A major facet of the business world is image. You want prospective and current clients to see your office space – and in turn your company – as a forward thinking, relevant entity that is able to compete. Nothing conveys that image more than an office space, from the wall colors and flooring to the furniture, that follows the hot commercial interior design trends for 2012.
“Calming” and “Earthy” are the key words to remember when choosing an interior paint color for 2012. Blue was a hot shade in 2011, and this trend continues into 2012. Choose shades of blue that aren’t overwhelming, and feature tones of another popular color for 2012, gray. Opt for smoky, subtle grays and steer clear of overpowering, industrial steely grays to create a calm, inviting workspace. Earthy, subtle shades of green and brown are also fashionable in 2012. Move away from the darker, chocolate browns in favor of lighter, neutral shades of khaki, buff and tan. Shades of olive, basil and other rustic greens also work well with this shift towards a simple, down-to-earth space.
Push towards renewable resources and environmentally friendly products when choosing flooring for your office space. Bamboo is an eco-friendly, sustainable option that is available in a wide variety of colors and cuts. Hardwoods that feature wider planks and rich, luxurious tones are fashionable for 2012. Achieving this simple, classic look is accomplished through traditional hardwood materials, including pine, maple, hickory, oak and cherry. “Eco-conscious” is also the word to keep in mind if opting for carpeting in your office. Choose products manufactured from reclaimed and recycled products to remain relevant in this modern, environmentally-friendly age.
For the more budget-conscious, vinyl flooring continues to be designed to look more like hardwoods. Luxury vinyl tile has become very popular in offices, hospitals and other commercial buildings for the mere fact that the similarity between hardwoods and vinyl flooring is impeccable. United Memorial Methodist Homes and Parkview Whitley Hospital are two locations that have this incredible vinyl flooring.
Green, natural living is spilling into the realm of office furniture as well. The use of wood in place of cold, impersonal metal and glass is becoming popular in 2012. As the trends move toward pieces constructed from fewer resources, the furniture itself is becoming more compact and built for multiple purposes. Stay modern by opting for smaller, lighter pieces in place of bulky, overwhelming office furniture. 2012 also sees office furniture that features smooth, rounded lines in place of sharp edges that provide a more industrial feel. Much of modern-day business is being performed using smart phones and other gadgets. Choose furniture that is custom made to work with these gadgets and also features charging ports for employee’s phones and laptops. Once again, colors remain neutral and feature warm shades of grey, green and blue.
When sifting through the commercial interior design trends for 2012, remember to steer toward a corporate office that is calming and inviting and not stark or industrial. Whenever possible, choose materials constructed from renewable or sustainable materials and avoid overpowering, large office furniture and instead opt for smaller-profile, multi-purposes pieces.
Choosing flooring for your business can be both time consuming and overwhelming. Several factors go into selecting a type of flooring, such as cost, maintenance, durability and appearance. Every flooring option has its advantages, but which option is best for your business? Here is a list of the top 8 flooring options to consider for your business and the benefits of each style.
1. Commercial Carpet Tile
Carpet Tile is a tile made of carpeting material. It is one of the best options for areas with higher foot traffic, such as schools, airports, shopping malls and retail stores. One of the most appealing facts about Carpet Tile is that the individual tiles can be replaced as needed, which makes Carpet Tiles very cost effective. When it comes to replacing flooring in a high foot traffic area, you want the flooring to be replaced as quickly as possible with little disruption to your work environment. With the ability to replace individual tiles, there is always a functional area to use in your work space. Carpet Tiles are not only a practical flooring option, but they also come in a variety of patterns and colors making them an attractive option for your business.
2. Vinyl Composition Tile
Vinyl Composition Tile, also known as VCT, is a commercial floor tile made from chips of colored vinyl that are compressed into solid sheets. This is a versatile option that is typically used in hospitals, schools, hallways & corridors and beauty salons. Vinyl Composition Tile is available in a wide range of colors and styles. Vinyl Composition Tile is low in cost and extremely durable. It’s easy to maintain and can easily be replaced when needed.
3. Sheet Vinyl
Sheet Vinyl is vinyl flooring available in a roll form with few seams. It has either a fiberglass or felt backing making it a great option for high foot traffic areas. With very few seams that are heat welded, Sheet Vinyl is often used in sterile areas. This is a great option if you do not want to replace the flooring in your business for several years. If taken care of, Sheet Vinyl can last for about 20 to 30 years without any need for heavy repairs. It is also an easy option to maintain with no need for waxing, buffing or polishing. Another benefit of Sheet Vinyl is that it can stand to have water or humidity on its surface.
4. Luxury Vinyl Tile
Luxury Vinyl Tile, also known as LVT, is a flexible vinyl floor tile that also comes in plank form, referred to as LVP. This flooring option has beautiful printed designs, such as wood or stone, that are made to look very realistic. This is a very quiet tile that is easy to clean and maintain. Luxury Vinyl Tile is available in a variety of styles, colors and sizes, and is made to stay looking like new. Don’t let the name fool you because LVT can be a very affordable tile that will give your business a much more luxurious feel.
5. Ceramic Tile
Ceramic Tile is a combination of clays that are pressed into the tile shape and fired at high temperatures, giving the tile its hardness. Ceramic Tile can be used in high foot traffic areas, but it is recommended that they are used for wet areas where safety or sanitary might be a concern, such as food service areas, restrooms, showers, shopping malls and exterior areas. Being very durable, fire proof, moisture resistant, frost resistant, thermal shock resistant, stain resistant and chemical resistance are just a few of the several advantages of Ceramic Tile. This option is easy to maintain and treated for color permanence.
6. Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood Flooring is very versatile flooring that is manufactured from timber. As a result of being manufactured from actual wood, Hardwood Flooring is extremely durable and adds value to your space. This option is often easy to maintain and can stand to be sanded and refinished several times without having to replace the actual flooring. This style of flooring also has the added benefit of being a classic look that can warm up any room.
7. Rubber Flooring
Rubber Flooring is flooring made of synthetic rubber that is available in tiles and sheets. This option is generally used in fitness centers, sports arenas, sports centers, hospitals, operating rooms, schools and any other area where comfort under foot is a necessity. Rubber Flooring is an extremely quiet option that is easy to clean. This flooring can reduce the chances of serious injury and absorbs the shock of heavy objects. Rubber Flooring is easy to maintain and can take the wear and tear of all activities. It is durable and available in a variety of colors and designs.
8. Laminate Flooring
Laminate Flooring is made up of composite material creating a tile or plank that is made to realistically look like Hardwood Flooring or Ceramic Tile. This option is great for a business that wants an attractive, durable floor that is easy to maintain. Laminate Flooring is most appealing because of how easy it is to install. It is scratch resistant, fade resistant, chemical resistant, burn resistant and impact resistant. This flooring is also reasonably priced as well as environmentally friendly. Not all Laminate Flooring is made for commercial use, but it is an option for some circumstances.
Interior designers do not just pick colors. They do not focus only on fabrics and textures. A great interior designer does not sweep in at the end of the project, design and “put lipstick on a pig”. A great interior designer prevents future problems through intense preparation and careful planning.
A great interior designer is the driving force of any project. A great interior designer interprets the customer’s thoughts, wants and needs and strategically places them in a building space to best serve their customers and staff. A great interior designer does not choose between form and function. The interior designer worthy of your next project will not settle until both form and function are satisfied.
The Beginning. Interior design starts before the first pen is laid to paper. Your designer should begin by asking about the new space, existing space, the occupations of the staff, the interactions with your customers and visitors, the ergonomic issues critical to job function, storage needs and any specific maintenance considerations. Your interior designer will then begin to form your space around your needs for a productive workspace and a space that draws your customers in.
The Work Space. Utilizing information from personal interviews with your staff and detailed measurements of your current workspace, your designer will begin to incorporate the appropriate amount of workspace and storage into the new floor plan. During this process, the ergonomics of each workspace begin to take shape. A well designed workspace includes healthy work heights to reduce repetitive stress injuries and paper management to increase productivity and reduce clutter.
The Materials. Only after a productive workspace and floor plan have been designed does an interior designer begin to address the floor, wall and ceiling finishes. The designer will focus first on designating material types that will allow for maximum durability for the intended use of each space. The performance attributes such as comfort under foot for flooring materials or noise reduction properties of ceiling tile can greatly affect the comfort of your customers and staff. Understanding the performance of each material, the appropriate use of each product and how each product will interface and enhance the adjacent finish selections is a skill that is acquired with years of study and experience.
The Appearance. After the finish materials are selected, the designer will begin to select products and colors that will provide a beautiful and memorable experience for your customers, visitors and staff. Interior designers are always working with the confines of a project budget. Choosing the appropriate materials with a stunning visual appearance that fit in a budget is a true art form.
The Budget. Choosing an interior designer with the capability to produce accurate and detailed project budgets will smooth out the design process. An interior designer with these budgeting capabilities will allow you, the customer, to receive maximum value for your hard earned money. Do you have a tight budget? Ask for a list of potential savings. Your interior designer should be able to produce a detailed list of cost savings to allow you to complete your project on budget.
The Finishing Touches. Now that the floor plan is complete, the finish selections are made and the project budget is established, don’t forget the finishing touches! From wall hung artwork, plants and greenery to necessities like trash cans and soap dispensers, an interior designer’s job is not complete until you are at home in your new space.
Not all interior designers are created equal. Hiring a qualified interior designer will ensure that you receive the beautiful and functional space that you deserve.
Is your office looking tired? Does your space instill confidence in your customers? Does your growing business need a makeover to accommodate new business practices, services and technology?
It sounds like you need to remodel. Now you have reached the most critical part of your remodeling project, who do I hire?
As you begin your quest for the most beautiful and productive work place in the market, there are several questions you should ask your potential project partners.
1. Who will complete the design work?
Your office remodel project will begin with evaluating the current state of your floor plan or office layout, the wall framing, the ceilings, the flooring, painting, furniture and artwork. You will want to seek out a specialist in office remodeling with an extensive portfolio of interior design and project references. A design firm that takes the time to learn your business needs will incorporate your wishes into a highly productive work place that is both ergonomically sound and striking in its appearance. Your choice of design firm should also take into consideration the budget constraints of the project. It is not difficult to let a project budget get out of control, but will your design firm help reign it back in? A firm that can run multiple budgeting scenarios will allow you to choose where you want to allocate your spending and get the most value for your dollars.
2. How do I know how much this project will cost?
Calling a specialist in office remodeling will pay huge dividends. An interior specialist will be capable of quantifying and pricing your proposed plan. Controlling the budget should be their number one priority. By utilizing extensive knowledge of interior remodeling and interior finish products, your contractor should be able to propose a firm price for the given scope of work. That same contractor should be able to propose alternative products, construction methods and project scope downsizing in order to accommodate any budget.
3. Does my remodeling contractor buy their materials direct from the manufacturer?
Hiring a remodeling contractor that has relationships with material manufacturers will ensure that you are getting the most value for your dollar. Dealing directly with multiple manufacturers will allow your remodeling specialist to ensure that you are receiving the best product selections at the best price. Not every material can be purchased directly from the manufacturer; some materials must be purchased through a local distributor. In any case, you want to minimize the number of companies that handle your interior finish materials. Each company that handles the product from the manufacturing line to your finished space will add unnecessary cost to your project.
4. Who will complete the construction work?
After the striking design is complete, you will need to hire a partner to bring your ideas to life. The quality of the contractor is where “the rubber meets the road”. Poorly executed installation will undermine all of the effort put forth in the design and planning. You will need to determine if your contractor uses subcontractors or if they self perform the work at hand. A contractor that controls a majority of the installation trades will allow for tighter schedules, less down time and a final product that exceeds quality expectations.
5. How well is the installation crew trained?
A workforce that is respectful and professional is the minimum expectation. It is a starting point. There are a lot of people out there that are pleasant and good people, but that does not mean that you want all of them installing your brand new flooring.
There are a lot of questions to ask. Here are some of the most important:
Do you specialize in this work? Do you have references?
Are you third party certified in specialty installations?
Do you participate in a continuing education program to keep your skills sharp and up to date with the latest technology?
Is your onsite installation staff trained in OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, requirements and basic safety and first aid practices?
Are they familiar with and have experience in infection control procedures for working in a healthcare environment?
6. What experience do you have working in occupied spaces?
If you intend to keep your facility open during the renovation, you will want your installation crews to understand working in occupied space. The needs of working alongside your staff and customers vary greatly but can include: safety concerns for your customers and employees, minimizing noise during working hours, utilizing dust barriers and barricades and infection control for healthcare environments.
7. Will you leave me when the project is over?
I know this sounds needy, but this is an issue that needs serious consideration. Hiring a remodeling specialist is the start of a long term relationship. Your new high performance and highly attractive office will need some tender love and care to keep it functioning at its peak performance and lower the lifetime cost of maintaining your office. Does your choice of contractor have a service staff that is ready on a moment’s notice to touch up some paint or make a quick repair to the flooring before the problem grows? Do they have a routine cleaning and maintenance staff? An interior specialist will provide these services, help you protect your investment and keep your customers and staff admiring your work space for years to come.
Good luck with your office remodel! I hope you find the project team to produce that one of a kind work space that dazzles your customers and delights your staff.
We really appreciate your visit to our website. We hope that it has proven to be a valuable resource for you as you search for stunning interior design, a comprehensive knowledge of interior construction, and product knowledge not found anywhere else in Northeast Indiana.
For those of you new to Strahm Group, we are more than just a contractor or a group of tradesmen. Strahm Group is a provider of solutions. We specialize in interior design, building remodeling, building maintenance and specialty installation with highly productive and precise craftsmen and women.
The core of our business is our people. Our process begins when our highly knowledgeable and professional estimators visit with you about your project. We anticipate your needs, your performance expectations, time constraints, and any special considerations for your customers and staff. We offer not just a competitive price but a solution to the problem at hand.
Your project is then executed with professionalism unmatched in the northeast Indiana marketplace. Our professionals work for Strahm Group and are not subcontractors. What does this mean? Strahm Group is in control of quality, productivity, and project duration from the time the materials are delivered to the time the finished project is cleaned and turned over for use.
Strahm Group self performs interior design, flooring, painting, wall framing, drywall, acoustical ceilings, carpentry, and ceramic tile. In our “Hire who the Experts Hire” section you will see that our special skills are utilized by the most respected builders in northeast Indiana. Our unmatched productivity allows us to provide a competitive price and unmatched customer service on projects large and small.
Our Strahm Group family is what makes us special and why we have hundreds of repeat customers.
This is our first of many blog entries. So please tune in on a regular basis. Future blog articles will cover a multitude of topics ranging from Armstrong Flooring to Zolatone Paint and all the trades in between. The future postings will wander through properly selecting your flooring, interior design to make the most of your budget, specialty epoxy flooring, reducing noise transmission, and the proper execution of an office remodel in a healthcare environment. The best part is…We’re just getting started!
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