office design

Coworking Space and Office Renovation for Startups

In the market for office renovation for startups, shared office space (named coworking space) can sometimes be the key to economical and innovative work environment in the entrepreneur’s office.  What are the keys to designing successful coworking space?  One company answers three questions in their designs.

  1.  “How can the design of a space encourage collaboration and innovation?”
  2.  “How is the community mapped and visually represented in the space?”
  3.  “How can the design of space promote autonomous behavior from its members?”

Not only does the space have to work for a single entrepreneur, it needs to be functional for a group of entrepreneurs working for different startups.  One of the keys to adapting to the needs of the employees is to allow an ever-evolving room for change in the space.

The key in coworking design is to build office space that influences behavior.  To encourage collaboration among workers, sometimes the space can be divided into work areas by merely adapting lighting and heights of ceilings to form ‘rooms’ in an open area.  Innovation can be encouraged by the changeable nature of the space.  For instance, one group might use a white wall as a projection screen, while another might want to post graphics on a wall.  Making the space ones own and innovating within the office environment can encourage creativity and establish ownership of space.

In conclusion, the most important key in coworking space is that entrepreneurs need to adapt space to their own needs.  While design is important to forming certain positive behavior trends in an office, the state of constant flux itself enables an innovative work environment.  According to the same design team,

…Openness provides room for members to take control of shaping and hosting their environment which in turn helps to engender a more collaborative and sharing culture within the space.

For more information on office design for startups, contact us.

Terrific reasons to hire interior designer or a design firm now

Many persons are unaware of it:  However the name of the game, nowadays, is transparency.  The proficient designer is very adept at bringing the concept of transparency into his or her client’s space–whether that space is residential or corporate.

The uniqueness of providing the client with transparency is the number one reason, persons are wise to make the choice of having a design team create and reorganize their respective spaces:  The idea of bringing the great out-of-doors inside, nowadays, appears rather literal.  The bringing of the outside environment, inside, makes the entire concept of design much more refined.

Residents and corporate personnel function with greater levels of efficiency and well-being when the great out-of-doors or beautiful landscapes are made part of the inside environment.  The space may have been once enclosed; however, is now opened up. The idea of hiring a designer, then, is so the corporate client or the residential consumer may make the best possible use of the idea of transparency.

Opacity and transparency is used in way of making a small space, whether residential or a work environment feel more spacious.  Transparency provides access to a larger space, such as a vineyard or woods that is not part of the inside arrangement.  In example, a wine country residential dweller is able to properly appreciate the mass acreage of his or her vineyard.  The owner of the space is a second generation wine maker.  The design applied makes sense:  since the element of bringing the great out-of-doors vineyard into his or her living arrangement is relative.  Producing wine is what the preceding residential dweller is all about:  a second generation winemaker.  This individual has a strong connection to his or her land and is an agricultural enthusiast.  The person is not a person that requires window coverings or window treatments.  He or she wishes to awaken each morning and look upon his or her vineyards.  A good designer partners with the proper persons and brings the vineyard into the winemaker’s inside space.

Aside from the out-of-doors thinking, an enhancement, used by knowledgeable designers, makes it possible for the end-user to appreciate various interesting items at turning points inside:  Items or art objects are placed at the end of a hallway or somewhere in-between.  The idea is to make the persons traveling by foot, to take notice and pause at these areas, appreciating the items on exhibit.  The slight pause, psychologically, causes the person to move forward down the hallway.  It creates the sense that there are items further along the pathway, causing that individual to feel intrigued.

The designer is well-aware of advances in various materials:  The knowledgeable designer is well-aware of material advances with respect to glass, fabrics and plastics.  The advanced materials allow designers to create something spectacular relative to the end-users inside environment.

There are certain states which limit how much artificial light is allowable in a space:  The designer is adept in making clever use of natural lighting.  He or she makes certain, the natural lighting is used properly, minimizing the natural light used and assuring that the consumer is afforded the proper level of privacy.

In summary, terrific reasons to hire a design expert include:

  • Rediscovery of the great out-of-doors or bringing the outside inside of the interior space;
  • Placing interesting objects in unexpected places, in order that the passer-by wishes to pause, and with a sense of inspiration, continues his or her journey to the point of destination.
  • The expert designer makes use of advanced materials, which he or she is fully aware, in order to create and intensify the elements associated with good design;
  • The qualified design team of today, additionally, makes the best use of natural light.  The preceding reason is yet another good reason to hire the services of an expert designer.  In other words, it is just not about painting a room, and finding the right furniture, it is so much more.

In order that the interested consumer gets the ball rolling, in order to find out his or her best, most unique design options; he or she is encouraged to contact us.

We make it a point, to provide our clients with transparency; function, and aesthetically pleasing environments.  It is, nowadays, very beneficial to embrace the idea of: hire interior designer.

Designing the Office Renovation for Startups

When engaging in office renovation for startups, different factors come in to play than in other fields of design.  Not only does the startup sector come with different needs in office space, it also demands an entirely different business model.  Success in this sector relies on meeting demands in both of these area.  According to one design company,

“The industry standard is to take almost every client over budget … (our) whole idea is that when you’re not working on commission, your incentive is to get the best deal for your client.”

A pricing model that lets businesses know what they are paying for and holds to a contract’s time and rate guarantees presents an attractive option for startups.  Because their design space can be so novel, a transparent contract becomes almost necessary to acquiring startup business.

The design for a startup can be almost oppositional to a traditional work space.  Often times, designs try to mimic a home-like environment in order to encourage employees to spend as much time at work as possible.  This doesn’t necessarily focus on the traditional types of work space such as desks and office units, instead incorporating relaxing environments.  It’s not atypical to see a design incorporate couches, rest space, and music rooms into the structure of an office.

In terms of work space, designs usually take into account the group work nature of the modern startup.  Meeting and breakout rooms form the bones of the office, but can also be accompanied by large living-type rooms and drink bars for socializing.  The latest craze is inserting hidden rooms behind bookcases or closets for resting.

In the competition for the most qualified employees, office design can swing the weight in the favor of ‘cool’ office space.  Combined with a straightforward pricing model, design companies have the key to recruiting the modern startup.

To learn more about designing for startups, contact us.

4 Ways Office Design Can Increase Productivity

Whether you’re starting from scratch or refurbishing your current office, creating a professional, functional and comfortable space will project the right image to your clients and increase overall productivity.

Studies show that comfort and productivity are interrelated, and most experts agree that almost every office can benefit from a few changes in layout and organization. Consider some of the following ways you can improve the comfort level of your office to increase the productivity of the staff.

Create a comfortable environment

Strive to make your office a healthy and comfortable workplace. Use ergonomic furniture and accessories, proper lighting, and a functional design to minimize discomfort and distraction and help you and your employees work more productively.

Encourage employees to customize their workstations with accessories that help them work comfortably – keyboard trays, anti-glare screens, task lighting and footrests – and to adjust their chairs to the proper height and angle. You can even hire an ergonomic expert to consult with each worker individually. A quick evaluation will determine what each employee needs to do to avoid repetitive-stress injuries.

Improve your layout

Take a look at where employees sit and the location of the office equipment. Consider ways to improve the overall flow of your office. Put printers, fax machines and other shared equipment in areas that are easy to access, and seat work teams or departments together in shared areas or cubicles. Try to open spaces and align desks, so it’s easy to move around the office.

Use mobile furniture

Adjustable and mobile furniture is a good option for growing businesses with limited space; you can easily reconfigure cubicles and workstations and rearrange your office to accommodate growth, partition departments, or separate equipment areas and other noisy parts of the office.

Control noise levels

Consider using panel systems, carpeting, and ceiling tiles to absorb sound and provide privacy. To reduce auditory distractions, put fax machines, copiers and other noisy office equipment in a separate area surrounded by cubicle walls or partition walls. Try to keep nosier employees, such as customer service representatives or salespeople, who spend a lot of time on the phone, away from those who require quiet work spaces.

If you need help with any aspect of office design or layout, consult a professional. They can help you select furniture and assist you with space planning, lighting, interior construction, fire and building codes, and other office design issues.

Top Renovation Tips For Your Commercial Space

blog-tips-for-your-commercial-spaceWhether you just want to freshen up your office space or you’re going for an all-over renovation, there’s no getting around the messy and time-consuming nature of an office renovation. Here are our top renovation tips to help make this as short and easy a process as possible so you can get back to work… in style:

Think long term

How you need to use your office space now might change in a year or two if you’re planning on expanding your business. Before you start renovating, make sure you know what your five-year plan is for the business so you can make renovations accordingly. You don’t want to go through this process more often than you need to so work with your designer to develop a renovation plan that will allow your business to grow. Introducing smart storage solutions is one way to make sure your business doesn’t outgrow your space or your renovation.

Think about your employees

You might be making the final decisions about paint and carpeting, but consider how you want your employees to work when you start your renovation project. Adding in ergonomic and/or standing work stations in offices can help your employees by reducing the strain on their bodies that can come from desk work. As the research keeps rolling in on the negative aspects of a sedentary work style, more and more employees are searching for ways to work while walking or standing. Be proactive now in order to keep top talent working for you and boost their productivity.

Go light

In general, light colors are more conducive for work spaces, but don’t go too crazy with the coloring. Neutral colors along with windows that let in natural light give offices an inviting feeling in contrast to dark colors that tend to bring down productivity.

Natural lighting

Along with keeping your paint and furniture light, make sure to incorporate natural light in your office. It’s no secret that people generally don’t appreciate the look of fluorescent lights, but research has concluded that natural light really does help people work better. A study from Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign concluded that employees who were exposed to natural light in offices overall had a better quality of life than those who were not. These improvements include “longer sleep duration, better sleep quality, more physical activity and better quality of life compared to office workers with less light exposure in the workplace.” Incorporate windows and/or skylights into your design to help your employees and to make your commercial space a brighter and healthier place.

Think about the benefits

Adding up the cost of money and time for the renovation might have you start second-guessing the project, but remember that there are a lot of benefits to renovating your office space. Customers and clients will appreciate your updated look, especially if your current space is sporting old trends. In addition, updating your windows, lighting, even your faucets can save your company a lot of energy usage, which translates to a significant amount of money saved over the long haul. In addition, your employees will be happier and more productive in an updated, contemporary space, which will translate to a boost in business.

Working with a designer is the best way to make sure your office renovation will serve your business now and in the future. For more ideas on how to renovate your commercial space, contact us today.

5 Great Reasons to Hire a Professional Interior Designer

blog-reasons-to-hire-professional-interior-designerWhen it is time to think about giving your professional space a facelift, it is a good idea to employ strategies that have worked in other aspects of your business. For instance, when you need a good accountant, you do not hesitate to find one that understands your business needs and can meet those needs successfully. When you need an executive assistant, you carefully consider the qualified candidates and choose one that matches your goals and objectives. When you choose to renovate, the same principle applies.

A good interior designer can do much to make your renovation a smooth and pleasant journey. Here are five great reasons to hire an interior designer.

1) A professional interior designer can save you a great deal of money.

While some think that hiring a designer will be cost-prohibitive, often the reverse is true. A designer with a good working knowledge of structural matters as well as aesthetic concerns will be able to steer you away from  costly mistakes in the renovation process, thereby saving you both time and money. And with additional money to spend, you can achieve more of the look that your professional space deserves.

2) A professional interior designer will use a trained eye.

What does that mean, exactly? A designer has been trained to recognize what is right and what is wrong with your space. Often, a designer can make suggestions that you may have never imagined to maximize the potential of your space.   Are you interested in a more traditional office space with individual partitions, or are you thinking of a more open design?  If you are having trouble deciding what will work best for your business, a designer will discuss how your enterprise works and make suggestions that will help you achieve your goals. Designers are often experts at “thinking outside the box”, thereby making your space unique and wow-worthy.

3) A professional designer will know people.

As you know with your own business, there is much value in having good, dependable contacts. The same is true for designers. Often a professional designer knows a variety of people you will need as work commences on your project.  This will save you both time and money, as you will not have to find reliable carpenters, painters, plumbers, and other workers in the building trades without expert advice. And with solid workmen supporting the professional design at every step, the finished product will meet or exceed your expectations.

4) A professional designer can help you budget and plan your renovation well.

With the knowledge of standard costs for various aspects of a renovation, the designer can work with you to find the best resources available for your needs. Taking the guesswork out of your projected budget is a real bonus for you, as it alleviates anxiety regarding the renovation process.  Often, your designer can suggest upgrades that will enhance the value of your space considerably, while still keeping an eye on making you and your employees comfortable.

5)  A professional designer can help you plan and visualize your space.

You inhabit your office space for hours every day and are accustomed to the way things are arranged there.  Sometimes, when you think about renovation, it may be difficult to truly visualize what changes can be made to bring your space back to life.  A good designer can see things with a fresh perspective, offering ideas on a wide variety of design options that will get your creative juices flowing again.  Then, once you have a clear picture of where you want to go with the project, the designer can ensure that your vision is honored throughout every step of the process.

These are just a few of the benefits of working with a professional designer. To learn more, please contact us. We will be happy to show you how we can benefit your project today.

Nike Office Design Feature Vibrant Colors

Neutral colors and sedate decor have their place, color is king when it comes to Nike office design. Recently, we had the opportunity to design the conference room facilities at Nike’s Hong Kong office.

You can’t have Nike without its brand-recognizing orange, or without the Nike illustrations that are so much a part of its heritage. As explained in a recent news feature in the South China Morning Post, in addition to those inspirations, our other inspiration for the conference room design was the Google workspace — that is, a playful area where people want to come to work. We wanted to provide a casual atmosphere in which creativity and a sort of social productivity were fostered. Pops of color, including orange, were important to the project, as was the vision of movement and athleticism.


Nike: Conference in Hong Kong by openUU

The conference facilities feature a lounge area with custom furniture that is easy to move. Conference rooms are separated from each other with movable partitions. There is a group area which is designated by a blackboard, brightly colored seating, and a bright Astroturf wall. The space was tied together both by the ability to link the rooms together into larger, shared quarters, as well as by the sports theme throughout.


Nike Canteen by UXUS Design


Bright colors are also important in the design of the Nike Canteen, in the Netherlands, where designers UXUS created a sports pub-inspired space that wove Nike orange, bright red, and yellow throughout. The Canteen design also features logos, graphics, and even the favorite lunch choices of world class athletes were used as decoration. The project tied together seemingly different elements in order to meet the various needs of workers: cozy spaces for solitude, vast tables for group projects.


Nike London Office by Rosie Lee

You won’t see plain white walls at Nike’s London office either. Instead, you’ll find those founder-inspired hand-drawn illustrations, pictures of sports celebrities, and inspiring quotes. The three-floored design, completed by the Rosie Lee Agency, provides a cohesive, playful tone complete with bright orange, red, and blue contrasts.

Color is a great way to set the tone for a space as well as to honor a brand and its founder. What are your office’s true colors? For more information on office design, contact us.

Warehouse Design: Making a Large Space Feel Welcoming

warehouse-design-large-spaceWhen considering a functional warehouse design, a number of factors come into play. What is the space going to be used for? How can it be transformed into something that is convenient and comfortable to both the occupants and their visitors? How can a large, empty space be made to feel welcoming?

Here are a few examples of different types of warehouses (from the news as well as our portfolio) along with explanations as to why they work.

Heavybit Industries – San Francisco, California, US

According to a report in Architectural Record, when faced with the dilemma of how to convert a warehouse into a communal space for cloud developers in 2012, CEO James Lindenbaum of Heavybit Industries enlisted the help of IwamotoScott Architecture. Like the name, Lindenbaum wanted a building that looked heavy and serious on the outside, in order to show the world that cloud development is a real thing.


Heavybit Industries by IwamotoScott Architecture. Photo by Bruce Damonte

Starting with a large open space on the ground level that was totally disconnected from the upper floors, the architects were able to divide that space into a common room with platform seating, as well as a conference room, kitchen, and a bike storage area that was defined by its refined wood wall. Upstairs, walls were removed to create open work stations. Sliding polycarbonate doors let in light. On the top level, breakout space was created using industrial rope and electrical conduit to maintain the heavy image, while providing space between the strands.

Osage Open – Kwun Tong, Hong Kong

In an industrial area of Hong Kong, we sought to create a useful indoor/ outdoor art gallery space for our client, Osage Gallery. We played on the existing concrete textures of the warehouse, incorporating it into the design through the use of a large drifting wooden box that can either be used as a unique art piece all on its own, or a functional element as a step in the gallery.


Osage Open by openUU.

The passageway was created to provide a fluid connection from the inside to the outside. With the exception of the wooden box, the inside area of this facility features spare white walls and plentiful lighting, ensuring that the focal point of the interior is the art, itself.

Residential Warehouse Conversion – Abbotsford, Victoria, Australia

With converting a commercial warehouse to a residential space, an emphasis was place not only on preserving the original industrial aspects, but also how to transform them into a cozy area. Warm hardwoods were placed alongside existing brick walls. Brightly colored rugs and accents — along with both natural and provided light — add coziness to concrete-floors and high, industrial beams.

warehouse-conversion-in-melbourne-7All three levels of this home — one of several converted warehouses listed and staged by the prestigious realty firm RT Edgar — provide unique features. A courtyard next to the bedroom and study on one floor, an open-plan living and dining space on the next, a master bedroom that takes advantage of the city views on the next.

Warehouses give you ample space for design. The challenge, then, becomes making that space something that feels warm and inviting. For more information on warehouse design or to talk to us about your next project, contact us.

How to Hire an Interior Designer for your Office Renovation

blog-hire-designer-office-renovationAre you preparing for an office move or renovation? You know that your office space must create a professional first impression and that hiring an interior designer can help you choose a look that is perfect for your business. So where do you start? Here are some practical tips that will help you hire an interior designer for your office.

Understand what an interior designer will do for you.

Setting clear expectations will help you find the right interior designer for your office project. How much involvement would you like to have in the design process? What does your vision of a perfect office entail? The right designer will spend time with you, discussing the needs of your office and putting together a detailed plan that incorporates these essentials.

The designer will also consider your plans for growth, ensuring that your office can expand with your business. A skilled interior designer listens to your ideas, gains a true understanding of your business and presents options that are customized to meet your expectations. The right interior designer will make your vision a reality in a way that meets your budget and aesthetic expectations.

Set your budget.

It’s imperative that you know how much you’ll have to invest in the project. The right interior designer will help you understand your project costs and plan for additional unexpected expenses. Having a good feel for the numbers going into the project will ensure that you find the right fit. Professional interior designers will help you manage your costs and will use their networks to find you savings.

View their portfolio.

One of the best ways to get a feel for the abilities and style of an interior designer is to view their portfolio. Taking a look at their website is a good start, but taking things a step further and reading reviews and reaching out to former clients can help you make an informed decision.

Once you have a candidate in mind, agree on a schedule and fee that works for both of you. The interior designer will work with you to scope out the work and create a contract that is clear and concise.

If you are ready to move forward with your office project, contact us to discuss the design process.