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Design Healthcare Trends

Healthcare Facility Design Trends to Lookout for in 2018

HEALTHCARE TRENDS

E4H Environments for Health Architecture, a firm focusing on healthcare exclusively, recently studied and released seven predictions for healthcare facility design trends in 2018. Lets take a look at what is to come.

📐 VIRTUAL REALITY BECOMES A CRITICAL PLANNING TOOL FOR HOSPITAL DESIGN

As VR technology becomes smaller and more mobile, architects and designers have grown increasingly able to collaborate with healthcare clients when it comes to designing these complex spaces such as operating rooms. VR benefits both parties with its interactive capabilities enabling immediate design feedback. Facility efficiency and safety is predicted to increase from VR planning. “VR headset technology breaks through the traditional limitations of a screen to put people “in” the design to experience, evaluate, and comment on everything from casework configurations to outlet quantities and furniture arrangements.”

🏥  MICROHOSPITALS

According to US News & World Report, microhospitals are now operational in 19 states. These mini-hospitals are about 15,000 to 50,000 square feet, open 24/7, and maintain between 5 and 15 inpatient beds for short stay use. This model offers greater accessibility and convenience for residents and is a cost-effective market growth strategy for providers.

📱 TELEHEALTH

We have already seen an increase in Telehealth providers in the past few years with companies like SnapMD, Teladoc, Polycom and more. Healthcare consulting firm Sg2 projects that in the next two years, the volume of virtual healthcare patients will rise 7 percent and in-home healthcare services will rise 13 percent. Sophisticated patient monitors have been installed to allow a seamless consultations especially in specialty services like radiology, psychiatry, and dermatology. Many healthcare facilities will be implementing Telehealth with treatment rooms configured to accommodate remote consultation and an infrastructure for technological equipment. Telehealth technology is also transforming lobbies, common spaces, and admissions areas with kiosks and tablets.

📋 HOSPITALS TAKING NOTES FROM HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

The healthcare industry has recently noticed a decrease in re-admittance rates for instance, when removing out-patient services from the larger hospital environment. A more consumer-friendly environment has shown to create operational efficiencies and clinical outcomes. A perfect example of this is procedures like bone-marrow transplants (BMTs). Their treatment is unique and involves two phases of extended care; the first phase they are served like inpatients (surgery and post-op). The second, is more of an ‘in-between’ population where patients are vulnerable to infection and require monitoring for complications. For these patients a facility that feels more like a hotel than hospital, with cozier interior design; private suite-style rooms; and specialized air and water filtration systems to protect immune suppressed patients.

📈 BEHAVIORAL HEALTH DRIVES EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT RECONFIGURATIONS

With the recent national opioid crisis and rising awareness of mental health conditions, hospitals are recognizing the need to accommodate cognitively impaired clients more effectively and sensitively. Hospital leaders are taking initiative in finding a balanced way to separate patients who pose a risk to either themselves or others from Emergency Department population while ensuring all patients are treated with compassion and dignity.

🏬  MOVE TO MALLS

While delivery of healthcare services continues to improve, many day to day services and procedures can be performed outside of hospitals and in community locations for ease of access and customer convenience. Established retail locations are ideal for developers of microhospitals, outpatient imaging, urgent care, and medical office buildings. For example, E4H is helping Health Quest in New York to transform a former Macy’s into a new state-of-the-art outpatient medical services facility.

⚕ ACUTE CARE NEEDS CONTINUE TO GROW

As explained above, outpatient services will continue to move from inpatient facilities, but hospitals will continue to see growth in patient numbers. As Baby Boomers age, 10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day for the next 20 years and respectively, the total demand for inpatient care will grow. While servuces are pushed to outpatient facilities, architects must design to maximize efficiency of space and movement of medical staff to serve inpatient populations.

Read the original article here.

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Tips & Tricks Trends

Eating Healthier While Working from Home

The year 2020 is almost over yet COVID-19 remains at large in every community. With the upcoming flu season approaching this winter and the increase in COVID-19 cases once again spiking in countries across the globe; keeping our bodies healthy as possible has never played a more vital role in our lives than now. While the search for a viable vaccine looms, it is important to minimize your trips out in public in order to lessen the chances of catching the virus, in the mean-time, our body’s immune system will need to be strong enough to fight back with the support of a healthy diet.

For those of us who continue to work from home, it is easy to give into the habit of stress eating and binging our favorite comfort foods. For instance, maybe you’re on a conference call, and you’ve started snacking on a bag of chips, and soon after realize the bag is half empty; or you’re stressed from working all day, and forget to eat so you’ve ordered takeout for the 3rd time in a week. One thing’s for certain, adapting to this new working situation has thrown our eating habits out of whack.

While it is safe to say that the previous examples mentioned won’t immediately hurt you, keep in mind that decreasing your intake of junk food in favor of more nutritious foods will prove to be more beneficial to your health during this pandemic.

Below are some tips on how to eat healthier while working from home and a few additional suggestions on what to buy on your next trip to the grocery.

  1. Prepare your meals in advance – The fact that you’re at home, makes you more prone to visiting your fridge, even when you’re not hungry. The freedom to eat whatever you want, whenever you want is very tempting, though it may hinder your concentration with work and overall productivity. Prepping your meals in advance can help prevent unnecessary trips to the kitchen. According to WHO (World health organization), “adequate nutrition can raise your productivity levels by 20 percent on average.” So, dice up those vegetables and marinate your meats ahead of time if you plan on making salads, chicken entrées etc. for the next day, as this is a great time saver. Also, knowing when you’re going to eat everyday should condition the body to decrease your hunger, according to Health.Harvard, eating three to four times a day has some health benefits, such as a “decrease in hunger and fullness.”
  2. Avoid Processed Foods – Eating anything that contains preservatives is usually unhealthy for the most part, whether it’s fast food or frozen dinners at the grocery. While it may be tempting, there is no doubt most processed foods are easy to prepare and consume, which is why so many prefer them over cooking after a long day at work. However, there is a way to incorporate these foods into a healthier diet. If you do continue to buy processed foods etc., look out for the nutrition labels that are color-coded in green and yellow.
  3. Healthier Alternatives to Comfort Foods – Eating healthy while working at home doesn’t have to be boring; it certainly has its benefits too. In fact, you can curve your cravings by making healthier versions of your favorite comfort foods, therefore consuming less high fats, sugars and sodium that are found in most store-prepped items. For instance, rather than dipping your tortilla chips in bean dip or American cheese, why not try prepping a fresh spinach artichoke dip, a tasty alternate with more nutrients and fewer preservatives.
  4. Drink More Water – Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day is just as important as eating healthy. Dehydration can lead to more headaches and feeling tired, which can affect how you work. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends: 11.5 cups a day for women and 15.5 cups a day for men.
  5. Take A Proper Lunch Break – When you get caught up in your work, it’s easy lose track of time. Making it a point to leave your desk and take a proper lunch break helps prevent you from starving the entire day and could lead to a more productive workflow.

As many know by now, there are several ways to avoid getting the virus e.g., wearing a mask, social distance etc. But maintaining a better diet and strengthening your immune system is just as important and does have a significant effect on how your body will handle battling COVID-19. For those who continue to remain working from home, finding the right kinds of foods will ultimately help improve your productivity.

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Design Materials Trends

The Useful Properties Of Epoxy Resin

The best thing about working with epoxy resin is that it can be used with just about anything. The kinds of products people create with this substance are skies the limit; from mold making to jewelry and even cheese boards! What is it about epoxy-resin that makes it so popular and fun to work with?

We’re going to explore the unique properties of epoxy resin, how its used, and most importantly how it’s applied to furniture making.

What is Epoxy Resin?

This material is a thermoset plastic (polymer) that cures when mixed with another catalyzing agent (or hardener). The most common epoxy resin is produced from the reaction of two substances called bisphenol-A and epichlorohydrin. It’s chemistry and ability to polymerize with other catalyzing agents has made its application quite broad. Epoxy resin also serves as a base material for many applications such as paint, coatings, adhesives, and even industrial tooling. According to 3dChem, “commercially available variations to use with epoxy allow cure polymers to be produced with a very broad range of properties.” To sum up it all up, epoxy-resin is a very viscous substance that hardens over a period of time when mixed and exposed to other materials.

What makes this substance so useful throughout all applications is that it’s known for having adhesive qualities, the ability to be heat and chemical resistant; and have good mechanical and electrical properties. This makes it quite useful in the production of industrial-grade materials and tools like laminates, molds, fixtures; or electrical systems like motors, generators, and transformers.

While there are a variety of reasons why epoxy resin remains incredibly useful throughout every industry, one of its most popular commercial uses is in furniture making.

Filling In knots and holes with epoxy resin.

Epoxy Resin in Furniture

While it’s known that utilizing resin with furniture can also be handy for repairs (due to its adhesive qualities and being waterproof). It is also used for artistic purposes and like other industries that have various commercial uses for epoxy resin, furniture making has creatively applied it to often fantastic results, therefore making resin furniture a style of its own. Simple pieces like credenzas, benches, and shelving units have benefited from epoxy resin because it heightens the aesthetic with a touch of class.

The Art of Resin Tables

How designers incorporate resin into their furniture is also an art form of its own. The shapes and variety of materials to use with epoxy resin are entirely up to the designer, but it’s the production process that makes this kind of furniture design incredibly unique. Quite arguably, the most sought-after material with resin is wood. When it comes to applying resin in wood furniture, one of the many shapes designers will use is live edge (slabs of wood that retain the natural appearance). There are no changes to the slabs, but areas like knots and holes are filled with resin to smoothen out the surfaces. The end result to every furniture piece that uses live edge are striking since the shapes are never the same size and form; every piece ends up looking completely different than the last.

Pouring epoxy resin into river table.

Other kinds of wooden furniture that use resin, like river tables greatly benefit from live edge wood because of the unpredictable nature of the substance. The fact that epoxy resin is so viscous allows it to ebb and flow (before hardening) or change gradation in color when using resin dyes; certain sections of the table may appear murkier than others, resulting in a more water-like effect to the design.

What makes epoxy-resin very popular is its ability to be applied to just about anything. Whether it be for repairing purposes, engineering, or even making art; there is no doubt that it is highly useful for commercial applications, especially when it comes to furniture.

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Healthcare Trends

Life Outside the Office Amidst a Pandemic

Life Outside the Office Amidst a Pandemic

We are already more than half way into 2020 and the novel coronavirus pandemic for the most part, has kept everyone around the world at home. The summer of 2020 has pretty much been officially cancelled as large indoors areas remain closed as well as some beaches and parks (with restrictions). While businesses like restaurants and local shops continue to implement safety procedures in order to keep their doors open. One thing remains certain, our way of life has been drastically altered due to the social distancing rules currently being implemented; masks are now required in order to enter any indoor setting, most retail stores that remain operational offer “curbside pickup” as the safest alternative to online shopping.

The concept of “person-to-person” interaction has slowly begun to fade from our very lifestyle as we continue to find new and creative ways to remain apart from each other. If social distancing has changed office life, education and retail shopping, how does it affect other aspects of social gatherings?

The New Dining Experience

One of the largest industries currently being affected by COVID-19 is the restaurant/dining experience; a visit to the bar with your fellow coworkers and friends seemed altogether like a relatively safe thing to do. There was no need to second guess whether or not you would get sick, let alone face certain death from simply interacting with another person. Since the virus has forced people to remain cautious of what to touch in public and where not to go, many have chosen to refrain from visiting their local establishments, which in effect, has taken a toll on many of these struggling businesses.

Restaurants and bars in cities across the country have either been forced to remain closed for safety reasons, and for those that are still operational, have been required to impose stricter rules regarding hygiene and social distancing. In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has required that all establishments like bars taverns, breweries and other places that serve alcohol not to serve indoors. For establishments that do not serve customers food, are required to only serve customers outdoors. While this dampens the overall dining experience, that has not stopped people from visiting their local establishments. In Los Angeles, the city of Burbank has recently shut down streets in the downtown area to make room for restaurants to serve customers outdoors; as more chairs and tables are set up outside.

Large Indoor & Outdoor Venues

The coronavirus has also greatly effected other establishments and venues that generally have large gatherings. Places like movie theaters have been closed indefinitely due the pandemic. Large go-to theater chains like AMC and Pacific Theaters have remained hopeful for a soft opening; yet many have been met with disappointment that these places remain closed until further notice. Although, the public movie experience hasn’t completely shut down as drive-in movie theaters have been gaining popularity these past few months. In fact, large corporations like Walmart have made it a point to convert 160 of its parking lots across the country to drive-in theater, starting in August. This approach to the theatrical experience will hopefully help encourage families to leave their homes and take part in a venue that’s community driven this summer and for the coming months ahead.

Like many other venues that have been affected by the shutdown due to COVID-19, such as concerts, theme parks and art museums. Other major venues like conventions have also been forced been cancel this year; particularly Comic-Con International. The indoor venue is held in San Diego, CA every summer and is the largest convention of its kind in the world. Given the unfortunate circumstance, the event is being held online (as of this past Wednesday) for the first time in it’s 50 year history. Access to the online convention is free to the general public.

While there is a great sense of uncertainty faced during this pandemic, we can only hope that it will pass in time and that society will return to some form of normalcy in the coming months or years. Yet, the questions still remain: will our businesses thrive financially, the longer we continue to work from home? Will wearing masks post-pandemic become the new norm? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain, life outside the office has definitely changed.

Categories
Design Materials Trends

The Importance of Divider Panels in the Age of a Pandemic

How Companies Are Adapting To The Safety Needs of a Pandemic

The rise in COVID-19 cases have increased the past month across the United States and design companies have been finding new solutions to protect workers in every industry. From healthcare environments to retail, the demand for protection is high as businesses, both large and small, prepare to send their employees safely back to work.

However, certain industries are at higher risk than others. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), people working in healthcare environments continue to remain at “critical levels of risk” as they are continually exposed to the virus on a daily basis. So what solutions are being used to protect those working out in the field? One solution that meets coronavirus protection protocols is the implementation of physical barriers (or panels) and wall partitions.

The Importance Of Divider Panels And Its Increasing Demand

In the pre-pandemic world, the modern office space was known for shared workstations and collaborative areas, promoting and engaging creativity among employees. However, times have certainly changed as social distancing protocols have remained in place these past few months. Also, given the state of the economy, the pressure to send workers back into offices has never been higher. Aside from most businesses that continue to keep employees working from home, or those who­­­ slowly return to offices with fewer people; how can we all come back to an open office space without the risk of getting infected?

While not visually pleasing in most spaces, divider panels have been tested and proven to be effective against coronavirus. The “sneeze guard” has become the norm in groceries, convenience stores and large retail centers like Target and Walmart. They are effective in deflecting any micro-particles through coughs and sneezes which may be exhibited through verbal communication. The panels are primarily easy to install and maintain; as well as being cost effective for large scale productions. The material commonly used for these panels is plexi-glass acrylic sheets. However, there are certain industries that may require a higher density/stronger material; for greater strength, the panels can also be made from impact-modified acrylic, polycarbonate, and PETG sheets.

All Hands On Deck: Providing Protection to Those in the Community

Every helping hand matters as more companies are adapting to meet the safety needs in this age of a pandemic. The world economy is in freefall and businesses are looking to find unique ways to stay afloat and survive during these difficult times. This effects all industries across the nation including those operating on a smaller scale. Local shop owners strive to keep their employees working and have looked to new business opportunities and helping those that need protection against coronavirus. Companies like Versare Solutions initially known for designing room dividers and cubicle stations have now shifted their mission objective to making Plexiglass divider screens for cashiers, checkouts and reception areas. Even a Kayaking company in Minneapolis has focused on face shields after requests from friends and health practioners.

Here at dTank, our design firm which has solely focused on making custom furniture for the past 22 years, has decided to take action and do our part in the community and across the country, by providing protective divider panel solutions for workspaces in every industry.

The idea of creating a protective barrier between you and your fellow coworker may be a new concept that may take time getting used to, but given these circumstances, it is important to note that the safety of our community is paramount. Which is why the implementation of divider panels, hence “sneeze guards” are not only effective solutions to protecting employee’s working in the field, but are also a new business venture for companies willing to help save lives and a way to survive in this struggling economy.

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Design Materials Tips & Tricks Trends

Hot v. Cold Rolled Steel: Do You Know the Difference?

HOT V COLD ROLLED STEEL

Hot Rolled Steel (LEFT) and Cold Rolled Steel (RIGHT)

There is often a misconception regarding hot versus cold rolled steel and when it comes to designing with steel, form must meet function. To create quality, high-end furniture we make sure the proper materials are applied to every piece and hope to educate you through our experience in the fabrication process.

HOT ROLLED STEEL

Hot rolling is a mill process which involves heating the metal to above 1700 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing it to be easily shaped and formed. After, the steel is cooled causing it to shrink or change in size or shape giving you less control over the final product. This is partly why hot rolled steel is typically cheaper than cold rolled. Hot rolled steel is often used when precise shapes are not required. Our Swag Room shelving units for Legendary Entertainment used hot rolled steel which you can see from the matte finish and textured appearance.

HOT V COLD ROLLED STEEL

Legendary Entertainment ‘Swag Room’ Custom Hot Rolled Steel Shelving Units

3 WAYS TO IDENTIFY HOT ROLLED STEEL:

  1. Scaly finish
  2. Rounded edges on barstock
  3. A non-oily surface

TYPICAL FURNITURE APPLICATIONS:

Wall panels, shelving units, table tops, table legs, and much more.

View hot rolled steel projects here.

COLD ROLLED STEEL

Cold rolled steel process begins the same as hot rolled but instead, it is cooled at room temperature, then followed by an annealing or tempers rolling. The additional processing allows for a range in finishes, and closer precision in finished sizes.Process. Temperatures are close to room temperature during the cold rolled process and increase the strength of the finished product by as much as 20 percent. Often times, the term cold rolled is used to describe all forms of steel, but this is incorrect. For Ground Zero’s workstations, we required specific sizes and pieces for the station to have the highest quality and durability. You can see we used cold rolled steel by the shiny finish and the consistency in texture.

HOT V COLD ROLLED STEEL

Custom Cold Rolled Steel Workstations by dTank

3 WAYS TO IDENTIFY COLD ROLLED STEEL:

  1. Oily or greasy finish
  2. Very smooth surface
  3. Very sharp edges on bar stock.

TYPICAL FURNITURE APPLICATIONS:

Storage units, table tops, legs, shelves, chairs, and more.

View cold rolled steel projects here.

Looking for custom steel furniture? Contact us here.

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Client Story Tips & Tricks Trends

dTank: A Furniture Dealer’s Best Friend

dTank recently sat down with Westfall Commercial Furniture to discuss some of the trends in commercial interior design that have driven furniture dealers to work with custom furniture manufacturers. Clients who really benefit from using a dealer are going to be your smaller to medium sized companies who don’t necessarily have in-house designers and can utilize a dealers services in full. Westfall field verifies, executes space planning, specifies furniture, and installs for their clients. However, to truly optimize working with a dealer, it is important to specify custom furniture especially for pieces like conference tables or reception desks.

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With the influx of standardized, off the shelf furniture products and rapid-fire trends, it is no wonder companies are turning to bespoke furniture for quality and individuality. The demand for custom furniture in the commercial interiors market specifically, continues to rise. Therefore, vendors are expected to source top brands but also offer a means to specifying custom, one-of-a-kind furniture that no one else has. For Westfall, this was one of the major pain points before using dTank, not being able to achieve what the client was looking for. By utilizing custom furniture manufacturing you are able to tell the client that you have the resources to create custom pieces – securing a larger scope of the project for your firm.

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Not only are custom furniture design firms pushing for their product to be seen as a equal or greater option to standardized products, but dealers and architect firms too are beginning to educate their clients on the advantages of incorporating custom furniture. Often times the word “custom” is associated with longer lead times, and higher costs, but that is not always the case. In fact, custom products are often competitive in pricing and lead times making them a better alternative to basic products on the market. An evolving office landscape of open floor plans and resimercial furniture brings a need for customization that can’t be achieved through standard workstations, reception desks and even ancillary pieces. A great example of this in the modern day office would be huddle rooms.

Not to say that standardized products aren’t the best solution for certain aspects of a project, because 80% of the time they are! But to be able to provide your client with competitively priced, customized options, will only better your reputation as a resourceful vendor and ultimately get your client into the branded, unique space they are looking for.

DTANK PACKAGE INCLUDES:

METHOD

At dTank we are constantly looking for ways to improve our relationships with dealers by finding ways for them to foster their relationships with their clients. We do this by providing packages with 3D visualizations, material call-outs, technology integration, and budget conscious designs. We see dealers as the most instrumental piece in the transaction, so we provide them with the tools they need to assure their clients they are in the best hands possible.

Contact us today to get the creative process started!

Until then, here are some of our most successful projects that involved working alongside dealers to create an amazing space for the end client:

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Categories
Design Tips & Tricks Trends

8 Architecture Design Tricks That Affect Your Behavior

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1. BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR

Blue is known for bringing tranquility to a space through its calming qualities. You can consider mauve, purple, navy and violets when designing spas or wellness centers to promote relaxation and serenity. Designers will often chose these colors for bedrooms as it helps induce sleep and maintain healthy sleeping habits. If you have a hard time committing to blue, consider the striking affect of blue and white on porcelain.

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2. STRATEGICALLY PLACED MIRRORS

It is a known trick that mirrors can make a small space seem much larger by giving depth and perspective. A rule of thumb is the smaller the room, the bigger the mirror! They are best used in living areas, thin hallways or staircases, or even integrated into furniture. For instance, furniture already takes up a large amount of space, but a mirror finish will open up the room by creating an illusion that the floor extends beyond the wall and creates the perception of extra floor space. Mirrored furniture can be tricky with excess accents in a room so be sure to carefully place mirrors within a space.

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3. BLACK AND WHITE FLOORS

Studies have shown that the juxtaposition of black and white across a large space subconsciously invokes your mind to think the floor is uneven and to move quickly through the area. This tactic is most commonly seen in areas with a lot of foot traffic, such as a lobby, cafeteria, or bathroom.

– Architectural Digest

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4. WALLPAPER USED AS A DISGUISE

It is a classic movie cliche to reveal the hidden door that appears once a certain book is tugged. But this design is actually used by many residential and commercial designers. These tricks allow employees to conceal their bustling backrooms and bring character to a home by tricking guests. Using a false wall and very strategically placed wallpaper, designers are able to create the illusion of a solid wall.

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5. GREEN DINING ROOMS

Green is known to be one of the easiest colors for the human eye to focus on for an extended period of time. When used as a wall color, green is soothing and can evoke the feeling of hunger. It is the perfect color for restaurants or dining rooms where there may be an extended time spent at the table. People often associate red with hunger but this is most commonly used in faster paced environments like diners, fast-food restaurants, and kitchens where a fast turn-over is preferred.

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6. GOOSEBUMPS

The power temperature has on productivity is no mystery to those who have tried to accomplish work in a warm workplace, classroom or environment. It is more likely to be lulled to sleep during a long meeting in a warm room than a chilly one. In Eastern cultures, colder temperatures in office buildings and establishments also are a way to show status and rank of a company.

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7. DIM THE LIGHTS

Lighting in a restaurant can drastically change from lunch to dinner. You may have thought it was just a natural lighting based on time of day, but in actuality the owner is likely to have purposefully dimmed the lights. The trick behind the lighting revolves around turnover. Bright lighting invokes an energetic mindset to create a turnover during busier times of day. This is effective for fast food restaurants that have high turnover and require quick visits both night and day. Dim lighting is comfortable for guests looking to relax and spend longer periods of time in one setting. This also benefits the restaurant because these guests are likely to stay longer- for multiple courses and rounds of drinks.

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8. WINDOWLESS ROOMS

Windowless rooms are commonly used when you want guests to focus and even lose track of time. Think of a casino or a movie theatre. Windowless rooms deprive people of stimulus which allows them to focus without any distraction. In the case of a casino, the more focused without distraction, the more money spent.

Huber, Hannah. “10 Surprising Design Tricks That Affect Your Behavior.” Architectural Digest, Architectural Digest, 24 Aug. 2018, www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/design-tricks-that-affect-behavior.

Categories
Design Materials Tips & Tricks Trends

Laminate: The Stone Alternative

The design process is something dTank is all too familiar with. We want to make your material selection process as easy and informed as possible. We have teamed up with Panolam to show you some great options for laminate – stone alternative – finishes. Certainly when it comes to a kitchen, we suggest leaving the granite, marble, quartz, or travertine to its job. But for more commercial spaces, we think its a great way to cut down costs and achieve a modern, contemporary style for a creative workspace, retail stores, medical clinics, and even cafes. These environments ultimately achieve the stylistic benefits of stone with all the practicality of laminate.

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Laminate is a unique material that is durable, affordable and incredibly customizable. It is constructed by pressing together layers of heavy duty paper with a compound known as melamine, which hardens into a resin. This creates a solid veneer, which can then be covered in a thin decorative layer.

Here are some example spaces using Panolam’s visualizer app.

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Above, we alternated subtle stone patterns with wood grain laminates for a tasteful design. Designers tend to think that laminate sheets can be restrictive to design because of their kraft paper. Kraft paper is the core layer of a high pressure laminate that controls the product’s thickness, its texture and look is similar to cardboard. Luckily, Pionite® ThruColor™ high pressure laminate may be used in any high-end furniture and casework application where a solid color edge is desired. This creates a seamless finish to your design and contributes greatly to the aesthetics of the final product. Pionite’s manufacturing process provides a second generation color-through laminate that is more flexible and much less likely to chip than other color-through laminates.

Here is an example of the difference between what a ThruColor™ laminate would look like compared to a standard laminate.

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Panolam also offers a variety of finishes. If you are trying to achieve the sheen of real granite or marble, Panolam has a high gloss finish that will give you the reflective quality often seen on natural polished stone. The finishes range from velvet and soft leather to crystal and aged bark. For this application, high gloss would likely be your best option. Below you can see the difference between the gloss finish (left) and textured suede finish (right). The pattern is ‘Man on the Moon’, a powerful granite featuring an opalescent pearl with a slight patina. As you can see below, the high gloss intensifies the color and creates a smooth reflective surface. The suede finish adds texture but dulls the overall color of the pattern. Some may prefer this for a more subtle design.

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By the end of this process you can have a high-end fabricated furniture piece that resembles stone for nearly half the price but with all the practicality. Here are some examples of designs we have produced for our clients. These designs are able to be fabricated using stone or laminate.

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Categories
Design Events Trends

NeoCon 2018 Product Preview

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MAHARAM

Each year, Maharam transforms its Chicago showroom into an open gallery space in which a minimum of product can be shown to its best advantage. Their overall presentation is sure to keep you interested and interacted. Recent projects include collaborations with names like Paul Smith, Hella Jongerius, Alexander Gerard, and many more. Maharam textiles are included in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Stedelijk Museum, among others. Maharam is the recipient of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Design Patron Award (2007) for its longstanding support of design and cultural initiatives. (Booth 1188)

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ICF GROUP – BILGOLA LOUNGE CHAIR

We have our eye on this minimal yet sophisticated lounge chair. Its neutral, earthy tones provide a welcoming environment to its otherwise architectural framework. Inspired by the Australian modernist architecture prevalent on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Bilgola is a lightweight lounge chair. The chair features an exposed linear frame, paired with a canvas sling support and voluminous cushions. The piece is stackable and appropriate for residential and commercial use. (Booth 7- 10058)

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KNOLL TEXTILES – “BETWEEN THE LINES

For those interested in functional, fashionable and durable textiles. Beauty meets performance with confident and modern interpretations of the stripe. Color and line work are expertly combined in this collection of high performance fabrics. Vinyl and polyurethane fabrics combine high durability with easy clean-ability. All fabrics are stain & water resistant, making them an excellent choices for high traffic areas. This collection is great for commercial, corporate and especially healthcare. It has high durability and is bleach cleanable. Some custom colors available with a minimum of 600 yards. (Booth 1111)

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HALCON – MOTUS

Halcon is no stranger to NeoCon, winning Best of awards several years in a row. Their chic table system is high on our list for visiting this year. The new line MOTUS is a collection of adaptable folding tables and mobile accessories that allows an effortless transformation from boardroom to flexible, multi-use space. The design is clean, modern, and timeless. The functional elements of table ganging, caster locking, leveling, cable management, and power distribution have all been thoughtfully engineered to simplify the user experience. MOTUS delivers advanced function within the form of a design classic. (Booth 10-121)

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INDIANA FURNITURE – SQUARE ONE

Space Division. Redefined. Square One is the clean, simple way to provide space division, functionality, and architectural design to any zone within the working environment. With individual building blocks that securely connect to one another and accessories like dry erase boards, acrylic inserts, tackable and acoustical panels, the personalization of Square One is only limited to your imagination. Square One is made of solid wood, providing a sustainable material for the workplace and bringing warmth and beauty to any space. (Booth 1054A)

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DAVID EDWARDS- SWINGS COLLECTION

Swing by David Edwards’ booth for a peak at their newest collection “Swings“. Swings are an aesthetic piece of furniture, simple enough to blend with the surrounding setting. It allows people of any age to feel like a child while getting their blood flowing and heart rate up. Swinging allows the individual to control and produce the momentum by pumping their legs. Lastly, it allows them to practice balance both physically as well as between work and play. (Booth 331)

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DTANK – COART ACOUSTICS

dTank Furniture takes a new approach to dealing with sound, space, and art. Their newest product, CoArt Acoustics, combines an effective acoustic solution with custom and ready-made art, offering interiors endless configurations for a custom fit. CoArt Acoustics is a framed acoustical panel wrapped with a printed fabric that serves a variety of purposes but most notably solves acoustical issues while branding a space with ready-made or custom art. Key features include double-sided and interchangeable art fabric, dry-cleanable fabric up to 100 feet long, and turnkey installation. (Booth 7-2004)

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HAWORTH – BANDAS SPACE

Bandas Space is a playful line of rugs with unlimited flexibility. Use them alone, place them end to end for a long runner, or mix and match patterns to create wider rugs with unique designs. The unique combination of texture and linework makes it a must see at this years NeoCon. The line is designed by Patricia Urquiola. Crafted of rich wool and embellished with a variety of decorative techniques, Bandas Space brings the warmth and comforts of home to the workplace. (Booth 312)

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LUUM TEXTILES – TACTILITY

The Tactility Collection by Suzanne Tick explores the diversity and expressive nature of a surface through fiber, structure, color, pattern, and dimension. The collection offers new classics, modernized through pattern and color. Patterns and constructions are inspired by time-honored textile techniques, such as quilting, moire effects, and spinning. The palettes reflect a more nuanced and experimental approach to color by offering a broader selection of softer shades and tech-inspired brights. (Booth 1043)