Categories
Office Design office layout Office Renovation

3 Office Bathroom Ideas to Inspire Your Renovation

office bathroom ideas

Now that people are returning to the workplace after two years of forced isolation, it’s important that their surroundings are safe and comfortable. To this end, many employers are modifying their spaces, wanting not just to comply with suggested safety precautions but hoping to attract even reluctant workers back to a physical business site that has fresh and modern design elements. Perhaps you’re thinking of a renovation yourself. If so, a good place to start is with an office bathroom. Everybody needs a restroom, and a nice one indicates management values cleanliness and their employees’ overall well-being. Here are a few office bathroom ideas to inspire your renovation and ensure your building is ready to welcome everyone back:

Focus on Wellness

Wellness is front and center these days. Covid concerns and enhanced awareness of mental health issues are pushing more and more people to assess their physical, as well as their mental, fitness. Thus, one creative office bathroom idea is to address these concerns head-on by creating an office bathroom that serves as a refuge for both your employees and your guests. Ditch traditional, “commercial” design elements meant to accommodate the masses — like long counters, builder-grade mirrors and partially-partitioned stalls — and instead consider soft, intimate touches that foster peacefulness and bring to mind a spa-like experience. Add texture and use pale, neutral colors; light; and biophilic features to create a sense of spaciousness. You might also add in seating options and a nearby private space for nursing mothers or those who simply wish to escape for a moment or two. Of course, whatever you choose, ensure that your fixtures are easy to clean and durable so that the bathroom itself is always sanitary.

Get Technical

Another good office bathroom idea involves using technology to maximize not only your company’s budget but the health of all your bathroom’s users. Touchless products can be installed that reduce the likelihood of germ-exposure, while self-regulating fixtures can be added that better control the use of water and energy, saving you hundreds of dollars on utility bills.

Go Above and Beyond

You might not believe a bathroom matters, but many people look to the restroom as a reflection of a company’s attention to detail, awareness and care. Think about it; if someone walks into a restroom and sees cracked tiles, dim light and dirty floors, it’s likely he or she won’t have a lot of confidence in the company’s values or its offerings. Applying innovative yet functional office bathroom ideas in such a private space, however, speaks to a company’s diligence and their perceived responsibility for the people who come in and out of their building (for whatever reason). Remodel your office bathroom so that people are impressed by it, and it’s more probable they’ll be willing to be wowed by you in other ways! 

The Key Interiors Advantage

There are endless office bathroom ideas that can be used in a renovation. To learn more about the specific office bathroom ideas that could positively impact the people your own company serves, please contact our design team at Key Interiors. Our professional design experience means we can help you review, choose and implement the design elements best suited to your own goals and objectives.

Categories
Office Design office layout Office Renovation

The 7 Phases of the Turnkey Construction and Interior Design Process

interior design process

The interior design process involves a lot more than simply making a space look pretty. In many ways, it is an amalgamation of several different activities: design and construction, of course, but also management of all the financial, safety, legal and administrative details that make concepts and drawings actually come to life in the most functional, appealing and profitable way. 

If you search online, you can come up with a generic “interior design process” that moves through conceptual ideation to design and then construction phases, but here at Key Interiors, we put a little more thought into it all. We elaborate on the traditional bid process so that our clients remain fully engaged at every step of their new build or remodel journey. Take a look at our own proprietary turnkey construction and interior design process here at Key Interiors:

Phase 1: No-Obligation Initial Visit with Client

Our interior design process begins with a complimentary meeting with the prospective client.  During this discovery meeting, we seek to understand the unique aspects of each project and the motivation behind them.  Before providing feedback, our design and construction experts encourage clients to share their ideas and goals for the project and ask questions.  This dialog allows us to align our services precisely with the needs of each project and lay the foundation for a successful potential partnership.

Phase 2: Space Plan and High-Level Budgeting

In many cases, we offer a no-obligation space plan along with a general, preliminary project budget and schedule. Feedback from the client on the information presented in this stage is critical in understanding if the project can be executed within the client’s budgetary and scheduling requirements.  

Phase 3: Design Engagement Terms Discussion and Approval

At this stage, we hope evidence of our expertise and experience moves potential clients to say, “Let’s go for it!” We would then present and seek approval for a nominal design fee based on estimated project value and scope.  This gives the client unfettered access to a dedicated member of our design team. 

Phase 4: Design Document Development

With full input from the client, we work to create a detailed, professional design plan with in-depth renderings and drawings that meets all safety and legal regulations as detailed by the buildout site and/or its local jurisdiction. We also make every attempt to incorporate solutions for each of the unique needs of the client, ultimately presenting a design plan that addresses the functional needs of a project while still demonstrating the individual style of each client.

Phase 5: Forensic Costing

This phase could necessitate a return visit to the proposed site (or space) with the client, this time including representatives from our trusted network of subcontractors and/or vendor partners.  We seek to understand all site and project-specific construction and/or furniture details, including, but not limited to, costs of materials and labor and solutions for potential shortages and delays. We competitively bid this project out to multiple trades to get accurate and hard, go-to-work costs. 

Phase 6: Final Negotiations and Approval

We then sit down with the client again to determine appropriate next steps regarding the project. It’s at this stage where design changes can be discussed, and plans revised in order to move toward final approval.  Once approved, the project is given a hard start date.

Phase 7: Project Management and Delivery

This phase of the turnkey construction and interior design process really sets Key Interiors apart from our competition. While most firms say they will manage construction details, not all actually maintain site supervision. Our project management and operations team at Key Interiors, however, remains visible at all times to both our client and all contractors, allowing for real time updates, improved communication, and efficient problem solving. We direct and manage the logistics of every step of construction, assembling and delivering all closeout materialsfurnishings and design elements, so that all plan details are transparent and the terms of the contract are met.  Most importantly, we strive to deliver a satisfying customer experience from beginning to end, culminating in a fully realized workspace that surpasses the ideals of our client!

Want to Learn More?

The turnkey construction and interior design process should be proprietary, honoring the needs of individual clients and showcasing the expertise of the interior design/build firm that has been summoned to meet them. The process we use here at Key Interiors follows a rough template, but the details really rest on the desires and dreams of our clients. Our clients provide the inspiration; we use our knowledge to make sure it becomes (a safe, affordable and innovative) reality (that conforms to all relevant codes and restrictions)! Please contact us to learn more about using our turnkey construction and interior design process to ensure your own project goals are met.

Categories
Office Design office layout Office Renovation

How Door Frames Can Make Your Office Stand Out: The Underrated Potential of Door Frames for Office Design

door frames

First impressions are important. For businesses, they can be critical, often affecting the acquisition of new clients and customers before anyone even walks through a door. That’s why it’s crucial for companies to pay close attention to their physical surroundings. Whether we like it or not, appearances matter, and the offices in which clients and customers find themselves as they look for certain products and services can — and do — impact public perception of a business’s standards, integrity and overall value. An easy place to start making a good impression, then, is with the actual front door, the very first thing clients and customers see when they approach an office. Take a look at how door frames can make offices truly stand out:

Highlight Branding

What better way to greet customers than with an eye-catching front door! Just choosing something as simple as an enlarged door frame can help you distinguish your office’s exterior from those surrounding it. Add in your own specific logo to the door itself, and you further transform a functional necessity into an advertising opportunity, highlighting your branding so that its hard for people to forget your company or your products.

Maximize Security

Door frames can also serve a practical purpose, keeping your business safe and secure. A sturdy, well-built door frame not only defends your office contents against invasion and theft, it can serve as protection against potential debris and/or destruction should a natural disaster (like an earthquake or tornado) strike. Installing a substantial door frame (perhaps made of metal or thick wood) signals to employees and customers alike that you care about the safety of all your office’s occupants, making you further stand apart from competitors that don’t showcase a similar regard.

Improve Functionality

A door frame that is in proper working order necessarily adds to the functionality of a space, as well. The many components of a door frame — including, but not limited to, the jamb, casing, head, threshold and transom/side lights — provide structure to the door itself, supporting it so that it swings freely and evenly. And modifications to any of the door frame’s parts can be made that facilitate better hingeing, locking and security mechanisms; improve energy efficiency; and actually make it easier to move in and out of a space. Many offices, for example, choose to install features such as door pedals and remote entry devices to their office door frames in order to speed traffic into and out of their buildings.

Add Interest to a Space

Finally, door frames can be used to add interest in a space. Unique door frames make an office memorable and, therefore, increase the likelihood that customers and clients will not just remember it, but also your products and services. Impressions are especially noteworthy when they are impressive, after all. Think about designing your office with one or more distinctive door frames (maybe with imposing transoms or intricate door panels with windows) so that you catch and keep the attention of the people who visit your office and hopefully entice them to return!

Want to Learn More?

To learn more about using office design to improve your productivity and capture the interest of the people you serve, please contact our team of professionals at Key Interiors. We understand how good design impacts good business and can help you choose design options that maximize your own objectives and, thus, increase your ROI.

Categories
Office Design office layout Office Renovation

New Office Design Trends: Faux Columns and More

faux column

The benefits of good design don’t just impact office aesthetics. On the contrary, good office design also highlights a company’s culture and helps to positively influence employee satisfaction and well-being. Studies show that a well-designed workspace can reduce stress, improve employee productivity, attract top candidates, and create a lasting impression that ultimately translates into a more robust bottom line for corporations of any size. Take a look at some new office design trends that are being used to make workplaces more interesting and a lot more fun to occupy and, thus, are resulting in happier, healthier employees and more profitable businesses:

The Addition of Faux Columns (and Other Architectural Elements)

Columns, a type of architectural element, often serve a structural function in the construction of a space, providing support for a ceiling or wall. But in other scenarios, faux columns are placed in a room as a way to focus or “entertain” the eye and serve no material function at all. Indeed, faux columns are becoming a common feature in many modern office designs because they can lend an air of grandeur to space, drawing attention to an area of an office that might otherwise seem drab or boring and/or highlighting it for a specific purpose (such as designating a specific area for seating or accentuating a piece of art). Depending on the type of material being used, faux columns can be a relatively inexpensive way to create jaw-dropping interest in a space.

Creative Use of Color

The creative use of color is another office design trend we see being used in today’s modern offices. Good design centers around four basic principles: contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. Color is a great way to focus on any or all of these principles with the added benefit of being relatively easy and inexpensive to implement. Not only can you create dramatic design effects using color, you can use it to set an office’s “atmosphere.” Studies suggest that certain hues can enhance our mood, calm our nerves and even boost our productivity. And science aside, societies around the world use color to symbolize meaning (red for passion, white for purity, etc.), allowing offices to intentionally emphasize specific elements of their company culture regardless of whether or not a certain color can actually influence behavior! Color can showcase, conceal, aggregate, and organize the elements of a space, creating cohesion and patterns that deliver a unique sense of place and purpose.

A Focus on the Organic

Many offices are moving beyond minimalistic and industrial design in an effort to capture a spirit of harmony and tranquility and encourage warm relations among and between workers and clients. The soft, fluid lines of nature-inspired designs are replacing the stark, defined edges of previous design movements, as more and more businesses realize how starved people have become for living connections. The pandemic has only intensified the shift, with companies finally understanding the value of relationships in the quest for capital gain. Instead of focusing on their own profits and worrying about cutting expenses, they are finding ways to focus on the health and happiness of their employees, bringing in plants and natural materials, encouraging collaborative spaces and even fine-tuning their green intiatives in an effort to ignite the creativity and safeguard the well-being of their employees.

Want to Learn More?

Good design matches a space to the needs and interests of the people in it. While trends can be fun and interesting options to consider during any design process, it’s always important to incorporate a trend into a design if it serves a specific function and complements the aesthetics of the overall project. To learn more about using creative design to maximize the workflow of your own office, please contact Key Interiors.

Categories
Office Design office layout Office Renovation

4 Things to Know Before Your Next Modern Office Build Out

office build out

When leasing or otherwise acquiring an office space, it’s not unusual for it to need modification in order to make it functional for your own specific business needs. Called an “office build out,” this type of construction can begin with a blank slate — four white walls and nothing else — or it can entail reconfiguring a previously outfitted space into something else. Whatever the case, the process can seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. Here’s what you need to know before your next office build out to ensure a smooth process:

It Helps to Have a Budget

Unfortunately, money matters. The amount of money you’ll need to spend on an office build out will depend on the space itself and whether or not you are leasing or buying it. Some lease agreements, for example, provide the tenant with money for customizing a space. Other situations will require a business to fully cover all office build out costs. Consider your rights and obligations and then sit down and figure out a realistic budget for your office build out project.

Consider the Space

Now, look at your space and think about your employees, as well as your overall business needs. Does it make sense to have an open floorplan or would individual work areas better match your company’s focus? Some businesses need privacy for their employees; others feed off constant interaction with their team(s). In many circumstances, a mixture of the two — both fixed and common spaces — is ideal and provides versatility for unexpected circumstances (like pandemics that necessitate social distancing measures). Consider the space and see if you can get the majority of your needs met with the budget you’ve set.

Work with a Design Team

Of course, a professional design team is a good way to protect yourself, as well as your money. A commercial design firm can help you navigate the specifics of both the office build out design and construction processes. There is a lot to consider beyond paint color and basic room configuration. In addition to working with you to pick the best flooring, furnishings and fixtures, a professional design firm will assist you as you think about larger issues, like where to place outlets, windows and doors. As experts, they will know how to avoid electrical and plumbing problems and can be instrumental as you seek permits, solicit bids and negotiate pricing for various materials and jobs

Focus on the Details

Studies show that the design details in an office environment directly impact employee productivity, as well as job satisfaction. Use your design team to brainstorm the office components that will best represent your company culture while at the same time promote your employees’ well-being. Indeed, an office build out provides the perfect opportunity for focusing on the elements that truly make a space unique, with the added benefit of potentially positively influencing your business’s bottom line. Custom features, technology upgrades, special artwork, mood lighting, green initiatives and/or special building amenities can all be used as a way to maximize the comfort and contentment of your employees, keeping them happier, healthier and more productive while at work!

Want to Learn More?

These are just a few of the tips we suggest you consider during an office build out. For more advice on how to get the most out of an office build out, please contact our design team at Key Interiors.

 

You might also wish to download any of our free eBooks containing additional tips here



Categories
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.

Categories
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!

Categories
breakroom design office design practices office redesign Office Renovation

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.

 

Categories
industrial office design Office Design office layout Office Renovation types of office layouts unconventional workplace design work environment

The Importance of Flex Spaces Within a Building or Workplace

 

The Importance of Flex Spaces Within a Building or Workspace

In the past, the question “where do you work?” was a straightforward one. There was no separation between where someone physically worked and which company they worked for. In other words, there was only one place where “work” occurred: the office. 

Now, though, professionals can and do work in various locations. A modern employee may split their time between a home office and several different office setups. With COVID-19 restrictions loosening across the country, more and more companies are utilizing flexible office spaces –– flex spaces –– to accommodate mobile workers, while also bolstering their organizational agility.

What Are Flex Spaces?

Flex space is a term commonly used to describe industrial space. You start with warehouse space, that is not air-conditioned and add office or showroom space that is air-conditioned. You can “flex” into larger of smaller air-conditioned spaces as you need. As opposed to traditional office spaces, which are leased by a single company, flex spaces are buildings that multiple companies may share and collectively lease. What’s more, flex spaces may have other work areas (like warehouses) that traditional office spaces don’t. Plus, companies that utilize flex spaces can typically access a wider range of amenities than a “normal” office setup can offer. Flex spaces may possess areas like game rooms, libraries, or even presentation theaters. In essence, flex spaces can function as auxiliary work areas for companies with a limited traditional office space or a large number of semi-remote employees.

Flex Spaces for Large Companies

Flex spaces provide viable secondary office areas for many small businesses and growing companies. However, larger corporations can also create their own multi-use flex spaces within their current building. For example, a business may employ a large meeting room as a cafeteria or a quiet area for wellness activities and focused work from time to time.

Regardless of the size of a company, all businesses should seek to optimize their office space. Being able to utilize areas for multiple purposes is cost-effective and essential to quality office design.

Benefits of a Flex Space

Small businesses, startups, and established corporations can all benefit from incorporating flex spaces into their broader workplace strategy. Some of the most meaningful benefits associated with flex spaces include: 

  • Little-to-no Initial Costs. Flex spaces are often much cheaper to rent than “regular” offices. 
  • Scalability. By making use of flex spaces, companies can expand at a sustainable rate and accommodate new employees as needed. 
  • Improved Networking & Sociability. The very nature of flex spaces ensures that business leaders will have to share work areas with other successful professionals in their region. This should naturally lead to networking opportunities.
  • Sense of Community. Flex spaces allow employees to interact with other people in their neighborhood and to get to know a location better. 
  • Tenant Contract Flexibility. Whether you need to quickly access more space and amenities or scale down, flex-space contracts enable tenants to make adjustments when necessary. 

Both property owners and tenants can take advantage of the rise of flex spaces. Flex spaces and multi-use areas can help business leaders plan for the future with greater confidence, while retaining key financial flexibility.

Contact Us

At Key Interiors, we’ve helped design flex spaces for ambitious businesses to ensure optimal efficiency, while also creating a safe comfortable environment for its users. We have years of experience working with clients to make the best of a huge variety of office spaces –– both large and small. Contact us here to learn more or to get started on a project today.

Categories
Office Design

Office Lighting Design: The Best Options for Open Offices

 

office lighting design

COVID-19 has affected nearly every aspect of modern life, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that it has also caused business leaders to rethink their office design, layout, and –– yes –– even their lighting system. Indeed, though it may sound strange at first, the truth is that a business’s lighting system can have a big impact on employee productivity, utility costs, and even personal safety and well-being in the workplace. The choices you make in regard to your office lighting design will have meaningful consequences for your staff now and into the future. On that note, here are four lighting-related features you should always keep in mind: 

Maintaining Safe Distances

For at least the next few months, maintaining safe social distances within an office setup will be crucial for the well-being of your staff. Thankfully, connected lighting systems can allow business leaders to monitor the flow of traffic in the workspace. What’s more, employees can download certain apps that will let them identify free areas in their office. Data from sophisticated lighting systems will enable business leaders to manage their layout more effectively. 

Minimize the Spread of Germs

Decisions you make in regard to your lighting system can either act to minimize –– or facilitate –– the spread of germs in your workplace. In fact, some lights –– such as UV and Ultraviolet-C Radiation lights are capable of disinfecting air, water, and nonporous surfaces. (This includes “inactivating” the COVID-19 viral strain.) 

Additionally, moving away from manual light switches can be a great way to slow or prevent the spread of bacteria and germs in the workplace. It’s possible now for businesses to invest in apps and devices that allow for team members to adjust the lights using only their phones.  

Lighting Control & Environmental Factors

Lighting a large office area for 10+ hours every day isn’t just a massive expense for many businesses, it’s often inefficient and bad for the environment too. That’s why many businesses are switching to light systems with automated control features and motion-sensor technology. This way, when no one is currently working in an office area, the lights will go out automatically. 

What’s more, quality lighting systems will allow business leaders and managers to access key data points about their energy consumption habits. This data can also be used to create more efficient schedule choices and increase the flexibility of an office environment. 

Human-Centric Lighting

Ultimately, the lighting in an office will affect the mood and productivity of a company’s workforce. Subconsciously, humans require quality lighting in order to perform at their best on a regular basis. Investing in human-centric lighting devices –– particularly LED lights –– can help lift the morale of your team and help them focus throughout the day. Of course, it’s also important to remember just how valuable natural lighting can be as well. Though we’ve discussed many complex and advanced ways to use lighting to improve business performance, simply opening a window on a sunny day can do a world of good for your team. 

Contact Us

At Key Interiors, it’s our mission to help business leaders enhance their office setup during this very difficult time. We have years of experience creating office solutions for companies of all sizes and across industries. Contact us today to learn what we can do for your business.

Categories
Office Design

Therapy Office Design: Where to Start?

therapy office design

The look and feel of any professional workplace will likely have an impact on the way a client perceives that business. Whether you’re visiting a restaurant or a boardroom, the design of a professional space can shape your opinion of the company at large. This is even more true of medical facilities and therapists’ offices. Indeed, it’s crucial that mental health professionals create a welcoming and comforting space where their patients can feel relaxed and at ease. Office design that in any way puts your clientele on edge can lessen their trust in your organization, make them feel uncomfortable, and, indirectly, have adverse effects on their progress. With all that in mind, today we’ll take a closer look at therapy office design and run down a few key best practices to remember at all times. 

Lighting

No one likes to feel as if they’re being examined or observed. Unfortunately, harsh fluorescent lighting can have a clinical look that unsettles visitors. That’s why therapists should strive to use lighting to set a positive mood for their office spaces. This could include soft lighting in the form of table lamps –– or even a fireplace. Alternatively, you could utilize natural light to enhance the appearance of your office as well. 

Privacy

For many people, seeing a mental health professional is a deeply personal decision. The last thing they want is to feel that their privacy has been compromised in any way. To that end, therapists should ensure that their layout allows individuals to engage in sessions without fear of interruption or exposure. Thin walls, for instance, can discourage patients from expressing themselves. Make sure that you have plenty of sound proofing in your therapy office. Additionally, keep your space for patients separate from all of your other work areas. Even something as innocuous as a ringing phone can derail an entire session. 

Invest in Quality Amenities

Have you ever tried to sit in an uncomfortable chair for 45 minutes? Or have you ever been distracted by a strange or disconcerting painting? If so, then you know that these amenities can have a big impact on a patient’s ability to focus and relax. Invest in quality, comfortable furniture and replace chairs and couches as needed. (A shabby couch isn’t going to inspire confidence in any visitors.) What’s more, keep your overall office design tasteful and understated. Generally speaking, subtle and soothing design choices are best in this field. 

Create a Welcoming Waiting Room

Before a patient ever begins their first session with a therapist, they typically have to spend time in the waiting room. This area can either put them at ease or increase their nerves, so it’s crucial that medical professionals prioritize this area. Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered how businesses use waiting rooms in the short-term. However, over many years, waiting rooms are usually a good place for medical pros to invest because they play such a large role in forming patients’ impressions of their organizations. 

A Few Other Considerations

Don’t forget about your employees! They need to be at their top performance so that they can help their patients in the best possible way. Providing private offices for the head doctors help them have a chance to be alone and get some paperwork done. A staff breakroom is always a good idea, no matter what industry you are in. Keep these in mind when planning for space in your therapy office design.

Contact the Pros

Creating a therapy office design that is both friendly and professional at the same time can be a big challenge. Managing to do so while also staying on budget and schedule is even more difficult. The good news is that you don’t have to build or renovate your office on your own. At Key Interiors, we have years of experience working with medical professionals, we have an extensive catalogue of furniture options, and we can help you manage any logistical issues that may arise during the building process. Contact us here to learn more or to get started on your next project today!

Categories
Office Design

10 Ways to Make the Most of Private Office Design

 

private office design

When creating a new office design, most business owners simply want to have something modern, yet conducive to productivity and comfort. However, many business owners don’t consider the benefits of private office designs. Traditionally, private office designs have been associated with a lack of communication between workers and general inefficiencies in office layouts. However, there are actually many benefits to private office designs that managers and business owners don’t always consider. So, let’s take a look at 10 ways to make the most of your private office design!

Implement Modern Modes of Communication

In the past, private offices made it harder for employees to coordinate on projects. Nowadays, thanks to communication software and project management tools, workers can stay in touch with less need for face-to-face interaction. Using private office design could help give more privacy to leadership, allow for social distancing, yet not harm communication as much as in previous years.

Personalizing Private Offices

Few people like to work in a bland office. So, if you have a private office design, why not let employees personalize and customize their own offices? This way, employees can add their own flair and decorations to work in style!

When Key Interiors works on a private office design,  we start with a few questions like the following:

  • Is this office just for one person, or is it for a small team?
  • How many and what kind of desk(s) are needed?
  • Tell us about the personalities of the person(s) that will be working in here.
  • Will this room be used for anything other than laptop desk space? (e.g. reviewing drawings, meetings with several people, virtual meetings, etc)
  • What kind of technology do you need in this room?
  • What is your furniture needs and preferences?

Decrease Distractions

One of the biggest barriers to office productivity is workplace distraction. While workers can still get distracted by smartphones and social media, private offices reduce the risk of getting distracted by other workers. 

Reduce Background Noise and Increase Privacy

There’s nothing worse than being on an important business call and having lots of noise in the background. Whether it’s coworkers chatting or phones ringing, open office designs can make it difficult to hold a private conversation. Fortunately, private office designs practically eliminate the issue of background noise entirely. 

Not only that, but management often needs to have a private conversation without making a scene or having to leave an open office. Private offices help this issue.

Create ‘Office Zones’

Private offices don’t have to be subdivided into dozens of different offices. Instead, you can still have a sense of organization by designating specific zones for individual teams, projects, or departments. This helps combine the benefits of both private and open office designs! You could also provide private spaces that aren’t designated to a specific person all the time.

Increase Informal Meetings

Many workers find meetings to be a waste of time and a distraction from daily tasks. Fortunately, ‘informal’ meetings are on the rise. Now, coworkers can quickly stop by individual offices when they need to exchange information without taking a lot of time out of their schedule.

Contact Us 

As businesses continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more organizations may look to create more private workspaces to protect the health and safety of their employees. Thankfully, it is possible to build a private office design that proves effective for years to come. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of private office designs, contact the experts at Key Interiors today!

Categories
Office Design office redesign

5 Questions to Ask Your Interior Contracting Firm

Two business leaders discuss interior contracting in their office

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!

Categories
Office Design Office Renovation

4 Ways to Stop Office Construction Issues Before They Start

Two men in hard hats discuss office construction with a laptop nearby

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!

 

Categories
Office Design office redesign

How to Reduce Potential Tax Liabilities with Capital Expenditure Projects

business and office construction leaders discussing capital expenditures

“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.

Categories
Office Design reception desk designs waiting room design

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

reception area design by Key Interiors

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!

Newsletter Sign Up

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Address

Corporate Showroom      1072 N. Garfield St.
Lombard, IL 60148

Ohio Showroom                      81 Mill Street
Gahanna, OH 43230

Contact

Illinois: 877.288.9919

Ohio: 866.755.9230

info@keyinteriors.us