Get ready to see more of the hue in 2019 as Pantone Color Institute announced “Living Coral” as its 2019 Color of the Year.
It’s hard to imagine that the movie “Pretty in Pink” came out 3 decades ago, but as we celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, the term filmmaker John Hughes made famous is more relevant than ever—and NOT just for women.
Millennial Pink is “all the rage” and now, there is no longer any debate that pink is pretty on everyone.
So, let’s bring out our faded Nantucket reds and Lilly Pulitzer’s because pink is back and swaggy-er than ever before.
Lauren Schwartzberg wrote in this detailed timeline on The Cut of how pink has surpassed fad into fixture.
As we look ahead in 2019, notions of what’s Pretty in Pink are evolving yet again. “Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression,” says the company’s announcement.
More saturated than Millennial Pink, coral is not afraid to make a statement, as we can see in this collection from Anthropologie:
In these home accessories featured in Aspire Design and Home:
In this collection featured by Underscored:
Want to memorialize this shade with more permanent features in your home? Products Magazine has some great ideas. How about appliances for your kitchen?
Try sprucing up an accent wall. Sherwin Williams has 18 shades of coral.
Whatever you choose, it’s a safe bet that pink—whether it’s used as a neutral shade, as an alternative to gray or beige, or invoked as an assertive accent color—is a worthy investment for our wardrobe and home.
“One of the great challenges of our time is to bring the beneficial experience of nature into the design of contemporary buildings, landscapes, communities, and cities”.
– Stephen R. Kellert, Nature by Design: The Practice of Biophilic Design
Biophilic design is an innovative way of connecting nature to the interiors of the places where we live, work, learn and heal. Considering that the average person spends 90 percent of their time indoors, we as design professionals need to consciously embrace the principles of biophilic design for multi-family condominiums and apartment buildings to ensure that in this stressful world, people feel that their home offers the ultimate health and wellness benefits. These benefits include reduced stress, enhanced creativity, clarity of thought and overall improved wellbeing.
In this first installment of a three-part post, we focus on the use of color as a visual connection to nature—one of 14 biophilic design patterns.
Caption: Photos, clockwise from left, by Kris Atomic, Thom Masat, Carlos Domínguez and Chris Lawton via Unsplash
Color is more than eye candy. Hue, saturation, tone and brightness define the ambiance of a space and impact our mood, motivation, productivity, creativity, and enthusiasm. When selecting a palette for a project, we closely consider the feeling that each room needs to evoke, and select color combinations that will help to express it.
Consider the emotions aroused by these colors of nature:
Blues and Cyans are colors that call to mind a bright blue sky or clean, cerulean water. Through this fellowship with nature, blues create a calming experience and reduce tension.
Shades of green are associated with health. Textures and tones of green in fabrics and other surface materials put us in touch with vegetation. Effective ways to bring the outdoors inside include green walls, moss art, reclaimed wood and other materials that mimic the natural world. Greens are proven to lower both your blood pressure and heart rate.
Reds are the color of fruits such as apples and berries. Their range paints a summer sunset and sprinkles the autumn leaves. Like a cluster of berries on a holly tree, red delights us when used in small bursts. Too much red, and its intensity invades our senses.
Yellow is the brightest color; used in the right intensity, hue and saturation, it reminds us of the sun’s warmth, arouses feelings of happiness, and improves creativity and optimism. Yet, if overused, it can have an unpleasant or even disturbing effect.
Boston Properties and Bozzuto
The award-winning Signature at Reston Town Center, located in Reston, Virginia, features broad outdoor vistas that echo nature’s colors throughout its public spaces. In this sunlit corner, a grouping of comfy blue chairs looks out toward a courtyard animated with a waterfall and reflecting pond. We commissioned abstract artwork in shades of blue, green, brown and white; the colors channel shades that could be found in a forest, while the texture and movement of the patterns echo the rippling waters outside the floor-to-ceiling windows.
The Peterson Companies, McWilliams Ballard
From the Potomac River on one side to the surrounding treetops on the other, nature flows in and out through The Haven’s expansive windows. Our eyes connect to the blue water in the pool and the river, and also to the greenspace surrounding this award-winning multi-family condominium building. The warm wood ceiling and the milky stone indoor/outdoor fireplace monolith are natural materials that further ground the design in its organic environment.
For more information on Biophilic Design:
“With biophilia comes a restless curiosity, an urge to investigate and discover the elusive places where we meet nature, where she plays on our senses with colours and forms, perfumes and smells”.
– Sir David Attenborough
In this competitive multi-family environment, it’s imperative now more than ever that developers and architects involve an interior design team. I have noticed over the years, that the interiors firm is frequently one of the last critical consultant engaged. Hiring the interior design team at the right time is not just a question of aesthetics, it’s also about the bottom line.
It’s understandable that interior design might not be top of mind for developers in the early planning stages of a new construction multi-family and mixed-use community, as there’s already so much to accomplish in this critical period.
However, many developers now recognize that well-designed public spaces play a leading role in the initial rental pace as well as future retention, because their interiors form the all-important first impression for prospective renters and make them feel at home as they live there over time. Statistics tell us that thoughtful and well-designed amenities will outpace those with mediocre interiors. According to the Newmark Knight Frank White Paper, more amenities can lead to stronger project performance, but projects that are well-designed along with more amenities lead to an even stronger performance and lease-up pace.
My experience tells me that when interior designers join the team early, and all the parties are involved in the initial concepts and branding, the process and end result is more successful and cost saving. If we’re in from the beginning on a new-construction project, we can help to avoid unnecessary redesign and provide critical coordination with all consultants.
The ideal time to engage the interior design team for a new construction development is before the city approves the final building exterior and while the architect is in early schematic phase.
At this point in the project, relocation, expansion and/or reconfiguring of amenities can be easily be accomplished. Fenestration and building entries can be reconsidered to work better with the interior spaces; ceiling heights can be raised and structure adjusted to allow for more impactful volume and better space usage; and the team can collaborate most effectively on how best to connect the interior to the architecture.
If the interiors team hired late in the process (especially after the city has approved the exterior), we often hear groans in the room as it becomes clear that improved interior spaces will require a change to the outside of the building and thus another round of city approvals. Consider the cost of the redesign and the time lost that could have been avoided by hiring the design team early on.
Residents are willing to pay higher rents if it means living in a resort-style setting, according to Multifamily Executive: “A great way to start meeting the expectations of today’s resident is to place the resident at the center of your business model,” its report says. “One of the most effective ways to appeal to residents is through thoughtful interior design.”
There is a process to interior design and interior architecture that is similar to the architectural phases of design. While the interiors team has a different scope, the phases required are the same. Most consultants have experienced unrealistic deadlines. When this occurs, the team will always strive hard to deliver on time. However, a more successful project with fewer revisions will come from thoughtful, planned design and a coordinated process.
HDG joined the team while the plans for this new apartment building were still in the early schematic phase. As a result, all consultants worked closely to assure that the building was coordinated from the outside in and the inside out.
For example, the HDG team had the opportunity to provide input on the exterior brick selection, which was so handsome that the team chose to wrap this metallic, textured brick into the lobby as well as other connecting amenity spaces. Further accentuating the indoor-outdoor connection, the team worked closely to design a river rock trough that boarders the entry of the building both from the exterior and the interior.
Because the building had not gone through final approval, the fenestration was collaboratively designed to seamlessly support the interior. Anchoring seating areas both inside the lobby and outside on the terrace, a two-sided fireplace was located on an exterior wall. Having the opportunity to closely coordinate structure, MEP design and optimal ceiling heights made all the difference in the design of this highly successful project.
By contrast, the HDG team is usually the first to come in when a multifamily project involves the renovation of an older building. We drive the design, the space plan and work with the owner’s team to determine the budget, branding and the best design approach. A cohesive team is important. Once the conceptual design is complete it is time to engage all necessary consultants, which might include an architect of record, MEP and structural engineers, and a landscape architect.
HDG led the design for a substantial lobby-and amenities renovation that involved the complete re-positioning of this 1990s-era apartment building. In addition to creating a high-end boutique design that would shine in Crystal City’s competitive marketplace, the goal was to open up all amenity spaces for a visual connection with the outdoor terraces, to provide for service amenities such as package lockers, an expanded package room, a concierge desk with views to the entry, a pet spa and a complete redesign of all social amenities and public spaces.
At the completion of conceptual design, the architect of record, landscape architect, MEP and structural engineers joined the team. Forming the team at this phase allowed for the most efficient use of the consultant’s time as they had a basis of design from which to begin their work. A cohesive and collaborative team, together, completed the highly successful repositioning of The Instrata Pentagon City.
Whether new construction or renovation, interior designers who think holistically about a building add more value to a project the earlier they are involved.
Phyllis Hartman is Founder and President of Hartman Design Group.
POSTED ON JULY 20, 2018
Written by Phyllis Hartman, ASID, LEED AP
Many industries mark the beginning of each year with trends and predictions for the months ahead. The design industry is no exception, as many manufacturers and press outlets report on new looks coming to the fore. And while we can’t be slavish to fads, these updates are always a useful reference as we contemplate our own design selections moving into 2018. Upon reviewing many of these reports, it’s notable to see how many of our choices, based on client requests, are in line with industry patterns. Here are five trends that stand out:
An obvious place to start, now that the major paint companies have declared their “official” colors for 2018. This year’s paint colors, for the most part, are dramatic and deeply saturated: Pantone named Ultra Violet, while Benjamin Moore identified Caliente—a rich, lipstick red—and Sherwin Williams announced Oceanside, a vivid teal. Glidden and Olympic, meanwhile, declared their own shades of black—Deep Onyx and Black Magic—as the year’s official hues. Our designers have been turning to black as a neutral for several years, but what’s new is that the deep, jewel-tone shades that have emerged this year have a black base to them. That’s what gives them their moody feel—a palette that House Beautiful magazine identified for 2018. Those tones make wonderful complements to the cognac hues we’ve been gravitating toward in our work. “It’s in the bronze family with a touch of orange and a little bit of red,” Hartman Design Group founder Phyllis Hartman says. Its rich, earthy tone looks gorgeous in textiles, leather, porcelain and ceramics. Even better, the deep, black-based teals, blues and greens are a powerful complement to this cognac/terra cotta color; they come alive against each other where one draws out the richness in the other. Houzz.com contributor Jennifer Ott confirmed this point in the home-design website’s 2018 trend report: “Warm grays with rich, earthy shades will edge out cooler neutrals for a more sumptuous look,” she says. “I’m seeing a move toward warm grays and rich, earthy shades of camel, rust, tobacco and brown-blacks.”
Along with these deep colors, we’re seeing a return to pattern mixing. Layering pattern on pattern has to be done judiciously, of course, but we see the trend becoming popular among Millennials who want to create their own identity with energy and a sense of individual style. We are finding that this age group responds to design styles that are warm, inviting and homey. This gesture is exactly in line with recent trend reports out from houzz.com and Dering Hall, both of which note increased appetites for eclectic design and the mixing of metals, texture and sheen. House Beautiful noted the comeback of bold, floral patterns in particular. “I love the resurgence on the feminine side of the big, beautiful florals,” Nancy Fire, creative director of HGTV Home, told the magazine. “It’s coming from a boho trend that’s more casual.” Along those lines, our clients are requesting fabrics and furnishings that exude comfort. Velvet, for example, used to be considered very formal, but when mixed in with wood accents like reclaimed lumber, the mood becomes much more inviting—not to mention that velvet is the perfect vehicle for these dark, striking colors that are so popular now. House Beautiful singled out velvet as its own trend, in fact, in its recent report. We’re also choosing plush furniture designs—nothing too precious—that invite condo and apartment residents to see their buildings’ public spaces as extensions of their own living area. We look for materials that embrace the person sitting on them; their tactile feel needs to create a sense of sanctuary. In its decorating report for 2018, Country Living magazine noted that shapely furniture—full of curves, no hard edges—is the thing to look for this year. Even CB2, known for its minimalist furnishings, is coming out this spring with furnishings that have more rounded silhouettes, the report said. Dering Hall also emphasized soft edges in furniture, which are so much more inviting than hard angles.
No, we’re not contradicting ourselves from above. Streamlined profiles and neutral color palettes are classic companions—they don’t come and go like pattern and color tend to do, particularly with Scandinavian elements such as modern frames with warm wood finishes. These settings are perennially relaxing, offering up space to escape the craziness of the world, both politically and technologically. Our requirement for this look, however, is that the interiors must be comprised of authentic materials. Because there is so little color, the design must assert itself through the texture of wood, iron, porcelain and natural textiles. Harper’s Bazaar produced a 2018 report focused entirely on emerging Scandinavian design elements, such as folding-style leather-backed wooden chairs and wood-slatted walls, which demonstrate how natural elements define an interior, rather than color or pattern. In this type of setting, anything synthetic would, quite literally, cheapen the look.
It’s one thing to have a well-appointed lobby with areas branching off for impromptu gatherings or quiet pursuits. But many of the new developments we’re working on include coffee shops, wine bars—even an entrance to Whole Foods—in that lobby mix. It’s living in such a way that you’re surrounded by activity and people, yet there are still places where one can be “alone” in the middle of the fray. In our business, that’s called an “activated space,” which sparks engagement and sociability. As designers, it’s our job to make all these functions aesthetically pleasing, with a seamless flow between communal work space, areas that are slightly more private, and open social space that lies just outside the retailers’ doors. Those priorities steer the design in a much more casual direction, focusing on life experience rather than pure aesthetics—a quality that’s echoed in nearly every residential interiors report this year.
Clients are becoming ever more sensitive to environmentally friendly materials in their buildings’ architecture and interior design. Country Living, Dering Hall and House Beautiful all pointed to natural accents such as wood, stone, and brick as a big design driver this year. Our Design Director, Anny Falgas states, “The use of natural finishes engages people with their environment and reiterates the desire to respect and connect with nature. It’s our own way of honoring nature through the means of design.” That trend continues to grow, so our default in selecting textiles, furnishings and other design elements is always to make choices that are sustainable, from FSC-certified and reclaimed woods to organic fabrics and recycled materials.
Written by Phyllis Hartman, ASID, LEED AP
POSTED ON JANUARY 29, 2018
Written by Phyllis Hartman, ASID, LEED AP
How does it feel to walk into a home with blank walls? Maybe it feels like the owner is there only temporarily—or that he or she just moved in. Either way, there’s a sense that something’s incomplete, or worse, that something’s just plain wrong. Such is the power of art in our lives: It defines and grounds us; it can lift our spirits and sense of wonder; it can make us smile; it can challenge, surprise and entertain.
Just as we’re rewarded with sweeping views once we reach the top of a mountain, art provides an interior vista as we walk in the door or turn the corner into a new space. From a design perspective, it can be the focal point from which a room’s palette and style emerges. On a more personal level, an art collection transforms that room into your own sanctuary.
The same idea extends to public spaces, particularly in condo and apartment buildings. At a time when the cost of construction is rising, developers are building smaller units with larger public areas to get the biggest return on their investment. This trend puts the onus on us as interior architects and designers to conceive public space that can double as an extension of one’s home.
The question then becomes: Where do you start? When project begins, it’s rare that an individual or team of people will express their personal tastes and preferences for art style or genre. At times, of course, the building owner might have a personal collection he or she wants to display, and that collection becomes the design driver. But most often, we start from scratch in determining how to beautify communal space that includes lobbies, lounges, meeting and recreational rooms, chef’s kitchens and eating areas—even pet spas and outdoor “rooms.”
That’s when we as designers look to a building’s location for direction. Whenever we can, we like to bring in local artists whose works tell a story about the community. Is it an area like Georgetown, DC, with a deep sense of history? Or maybe Hyattsville, Maryland, which has a thriving art scene? Perhaps it’s a central urban environment with a grittier vibe, or a big sports town? There are all sorts of ways to bring in that local flavor.
At The Signature in Reston, Virginia, for example, we reached out to artist Susan Main, the curator and director of galleries and exhibition programming at VisArts in Rockville, Maryland. We admired the swirling, whimsical lines in her work—just the kind of thing you’d want in a commissioned piece focused on signatures. We’ve asked her to create a large encaustic work representing 25 autographs of famous people who hail from Northern Virginia—from historical figures such as Booker T. Washington and Thomas Jefferson to contemporary standouts like basketball veteran Grant Hill and comedian Wanda Sykes.
There’s a different narrative in the Crystal City section of Arlington, VA, where The Bartlett—Arlington’s tallest apartment building—enjoys sweeping, uninterrupted views across the Potomac River to Washington’s monuments. We brought that vista inside with commissioned photography of iconic DC images, while we asked acclaimed DC artist Maggie O’Neill to create oils that reinterpret Washington’s symbols—the Capitol building; Uncle Sam; the Washington Monument—with wild splashes of color. The whimsy continues with a huge wall graphic that portrays midcentury-style dollhouses, and look closely in the lobby: The abstract painting that anchors the lobby’s focal wall hides a Bartlett pear etched into the oil.
While location always has a large impact on the art curation of these multi-family residences, the building itself can wield influence as well. We are currently working on Stonehall, a small luxury condo project in Bethesda that channels the charming European boutique hotels where centuries-old architecture plays into the design. Here, we’re combining architectural details with art to create a mood of quiet, urbane elegance. Every elevator lobby will feature beautifully framed, old maps of a great city—Paris, Madrid, Washington, Chicago, New York and Amsterdam are a few—to identify that floor. Each design project is special in its own way, and choosing art as the finishing touch is always a favorite endeavor—both for the developers who’ve hired us and for our entire staff as well. The energy palpably rises when discussion turns to art, and trips to galleries both locally and around the country inspire the most passion amidst the countless other furnishing, fabric and finish selections we’re making throughout a building’s public amenities.
Empty walls and spaces devoid of hand-made objects can be unsettling—like opening a book to find only blank pages, with no story to tell. As the interior designers of large buildings that are home to hundreds of residents, we take our mission seriously—and joyfully—in creating environments through curated art that make you feel properly at home the moment you step through the lobby door.
Written by Phyllis Hartman, ASID, LEED AP
POSTED ON OCTOBER 27, 2017