Interior design’s bag of tricks helps transform old space into a show space
People might admire the outside of a building, but the majority of their experiences happen inside. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, we spend 93 percent of our lives inside!
One of the most challenging aspects of interior design is to find those “little things” that transform dated spaces into environments in which people take pleasure in what they’re doing—whether it’s learning, working, discovering, healing, hanging out, collaborating, or spending time alone.
When that happens, the benefits are many. Productivity improves, more people come, more people stay, and more people enjoy.
In this series on interior design, you will discover a few tricks of the trade, as well as some common solutions to common problems that building owners confront.
A Tricky Challenge
For many years, four dated classrooms sat near the northeast entrance of Oakton Community College. The college wanted to transform those rooms into a one-stop enrollment center.
College leaders envisioned a light-filled, vibrant space that would welcome new students. It wouldn’t be easy. The four classrooms slated for the makeover were interior spaces, meaning no windows, and therefore, no natural light.
This is where those design tricks come in handy. Interior design is about fooling the eye by the use of light, color, and materials. That’s exactly what we did for Oakton’s new Enrollment Center. Note the use of open whites, fresh greens, and illuminated wall panels that give the impression of windows.
Then there is that undulating wood ceiling that you can’t miss. Yes, it looks cool. But it’s also a visual trick! Those wavy wood lines draw the eyes through the Enrollment Center and into the next building, which has a window at the end of the corridor.
The overall impression offers a feeling that natural light is filling the space—and yet it isn’t. Some students and employees have even commented that they feel like they’re outside. It’s difficult to imagine that this was once a dark, uninspiring interior space.
Next time, we will explore how interior design can help intuitively guide users through a space.
Contact us to learn more about how interior design can refresh your space or comment below to share your thoughts on this post.