In 2022, lighting trends are looking more brilliant than ever, from soft illumination to sculptural fixtures, there is something for everyone and every room. Designers are elevating spaces by simply switching out outdated or underwhelming light fixtures for something more unique and impressionable. For example, artificial lights can come in many shapes and sizes including flush mount and semi flush mount ceiling-hung fixtures, pendants, wall sconces, floor lamps, recessed lighting, LED, and track lights (spotlights). Artificial lights can also be advantageous in drastically changing the temperate outcome of a room. For the room to feel cold, a bulb of 4000k or higher would be preferred. To feel warm, a bulb between 2700-3000k color temperature is most accommodating. Many retailers are moving towards smart light fixtures with built-in amenities like dimming capabilities, Wi-Fi connectivity, motion sensors, and even color change settings. Regular commercial lighting options like fluorescent tubes and halogen bulbs are now being replaced with more efficient LED lighting options. Overall, modern lighting trends lean towards systems are that efficient, eco-friendly, and the right fit for the right space.
Another trend in mid-20th century design is the enhancement of interior spaces by incorporating as much natural light as possible and practicing frugality in the application of artificial light. Natural light, which refers to harvesting sunlight for interior applications, is beneficial to the mental health and wellbeing of those who occupy a space. Moderate exposure to sunlight is proven to boost the productivity of occupants and company morale by fueling the serotonin levels in the body, also known as the ‘happiness hormone’. Office buildings with ample natural light tend to be more desired over the contrary, encouraging tenants to value these spaces higher than spaces with mostly artificial light. Designers aim to maximize the amount of glass on the building facade, flooding the interior space with natural light. Architecturally, natural light is good for the environment by reducing the reliance on heating systems and artificial light fixtures, ultimately saving energy and money.
Rather than relying on one source of light, 2022 is all about bringing back the look of layered lighting by incorporating multiple fixtures and light sources in a single room. There are several methods for layering light; for example, strip windows or frosted glass help to foster a uniform, glare-free illumination throughout a space. Add in some concentrated natural or artificial light sources to draw attention to a specific point in a room, like a spotlight on a sculpture. However, too much-concentrated light in one area can cause damage to furniture and electronics, may create unwanted glare on reflective surfaces, and conduce an uncomfortable environment for occupants to experience – less is more! Another intriguing lighting method to layer in next is zenith light, which is the natural light that comes from the ceiling or skylight. By layering natural light with accent lighting, commercial and retail companies are exploring more captivating methods to bring a space to life.
Resimercial, the practice of combining residential and commercial design components, has become a mainstay in modern office design as businesses strive to improve workplace wellness by seamlessly blending residential and commercial architecture together. Resimercial defines a space that feels like home, despite being a commercial or retail facility. The purpose behind resimercial design is to create the ultimate work environment, one that is familiar, comfortable, welcoming, and has the potential to attract a higher caliber of young candidates. This avant-garde trend can be achieved by incorporating furniture that would typically be found in residential settings; think as sofas and armchairs with sleek and modern designs, coffee tables, and ambient lighting. Combining this with multifunctional workstations and flexible seating options, resi-mercial continues to outshine traditional office design, making cubicles a thing of the past.
Multifunctionality is becoming an increasingly popular architectural trend in retail and commercial design. With the rise of the hybrid work model, which constitutes working on a laptop from a variety of locations (an office, at home, coffee shops, cafés, etc.), more people are opting for flexible seating options and multi-functional workstations. The multifunctional design focuses on creating an economy that is personalized to the user and adjustable depending on the desired use. For example, single-purpose rooms including cubicles have become redundant and are empty most of the time, seeing how people would rather work from their home office. Instead, employees gravitate towards unique seating options, like lounge chairs, sofas, high-top tables, and moveable seating arrangements! The debate on which office configuration is better between an open floor plan and private cubicles might just be coming to an end.
Eco styling originated several years ago, but with the recent favoring of raw and natural materials in architectural design, we see more eco-style in commercial and retail architecture. Eco styling typically involves plants, greenery, and sustainable systems as an integral part of a building’s interior and exterior makeup. Green walls have become increasingly popular in commercial buildings as companies strive to bring the outside in, especially in high-density cityscapes where much of the natural growth has been blanketed by concrete. Another example of echo styling is incorporating raw materials, like brick, metals, wooden furniture, and Edison lamps to convey an industrial and more casual style. By pairing earth tones with organic textures, and greenery with metal hardware, commercial spaces begin to feel less hostile.