This article is contributed by Nancy Baker.
Interior design is an incredibly important consideration when it comes to planning a commercial space, and particularly with regards to permanent structures. If you are commissioning a new store, a new restaurant, or a public building, then it’s incredibly important that you think logically and sensibly about the way you are going to plan the design, but also the way that you decorate it and lay it out once the construction is finished.
Here you have a number of different objectives, but one of the most important is simply to make sure that the space feels open and spacious. You will have a finite amount of room to work with of course, and this will create limits in terms of what you can accomplish – you can’t throw a concert in a room that’s only 5 square metres.
That said though, there are certainly ways to maximise your use of space in order to make it feel more open, and this will then ensure that your customers and visitors feel more at ease when they visit and that they are more likely to stay and hopefully spend some money. On the other hand, if your space feels cramped and closed in, then your customers may feel stressed and anxious when spending time there, and might thus feel an incredible urge to leave.
Another consideration here too is health and safety. If you are hoping to attract a large number of visitors and/or customers, then you should expect them to take up space when crammed into your premises. If there is insufficient room for them to move around and congregate, then they will be more likely to trample one another, to fall over and generally to have accidents.
Here then we will look at some ways you can make more from your space by making it look and feel more ‘open’ while at the same time avoiding accidents…
Go Open Plan
If your current design has lots of separate rooms for different purposes in your premises, then you may want to reconsider. By knocking through some of those walls and using archways and other openings, you can make the various spaces in your property bleed into one another, and allow them to share light. This will mean that there’s more light in the premises in general and that will instantly make them feel bigger and more open. Furthermore, this will actually give you more space, as you won’t have to account for the width of the walls between rooms.
Use Light Colours
Another way to make a smaller space feel larger is to use lighter colours. This can be as simple as painting your walls a bright white, but what it means is that the light in your room will be reflected more and will fill the room. Black and other darker colours, absorbs a greater spectrum of light, which makes the spaces feel smaller.
Ever wondered why so many shops feature large mirrors across the walls? Well apart from letting people see what they’re thinking of buying on, this also reflects even more light and makes the space look bigger.
With retractable roofing you give yourself the option to completely open your premises that way letting in natural sunlight and air. This can immediately make people feel less ‘hemmed in’ so that your property has a more natural and open feeling to it.
And think about it, on a hot sunny day, are you really going to want to go to a hot sticky shopping mall/indoor park? If the roof opens then you’ll make your business far more tempting at such times and thereby increase your business and your profits.
One way to immediately open up a closed-in feeling shop floor, is to use lower display tables and shelving. This has the same effect as making your office open-plan – it allows the light to travel more freely and means that customers can see further without anything blocking their vision.
The only potential drawback here is that lower tables are more likely to be trip hazards – so make sure that they aren’t in the traffic lanes and that they are clear enough to draw attention to themselves.
Author Bio: Nancy Baker is a part of the team at OpenAire, a company dealing in a range of custom skylights. Her hobbies include dancing and playing the guitar. Log on to http://www.openaire.com/ to know more about her company.
- open air space image courtesy of Christine McIntosh
- light colours image courtesy of da Veiga – GeoNando
- mirrors image courtesy of MoToMo
- retractable roof image courtesy of Stephanie – koiart71
- lower furniture image courtesy of Mr. T in DC