So hopefully we’ve all had a few lazy hours over the holiday break to get caught up on our Netflix binge watching. A new series about “tidying up” showed up on my must-watch list. The show is an episodic how-to in the very clean world of a Japanese organizing consultant and world-renowned author, Marie Kondo. She is known for creating the “KonMari” method of organizing which is a technique where one gathers all of their belongings, one category at a time, then holds each item in their hands and decides if that item “sparks joy”. If it does, then the item finds a special place in the user’s home or space. If not, she encourages you to “thank” the item for what it has given to you and to delicately part with it — either by donation or disposal.
At first, it seemed a little too holistic for me. “How can my sweatpants, a necessity, spark joy?” “Do my salad plates spark joy; are salad plates capable of creating a spark of joy?” I had a lot of questions. Over the first season of episodes, I started to see how small daily organizing can add up to a more consistently tidy surrounding, and ultimately with more tidy headspace, less stress, less fatigue. I’m starting to buy into this since many days I feel like the Marie Kondo of my client’s spaces. (more…)
SHERWIN WILLIAMS COLOR OF THE YEAR 2019: CAVERN CLAY SW 7701 (290-C6)
Now I know that designers and fans alike get excited about the color of the year announcements from their various color institutions. I am no different, I love to see what the taste-makers think is the hot new thing. As we’ve talked about before, the “colors of the year” announcements generally are in design but eventually work their way into all facets of mainstream design. Sherwin Williams has just introduced their color of the year 2019, and it’s a little hue called “Cavern Clay” . . . and I am not a fan. I might even say that I hate it. I know, strong words for some pigment squirted in a can.
When I first saw Cavern Clay, all I saw was end of summer sun-burned skin . . . that fleshy peachy tone that really is flattering on very few people. It’s reminiscent of those memes of people wearing skin colored jeggings, not a good look. Possibly, it’s more of that southwestern, Tuscan feel, but I just can’t see through the almost orange, not quite there, shade. Sherwin Williams coins it as: “Forged by sun. Fired by desert . . . . Ancient, yet fully alive. Bohemian, yet totally refined.” A little Google search with the color found me in the land of clay bowls and salmon fillets, all tones that Google Image thought I would like from searching Cavern Clay.
I will admit that as we wind down the summer season, I am as basic as the next person awaiting all the fall colors. Autumn tones start to magically work their way into our palettes without us even realizing it. We start to work some of those burnt oranges and dusky red hues into our scarves and boots attire, wishing the season in with our wardrobe. I guess I could paint my whole house (or worse yet a client’s space) with this tone to really surround myself in the autumn glow, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. (more…)
Ask people what their favorite color is and a clear majority of men and women will answer: “blue!” Maybe not that enthusiastically, but we designers generally get excited about color. Each year, top paint manufacturers issue their color of the year, and I always find it interesting to see what they think we should be buzzing about in the next year. It’s no Pantone Color of the Year, but when Sherwin William introduces its Color of the Year, we run the proverbial color up the design flag pole and dissect it for a hot minute.
Lawrence Group recently partnered with Cushman & Wakefield to complete their newly renovated 46,000-square-foot Portfolio Service Center situated next to the Maryville University campus in Town & Country, Missouri. The 6th floor suite boasts spectacular views of luscious trees, a lake and walking trails; numerous amenities; and modern finishes. The Cushman & Wakefield brand is reflected throughout the space as it fosters both a “work, live, play” culture and the firm’s forward-thinking vision.
Many people look forward to the change in seasons or maybe their favorite holiday but in the design community, a new year means one thing: the announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year. As designers, we have to admit that the Pantone Color of the Year is an important piece of interiors trivia. The Color of the Year is a clear indicator of what we will be seeing in the next few years not only in design but in fashion, graphics, branding and retail environments.
If you read any reports on Millennials in the workplace, you’ll probably see the phrase “entitled.” But, people often forget that Millennials were raised in a different time than Gen X or Y and went to school under a different style of learning than most of us.
Back in the early 2000s, a style of learning and teaching in primary schools was introduced called the Individual Education Program or IEP. This program was introduced to combat the issues that children with learning disabilities experienced in the standard classroom. The most basic definition of an IEP is a customized learning plan. It was the first type of pedagogy that worked to tailor the learning experience to the student’s individual learning style. (more…)
I recently attended a WELL Building seminar and was reminded of the importance of this mantra in workplace design: “Sitting is the new smoking.” It’s not exactly a new idea; you probably first heard it with the Steelcase introduction of the treadmill desk in 2008. The term actually originated from Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative and the inventor of the treadmill desk. Although the treadmill desk may seem like a novel concept, the science behind it was quite ahead of its time.
One of the latest trends I’m so excited about is adult coloring and – more importantly – adult coloring books. I know it may sound risqué, but it’s really quite PG. These physical coloring books and even mobile apps consist of ready to color pages of complex patterns, delicate florals, organic mandalas and stunning graphics that are aimed at an older population. Who wouldn’t love an opportunity to revive a great memory of your childhood with a little stress-free coloring?
This latest creative explosion is certainly a means to relax and unwind. I adored coloring as a child, even as young adult, and frankly in my profession, I still love it. In lieu of coloring my favorite Lisa Frank posters, my “coloring” now is a bit more tangible and involves various colorful selections for clients and projects. Nevertheless, any good designer or architect probably has a minimum of four random colored pencils or Prismacolor markers lying on their desk at any point in the day. There is something relaxing about coloring, and based on the fact that seven of the top 10 best-selling books on Amazon right now are Adult Coloring books, it shows that there is a large segment of the population who could use a break from all the stress of the day and a break from feeling of digital overload.
Northwestern Mutual recently engaged Lawrence Group to design their new St. Louis offices. This was not only a change in venue from downtown St. Louis to Creve Coeur but also a shift in their Workplace Strategy. Northwestern’s business model is unique in that each financial representative operates as their own business unit. Their former space was nearly 100% offices and made for a compartmentalized, isolating layout. Managing Partner Gerard Hempstead first described their business structure as: “a friendly competition, but competitive nonetheless.”