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Brinda Goswami

Verified Expert in Interior Design

As a founder of iii studio, Brinda has designed and executed over 100+ projects with a special focus on luxurious residential designing. She is the owner & principal designer at iii studio, Hyderabad.

Learn » Interior Design Concepts » Commercial Interior Design Ideas – 5 Rules for Successful Commercial Interiors

A well-designed commercial space has become a necessity in recent times. Be it the workspace or retail stores, proper space planning plays a significant role in employee and customer satisfaction. A warm and welcoming office space imparts positive vibes, while a busy, cacophonic, and cold ambiance can lead to irritation and impatience.

Thus, it is imperative that all aspects of commercial real estate properties, whether physical or environmental, need to be implemented with thoughtfulness. This is where commercial interior design comes into play. Most interior design firms offer design services for commercial spaces to ensure a polished, stylish, and welcoming ambiance. However, before venturing into some unique commercial design ideas, let’s find out what commercial interior design means.

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What is Commercial Interior Design?

Commercial interior design pertains to the interior design of different commercial spaces, such as retail spaces, offices, lobbies, restaurants, and other places for public use. Ideas for designing commercial spaces commence with the planning process. Interior designers study the current design trends in the industry and collaborate with architects to organize elements that can determine the final look of the completed space.

Good planning, creative design thinking, space management, skilled handiwork, and precise execution are the critical ingredients for a well-made commercial space. Applying interior design techniques that effortlessly blend can build visually exciting rooms that follow specific themes, bringing an exciting twist to an otherwise bland area. Although good commercial interiors might usually remain unnoticed by most, it is known to significantly improve the surrounding space and encourage people to spend more time in the vicinity. Thus, it adds value to business growth.

Commercial interior design may use the existing design style or create an entirely new one. For example, modern and contemporary design is quite popular when creating the interiors of corporate lobbies, tech-focused offices, or government workplaces. However, commercial interior design can also take inspiration from past trends, with traditional decor that uses natural wood or a country-like design style that lends warmth and comfort to the overall ambiance to a store or a restaurant.

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What is the Purpose of Commercial Interior Design?

As the saying goes, the purpose of a building is defined by its interior, not its exterior; similarly, the purpose of any commercial space is characterized by its interior design. Be it New York, San Francisco, or any other posh retail location in the bay area, even the best businesses in the world may not achieve success if their interior space is not thought out well.


Interior design is summed up as the art of combining functional architecture with aesthetic elements within any structure to enhance its look and feel. Commercial spaces are usually built to fulfill a business’s purpose. They can be stores, offices, warehouses, or restaurants. Therefore, they require specific commercial interior designs to accomplish their goals. Thus, there are numerous reasons for a business or public agency to seek the help of commercial interior design for their space.

In retail spaces, a well-designed space proves to be more attractive to customers, increasing the footfall in stores and encouraging customers to spend more time browsing the merchandise. Where office space is concerned, a designer may utilize a commercial interior design project to establish a theme that showcases the company’s corporate image. For example, a tech company can furnish its office space with a contemporary theme to focus on technological efficacy. In contrast, a restaurant may want its interior space to reflect the regional décor of the cuisine it serves.

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Who is a Commercial Interior Designer, and What Does He Do?

A professional specializing in the conceptualization, planning, and execution of the interior design of commercial spaces is known as the commercial interior designer. They provide services right from the conceptual stages of the project to the planning for the construction project.

Skilled in interior design project management, the commercial space designers study and evaluate the proposed space for various design possibilities, keeping in mind the purpose and layout ideas for further use. It is advised that the interior designers walk through the construction stages, complete field verification, take all the required measurements at the construction site, and prepare specification sheets and drawings of all the construction activities. This will help the designer finalize the color theme and finishing details, select the furniture design, furnishing products, and any other related objects to meet the client’s needs.

A commercial interior designer is responsible for staying focused on the client’s needs and achieving high-end results within the assigned budget. The process begins with a meeting between the interior designer, the architect, and the client’s project manager, who is in charge of the commercial project. The three stakeholders brainstorm ideas to understand their feasibility for the given space and prepare the schematics. Designers may produce sketches, 3D models, or the 3D rendering of commercial space simulations to help clients visualize the results. The designer is also responsible for choosing the furniture design and furnishings that may look good within the completed area.

Who uses Commercial Interior Design, and How is it Used?

Commercial interior design is usually used by full-service interior design firms or consulting interior designers specializing in commercial spaces. The commercial interior designer is the person who will create and direct the interior design process for any commercial space, such as restaurants, retail spaces, or offices. This designer also acts as an advisor to the client, guiding them in selecting the theme, materials, layout, space distribution, interior wall arrangement, and any other design aspect.

The interior designer can also be the mediator between the client and other professionals working on the project, such as the architects, decorators, carpenters, electricians, builders, and others to meet the design goals. The designer may also utilize commercial interior design techniques to plan the themes, wall partitions, and decoration that can work around the space to create proper space distribution and enhance the area’s functionality.

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5 Rules for Successful Commercial Interior Design:

An excellent commercial design can go a long way in defining the success of any business. Shopping outlets, restaurants, or any other customer-centric commercial buildings can make more profit only when they can attract and retain more customers. A worn and congested space with bad lighting and no walking space is bound to make shoppers feel uneasy, causing reluctance to visit again.

Similarly, offices and workspaces must be designed in a manner to keep employees calm and agile. A dimly lit office space with busy wallpapers and excessive décor items might cause employees to lose their patience and deteriorate their productivity.

Thus, well-thought interior designs for commercial spaces are the need of the hour. So, how does one attain an attractive retail space that will reflect the ideologies of the business while supporting it in becoming a thriving enterprise? Various rules and ideas for successful commercial design can be incorporated to achieve award-winning results for any commercial space. Let’s look at some of these ideas to help scale up the interiors of a commercial building.

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1. Keeping Structures Versatile

When it comes to the structural elements of a commercial interior, the best way to ensure the convertibility of any interior space is to keep them versatile. Space should be designed to be revamped according to the changing trends if the need arises. It can comprise easily alterable elements in the completed interior design or proper spatial planning to allow the maneuvering of furniture, equipment, and other furnishing items with ease.

This tip can be applied to any commercial spaces such as retail spaces, restaurants, and offices. This idea has been picked up from the design of commercial spaces at an airport. The cubicles in an airport are spaced to make customization easy and allow the movement of shops without hassle. A similar trick can be used for any commercial space. Interior designers can include innovative ways for optimal planning and designing of the interiors of an office to enable the owners or employees to make easy conversions and frequent adaptations according to their comfort and needs.

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2. Consider Technology Implementation

Technology plays a significant role in creating the interior space for a new home or commercial building in modern times. Retail businesses rely on technology for communication, functioning as well as sales. Thus, it has become crucial to design commercial spaces from a technological standpoint for ease of use. While pursuing an interior designing course, designers understand the significance of the amalgamation of aesthetic design with functionality. This is an essential aspect of commercial interior design.

Seamless implementation of technological systems is necessary for a commercial space. While creating the design plan of commercial interiors, facilities for telecommunication systems such as computer networking, telephones, television, media players should be kept in mind. Also, a systematic plan for installing centralized or decentralized digital control systems is always needed, considering the comfort and effectiveness factor of the guests, shoppers, diners, or the workforce.

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3. Keep Aesthetics Upgraded

Interior designers may sometimes overlook the aesthetic aspects to give more importance to functionality while creating an interior design space for commercial use. However, this might affect the overall smartness of the commercial space in the long run. A dull, bland, and unfurnished interior space, no matter how functional, will never impart pleasant vibes. Therefore, commercial interior design should also address aesthetics for interiors.

Designers can add modern décor items and furniture to keep the space upgraded according to recent trends. They can also refer to any monthly architectural digest to stay aware of the new design elements. The interior space can be designed in a manner that allows it to evolve and be renovated over time without affecting the basic branding parameters, like the recurring theme or color palette.

Take the design of an office interior, for example. It can be enhanced by adding designated convertible seating, lounging, or lunch areas that can creatively use trending office decor ideas to make the workplace fun, utilized and chic without affecting the more stable structures in the building. The mannequins in the clothing store can be dressed according to the current stock or accessorized to meet contemporary fashion trends.

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4. Provide Personalized Spaces

When it comes to customer-based services like restaurants and hotels, making customers feel at home is about giving them a choice to enjoy preferential services and ambiance. Thus, it is immensely beneficial for these businesses to form a commercial interior design plan to build their space with provisions that satisfy personal interests and preferences.

Restaurants, for example, can offer different seating areas, such as indoor seating, garden seating, poolside seating, or terrace seating, for patrons to choose the place that would be most satisfying to them. On the other hand, hotels can have different rooms and villas designed according to the needs and preferences of their guests.

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5. Always Ensure Safety

Another important point that needs to be kept in mind while designing a commercial office space is safety. Safety is the central feature in any building construction. Since safety is the moral obligation of the interior designer and the client and not just a statutory requirement, safety features should be essentially fused into the interior design. It is quite imperative to ensure that no safety regulation is sacrificed for aesthetic or functional design purposes.

Following these five simple ideas will ensure that the commercial interior design is safe, sound, functional, and aesthetically pleasing. In addition, in today’s competitive business scenario, reliability is the pivotal factor that decides customer retention. Thus, incorporating these commercial interior design ideas can offer a reliable, modern, unique, and successful commercial space.

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