Friday, December 20, 2013

Pantone’s Spring 2014 Color Report is Here!

Pantone has been the “color authority” since it was founded in 1963 by Lawrence Herbert. Herbert created the Pantone® Color Matching System book of standardized color to resolve the problem of accurate color production in graphic arts. Since then, Pantone has expanded to other color-intensive industries such as textiles, architecture, contract interior design, and paint manufacturing. 

Every year, the Pantone team, with the input of select industry influencers and designers, creates the spring and fall color reports. These hues become the foundation for the next Fashion Week or furniture market. Oftentimes, many designers and color-enthusiasts will incorporate the new seasons’ color trends in small ways, like home décor accessories, and on grand scales such as a blast of color to the exterior wall of an architecture firm’s latest design project. Below, we have listed Pantone’s 2014 Spring Color Report and provided a few examples, just to get your creative juices flowing. Enjoy!

Pantone® Fashion Color Report Spring 2014
Cayenne: Spicy, yet not intimidating, Cayenne will add a blast of courage to an otherwise neutrally comfortable space. 

Photo Credit – Better Homes & Gardens
Celosia Orange: Named after a stunningly unique flower, Celosia Orange’s vibrant and energetic color radiates warmth throughout this contemporary children’s bedroom.

Photo Credit - Haus Line
Dazzling Blue: While endearing and bold, Dazzling Blue can be used in small accessories or large furniture pieces. If you truly love this color, splash it on the walls, too! 

Photo Credit - Rue Magazine
Freesia: Also influenced by a flower, Freesia is sweet and optimistic; this color is great for the innovative workplace, in paint or plant form.

Photo Credit - The Flowers Avenue
Paloma: Paloma’s contemporary tone is reflected in this concrete building, and both are sleek and timeless. 

Chapel of St. Peter, Campos de Jordao, Brazil, 1987
Placid Blue: The serene nature of Placid Blue makes it a top choice for coastal living. Notice how this shade is used as an accent on the chairs and the bookcase. 

Photo Credit - Willey Desgin, LLC
Sand: With a name like ‘Sand’, one would typically think of the beach, but here we see how Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen’s rustic Los Angeles home utilizes this color’s versatility, inside and out. 

Photo Credit - Architectural Digest

Women’s and Men’s Specialty Colors

Hemlock + Comfrey: Hemlock is a much softer pastel and Comfrey is a bit deeper than the 2013 Color of the Year, Emerald. Both shades are meant to add the natural touch of green to round out the 2014 spring color palette appeal.

Green shades enliven indoor and outdoor spaces.
Radiant Orchid + Magenta Purple: Radiant Orchid’s bold, chic color is the 2014 Color of the Year; its rich-toned counterpart is just as worthy as it exudes a sense of regality.

These vibrant purples and an ethnic print
create a culturally chic home accent accessory.
Violet Tulip + Purple Haze: Violet Tulip evokes romance and wistful nostalgia. Purple Haze is a deeper, stronger version of Violet Tulip, but it still has its soft side. 

The blend of these soft violets with the dash of black
and Dazzling Blue make a whimsical piece of artwork.

Be on the lookout for the shades of the Pantone® 
Color Report Spring 2014 and let us know which are your favorites! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Not Just Office Space: How to Increase Workplace Effectiveness

The modern workspace has evolved from merely a place for employees to sit and work alone in unadorned, individual cubicles, to well-designed, engaging spaces for personnel to work and cooperate for a common goal. For business and building owners, the design of the workspace has gained value like never before. Location, amenities and service offerings are just a few elements seen as essential to effective working environments. The November / December 2013 issue of BOMA Magazine explores the transformation of the designed workplace.

"Designed to be Effective"
BOMA Magazine - November / December 2013
Commercial designers, here are a few tips stemming from the experts at BOMA Magazine for revamping a client’s office area to boost workers’ performance.

  • Understand the functionality of the space. Designers need to understand that jobs are constantly progressing, thus altering the function of workspaces. Collaboration and spaces for optimal group work are becoming more necessary as, in the knowledge sector, a single person sometimes no longer has all the required skills and background to complete a job alone. In order to meet this need, a variety of collaborative spaces need to be provided. This affords employees flexibility for where they want to work as a group, which can lead to increased productivity.
  • Suggest an open layout. Moving towards visibility in the workplace can promote an accessible, cohesive environment and help develop office culture and values. Robert A. Peck, director of Consulting for the Southeast Region at the architectural firm Gensler, says, “If we’re sitting where we cannot see people, we tend to forget about them. In an open environment, it’s harder to forget. So we can facilitate collaboration without forcing it.”
  • Provide space for each type of worker. While collaborative space is critical, surveys have found that 54 percent of time spent by those in knowledge-sector businesses is spent in “focus” mode. Some employees thrive in distraction-free environments to focus, while others work better in ‘buzzing” surroundings. Commercial designers should have a mix of private and open spaces for their clients, so both types of people are catered to. 
  • Redesign or add social spaces into the office interior. By transforming social spaces like coffee bars or breaks rooms, employee satisfaction increases, including interaction, acceptance and encouragement. Often, conversations that start as social shift into business which advocates for connectivity.

Workspace design is being asked to lend to effectiveness, no longer surviving on location and conveniences. Making these changes will grant employees the tools they need to perform their best at their jobs.

Commercial architects and designers, are your workspace designs unlocking worker productivity? Please feel free to share your ideas and thoughts. To read more commercial design tips from the experts at BOMA Magazine, click on the photo below.

BOMA Magazine - November / December 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Why Bee Health Matters

To our horticultural industry readers, this week’s blog post is specifically for you. Some of you may have noticed a severe decline in the bee population in recent years. The November 2013 issue of Nursery Management delves deeper into the possible cause of the drop in bee mortality. 

"Why Bee Health Matters"
Nursery Management - November 2013
The domesticated honey bee population has declined nearly 50 percent in the last 50 years, and this year was one of the worst on record with some bee keepers losing 60 percent of their hives. This is disturbing news to many because bees account for one-third of the food we eat, including any vegetable, fruit or nut that grows from a flower. Examples of these are blueberries, almonds, squash, and tomatoes – all of which require pollination. The Pollinator Partnership says that pollinators add $217 billion to the global economy, while honey bees alone are responsible for $1.2 billion to $5.4 billion of agricultural productivity in the U.S. 

One of the possible causes is Colony Collapse Disorder – the phenomenon occurring when worker bees disappear, leaving behind a queen, food and a few nurse bees. Other causes that affect bee health are mites, viruses, bacteria, disease, poor nutrition, beekeeping practices, transportation of hives across country, habitat loss, genetically modified plants, lack of genetic diversity, weather, and pesticides. 

"Why Bee Health Matters"
Nursery Management - November 2013
Of all the pesticides bees can be exposed to, one class has been in the media and regulatory spotlight – neonicotinoids. A bill has been submitted to Congress for the suspension of four neonicotinoids until their EPA registration review in 2019 – dinotefuran, imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam. To help regulate the issue without putting companies out of business, the EPA announced label changes to “better protect bees and other pollinators” from the four specified neonicotinoids. The EPA intends to have the new language placed on “as many products as possible by the 2014 use season.”

Joe Bischoff, director of government relations at ANLA, says, “In general, the language used in the new EPA labels is flexible enough for the green industry to work within the new guidelines and still be able to use neonicotinoids…As an industry, we are stewards of these chemistries just as we are of the land. We must be responsible and use them for their intended purpose and for their benefit.”

To read more of Nursery Management’s coverage of bee health, click on the photo below.

Nursery Management - November 2013