The marketplace is changing and interior design is responding. The work/live/play communities designed for today’s mobile, multitasking lifestyles is driving this change. Coffee shops and casual dining establishments serve as offices away from the
office, and hotels as one’s home away from home. Like our lives, the
spaces we inhabit are blurring the lines between our working, social, and
private selves—and design is following suit.
For some time now residential clients have been asking for corporate-
style home offices, restaurant-like kitchens, boutique hotel bedrooms, and
spa bathrooms. In urban and contemporary design especially, commercial
furnishings, fixtures, materials, and lighting often are used to replicate luxe
commercial environments. Consumer interest has
reached such a level that, for example, the Wynn
hotel chain opened a home furnishings store in Las
Vegas several years ago. Interior designer Roger
Thomas, executive vice president of design for
Wynn Design and Development, remarked at the
time, “Today, residential design is looking at hotels
More recently, we have watched the pendulum
swing the other way, with an increasing number
of commercial designs incorporating residential
elements to create a more homelike environment.
This is a natural evolution of the live/work/play community, where people want
to live closer to their workplace or, in some cases, even in the same building.
Looking to boost productivity and innovation, employers are offering employees
a more personalized workspace that furnishes some of the comforts of working
from home. Fast Company, for instance, reported in January that one of the
popular trends in office design for 2015 will be the addition of breakout areas
or zones outfitted with casual furnishings, such as comfy couches, hammocks,
and bean bag chairs, where employees can relax, recharge, and, it is hoped, be
motivated to spend more time at the office.