Commercial Design for SMBs on a Budget

Commercial Design for SMBs on a Budget

April 17, 2018

We share the latest in commercial design trends for smart SMBs who want to keep their work spaces looking designer-licious without breaking the budget.

By Shuchita Dua Dullu

Converting a commercial space into a professional, yet liveable space is tricky and extremely challenging. All clients, regardless of industry, share a commonality; they have very specific ideas about the outcome they want to achieve. The challenge for Interior Designers is to accurately translate a conceptual idea, or feeling, into something tangible for as little cost as possible, and for good reason. Commercial spaces need to project a positive brand experience, which means, in part, staying ahead of the design curve. For SMBs however, hiring a Commercial Interior Designer to help project ‘success!’ is not part of the quarterly budget review. So, we’ve put together a list of budget-friendly tips to keep even the leanest of start-ups look and feel, seriously savvy.

1. Bring outside in

Big broad-leaved indoor plants speak for themselves. Bold, beautiful to behold and breaks the monotony of innate objects.

Plants add visual interest and choosing a colourful mix of succulents is popular as they are low in maintenance and grow in a variety of shapes and sizes. Juxtapose timber, steel or glass furnishing with textured, inexpensive pebbles or stand-alone water features helps to keep the space feeling fresh. The trick is not to overdo it though. Keep it simple. Double the foliage display by placing a vertical floor to ceiling mirror behind the plant.

2. Re-purpose material

Pineapple leaves as leather alternatives, interior tiles made of corn husks and other recycled aesthetics were hot in 2017 and continue to be in demand. Check out furniture co-ops, local auction houses, car boot or garage sales for signature pieces that can add a talking point or create interest in the space.

3. Energy efficient

Take off those blinds and let the light shine in. For those with a bigger budget, install larger glass windows and turn off the fluorescent lighting. Natural light is better for the eyes and the mood, and why not open the windows to let a breeze in while you’re at it!

4. There’s no place like home

Keep your employees comfy so they never want to leave. Make your office a cosy space, filled with comfy nooks and happy looks.

Choose warmer autumn tones and a soft space to land. Armchairs, beanbags with a thick-pile rug next to the coffee-machine might make meetings run overtime, but at least you’ll spend hours mind-mapping your next greatest product in comfort. Adding extra upholstery such as well-stuffed cushions will help enhance the comfort factor in breakout spaces.

A weekly box of free fresh fruit, cupcakes on a decorative stand and fresh flowers are a cheap way to make everyone feel welcome.

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5. Mix your metals

If you’re a less-is-more-kind of person, then the preferred colour palette for 2018 sits firmly within the warmer spectrum. Brushed metals like gold, rose gold, brass and rusty shades of red, orange and yellow are on trend in commercial design. Combine metallic elements such as a metal bookshelf or even pressed tine tiles to a wall or cabinet. Offset the bling with natural or coarse materials nearby.

6. Humble Terracotta

Terracotta is making a comeback. The rich earthy colour not only looks chic when mixed with tactile materials such as linen or hessian, ceramics and tiles look great when used on architectural features or fresco walls.

7. Maximalist

Finally, there are signs that more-is-more is hitting all the right designer buttons. If you’re feeling extravagant, find a signature piece, wall or section of floor and decorate it with wild geometric patterns, bold colours or near-garish artworks. Think ‘wow’ and ‘fun’ and you’ll hit the mark with a splash of spark.


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