Home away from home

The growth of hospitality- and residential-inspired designs within the corporate setting to entice new candidates is evident today, which has ushered in what some call the “resi-mercial” trend.

Today’s workforce is a mix of multiple generations — from baby boomers to Gen Z — who desire workspaces that cater to their evolving needs. Employers are, now more than ever, driven to meet those needs to find/retain a skilled workforce. The growth of hospitality- and residential-inspired designs within the corporate setting to entice those candidates is evident today, which has ushered in what some call the “resi-mercial” trend.

“People spend the majority of their lives at their workplace,” said Tina Li, designer, Bialek. “If you really let that sink in, it is then a natural progression for employees to seek the comforts of home while at work. As the workplace trend shifts from formal to informal, the addition of more variety of workspaces and workplaces having a variety of work type options, the residential influence will only continue to increase.”

In the past, designers said workplace concepts differed greatly. “I think previously we might have looked at design as more of a one-size-fits-all solution,” said Mackenzie McCulloch, senior project designer, HOK. “I think as companies are becoming more individualized and trending toward individualized brands, we are understanding that no one’s identity is the same. We are also looking more at hospitality, being warm and inviting and less formal — removing formality to make people feel more relaxed. When you are relaxed and comfortable you are doing your best work.”

John Sadlon, managing principal of workplace, Perkins+Will New York, agreed that work styles have shifted significantly in recent years and, in response, companies are dedicating more square footage to amenity spaces and collaboration areas as a means by which to encourage greater interaction amongst employees. “Integrating elements of residential and hospitality design creates a more unique and inviting workplace,” he said. “There is frequently a mix of commercial and residential or hospitality aesthetics within a single space.”

Workplace design with a more relaxed and homier feel is greatly impacted by the flooring selection. But, how exactly are flooring choices changing to suit this new aesthetic? “We are asked more and more to include area rugs to add softness in areas where a hard flooring surface was specified,” said Bialek’s Li. “The rise of carpet tile vs. broadloom allows for more creative patterning, even when using just a single pattern/color. The delineation of spaces is most easily identifiable through a change in flooring material.”

Overall, designers agreed that no matter the brand, size or location, evolving flooring styles play a pivotal role in the creation of the resi-mercial workplace aesthetic.

Following is a curated selection of new flooring lines that can help relay that residential feel within the corporate environment.

Patcraft: Artefact Collection

“The move toward residential-inspired design has evolved over the past decade. Today, almost every Patcraft collection we introduce is designed to provide comfort underfoot, feature rich, calming colors and nurture a level of comfort that is ideal for the end user. Our Artefact collection is designed to meet these trends through materiality, texture and color. With four distinct yet coordinating styles, designers can incorporate warmth and comfort into the final design of a space.”

— Shannon Cochran, VP of product and design

Shaw Contract: Suited

“Suited is designed in a thoughtful way to capture the tactile softness and sense of place that you feel when you are at home. This feeling is a conduit to create an innate confidence to the workplace environment where everyone feels the comfort to connect and be their best selves.”

— Reesie Duncan, VP of global design

Novalis: RSRV

“When designing corporate spaces, some designers draw inspiration from their hospitality background to create spaces that are appealing and visually interesting as to create a great workplace experience for employees and guests alike. By mixing designs, colors and natural palettes from the AVA line, designers can create beautiful floors that exceed owner expectations.”

— Melissa Quick, commercial product & marketing manager

Roppe: Northern Timbers/Northern Parallels

“Northern Timbers and Northern Parallels luxury vinyl plank and tile offer the look of natural elements such as wood, stone or marble flooring that are reflective of residential design, while being constructed for commercial use. Our products are made in the USA offering durability and ease of maintenance for years of long-lasting beauty.”

— Dee Dee Brickner, marketing manager

Mohawk Group: Textural Effects

“The idea of ‘resi-mercial’ design is all about bringing a sense of warmth and coziness into commercial workspaces. Resi-mercial, as it relates to contract flooring, like Mohawk Group’s Textural Effects, evokes a harmonious palette, soft high-pile textures, organic patterning and an overall aesthetic that promotes balance in health and wellness. Resi-mercial brings in that more personal aspect – a sense of familiarity that reminds you of home or any place where you feel most comfortable.”

— Jeanette Himes, director of design, workplace, retail and TI

Armstrong: Rigid Core Vantage

“Initially the trend toward giving commercial spaces a more residential design look focused on LVT, but now we’re seeing rigid core products make their way into these projects as well. Resilient products like these enable property owners to create a comfortable, home-like environment, coupled with the durability and performance attributes necessary in high-traffic commercial spaces.”

— Yon Hinkle, director, product design & innovation

Karndean: Korlok Select American barnwoods (salvaged barnwood)

“In environments like hotels, assisted-living facilities and even in corporate settings, it’s important that people feel at home, as they either live there or spend a significant amount of time there. Warmer color tones, including the browns in our Salvaged Barnwood, create an instant sense of ease and comfort, while the ability to incorporate pattern adds visual interest but isn’t overly contemporary or commercial.”

— Katherine Caringola, communications manager

Tarkett: Tatami System collection

“This flexible, modular, disruption of the conventional broadloom platform, delivers a more residential feel through added texture, comfort and aesthetic elegance, vs. utilitarian modular carpet tile.”

— Terry Mowers, VP commercial design

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