Anyone who works in commercial design will be familiar with the client who walks in and quickly becomes stuck with the direction of the project. Most of the time, this is because there is simply so much you can do with a workplace that they have no idea where to start. Other times, it is because the client is more familiar with residential design and are, therefore, completely unaware of the potential that their workplace holds. Here are some tips that can help you to liven up a commercial space:
Most clients envisioning a ‘professional’ commercial design will automatically steer towards white or grey colour palettes; fortunately, professional doesn’t have to equal dull. You should try to pick a colour that embodies the personality of your business – bold shades can actually be quite energizing, whilst calm hues can help to create a serene environment.
This is often an area that many clients tend to neglect until the end or forget about altogether. Try using a variety of light sources and even fixtures to create points of interest within your workplace. Why not install some creative pendants in your reception area simply for a decorative touch? Or add some coloured lighting to the walls to add that special touch.
Many clients will be looking for ways that they can prevent their commercial design from becoming too flat and uniform; this is where the use of multiple textures comes in. You could paint some of your walls and cover others with wooden slats or embossed panels. Just make sure that you use similar materials on all of your surfaces to tie the whole design together.
When clients have quite a large workplace to work with, space dividers are often a vital part of the commercial design, as they can be used to stop the space from feeling cavernous. Use glass partitions or screens to separate areas without cutting off their natural light sources; use opaque or more solid ones for areas that require an amount of privacy; and use unexpected materials for added pop.
When it comes to putting together a commercial design for a client who really has no idea what they want, you should try incorporating one or more of the above points in the plan to see how they are achieved. Whilst some clients will still want to stick to something stark and plain, it is likely that you will find other clients who are very open to these changes and are willing to make them work for their business.