Photo from Unsplash.com by Clark Wilson
The fireplace at The Signature in Reston, Virginia, brings the outdoors inside, with its glass enclosure as the centerpiece of the lobby.
A warm fire enlivens the club room at The Remy in New Carrollton, Maryland.
The dual sided fireplace anchors the outdoor living space and allows for a lively connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces at The Haven in National Harbour, Maryland.
That flickering of flame, Rebecca Lindenmeyr writes inSustainability , is a “complex, dynamic natural scene” (like waves on the water or leaves rippling in the breeze) that can “capture and hold our attention better than artificial environments or stimuli.”
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