What is a Commercial Interior Designer?
First of all, what exactly is a commercial designer? Well, unlike a residential interior designer, a commercial designer is responsible for space planning, design plan, schematic drawings, furniture selections, textile requirements, and the overall interior design project for offices. Commercial interior designers partner with vendors, contractors, suppliers, and architects to execute on an office design that has often been made using online CAD design software (like AutoCad) and now must come to life. This involves a tonne of project management and coordination to ensure deadlines are met, the scope of work has been agreed, space requirements capture, specifications and elevations have been measured, fabric, draperies and window treatments selected, and all whilst keeping the client happy!
Many commercial designers will have an interior design degree or certificate from the NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification in the United States), but many have also studied a bachelor's degree in another design field like architecture, product design, or even fashion. Whilst commercial designers are not architects they will often have to review with architects things like construction documents, inspection regulations, and plumbing locations. At the core of these interior decorator's role during their interior design services, they should ultimately make the client feel comfortable they are in expert hands and can transform their design concept into an office which oozes functionality through scientific space planning. All of which they should convince you of during your initial consultation, where hopefully they provide you with a cost estimate and basic design concept fairly soon after.
It's no secret that a lot of work goes into choosing your commercial interior designer. So when choosing the interior design firm and project management group make sure you take the below steps into consideration. Ultimately the design firm you chose should be experts in commercial projects with good designers who are used to working with complex commercial floor plans and design elements. You're looking to create an office that provides comfort, motivation, and function, as well as aesthetics, but it's also important to take into consideration practicalities like ensuring you have well-designed kitchens for your employees and creating a signature style and easy to navigate floor plan. It also never hurts to create an office that resembles a residential design. After all, this is going to be the place you spend several hours of your day. Before choosing an office designer at a design firm, why not start the process by thinking about how you want your office to look! Below we explore our top tips based on reviewing hundreds of interior design programs and interviewing interior decorator
Consider Your Companies Brand
You want to ensure your interior space reflects your profession and overall brand. If you're running a health care company than you want to look into a design process that is targeted for health care interior design. A healthcare design may include soothing colors on a neutral color palette and executive furniture. Now, if your brand creates educational toys for children, then a bolder palette, decor in geometric patterns, and kid-like furnishing can help your team feel creative. If your brand specializes in eco-friendly products, you may want an office that offers more sustainability.
Choose Your Office Layout
Once you determine how to reflect your brand in your commercial design, you need to choose a concept for your layout. Nowadays, open offices are popular in commercial spaces. Then again, you may want a layout that offers a little more privacy for your team and guests. You can always mix the two to create an open space with several closed-off rooms. If you need to find more ideas, check out different interior design magazines and websites, or talk to an architect about your layout. Remember also there may be building codes you or your interior decorator need to review and include on your project management tracker.
Create Enough Space In Your Floor plan
When designing an office, you want to ensure there are enough square feet for everyone to work and move around comfortably. A good interior designer will measure your entire space, furniture, and decor to ensure you're investing in the right pieces - but you can always do this yourself using floor plan apps on your cellphone. If your team feels crowded, they may become frustrated and unmotivated, and you'll need to re-create a commercial design with more square feet. One idea for creating enough square feet is to plan a renovation of an old gym, retail store, or department store building. Once you have permission to obtain and renovate the building, you can look into local architects and builders to make this happen.
Be Mindful of Your Team's Needs
There's more to be mindful of your team than creating more square feet, even though that's an important step. A good interior designer will often ask to interview other people in your team, but it's also important to discuss the interior design with your team to see what they'd prefer in an office and communicate that back. You may find half your team would prefer to hold lengthy discussions, while the other half would prefer to work in a quiet space. Your entire team may be excited at the thought of an elevator in their workspace.
Encourage Collaboration Whilst Space Planning
Regardless of the layout, you choose for your office, it's important to encourage your team to collaborate within the interior design. One way to do that is with open interior design, such as setting up your commercial interiors in a way that allows everyone to work together. If you're choosing a more closed concept, be sure to provide plenty of seating in the lounge and meeting rooms. Ultimately we believe you should have a defined signature style in mind that the interior design keeps focusing on.
Invest In Stylish, Comfortable Office Furniture
Remember, you're going to be spending a lot of time in your different work environments, so you want to choose your furniture wisely. It's okay to select pieces that are stylish and ideal for your budget, such as rugs in geometric patterns. You may even decide to look into furniture that offers sustainability to create an eco-friendly business. Regardless, you also want to ensure these pieces are comfortable in all spaces, from your workstation to the lounge.
Keep Essentials Within Reach
Just like in your own home office It's not easy to work comfortably when you're constantly stretching, bending, or climbing for your essentials. Whether you're using paper documents or office supplies, you need an interior design that keeps your essentials within reach. It's best to invest in shelving units that work for your office.
Consider Your Office Lighting and Ventilation
Of course, you also need to consider the light and ventilation of your commercial interior design. A brighter office feels more open and airy, and the natural light can make a big impact on your mood. You also want to ensure the vents are not blocked, and that the curtains and windows can be opened for light and airflow.
Create A Home-Inspired Commercial Interior Design
Your office is your second home on long workdays, so it should be as cozy as your residential design which is why getting a good interior designer is critical to realizing the vision you have. Greenery, warm decor, and plush seating all create the home-inspired interior your team desires on a long workday and create that signature style. You can also provide several workspace options to enhance comfort and function.
Create An Unforgettable Reception Area
Whether you're creating a nature-inspired, department store or healthcare design, your reception area is the first thing your guests are going to see when visiting your office, so you want to make a good impression on them. A reception area with comfortable seating, coffee tables, and relaxing aesthetics gives a sneak peek at your professional interior design.
When you're finally ready to choose a commercial interior designer that works for your team, guests, and yourself, just remember to think about these 10 tips.
To conclude finding good interior designers can be a challenge, but it's better to invest the time upfront to ensure the project management of the office design runs smoothly. Good designers often charge an hourly rate so it's important to have this conversation up front before you go too deep and waste both of your time if it's out of your price range. Hourly rates can range from $70 an hour right up to $500, with project hours ranging from 30 to 100s - so doing some basic budget planning on which hourly rate you think you can afford is helpful. With the top tips above, we're confident you'll find a good interior designer that meets your needs!