Incredible elements of commercial interior design can hit you in a couple of ways. There’s the ‘Wow’ you get as a customer or guest when you walk into a place that is masterfully designed. And then there’s the more subtle ‘wow’ from the people working there, who realise that the workspace hides a plethora of features and surprises built just for them.
Here are 11 ways that exceptional workplaces, both big and small, are revolutionising commercial interior design.
Clever conversions and adaptive re-use
There is a beautiful push at present to revitalise old existing properties and give them new life. Warehouses, old homes, churches, hospitals, shops and more are being reclaimed, stripped back to their rustic bare essentials, and then built again to create stunning workspaces.
They can be pared back to their original structure and then evolved to include all the modern office requirements, while still connecting workers to their natural environments.
Natural textures and injections of life
Office décor now has more emphasis on natural finishes such as exposed beams and plumbing, natural brick and pared back wood, and is complemented by sunlight, neutral tones and lots of lush greenery.
As more and more studies show that people work better when they are at least partially connected to a natural environment, office designs build in more access to natural light, water features, stone and wood finishes and living plants.
In perfect harmony with the use of natural materials and connecting workers to nature, is the demand for eco-friendly design. Commercial spaces are more pressured to be socially conscious than ever, and as well as having their own solid values about wanting to build economically, and designers are responding.
Recycling and other clever use of materials, ingenious incorporation of natural light, and reducing a building’s energy needs are all vital features of new designs.
Removing the C from the CBD
As technology becomes ever more flexible and you can locate offices anywhere, companies are moving away from the CBD and into the leafier suburbs, finding old buildings with enormous potential for new life. With work-life balance becoming ever more important, companies are finding space which is cheaper to rent, has better parking and is out of the firing line of peak hour traffic.
Workers find these workspaces much more attractive, and the greater variety in building style and shape means the interior designer can do so much more.
In well-designed office spaces, there are no cords or powerpoints in sight. All desks, booths, couches, pods, and benches have either wireless capability or hidden connection built into the structure. This keeps a sleek, clean look which maximises productivity and promotes a flexible workspace. Workers are equipped with their own portable technology and connectivity and can locate literally anywhere.
Within the desire of workers to locate literally anywhere, comes the emergence of Activity Based Working (ABW) offices. In these spaces, there are no designated desks or offices for job title, but a combination of different kinds of space depending on what task you are doing right now.
Offices are a blend of communal think-spaces, meeting rooms and presentation areas, social networking opportunities and private or silent workrooms. Workers locate wherever they are most productive for their current task and will move throughout the day. This allows for evolutionary furniture such as desks which convert from sitting to standing, walls that move and fold back, technology and auditorium seating that can appear and disappear, and so much more.
Ingenious use of space
Commercial interior design is getting smarter and more creative, allowing designers to have some fun. Through the conversions of older properties and flexible workspaces, you can have less room and learn to use it to far greater advantage. Offices are reusing the same space for a number of uses throughout the day, with less need for things like paper storage and large server rooms.
By thinking outside of the box, commercial design has become exceptional, and at times can be engineering brilliance, as well as a complex work of art.
Speaking of works of art, commercial interior design is increasingly bespoke, with less cookie cutter design and more pieces that speak of the personality of the brand. In this, business owners are commissioning handmade pieces, such as art installations, reception desks or meeting room tables, that are created uniquely by Australian artists. The imperfect beauty of these pieces gives the space a natural, personal and more authentic feel.
Now more than ever, offices and other commercial entities are discovering the benefits of sourcing local designers, artists, furniture crafters, and Australia natural materials. Local products are of an international quality, and when highlighted in a commercial space, show that this business’ heart lies at home.
Intelligent décor design now incorporates the brand into the building, and this means so much more than just whacking the logo across the wall. Business owners want the entire space to reflect their individual business style and mission, and are looking for more and more original design ideas from their creatives to put a stamp on the space. Commercial interior design is not enough to just be functional, it must now be personal, innovative, elevated and enriched.
While the office décor must last a decade, it doesn’t need to be bland or appear easily dated. Design features are incorporating bold use of colour blocking, not in line with specific trends, but again in line with the company identity. Using furniture such as couches, strong art works and feature walls, even the colour of exposed industrial touches like pipes and light fittings, offers the opportunity to be creative and confident.
Your workspace speaks the personality of the company and the people that work within it. Good commercial designs are one of a kind and have more heart and soul built into them than ever before.