Maximizing Small Office Space

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A great part of a person’s day is spent in the office. A lucky few have spaces that are massive – one that allows them to walk back and forth to eliminate the everyday stresses of the work. However, most of us are confined in a relatively small cubicle. This box is where we spend most of our time, so it is important that this space – despite its compactness – is efficient and able to make a person feel motivated and inspired to work. This is of particular importance as more companies expand and design sensibilities point to smaller spaces in general.

Image source: pinterest.com

Image source: pinterest.com

The good news is that many interior designs take into account modern-day themes and have created a list of helpful suggestions on how to effectively maximize a small office space. The first, and most important, tip is that one should make use of common areas. Most employees crowd their space with too many items. Research has shown that a messy workplace diminishes creativity and productivity. Employees should shift their attention from noticing the limitations of their office space to a philosophy that the office is the entire facility. Food and other paper materials are normally kept in a public area. This dramatically frees up space in a person’s personal cubicle, where intimate items may be kept for inspiration.

Secondly, employees should begin to think vertically. What the office space lacks in width can be compensated with shelves that can be attached to their walls. It must be noted that employees should discuss any design changes with their managers, but typically management would’ve already considered this before allowing a person to use that specific space. Nevertheless, it is always good to keep an open discourse among workmates as to how to better improve the office environment.

Hi! My name is Scott Jay Abraham, and I am an interior designer based in San Francisco, California. I have worked in both the home and office setting and understand the need for designs that speak of efficiency while maintaining style and comfort. Learn more about my work me on here.

The Unfinished Home: How To Nail That Awesome “Warehouse Look”

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Industrial interior design is unique from other forms of home design management in that it allows property owners (or tenants) to proudly display the building materials that many try to conceal. Its charm lies in its raw, organic, and unfinished look but is not shambolic as to cause aesthetic chaos in a certain space. This modern approach to interior design has rapidly gained the admiration of many home and business owners for its artistic qualities and cost effectiveness. Industrial design showcases neutral tones, utilitarian objects, and wood and metal surfaces.

Metal-staircase-in-an-industrial-homeImage source: decoist.com

Nailing the “warehouse look” is surprisingly not an easy thing to do. It requires a harmonious combination of industrial feel with a range of other styles, from the practical to the polished. Many design enthusiasts, myself included, celebrate upscale interiors by incorporating elements such as stainless steel surfaces, metal light fixtures, vintage furniture, and exposed pipes.

Wooden and metallic objects are the distinctive physical identities of most industrial-style interiors. Naturally, they always go with earth tones and neutral colors. Pendant lights, vintage Toledo stools, open shelving, and stainless-steel cabinets topped with chunky wood workbenches are a perfect match against the exposed brick wall and water pipes.

industrial-bedrooms-interior-design-with-white-and-grey-color-also-brown-fur-rug-industrial-bedroom-interior-designImage source: bilinterior.com

My name is Scott Jay Abraham, and I’m an industrial interior designer specializing in home and office design. See you on Twitter!

So metal: Industrial design’s use of metallic decor

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When you play Mario (or Flappy Birds) a lot, you get the feeling that you’ve been looking at too many pipes for too long, something you usually ascribe to plumbers. Of course, when you design industrial-themed spaces like I do, you learn that looking at the pipes is precisely the point. And it extends to any other visually interesting bit of metal infrastructure.

Industrial-kitchen-with-vintage-style-seating

Image source: decoist.com

Metalwork features prominently in industrial design; it can hardly even be called “industrial” without it. Sleek and unpretentious, metal is an exemplar of the utilitarian paradigm that dominates this aesthetic. It is the substance that truly marks industrialization, being one of the most commonly used materials in industrial architecture and design. Steel girders, copper pipes, and aluminum ventilation shafts are prominent elements in old factories and warehouses, as are the metallic furniture and fixtures inside them.

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Image source: thedailyjournal.com

Metal, as used in industrial design, is typically geometric. One would usually find the smooth or textured surfaces and predominantly straight lines. Rarely do you see the flourishes that dominate the cast iron accessories of Victoriana (though they are not unknown, especially for those with more steampunk tastes).

The stark appearance of metal and its shapes tend to make it pop out, and it is a popular way of creating complementary contrasts in industrial design. Metals provide the neutral grays, blacks, and chromes to the industrial palette and look good in contrast to the browns and other earth tones of wood. The metal-and-wood combination is a popular theme in industrial. Contrasts between metal objects are also common: smooth metal surfaces give the appearance of cleanliness and precision while textured metal has the appearance of grit and resilience.

For more updates on the visual aesthetics of industrial interior design, follow me, Scott Jay Abraham, on Twitter.

Hotels, Inns, and Resorts with “The Look”: An Interior Designer’s Travel Wishlist

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As an interior designer-slash-gadabout, I’m not ashamed to say that I sometimes pick my destinations and accommodations based on how they look, all other things being equal – I get my inspiration from some of the hotels I’ve stayed in. These hotels and inns don’t necessarily have to be high-end digs with designer sheets and expensive furniture (though I like those too), however, as long as they’re well-designed or unique, like the ones on my travel wishlist below.

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Image source: flickr.com

The luxe
I’m sure most of us imagine living the high life once in a while, and if I had my druthers and the bank account to match, I’d check in at the One&Only Reethi Rath in Maldives, which has beautiful private villas right on top of the water, decked out with a combination of furniture made out of natural materials and only the most modern amenities, or the Hotel Canaletto in Venice, with its palatial rooms with marble floors, chandeliers, grandiose draperies, and stunning views of the Venetian canals.

The hip
Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel in Switzerland has gorgeous geodesic-shaped pods are eco-conscious, high-tech, lovely in white canvas during the winter and in green, to fit with the verdant Swiss summers, and of course, hip because environmental responsibility is tops in my book.

For more metropolitan cool, there’s the Wanderlust Hotel in Singapore. This boutique hotel has a variety of playfully designed rooms in whimsical, Pantone, and monotone themes that are just a sight to behold.

The traditional
For a taste of local culture, I like the idea of staying in heritage hotels or inns such as Clove Hall Residence and 23 Lovelane Hotel, both in Penang, Malaysia, and the various ryokan in Japan (especially the ones with onsen, like the Tawaraya Ryokan in Kyoto. These beautifully preserved inns give travelers a glimpse of design traditions and culture of the country.

The wacky
Fans of The Beatles and whimsical architecture will also get a kick out of the Yellow Submarine hotel in Liverpool that is in a boat decorated with psychedelic coloring and mod-inspired accessories like gold records and a scooter.

1024px-Spa_bath_at_Hoshi_Ryokan

Image source: en.wikipedia.org

The multithemed Winvian Farm in Connecticut has some rather unusual cottages like a treehouse, a beaver dam-inspired lodge, and one with a fully-restored 1968 coast guard helicopter, all wonderfully detailed to capture the intended themes.
These are just a few names off the very long list of impeccably designed hotels I want to stay in if I had a chance. I hope I get to visit all of them some day!

Hey there, I’m Scott Jay Abraham, an interior designer with an incurable case of wanderlust and an endless travel bucket list that you can find in my blog.

Roadside, USA: Kitschy and Cool Attractions Along the Country’s Highways

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Image source: commons.wikimedia.org

Image source: commons.wikimedia.org

There’s really nothing quite like hitting the road, rolling the windows down to feel the breezes go through your hair, listening to a carefully-planned playlist, and then careening to a stop – I kid, drive safely, folks – to detour at a roadside attraction you saw just happened to spot as you were coming up to the horizon. That, my dear readers, makes me giddy as a child in a candy store and over my years of traveling, I’ve seen some weird, fun, and amazing things.

I’ve found Moab, Utah’s Hole N” The Rock to be worth a visit that’s upwards of an hour, thanks to the number of attractions within this attraction, starting from the actual house which is carved into sandstone, a newly opened zoo, metal sculptures, and curio shops.

Image source: flickr.com

Image source: flickr.com

Unusual architecture seems to be a common theme among roadside tourist spots. Zoomorphic buildings like the World’s Biggest Dinosaurs, Cabazon’s Ms. Dinny and Mr. Rex in California, Lucy the Elephant in Atlantic County, New Jersey never fail to tickle my fancy, as do places like the Biosphere 2, a research facility found in Arizona which was parodied in the 1996 movie, “Bio-Dome.”

Going on the road has also made me privy to natural wonders like The Lost Sea, an underground lake that goes through a network of caverns in Sweetwater, Tennessee, and the gigantic Chandelier tree in California, feats of human dedication and artistry like Roadside America, a sprawling miniature village built by a model railroad hobbyist, and Whimzeyland, the aptly-named private home-slash-art project in Florida, and just really strange or fun places like The Living Dead Museum, which pays tribute to George A. Romero’s movies, and the South Carolina theme park, South of the Border.

Image source: commons.wikimedia.org

Image source: commons.wikimedia.org

Finally, one that combines my love for industrial materials and quirky attractions is the Kaskakia Dragon at Vandalia, Illinois. Built by the owners of the Kaskakia hardware store, the sleekly designed 35-foot long metal monster breathes fire at the drop of a coin. The dragon’s red bulb eyes, metallic skin, and hydraulic insides give it a steampunk appeal that I truly appreciate.

Hello there, I’m Scott Jay Abraham and I have a really bad case of wanderlust. I love going on the road, sometimes with my best buddy, Shadow, and stopping at quirky roadside attractions. Do you have any favorites I should check out? Chime in on the comments section of this blog.

Duct tales: Framing ductwork in interior design

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In most interior design paradigms, building infrastructure such as HVAC ductwork is an unsightly mess that should be hidden. Historically, spaces with HVAC systems exposed were usually industrial in nature. In some design paradigms, however, ducts are not as unwelcome and are embraced as part of the overall aesthetic of the space. Modern and postmodern contemporary interiors often incorporate them into designs when hiding HVAC ducts proves impossible or impractical.

Image Source: merchantcircle.com

Industrial interior design takes this a step further and embraces the mechanical aesthetic of the HVAC ductwork. They are often left uncovered when industrial buildings are repurposed, often only being retouched slightly to improve their general appearance, and are incorporated into the overall appearance of the interior along with the exposed brick and unfinished concrete walls of the building.

Image Source: infoforbuilding.com

The exposed HVAC ductwork is one of the archetypical hallmarks of industrial design. Indeed, incorporating deliberately exposed ducts is planned in much newer buildings incorporating the industrial aesthetic into their interiors. Because the ductwork is often still functional, special considerations must be made to ensure that the ducts work as efficiently as possible. Specific forms like spiral ductwork not only provide a visually interesting contemporary industrial look but also has significant energy-saving advantages such as tighter joints that prevent leaks.

Image Source: pixshark.com

As a deliberate design choice, leaving the air conditioning and heating systems visible can lead to all sorts of interesting visuals of the roof or ceiling of the room, creating a peculiar and eye-catching geometry in underappreciated spaces or work as accents toward other features. They can be painted to match the look of a room or left in their natural metallic color.

Industrial interior planner and sports fan Scott Jay Abraham here. For more on my take on the world of industrial aesthetics, follow me on Twitter.

Lofty ambitions: Forging living spaces with the elements of industrial style

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When you’re looking for a cool new place that screams both style and spaciousness, look no further than the loft apartment. These apartments, won from unwanted industrial spaces, are roomier than most urban abodes and can accommodate an undeniably modern atmosphere while retaining their old charm. Consequently, they are popular choices for young professionals with bohemian tastes.

Image Source: en.wikipedia.org

Practically given a new lease in life, the repurposed old building is the perfect canvas for the fusion of form and function seen of the industrial design aesthetic. An old factory or warehouse provides a well-worn backdrop that simply cannot be replicated. Frequently, designing the aesthetics of the loft living space will incorporate elements of the building’s old architecture, such as the exposed brick, concrete floors, and old HVAC systems, into its design. Visually appealing metal structures, whether pre-existing or salvaged from elsewhere, are a popular option.

Image Source: maincrust.co

Recycling and up-cycling are a big part of converting industrial spaces into loft apartments. Weathered wood is a popular choice that combines old charm with relative inexpensiveness, and can be converted into a variety of purposes from wall veneer to furniture such as headboards. Furniture choices can follow the same principle; functional yet visually unique tables, work surfaces, and chairs. Pendant fixtures are a good choice for lighting.

Image Source: homedit.com

The ideal aesthetic of industrial design is sleek yet very utilitarian, but it also shouldn’t be uniform unless that is the desired look. Breaking up the monotony includes mixing and matching materials in a space and providing occasional stand-out accents. Moreover, this interior style invites an assortment of modern and postmodern accent pieces without being pretentious.

Industrial designer Scott Jay Abraham here. Get more updates on me and my assorted interests on Twitter.