Let’s face it, most office buildings are pretty ho-hum when it comes to finishes. The office you’re sitting in now, probably looks an awful lot like the office down the hall.
The problem is the term “building standard”.
This means every suite/tenant gets the same doors and hardware, same light fixtures in the ceiling, the same carpet and floor finishes. It’s very cost effective for the owner and builder, but pretty boring for the people who have to work there every day.
Break Free from the Dreaded Building Standard
We spend a lot of time of time at our workplace, whatever business you happen to be in. But there is nothing that says you have to do it in a dull and drab space. In a space that looks like the one next door, or on the floor above you, or four floors above you.
Many of the same design cues used for homes can be adapted to an office building. This allows the mixing of material finishes, colors, and textures to create a warmer, more comfortable work environment.
One trend that is getting very popular is the use of stone, to add contrast to interior and exterior walls. But stone and masonry work are dirty, dusty, time-consuming, and most of all expensive.
So, how can I even consider stone as a design element for my office building?
The answer is actually very simple. XXX has created an entire line of faux stone panels, that install with basic hand tools, fasteners, and carpentry skills. This means you can skip all of the above issues associated with a real stone product.
But best of all, these faux stone panels cost a fraction of the price for real stone!
The faux stone panels manufactured by XXX can be used almost anywhere around the office building. And here are a few ideas that might get your attention…
Let’s start with the building exterior, and then we will move to the inside of your office building.
The front door – the faux stone can be used to create a stacked stone entry way. Either use them to frame around the door. Or if you have an inset entrance, they can be used on the exterior inset walls to create a warm and inviting entrance.
Exterior walls – faux stone can be used to create an exterior wainscot effect (typically ran from the ground up to 48”), or they can be used to cover the first-floor walls, up to the second floor (and higher, if desired).
Retaining walls – hiding that dull gray concrete of any retaining walls on the property adds contrast and texture to an otherwise necessary evil.
Mechanical and trash enclosures – your office building may have air conditioner/heat pump equipment setting on small concrete pads around the building. Once again, the faux stone can hide those drab mechanical equipment and trash enclosure walls to add an architectural element where there wasn’t one before.
Outside employee area – you may have an outside dining or sitting area for employees to use when the weather is nice. The faux stone makes the area more appealing, and the contrast from the rest of the exterior walls will also define the area.
Entry vestibule/lobby walls – if your building has a vestibule entrance and/or a lobby, the faux stone can be used either as a wainscot or run from floor to ceiling. The stacked stone panels add an elegance to the entry way, that other finishes simply can’t match. The linear lines, created by “stacking” will actually help guide visitors in the right direction, toward the reception desk.
Restroom alcove – yes, that area between the men’s and ladies’ restrooms. You probably have a drinking fountain there too. Because the area is pretty small, the faux stone creates a big impact, for a tiny price.
Hallways – a wainscot made from faux stone will add visual interest as your clients move through the office space. (Using the faux stone to go from floor to ceiling isn’t recommended, here unless your hallway is at least 8’ wide.)
Conference room – here’s a great opportunity to add a solid, floor-to-ceiling accent wall. Or maybe wainscot the wall where your projection screen is located.
These are just a few ideas of how to use faux stone in an office building, to add contrast, texture, and visual interest to an otherwise plain and dull work environment.
This article was written in March 2020. It is a writing example for demonstrative purposes.
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