April 5, 2018
The modern office is a dynamic, inviting space that welcomes clients and employees with open design. As designers take the time to make the workplace a stylish and creative environment, the office aesthetic is quickly becoming a sample of company culture and values, conveying the best of a business’s vision and innovation.
Beyond making an impression on clients, office design also impacts a company’s bottom line, effecting productivity and profitability. Gensler, a New York-based architecture and design firm, reports that the traditional workplace went from being a formal atmosphere used to support company operations, to a space that embraces process, technology, and the employee experience. Their research also explored how improved workspace design and layout optimizes employee performance.
The timeless beauty and adaptability of natural stone makes it an ideal choice for desktops, flooring, wall cladding, conference room tables, and more throughout a modern workplace. These five trends are stealing the show in office space design to create lively, enjoyable atmospheres that boost the energy of workplaces.
Our Natural Stone Partner - Antolini Luigi & C
Antolini Luigi & C is the top producer of quality natural stone, leading the way in technology, quality, and customer service. With more than 50 years in the industry, the Verona, Italy-based company is a worldwide distributor of natural stone.
Antolini merges a respect for the history of each slab with inventive thinking, allowing the company to advance with new technologies. “Constantly evolving, the company has always supported new technology and development in natural stone processing – without forgetting the importance of quality,” Antolini’s story states. That commitment to technology enables Antolini to offer incredibly high quality natural stones that are perfected using their exclusive methods.
Among Antolini’s innovative stone treatment options is the newly-developed Azerocare treatment. Azerocare protects countertops from the most common types of damage, while preserving the native characteristics and colors of each stone. During this advanced treatment process, Antolini transforms their natural stones into extremely durable, bacteriostatic, UV-resistant surfaces. The improved properties of the surfaces protect the one-of-a-kind designs created by nature, and offer expanded application opportunities throughout homes and businesses.
Forward-thinking architects are bringing the beauty of the outdoors into the office. Wood accents, plant life décor (including living walls), and natural color palettes bring energy and a fresh infusion of the outdoors into any space.
Stone surfaces are the perfect choice to complete an organic ambience. Granite, marble, and other natural selections capture the inspiration of the outdoors while standing up to the demands of modern life. Plus, it’s easy to customize your stone of choice with different options for edges, finishes, and surrounding décor.
There are a vast array of choices when selecting natural stone, allowing you to customize the look in your space based on your desired aesthetic, from different edge profiles, to various slab thicknesses, and finishing options. Looking for a sleek, minimalistic effect? Go for a thinner edge and high gloss polish for a bright and airy look. Want a more fresh-from-the-earth, rustic feel in your office? Tabletops and desktops in a leathered finish mimic the texture and movement of natural stone, with a tactile bonus that’s perfect for creative minds mulling over their latest endeavors.
When it comes to embracing that unaltered, perfectly-imperfect look in the office, designs with dramatic veining and variance demonstrate the made-by mother nature essence of stones. Natural stones such as Amarone granite, featuring earthy brown tones, or the unpredictable veining of Wiskon granite, are both tasteful options for office spaces.
As businesses increasingly address environmental concerns, many architects are looking for new ways to design their projects with sustainability in mind. Technological advances offer more resources than ever for this, including the efficient use of natural resources (like with stone surfaces from Antolini by MARVA®), which are economical both for energy usage in buildings, and healthy for building occupants, as natural stones do not emit Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOC’s, providing exceptional indoor air quality.
“Natural stone is Mother Nature's original green building material,” writes the Natural Stone Institute. “It is neither bonded together by petroleum based resins nor created in a factory. Natural stone flooring and countertops will not need to be replaced for a long time, are 100% recyclable, and can be cleaned with pH-neutral dish detergent.”
Since stones from Antolini by MARVA® come straight from the earth, they are in abundant supply, and require less consumption of energy. The durability and longevity of natural stone also means that the beauty and quality of your space will remain for years to come, eliminating the need for frequent renovations and updates, and the environmental impact they entail.
Office seating arrangements are trending toward open-concept spaces that keep the best minds from being boxed in. Instead of typical fixed seating, many commercial spaces are opting for a variety of co-work tables, shared desks, and lounge spaces, to accommodate a diverse array of productive work environments. Centerpieces of these spaces are often a collection of long community tables, where teammates join one another to discuss new ideas and brainstorm upcoming projects.
The philosophy behind co-work spaces embraces the creativity that comes with collaboration, and makes it easier for employees to work together, rather than being segmented. Expanded seating options provide a perfect opportunity for a gorgeous granite or majestic marble with broad movement and dramatic veining. To complete the look, consider a stunning waterfall edge.
With shared spaces, it’s especially important to ensure that your surfaces can stand up to the traffic of nomadic team members. Granite and quartzite are both highly durable natural stones that will resist scratching or staining, so the drag of a laptop or spilled cups of coffee won’t leave a permanent scar. For accent furniture in a lobby, marble tabletops or chair rails can showcase the beauty of this classic stone, giving your guests something to contemplate and appreciate.
Another fixture of the open office concept is a lounge space, where a laptop-focused employee can sprawl out on a couch to contemplate their latest assignment, or employees can gather for a laid-back lunch in comfort. For the centerpiece of this space, select a bold natural stone tabletop, communicating that your best workers deserve the best office environment, as well as a natural stone counter at a coveted coffee bar.
Bright, striking shades supply a dose of energy and creativity to any office space, especially when anchored by a white background, providing a blank slate for new ideas to be born.
Whether your surfaces provide that blank slate or make a statement all their own, there are hundreds of natural stone designs to suit any palette. Imagine a white marble tabletop in the conference room, like this Calacatta OMG design that earns its name, surrounded by bold office chairs. Or, set your state-of-the-art computers on a tasteful granite desktop in a brilliant shade, such as the Verde San Francisco design, inspiring a new idea or perspective as fresh as the stone itself. Welcome clients with the glowing luminosity of an onyx reception desk, either in an unexpected shade (such as this Onyx Ice Blue design) or the incredible Onyx Ivory design, staged alongside bright, modern furniture.
Pantone describes their 2018 Color of the Year, Ultra Violet, as “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade,” that “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.” A shade that evokes galactic imagery, Ultra Violet is a bright blue-toned purple that pairs perfectly with greys, blues, and greens inspired by nature. For an exotic color palette inspired by the rainforest, set Ultra Violet alongside Bamboo Green from Antolini’s natural stone catalog, or the jewel-like Galattica Blue granite to create an ethereal effect.
Adaptability of Design
An emphasis on networking and relationship-building means office hours sometimes extend beyond the usual 5pm quitting time, so the needs of the space may change from day to night. Offices must have the ability to double as event space, conference space, and more. As a result, many designers rely on customizable, movable furniture, such as modular design systems, that can shift to accommodate the changing needs of the office.
Fortunately, thanks to the adaptability and timeless beauty of natural stone, surfaces from Antolini by MARVA® can fit in anywhere. From day to night, the classic designs of stone transform from a striking luxury piece to a sleek and modern accent, depending on their surroundings. A beautiful stone table can function both as a conference table and as a display surface for a spread of hors d'oeuvres for workplace and networking events. Whether the visitors are working hard or playing hard, natural stone can withstand any demand – and look gorgeous doing it.
MARVA® and Antolini are your local natural stone partners, offering the largest catalog of natural stone, years of industry knowledge and expertise, and individual customer service to help bring any design vision to life.
Other Sources for Inspiration
- Check out our Pinterest for style ideas.
- Follow us on Facebook to keep up with everything MARVA has to offer.
- Find design inspiration in our Houzz Ideabooks.
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