(this article was originally published at ASID.org)
Whether your project involves new construction, leased property, remodeling, renovation or preservation, an interior designer can help you get the most out of your investment. Of course, an interior designer will make your interiors look great, but he or she can provide many other services as well. In addition, because client and end-user needs vary among industries, commercial designers tend to practice in certain specialty areas, bringing an in-depth knowledge of markets, applicable codes, products, technologies and trends from their research, education and experience. A designer can work with you to not only address your immediate business needs, but also support your longer-term objectives and goals.
It is common for interior designers to focus their practice in certain specialty areas, as each has its own unique requirements and design challenges. Within the interior design industry, these specialty areas are generally known by the following names:
- Office (large or small) / corporate
- Hospitality (hotels, motels, resorts, spas, country clubs, restaurants)
- Health care (hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, hospice care)
- Medical (doctor and dentist offices and patient rooms, day care facilities)
- Education (K-12, college, university)
- Government/institutional (government offices, courthouses, train and bus depots, prisons)
- Entertainment (night clubs, casinos, theme parks)
Many interior design firms undertake projects in multiple specialty areas, although not usually all. In addition, some practice in sub-specialty areas that have particular technical requirements, such as
- Libraries (public, academic, legal)
- Law offices
- Yachts / cruise ships
- Private planes
A number of interior designers also practice environmental specialties, such as sustainable design and accessible design that address special needs.
What Does a Commercial Designer Do?