Fresh trends in office design

Marie-Claire Grima – 10th September

It’s out with the new and in with the old – here’s a look at some of the freshest trends in office design, many of which draw heavy inspiration from the past.

The king of sofas

The Chesterfield sofa is an inimitable classic, but for many years it was constrained to dad’s home office and high-end cigar bars. Not anymore. If your office needs a touch of vintage elegance, the Chesterfield’s sturdy, rolled arms and button-studded leather are just what the doctor ordered, and many designers are turning to this beast of a sofa to elevate modern offices to contemporary heritage spaces. It’s like having Sean Connery in your office all day.

Black and white

Whether you’re adopting monochrome as the main colour scheme or simply looking for a way to add a stylish touch to your office by incorporating black and white accents, it’s an incredibly chic way to transform your office. Use white to give your office a crisp finish and balance out a large number of black furniture pieces, or incorporate a statement piece with a bold black-and-white print for a sleek 70s touch that’s been updated for the modern workspace.

Workshop aesthetic

A good deal of the work that happens in modern offices is intangible, and very little of it is manual, but designers are bringing the aesthetics associated with a carpenter’s or artisan’s workshop to the modern office space in order to create an authentic and creative atmosphere. From inexpensive wood panelling via reclaimed wood or strand board, to dressed-up rustic touches with colourful finishes, old materials are finding a new life and giving present-day spaces a new dimension.

Shades of sunshine

Yellow can be lively, urgent and inspiring, or soft, gentle and easy on the eyes. Whichever shade you choose, a citrusy feature wall, a cleverly-placed accent or a bright set of chairs against a neutral background will give your office a burst of vibrant energy that makes a clear statement and is just the ticket for keeping the drowsiness at bay during those long summer afternoons.

Thread lightly

Taking their cue from tailors, designers have found that an innovative and visually exciting way to bring a space together is by using brightly-coloured strands of rope. Utilising them in conjunction with other materials such as wood or concrete will help you work around the problem of feeling like you’re trapped in a large ball of yarn. These sturdy ropes can be used as a contemporary alternative to transparent partitions, a complement to traditional wooden ceiling beams or even as staircase balustrades.

Sarah Micallef – 11th September 2016

The restaurant design series takes a look at recently opened Brass & Knuckle in Naxxar – the design of which pairs fine textures and materials to achieve a cool, modern aesthetic.

Sarah Micallef – 4th September 2016

Last May, stylish new restaurant Taproom opened its doors in Valletta. Director Georg Albrecht Heine explains the concept behind the brasserie and bar.

Sarah Micallef – 28th August 2016

The third instalment in our restaurant design series celebrating local eateries with an eye for design presents Salt, where designer Sean Cassar worked hand in hand with the owners to realise their unique vision.

Sarah Micallef – 19th August 2016

The second instalment in our restaurant design series celebrating local eateries with an eye for décor looks at restaurant and farm shop Diar il-Bniet in Dingli, which subscribes to that old Maltese proverb, ‘l-ewwel ma tiekol, l-għajn’.