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By Barbara Best-Santos, Principal at ForrestPerkins - January 2021

As we all emerge from our collective COVID experience, there are positive lifestyle changes that will stay with us for the near term and beyond. One such change is something that ForrestPerkins was already doing, but took on a whole new meaning and importance as it impacted our immediate health, and that is the blurring of boundaries between interior and exterior environments.


On-The-Boards: Hotel & Resort, Lobby Pavillon


The imperative nature of our response to this pandemic quickly made outdoor spaces ubiquitous and restricted our use of indoor spaces. Simply put, ForrestPerkins knows that fresh, clean air and ample elbow room is one of the best ways to combat the spread of disease, while enhancing our living experience. This hyper focus on activating our outdoor spaces for more than the expected ‘patio’ experience is also working in reverse as we see clients desire to bring the outdoor living inside. Employing the principals of Biophilia in design has never been more important and embedded in most every design solution.

ForrestPerkins has explorative conversations with our clients about fully retractable glass walls, abundant plantings, increased access to sunlight, improved ventilation and fresh air, the use of durable, natural materials and creating living environments that flow seamlessly between spaces. This is a win-win for everyone, as properties are finding and activating new flexible, healthy living environments and we are all embracing nature in support of our health and wellness.


On-The-Boards: Restaurant, Outdoor Seating


The design challenge is to create just the right balance and ensure we are treating our outdoor spaces with as much respect and detail as we do the indoor spaces. Likewise, we find ourselves breaking down the rigid, structured indoor spaces of the past to embrace a more relaxed, natural way of living. There needs to be direct communication between these areas throughout the design process.

Working with our vendor partners, it is more important than ever that our furnishings and materials are able to make the transition from inside to out and vice versa. This allows our Clients to truly flex their spaces as needed and support the idea that we are breaking down the walls. ForrestPerkins looks at the use fabrics that feel upscale and residentially comfortable while being resistant to the elements. We need woods, metals, tiles and other finishes that are both beautiful and bullet-proof, allowing us to move them fluidly between environments.


On-The-Boards: Restaurant, Plan & Outdoor Seating


With every great challenge come great solutions and ForrestPerkins believes that embracing our natural instinct to commune with nature will improve our living experience and allow us to enjoy these experiences more fully, whether we are inside or out.

Let us help you with any questions you might have! Please visit our Contact page to find a Principal near you, or reach out directly to Barbara Best-Santos, Principal ( / +1 415.926.7745), or Michelle Lando, Global Head of Business Development ( / +1 604.363.5444), to discuss.