When designing a space that makes use of a manual or automated operable walls, the last thing you want is for this functional element to distract from your overall design.
Although operable walls serve primarily a practical function, they can also present an opportunity to be unique design pieces that complement and even enhance interior design.
Here are some simple design decisions you can make for an operable wall to fit seamlessly within your space and your design:
1. Choose Skyfold as Your Space Management Solution
While there various kinds of operable walls and paritions to suit your clients' design and function needs, there is no product that combines the highest STC rated system and the most reliable performance with the discreetness and design flexibility of Skyfold.
When not in use, the innovative and automated vertical folding motion neatly tucks the Skyfold wall into the ceiling, decluttering valuable floor space (no clunky storage closets in sight). Plus, the system does not require floor or wall tracks to control the wall's movement. When the Skyfold wall is not in use, all that's left behind is an unobstructed open space with clean lines—like an operable wall isn't even there.
2. Make the Bottom Row of Panels Match the Ceiling
When designing operable walls into a space, we tend to focus only on how it will look when dividing a room, and rightfuly so. With Skyfold walls, however, we should also consider how our finish selection will affect the look of the space when the wall is in storage. Since Skyfold walls store in the ceiling, the panels on the bottom row of a Skyfold wall become part of the ceiling. To make the ceiling appear like a unified surface, choose a finish for the bottom row of the Skyfold wall that matches the ceiling. You can match by colour, texture, or both.
2. Add a Little Light
LED lights along the bottom row of panels is an optional feature on most Skyfold models. When the Skyfold wall is tucked away in the ceiling, the LED lights function as pot lights, adding a bit of visual interest and additional use to your movable wall.
3. Make Your Wall Pop
Go all out and make the Skyfold wall an accent feature in your space. Choose one color or finish for the entire wall, or mix and match colors, finishes and textures to create something unique and eye-catching, turning your Skyfold wall into more than just a functional element within the space. You can even personalize each side of the Skyfold wall with different finish selections or finish layouts to complement either side of the room.
A custom mural or graphic image is also a great way to make the wall a focal point or to communicate your client's history, brand and personality.
4. Make the Wall Disappear
Or if you want the movable wall to be more inconspicuous, you can also choose a wall finish that complements the space or that replicates the surrounding fixed walls so that the Skyfold wall looks like a permanent fixture and an intentional design element. Not only will this help to anchor the wall to the overall design theme, it will also give the people using the space on a daily basis a bit of a shock once it begins to fold into the ceiling.
5. Choose the Right Seal Color
Automated rubber seals function as the last barrier of sound when your Skyfold wall is separating a space, but did you know that these seals are available in black or white? Consider choosing a seal color that complements the color of the finish you’ve selected for the Skyfold wall. The right seal color can make the Skyfold panels look like decorative and architectural elements in your space, or they can make the panels seemingly disappear altogether.
5. Go Premium
Skyfold’s Zenith® Premium series uses the narrow path of travel technology from the Zenith® Series and takes it one step further with automated ceiling pocket closures. These panels are the last thing to descend from its storage pocket to seal off the ceiling pocket from view, which is usually visible when looking upward from the base of other Skyfold models. The Zenith Premium conceals this pocket from view and leaves the ceiling completely flushed. For your closure panels, choose a color or finish that matches the ceiling for a truly seamless look.
Banner Photo © Henrich Blessing / Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP