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2019 Design Trends + Ideas


2019 Design Trends + Ideas



Ceilings are probably not the first thing you would think about when imagining a space, but they can certainly be the first thing you notice when you actually walk into one.

If you want to keep the walls simple and clean, a statement ceiling is a great way to subtly add to a space in a different way than artwork other accents do.


Many people are growing increasingly considerate of their impact on the environment, spiking the shift towards more sustainable materials. Some examples of this include: Repurposed furniture, recycled tile and wood and natural textures.



Color plays an important role in creating an environment inside a space, as well as evoking emotions. The psychology of color has long been studied, and it is agreed that certain emotions are connected with certain colors.

In the color wheel to the right you will see some common color and emotion associations

According to the predictions of Behr paint company, natural, earth and jewel tones will be all the range this coming year.

Color should definitely be an important consideration when you are designing a space. While you may have an interior designer that will help you through the process, think about your brand and how you want your customers to feel during their time at your office, restaurant, clinic -— whatever it may be.

Are you an upbeat bar that wants people to socialize and have fun? Consider having red, orange or yellow in your palette. How about a relaxed, organic cafe that wants people to feel good and healthy? Using shades of green and blue could be perfect for this type of setting.

color wheel.png

Here are the chosen colors of 2019 by several popular paint companies.


Design Ideas for Office Spaces


Design Ideas for Office Spaces

Offices these days certainly look different than they did ten years ago. A trend that appears to be taking over office types of all kinds and across all fields is flexibility.

We are seeing the flexibility trend with coming to life through creative communal spaces throughout the office. 

One example of this is coworking spaces, often referred to “hot desking.” Instead of sitting in a cubicle, employees are free to sit and work wherever – on a comfy couch, at a cafeteria-style table with others or elsewhere in the office. Sometimes we can get tired of the same scenery, and might enjoy our day at work a little bit more with opportunity to move from our usual spots.

Photo courtesy of The Social Lights

Photo courtesy of The Social Lights


The hot desking idea may not work for all offices. Not all jobs allow for that kind of mobility or have the budget for additional IT resources. An alternative is to keep the traditional, cubicle-style desks, but still have sitting or standing areas that allow for staff to meet in small groups or work away from their desk area. This can be a great way to change up your routine and scenery.

Another idea is to have unique meeting spaces that encourage creativity. They could be uniquely decorated and designed, perhaps with vibrant colors or artwork, or even floor to ceiling white boards to scribble ideas or draw on. Sometimes the best ideas come from being able to move around, write freely and brainstorm in a fun environment with your teammates.


Typically, offices have at least one meeting room. While you want to have enough space to hold a larger meeting if need be, when meetings are with a smaller team, the larger conference room can feel too big, less personal and even a little awkward. If you have the space, smaller meeting rooms would be a great addition for certain teams in your office to meet in. This also minimizes scheduling conflicts that can occur with just one meeting room.  

studio friday.jpeg

At our office, we have a small meeting room that offers seating for about 10 people. Our kitchen area was designed to be multi-functional, so it can seat our team of 30 people for potlucks and lunches, but also for the all-staff weekly meetings. This is a great way to utilize the space, and offer different sized rooms for different purposes.

A trend we are seeing pop up in office designs lately are elements that consider the well-being of employees. 

Researchers from the company Ambius, the University of Exeter, The University of Queensland and Cardiff University worked on a long-term study on the subject of greenery and its impact on employees and productivity.

They discovered a significant increase in workplace satisfaction and concentration levels, as well as heightened perceived air quality in office spaces with plants.

Studies also have shown that lighting plays a role in the productivity of employees. Not only are the shape, style and brightness of bulbs important, but also the addition of natural light in the space. Exposure to natural light can profoundly impact productivity and health.

“Workers are a group at risk because they are typically indoors, often without access to natural or even artificial bright light for the entire day. The study results confirm that light during the natural daylight hours has powerful effects on health," says Phyllis Zee, M.D. neurologist at Northwestern Medicine.

In addition to good lighting throughout the office, every desk in the office should have view of a window. This allows staff to connect with the world outside their work spaces in a way windowless offices and cramped cubicles don't.

Photo courtesy of The Social Lights

Photo courtesy of The Social Lights


One more office design idea, based on current trends, is mixed textures and styles. More and more we are seeing the old-meets-new look, combining weathered, rustic materials with modern accents. 

We see this often with businesses that have renovated an old building, kept some of the industrial and rugged character, but added very modern furniture and artwork.

Every business has their own unique character and it is important to find the best design options that compliment both your staff and your company culture.


Paul, Marla. “Northwestern Now.” Natural Light in The Office Boosts Health, 8 Aug. 2014,

University of Exeter. "Why plants in the office make us more productive." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2014. <>.



Pre-Opening / Grand Opening Ideas for Your Business


Pre-Opening / Grand Opening Ideas for Your Business

Getting close to your business’ opening? Awesome! Feeling excited but a bit overwhelmed about it? Totally normal. We’ve put together a list of ideas to consider to help you and your team feel confident going into the big day.

First off, make sure your company info is accessible.

Launch a website and get a logo.

Your website will often be first stopping point for people who have heard your company name, heard about your opening and want to learn more. Your logo will give a visual identity to your brand and help people recognize you.

Create social media accounts.

Determine what social platforms are most relevant for your brand/company. Creating accounts for your business is very easy.

Get professional photos and videos of your business and your staff.

Publish these on your website and social media accounts to draw people to your new business and build excitement.

Make sure your business is on Google Maps.

In our tech-focused society, many people rely on a GPS to get around. Make sure people can find you!


An Opening Done Well

In 2016, the Kowalski's on Grand Avenue in St. Paul (one of Wilkus Architects' projects) had an outstanding grand re-opening. Some key features of the event included:

  • Ribbon cutting

  • Appearance of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman

  • Unique, live food carvings

  • Food samples



Plan, plan, plan.

Here are some things to consider in getting your launch plans together:

What's your budget?

What activities will occur?

How will you decorate?

How will you engage attendees?



Market your grand opening!


Consider having your grand opening event 1-2 weeks after opening your space, or doing an initial "soft opening." This will help you get a feel of how the grand opening will go and if there's a need to make any adjustments or additions.


Design posters / flyers.

Place these in popular places around the area to increase awareness of the event. In terms of marketing, this is a bargain. 

Write a press release.

Send your press release to local media outlets and reach out directly to business reporters likely to cover your opening.

Send out direct mailings.

If you have the budget for it, you can find direct mailing lists for purchase that could help increase event attendance. Target people you think could become potential clients/customers in the future.

Create a Facebook event.

This is a great way to get free advertising. Plus, a lot of people these days use the events tool to find things to do!

Think about potential partnerships.

If there is a local cause that aligns with your business, think about a way to involve these groups in the event. This would attract a bigger crowd (those who may be familiar with that company but not yours) and reinforce your company values.

Invite neighborhood businesses.

Get off on the right foot with the other business nearby. This could set the stage for future collaborations!


Post about it!

Share the Facebook event. Encourage people to invite friends and family.

Share live updates on social media. Show people what's going on and they may choose to come if it looks like a good time!

Create an event hashtag and encourage people to use it when sharing their own posts and photos. To encourage these kind of posts, consider creating a contest. For example, offer a prize drawing if people post using the hashtag.

Share information about parking options. Parking can be stressful, especially if your business is located in the city and has limited parking. Share posts about parking options to ease that stress and make it more likely for people to come. 

Set out a sidewalk chalkboard sign.

This could catch passersby who might not know about your opening and lure them in!

Do a raffle drawing.

This will get people interested in your product or service, and if you ask for their information on the intake slip, you can also build your email list and reach out to them about future events.

Week following event:

Continue to engage.

You may have new people following along with your company after having attended your event. Keep them engaged and wanting to come back for future events.

Share photos from your grand opening! People in the photos may tag themselves and share them on their own feeds. This is a chance for even more exposure.