The financial services industry is changing, evolving, and sometimes even repeating history. The baseline fact is that you must keep up with the current industry happenings.

Check in often to read snippets of the latest trends and read our take on each one.


Years ago, I interviewed at 2-different places within days of each other.  The first literally had NO windows in the entire place, the interior was antiquated and dark, and the employees were library quiet.  At the second place, I could see outside from almost every room in the building.  The lighting was bright and the colors were cheerful.  And the employees smiled.  When it came time to decide on which job, I wanted to work at the place where everyone seemed happy.

Gensler Research Institute explains in a recent study that buildings should be designed to create an experience.  And experiential design has become the norm.  A better design equals a better experience, including six significant factors:  beauty, novelty, authenticity, clarity, inspiration, and sense of welcome.

Our design team recognizes that “every place and space today is ultimately competing on the experience it delivers.” That includes office space, as well as retail and financial centers.  When you walk in, your experience begins.

Although it’s considered the latest “trend,” it’s good practice to create space that can be multi-functional, flexible, and adaptable.  According to Gensler’s study, a key finding is that “everyone is doing everything, everywhere” – ultimately, it’s important to take stock of the space you have and how it is being used.

Click here to check out Gensler’s Research Institute.

One of the most all-encompassing trends happening within the past few years and touches all aspects of design is biophilic design – mimicking natural elements and forms, and specifically for interior spaces, bringing in natural elements, including plants (and lots of them!), natural light, organic shapes, and natural materials into a space.¹ Not only does this create a beautiful backdrop for retail and workplace offices, but numerous studies show that it has a positive affect on overall health, productivity and mood in general.  It has also been linked to increased creativity due to visual stimulation, workplace well-being, and staff retention.²

The vibrant green associated with plants and the outdoors creates an innate response within people as a connection to nature and, in turn, has a calming effect.³ Additionally, the human eye is drawn to fractal patterns, which are present in forms of nature, such as tree forms and branch patterns.  There is evidence that the unconscious observation of aesthetically pleasing shapes and fractal forms in interior spaces has a stress-lowering effect on people.4

Productivity and restored focus have also been linked to breaking your gaze from the computer screen for even a few seconds to look at plants – and companies like Google, Etsy, and many more are finding that employees are happier, more creative, and working harder in a biophilic-centered space.5

Think about your retail area….your offices….your meeting spaces.   Does it engage, enliven, and de-stress your clients, members, and employees?  If not, incorporating biophilic design ideas and elements can help create the space you want.

by Jenny Sweeney, Interior Designer

  1. Lohr, Virginia I. “What are the Benefits of Plants Indoors and Why Do We Respond Positively to Them?” 2010.
  2. “Biophilic Office Design: Bringing Nature into the Workplace.”
  3. “How can workplace design cut stress levels?” 10.09.19.
  4. Taylor, R.P. Reduction of physiological stress using fractal art and architecture. 2006. Leonardo 39:245-251
  5. “What is biophilic design, and can it really make you happier and healthier?” 04.11.19.