Differences Between A Commercial Interior Designer and a Residential Interior Designer

There is often confusion about the differences between a Commercial Interior Designer and a Residential Interior Designer. While they may sound similar, and some of their roles certainly overlap, there are some crucial differences that you’ll need to understand if you’re thinking about hiring one.

In general, the term Residential Interior Designer refers to interior designers who create a home space, whether that may be an apartment, villa, cabin or waterfront mansion. They focus on creating functional and aesthetic homes that align with their client’s wishes. They may also collaborate with the architect of a project in order to help plan new spaces by adding or removing entire walls, choosing window locations, lighting and more. Once the basic structures are in place, then the interior designer really gets to work by choosing furniture, fixtures, textures, colours and layouts. A residential interior designer helps to turn a house into a beautiful, liveable home.

However, a Commercial Interior Designer is something quite different. They design spaces that are used by people but generally not lived in for a long period. These may include offices, schools, hospitals, restaurants, banks, cruise ships, hotels and aged care facilities. Commercial interior designers tend to work on larger scale buildings and must go beyond the needs of the people who are commissioning them and think about how the public will use these spaces. There is a great element of functionality and intelligent user-based design in their work, in addition to style and aesthetics.

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Where The Commercial And Residential Overlap.

Both commercial and residential interior designers must consider multiple elements of interior design, including the things that people will see (colours, lighting, shapes), what people will feel (textures and surfaces) and what people will hear (soundproofing, echoes). Both must have an understanding of how these elements affect people and then decide on how to best utilise them to achieve their client’s goals. Residential and commercial interior designers are also similar in that they have a broad knowledge of styles of design and contemporary trends.

Where The Commercial And Residential Differ.

Commercial interior designers may specialise in particular areas such as corporate, medical, retail or government spaces. Instead of working to create something for an individual or family, their focus is on catering to a brand or company, and the many people that will use the space. Conveying the correct brand image, atmosphere and functionality is key.

Part of the commercial interior designer’s role is to ensure the safety of the public and other people that will use the spaces. They have undertaken training to understand building codes and permits, budgets and more. Each space will have unique safety features. For example, medical facilities will have finishing processes to help maintain their sterility, while every building has certain regulations for fire exits, windows and stairwells. Many will need to be designed in such a way that they are accessible to wheelchairs and walkers. While some residential interior designers will have knowledge of these things, these elements are very much the domain of the commercial interior designer.

Either way, Studio Collective can help you with both your residential and commercial interior design needs. Get in touch today to find out more.