A commercial space may be frequented by all different people, from staff and clients to tradespeople or suppliers. Whether an office block, a hotel, school or gym, space planning and interior design are just as important for a commercial space as they are for your own home. After all, these premises are a reflection of your business and your reputation.
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However, commercial interior design is not easy to get right and, as a business owner, you also need to think about regulations and safety too. These best practices can provide you with a good foundation on which to build your design to make your commercial space aesthetically pleasing, practical and safe for everyone.
Think ahead and leave space to grow
Your business is always evolving, so you don’t want to create interiors that are only suitable for your company today. Space planning needs to be adaptable and allow your company to grow, so consider ways you can create flexible spaces and structures that can be utilised in different ways. For example, you may want to add mezzanine areas that can create other work areas for your team or office pods that can be moved around to form new layouts depending on the needs of your business.
Combine form with function
Functionality should always be your priority when planning a commercial space, but in the interest of providing a good impression, you also need to consider the aesthetics. Think about how you can create a cleaner, tidier space that is practical and beautiful. For example, installing suspended ceilings will provide easy access to cables and electrical components from lights or security cameras and smoke detectors, while keeping the room more aesthetically pleasing.
Technology can’t be ignored when you’re planning a commercial space. For example, retails spaces rely on tech to communicate and function as well as complete sales. Likewise, an office building needs technology systems implemented in order for teams to work effectively. When you’re planning the layout, think about where facilities for telecommunication systems such as telephones and media players will go, as well as any components that will create a more comfortable space for visitors.
Make it engaging
A commercial space needs to reflect your business ethos and values, and it also needs to be engaging for both your employees and your customers. When you’re selecting colour schemes, furniture styles and planning layouts, think about whether they’re characteristic of your brand and how they’ll be perceived by those entering the space. You want the building to be engaging and make a positive impression on your staff or patrons.
Make it accessible
Take into consideration that people have different accessibility requirements, and that your space needs to accommodate everyone. That may mean having handlebars installed in changing rooms, ramps for wheelchair users or indoor mapping so people searching for facilities can find them easily. You want to be sure that whoever enters the space has an enjoyable and comfortable experience, whether they’re working in the space or visiting temporarily. Again, this ties into future planning your space too. You may have customers or employees in the future who require accessible features, so think about everyone when you’re designing.
Remember the acoustics
Commercial spaces are busier and therefore noisier than a home, so consider how sound travels in the premises as having loud appliances or work processes could be distracting to people or impact productivity. You may need sound-absorbing panels if noise pollution is a concern, which help to dampen the sound without impacting the rest of your décor. Total silence isn’t essential, and in fact some noise can help to create a convivial environment. But bear in mind the levels of noise that will be produced in the space and how that might impact others, such as your customers, neighbours or fellow colleagues.
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Commercial spaces feature in virtually every industry, from retail and transport to hospitality. But each space is unique in its goals and branding, and you need to be sure that the interiors of your premises will work when it comes to working in the space and when customers or suppliers visit. Using the tricks and best practices outlined above, you can create a work environment that is comfortable, visually pleasing and functional.