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Three Myths About Commercial Interior Design - Dispelling the Cloud of Confusion

So you’ve decided to open up a business and you’ve just purchased or leased your premises. Now what? Do you fill it with all the things needed to run the business and sort it out as you go? Before you back up the U-Haul to the door and start unpacking you might want to consider hiring a commercial interior designer. Thanks to some preconceived notions and common myths surrounding interior design in general, many might think that employing an commercial interior designer would be a waste of time and money; but before you dismiss the thought, let’s look at it and see what makes using commercial interior design an important aspect of getting your enterprise rolling.

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First, examine some of the things you think know about interior design in general. Many people view interior designers and interior decorators to be the same thing but they are not. Interior designers are college educated and trained in the field and many states require stringent licensing credentials

Second, interior design requires more than just a sense of décor or artistic aesthetics. It demands a working knowledge of how a space will be used. It will often include more complicated information as meeting sustainability or safety requirements for materials like office equipment, or adequate plumbing, ventilation, and a myriad of other details.

Third, many think that interior designers will ignore the owner’s wishes and “do their own thing.” Interior designers are very conscious of the owners wants and needs. They will work within those parameters with the mindset that the final decisions always lie with the property owner.

While these myths are often associated with residential interior design, they are just as applicable to commercial interior design. 


When entering the commercial or business realm, interior design concepts must meet more specific requirements than those in the residential arena. Whether you are building a hotel, a walk-in office that will handle dealing with clientele directly, or setting up an office that will accommodate employees only, the design of those facilities will have a direct impact on the health, happiness and productivity of everyone that walks through the door. Commercial interior designers are acutely aware of the many facets that make this possible.

For example, proper use of natural light and outside vistas will have positive influences on your employees and visitors while helping to reduce the need for using electricity for lighting.


Commercial design is about function yes, but that function is facilitated through form. When thinking about your business space, it’s not just about having the materials and facilities at hand to get the job done. The design plays a critical role in that effort. Proper commercial design can cut monthly overhead costs through the use of objects and such that serve multiple purposes and strategies, while creating a safe environment for employees and customers alike.

A crucial aspect of the commercial interior designers expertise is a robust knowledge of materials that can stand up to commercial levels of use as well as meeting sustainability and safety requirements. Commercial-grade furnishings differ markedly in this respect from residential furnishings. Drapes in hotels have higher fire retardant ratings. Seating in a pediatrician’s office must withstand the exuberance and illness of young children. Office furniture must accommodate employee health requirements. 

The critical thinking aspects of health, safety and welfare unifying the disciplines of art and science are the things that make the job of being a designer so necessary to planning interior spaces and so personally satisfying.
- Beverly Allen, Queens University of Charlotte  

From using the proper carpeting that lets chairs roll back and forth easily to knowing how the placement of emergency exits will affect furnishing layouts, the designer has a great deal more to plan and deal with than just the décor. Contact the experts at Charleston Commercial Interiors and bring your next commercial interior project to life!


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