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Younger decision-makers shaping relaxed office environments

Interiors take a ‘casual Friday’ look as workplaces evolve

In the foyer of a newly expanded high-tech business, an eye-shaped mirror is situated above an arrangement of peacock feathers. “An eye on the future,” the owner explains. A mosaic birdbath topped with glass serves as an end table next to an overstuffed chair. And an elongated tree branch sporting a multi-textured panel serves as a receptionist backdrop. Elements of a new wave in decorating, spurred by the rising power of Gen-Xers? Maybe.

“As younger people come into the decision-making aspects of business, we’ll see more of that,” said Therese Rogers, ASID, and owner of Rogers Design Consultants in Morton. “Within the next five to 10 years, the interior design decisions won’t be up to the people who are now in their 40s and 50s. Right now, they’re still making the decisions.”

Rogers, who is wrapping up a project with WDBD-TV, the local Fox affiliate that will unveil a news format later this summer, served up a “traditional transition look,” she said.

“Management wanted a traditional look, but Channel 40 has a lot of young people into high tech,” Rogers said. “Some of the guys that work there are very casual, often wear jeans and have a lot of posters on the walls. Blending the two provided a unique challenge.”

For example, Rogers designed a cutting edge reception desk. It didn’t fly. So she negotiated a deal.

“I put a neat looking laminate on the desk to make it more modern, plus it was round, so it turned out as a good compromise,” she said.

Sights & Sounds Production Services, an independent full-service production company in Ridgeland, is the setting for the “eye to the future” foyer, a deliberately planned interior design scheme that is mimicked in the company’s “living room” for visitors.

In it, an eclectic mix of Latitudes-meets-high-tech, with cushy chairs, funky graphics, Mississippi art and mega-watt speakers, seems to put guests at ease, said Rick Moore, owner.

“We wanted something that lended warmth to all of the high-tech equipment,” said Moore. “This is an area where we bring clients to view the work we’ve done so far on a project, and it needed to reflect a cutting-edge look, just like our work.”

Cynthia Easterling, Ph.D., design consultant and professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, said there’s an overall trend to reflect a more relaxed look.

“As a society and as a business community, we’re in a more relaxed mode,” she said. “Everything, including our clothes, is becoming more casual. But the interior design forum depends on the customers a business serves, and traditional businesses remain traditional in d


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About Lynne W. Jeter

One comment

  1. I do agree with all the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They are really convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are very short for newbies. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

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