Most of my blog posts contain advice to help people with residential design, who decorate homes themselves. Although, as a designer I often meet local businesses and there is a great number of owners who also like or choose to decorate themselves. It is true that Residential and Commercial design use the same design principals but still there is a significant difference in approach!
Smart design can help your business to attract more clients to open your door and come inside, it will help to sell your products or service. Design will make your brand more visible, trustworthy and clear to others, it helps to create right atmosphere and make it a part of overall experience making them to come back.
What I call smart design isn’t just a good taste in styling and matching colours but a good bit of science. I always use practical psychology and spatial design principals to achieve best result.
I have a little story to share. I used to live in Moscow and one day I had to go to dentist. It is probably the worse plan for Saturday morning. So you can guess mood wasn’t great and I was pretty nervous on a way to dental clinic. When I came inside, there was an ordinary reception and I’ve been asked to wait. The most surprising thing, there was no waiting room with chairs, what you usually expect. I followed a girl into a back room, which looked like conservatory. There were leather seats, TV on, lots of greenery, self-catering tea & coffee in a corner. Double doors were opened and I could see that actually the weather was warm and sunny outside. Seating there for about 15 minutes I’ve totally forgot that I’m in dental clinic! It changed my mood and I felt much better. At the end of the day the dental service was great too and I thought – that’s was a great Saturday! The key point of this story is even if you provide exceptional service and sell great products, people buy experience. They will walk out of the door and will remember only feeling they had during a visit. Design help you to set and provide experience beyond all expectations.
Of course, every different business will have different design solution for many reasons but I would like to share with you the most important design key points, which will be common for most businesses to consider.
#1 Plan Layout Before Design
Before you choose paint or any other finishing materials, think how you place furniture first. Decide where will be reception or desk. Try to imagine how your customers/clients will move around, what do you want them to see first and etc. It will help you to determine which area is a Focal point, which gives your visitors first expression. Give it a special thought from the point of design. Usually there are 4 the most common area types you will need to set in your business: Focal point, Reception, Waiting area, Working area. Of course, it depends on a business specific not all businesses will have waiting area but other three should be considered.
#2 Create Outstanding feature
As I mentioned before it is very important to create something memorizing and eye-catching. It can be a bright or rich painted wall, photo arrangement, art, mural, quotes etc. There are many ideas for different budgets. Not all customers are good to remember company names but they will talk and share experience with friends in a way, “you must visit a shop with this outstanding wall inside”.
Dior Unveils London Boutique Design by Peter Marino via bykoket.com
#3 Lighting is everything!
Did you know that the most visited businesses, especially retails, the ones have lights on all the time! Better to say, the businesses who have lights inside visible for potential customers/ clients outside. If you have a display window and products are arranged beautifully but it looks like it is dark inside, the number of visitors (potential customers) will be minimum. Unfortunately, window display is not enough any more. The reason is simple – every single window on a main street has a display. People pass those windows every day and stop paying attention but situation is dramatically changes when there is light inside. The light, be it a simple pendant or chandelier, gives us an idea ‘ it is busy inside’ and makes most people curious to come in.
#4 Use Colour psychology
All people are sensitive to colours, some more than others but it is undeniable. Power of colour will help to achieve desirable atmosphere and give your customers right mood for shopping, enjoy meal, accept service you provide etc. Here are several examples what some colours mean:
Yellow is a warm, joyful colour and it stimulates logical thinking and decision making.
Green creates sense of calm and harmony. It encourages generosity, kindness and sympathy.
Blue helps to increase customer’s loyalty and trust. It demonstrates confidence, reliability and responsibility. It promotes one-to-one communication rather than mass communication.
Purple shows wealth, extravagance and creativity. It is great colour to demonstrate sense of beauty and premium quality.
There are more colours with specific meaning and use several for the best result.
#5 Attention to details
Choose finishing details to match overall look and general design concept. Even affordable solutions can look great. Add accessories even if you don’t sell them but they will help to dress your stock. If you offer tea and coffee, use cups which will reflect your brand or business style. If you have elegant interior but use shabby chairs, it will be noticeable to your clients. Don’t let small things to ruin all the hard work and money you’ve invested.
Think of your business place design as an Investment and not an expense! Only then it will pay off and return a profit. When you do commercial design in cheap and cheerful way, your customers will expect you selling products cheap and cheerful too. They even might be very frustrated why prices are higher than their expectations.
Good design attracts right customers and they expect to pay price your business represent. Think yourself, when you visit boutique and see price a little bit higher than in any average shop, you look around a shop and you understand that you pay for quality and exclusive look. But what would be your thoughts if the same products with the same price tag would be presented in shabby retail place? I hope you get an idea. Make right choice and don’t do it half way!
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