Sara Malek Barney, Founder + Lead Designer BANDD/DESIGN Studio. Photo credit: Katie Jameson

For this installment of our Expert Insights series, we caught up with Sara Malek Barney, Founder and Principal Interior Designer of BANDD/DESIGN Studio in Austin, Texas.

A graduate of the University of Texas, Sara holds degrees in business communication and interior design. She was named one of Austin Monthly Magazine‘s “Women to Watch” multiple times, as well as one of the top three interior designers in the Austin area. She is also a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and the Female Founder Collective.

Read on for his ideas on office interior design.

Q: TTell us about your background and why you chose a career in interior design.

I spent the first part of my career working in the entertainment and sports industries with SXSW, Creative Arts Agency and The Ellen DeGeneres show. After several years, I wanted to pursue something new, so [after] many hours of research and tapping into my creative side, I opted for interior design. It’s the best decision since. It was a compelling and achievable second act.

Q: What is your personal approach to commercial interior design?

I share the same philosophy in commercial design as in residential design: identify the needs of the project and propose a functional and well thought out solution.

Q: Working from home has become popular in recent years. Do you think the future of office design will be affected? If so, how?

As our work culture has changed over the past two or three years, I think we will see more collaborative spaces in the future. People have turned to the collaborative environment of the “coffee shop”. Gone are the cabins and make way for comfortable seats, with cozy textures and attractive colors.

Q: In your opinion, what are the main commercial design trends of 2022?

We will certainly see more flexible spaces, where users can customize their workspaces according to their needs. Organization, workspace and technology will all see a change in our approach to the workplace.

Q: Are there any office design trends you expect to see decline next year?

The stale, gray, choppy desktop feel and look is definitely out! So-called “assigned spaces” that include dark colors and oversized furniture will be a thing of the past. Users want a more comfortable environment to work and meet.

Q: What color, texture and pattern trends should businesses be aware of in the coming year?

More vivid colors, more textures as part of everyday environment. I think the appearance is just as important as the functionality of the design. It’s all about comfort and functionality. I think we’ll see more corporate branding as part of the design. Colors, logos, etc.

Interested in being interviewed for our Expert Insights series? Do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or check out other articles in our series here.

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