There are many variants that separate residential and commercial design, but one of the most important differences is consideration of design codes. When creating a residential space, it is typical in a single-family residence that the aesthetic elements are tailored to the family’s tastes or needs. However, when it comes to commercial design, the larger public must be considered and the design must be tailored to the kind of commercial space that is being created. Retail design is often a sleek, or attention grabbing design that reflects the style of the brand it is representing. They are designed above all to attract a customer’s interest, so that the consumer can be drawn in to make a purchase. Examples of retail design are clothing stores, accessory stores, home stores, book stores, even mega-stores like Wal-Mart fall into this category.
This beauty counter is a great example of what retail design should be: eye-catching, organized, well lit, and above all, inviting. The product is displayed where it is accessible for the customers to see it, and where it is easy for the clerk to see them. Saks 5th Avenue is a store known for its good fashion sense, and it displays its products in an according way. Large spacious aisles, interesting wall treatments, accessories, and fine furnishings help to soften the look of racks of clothes and break up the monotony of the space. Clean lines and good lighting draw you to the sales floors. This is an excellent example of an organized, well put together display of product. High end shoe stores and purse shops should all feel open and free of clutter. Shoe or bag types should be well spaced and arranged in a way that does not feel crowded, and so that no one type of item is obstructing the view of another. A client should be able to walk in and identify the selection they would like to see quickly. If a space is to confusing, it can become frustrating for customers and no matter how wonderful your product is, you will lose business. Commercial office design can have a wide range of feelings from light and fun, clean lined and stark, serious and sophisticated, and the list could go on and on. However, in addition to aesthetic, companies create these commercial office spaces to encourage work in an environment that relates well to its employees. Google offices are known for being fun and employee friendly, as well as for their great sense of style. The openness of the office space above plays perfectly into the stark industrial look of the building, while bright hues of primary colors like red, yellow, and blue are accented by complementary colors of green, purple, and orange. The office systems are visually open and airy, and the furnishings are sparse and functional, allowing the mind to be free of clutter and giving the space a wonderful clean feeling. Herman Miller office systems, as shown above, are a very popular choice for corporate companies because they offer many layouts, themes, ideas, options, and finishes that can suit any client’s needs. The ergonomic office chairs offer employees much needed support for sitting in the same position for hours at a time, and can adjust to the individuals needs. Some of the filing cabinets serve as additional support for the countertops, while the ones shown with brightly covered tops are on wheels can serve as additional writing space and a second form of seating in a pinch. The lockable cabinets over the desks can hold books, binders, personal items, extra supplies, etc… The open book ends are a nice touch and make the binders that are for everyone’s use as accessible as possible. A design or architectural firm would work well in this space. There are many more office systems I could mention, but I will stop on one of my favorite commercial furniture companies, Knoll. They, like all corporate furnishing firms, offer lots of different office systems that have multiple uses, layouts, options, and finishes. The difference in brands can be very slight, but in the commercial arena, the brand that is used is often whichever one has the best product to support the purpose and gives the best price. I love Knoll because of all of the quirky accessories and interesting shapes they offer, they help to create a more motivating workplace. The system above has desks that are shaped like boomerangs and the accessories very by the desk, and perhaps the task each person performs. This layout could be good for a computer programming firm. Design is always bending, changing, and flowing with the time and situation it is being used in. Commercial design can be so different from residential, because there is a lot of psychology that goes into creating everything from the furniture to the layout of the space. There are also many codes that must be adhered to so as to insure the public’s safety and welfare. Only professional firms should be providing or installing furnishings in commercial spaces, so contact a local firm that knows your areas codes and can assist you in furnishing these types of spaces.