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Co-working: not just a playground

Co-working: not just a playground

Posted on the 30/06/2020 by Karndean Designflooring

The first co-working spaces targeted young Millennials looking for flexible working facilities and a good work-life balance. These designs catered for young professionals taking their first steps into entrepreneurial careers and were reminiscent of sixth form common rooms with highly informal layouts, quirky décor and humorous playground features.

The co-working model has proved highly successful, offering adaptable spaces for diverse communities of start-ups, freelancers and professional service providers that spark creativity and enable entrepreneurs to network effectively. However, as Millennial professionals develop their careers, the design of co-working spaces is now evolving alongside them with a more personalised, mature look and feel.

The latest co-working developments are creating bespoke interpretations that are specific to the local culture and respect the history of each building. Working with potential members to understand local needs and style preferences, sophisticated interiors are replacing the transient impressions of moveable wall dividers and folding furnishings with more luxurious designs that hint at longevity and establishment.


Above image features Colorado LLT201

Importantly, spaces are becoming less open plan whilst also retaining layout flexibility with additional private offices and meeting spaces. This diversity of working spaces aims to meet different needs throughout the working day such as individual and focused work, collaborating and networking, socialising and resting.

With our increasing understanding of the benefits of biophilic design on maintaining good mental health, co-working projects are incorporating connections with the external environment by maximising natural light and keeping colour palettes neutral with organic hues. Natural materials such as wood, stone and leather help to add depth and texture to restricted palettes whilst introducing foliage in large planters adds soft shapes as well as air purifying benefits.

Reducing noise pollution is key where many individuals share a working space, so a successful co-working design will include materials with enhanced acoustic properties to prevent auditory distractions. Ideal for busy spaces and multi-level developments, our Korlok and LooseLay flooring ranges offer an authentic look of natural wood and stone with an enhanced acoustic layer that reduces noise transfer to floors below. Uncluttered layouts and purposeful empty spaces help to reduce distractions and aid concentration and social interaction. In such minimalist interiors, nature inspired patterns such as herringbone or geometric flooring designs can be effective in adding interest and a sense of movement.


Above image features Alaska LLT215 and Vermont LLT217

Beautiful bespoke designs that tell the story of the locality yet also meet the high demands of a busy working environment can be created by laying complementary or contrasting wood and stone designs alongside each other. A selection of different laying patterns can be used to effortlessly highlight activity areas or create walkways, create a characterful style for break out spaces, or to visually separate formal working and casual networking areas.

The light contemporary co-working space created by Alliance Homes in Bristol makes the most of the natural light that streams in through vast windows with a pared back design in a pale limited colour palette. A geometric pattern has been introduced with hexagonal tiles from our Kaleidoscope range, adding interest without creating visual overload. In the open entrance lobby and a more private meeting area, subtle blends of complementary wood and stone flooring give a sense of continuity between the spaces yet provides distinct personality to each zone.

Follow us @karndean_uk on Instagram for workplace design inspiration.