CHALLENGE: Our design firm, located in Colorado, specializes in residential interior design spaces. I recently have branched out and our firm now is involved in more and more commercial interior design projects. Our most recent project includes the redesign of a large 3,000-square-foot medical office lobby. The facility specializes in diagnostic imaging and the second half of the space includes dentistry.
Our main area of concern is that large 3,000-square-foot lobby!
The space includes a waiting area, around 700 square feet, with
many large-scale windows. The view is magnificent. Our challenge
is to protect the view in this large space but also to offer privacy
in one corner of the building.
Please offer some suggestions on color and texture and how we can
make this space work, yet meet the needs of the client by preserving
the view and offering privacy in one area of the lobby.
the view and allowing for privacy can be a designer’s challenge
in many a commercial space. Added to this challenge is the continuity
that is important in a space this large. The importance of design
transition is at the top of the list.
Let’s start by addressing the area of open windows. Warmth
is the key here. The space must include a warm and inviting color
scheme, including textures that will give a feeling of calm to the
patients that will come to this building for many different reasons—many
worrisome and unpleasant. Medical facilities, hospitals and others
are turning toward a warm and inviting environment that will allow
the patient to feel comfortable, while visiting this space.
The theory of color choices and textures is a subject all its own.
A great book I would suggest reading is Leatrice Eiseman’s
“Color for Your Every Mood” (Capital Books, 2000). I
would suggest a few color scheme choices. The first to include the
palette of warm golds and browns. Other suggestions would be a scheme
that would include some calming colors such as a warm green. Even
though green comes from the cool side of the color wheel, undertones
in the green family can include warm choices. Nature always relaxes
us; just envision youself sitting outside in a park-like setting.
Frank Lloyd Wright, architect, always believed that to bring the
outside inside is the best choice for the client. I do agree with
his philosophy. I would suggest looking through books on the architectural
designs of Wright and you will be inspired! He always incorporated
many windows into his buildings. Colors such as orange, brown and
additional shades and tints of these colors were always incorporated
into his interior choices.
Also, think wood—lots of wood. Wood in warm tones will be
able to contribute to the texture and feel of the space. Try and
stay away from cool, smooth, cold surfaces in the building.
The windows will create a sense of open and calm, if the correct
fabrics and treatments are used. Soft shades in warm tones that
open and close easily will add texture and warmth to the space.
A deeper shade of the same window treatment can be added to the
corner area for a cozier feel.
Remember to think texture and soft patterns to add interest to this
space. The warmer, the cozier in a professional setting.
Editor’s note: This is a continuing series of articles
written by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many
questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings as well
as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business. If you
have a question you would like Anderson to address, please send
c/o Draperies & Window Coverings
1724 E. Grand Ave.
Lindenhurst, IL 60046
Fax: (847) 356-9013
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience in the
residential and commercial areas of interior design. She is currently
a faculty member at two Southern California colleges. Anderson has
been featured in numerous books and publications.