The significance of commercial interior design has never been greater. Within office and business spaces, employees are adapting to a new balance of flexible working patterns, hybrid work locations and new expectations of commercial spaces. Whereas the interiors serving as a retail or customer service space face the challenge of offering something new, dynamic and appealing. Ultimately, a company’s interior is the pitch deck for the business. It is the shop window selling the product, creating belief and trust in a service or offering a welcoming space for employees to work.
First impressions run deep
Whether it is a hotel, restaurant, office or medical facility people automatically form a general impression of the business as they enter the premises. The interior design offers a huge opportunity to showcase and promote the vision of the company, entice customers in, or welcome employees into a positive workspace. Dark, tatty interiors reduce footfall and may put people off entering or using a service. Depressing design and impractical workspaces can demotivate staff and fail to get the best from an employee.
Commercial design considers multiple factors. The placement of furniture, use of lighting, consideration of space, as well as the use of colour and text all factor into increasing functionality and the promotion of the brand.
Appeal to the senses
Versatility and attention to detail are key. Some of the best interiors go unnoticed as they provide a comfortable non-offensive environment which functions in the manner it is intended. Others stand out for their beauty, uniqueness or sensory appeal.
The use of space is pivotal. Viewing the interior as a 3D space and considering the length, width and height allows for design potential to be maximised. Tiered areas, statement ceiling features and balanced spaces, that aren’t too chaotic or equally minimalist, all play into this outlook.
Thoughtfully planning the movement through an interior can add a new dimension to the commercial space. Furniture placement and walkways form the horizontal lines, whereas windows, artwork and hanging decorations fulfil the vertical. The addition of dynamic lines formed by staircases and structural supports adds yet another dimension and can be played with to change the way a space is viewed.
Colour psychology should always be a factor when selecting an interior colour scheme. Whereas the relaxed, calming effects of blue and green shades may work with a spa or office space, a restaurant or hotel interior may want to provide a more energetic vibe. Orange has been claimed to increase appetite and so lends itself to the hospitality sector. Equally, the warmth and security of brown tones can provide a more rustic feel. Often accent colours work well and block-colour artwork can subtly evoke certain emotions yet be adaptable and alter if the premises is wanting to be used for a different purpose.
Something not to be overlooked is the power of lighting and its ability to define a space. Making use of natural light can make the appearance of a space seem larger and more welcoming. Equally, warm artificial light can create cosy, intimate spaces and highlight certain areas in the space. The absence of light can also create depth and allow for spotlighting to highlight items like artwork, artefacts or apparel.
The inclusion of patterns and texture can add another layer to the design. When the right designs and materials are used well an ambience and a sense of continuity can be achieved, even forming a narrative for the business. With so many factors to manipulate, the perfect design can be achieved on several levels and give multipurpose functionality.
Designed by Ministry of Design
Located in Singapore the design brief was to create a ‘high net-worth banking experience’. The MOD used the vast glass atrium and paired it with a flourishing indoor conservatory as a focal point. The space includes bars, meeting pods, lounges and casual spaces tucked between strategically placed foliage. The overall effect is an exclusive, yet personable unique space that offers privacy without the constraints of office walls.
The importance of commercial interior design runs deeper than the mere appearance. Designing for purpose and well-being gives an edge and elevates the appeal of a company.
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