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Commercial Space and Interior Design

In relation to interior design, commercial space is a strong consideration any building where items or services are bought and sold. This is significantly different from retail space, though people often confuse the two specialties. Interior designers can specialize in retail and commercial space or pick one of the two to concentrate on as a profession.

Commercial space refers to services more than goods. A store for example is a type of retail space. A commercial space can refer to a hotel, restaurant, nightclub or even a doctor's office. Depending on the type of commercial space the interior designer is working on, the job can be relatively simple or more complex.

The first step in the process of designing a commercial space is for the designer to get a look at the space. This step is also known as the conceptualization stage as it's when the designer discusses possible plans with the owner of the property. The designer gets a basic feel for the layout of the building, the way things operate or run, and what the individual's concept is.

One of the most important things an interior designer can do during this stage is talk with the client and show them different ideas. The designer sketches plans for the space either on paper or using a computer program to create a 3-D model. This allows the owner to see exactly what the designer plans to do and offer their own feedback on the design. The point is for the designer and owner to find common ground or understand the client's specific needs.

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The interior designer needs to see the way the commercial space works in its current state. This can be done by watching during the day as the employees and customers move around the space. If it's a new building not yet used, the designer may visit another similar space to get an idea of how things operate. The designer needs to know exactly what types of services the business provides, where the employees go and how the customers move through the space.

Following this stage, the interior designer executes the plans for the commercial space. This happens only after the owner approves the final design plan. The interior designer will then seek out the specific items and services to make the design happen. This can include hiring an architect to tear down a wall, a plumber to lay pipes or a carpenter to create furniture. The designer also sets up the budget and takes steps to ensure that they stick to the budget throughout the project.

Budget is one of the key aspects of designing a commercial space. The interior designer gives the client an estimate early in the project and the client expects the designer to stay on budget. They may even refuse to pay over the upfront agreed upon price and they may follow the project closely to make sure the designer stays on track. This is just one of the many things an interior designer has to deal with when working in commercial spaces.


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            Interior Design (BFA)
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