Commercial Interior Design is a favorite ‘niche’ of mine. It is both challenging, in terms of codes one has to adhere to, as well as creatively satisfying as the designs can be ‘grander’ in scale and ‘bolder’ vs a typical residential project. One can push the envelope in terms of design concepts and materials all with the goal to strike a balance between function and form. From retail to restaurant to your office or lobby, commercial design takes large scale thinking with attention to detail and an understanding of how people function in and perceive their environment. Of course each space will have a different end result, as a retail space will be driven to enhance sales, while and spa will be designed for comfort and relaxation.
But the fun in a commercial setting is meeting the sites intended function, customer flow and so forth. Each project has it’s own criteria and challenges, and it is why I enjoy working towards a unifying design solution on each individual project. A lot of programming needs to be addressed prior to any design ‘fun’ that can be had. Also the number of occupants / stakeholders increases having a strong impact on the end design. But just such a challenging environment gets the creative and technical juices flowing, because in the end, while creating a great looking atmosphere to engage and excite your staff and clients one still has to work with ADA and conform to all local/state and national codes which ensures public safety.
A space mixing retail and office design, as in the office space pictured below, is especially challenging. For not only is one concerned with work flow and work-space but is adding customer flow and presentation to the mix. Couple that with the limited square footage available at ones disposition and it may take some creativity to develop a well rounded and functional design. But pushing those limits can be even more fun and rewarding than the challenges it presents. Design is a mix of technical and creative talents, both of which play off each other to create a perfect space.
To make your space the absolute best it can become, engage your designer and work closely, making a list of the way your personnel operates, the client demographic and other such details to help the designer with proper programming. The most important aspect of a successful design, any design, is an open line of communication. If there is one thing to keep in mind is that a well informed designer and an open and responsive client make for the best outcome for the space or project involved. Nothing is created in a vacuum, and if it was, it would not be very useful to those that require a specific function.
But most importantly, have fun! As the future space will be your home away from home or your clients first impression, so make it a good one!