsmanship of the past. 

Remember, a few carefully chosen pieces are all you need to transform an area and give it personality. Interior designers advise that the ratio of antique to contemporary furnishings is 20% old and 80% new. If you want to emphasise the furniture styles perfectly, it’s best to choose a neutral colour for the walls such as ivory or silver grey.

You may consider a large wooden antique coffee table for a reception area. Include a couple of antique armchairs with beautifully turned legs. If the armchairs need reupholstering, the fabric can be chosen in your company colours to complement the company logo. The rest of the seating can be in a modern design as the two styles will blend remarkably well. Have both the modern and antique upholstery in similar tones to unite. To combat the antique furniture looking heavy – opt for lighter colours. 

Other pieces of furniture that can look good are:

  • Antique wall clocks, ornate gilt-edged mirrors and large period paintings.
  • An antique cloak rack or umbrella stands which can be a fun and quirky additions too.
  • Shelves with a series of interesting antique curios on display can add interest.
  • Vintage textiles can be used to add warmth to a room, including beautiful hand-knotted Persian rugs which make spectacular wall hangings.

5 Clever Antique Additions

  1. In restaurants, vintage oak writing desks and dressers can look stylish and be used for storage.
  2. Lighting is the easy way to introduce other antiques and traditionally styled brass lanterns. Tiffany lamps and sparkling crystal chandeliers can all be used to create lovely lighting effects.
  3. If there is room, you can always create a ‘talking point’ by having an old postbox or telephone box on display in one corner – the latter can be cleverly converted into a wine fridge!
  4.  Give cloakrooms a warm antique character with the introduction of a round antique pub table. Decorate it with a plant arrangement, a basket with small rolled hand towels and a couple of period prints hung on the wall above.

If you cannot find the piece of furniture that you have in mind in your local antique shops, don’t forget to look in furniture auction rooms and charity furniture warehouses as both of these are like treasure troves. There are various craftsmen around the country that make brand new furniture in traditional styles too.

Floresy- Antique shop

Using Plants to Develop the Theme

It is fun to complement antique furniture with plant displays that mirror that particular period. If you have Victorian furniture, it is fun to accentuate the character with the addition of some of the ‘parlour plants’ that the Victorians loved! These included all types of palms, various ferns, fragrant jasmine and potted citrus trees. In Victorian homes, the palms and ferns were often sizeable so this is the ideal way to create interest and decorate an empty corner. You can fill porcelain washing bowl and matching pitchers with house plants. You can also do the same with an old teapot and a  pretty maidenhair fern. For easy care plants, choose top quality faux plants as they look incredibly realistic but require nothing more than a regular dust.

The clever introduction of antique furniture will definitely enhance your commercial space, introducing warmth and character that your customers will both notice and appreciate. 

 

 

 

Floresy - Antique chandeliers

 

 

Retro style never really loses its popularity and once again it is amongst the most trending interior design styles today.  Retro style brings together an eclectic mixture of furniture styles from the 1950s, 60s and 70s and gives them a fun modern twist with the addition of trendy wall art, cushions and throws.  

The retro-style features such wonderful furniture such as side tables, cabinets and beautiful chandeliers and is the perfect way to incorporate a family heirloom into the modern home or to bring a new lease of life to pieces of furniture that would otherwise be considered as dated – Retro is the perfect way to recycle and upcycle quality made pieces that are both stylish and functional and incorporate them in a fresh new look for any space. 

Go Retro With Colour

One of the key points to consider when creating this style is to play with bold and strong colours that were popular in the past. The most popular shades were avocado green, orange and mustard yellow and these can be cleverly combined and contrasted with brown, black, white, aqua blue and reds. 

Since retro colours are bold and strong, spaces can have a neutral background to be used like a blank canvas, as this will accentuate the styles of the furniture and the colour will be provided by the soft furnishings. For example, an all-white restaurant with boldly coloured furniture certainly makes a statement, as too will a single statement wall. The colours can be emphasised perfectly using modern touches such as coloured picture frames,  throws and table runners.

Floresy- retro interior design  

And Stylish Materials

Beautiful wood was the most popular material in these eras. Woods with a red-tint including cherry, walnut, oak and beech -the most fashionable being attractively grained teakwood. These woods can be found in classic pieces of furniture, as flooring options and in a variety of accessories such as fruit bowls and lamp bases. For fun, look out for retro styles that combine grained wood with chrome metal and leather. To complete the retro look add a large colourful shaggy rug. An alternative flooring that sets the tone perfectly, is large black and white tiles in a checkerboard pattern  

Lighting 

Lighting is a clever way to enhance the old fashioned mood of these eras. It is worth hunting for such typical retro styles as wall sconces. Industrial styled glass shades and stainless steel pendant lamps look great suspend above the dining table. Beautiful chandeliers are so stylish and will cast colourful spangles of light around the room. Why not check out charity shops for spare light fittings? You just don’t know what they have lurking in a forgotten corner!  If you are given any lights, getting them PAP tested by an electrician to ensure they are safe, is essential.

Sleek Furniture

Retro furniture is easily recognised by its free form, simple curves, abstract shapes which all have no fancy details. The furniture has its origin in the classic Bauhaus style. The focus for the designs of these eras was on functionality, minimalism and lightness rather than more elaborate designs. Chairs usually had lower backrests, at shoulder height, with no padded armrests. So these could well need the modern additions of cushions and a throw for comfort! Sofas were sizeable; broad, long and easily seating three people. The sofas were often decorated with multi-coloured cushions in orange, gold and avocado and in tactile fabrics such as velvet, silk and even leather. 

Retro furniture design often combined several different materials. Wood and metal and wooden topped tables with metal legs were popular. When bar stools first appeared, they were a sell-out and inspired the first designs of much-loved breakfast bar. Wooden sideboards with pencil-thin legs were popular as were Ottomans covered in a jigsaw made from offcuts of soft velvet.

Floresy- retro sofa

Prints, Patterns and accessories

When it comes to achieving the perfect retro feel, the correct use of patterns and prints is essential. Patterns were mostly geometric and used for tiling, flooring, wallpapers and upholstery. Curtains were often patterned with geometric or ornamental designs and psychedelic wallpaper prints were popular – although in modern retro-styled homes, maybe one feature wall would be preferable to all four!

Add some Retro houseplants.

The 1950s/60s/70s were a time when everyone loved houseplants!  You will need to look out for the ultimate in your local charity shop – a macramé hanging basket – to fill with a huge trailing ivy!  Other popular plants were large Swiss Cheese plants, Rubber plants and hard to kill Spider plants. Many polished teak sideboards were decorated with pink and purple flowered African violets displayed in textured ceramic pots or wicker baskets. Whereas in the past, many would share coffee and ponder why their Swiss Cheese plant leaves were not growing with the current splits, now you can buy gorgeous faux plants that will make your life more carefree!

Creating a retro interior design is great fun and a clever way to pull together different older styles of furniture.  Using quality pieces of older furniture makes sense as they are beautifully made and built to last. Cleverly combining them with modern touches in retro colours will create a warm, welcoming room – but beware,  Granny might just claim her furniture back!

In the last few years, eco-friendly restaurant designs have become game-changers in the commercial interior industry. More consumers are opting for restaurants that offer healthy food and a sustainable, eco-friendly atmosphere. Restaurant designers are having to meet new generation standards for more environmental friendly restaurants.

So let us discuss exactly what we mean when we say ‘eco-friendly restaurant design.’ Along with healthy food, the space should be environmentally friendly too. Eco-friendly design focuses on minimum adverse impact on nature by choosing the right materials and techniques.

A recent survey showed that 65-70% of consumers are willing to spend more on green restaurants and dining that causes less harm to our environment. Restaurateurs and interior designers are becoming more conscious of the eco-friendly benefits such as reduced energy consumption, low maintenance cost, reduced usage of toxic material and better air quality. With this in mind, let us take a look at how we can create green, eco-friendly restaurant spaces.

6 Ways to Create an Eco- Friendly Restaurant

Reducing water wastage

The amount of water that is wasted can add up to millions of gallons. From dishwashing stations to bathrooms, from cooking to serving customers. With the amount of water depleting, it is of utmost importance to conserve it. This can be achieved by using low flow faucets, sensor-activated faucets, energy star appliances and equipping restrooms with water-saving toilets and urinals.

If the restaurant has landscapes and greenery, then use sprinklers with timers or opt for artificial plants as this requires no water at all.

Using energy star appliances

Energy star appliances reduce the consumption of water and electricity. Smart investment in these appliances will reduce the costs in the long run.

Lighting and electricity usage

When it comes to light fixtures and decorative elements in a restaurant these play a significant role. Maximum natural lighting and ventilation is a winner, with lots of open spaces and large windows. But in terms of artificial lighting, energy-efficient light fixtures such as LED, Halogen and CFL’s can be used. Energy star light fixtures can be installed as they reduce the heat by 75% and are considered as more sustainable options. Incorporating sensor-operated lights that switch on only when spaces (restrooms, refrigerators) are in use, and on spot air conditioners are great alternatives.

Performing thermostat check

Indoor temperatures should be kept moderate. It is always wise to use a programmable thermostat

Floresy -thermostat

Using sustainable materials

The roofing material should be energy star compliant. Include a special coating or glazing to windows that can prevent extreme temperatures and provide thermal comfort. Smart awnings can be installed on windows to reduce solar heat. Paints should be heat reflective and non-hazardous such as low volatile organic compound paints. Painting the walls in lighter shades can reflect 80% of solar radiation.

Also walls, furniture and floorings can be adorned with sustainable materials such as wood, cork and bamboo. Concrete and brick are apt in terms of eco-friendliness and in creating a beautiful ambience.  Using cotton and wool for upholstery is a great alternative to man-made synthetics.

Effective waste management

Industrial waste should be recycled properly, if not discarded appropriately. Nowadays most of the restaurants are becoming ‘zero waste’. This means they do not produce any food waste or rubbish in order to reduce their carbon footprint on the world.

Aiming to make your restaurant eco friendly is definitely a challenge on its own. But by implementing the above and going by the eco-friendly design concepts, designers and restaurateurs will surely create a positive impact on society and the environment at large.

In recent times, bamboo has become a design favourite for flooring. Wooden flooring has been a popular option for residential and commercial spaces, but the cost factor can be a concern. This is where bamboo flooring can make a real impact in terms of cost, as well as aesthetics and functionality. 

It is said that bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Once you cut a bamboo plant, it can grow back to the same height in the short span of 5 – 7 years, making deforestation less of a factor. 

So the next question is… what exactly is bamboo flooring?

Types of Bamboo Planks

These floors are manufactured using strips or strands of the bamboo which are cut, dried and processed into flooring planks.

  • Vertical bamboo flooring is where strips of bamboo are glued vertically to form planks. 
  • Horizontal planks have the strips glued horizontally, making the bamboo grains more prominent in appearance on the surface than the vertical ones. 
  • Strand woven is where the strands are woven together using machine locking under extreme heat and pressure to form the planks. These floors are available in click-lock or floating planks with an underlayment. Although the horizontal planks have a beautiful grainy appearance, stranded woven planks are more durable, resilient and hardwearing in terms of functionality. It’s said that a plank of stranded woven bamboo is two to three times as hard as an oak flooring plank. This makes it highly recommended in commercial spaces such as hotels, offices, restaurants, gyms etc, where there is a greater footfall.

 Most of the bamboo floorings are naturally toned in light or yellow hues. However, the darker tones can be achieved through staining or carbonisation, where the planks are subjected to high temperatures. You can also use the ‘hand scraping’ method to bring a distressed look to the bamboo flooring. 

 

Floresy - Bamboo trees

Pros and Cons of Bamboo Flooring

Pros

  • Bamboo flooring is known to be one of the most affordable flooring options. 
  • Bamboo is known as organic and sustainable, making it an eco-friendly alternative to carpets, laminated flooring and tiles. 
  • It’s an ideal choice for commercial and residential spaces in terms of style. It’s natural tones, variety of colours and finishes make it aesthetically versatile for any space. 
  • In terms of maintenance and upkeep, it is water-resistant, easy to mop, sweep and clean, and in case it loses its shine, a quick retouch and repolish will have it looking as good as new.  
  • Bamboo floorings are easy to install compared to many other flooring options.

Cons

  • Although bamboo is water-resistant, it is not 100% waterproof.  So don’t install in extreme water prone areas as this can lead to distortion and swelling.
  • Bamboo can be installed in fluctuating and humid temperatures but extreme humidity can result in planks shrinking. Therefore, it’s best not to install this flooring outside. 
  • Although it is a hard-wearing floor covering, you may still find scratches and dents to the surface if you do not look after it properly.
  • The manufacturing and glueing process involves the use of chemicals. Check to see whether the planks are free of VOC paints and formaldehyde. 
  • Although the carbonisation process gives a variety of stains, it makes the plank soft and unstable.

 

 

 

The French are known for their dramatic interior spaces, using clever furniture designs, sumptuous fabrics and colours. French designers know that the perfect ambience in restaurants, office spaces and homes can be achieved using versatile ideas. These features include beautiful faux plants that are lifelike and lush, but easy to maintain.

Canny design features are beginning to appear this side of the Channel too because the French style is casually elegant and perfect for softening formality. Using plants for interior decoration is fun and innovative. The bonus of working with quality faux plants is that they can maintain their lifelike look for a long time to come.

Make a Statement!

If you have a large space, fill it with an equally large plant. The French use huge beautifully maintained house plants to be the focus of a room. Make sure you choose the right size – monstera deliciosa and the various ficus plants are all ideal. Ensure the plant does not look squashed, faux plants should be displayed in the part of the room where it would thrive if it were natural – such as near the window but away from direct sunlight. Trailing plants can give an air of elegance draped over the edge of a statement furniture piece.

Choose the Ideal Plants for Each Location

If you have a large plain wall, choose a variety of big plants with large leaves and consider a couple of wall baskets too, filled with tumbling trailing plants. Faux plants can look stunning and so life-like that it is hard to tell them from the natural variety, but clever selection is important – if your plain wall is somewhere shady, choose plants that would happily grow in such a position.

If you have large bare looking windows, treat them with some true Parisian style – a line of large flower pots in front, each with a tall plant with numerous small leaves. Choose varieties that normally love plenty of light and choose ones that complement each other to create a similar effect to a lace curtain – letting plenty of light into the room but relieving the starkness of the bare windows.

Clever Ideas for Bannisters

Bannisters are essential, but unless they are beautifully styled, they can look bland. The French way to deal with this is to use them as a blank canvas with a dramatic arrangement of climbing and trailing plants in a rectangular planter in front of the balustrade.

The selection of plants should include plenty of different shades of green and a variety of textures too. Plants such as faux ivy and vines can look delightful interwoven in the bannister rails. The focal point of the arrangement can be a beautiful live or faux flowering plant, this feature can regularly be replaced to mirror the passing seasons. 

Leafy Stairways

Wide staircases look elegant and appealing, but they can look a little stark. The easy way to add some interest is to have a different faux houseplant on each stair. The plants should be different heights and textures with a range of leaf colours – adding some with variegated leaves and others such as Crotons with rich red and gold leaves. Provide additional colour by introducing indoor roses and cyclamen – you can add these as seasonal highlights. It’s fun to add some dramatic plants that can be ‘talking points’ for visitors!

The plant pots and saucers can be simple terracotta ones to give a welcoming rustic feel or they can be various designs and shapes – either antique or contemporary in style- with a colour theme.

Gorgeous Screens

Sometimes, there is a need for subtle screening, either to offer privacy between tables or to mask a plain-looking doorway. An easy way to achieve the ‘wow’ factor is by the clever use of plants. Tall leafy plants in stylish easy move planters are a versatile way to define areas – a fun choice is a large vine. A colourful myriad of ferns and trailing plants hanging down from the top of a doorway is the perfect way to obscure it from view.     

Stunning Flower Arrangements

The French love nothing better than a huge and vibrant flower arrangement. They love tall vases which they fill with huge colourful heads of hydrangea or with arum lilies at Easter time. Flowers are always arranged very simply in a vase. The most interesting and natural arrangements are made using a variety of wildflowers, interspersed with ears of wheat or barley and wild grasses – with plenty of French style!

The distinctive interior style known as ‘Nordic Design’ has been around since the 1950s, flourishing in the five Nordic countries – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. 

This style embraces three keywords:

  • Minimalism 
  • Simplicity
  • Functionality. 

Nordic design is currently proving extremely popular in private homes, restaurants and in the corporate environment because it is a look that is fresh, very functional whilst also welcoming. To execute this look, always create with an eco-friendly and sustainable approach in mind.

Having said that, there is no single Nordic Design.  Rather it is more of a state of mind and lifestyle choice that oozes understated elegance. It is best described by the Danish word Hygge; feeling of warmth, cosiness and well-being.

The nordic design definitely preceded minimalism and in fact championed it! The ethos of this style is that the space should look light and airy and that the focus should be on the simple lines of the furniture. Both light and air should be able to flow freely through the room.

Materials

Natural elements such as wood, stone and plants are really important. Wood is very popular and is used for cladding walls and ceilings to add warmth and texture. Instead of carpets, natural or painted wooden floors are much preferred. 

Colour 

The colour palette focuses on soft hues and plenty of natural shades such as white, creams, coffee shades and cool greys. Other colours used include the softest shades of pink and blue.

Furnishing

Furniture designs are very important as the piece must be stylish with clean lines and made with great craftsmanship. Shape is vital and each item of furniture should have a beautiful silhouette. In Nordic-style rooms, ‘a little is definitely more’ with few ornaments and absolutely no clutter. 

Soft furnishings are also in mellow tones, but texture is really important for cushions, rugs and throws. Introduce colourful accents with these items too – rich gold or strong turquoise being popular choices. 

Nordic Lighting

Light is an essential consideration as the room must be light and bright to achieve a livable finish. Windows are large and bare with no dressings to maximise the amount of daylight coming in. 

Artificial Nature 

One of the easiest ways to introduce a natural splash of colour – and one that is regularly used by Nordic designers – is to introduce indoor plants. Some types of indoor plants are perfect to use to complement this style as they soften the lines in a lovely natural way. Strategically place one or two plants, including a large dramatic plant with lush green foliage. 

Amongst the popular varieties to use for Nordic designs are:

  • Large orchids
  • Philodendrons 
  • Rubber Plants (Ficus Robusta).
  • Pots of Sansevieria Trifasciata – more commonly known as ‘snake plants’ or ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’.

These can help mirror the clean clear-cut lines of a Nordic style room perfectly. To create some interest in a corner or on top of a wall unit, Golden Pottos (Scindapsus Aureus) is a lovely leafy trailing plant that will do the job perfectly! 

You can accommodate these with the perfect planters.  Choose those in natural materials such as terracotta or wicker.

To complete the look in true Nordic style, add a couple of pieces of high-quality ceramics and some candles. After that, relax in this perfectly curated Nordic style room and enjoy the Hygge…

Whether your hotel is classically or contemporarily styled, it is important that it always looks fresh, smart and welcoming to guests. If the public areas have not been decorated for a few years, now is the time to plan a makeover!

Colour scheme

Whilst a major renovation can prove very costly; if your furniture is still looking good, you will be surprised and delighted how rooms can be revitalised. A fresh coat of paint and the introduction of attractive new features is one of the many simple steps you can take.

The first thing to consider is the colour palette:

  • Bright colours can make a room look smaller and can look tired and date quicker than classic neutral shades. The classic shades that have stood the test of time are magnolia and cream.  Dove grey is a popular neutral shade that can look really good! Even better if you can combine accents of bright colours used for accessories such as cushions and lampshades.
  • If you feel the walls are looking dull, you can introduce a ‘statement’ wall in a complementary darker tone. Claret, forest green or French navy – depending on the colour scheme of your furniture – would contrast nicely.
  • New artwork will give rooms a fresh new look too. Whilst buying sizeable pieces might be ‘out of budget’, it is well worth seeking out some local artists who will happily lend you pieces of their work as it gives them exposure and could lead to sales.

colour sample pallet

Try Lighting

Lighting can also make a room look tired and dull. So it is worth looking at how you can ‘ring the changes’ with some new lamps. If you want to create an atmosphere, try pools of brighter light where guests are reading or working and other areas bathed in softer golden light.

Artificial Plants

One of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to revitalise areas is by the clever use of artificial plants and flowers. If you buy good quality ones, you will find it impossible to tell that they are ‘faux’!  Blend artificial plants amongst live plants and have a layer of moss added to the top of their soil to make them more realistic. Attractive pots that complement the interior design can make all the difference and a regular dust is all the maintenance they will need!

A huge artificial plant arrangement makes a stunning focus to a room and some of the artificial seasonal plants can be replaced through the year with other seasonal plants and flowers. Wall displays of artificial trailing ivy can look very effective behind sofas and ‘plant walls’ are an eye-catching and effective way to divide a large room into smaller, cosier sitting areas. Plant walls comprise of multi-panels with a variety of different artificial plants. There can be hanging plants and ones with variegated foliage in a variety of natural tones. It does take a little time to create the right effect, but the feature will be much admired by your hotel guests.

chalet cyclamen handmade pot in hotel room Redecorate your hotel

Don’t Forget the Other Spaces!

The same ideas for rejuvenation can be rolled out across the hotel, with the introduction of artwork and artificial plants. Investigate colour schemes for the guest toilets and try adding large wicker baskets containing rolls of single-use cloth hand towels.

Freshen up your guest rooms with new paint and some new art for the walls. Introduce a splash of bold and fashionable colours using cushions, throws and curtain ties

An arrangement of artificial plants and interesting ornaments on a table, plus an arrangement of tactile cushions on the bed that all complement the colour scheme. This will help define the room’s character and create a feeling of luxurious cosiness.

After all, making your guests feel welcome in your hotel and their stay a memorable one, is your main objective….

The ONS Labour Force Survey has found that 1.54 million people in the UK are now working from home – that’s 884,000 more than ten years ago and this figure will keep on growing. With modern technology at your fingertips, it has never been easier to work from home and more and more house buyers are looking for an office space in the properties they are viewing so that they can enjoy all the advantages this brings.

Choose the right spot!

When you are considering where to establish a home office, it is best to give this plenty of thought as you will be spending a great deal of time at your desk. You will have some basic needs that must be considered such as whether you will be holding meetings or conference calls from home. Will you need just a table for your laptop or more space for printers and storage facilities too. Whilst working in a cramped area tucked under the stairs may work for some people, for others, more space and a window with natural daylight is essential. What about the noise level in your chosen area? If a noisy environment does not bother you, that is good, but if you prefer peace and quiet, you may well have to make some adjustments – a simple one can be to remove the batteries from your doorbell!

Getting Organised is the Key to Success!

You will need to have the right size of the work area so that you can feel comfortable whilst you work. You do need to have a dedicated desk as it becomes difficult to keep scooping up paperwork at the end of each day and you will need some storage space too. Position your desk so that you can take maximum advantage of natural daylight and the view from a window. Try out the space for comfort, are you sure that you have adequate light whatever the weather? It might well be advantageous to invest in a good quality anglepoise lamp that gives a good light wherever it is needed. Good lighting helps prevent eye strain and headaches. Once you have your office area laid out, spend some time dealing with any loose wire etc. to keep you safe. You need to ensure that they are not a trip hazard nor a distraction if you are trying to work fast! Better still, why not invest in some Bluetooth peripherals to make things easier?

Filing office organisation

Be Comfy!

There have been a number of studies that have found that if people are happy and comfortable in their workspace then their productivity increases, conversely if they are uncomfortable then they don’t work nearly as well! Working from home has a huge advantage that you can create the office space that suits you perfectly.

Ensure that you have a really comfortable chair that is the right height for you, if you do not, why not consider buying an ergonomic chair as this will ensure that you are sitting correctly and not damaging your spine. This is definitely an item of furniture not to scrimp on as a good chair really does make all the difference, ensuring your body is not aching at the end of the day.

Ensure your work area can be kept at a comfortable temperature all year through and that there is a source of fresh air too. A cup of coffee is an important part of every working day, are there facilities for making one that can be easily reached? Just because you are not in a work environment with regular safety checks, does not mean that health and safety should not be considered. It is important that you can leave your work desk easily to take a regular break from your PC screen.

Coffee cup including plant- Floresy

Consider Colour

The colour of your office can be as bright or calm as you like and it can also inspire you! True, your colour choice will have to be more conservative if you are holding meetings in your space, but if it is just you – the sky’s the limit! Choose the colour that suits you; a colour that fuels your creativity or helps you to feel serene and organised, the right colour is a very subjective choice! To enhance the colour of your office space, you can add some ambient lighting that will complement the ‘working light’ you have for your desk.

Personalise

Decorate the walls with an inspirational painting or other artwork and maybe add a favourite ornament to your desk or family photo. If space is short, you can always rotate these finishing touches to mirror the changing seasons. Think of fragrance too as the sense of smell is one of the strongest of our senses, so ensure that your work area smells fresh and appealing.

Add interest with some flowers or an attractive plant! Even if your office space does not benefit from natural light, don’t let that stop you as artificial plants or flowers an look like the real thing!

Importantly, your home office space is yours and it must feel good. Plan your office space like a well-designed aircraft cockpit with everything close at hand and easily accessible. Be flexible in your approach because as your work grows or changes so will your needs and these can be reflected in your workspace. Keep it fresh and appealing as it must inspire you and encourage you to be productive. Your new home office will mark the start of an exciting new chapter in your working from home life that will get bigger and better…..