Getting Grounded: Turf Inspired Seating and Grass Installations in the Office

We spend most of our day inside at work. But that doesn't mean the sunshine has to feel quite so far away. Bring the outdoors indoors with turf inspired seating or grass installations. This is particularly a great option for stadium seating and open floor space.

Add some color and freshness with turf inspired setting in break out areas. Great for personal work and meet ups.

Use a fabric that mimics grass as an upholstery option for furniture. The benches above are also made with unfinished wood and placed on wheels for a natural feel and multi-functional design.

The seating installation above has grass weaving between seats so that workers can face outward or inward (and maybe even feel the grass between their toes).

A grass inspired rug is a great way to brighten up a room.

Grass inspired stadium seating is also great for lecture and presentation rooms.

Create rolling hills and playful shapes with turf inspired seating. 

Turn your wall to art with sculptural wall paneling

Sculptural wall paneling brings a space to life by adding three-dimensional architectural components. Texture immediately draws the eye and creates an artistic focal point. 

modularArts created InterlockingRock panels that can easily be layered together and cut to accommodate any wall shape. 

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Wall paneling with metals and woods is a great way to create a modern look. Above, the slight variation of color and exposed bolts emphasizes an urban raw feel.

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

The design above plays with gradient so that part of the wall raises. Those areas that are lifted also use color to highlight this variance. If this is done to a ceiling, it could be interesting to add lighting along the exposed cracks.  

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

The use of an inlayed pattern above draws the eye and carries the viewer across the space. Turning the wall into the main statement of the room makes it easy to use minimal and simple furniture design. This is also a good option for transitional spaces, like this hallway, where furniture is not needed.  

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Wall texture is more than artistic form, it can function to aid acoustics.

Above, the use of pattern helps to absorb sound making it a great option for offices or restaurants. I particularly like the way the repeating pattern starts to fade out and darker neutrals transition to white and pops of sky blue.   

To have a desk or not have a desk? Advantages and disadvantages to personalized work space at the office

It has been the main working assumption that employees need a personal desk to make their own. However this may not be necessary for every office environment. Are there advantages to working in shared communal spaces and what would that look like? How would this choice impact company culture?

Here in Silicon Valley open work space has become the standard trend. Without cubicles there's a sense of connectedness and community. Since everyone is out there together, everyone is equally valued. This energy can inspire purpose, motivation, and accountability.

How a company arranges open seating may be based around team, project, or client. This depends on the business and where the most direct communication is needed. To increase ease of contact between collaborators means less emails and faster internal updates. There is a level of flexibility in this model because teams, projects, and clients shift. Furthermore, employees often work with multiple teams, projects, and clients. Therefore deciding the best method for seating has to take into account this fluidity.

Regardless of organizing around collaboration, there are also times when employees need to retreat to private work areas. Open office design should always have a variety of zones such as conference rooms, casual seating, or partially walled spaces.

Seating choice empowers employees to take care of their personal well-being by deciding which space will support their most creative and productive self.

Perkins+Will performed an in-house experiment where part of an office opted to let go of their personal seating and choose a new place to sit every day. The goal was to explore better use of space and how this could benefit the employee, company, environmental footprint, and research about mobility in the workplace. Some things they discovered: 1. This could make it difficult to find each other. 2. They needed more personal storage. 3. There was low cleaning accountability. And 4. Technological needs vary, and with this seating model either every desk is equipped the same, or there are technology created zones of work.

In this way without any seating coordination, it may be difficult for teams to collaborate and employees may waste time carrying items, cleaning, and gaining access to proper technology.

Seating arrangements based on team, project, or client, allow a company to better internal communication and thus productivity. While this is a flexible model, employees have a desk for a period of time where they can keep their work organized and place grounding personal mementos. However inevitably employees will be working with other teams, projects, and clients and so have to find other communal spaces to gather. With the popularity of open work space, desks are no longer personal silos, and yet how a company chooses to organize people together is still up for exploration. Just how personal or communal a space needs to be depends on the business and employee needs.  

Flexible Office Design: Spaces that serve employee solitude and collaboration

In today's workplace employees move between individual work flow and collaboration. Flexible space design offers employees choice. There are a few ways to create multi-functional areas so that design simultaneously supports a private work session or a small group meeting. 

Above F2Design incorporated a repurposed shipping container to create multiple zones for the office. In one moment this is a quiet space for focus. In another moment, a small group gathers here to check in. Then later, someone lays down on the net ceiling to take a break. 

The point is, the space is flexible enough to accommodate various needs. 

Modular seating allows you to play with different formations for seating areas. The use of modular furniture, which can quickly be arranged to accommodate small or larger work sessions is an easy way to keep the space flexible. 

Designing an island area allows people to choose how to sit and which direction to face, creating the possibility for solitude or collaboration. Adding small tables and cushions offers more options for work and gathering.

Below, these tree house inspired pieces on wheels and can come together to connect into a larger unit or remain separate for private work space. They were designed specifically for a co-working office where there are constantly new groups of people coming and going and flexible design is critical.   

The Power of Paint: Unique Wall Murals for Your Space

At F2 we like to make a statement by playing with bold wall color and incorporating painted patterns. Color and pattern direct the eye and lead the observer through space. Varying the design of a single wall or entire room creates different zones of use. When you mirror color and pattern in two areas, they can also become linked. Often in larger open spaces we will repeat aspects of a mural design in order to connect the space into a cohesive story. 

In the image below, we used geometric patterns in repetition to create a clean look that is similar to wallpaper, but feels like an indoor street mural. Painting the pattern allows you to choose how much of the wall to cover and how subtle or dramatic your look. We like to work with local artists to design one of a kind murals specific to the project and relevant to our client.

Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider a wall mural for your home or office:

  • Represent local artists, create your own art, and rock an original art piece on your wall

  • Have a small space? No worries- paint, color, and pattern are an easy way to create a dynamic design without having to physically take up space

  • Change it up! It's easy to paint and repaint- allow your space to be fluid and exploratory

In the image above we played with painting the negative space instead of the pattern itself. Simply tape off wall sections and fill in with color as you feel inspired. In the image below we balanced bright pink with neutrals through the use of pattern.

Reduce Employee Stress Through Design: Incorporating Repurposed Wood and Air Plants

The workplace can easily become stressful, but it’s difficult to be an imaginative and productive employee when we are clouded by stress. The design of a space can help to facilitate ease and comfort in a work environment.

F2 Design has made sure there are always natural elements added to our projects for just this reason. Aesthetically juxtaposing modern furniture with the use of greenery and raw wood creates an open, clean, and fresh feeling. Below, F2 created a repurposed wood wall and added moss and air plants as a way to make the space feel more alive. 

Air plants are a popular design element because they do not require soil in order to live. You can make your own terrariums or hang them with an art piece. We also created an air plant wall with simple prongs so that the plants appear to be floating. 

Above we used repurposed wood and added floating air plants. Below, the textured wood in contrast to the green paint adds a dynamic design to a smaller conference room. F2 enjoys the use of bold color because it brightens the space. 

Incorporating natural elements into space design can bring the calm we feel outdoors indoors. A relaxed work environment allows employees to be open to inspiration and thus create more innovative and productive work.