Creating an inviting, welcoming feeling is part of your lobby’s job. But, as time ticks on, many building entrances tend took just the opposite: dowdy and uninviting.
To get the the latest lobby design trends for 2016, we spoke with Anita Wiklém, Creative Director and Founding Partner at Wiklém Design Inc. Whether you are in the market for a full renovation or a fresh coat of paint, here as some considerations:
What are the most important features of a residential lobby?
A lobby should feel safe, clean, and above all, warm and inviting. An artfully lit, beautifully maintained lobby goes a long way in welcoming visitors. Adding a sense of intimacy and warmth can be achieved by playing with paint colours, or warming up a ceiling with the aid of a chandelier. Providing visitors with an inviting bench offset by a piece of bold, contemporary artwork can make a public space feel personalized and intimate. After all, our building’s lobby is often the last thing we see when we leave for the day and the first place that greets us at the end of the day. Making it warm and inviting is essential.
What colours and trends will be popular in 2016?
Predicting colour trends can be a guessing game and wildly divergent depending on who is determining the trends. This year, the Pantone Color Institute chose not one, but two colours of the year: Rose Quartz and Serenity. We are predicting that the pink shade (Rose Quartz) will make its way into more new interior designs than the blue (Serenity). We’ve been seeing a lot of peachy tones lately, and Rose Quartz is a natural progression for a fresh, pastel-toned look. Benjamin Moore chose Simply White (OC-117) as their paint colour of the year in 2016. We love white for its ability to go with virtually everything. As the ultimate neutral, it can work to liven up creams and natural woods and works equally well as a foil to bold jewel tones and heavy wood colours.
On a tight budget, what would you recommend to refresh a tired lobby?
Fresh paint offers the best bang for the buck, and can provide a dramatic update to a tired space. As long as fixed items, such as flooring, seating, installed wall covers, etc., have a consistent, neutral colour scheme, you can take some risks with paint colour. Adding a punch of colour to a featured wall adds a wow factor without breaking the budget. The addition of complementary, updated colours that marry beautifully with the existing scheme can be repeated in simple accessories, elevator surround, or winter matting to create a cohesive, “decorated” look. The addition of a piece of contemporary artwork never fails to add colour, texture, and emotions to a space. Love it or hate it, everyone has an opinion about art!
Any emerging trends we should know about?
We expect to see more creative designs involving lighting. Now that incandescent bulbs are being phased out and replaced by LED, lighting companies have responded with creative innovations for retrofitted and new lighting solutions. We are really excited about new LED pot lights that can be installed directly on top of existing junction boxes. These retrofit lights look just like a designer pot light, but at a fraction of the cost. We will also start to see glowing walls and floors, lighting that fluctuates in colour and intensity. Overall, rental building owners today are investing more in common area upgrades. Our team of refurbishment experts has seen a real upsurge in interest from rental property owners who want to make their buildings more appealing to tenants.