Office Design Office Renovation

Purchased a New Space? Here are 4 Ways to Win Big with Your Office Renovation

office renovation

A new office space offers you the chance to increase your business’s level of productivity, as well as boost your employees’ morale. Indeed, research indicates that the right design choices actually influence workplace processes and encourage human connectedness in ways that stimulate creativity, support collaboration, facilitate efficiency, and, thus, ultimately enhance innovation. But without a clear plan and understanding of office design, a new office can be a terrifying blank slate. Here are four office renovation tips for getting the most out of your new office space design:

Consider Functionality

Productivity is defined as the effectiveness of effort. It represents the measurable outcome(s) of work and is frequently used to assess a company’s overall level of profitability. Put plainly, when businesses use fewer resources to achieve more, their profits usually increase. With this in mind, it’s only reasonable to assume that workplace conditions can —and do — impact productivity by either hindering or enhancing the ways in which employees work. Everything from their physical environment to office culture affects how well (or not) workers complete the tasks demanded by their jobs and, therefore, often determines a company’s bottom line. At a most basic level, office design can be used to improve corporate functionality by physically making it easier for employees to move about the office and get their jobs done.

Think about the distance to bathrooms and copiers; lighting and sound control; whether or not it makes sense to have kitchens, cafeterias, and/or gyms on-site (as a way to entice employees to stay — and work! — on-site for longer periods of time); the type of seating that will best support the goals of your organization; and more! Careful planning of the physical layout of a space will help your company maximize the ways in which your employees use and enjoy their time in it, making it much more likely you’ll be getting the most bang for your buck!

Consider Versatility

You should also work to make your office renovation versatile. Being able to slide back walls or pull down projectors or easily rearrange furniture means a business is better able to adapt to changing circumstances. For instance, choosing compact, moveable chairs and desks that aren’t fixed or built-in allows you to easily accommodate seating preferences should a pandemic force your employees six feet apart!

Consider Sustainability

Of course, in this day and age, green office design is becoming a necessary component of any office renovation since many social and economic initiatives reward companies that adopt sustainable standards. An office renovation is a perfect time to install energy-efficient appliances, windows, and doors; to improve insulation and ventilation; to invest in GSFT products and fittings; and to purchase furniture and accessories made with renewable or recycled materials. The benefits of even just one of these office renovations are substantial, saving your business money on its utility costs and enhancing your customer’s loyalty, all at the same time.

Consider Community

Finally, you should consider the ways in which you can facilitate community with your office renovation design choices. Studies indicate that employee engagement directly impacts a company’s productivity, with those businesses having involved, happy and healthy workers also being the ones that are the most productive. Think about incorporating open seating arrangements, break rooms and/or common areas that can be used to encourage interaction, relaxation and collaboration among employees. These types of rooms, along with carefully chosen design accessories, make it easier for people to gather together and enjoy a space (and each other). The result: engaged employees who are eager to come to work.

Want to Learn More?

A new space allows businesses the opportunity to make significant and profitable changes relatively easily. To further boost your company’s productivity and create a truly distinctive space, we suggest partnering with an office design firm that can help you understand and choose the best design features for your own unique goals and objectives. Please contact Key Interiors to learn more.

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LVT, LVP, Carpet Tile or Broadloom: How to Choose the Right Office Flooring for Your Renovation

office flooring

Picking the right office flooring during a workplace renovation can increase the value of your space and create immediate visual interest. It can also impact your monthly expenses, with appropriate office flooring making your office more energy efficient so that you save money on your utility bills. But which type of office flooring is the best? The answer is: it depends. There are many different types of office flooring, from luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and luxury vinyl plank (LVP) to a slew of other options like carpet tiles, broadloom carpet, and more! Here’s what you need to consider in order to choose the most suitable office flooring for your own unique needs:


One of the first things you need to consider when picking out new office flooring is its durability. Specifically, you need to ensure that your office flooring can support the level of use it will receive. In spaces with high traffic, for example, you’ll likely want to install wear-resistant office flooring that can withstand constant use (such as concrete, vinyl, and other heavy-duty materials). Hardwood is typically avoided in commercial applications for the very reason it’s not particularly hardy, becoming easily damaged by multiple types of footwear and often noticeably worn within just a few years. Carpet tile, on other hand, might be a good solution for areas experiencing any type of traffic, since stains and worn patches can be mitigated very quickly by simply swapping out the damaged tile with one of the ones kept in reserve.


You’ll also need to think about how the space will be used and plan your office flooring accordingly. A dance studio obviously requires different flooring than a real estate firm or dental office. The physical layout of the office is important to note, as well. Large, open spaces (as opposed to those with cubicles or multiple rooms) amplify sound, as an example, often making it necessary for business owners to choose office flooring that provides noise control. Carpet, cork, and luxury vinyl planks or tile are good choices for these kinds of open-plan offices since they have natural sound absorption properties and/or can be installed with a noise-reducing pad. And regardless of the type of business you run, there are areas (like entrances) that will always require reinforcement of some kind (to withstand high traffic, as well as dirt and water). Contemplate your floorplan and how the space will be used, and then pick the office flooring that best supports that.


Finally, you need to remember that any office flooring you choose will require maintenance. Thus, you need to pick the option that matches your budget, time, and energy for its upkeep. If you have little interest, time, or money for cleaning and maintaining your office flooring, for instance, you probably shouldn’t install natural stone or vinyl composite tile, which both require special care. In some circumstances, however, spending more upfront can reduce the amount of maintenance you need overall, making your investment worth its cost. Case in point: luxury vinyl tile can be slightly more expensive than other floor options, but is easily cared for with simple, routine cleaning.

Want to Learn More?

Choosing among the many types of office flooring like LVT, LVP, carpet tile and broadloom is more than a matter of aesthetics. The right flooring must, of course, represent your tastes, but it should also maximize the purpose and functionality of the space as a workplace. A commercial office design partner can help you pick the office flooring that suits your needs, as well as your company’s style, culture, and budget. Please contact Key Interiors to learn more.

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Automate Your Office Lighting with Dusk to Dawn Lighting Controls

Dusk to Dawn Lighting Controls

It’s not often that people can “switch it and forget it.” But when they can, the benefits usually include improved efficiency, reduced costs and enhanced reliability. For offices, the benefits of dusk to dawn lighting controls and other automation extend well beyond the obvious ones brought about by today’s technologies: the data processing systems, self-driving cars and software programs, etc. They also include many facilities management tools that make managing the physical aspects of workplaces a much more efficient process. Consider all the benefits of just one of them: dusk to dawn lighting controls.

What Are Dusk to Dawn Lighting Controls

According to this article in Entrepreneur magazine, energy is often considered one of top three greatest costs for small businesses. And in the U.S., “small businesses represent 99% of all businesses,” meaning that nearly every office building in America would benefit by finding ways to reduce its electricity costs. Enter dusk to dawn lighting controls. Long known to homeowners as an outdoor security measure, dusk to dawn lighting controls also help companies better manage their electric energy consumption by automating the lighting in their office buildings. Dusk to dawn lighting uses a photocell to react to either natural or artificial light sources, automatically turning lights on as ambient light fades and off as it brightens. It can be used to illuminate exterior areas, but it can also be used interiorly to provide rooms with light as needed.

Dusk to Dawn Lighting is Efficient

Automated dusk to dawn lighting controls are beneficial because they eliminate the needless consumption of electricity. Rather than rely on employees, who may or may not turn lights on and off with any consistency, businesses can use dusk to dawn lighting to manage their office’s light needs. By “instinctively” understanding when light is needed and when it isn’t, dusk to dawn lighting controls are able to turn lights on only when its appropriate and off always when it isn’t.

Dusk to Dawn Lighting Reduces Costs

A happy consequence of being efficient, dusk to dawn lighting also reduces costs.

Since they automatically shut off fixtures when they are not needed, dusk to dawn lighting controls conserve electricity, enabling companies to save the money that they would have wasted on unnecessary energy consumption for other purposes.

Furthermore, because most dusk to dawn lighting features LED technology, they inherently consume less energy anyway, further facilitating the stretching of utility budgets.

Dusk to Dawn Lighting is Reliable

Finally, dusk to dawn lighting is reliable. You probably don’t think about light unless you don’t have enough of it. Dusk to dawn lighting controls make light available every single time light is needed, regardless of whether or not an actual person is there to flip a switch. In the mornings, for instance, dusk to dawn lighting ensures that every employee is greeted with a well-lit workplace — not just the ones arriving after the one who arrived first and turned all the lights on! In the evenings, it guarantees that everyone leaves from a well-lit building and during the day, it can be programmed to provide progressive lighting options, using automatic dimmers to further enhance reliable visibility for a number of other situations, such as during powerpoint presentations.

Want to Learn More?

Automating your office lighting with dusk to dawn lighting controls is just one way to maximize your office’s operating budget. To learn about other options for creating a physical space that yields actionable ROI, please contact Key Interiors.

Office Design

The Dark Side of Home Renovation Shows: What No One Wants You to Know About Remodels and Renovations

the dark side of home renovation shows

Renovation shows are all the rage nowadays. Starting with “This Old House” in 1979 and then taking firm root in the mid-1990s with the creation of HGTV, they have blossomed into the wide range of programming options available today. Programs like “Fixer Upper,” “Love It or List It” and “Property Brothers” are widely known and popular. Unfortunately, however, they often leave viewers with unrealistic expectations, culminating in a pretty picture, but rarely a complete one. Let’s take a look at the dark side of home renovation shows; here’s what they don’t tell you about remodels and renovations:

Cost is Always an Issue

Perhaps the biggest problem with renovation shows is their misrepresentation of a project’s budget. Many times the actual price of materials and labor aren’t itemized for viewers; if they are, they usually reflect a generous discount, offered by manufacturers and contractors who provide their products and services at reduced costs in exchange for increased exposure. This sets viewers up to be disappointed as they begin researching their own projects and learn that $1,000, $10,000 or even $100,000 doesn’t cover nearly as much as they’ve been led to believe.

…and Time is Always a Concern

The dark side of home renovation shows also conspires to hide the realistic nature of time; instead of accurately displaying the extended time it really takes to design, build and accessorize a space (not to mention inspect it for safety), renovation shows

condense construction timelines to nicely fit a 30 minute or hour-long programming slot. They neglect to mention various steps of the design and construction phases and ignore possible (probable) delays that would extend the time needed to complete a project. In fact, most falsely depict full scale remodels that would take months (or even years) to finish as capable of being realized in just a few weeks (or sometimes just a day)!

Furnishing and Interior Decor Can Be Easily Sourced 

Watch a remodeling program and you’ll likely be under the impression that furnishings and other decor elements and materials are always at hand. The truth, though, is that sourcing the various elements that complete a construction/design project is never easy. Various obstacles can even make finding basic items like lumber, bar joists and installation a complicated and lengthy process. Couple that with the supply chain issues  that are causing at least a two month shipping delay for furniture and other decor items that really make a home or office space stand out, and you can get seriously frustrated pretty easily. 

There’s No Such Thing as DIY

The final fallacy of home office renovation shows is the idea that viewers can replace professionals. The reality is remodeling is hard. While there might be a few steps an average viewer could tackle alone, partnering with a professional makes renovation a much more feasible enterprise. Even when it appears that DIY could be or is an option during a renovation, shows always have professionals behind the scenes answering questions and helping the show’s guests finish their task(s). 

The Key Interiors Advantage

The dark side of home renovation shows doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever attempt a home or office remodel. You just need to be smart. If you realize that these shows create illusions rather than reality, you are better equipped to imagine and achieve realistic results. Of course, a professional design partner helps. The experience and expertise of our designers here at Key Interiors, for instance, enable our clients to design, build and furnish their spaces in a way that meets their budget and magnifies their personal aesthetics. And we do it according to a timely schedule. Please contact us to learn more about the positive — bright — side of good design!

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5 Tips for Returning to the Office: Air Quality Testing, Ventilation and More

air quality testing

2022 is upon us and for many that means a return to a physical office. Whether you’ve been out since the beginning of the pandemic or just had a few weeks off for the holidays, the safety of indoor spaces is likely on your mind. Despite COVID’s seemingly lessening effects, the Omicron variant is more contagious than previous coronavirus strains, meaning it’s even more critical that businesses do all they can to ensure a healthy work environment for their employees. Indeed, there are many other kinds of contaminants (besides viruses) that make certain measures (like air quality testing and other precautions) a necessary responsibility of companies operating out of a physical building. Here are a few tips to help protect your employees’ health in an office setting even if — when — a pandemic isn’t raging:

Schedule Air Quality Testing

Pollutants are everywhere and include germs and other biological contaminants, as well as any natural or manmade substances that adversely impact the environment and those living (and/or working) within it. In fact, some of the most deadly pollutants exist in the air. Both invisible and odorless, these pollutants are tiny, capable of penetrating the lungs (or other bodily systems) and causing disease. Thus, it’s important that air quality testing is routine and ongoing within a workplace. Depending on the size of the office, companies should invest in either commercial or consumer air quality testing monitors that continuously measure the amount of certain pollutants. There are many types of air quality testing tools, capable of testing for any number of contaminants, including but not limited to carbon monoxide, radon, smoke and more.

Install Proper Ventilation

Of course, securing positive air quality testing results depends on proper ventilation. In plainest terms, ventilation is the purposeful transfer of outside air into a space. The delivery of fresh air lessens the concentration of indoor air pollutants, improving the overall quality of the interior air supply. Ideally, a good HVAC system should be installed during a building’s construction, but there are additional ways to enhance ventilation after occupancy, as well, such as regularly replacing and/or using HEPA filters; adjusting dampers so that more air is moved through heavily populated rooms; constantly running fans (either individual units or those incorporated within then HVAC system itself); and opening doors and windows when possible.

Hire a Cleaner

Of course, routine cleaning is paramount, as well. A dedicated cleaning person (or cleaning service) ensures that offices are regularly sanitized and as free of germs as possible.

Think about a Mask Mandate

You can also consider asking employees and visitors coming into your office to wear a mask. The CDC recommends using masks to help control the spread of communicable diseases like COVID-19, and it’s likely that many people will continue wearing masks while in public even after the pandemic ends.

Partner with a Professional Interior Design Team

Finally, there are many ways to enhance the safety of an office with simple interior design choices. Partnering with a professional interior design firm like Key Interiors makes it easy for you to improve your office’s air quality and better safeguard your employee’s health. With professional direction, you can choose low-VOC paints and fabrics; hypoallergenic furnishings; anti-microbial fixtures; and more. Our designers at Key Interiors, for instance, have decades of experience helping clients use design features that maximize both the utility, as well as the safety, of their spaces. Please contact us to learn more about using interior design elements not only to boost employee productivity and morale, but to protect the well-being of everyone entering your company’s doors.

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Using Flooring as Office Noise Control with Broadloom Carpet

Using Flooring as Office Noise Control with Broadloom Carpet

Research indicates that noise is becoming a significant problem in the workplace. According to one study, “63 percent of employees say they lack quiet space for focused work, which has a negative effect on their productivity, satisfaction and well-being.” It’s a shocking revelation, one that has serious repercussions (pun intended!), especially since little is being done to remedy workplace noise issues. Indeed, the same study found that “a mere 6% percent of executives report having equipped their office with noise mitigating features.” With little respite from noise distractions, employees are less productive, often irritable and “more likely to say they may leave their [positions] in the next six months.” The good news is that there are relatively easy solutions to correct office noise, one of the best of which is changing out the flooring. Broadloom carpet, in particular, is a great option for reducing noise. Here’s what you need to know about using broadloom carpet for noise control:

What is Broadloom Carpet?

Broadloom carpet is a tufted textile floor covering that is installed across the expanse of a room, from one wall to the other. Originally, it was handwoven on an extra large, traditionally-styled loom, but today broadloom carpet is most often mass-produced via a mechanical loom, usually in widths of 12 to 15 feet. Various materials can be used to make broadloom carpet, including wool, sisal and various synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon and olefin. The heavier, more tightly packed the fibers of the carpet, the more effective it will be at noise reduction.

Broadloom Carpet Absorbs Sound 

Sound is a type of energy produced by the vibration of objects within a liquid (like water), solid (like the ground) or gas (like the air). The faster the vibration, the louder the sound. However, sound waves are impacted by the density of the medium in which they occur, so placing anything in the path of sound waves effectively slows the frequency of their vibration, reducing their amplitude and lessening their sound by the time they reach our ears. Carpets covering a large area have millions of fibers that absorb the energy of the sound waves instead of distributing them. Add a pad underneath the carpet and the vibrations decrease even more. The result: less sound wave movement and less unwanted sound (a.k.a. “noise”)!

Broadloom Carpet Reduces Floor Impact Noise

Furthermore, carpet helps reduce impact noise up over 20 decibels. The wide coverage offered by broadloom carpet helps insulate the force of impact made by footsteps, falling objects and the movement of chairs as they strike a floor, thus reducing the sound waves emitted with each impact and dampening the noise that each of those impacts make.

Broadloom Carpet Helps Control Reverberation

Finally, broadloom carpet inhibits the reverberation of sound waves. Reverberation occurs when sound waves bounce off objects in a medium rather than being absorbed by them. The repetition of these sound waves creates even more noise by the time they reach our ears. As mentioned, however, broadloom carpet absorbs sound rather than reflects it, thereby controlling unwanted sound reverberation.

The Key Interiors Advantage

Broadloom carpet is a great solution for controlling noise in many instances, but there are also other options available. To learn more about using interior and exterior office design to control noise in your office space, please contact our team at Key Interiors.

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The Best Wall Cladding for Modern Offices

The Best Wall Cladding for Modern Offices

Wall cladding is a type of decorative feature used to cover the face of a wall. It involves the application of one type of material over another and, in most instances, does not provide any functional benefit other than sometimes delivering insulating and/or protective effects (especially when installed on exterior structures). When installed on interior walls, wall cladding basically serves as an artistic focal point, concealing and/or embellishing the surface of a wall in some way. Here’s what you need to know about using wall cladding in modern offices:

Types of Wall Cladding

Wall cladding can be made of various — and numerous — types of materials, from wood, stone and other organic elements to composite and/or manmade substances like plastic, concrete and certain fabrics, ceramics and more. The type of material(s) best suited for modern commercial or home office use is really just a matter of taste, but should be chosen based on the following considerations:

  • Function. As mentioned, most interior wall cladding is primarily decorative in purpose. It is meant to add interest and energy to a space. Sometimes, however, offices might need to insulate themselves from temperature and/or noise disturbances. Determining the purpose of using wall cladding as part of your design will enable you to pick the right material for its creation.

  • Location. Theoretically, wall cladding could cover every wall in your office. We don’t recommend that approach since it obviously takes away the intrinsic “wow” factor of having it only in a select one or two areas. Instead, we suggest picking an existing wall in a high traffic area where the wall cladding can be showcased and/or where it contributes to a specific purpose (such as offering sound insulation or protection from the constant movement of passersby).

  • Style. You also want to maintain the style of the office as a whole, picking a wall cladding that complements the surrounding decor and doesn’t distract from it. If your office has an industrial aesthetic with lots of clean lines, glass and metal, you might not want to add pastel wall cladding into the mix. Similarly, you probably don’t want to use plastic wall cladding in an office centered around a biophilic theme.

  • Budget. Of course, most people need to think about the expenses associated with adding wall cladding to their office design plan. The range of materials available means wall cladding can run the gamut in cost. Furthermore, while relatively easy to install, wall cladding can be difficult to remove, causing damage to the wall that a cheap paint job can’t resolve. Consider your budget and pick the wall cladding material that matches it.

  • Maintenance and Durability. Finally, the best wall cladding is durable and easy to maintain, lasting for as long as you need it so that you don’t have to waste unnecessary time or money for its upkeep. This doesn’t mean you have to spend alot; plastic wall cladding, for instance, can be very affordable with the added benefit of being highly durable and easy to clean!

Ready to Learn More?

Picking the best wall cladding for your modern office design doesn’t have to be difficult. While the sheer number of options available might seem overwhelming, an experienced design firm can help you weigh the pros and cons of each and settle on the wall cladding design that matches your needs, as well as your budget. Please contact our team of designers at Key Interiors to learn more.

Dental Office Renovation office design practices office redesign Office Renovation

The Ideal Dental Office Layout and How to Achieve It

The Ideal Dental Office Layout

The ideal workspace is frequently elusive. After all, different people have different needs. A teacher necessarily considers his or her classroom in a different light than a corporate CEO views his or her office. An architect will need something different from a banker, who will, in turn, want something different, as well. The needs and priorities of individuals, as well as the demands of the job(s) being performed in the space, means no two office layouts should ever be identical. That being said, there are commonalities, especially when dealing with the design of offices in a particular industry, that make working in a space more efficient and a lot more comfortable. Take dentistry, for example. After decades of experience, our team of designers at Key Interiors knows what dentists want and need in a dental office layout. Take a look:

The Ideal Dental Office Layout

Dental offices are shared among the professionals providing dental office services (i.e., dentists, hygienists and clerical assistants) and, of course, the patients needing those services. As such, the ideal dental office layout must satisfy the needs of wide range of people, each of whom has multiple and extremely varied needs and objectives. The goal, then, is to accommodate the majority of those needs in a way that invites and encourages employees and patients alike to enter, find useful and enjoy being in the space.

How to Create an Ideal Dental Office Layout

While no one specific layout works for all dental practices, our designers at Key Interiors have pinpointed certain criteria that should be prioritized during any dental office design. Adhering to these best practices helps ensure a dental office layout that meets the needs of the greatest number of people visiting the space. 

    • Focus on Creating an Upscale Environment with Modern Decor

      First and foremost, dental offices cater to patients. Without patients, there isn’t a need for an office at all! Unfortunately, however, a lot of people don’t like going to the dentist for checkups, and it can be hard even to get them through the front door especially if they’re met with outdated, uncomfortable decor. Vertical blinds; bright, fluorescent lighting; hard, oak furniture; dusty faux foliage and the like are hardly a draw. But if dental offices are well-lit, hospitable places, it follows that more people might be willing to visit. Focus on adding contemporary features to your dental office layout such as soft, natural lighting, Wi-Fi access, a coffee machine, comfortable, clean seating and pleasant artwork so that patients are engaged and physically at ease during a dental office visit.

    • Focus on Function

      A good dental office layout is also one that makes the best use of the space at hand. This doesn’t mean that every square inch of a building or suite needs to be dedicated to a specific task: for storage, waiting, treatment, etc. It simply means that you have thought about how you will use the totality of the space in question and have a plan for keeping each area of the design dedicated to its original purpose so that other areas remain free of unnecessary clutter.

    • Focus on Privacy

      Privacy is always a concern during any health service encounter. While dentistry is not as preoccupied with confidentiality as a medical care provider might be, the industry as a whole does aim to maintain a certain level of privacy for all dental patients. No one likes to be on display during a dental procedure and no one wants the details of his or her care to be shared with the masses. Design your dental office layout so that patients feel sheltered and safe to ensure that you’re on your way to an ideal workspace!

Want to Learn More?

To bolster the efficiency and effectiveness of any dental office layout, it’s also recommended that you partner with a reputable and knowledgeable design firm. Our team at Key Interiors, for example, has decades of experience designing dental office layouts for practices of all sizes. We help our clients make the most of the spaces they have, ensuring that their dental office layouts impress patients; boost employee morale; improve work productivity; and reduce unnecessary overhead. Please contact us to learn how we can help you, too.

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How an Office Couch Can Improve Workplace Happiness

Today’s best workplaces provide more than space for people to work. They create an experience, with modern office design elements being used to improve the psychological — and sometimes even the physical — well-being of the people inside. Research indicates that the smallest design detail can make a big difference in employee engagement, efficiency and productivity and can attract (or repel) clients and future partners alike. Furniture, in particular, has been shown to directly affect office functionality in a way that often impacts its bottomline. For instance, take a look at how a single piece of furniture, the office couch, can bolster employee happiness and, ultimately, improve a company’s ROI:

An Office Couch Encourages Togetherness

A couch probably isn’t the first piece of furniture that comes to mind when thinking about how to furnish an office space (unless you’re in the counseling business). However, having a couch in a room establishes the expectation that people will be gathering there and, therefore, need a place to sit. A couch encourages community, physically bringing together individuals so that they can more easily communicate with one another and hopefully build meaningful relationships. And meaningful relationships, according to an ongoing Harvard study, are the key to happiness.

An Office Couch Encourages Productivity

In addition to encouraging healthy personal relationships, an office couch makes it easy for colleagues to have conversations with one another, especially when there are few personal offices and/or conference rooms in which to meet. Even when a dedicated meeting space is available, oftentimes meeting on a couch is a less formal option than sitting around a large table or behind a desk, making it easier for workers to avoid perceived hierarchies and instead focus on collaboration and teamwork. The benefit: less stress, improved productivity and better outcomes.


An Office Couch Provides Comfort

Finally, working at a desk all day can be a drag, for the body, as well as the mind. The right type of office couch allows employees the option of moving from their chair to a more comfortable spot. Indeed, not only does an office couch motivate them to get up and walk, breaking up the monotony of the day, it can provide the physical support that their bodies need to relax (even if it’s just for a few moments). Approximately 59% of people in one study (summarized here) said that taking “breaks [during the workday] would improve their work happiness, and 43% said it would boost their personal happiness.” That’s a significant number of people who could benefit from adding an office couch to their work environment!

Want to Learn More?

Adding an office couch to the workplace can improve the mood of employees, thus facilitating a boost in performance that burgeons a company’s bottom line. But an office couch isn’t the only design element able to benefit a business’s growth. To learn more about optimizing office design so that your company makes the most of the resources available to it, please contact our team at Key Interiors. For over 70 years we have been providing our clients with innovative design options that translate into profitable business solutions.

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How to Keep Your Sanity During Commercial Office Renovations

Renovations are stressful. The very nature of the word “renovation” means you are actively repairing something, addressing a problem and, thus, adding to the magnitude of the project as a whole. Make it a commercial office renovation (as opposed to a residential one), and the stress can quadruple, with property owners having to work around the schedules of tenants, staff and clients, not just construction crews. Our team at Key Interiors has helped hundreds of clients complete commercial office renovations;  here’s what we recommend to ensure that you keep your sanity during the process:

Define Your Issue(s) 

A renovation seeks to fix one or more specific issues within a space, updating it to reflect modern design and decor and/or restoring it so that it functions at an optimal level for current needs while remaining up to code and safe to occupy. Typical issues addressed with a renovation project include:

– Outdated furniture and decor
– Nonfunctional windows and doors
– Worn flooring, trim and paint
– Lighting problems
– Limited storage
– And more!

Before you consider anything else pertaining to a commercial office renovation, you need to establish the type of problem you have with your building or office space. Is it dark and unwelcoming? Have lead paint? Drafty and need new windows? The problem could be anything, but trust us, your commercial office renovation will run a lot more smoothly and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches if you have a firm grasp on what you want to accomplish before you begin. (It also helps you with our next tip.)

Create a Plan

A plan is an essential part of any project, but creating one isn’t always intuitive, especially if you aren’t knowledgeable in construction and/or design techniques. That’s why it’s helpful to partner with an expert at the beginning of a commercial office renovation. A skilled design firm can validate (or not) your concerns and help you devise a plan of action. Our professionals at Key Interiors, for example, work with each of our clients to develop an actionable commercial office renovation plan that is unique and specific to the problem at hand. We also oversee the execution of those plans, managing every renovation project so that tasks are completed in a timely fashion and according to an established sequence of events. Oftentimes, the hardest part of renovating a space is coordinating the various phases of construction with all the people involved. This is especially true when there are employees, tenants and others with — and around — which construction and design teams must work. An experienced partner understands realistic timeframes and deadlines and can help you make sense of the budget, time and safety demand specific to commercial office renovation projects.


Commit to Communication

A good plan depends on good communication. To stay sane during a commercial office renovation, remember to talk to (and listen to!) the people around you. If the office space will have inhabitants during the renovation process, be sure to give them enough time before the project begins to digest how, when and why their lives will be disrupted over the upcoming months. Discuss with them the goal of the project, as well as the projected schedule for the phases of its completion, and continue to remain in touch throughout the project’s duration so that everyone involved can form reasonable expectations and better deal with it if plans change!

Expect Problems to Arise

And, of course, the best-laid plans can — and usually do — go awry. Unforeseen circumstances, such as shipping delays, worker shortages, order errors, and even pandemics(!), can all cause potential setbacks to your schedule to occur. Recognizing ahead of time that these types of events can and will happen enables you to have a backup plan in place, allowing you to roll with the punches more quickly and with less stress.

The Key Interior Advantage

Preparation is the best tool for staying sane during a commercial office renovation. Our team of design experts at Key Interiors can provide the design advice and business

support you need to adequately prepare for any type of commercial office renovation project.  We not only understand form and function, we actualize creative yet practical ideas for maximum effect. Please contact us to learn more.


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6 Benefits of Using Door Window Coverings in the Office

Doors create physical division between spaces, both restricting and facilitating movement from one place to another. There are many types of doors, from heavy, exterior access ones that provide protection against the outside world to less sturdy interior doors that are used to separate rooms. They can be solid or hollow, paneled or plain. They can slide or swing or roll open. The variety of doors is almost endless, with 

an array of materials (such as wood, metal, fiberglass and more) used to construct any number of unique entrances and exits. In office settings, in particular, doors are frequently made of glass or have windows in them. The clean, modern look of glass is often viewed as the epitome of sophistication, signaling organic strength by physically illuminating the space it surrounds. Unfortunately, glass doors (and doors with windows in them) can pose a number of problems, effecting the way a space functions and the way people inside of it work. The good news is that many of those problems can be remedied with door window coverings. Take a look at six benefits of using door window coverings in the office:

Increased Privacy 

Doors limit interruptions, hiding people from outside distractions so that they can exist in peace. When there is a window in the door to a room, however, the people (and objects) inside are still capable of being seen. Thus, adding a door window covering is a good way to restore the door’s ability to conceal the space behind it, increasing privacy for workers both inside and outside the space.

Added Versatility

Of course, having a window in a door can be useful in some scenarios. Managers might like to see office happenings from the comfort of their desk. Visitors might like to peek in before deciding to enter. However, no one wants to feel as if they are on display all the time. Door window coverings give offices the option to change views depending on the type of window covering they choose to install.


Enhanced Noise Control

Door window coverings also enable enhanced noise control, insulating a space from sounds that occur around it. For instance, thick, heavy fabric has been shown to reduce noise and can be used to create various types of custom door window coverings.

Protection Against UV Rays

There are physical benefits of adding door window coverings, as well. Research shows that sun rays penetrate glass. Adding door window coverings, especially to exterior doors, helps to block harmful UV radiation and protects people from skin and eye damage and even cancer!

Better Light Control

Naturally, door window coverings offer the opportunity for controlling the amount of light in a space. Adjustable shades and blinds can be installed, allowing offices to take advantage of daytime light, yet still manage glare, as well as create a dark environment when needed (such as during powerpoint presentations). Optimal lighting conditions help boost employee morale and improve workplace productivity

Improved Aesthetics

Finally, door window coverings can be used to invigorate a space, adding color, texture and personality to what otherwise could be a drab area. Incorporating curtains, drapes, blinds, shutters or any other type of window covering into an office space is a relatively easy way to customize a room, showcasing to employees and visitors that you value design, as well as function!

The Key Interiors Advantage

Partnering with a professional office design firm is the best way to effectively meld your own business needs with creative — and useful — decor. To learn how you can maximize your budget and fashion a functional, beautiful place to work, please contact our team of design experts today.

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3 Tips for Choosing Breakroom Furniture


A company’s breakroom plays an important part in employee wellness, offering a space not just for workers to grab a bite to eat, but a place for them to relax, connect with colleagues and ultimately recharge so that they can face new challenges throughout the day. Studies show that even small breaks interrupt the monotony of daily work-life, improving employees’ overall job satisfaction and increasing their productivity. Thus, one of the best ways for companies to show they value and respect their employees is to provide them with a comfortable, functional breakroom that allows them to periodically unwind and then regroup for the tasks ahead. Here are three tips for choosing breakroom furniture that employees will use and appreciate:

Prioritize Functionality 

Think about what your employees want out of a space and try to incorporate the type of breakroom furniture and other design elements and that will facilitate those objectives. For instance, coffee is an important part of Swedish culture, with Swedish workers taking 15 minutes in the morning, as well as the afternoon, to enjoy a cup with their colleagues. A breakroom in Sweden, then, will necessarily need to accommodate the presence of multiple people, multiple times as day. Coffeemakers, tables and chairs will need to be provided for employees using them en masse, rather than individually. Smaller companies, however, might well get by with only a single table and chairs set. Whatever the case, it’s vital to include breakroom furniture that is durable, comfortable and suitable for the activities for which the room will be used.

Consider Versatility

Remember, too, that there will be people of all types using the breakroom. While you don’t need to — and can’t — cater to everyone, you can provide breakroom furniture that is flexible in its use and purpose. Instead of fixed tables or built-in seating, think about providing compact, moveable pieces that can be rearranged as needed. After all, not everyone will want to sit at a communal table. Some might prefer a quiet seat in a corner where they can escape small talk and lounge in peace. A combination of single and multi-seat options, both plush and structured, will allow all employees to find a seat that suits their bodies, as well as their personalities.


Remember Aesthetics

Of course, no one wants to escape to a dingy, ugly room. Just because breakroom furniture needs to be functional and versatile, it doesn’t mean it can’t also be pretty! Attractive, well-made breakroom furniture will draw people into the space, encouraging them to use it and, thus, encouraging overall improved employee productivity.

Want to Learn More?

To learn more about office design and choosing breakroom furniture that boosts morale and expresses dedication to your employees while showcasing your company’s own unique style, please contact our design team at Key Interiors. We work with our clients to create a design plan that matches their needs with their resources, enabling them to provide a better working environment for everyone involved. 

Click Here to check out some of our most recent office renovation and design projects!


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Improve Your Office’s Privacy with a Cubicle Door

Modern office design is all about matching business needs with employee well-being. There is no one right or wrong workplace plan, as every company has unique needs that influence the choice of individual design elements. But these needs can — and do — change over time. Thus, a good office design is one that can evolve to meet new demands when they occur! At some point, an open floorplan might be suitable. At other times, it might make more sense to have individual offices or team-sharing suites. Of course, there is always the cubicle layout, a popular office design born in the 1960s that many organizations still make use of today. Indeed, approximately 60% of American workers spend their work lives inside a cubicle. And while that might have worked well without any modifications 50 years ago, today’s employees often want a different type of workplace setting to facilitate their highest level of productivity. The good news is that companies don’t have to initiate a complete office redesign to ensure employee wellness or efficiency. Oftentimes, a small office renovation can do the trick, such as adding cubicle doors. Cubicle doors can improve your office’s privacy without costing you a lot of money or downtime. Here’s why that’s important:

Privacy Often Equals Safety

Personal space is a valuable commodity. It not only helps protect us from physical dangers, it helps shield us from mental stress and discomfort. During a pandemic, personal space also helps keep us away from germs. An easy way to provide more privacy in an office, and, thus, further ensure that your employees are mentally and physically safeguarded, is to add a cubicle door to each cubicle station, separating employees so they are less exposed and are able to concentrate more fully on their work.

Privacy Preserves Security 

Adding a cubicle door to a cubicle means both corporate data and employees’ own personal details are kept confidential. Information security is a big deal these days, with federal and state regulations tightly controlling the way customer information is stored and shared. Creating a barrier between employees and the rest of the office allows companies to protect sensitive data from prying eyes, as well as allows employees the space they need to conduct personal affairs without an audience.


Privacy Inspires Creativity 

Privacy also inspires creativity by providing a quiet, restful space for reflection, discovery and innovation. A cubicle door closes off employees from the chaos of the surrounding work environment, permitting them uninterrupted time to concentrate on the work at hand, think outside the box and, hopefully, develop new insights. The result: increased ingenuity and productivity!

The Key Advantage

Research shows that natural sunlight improves employee health, boosting their mood, improving their sleep patterns and encouraging longer nightime sleep duration, better sleep quality and more physical activity for those with access to natural light during working hours when compared to those without it. To foster a zen office design, remove obstructive window coverings and/or arrange mirrors to reflect light where needed. You could repaint walls using white or light colors to help brighten the room, as well.

Focus on People, Not Things

The real focus of any zen office design is people, not things. Many traditional office designs center around workplace efficiency, arranging square footage in ways that maximize workflow. Zen office design, however, puts the needs of people above the needs of the company, connecting people to each other instead of to a specific area or item or any particular aesthetic ideal.

Add in Decorative Accents

A peaceful environment soothes the senses. Think about adding a water feature, artwork, and plants to generate a relaxing tone throughout the office space. The sound of moving water, coupled with living plants, evokes a feeling of serenity that science shows can “reduce stress and increase creativity and focus,” all desired results of any zen office design. To the same end, pretty artwork can also be added with little effort.


The Key Advantage 

Of course, an experienced office design partner helps companies explore all types of design elements, suggesting the best ones to match any and all issue(s). To learn more about adding cubicle doors to your company’s office design or other possible design features that might improve your employee’s well-being and/or efficiency, please contact Key Interiors.


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What to Do When Employees Request a Zen Office Design

Zen refers to a state of calmness where a person can be guided by his or her inituition. It has become a buzzword in the business world, with terms like “zen business,” “zen leadership,” “zen office” and the like being used when employees (or companies) want to focus on well-being, creativity and productivity. The belief is that a company’s policies and procedures — even its atmosphere right down to its physical setting, as well as its furniture — can be used to initiate peace and harmony amongst employees, thereby enabling them to be healthier, more engaged and more effective in their work lives. This is what to do if your employees are suddenly requesting a zen office design:

Don’t Panic

Fortunately, designing a zen office doesn’t have to involve a complete office overhaul. There are plenty of design options available for reimagining established spaces and using existing fittings and fixtures in new ways. None of them has to be expensive or disruptive to normal business functioning!


One of the easiest ways to quickly facilitate a zen office design is to clear out all unnecessary objects and debris from the office itself. File away papers, straighten desktops and hide cables and cords. A clean and ordered space allows workers to focus on the work at hand and not the chaos of their surroundings.

Let in Light

Research shows that natural sunlight improves employee health, boosting their mood, improving their sleep patterns and encouraging longer nightime sleep duration, better sleep quality and more physical activity for those with access to natural light during working hours when compared to those without it. To foster a zen office design, remove obstructive window coverings and/or arrange mirrors to reflect light where needed. You could repaint walls using white or light colors to help brighten the room, as well.

Focus on People, Not Things

The real focus of any zen office design is people, not things. Many traditional office designs center around workplace efficiency, arranging square footage in ways that maximize workflow. Zen office design, however, puts the needs of people above the needs of the company, connecting people to each other instead of to a specific area or item or any particular aesthetic ideal.

Add in Decorative Accents

A peaceful environment soothes the senses. Think about adding a water feature, artwork, and plants to generate a relaxing tone throughout the office space. The sound of moving water, coupled with living plants, evokes a feeling of serenity that science shows can “reduce stress and increase creativity and focus,” all desired results of any zen office design. To the same end, pretty artwork can also be added with little effort.


Want to Learn More?

Creating a zen office design plan doesn’t have to be a daunting endeavor. You can start small and add in design elements based on any type of time or budget constraints; you can also partner with an experienced commercial design firm like Key Interiors. We can help you reconfigure your space to maximize zen-like qualities, or we can work with you to imagine a zen office from scratch. Please contact our office to learn more about creating a zen office design that matches your vision, as well as your resources.


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3 Things You Should Know about Custom Millwork for Your Office

Whether we like it or not, appearances matter. First impressions go a long way, and for companies, especially, if you’re not making a good one, you’re losing the interest of potential customers, clients and employees and costing yourself valuable business. One of the easiest ways to positively influence an initial meeting with prospective clients or employees is to create a comfortable, beautiful office. Research shows that the first seven seconds of an encounter influences a person’s eventual perception of it. Apparently, the brain makes snap judgements before a person even becomes aware of his or her thoughts. Thus, consider this: it’s highly likely that any time you meet someone in your office, it will take them at least seven seconds to cross your office threshold, providing ample time for you to influence their impression of your company before they even catch sight of you, your product(s) or your brand. The color of your walls, your decor, your furniture — your office — is frequently the first thing people notice. Make it as unique and special as possible — with custom millwork, for example — and you’re on your way to a great first impression!

Custom Millwork Sets Your Office Apart from the Competition

Custom millwork includes any type of building product that is produced in a mill. Items such as doors, molding, trim and paneling, as well as specially-designed shelving, cabinets and storage units are all examples of millwork, bespoke items that add to the functionality and/or the beauty of an individual space. Choosing to add custom millwork options to your office design immediately signals that you are different from everyone else.

Custom Millwork Maximizes Your Office Layout

Tailor-made details enable you to utilize every square inch of a space, increasing the functionality of your office’s layout and design. Furthermore, custom millwork can be used to custom fit everything from desks and chairs to windows, doors and cabinetry so that the end product(s) match your exact needs, as well as your own personal aesthetics.

Custom Millwork Adds Value

Store-bought furniture and generic design elements can’t match the quality and craftsmanship of custom millwork. Adding made-to-order milled pieces to your office increases the value of your space since they will last longer and work better than those that are mass-produced. In addition, custom millwork impresses people, often adding intangible value to your overall brand, as well!

Want to Learn More?

For more information about using custom millwork in your office, please contact our team of designers at Key Interiors. As a full-service design, construction, and furnishing firm, Key Interiors can provide custom millwork, cabinetry, and finishes to fir your next project! 

Custom millwork can be added to a new construction design, but it can also be used to enhance a space, negating the need for a full-scale remodel. The possibilities are endless, and a great first impression can be just around the corner! Take a look at our Project Portfolio to get some ideas and see our latest work. 

You might also wish to download our free eBook, “Modern Office Design,” for additional office design tips, as well.

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3 HVAC Tips for Climate Controlling Your Office


The quality of the air inside commercial buildings, schools and other places of business directly impacts the comfort and health of the people who visit and work within them. That’s why an HVAC system is such an important part of an office’s design. HVAC systems don’t just regulate temperature, they also work to control humidity and remove contaminants, thereby contributing to the overall quality of the air that millions of workers (and patrons) are exposed to everyday. While the government doesn’t actually mandate any specific HVAC tips detailing a range for temperature or humidity control, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) recommends keeping office temperatures between 68°-76° F and humidity in the range of 20%-60%.

In addition, OHSA suggests a variety of other measures to help companies recognize and control safe levels of indoor air contaminants, as well as maximize their ventilation systems. Especially during this current time of COVID, temperate, clean air not only safeguards workers against discomfort, headaches, allergies and other troublesome issues, helping them improve their energy levels and productivity, the right HVAC system can also minimize exposure to dangerous pathogens, preventing disease. Therefore, one of the best ways to stay ahead of problems with indoor air quality is designing an office space that amplifies an HVAC system’s functionality and efficiency from the onset of a building’s occupancy. Here are three HVAC tips for better climate control:

Maximize Ventilation

One of the most important factors affecting climate control, particularly within a large space (such as an office building), is ventilation. Proper ventilation allows outside air to move inside, diluting the concentration of pollutants that might be trapped within a space and circulating air so that the indoor temperature is neither too warm nor too cool. Depending on the specific needs of a building and available resources during construction/remodeling, ventilation can be facilitated via mechanical (supply and exhaust fans), natural (windows, doors and other openings) or mixed-mode processes. Choosing the right ventilation system for the space at hand encourages the movement of clean air into a space, making it easier for building managers to keep the ambient temperature within an office regulated and less polluted with contaminants.

Consider An Energy-Efficient Office Design

The function of any HVAC system can be improved with thoughtful design choices. When laying out an office’s floor plan, think about how you can mitigate the load of its HVAC system. Adding options like automatic light sensors; lower ceilings; extra natural ventilation openings (and adequate treatments to cover them when necessary); landscaping and architectural features that naturally render shade and/or reflect sunlight both inside and around the building can all work to ensure your HVAC is not overworked and, thus, unable to maintain proper functioning.

Maintain Filters and Keep Areas Clean

Another good HVAC tip is to always keep a routine HVAC maintenance schedule that includes the periodic replacement of its air filters. Exchanging old filters for new ones ensures that your HVAC system is never compromised or overloaded and, as a result, remains fully capable of cooling, heating and cleaning the air as needed. 

The Key Interior Advantage

A good office design maximizes an HVAC’s ability to function effectively and efficiently. Even small changes — such as rearranging furniture, adding window blinds or changing the color of paint — can significantly ease the burden on your HVAC system, allowing it to work at full capacity. 

At Key Interiors, our in-house, certified design team can help you redesign your office to get the most out of your HVAC system, and our skilled trade partners can handle any necessary mechanical upgrades.

To learn more HVAC tips for optimal control of the climate in your own office space, please contact our team of experts at Key Interiors.

You might also wish to take a look at our Project Portfolio to get some ideas and see our latest design work. 

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Benefits of Using Bench Seating in Your Office

Furniture plays an important part in office design. Aesthetically, it can draw people to a space with its beauty. But it can also promote increased productivity and connectivity when carefully chosen for functionality and arranged for comfort. There are hundreds of furniture options, but in this blog we’re going to explore bench seating. Take a look at three important benefits of using bench seating in your office space:

What is Bench Seating?

Bench seating doesn’t actually refer to a bench seat but rather a bench surface. Much like a dining room table, bench seating provides a long expanse of workspace to which employees can pull up individual chairs and complete their work. Over the past few years it has become increasingly popular, although post-Covid that might change as companies search for ways to keep members of their teams further apart and less involved in communal spaces. Nevertheless, the benefits of one long work surface over many individual ones can’t be overlooked.

Bench Seating is Affordable

One of the biggest benefits of using bench seating in your office is its affordability. Not only does bench seating take up less space than individual desks or cubicles — saving you from having to pay for valuable square footage — it accommodates more people, allowing you to have more workers in your space at one time. After all, the cost of doing business is less per employee when you add more people to a smaller space. Furthermore, the streamlined silhouette of bench seating keeps manufacturing and, thus, retail, costs down since there are no extra walls or barriers to make or build.

Bench Seating Inspires Interaction

When utilized appropriately, bench seating allows employees to easily collaborate. With no dividers separating individuals, people are free to interact quickly, sharing ideas in real time rather than having to get up and walk around to collect the information they need. Indeed, the efficiency of this organic sharing of data is compounded in value by the fact that it frequently results in more meaningful insights, as well. The quicker people can communicate, the quicker they can make profitable decisions. 

Bench Seating is Versatile

Unlike many other types of workspace solutions, bench seating is highly versatile, capable of being easily rearranged to accommodate new employees and/or new office objectives within just a few minutes and with just a few (if any!) tools. It’s a lot harder to move walls and cubicles than it is to reposition a table or set out tabletop privacy dividers between employees. And in this crazy time of social distancing, being able to quickly reconfigure an office’s work areas according to changing mandates and safety needs with little effort or expense means companies can keep working and keep producing with the littlest amount of interruption.

Want to Learn More?

To further discuss the pros and cons of using bench seating in your office, please contact our team of design experts at Key Interiors. We work closely with all of our clients to plan a strategy for their office space design that best addresses their own unique needs. Our team can complete the look of your space with functional furniture and exclusive interior finishes that promote connectivity and productivity. 

You might also wish to take a look at our Project Portfolio to get some ideas and see our latest design work. 

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5 Questions to Ask Your Interior Contracting Firm

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When it comes to hiring an interior contracting firm, there are a lot of important factors at play. No two interior contractors are the same, so getting one that fits your needs and budget is key. Fortunately, there is a crystal-clear process that any business or individual can use to determine if an interior contracting firm is a good fit. So, let’s take a look at the 5 questions to ask your interior contracting firm!

Can You Create a Design From Scratch?

A lot of people get confused between an interior contractor and an interior designer. Typically, a contractor works off of an existing design, while a designer takes the process from the design phase all the way through construction. As a result, it’s important to ask an interior contracting firm if they can create their own designs.

Some people get started with a contractor and realize that it’s up to them to provide the contractor with a design. Without expertise in interior design, this could leave you in a tough position. Fortunately, many interior contracting firms like Key Interiors can see your project through from start to finish.

Do You Specialize in Residential or Commercial Construction?

Many interior contracting firms have specialties in either residential or commercial interior construction, while others have a solid track record in both. In any case, it’s important to know what the firm is able to do with different spaces. If you’re trying to remodel your house, you probably wouldn’t want a firm that focuses on commercial interiors. On the other hand, if you want to relocate your company’s office, you wouldn’t want an interior contracting firm that specializes in residential designs.

What Kind of Services Do You Offer?

In a sense, this is an extension of the first question. Some interior contracting firms offer design services, while others do not. Similarly, some firms only offer basic construction services, while others offer redesigns, relocations, expansions, and many other services. Even if you just have a simple plan in mind, it’s often best to go with a contracting firm that’s capable of taking on most (if not all) of the different tasks that are involved in your project.

What’s Your Pricing Structure?

This is an incredibly important question. When it comes to cost, it’s easy to find yourself paying too much for subpar service. That’s why you should always confirm the type of services they offer and then ask about pricing. If the cost doesn’t align with the services (or with your budget), then you know you should look elsewhere. Fortunately, many interior contracting firms offer scaled pricing structures to meet the needs of just about any budget.

What’s Your Turnaround Time?

Naturally, the answer to this question is complex. However, a good interior contracting firm will be able to give you an approximate timeline based on the details of your particular project. For example, if you want to expand your current building and redesign the interiors, the interior contracting firm should be able to give you an accurate timeline and an  approximate completion date once they know the scope of what needs to be done.

Want to learn more about hiring an interior contracting firm? Contact the experts at Key Interiors today!

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4 Ways to Stop Office Construction Issues Before They Start

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If you’ve ever managed a construction project, you know that there are a million potential issues that can crop up. From inclement weather to delayed material shipments, there’s no shortage of problems that can cause your office construction to take longer and cost more than it should. Though some issues are unavoidable, many common construction problems could be avoided with proper planning and foresight. So, let’s take a look at the top 4 ways to stop office construction issues before they start. 

Set a Budget Ceiling

While you should always set your budget above the initial projection, you shouldn’t throw endless amounts of cash at a construction project. Some contractors or interior designers will try to upsell you with things that you don’t need, leading to seemingly endless costs. To avoid this problem, set a hard limit on what you’re willing to spend. Don’t be afraid to share this number with your contractor or designer, as it will help them stay on track and on budget.

Get a Designer’s Opinion

You may have a very specific vision in mind for your new office. Unfortunately, it may not work with your budget. It also may not be feasible based on your location and a variety of other factors. So, make sure to get an opinion on your office design before you break ground with the construction crew. A good commercial interior design firm can usually spot poor or impractical designs from a mile away. Even better, a design build firm, like Key Interiors, can cover both pieces of the process from design to build.

Take an Active Role in the Process

A lot of business owners want to hire a construction firm, and once the process is started, walk away until it’s done. While this approach may work, you can avoid potential miscommunications and change orders by staying up-to-date on the construction. This way, you’ll be informed of any potential construction issues before they start, giving you more time to work with your contracting firm to fix them.

Hire a Trusted Office Construction Firm

All of the steps above are pointless if you don’t hire the right business to construct or redesign your office. Some interior construction firms do not have the expertise to build a modern office, while others may have a history of going over-budget. So, do your research in advance. Reach out to multiple firms to get price quotes and timelines. If you take these extra steps, you could end up saving your business a lot of time and money.

If you’d like to learn more about hiring a construction firm for your office, contact the experts at Key Interiors today!


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How to Reduce Potential Tax Liabilities with Capital Expenditure Projects

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“Unprecedented” is a strong candidate for the unofficial word of the year for 2020. Business leaders have had to face unprecedented challenges, and, as a result, they’ve had to use unprecedented methods to meet them. For many business leaders, this meant –– at least in part –– applying for government assistance in the form of a PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) or EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster) loan. While these loans may have provided businesses with much-needed injections of cash, capital from these loans may now represent a potential tax liability.

Given that fact, today we’ll explain a little more about how this process works, and what business owners can do to reduce potential tax liabilities with capital expenditure projects.

Loans & Profit

Numbers may not lie, but they also may not tell the entire story either. Such is the case with PPP and EIDL loans. Earlier this year, many businesses applied for government loans at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the loans required that businesses use most or all of these loans to cover essential expenses (like payroll), this income still counted as a big chunk of profit on their books without any expenses directly against it. Think about it – almost every time you make money in business, you must spend money. So each piece of income has an expense directly against it – thus resulting in some profit. But with these loans, you got a big check that was entirely profit.

For businesses that struggled through COVID and took a loss in other areas of their business, this extra profit on their books isn’t an issue. For the businesses that actually boomed in this period, such as the residential construction and supply industries, their net profit will be inflated with the infusion of PPP monies. These companies have not only made a profit on their regular business, but they also had a large amount of pure profit come with their forgiven loan.

Of course, businesses are responsible for paying tax on their profits at the end of the year. With such a large amount of profit in their business, they could be due for a whopping tax bill at the beginning of 2021.

Capital Expenditures

Business leaders can choose to invest a portion of their profits into “capital expenditures” to cut down on their profit figure. Capital expenditures are considered purchases that businesses make to improve any assets that they own. So when a business makes an investment into a capital expense like updating an office space or investing in new machinery, computers, or office furniture, this can be at least partially written off as an expense with no direct profit related to it. Because of that, it reduces the overall profit figure and, subsequently, the business’ tax responsibility. Unlike operating expenses, which can be written off the same year as their purchase, capital expenditures go through depreciating value on a year-by-year basis. If a business were to make a significant capital expenditure this year, they would be able to deduct some, but not all, of the amount on their upcoming tax balance sheet.

Please reach out to your accountant and confirm that this expenditure would help you before making any plans for capital expenditures.

A Word from Key Interiors

As we begin to wind down a very unusual year, we do like to remind our clients that putting money into capital expenditure improvements can be a great way to reduce potential tax liabilities. Some of our clients have seen this year’s tax payment jump due to receiving PPP or EIDL money from the US Government. Additionally, some businesses may have an urgent need to alter their office setup in order to meet social-distancing guidelines and ensure the safety of their staff and clientele. (For more information on this subject, you can check out our blog here.) Another reason some businesses have needed to alter their set up is because they have gotten much busier and added staff – increasing the need for updated workflows and more bathroom and break room space. Growing businesses may be compelled to rethink their workspace to accommodate this increase in employees or a larger production outlay.

If any of this sounds like it could apply to your business, then we’d be happy to have a no-obligation call to discuss possible projects that fall under a capital expense category.

At Key Interiors, we have a long history of partnering with a wide range of businesses. Our team will work with yours to improve your business’s office and subsequently boost workplace efficiency to deliver significant return on your investment. You can contact us here for more information or to get started today.

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Reception Area Design and Build: How to Stick to a Timeline

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It’s possible to make an argument that the reception desk is the most important space in any office. Waiting rooms often help form the first impression a client, partner, or new employee has of a company. Additionally, individuals may have to spend 5-10 minutes unattended in a reception area before their appointment begins. So, if your company values getting off on the right foot with visitors, quality reception area design is key.

The most recent need for a reception renovation has been caused by the infamous COVID. Shared spaces in the office environment have been put in the spotlight with a skyrocketing focus on hygiene in the workplace. Office managers and business owners want to redesign their waiting area to have easy-to-clean surfaces and plenty of space for a few people to sit while adhering to social distancing.

Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to schedule much-needed reception renovations. Few businesses can afford to shut down completely for months at a time to complete an office redesign. And reception repairs can be uniquely disruptive to regular business. With that in mind, today we’ll share a few tips on how business leaders can create a renovation schedule –– and stick to it –– when they decide to upgrade their reception area.

Account for Scheduling Variables

When planning an office renovation project, it’s unwise to base your schedule only on the time it will take to complete the actual, physical component of the redesign. That’s because a number of logistical variables can slow down or halt your team’s progress. As such, it’s crucial for business leaders to build variables into their renovation schedule. If you fail to account for material lead times, building permit requirements, engineering issues, lease stipulations, building code standards, bad weather conditions, and/or potential tenant disruptions, then it’s possible (if not likely) that your project will run over schedule. 

Avoid High-Volume Periods

Many businesses follow seasonal patterns. Or, at the very least, most companies experience periods of high and low customer volume. If at all possible, avoid scheduling renovations during weeks/months when you know your team will be busy. Planning a renovation during your off-season can minimize the impact on your day-to-day operations.

Note that some businesses choose to schedule the bulk of their renovations at night or on weekends. While this can help expedite the process, hiring contractors to work outside of “normal” hours will cost a premium. So, keep that in mind.

Utilize Alternative Spaces

Some businesses may be able to make use of temporary office spaces or entrances while renovations take place on their regular reception area. Business leaders may also consider using remote technology to complete check-ins with visitors during reception area renovations. Additionally, having certain staff members work remotely for a period of time could free up extra space to use as a “de-facto” waiting area. This may not be ideal, but it could significantly cut down on your renovation timetable.

Break it Up

Occasionally, a reception area may need a complete overhaul and need it ASAP. More often than not, though, businesses can effectively schedule redesigns in phases. By introducing positive changes bit by bit, businesses can improve their reception area design without affecting the regular rhythm of their organization.

Contact the Pros

Overseeing an office renovation calls for a huge commitment of time and resources. Since many business leaders already work 50+ hours a week, it simply may not be possible for them to take on this task as well. The good news is that by partnering with a firm like Key Interiors, professionals can ensure their office design project both 1) fulfills their original vision and 2) is completed on time and on budget. Our team has years of experience completing reception area projects, and we understand the numerous nuances and challenges such undertakings present. You can contact us here to learn more or to get started today!

Office Design sustainable office design

8 Benefits of a LEED Certification for Your Workplace

One of the most exciting office design trends in recent years is the movement toward sustainable workspaces. Indeed, more and more companies are looking for ways to “go green” and create eco-friendly professional environments. Check out this LEED certified case study of one of our projects.

These certifications can now present serious value for growing companies. LEED Certification stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” and these independently verified certificates recognize buildings that have been built with green features, sustainable practices, and energy-efficient considerations. Today, we’ll list eight benefits of a LEED Certification for your workplace.

Benefits of a Sustainable Office Design

There are two types of benefits associated with a LEED Certification –– the advantages a company enjoys from a sustainable office design, and the direct benefits of a high-level LEED Certification.

In terms of sustainability, companies can benefit in a myriad of ways from enhancing their office in order to gain a LEED Certification. A few highlights in this regard include:

  • A healthier work environment. Improved air quality alone can actually contribute a healthier office space and better performance. Employees may even take fewer sick days in offices that prioritize quality airflow.
  • Lower utility costs.
  • Reduced expenses on waste and waste removal. This includes construction waste as well.
  • Increased employee retention, productivity, and morale. Offices that are full of natural elements, bright lighting, and clean areas can all contribute to enhanced employee performance.

Even if you don’t earn a LEED certification, bolstering your office’s sustainability can bring about these benefits as well. Making incremental progress toward a greener workplace is better than standing still! (Note also that companies themselves cannot gain a LEED Certification –– only buildings or neighborhoods. So even if you don’t own your building, you can still make eco-friendly improvements and increase your company’s sustainability. Doing so just may not translate into a LEED Certification.)

Direct Benefits of a LEED Certification

In addition to all of the indirect benefits a company can gain from simply opting for a more sustainable approach, there are also some key direct benefits they can access by achieving a LEED Certification.

  • The first, and most tangible of these is the ability to apply for certain tax rebates and zoning allowances.
  • What’s more, buildings with a LEED Certification are almost certain to go up in value –– should you ever decide to sell your office space and relocate.
  • A LEED Certification also enables a company to use that information for public relations and marketing purposes. This can lead to improved business reputation and make it easier for companies to attract new customers and new potential hires as well.
  • Finally, the last and perhaps the most meaningful benefit attached to a LEED Certification is the positive impact made for the environment.

It may not seem like much now, but if enough companies adopt a sustainable mentality, everyone on the planet will benefit in the long run!

Contact Us

At Key Interiors, we’ve worked with businesses in a number of fields to create more sustainable, eco-friendly workspaces that delight both employees and clients alike. Check out this LEED certified case study of one of our projects. If you’re looking to set your company up for long-term success, then going after a LEED Certification now is a fantastic idea –– and we can help you out along the way. Contact us today.

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industrial office design Office Design

Manufacturing Cleanrooms: 4 Things to Keep in Mind

Cleanrooms have been fixtures for companies operating in certain medical and scientific research niches for decades. Yet, as one might imagine, cleanrooms have become increasingly relevant for a wide variety of organizations over the past few months due in part to COVID-19. Specifically, manufacturing cleanrooms are essential for any company that produces items that could be contaminated easily by particles in the air. With all of that in mind, today we’ll highlight some key facts about cleanrooms, how you should go about creating one, and what you can do to ensure your employees, partners, and products are safe. Check it out here:

Determine Your ISO Classification Level

Not all cleanrooms are created for the same purpose or with the same challenges in mind. Rather, there are 9 different cleanroom classifications as specified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). These different classifications determine how the cleanroom should be designed as well as maintained. They designate the particle count and size allowance, as well as the recommended airflow and air change rates. For reference, most manufacturing cleanrooms are either class 7 or 8, but business leaders should double-check their needs first.

Select Your Wall Type

Cleanroom walls come in three different types: soft wall, hard wall, and a rigid wall. To generalize, soft wall cleanrooms are modular and cost-effective, hard wall cleanrooms are permanent and durable, and rigid wall cleanrooms are a bit of both. It’s key for business leaders to identify how they plan to use their clean room for both the short and long-term. Do you plan to move your cleanroom? Will you need specific machines or equipment within the cleanroom? How will you accommodate electrical systems within your cleanroom? Answer these questions before you decide on the wall type and location in your factory.

Installation & Maintenance

Cleanrooms can be a vital aspect of any manufacturing workspace. As such, it’s imperative for business leaders to determine how best to create and maintain their cleanroom. Some cleanrooms come delivered in pre-manufactured parts. For instance, some organizations choose to assemble their own soft wall cleanrooms. In addition, some business leaders choose to maintain their cleanrooms on their own. While these can be viable options, you may also benefit from enlisting the help of a professional crew for installation and maintenance assistance –– particularly if this is the first cleanroom your company has built. 

Budget, Space & Time

As with any workspace renovation, business leaders should consider variables specific to their situation when they decide to invest in a cleanroom. These include factors like your available budget, the amount of space you have to utilize in your facility, and how quickly you need the cleanroom ordered, installed, and operational. While it may be tempting to rush through this transaction if you need a new cleanroom quickly, taking your time could end up saving you significant amounts of money, and, for that matter, stress!

Contact Us

At Key Interiors, we have years of experience working with companies in the medical and manufacturing fields. We know the importance of quality cleanroom design and installation, and we can help your business navigate this potentially tricky investment. Contact us here to learn more about how we can help you improve your organization’s workspace today!

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Modern Office Design: How Corporate Design Trends Can Help Increase Employee Productivity

Many employees recently set up temporary home offices . . . and recognized their shortcomings. Now, as organizations welcome employees back to the office, modern office design is being recognized as a priority. What does modern office design look like? What advantages does a modern office space offer to employees and management? How can open plan offices adapt post-COVID?

Modern office design prioritizes flexibility of space and creating environments for employee collaboration. The ideal office design is clean, inviting, incorporates natural light, and leverages technology to further promote connectivity and productivity. For example, shared benching workstations have worked well for many organizations. They facilitate collaboration and employees enjoy the camaraderie they invite. But the new need for physical distancing is a challenge that can be solved with design and furnishings.


Now more than ever, in-office teams need formal and informal spaces that safely allow small groups to meet and feel comfortable. If you have an open office floor plan, creating gathering places may require new furnishings. A small cluster of high-top meeting tables invites employees to gather for stand-up meetings. Seating areas may take the look of a lounge and welcome cross-functional teams to a common place to congregate and share ideas. These spaces should be comfortable for all – seated or standing – and should encourage interaction without feeling crowded.

If your current office design suffers from uneven usage (some areas are overcrowded, others like a ghost town) an updated design could deliver real value. As teams move back to the office creating flexible usage space can help solve immediate space challenges and encourage the relationship building conversations that bring colleagues, in-office and remote, together.

Consider what changes can made to make the most of your square footage. Do not think extremes – hard walled offices with solid doors or rows and rows of cubicles – think flexible spaces. Small window-less conference rooms (with all the charm of an interrogation room) can be combined to create open spaces with or without a door. Incorporate sliding glass panels to serve as translucent white boards and aesthetically pleasing room dividers for this flexible use space. Another design option to consider is the creation of small “quiet zones”. These can be small nooks in your floorplan or take the shape of over-sized phone booths that provide employees with a dedicated space to block out noise and distractions between meetings. These small spaces provide the privacy within the workplace that many employees crave. If you have the square footage, incorporate individual workstations. Physical barriers can help reduce noise as well as provide employees the sense of protection needed in today’s modern office design.


Productivity in the modern corporate office means balancing individual work and collaboration time. Walled meeting rooms certainly have their place in modern office design. Materials such as glass give literal as well as figurative transparency to business activity. Depending on your office layout, carving out new meetings rooms can give you the opportunity to update your color palette as well as incorporate natural light. The most important detail of your new conference room: technology. An investment in upgraded technology and wiring will be appreciated by all employees, in-office and remote.

Today’s modern conference room is wired for connectivity and ease of use. The days of “everyone” being in the office for the same work hours, Monday through Friday, appears to be a thing of the past. Businesses must adapt to the ever-growing remote workforce. Adding a remote colleague to an impromptu meeting should not take an IT degree. Strong audio and video are critical to a connectivity, so your modern meeting room design should include a large screen and adjustable lighting. A productive team is a well-connected team, and including colleagues from other offices, those working from home, as well as vendors should be quick and simple.


Modern office design can be a comfortable blending of old and new. If you are in a historical building, embrace any exposed brick, high ceilings, or unique features your space offers. From there, give a nod to nature with soft colors, material finishes and fabrics. A new conference rook table and fresh coat of paint will not update your entire space, but do not underestimate the value of investing in modern design for your office. Employees, clients, and vendors may be anxious but eager to return to the office. Give them a fresh, welcoming, and well-designed interior to encourage communication, collaboration, and productivity.


If contemplating an update to a more modern office design for your commercial interior, consider all the opportunities a re-design affords you:

  • Improve and equalize usage of your square footage
  • Upgrade your office’s interior furnishings
  • Reduce and spread out density of employee work zones
  • Create new spaces and an environment that supports employee communication and productivity

Let us help. Key Interiors is a full service commercial interior renovation and design, build, project management team. We work with clients to create modern office designs. Contact us today to discuss your project.

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Effective Meetings & Conference Spaces Post-COVID

Months after the novel coronavirus first made headlines, we are all still adjusting to the new, post-COVID world. And, while the work from home world may be one we’re getting used to, in-person meetings will never go away completely. How and where we interact, professionally, will look different. Preparing your commercial office space for the post-COVID era means reviewing the design and functionality of all conference rooms.

Architectural Photography by Norman Sizemore & Mary Beth Price

Conference Room Evaluation Criteria

In-office workers may need to collaborate in a quiet space with other office colleagues, or those outside. Whether connecting with vendors, clients, or colleagues in another office, a professional conference room is important to promoting professional communication. Rooms of all sizes should be evaluated for the following four criteria:

  • Easy to Clean Furnishings
  • Audio & Video Connectivity
  • Ample Personal Space
  • HVAC Controls & Ventilation
Architectural Photography by Norman Sizemore & Mary Beth Price

Your existing conference rooms may just need some new furnishings to allow for distancing and thorough cleaning. Many employees are excited to return to the office, so updated furnishings will genuinely be appreciated. Investing in your office space sends a real message. As we all know, connectivity has never been more important. The ability to connect your laptop, screen share, and see your outside participants on a sizeable screen is essential. Nothing wastes more meeting time than poor audio and video connectivity.

Architectural Photography by Norman Sizemore & Mary Beth Price

Social Distancing Within the Conference Room

If you have the space, build your conference room large enough to allow for up to 8 people to be in the room with 6 feet around them. Another option to consider, if you have the square footage, is a single a large space that can be divided into two smaller spaces that easily allow for four people per “room”. You may consider have these “rooms” divided by a soundproof moveable wall.

If you have tight square footage restraints for your multi-person conference room, individual desks and/or clear plastic hygiene shields are an option. We are furnishing experts and can help find the size and shape table that makes the most of your space and allows the recommended 6 feet between attendees.

Creating spaces that make your employees comfortable returning to work is an essential part of our world today. We have to be creative and think differently about collaboration and how our office spaces can allow for physical distancing and in-person communication and collaboration.

Key Interiors has the expertise and resources to help design or reconfigure your conference rooms. Please contact us to discuss your individual project needs.

Call 877.288.9919 or Contact Us

Exterior Office Design

Commercial Exterior Renovation: What to Consider Before Your Next Project

As the economy begins to recover – shoppers return to retail and employees make their way back to the office – the buildings they return to should offer a true welcoming. More than just places of business, commercial spaces serve as the setting for professional collaboration, commerce, and the “normalcy” we are all looking for. As a property owner, what are you doing to signal that you are open for business? What message is your building exterior sending?

Today’s Trends

Commercial exterior trends are changing. Glass has dominated as one of the most popular building materials in commercial design for around 50 years, but property owners recognize this material has its shortcomings. Glass is not energy efficient, nor is it the most secure. Too often, commercial exteriors lack personality and give off a “cold” feeling. Look to Mother nature as a source of design inspiration. Wood is a beautiful and flexible material to work with and can help take years off your design. Natural stone of all kinds can also add warmth and depth to your exterior. Consider how material and color work together to provide a fresh appeal. 

Energy Efficiency

After considering the value of an aesthetic update, factor in the cost savings of energy efficient design and materials. Energy efficient windows are just one example of how material choice can reduce heating and cooling bills and add to your operating bottom line. Your building exterior material choice is also an opportunity to increase energy efficiency. Brick and stucco are traditional choices, but don’t overlook new materials such as architectural panel systems. These panels can be made of resin, metal, or composite material. They quickly clad large spaces, add a layer of insultation, and make a bold statement.

Secure Style

Property security is always a factor to consider in the exterior design/remodel process. Accessibility to employees, tenants and visitors must be balanced with the security needs of your commercial space. Both design and material choice can help prevent break-ins, deter shoplifting, and provide lighting to secure entrances. When considering an exterior remodel, take advantage of the opportunity to review the following:

  • New security systems available
  • Lighting to enhance your building’s appeal
  • Lighting to help deter crime
  • Material choices that provide security (stone, wood, masonry – not glass)

‘Tis the Season

It’s not too late to begin a summer/fall exterior renovation. Now is the time to start the planning process and make the most of the long summer days. Minor updates not requiring city permitting or plan review can be completed in a short time frame. Larger scale projects that involve permitting generally take longer to get started, but Key Interiors consultative approach means we work with you every step of the process to ensure that your exterior design/build is completed on budget and on time.

The Key Difference

When considering an exterior remodel to your commercial building, Key Interiors provides you with a comprehensive and educational design/build process, as well as the “full toolbox” of material choices. For example, when updating windows, it is important to understand the cost difference between aluminum and vinyl frames. Depending on placement, vinyl clad windows could be a great cost savings. Many general contractors can quote you a price per square foot, but those estimates are “industry standard” and do not include custom design or material choices beyond the basics. Key Interiors consultative approach means that we share all options, all vendors, and educate clients throughout the process.

If you are considering an exterior remodel to your commercial building, contact Key Interiors to learn more about our process and the Key Difference.

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Commercial Bathroom Design in a Post-COVID World

The act of using a public restroom, once a quick and mindless stop, is now an activity that highlights the importance of design and a clean environment. The novel coronavirus has touched every aspect of our lives, including our time in the restroom.

In a pre-COVID era, convenience and durability were the two most important considerations to commercial restroom design. Now, the ability to touch as few surfaces as possible while “going about your business” is priority number one. Priority number two will be ability to deep clean every surface in the restroom.


Whether we are working with a client on a new design or office renovation, restrooms are always a focus. A restroom is one of the most expensive spaces (per square foot) to construct and furnish; and typically show wear faster than other commercial spaces. A restroom environment that is convenient to use, easy to clean, and durable is an asset to your entire commercial interior.

Placement of the facilities within an office interior is always a consideration, but through the lens of coronavirus, how visitors move through a commercial interior before reaching the restroom will now be considered. To minimize the number of touch points, commercial spaces that have the square footage may consider a door less entryway, like those seen in airports or stadiums. Now more than ever, thoughtful design can help your washroom facilities elevate the client experience.

What does a socially distant restroom look like? All restroom visitors value privacy, and with the mandate for personal space now part of our everyday life, the trend towards increased privacy in the restroom will be accelerated. From longer bathroom stall doors that fall just 4” from the floor (rather than the typical 12”) to gapless doors and increased usage of urinal partitions, we anticipate more privacy in design.


For both new construction as well as remodeling projects, ensuring a commercial restroom is built to the proper specifications is critical. Building codes do not change overnight, but post-pandemic changes are likely. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see new specs relating to distance between sinks, touchless fixture requirements, air purification and filtration systems,” says Tom Johnstone (Director of Key Interiors). Every restroom has at least one “wet wall”, housing the plumbing for toilets, urinals, or sinks. “I think you’re going to see more wall space with tile or industrial sheeting material that can be sanitized. Maybe we’ll see a COVID-compliant standard” says Johnstone. Other considerations like ventilation fans promote airflow and move infected air out of the room as well as reducing mold growth. Key Interiors’ build process minimizes miscommunication opportunities. Professional project management ensures total management of the permitting and inspection process.


“Touchless faucets have been around for years but going forward they will be a necessity” explains Johnstone. Any fixture that can be touchless, will be.” The market is coming out with new fixture options almost every day and the number of touchless commercial faucet options is only going to increase. Styles, finishes, different types of sensors, sensor placement, and wiring for the sensors must all be considered. We recommend hard wiring all touchless fixtures. While the initial cost is higher, your maintenance crew will thank you. No one likes crawling around fixtures to change batteries.

Toilets are typically the area of biggest concern, as it relates to cleanliness, but soap dispensers, hand towel dispensers or dryers and waste receptacles are all high-touch surfaces. Beyond the faucet, there is no shortage of motion activated fixtures on the market. Other options for more sanitary restrooms are: touch pad door openers, motion sensor lights, easy to clean, anti-rust plastic washroom stalls, and integral hand dryers built into sinks avoiding water being blown onto the floor and eliminating paper towels.

Depending on the restroom layout, it is important to consider handicap accessibility, code requirements, and traffic flow when making fixture selection. The all-in-one fixture that allows restroom visitors to wet, soap, and dry their hands without moving to separate fixtures minimizes touch points and congestion. Motion activated flushing for toilets and urinals is not new, but commercial restrooms without such fixtures will be truly dated and unsanitary in the post-COVID era.

Durability for a commercial restroom has always been important, but with the increased focus on sanitization and cleaning frequency, these chemicals will take their toll of surfaces and fixtures. We are experts in commercial interiors, including fixture selection and understand the value of installing the best fixtures for your unique design.


One thing COVID-19 has not affected – Key Interiors three-part process: Design, Build, Furnish. Our approach to creating functional and beautiful spaces for our clients remains unchanged. For decades Key Interiors has worked closely and collaboratively to deliver unique commercial interiors. With the increased focus on microbes and healthy environments, we are here to help you incorporate privacy, durability, convenience, and touch-free amenities in your next commercial restroom design.

Key Interiors is your full-service commercial interior renovation and design, build, project management team. Contact us today. 877.288.9919


Key Interiors, A Chicago Commercial Office Design Firm, Manufacturing Face Shields To Meet COVID-19 Demand

SCHAUMBURG, IL – Key Interiors is a local Chicagoland company that is accustomed to designing commercial interiors and supplying commercial office furniture. Like many businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the company to rethink its business processes and capabilities. One change to the way the company does business is having a positive impact for both the company itself and healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic. Key Interiors has transitioned their warehouse and distribution center in Schaumburg, IL from the manufacture of office furnishings to the manufacture of face shields to protect healthcare workers from the COVID-19 virus.

“Given the severe shortage of these products and the dire need, we took a look at how we could help and realized we had the ability to produce hospital-approved face shields in our Schaumburg facility. We currently have contracts with several medical supply companies and are shipping masks nationwide where they are being supplied to healthcare workers and first responders,” said Jerry Johnstone, Operations, Key Interiors (

The transition allows the commercial interior design company to meet a critical public health need and to retain about 45 shift workers who would otherwise be unemployed during this time. As of early April, Key Interiors was producing over 47,000 masks every 7 days and had received orders for an additional 200,000 masks.

Key Interiors has a long history in Chicago, tracing its roots back to 1947. Today the company provides full-service “concept to completion” commercial office design and dental office design services. The company’s turnkey approach streamlines the commercial design and construction process, eliminating the need for their clients to manage multiple different vendors and timelines as a project progresses.

“We manage the construction process for our clients from start to finish, including management of the different trade professionals as well as the permitting and inspection process. It’s very much a one-stop-shop for commercial office design that just makes the entire process easier for our clients,” explained Johnstone.

Key Interiors plans to continue manufacturing the face shields as long as there is demand. They are continuing to accept orders from healthcare facilities as well as public and private entities, that need masks. Inquiries should be directed to Key Interiors by calling 877.288.9919 or by visiting

About Key Interiors:

Key Interiors provides office interior design services from design to build to furnish to businesses and organizations throughout Chicagoland. The firm offers a full range of services including design-build, architectural design, construction management plus a design center with over 300 lines of office furnishings and contract furniture. Visit Key Interiors at

office redesign

How Value Engineering Keeps Your Office Redesign On Budget

how-value-engineering-keeps-your-office-redesign-on-budget.jpgThere are several strategies and techniques for keeping your office redesign on budget, including: developing a robust and realistic schedule, conducting space planning, confirming that adequate systems are in place (e.g. HVAC, lighting, telecom, etc.), and using advanced project management software to track and measure costs against baselines and estimates.

However, there is another extremely effective way to keep your office redesign on budget that is less widely known, because it is not an approach that most interior solutions companies can offer at an expert level: value engineering. 

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How Repurposing Office Furniture Keeps Your Renovation On Budget

how-repurposing-office-furniture-keeps-your-renovation-on-budget.jpgWhile there are many smart strategies for keeping your renovation on budget, among the most effective – and yet not widely known – ways is to repurpose your current office furniture.

Indeed, instead of replacing your furniture with new items or sourcing items in the used furniture market, it may be viable, economical and ecologically responsible to see what can be repurposed. Below, we highlight three tips to help you maximize this opportunity and, ideally, save thousands of dollars:

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The Importance of a Project Manager for Your Office Renovation

the-importance-of-a-project-manager-for-your-office-renovationWhile project managers are important in many business-related endeavors – such as launching a new product, marketing products and services, running a recruitment campaign, and the list goes on – there is one activity in particular where hiring a qualified project manager is absolutely vital: when you’re embarking on an office renovation project. Here are the 3 key reasons why:

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How an Office Renovation Can Improve Productivity

how-an-office-renovation-can-improve-productivityAs you consider renovating your office space, you’re no doubt focusing on the costs of potential options. This is certainly part of the equation, and needs to be part of your decision-making process.

Collaborative Workspace

Pros and Cons of a Collaborative Workspace

pros-and-cons-of-a-collaborative-workspaceGoogle has one – they call it “the Garage”. So does Cisco, Clif Bar and Hitachi Consulting. And over at the luxury brand advertising agency Hudson Rouge, there are even echo-reducing panels on the ceiling, and employees get high-end headphones to help block out ambient noise.

Office Renovation

How Not Hiring an Architect Saves Your Office Remodeling Budget

how-not-hiring-an-architect-saves-your-office-remodeling-budgetWithout question, architects are highly skilled, thoroughly knowledgeable, and certainly creative specialists who provide an essential skill that most of us rely on far more than we realize. Indeed, some architectural masterpieces are nothing short of remarkable and exhilarating.

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How to Redesign Your Existing Office Space for Better Utilization

how-to-redesign-your-existing-office-space-for-better-utilizationWhile you may be inspired to redesign your office space in order to create a fresh, new and impressive look and feel, there’s another valuable goal that you should aim for at the same time: better utilization of space.

Office Renovation

3 Common Office Renovation Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

3-common-office-renovation-mistakes-how-to-avoid-themEach day across the country, tens of thousands of businesses launch an office renovation project – whether it’s a re-invention, a refresh, or most often a combination of both.

Unfortunately, not all of these businesses will reach the finish line on time and in budget. And while sometimes the root causes of schedule and cost overruns are unavoidable and nobody is to blame (a.k.a. “force majeure”), many times the reasons are due to these 3 common – and certainly preventable – office renovation mistakes: 

Office Design Open Offices

Creating Open Offices for Introverts

creating-open-offices-for-introverts.jpgNext to “we’ll be announcing layoffs this morning”, the phrase that can trigger the most anxiety in your workforce – particularly among your introverts – is “we’re moving to an open office environment”.

First things first: introversion and extroversion are two widely misunderstood concepts. Superficially, introverts are mislabelled as withdrawn, while extroverts are mislabelled as outgoing. Neither of these are anywhere close to the truth.

Office Renovation

How to Maintain Business Operations During an Office Renovation

how-to-maintain-business-operations-during-an-office-renovationAs you consider renovating your office, a key issue that you’ll need to address is how to keep your people productive, your customers engaged, and your systems functional during the project.

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How Your Furnishing Choices Affect Your Office Renovation Budget

how-your-furnishing-choices-affect-your-office-renovation-budget.jpgThere are several factors that directly and indirectly affect your office renovation budget – such as whether you need permits, if you will be shifting to an open collaborative space, if you need to hire an architect, and the list goes on.

However, there is one factor in particular that is surprisingly influential, yet perhaps not as obvious as those listed above: furnishing choices. Below, we highlight some of the options that will be evaluated as part of your budget planning process.

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How an Office Renovation Boosts Employee Morale

how-an-office-renovation-boosts-employee-moraleIf you think that employee morale is important but not essential to the bottom line – then think again. An article featured on concluded that:

Less engaged [employees] are less productive, less customer-focused and prone to withdrawing their efforts and adopting counterproductive behaviour. This may manifest itself as neglect, gossiping, theft and other disruptive behaviour. Ultimately, they’ll leave — whether it’s a recession or a period of growth.

Office Renovation Space Planning

How Space Planning Helps Define Your Office Renovation Budget

how-space-planning-helps-define-your-office-renovation-budgetAs you may have discovered through your research or by speaking with partners and peers, there are many reasons to renovate your office – and all of them have to do with improving the bottom-line.

Office Design Open Offices

Is Open Office Design Right For My Business?

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Why Refurbishing Your Existing Furniture Saves Office Renovation Dollars

why-refurbishing-your-existing-furniture-saves-office-renovation-dollars.jpgWhether your office renovation budget is under $10,000 or over $100,000, you wisely want to ensure that you are getting the most value possible. And that means exploiting opportunities to save costs — but without compromising your vision.

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When to Schedule Your Next Office Renovation

when-to-schedule-your-next-office-renovationAt Key Interiors, we’ve grown since our inception in 1978 to become one of the nation’s most respected interior solutions providers. And along the way, one of the most important issues we’ve helped our clients address is when to schedule their next office renovation.

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How Creative Office Space Design Can Spice Up Boring Industries

how-creative-office-space-design-can-spice-up-boring-industriesLet’s face it: some industries continue to be perceived as a bit on the boring side. And frankly, this isn’t necessarily a negative thing – at least not entirely.

Office Design

4 Office Design Problems that are Costing You Money

4-office-design-problems-that-are-costing-you-money.jpgWhen it comes to cutting costs, most business leaders and other decision-makers focus on factors such as supply chain management, customer acquisition costs, workforce planning, product price positioning, and so on.

Office Design Office Renovation

4 Questions to Ask Before Beginning an Office Renovation

4-questions-to-ask-before-beginning-an-office-renovation.jpgRegardless of whether you want to make better use of your existing space or are “bursting at the seams” because of recent hiring activity, an office renovation is certainly a good news story for your business, your employees, and even your customers who find this kind of development impressive. After all, we all like doing business with companies that visibility demonstrate that they are investing in their stability and success.

Office Design office layout office redesign

3 Signs that Your Office Needs Breakout Spaces

3-signs-that-your-office-needs-breakout-spaces.jpgOver the last few years, one of the most important developments in the world of office design has been the emergence of “breakout spaces”. These are small areas – usually situated next to a stairwell, elevator, lunchroom or other high-traffic area – where employees can informally meet, chat, unwind, read, meditate, or even take a quick (sitting) cat nap.

Aside from the obvious benefit of allowing employees to recharge their batteries – which is great for morale and supporting employee wellness — breakout spaces boost collaboration and productivity. What’s more, breakout spaces are easy to design, affordable to create, and quick to implement. 

Office Renovation work environment

5 Employee-Friendly Office Renovation Tips

5-employee-friendly-office-renovation-tips.jpgWhen it comes to making office renovation-related decisions, business owners and other leaders need to focus on cost, schedule, scope, the impact on customers and brand, and how it will help employees be more productive and collaborative.

However, it is also wise, where practical and appropriate, to make the office renovation as “employee-friendly” as possible. After all, just as customers ultimately determine if a product or service is rewarding, employees will have a major influence on whether an office renovation truly achieves its goals, or falls short of reaching its potential.

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Creating Open Offices for Extroverts

creating-open-offices-for-extroverts.jpgIn a recent blog post, we highlighted some tips for creating open offices for introverts – so that the layout works for them vs. against them. Today, we continue the discussion by focusing on how to create open offices for extroverts.

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Are Breakout Spaces Right for Your Office Redesign?

are-breakout-spaces-right-for-your-office-redesign.jpgAcross the country and especially in Chicago, an increasing number of businesses are opting for an office redesign that makes ample use of what are called “breakout spaces”. Below, we highlight what this term refers to, and then explore why it may be a smart, progressive choice for your office redesign needs.

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Office Design Trends for 2016

office-design-trends-for-2016.jpgIt has been about a month since we ushered in 2016, and that means most folks have all tied up their 2015 loose ends (or recovered from the festive holiday party circuit!), and are geared and ready to see what interesting and noteworthy developments the new year has in store.

In that spirit, the Key Interiors team is pleased to share the 4 office design trends that we believe will shape and influence 2016, and beyond:

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Office Design Best Practices from Google’s “Nested Office”

office-design-best-practices-from-googles-nested-office.jpgWhen you generate 66 billion dollars a year in revenue, you do not follow trends: you make them! And that is why the business world has been paying very close attention to Google’s famed “Nested Office” design (see some photos here), to see where it’s something they should adopt ASAP, or perhaps stand back and eventually “cherry pick” some of the best, coolest elements.

However, regardless of what side of the Nested Office design fence you may be on – all-for-it, or wait-and-see – there are some very insightful best practices that can be gleaned from Google’s approach:

Office Renovation

3 Ways How an Office Renovation Improves Customer Service

3-ways-how-an-office-renovation-improves-customer-service.jpgIt goes without saying that businesses constantly need to find new and better ways to deliver customer service.

Indeed, reports by both and, respectively, point out that good customer service trumps both price and product in the hearts and minds of most customers. Or for the “glass half empty” folks among us: a survey by Oracle’s RightNow and Harris Interactive found that 82 percent of customers will leave a company after experiencing bad customer service. And it that is not daunting enough, a survey by revealed that customers are far more likely to share bad customer service experiences online and offline than good ones.

Office Renovation

How to Tell When You are Ready for an Office Renovation

how-to-tell-when-you-are-ready-for-an-office-renovation.jpgUnless they have just moved into a new space or wrapped up a design overhaul, most business owners and executives would almost certainly put an office renovation on their “nice to have”, “to be considered”, or “future plans” list.

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3 Dental Office Design Tips to Save Time & Boost Efficiency

3-dental-office-design-tips-to-save-time-boost-efficiencyJust like doctors and all other essential healthcare professionals, dentists constantly need to find new and better ways in their practices to save time and boost efficiency — ultimately, so they can reduce operating costs, increase quality and improve patient care.

And in light of this, one of the most cost-effective, yet often overlooked areas they can address is related to sterilization stations.    

Office Renovation

5 Questions to Ask Your Office Renovation Partner

5-questions-to-ask-your-office-renovation-partner.jpgWe are all familiar with the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Well, with over 30 years of experience in office renovation field, take it from us that prevention is worth far more than that – it can literally mean the difference between an experience that is affordable and rewarding, and one that is stressful, costly and regrettable.

Obviously, your office renovation partner will have, by far, the biggest influence on whether your experience is successful or not. But what may be less obvious, is how to choose the right one.

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Green Office Renovation: Energy-Saving Tips for Small Businesses

green-office-renovation-energy-saving-tips-for-small-businesses.jpgThese days, a growing number of small businesses are ensuring that their office renovation is also a “green office renovation”, so that it does not just improve workflows, aesthetics, customer service and employee morale, but that it ultimately reduces their environmental footprint. There are many smart and inspiring reasons for taking this route, including:

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6 Design Ideas to Promote Office Collaboration

6-design-ideas-to-promote-office-collaboration.jpgBusinesses are constantly investing in technology and training in order to promote office collaboration. And while both these approaches can pay significant dividends, there is another, somewhat lesser known way to dramatically increase collaboration and ultimately drive productivity, performance and profits: office design.

Office Design

5 Principles of Creating a Branded Office That Boosts Sales

5-principles-of-creating-a-branded-office-that-boosts-sales.jpgAt Key Interiors, our clients in both the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) space frequently inquire about how we can help them create a branded office that boost sales.

That is, they want their brand to be captured by their office design, so that it is part of their overall communication and culture; both externally in how they engage customers and partners, and internally in terms of how their workforce is motivated and inspired.

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3 Best Practices for Medical & Dental Office Waiting Room Design

dental office waiting roomFor many doctors and dentists, their patient waiting room is – as the name suggests – a comfortable, functional space where patients and their family members wait anywhere from a few minutes, to possibly over an hour.

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5 Common Flaws in Dental Office Design

5-common-flaws-in-dental-office-design.jpgAt Key Interiors, we have partnered with many dentists either to refresh their office, or lead the way on a major overhaul.

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Top Reasons for Looking at an Office Redesign

office redesignWhen many business owners and executives think about an office redesign, they tend to focus on “look and feel”. For example, they may begin to notice that their office is starting to look dated and faded; especially in comparison to what some of their competitors are doing.

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How to Implement a Healthy Office Makeover

healthy office makeoverAccording to research published by the World Bank, healthier workplaces also generate healthier profits. Or, to make the same point but in a rather more daunting (yet perhaps more memorable) way, a survey by the American Psychological Association found that unhealthy workplaces contribute overwhelmingly to employee stress – which costs employers across the country a whopping $300 billion each year in stress-related healthcare and absenteeism.

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How to Avoid These 5 Common Office Renovation Mistakes

common office renovation mistakesMany “Reality TV” shows and websites are dedicated to taking us behind the scenes of disastrous home renovation projects – which are the kind that spiral downwards and turn into a gaping, terrifying money pit!

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Office Renovation Insights: 4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Small Dental Office


It is a common scenario that unfolds in dental offices across the country: you and your team feel as though you are “bursting at the seams” some days, and yet you do not want to change locations – either to avoid the costs, or because your roster of patients wants you to stay right where you are. Fortunately, you can find a surprising amount of space – and make your space utilization more efficient and effective – through an affordable office renovation.

Office Renovation

3 Office Renovation Tips to Improve Employee Happiness

office renovationJust how important is employee happiness to the bottom-line? A study at the University of Warwick discovered that happier employees led to a 12 percent increase in productivity – while unhappy workers diminished productivity by 10 percent. As the researchers concluded: “We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings“.

office redesign

Who Should Have a Say in Your Office Redesign?

office redesignOne of the most beneficial aspects of an office redesign, is that it gives businesses an opportunity to collaborate and integrate the opinions and needs of different groups – each of whom has a valuable piece of the overall puzzle.

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Why Redesigning Your Office to Go Green Delivers Higher ROI

redesigning your officeAs you already know, redesigning your office to go green is, in itself, a visionary decision — because as the old saying goes, “if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem”. Reducing your environmental footprint definitely makes you the former!

Dental Office Renovation

How to Design a Modern Dental Clinic

Design a dental clinicIn your dental clinic, you may have started to notice an increasing gap between the lead-edge solutions you offer – such as invisible braces, same-day dental crowns, and so on – and the overall look and feel of your office. In other words: it may be time for a renovation!

Office Furnishing

How Sit-Stand Desks are Changing the Office Environment

sit-stand desksAcross the country, a growing number of businesses – from small firms to large organizations – are replacing conventional chairs and desks, with “sit-stand” desks.

Office Furnishing

How to Design Your Office for the Future

design your officeFirst things first: the notion of “designing your office for the future” does not have anything to do with trying to reconfigure your environment, so that it might be used as a set for the next Star Trek movie. Rather, it means future-proofing your office renovation investment, so that you can continue reaping the rewards for years and decades to come.

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How Your Office Redesign Can Create a Healthy Workspace for Your Employees

Office redesignThere are many rewards of an office redesign, including improved workflows, better collaboration, enhanced customer service, and a more impressive image and reputation (which is very important for recruiting and retention).

Office Renovation

5 Office Renovation Tips to Create a Green & Healthy Office

office renovationAcross the country, an increasing number of businesses of all shapes and sizes are renovating their office so that it is not just more functional, attractive and impressive, but also so that it is green and healthy.

office redesign

6 Office Redesign Tips to Transform Your Workspace

office redesignOne of the most rewarding outcomes of an office redesign is that you can literally transform your workspace into an environment that is dramatically more productive, efficient, energized and positive – which is a win for everyone: your employees, your customers, and your organization as a whole.

Office Renovation

5 Tips for Surviving an Office Renovation

office renovationAs you know, running a business is often rewarding, but it is never easy – simply because there is always a problem to solve or goal to achieve. Indeed, in business as in life, there is really no such thing as “maintenance mode”. You are either falling behind or moving ahead!

Dental Office Renovation

3 Questions to Ask Your Dental Office Design Firm

3-questions-to-ask-your-dental-office-design-firm.jpgWhether you are planning on refreshing, renovating or re-imagining your dental office, it goes without saying that you will need to partner with a proven, experienced dental office design firm.

Office Renovation

How a “Healthy Office Renovation” Can Boost Employee Morale & Efficiency

office renovationWhile enhancing brand image and impressing customers are two big reasons for moving ahead with an office renovation, there are other welcomed benefits as well, such as boosting employee morale and efficiency. And the simplest, smartest and most cost-effective way to achieve this goal is by ensuring that your office renovation supports employee health and wellness. 

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Do We Need an Office Renovation or Office Redesign?

office redesignYou may have come to the conclusion – or are heading in that direction per feedback from your employees, and possibly in light of comments from your customers/clients as well – that your office environment would benefit from a new look and feel.

Office Design

How to Coordinate Staff for Your Office Relocation

office relocationAs you prepare to shift addresses for your office relocation, you are obviously focusing on issues like layout, space utilization, furniture and finishing procurement, and so on. However, there is another vital piece of the office renovation puzzle that you should not overlook in the midst of your busy planning and decision-making: coordinating your staff!

Office Renovation

Why a Successful Office Renovation Requires Forethought & Planning

Office RenovationIt goes without saying that you know, beyond any doubt, that a successful office renovation requires forethought and planning. In other words, you and your colleagues would not arrive to work one morning and decide spontaneously or impulsively to refresh, renovate or re-imagine your environment! Obviously, arriving at this decision – and then deciding what steps to take, what to change, and what to leave as-is – is part of a process that can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months.

Office Design waiting room design

4 Reasons Why Waiting Room Design is So Important & Influential

waiting room designWhile dentists and doctors simply refer to them as “waiting rooms”, patients traditionally describe the area that they are obligated to wait – sometimes for hours – in much more colorful terms (that we cannot publish here on our family-friendly blog!).

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6 Essential Dental Office Remodeling Tips

dental office remodelingThere comes a time in the lifespan of every dental office – it could be several years after opening, or in many cases much sooner – when remodeling becomes less of a “nice-to-have” option, and more of a strategic requirement to grow the patient roster, shift towards the delivery of more profitable dental solutions, and ultimately boost the bottom-line.

Office Design

3 Office Design Tips for Millennials

office design For several years, business leaders and executives have been told that “the Millennials are coming”, and they should be ready to adjust to this unprecedented demographic shift. Well, the messaging has changed, because the Millennials are no longer coming: they are already here!

office redesign

4 Reasons How an Office Redesign Improves Company Culture