Is it spring yet?

Although it’s been a relatively mild winter, I am still shivering at my desk as I type and looking out on a relatively gray day. It makes me anxious for those first pops of color that come with the spring flowers! To help get through the winter in Cincinnati, I like to inject color into the home environment. Striking a balance between whites/ neutrals, accent colors and natural light can be tricky, but is something that your design professional should be able to guide you through to reach your comfort zone.

Check out this great range of images that all show varying degrees of color accents and natural light. Generally, the more natural light you have, the more saturated the color can get (if you so desire)! I love the clean whites and gray tones with just a little splash of saturated color. It keeps things from getting too heavy – especially during those long winter months!

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Need a winter retreat?

As much as I would love to take a long weekend at a Spa in the middle of winter, sometimes that’s just not possible. Instead, how about heading to your bathroom? You may be skeptical, but more and more, people’s bathrooms are taking on the feel of their favorite spa. Whether using a modern design with stark whites and touches of wood or a more transitional look with soft neutral gray and white tones, there are a lot of options that can work with your personal aesthetic. Incorporating stylized light fixtures and art for a pop of color are great ways to de-sterilize the space. Natural light –through skylights or large windows with awesome views is a key element to creating an inviting space where you can relax in the tub with a good book and maybe even a glass of wine!

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Home like environments

‘Home-like’ choice of work settings becoming vital to success in commercial design…

San Francisco-based gaming software developer Giant Pixel reached out to Studio O+A to design their first headquarters in a turn-of-the-century building. The building was once a printing press and now needed to be reformatted to house the small company’s operations and its 20+ employees and visitors.

More and more, the workplace is being de-constructed and broken up into a series of small scale work settings that don’t look like traditional work settings at all. Gone are the days of rows and rows of ‘cubicles’ (thank goodness – I’ve never liked that word anyway!) and in their place are smaller work settings, ranging from cozy booths and banquettes for nesting with co-workers or small teams to individual cocoon like chairs for heads down work, placed by a window with a view in the open environment. In the last 5-7 years, the scales are tipping greatly towards more and more of these work settings in a given environment. In the past, there may have been 50-70% conference seats for 100% of work space seats.  Recently, we have seen these numbers rise to 120-150% collaboration seats for every 100% of work station seats.  In other words, work can be done in a variety of settings and with the multiple generations in the work force, this variety and freedom of choice for users is a big bonus for attracting the best and brightest talent.

Giant Pixel definitely mixes it up in their workspace. Utilizing warm woods on the ceiling and floor, cozy chairs next to the fireplace, cozy booths for conversation and even a bar in the workplace for social and informal business interaction, what’s not to love about this workplace!?

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