Many an office is criticised for having a somewhat cold, clinical feel, creating an uncomfortable environment in which to work. On the other hand, the concept of home-based working is seen as being full of potential distractions and often a detriment to productivity. Now, an emerging design trend is seeking to provide the perfect middle ground, by combining commercial and residential design to create a concept known as resimmercial design.

A literal slamming-together of the two aforementioned fields of design, resimmercial design seeks to create a comfortable, adaptable and inviting environment in which to work, promoting a relaxed and creative atmosphere in the process. In theory, this allows employees to work where and how they want.

Jennifer Callahan, market development manager at office furniture manufacturers Allsteel, says of the rising design trend, “As a manufacturer, our clients want a range of solutions that reflect more of a residential environment – an inviting living room space, a communal dining or café space, all with a casual comfortable feel, yet with the commercial quality that our clients expect.

“More and more companies realize this type of environment helps with employee recruitment.

“Giving employees control over their environment by providing a range of settings allows them to work how and where it best suits them,” continues Callahan. “It keeps them more engaged, allows them to do their best work and it shows their employer understands that the workplace experience is critical to both the employees and the employer’s success.”

So, what are the key features of resimmercial design?

Warm and Inviting Materials

Materials such as wood, felt, cork and velvet are the favoured in resimmercial design, according to Winnipeg-based S3 Interior Design. They help to make the space feel more inviting by incorporating elements of home design, and can significantly brighten up a potentially dull office environment.

Casual, Open Areas

At home, you’re unlikely to constantly shut yourself away in a small cubicle and rarely come out to see the world (unless you’re a teenager, of course), so why shouldn’t this be true in the office? Resimmercial design incorporates open, casual seating and meeting areas in order to promote collaboration and cooperation, providing a direct equivalent to our lounges and dining areas at home. Opening up conversation between colleagues in this relaxed atmosphere will assist in building upon working relationships, helping employees to work better as a team.

Homely Furniture and Design

Arguably the main proponent of resimmercial design is the choice of furniture pieces and their designs. Avoid the use of sharp edges and squared angles; instead opt for more rounded furniture for your meeting room and other areas, selecting pieces that wouldn’t look out of place in your dining room at home. Of course quality is still a sticking point, but the aesthetics are arguably just as crucial. Metal filing cabinets and shelving are highlighted as a detriment to this ‘homely’ feel, so instead draw inspiration for home design themes.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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