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  • Writer's pictureEmily Fisher

Make Your Business a Place People Want to Be (with Design!)

Commercial Interior Design Tips and Tricks from EJ Designs

Lobby of Hershey Hotel with rust orange, dark gray, cream, and wood-based colors - designed by EJ designs

Harsh fluorescent lights buzzing overhead, cold concrete floors that echo your steps like a cavern, and stained old chairs that aren’t welcoming to sit on - those are the commercial designs of yesterday. Commercial spaces that keep up with design trends by offering clients an inviting and unique experience in the places where they eat, shop, learn, stay overnight, and work are the businesses that see repeat clientele.

We’ve gathered some industry trends infused with our own ideas that you can use as inspo to have your clients feeling the FOMO.

Add a Social Media Photo Op!

Word-of-mouth marketing is a super effective way to promote your business. If you want people to share that they’ve been there, consider creating a one-of-a-kind selfie backdrop inside or outside of your commercial space! Creative wall art that reflects your brand and is fun to interact with will have clients lining up to share your destination on social media for some organic marketing.

Pick the perfect spot! You’ll want your picture perfect selfie spot to seem effortless to your clients, but it might take a little effort on your part (or ours! We’re happy to consult with you on social media magnets like this).

Position your destination wall in a place where it will be immediately seen. Look for an area that is easy to spot inside or even outside, or if you have the space, send your clients on a scavenger hunt throughout your space with several small interactive selfie spots.

Consider a spot near a window with natural lighting. If that’s not possible, we can help you figure out how to make it photo-ready with a lighting specialist (us!). If it’s outside, consider an all-weather awning to keep your clients clicking and posting all year-round.

Keep in mind, you’ll have to think outside the box for something like this so that people actually want to take a picture there. A boho bench that swings from the ceiling. A giant paper flower wall. A large mural with a scene in front of it. It doesn’t have to be pushing your brand at the spot, but it should have signage of what/where to tag for social media.

(The Hampton Social is Burr Ridge, IL an excellent example of this!)

Commercial Interior Design Office featuring flexible seating and modern interior design

Make it a "Home Away From Home"

It’s time to rethink the workspace! Offices and classrooms are trending toward more of a home-like feel. Lighting changes, flexible seating, and accessibility top the list when looking to increase focus, comfort, and productivity in employees and students.

Try different lighting options. Office workers and educators are turning off the overhead lights and opting for natural (warm glowing) light alongside LED-based desk and task lighting. Research has shown that LED lighting led to higher student engagement than “old-school” fluorescent lighting.

Emily Fisher, owner of EJ Designs, standing with her arm over a high top chair in an office she did commercial interior design for

Offer seating choices. Flexible seating and desk options are a must for an inclusive environment. Different styles of chairs such as couches, arm chairs, built-in seating, desk chairs, wobble stools, and adjustable chairs give staff and students the ability to switch out their seats if they feel fatigued. Lap desks, adjustable height desks, and restaurant-style booths all give users the freedom of choice on how to work. Casual work environments offer seating options that make people happy and keep them productive!

*Eco-friendly tip: flexible seating offers the ability to reuse fixtures, furniture, and equipment - circumventing the landfilling of these materials.

Build in seamless charging. Integrating wireless charging at workstations helps users worry less about bringing power cords and helps them concentrate more on their productivity. Tables and desks can be retrofitted with wireless stations (from below) on most work surfaces giving it a clean look - making it perfect for concentration.

Use Inclusive Design for All

We discussed inclusiveness in the workplace and classroom, but commercial, healthcare, restaurant, and hospitality spaces are prime locations to include design for all. Considering the experience for all people is a great way to build a trustworthy and dependable brand.

Sensory Sound Design. Sound can be disturbing to some, especially loud sounds. For your staff, this can definitely decrease productivity. To make your commercial space quieter, consider sound absorbing materials for walls and ceilings. Architectural fabrication companies specialize in sound reduction and can create uniquely custom solutions for any sized project. Not only are you assisting individuals in your work environment who are sensitive to this, but you are also creating interesting sculptural pieces that can double as art!

A Calming Restroom. Making the bathroom more inviting to all clientele (and staff) is important. Quietly flushing toilets that flush when you want them to, family restroom options, bright but calming lighting, sinks for the wheelchair bound and small children, soap dispensers within reach, odor venting, and sound absorbing materials are just a few of the ways to make bathrooms more inviting for all to use.

If you’re considering updating an existing commercial space or planning a new one, reach out to us for help in creating a uniquely custom commercial design that will have your clients eager to share your space with others!


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