Lighting is one of the most important elements to consider when designing any space, and this important tool is continually evolving. Meeting the requirements of state, county and national regulations as well as the electrical engineer’s energy model necessitates evaluation of our client’s needs on a grand scale. This evaluation must balance many factors including budget, aesthetics and energy efficiency.
Though the first cost is still considerably more than conventional fluorescent and incandescent luminaries, LED lighting is the way to achieve both the low wattage requirements and the appealing effect. With this in mind, a realistic approach to the lighting budget is important. Considering that the savings over time will well out weigh the initial cost, LED lighting is an investment that pays off.
Not only will the cost of electricity be substantially lower, the greatly reduced labor (to re-lamp) and bulb replacement expense quickly help to recoup the initial cash outlay. Additionally, when renovating a building, consider the many retrofit LED lamps on the market. There could be no need to replace light fixtures and Pepco rebates may well be applicable. Whether using retrofit lamps for a renovation or new construction, choosing the right color temperature and rendition is critical to setting the mood and obtaining the desired ambiance. For calm, relaxing spaces, consider using soft, warm lights with orange and yellow hues (2700K or warmer). For a room that is intended to be livelier, like a fitness center, a slightly cooler temperature (3000 or 3100K) is ideal. Color rendition of 80 or higher is recommended for the best color interpretation.
To create the mood, many different types of lighting fixtures are required. Down lights provide general lighting and pooling of light on the floor, accent lighting is used for special features and art, while sconces and chandeliers are used for additional layering of light as well as decorative elements. The good news is that there are LED lamps for most fixture types today so you can easily achieve the look desired and contribute to the green initiative. If you’re working with an interior design firm, make sure everyone has a clear understanding of the mood you wish to create, the budget and required energy efficiency. Your interior designer will know the best way to utilize the natural light coming into the room, and how to properly support that light with general, task, accent, or a combination of all three types of lighting.
POSTED ON FEBRUARY 10, 2016
Timeless design can be functional and sensible. It is a style that suggests a quiet confidence. It’s not over the top, nor is it boring. Timeless design is perfectly scaled and proportioned. When using the elements of timeless design in creating a functional space you will see that the furniture will fit the room perfectly. It should belong to a room and be neither too large as to overpower, nor too small as to seem unimportant.
What defines Timeless Design? The irony is that it’s hard to quantify, but when you see it, you know it. It somehow stands out above that sea of mediocrity and looks, feels, or acts different. Timeless Design does not just happen. It cannot be rushed, nor is it hastily completed. It is borne of inspiration and preparation and executed with experience and skill. Timeless Design means that someone set out to create a space or product that remained relevant for the ages.
Timeless designs, much like classic design, steers away from overly decorated and overly busy patterns, shapes and spaces. It mimics the phrase “less is often more.” Be careful when incorporating a Color of the Year into your home. While fun and energizing, many of these colors will not stand the test of time. It may be best to incorporate this color with accent pieces and accessories.
Creating timeless design is relatively easy. Background colors should be neutral, and not busy. There should be an emphasis on clean lines and shapes. Furnishings should be timeless in design as well, drawing inspiration from antiques and items that continue to popular over the years. Hartman Design Group employs these timeless elements into their work, and nowhere is it more apparent than at Cathedral Commons in Washington, D.C. The HDG design team devised a sophisticated gray, blue and white palette accented by deep wood tones and natural stones to create a contemporary yet timeless, classic interior.
POSTED ON JANUARY 5, 2016
Hartman Design Group is honored to have been selected in the Washington Business Journal’s 2015 Top Interior Design List once again. We are honored to have received such a high profile award. Our accomplishments speak to the success of HDG’s philosophy in creating clear results with Interiors that Inspire…Projects that Succeed. HDG is proud of its extremely talented, motivated and dedicated team as well as its loyal and amazing Clients and vendors.
POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 17, 2015
We are excited and honored to announce that we made it into Interior Design Magazine’s 2015 Top 100 Rising Giants
From multi-family properties and model homes for real estate developers to commercial environments and detailed renovations, Hartman Design Group’s concepts spark engagement and action by everyone who steps into your space. For over 28 years, HDG has become partners in our Clients’ visions, creating clear results with Interiors that Inspire…Projects that Succeed.
POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 17, 2015
In our last post, Phyllis shared her insight on a commonly asked question about multi-family renovations: “How much will it cost?” Once the design team has a clear understanding of the project restrictions & goals, they can begin to move forward with planning. Here’s more insight from Phyllis on other commonly asked questions about multi-family renovations.
Due to social media, generational shifts, and market competition, we have found that design trends are rapidly accelerating. In the past, most owners would contemplate a repositioning when the property or previous renovation was 10 to 12 years old. Today’s resident and prospect shop the competition, are extremely informed, and expect the very best for their money. Those properties that are beginning to show wear and suffer from an amenity shortage will most likely see a resident exodus and may have to drop rent pricing to compete. Today’s modern resident wants lifestyle. As units get smaller, great amenities have become critical. They serve as an extension to the resident’s living space. Buildings that opened 5+ years ago are already behind in the trends. These buildings can be updated by transforming every available space to a resident amenity. Lobbies that were previously designed for visual impact can be turned into a socially active amenity by adding the right kind of furniture and creating intimate seating for groups and singles alike. Adding plug-and-play areas and communal tables will turn a dead lobby into a space with a great, active vibe. In today’s rental market, we recommend an evaluation of the common areas after 3 to 4 years. If the design has a timeless appeal, a simple refresh (ie: pillows, accessories, art) may be all that is required. At 6 years, it will most likely be time to deeply evaluate the market trends, the competition, resident expectations, and condition of the finishes.
March through October is the prime leasing season. To avoid disruption during this time, it is ideal to plan the construction start for the end of October and complete by March or April of the following year.
Whether simple or comprehensive, any kind of refresh or renovation takes time. Every client wants to spend their renovation dollars wisely, so it is important to allow time for the design team to program, design, vet, and budget the renovation. If permits are required, additional time should be allotted. Even a furniture refresh takes time to plan, and in today’s furniture world, it could take from 12 to 16 weeks to procure. For example, HDG designed a renovation at the first floor of Gables Dupont Circle Apartments in Washington, DC. Even though the space was a mere 1,500 square feet, the planning, vetting, budgeting, coordination, permit drawings and construction all took one full year.
POSTED ON JULY 20, 2015