What is the fundamental reason behind your commercial decoration scheme? Is your priority blending in, or standing out? It’s an essential decision and one which should form the foundation of any decoration design. So whether your space is commercial, office, industrial, leisure or educational, this one question will have a very real impact on the environment that a building provides.
Clearly, the impact that you can have on this aspect of a building is dependant on your ownership status. For tenants, the external appearance of a building has a bearing on your satisfaction, and for owners it is your investment’s first impression. Often, the key with many building shells is to stand out by blending in. A well maintained exterior which is in keeping with its surroundings is something which is memorable for visitors and users of a building. This doesn’t come easily and is really only achieved by a planned and scheduled decorative maintenance programme.
This is where branding really comes into play. Different industries and indeed different organisations wish to have varied levels of branding presence in their decorative schemes. Layouts vary from the enclosed to the entirely open plan. Use of partitions or glass, and bespoke items of furniture all convey individuality. Users of a space, whether commercial or institutional, want to display ownership over that space; but this does not have to be by standing out! Sometimes there is real value in blending in; by adhering to expectation such as calming colours for healthcare spaces or clear areas in learning spaces. In this way the tone of a space is projected with clarity.
For many commercial organisations, the entrance to a premises is key when hosting both a workforce and clients. However, beware of going over the top! Yes, it’s great to have your corporate identity on display, but people entering the space also need to feel comfortable and welcome. Visitors must feel that they are entering a space which is appropriate for its use; whether that is business, health, leisure or learning.
Attention to detail and quality of decoration is one of the best ways for a commercial space to stand out. A scheme does not need to be loud or garish to have a impact on those within it. Make sure that:
- surfaces are thoroughly prepared for a quality and durable finish.
- furniture and storage is functional and well fitted as well as visually pleasing.
- technology is considered and complimented by fittings and structure.
- the layout of space and design has scope to grow and develop with an organisation.
From the bright colours favoured by new media firms to the muted tones that we find in learning establishments, the thing that really stands out is the thought which has gone into the design process and how fitting it is to the organisation in question. When time is taken to plan your colours and how they complement each other and your brand, your identity will certainly stand out!
Wall graphics and text are a great way for a design scheme to stand out while still remaining subtle. Whether image or text, this technique can underline a brand or indicate zones of work or learning. They can be as subtle or as dramatic as you wish and the great thing is that they can be easily changed, updated and amended for ultimate flexibility!
No matter how much we feel that standing out is the key to success, like anything there must be a balance. Decorators who understand how to negotiate these two things tend to be the ones who appreciate the importance of high quality and preparation. Blending in is just as valuable as standing out, and indeed some of the highest quality decoration is subtle. When the quality of the finish is what stands out, it is a true reflection of a great space.