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Commercial Design Quickly Making Its Way Home

Friday, September 17, 2021

“Resimercial” is a relatively new term that defines the art of incorporating residential and commercial design elements, products, materials, and services. Given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and how people now live, work, learn, and interact within their homes, it stands to reason that we’re going to see a lot more of this hybrid approach in both design and integration. People want homes that are comfortable, meaningful, accommodating, and personalized, but they also want them to remind them of places they’ve been, people they’ve shared experiences with, and things they enjoy. The current trend is to create a home that serves as a sanctuary but that can also provide room to entertain. Resimercial offers the perfect solution, in my opinion. Here are some great examples from the design world that you may want to consider.

Upholstery and Carpet Material Advancements

Home theaters are intended to be fun and functional; a place to retreat to with a bucket of popcorn, snacks, and drinks. Spills happen! Thankfully, many new textiles and carpet yarns that were once exclusively used in commercial applications are now crossing over into residential and are ideally suited for the type of wear and tear a home theater gets.

For instance, textile manufacturers now offer 100 percent acrylic yarn that is soft, luxurious, and snuggly, and that can be used for both indoor and outdoor spaces. Similarly, high-performance nylon and polyester yarns that provide a lustrous feel and texture, and even include bleach-cleanable upholsteries, are now commonly available for residential applications.

Advancements in this area also include weaves and yarn systems for rugs and carpeting that provide great aesthetics for the places we work, live, and learn. One of my favorites is a woven flooring done on a Jacquard loom that provides beautiful and stylish patterns and offers exceptional strength, durability, and stain resistance.

Of course, upholstery, carpets, and other materials will never be completely invincible, but commercial material options provide a higher level of performance that, in my opinion, is well worth the effort and expense (especially where kids or dogs reside).

Insider tip: Have a client who loves the look of white? Definitely go with commercial materials as they’re less likely to show smudges or become dingy over time.

Hard Surface Considerations

There are virtually unlimited options for hard surface products for floors, counters, walls, and ceilings, and homeowners want them all, more so now than pre-pandemic. The challenge now is to create a space that provides the look and feel people want but to also provide a home that’s easier to clean and sanitize. For this, my go-to’s are often Caesarstone or Corian, both of which are very durable, low-maintenance, and, because they’re nonporous, easier to disinfect.

Ecoustic 50mm panel

Of course, whenever hard surface materials are used there’s also the strong likelihood that noise and reverberation will be introduced — this must be mitigated as acoustics can make or break the comfort level of any room and can make a home either hospitable or horrific to live in. Far too many luxury estates are being built with contemporary glass, steel, and concrete materials that are visually stunning yet are unbearable to be in because of the noise they naturally produce.

There are many acoustic solutions on the market, and many have been adapted for the residential space. I’m sure you’ve got your favorite brand, products, or providers, but some of the manufactured solutions I’ve used in my commercial projects that also work well in residential are the ecoustic panel from Unika Vaev, Knoll’s range of KnollTextiles and FilzFelt, and Zintra Acoustic Solutions. Industry pros Anthony Grimani, Steve Haas, Keith Yates, and others like them are great resources to utilize, too.

Technology

The tech space is your space, and I’m certain you know much more than I do about the brands, products, and services that have moved from commercial into residential. In fact, while I work on designs for integration firms and their clientele, I’m usually not the one specifying products or making specific recommendations for gear going into a project. I do, however, follow tech trends closely as I always design to accommodate tech or with tech in mind. Like you, sometimes I need to reach over to commercial to get what I need for residential. That’s happening less and less now, as we’re seeing commercial brands proactively attending to the needs of the modern home.=

That said, as a designer I am intrigued by the fact that brands that have traditionally catered to commercial are now offering products for residential applications and that the two worlds continue to converge. What Planar is doing with video walls and Barco is doing with image delivery and digital art is truly inspiring.

Audio brands are also scaling products and solutions from commercial to residential. I was introduced to Alcons Audio earlier this year, which offers a versatile Cinema Reference Monitor Series that is well-suited for projects ranging from auditoriums and performing arts centers, houses of worship, screening rooms, post-production facilities and dubbing stages, as well as premium home cinemas and quality-conscious cinemas.

According to Alcons, their Cinema Reference Monitor Systems offer the most natural 1:1 sound reproduction possible, uniquely combining studio monitor audio quality with live sound dynamic capabilities. The fully matched screen and surround systems, with identical mid/high frequency transducers bring a very uniform sound stage, perfect for immersive surround environments. Speech, music and effect are reproduced with finest detail, fullest dynamics and lowest distortion. For those who demand higher-level performance and need audio solutions that can scale, these types of products make a lot of sense and are the types of things we look for when designing home theaters, screening rooms, and the like.

Alcons Audio demo room.


This is just a primer from the designer’s perspective, which I offer merely to show that as a community we share many of the same interests and are inspired by similar things. While my work involves creating a cohesive design and aesthetic based on the needs and interests of the client, it’s the tech integration pros who bring the gear to the party and make everything sound fabulous and look incredible.

Have any design-related questions or need a resource for your next project? Give me a call or drop me a line. I’d love to connect with you!

This article was originally written for https://www.residentialsystems.com/features/theater-design/commercial-design-quickly-making-its-way-home