Is Resimercial like Peanut Butter and Jelly?

Peanut butter and jelly. Bacon and eggs. Ozzie and Harriet. (Kim and Kanye, for my Millennial friends) … I bet you could name at least five more things that are just not quite as amazing without the other. But, I doubt “residential” and “commercial” would be the first two words that come to mind.

Have you heard of the term “resimercial”? I think it’s something we should all be keeping our eye on. In fact, it’s already here and — like peanut butter and jelly — I don’t think it’s going to burn out anytime soon.

So, what exactly is resimercial?

You’ll most commonly see the term on design and architectural blogs that focus on office planning. As you probably know, there’s been a shift in recent years to make office spaces more comfortable and “homey” — and this term is often used to describe that. Simply, it’s a term that means: residential aesthetics in a commercial application.

Developers and office designers are scratching the cubicle model and are opting for more resimercial look and feel. Whether it’s an effort to attract the younger demographic to the workplace, to make “work” more comfortable, or to keep up with the Silicon Valley hype that surrounds all things “workplace culture” — the resimercial idea has infiltrated real estate brokerages to technology companies, and everything in between.

Taking resimercial a step further …

Besides the marriage of residential design in commercial spaces, I personally think that resimercial has a place in the mixed-use conversation. The whole “live, work, play” concept has really blossomed — catering to the same group of people who love resimercial. When you can take the elevator downstairs from your apartment to grab a smoothie and can walk next door to the office, that has a huge appeal in today’s culture.

The Garden State Plaza Mall, for example, is undergoing a huge makeover that will include mixed retail and residential. The Monmouth Mall in Eatontown (via Kushner and Brookfield Properties)  is doing something similar — adding apartments, entertainment and more. The old trend was for these properites to rent to the highest-paying retailers they could find, and t hat’s all shifting as they reinvent these properties.

But, how do we pay attention to design to make sure we’re not overdoing the laidback vibe in the office, for example? Or, how do we consciously design a live, work, play community that really does allow you to clock out and relax when work is over?

Being conscious of design that design works

My thoughts? I think we need to make a conscious effort to consider all types of people and their living/working styles. In office spaces, for example, it’s important to have different areas — open concept, quiet areas, break rooms, etc. — that allow people to choose the place that works best for their working style. In a live, work, play development, maybe that means consciously building units that are quieter than others or creating a diverse offering of residential units that meet a variety of social expectations.

I guess where I’m going with this is … we don’t need to overdo it. We need to be conscious that — both at work and at home — people work and live differently, and if we design with that in mind, we’re being more inclusive and our buildings see greater potential use.

Do you work in a resimercial environment? Live in a live, work, play development? I’d love to hear your thoughts about the resimercial trend. Let’s continue the conversation over on my LinkedIn page.