What Are The Responsibilities Of a Commercial Interior Designer


Commercial interior designers are professionals who create and manage the construction or renovation of commercial spaces. A commercial interior designer will recommend the materials, design, spatial arrangement, furniture, and other design elements that best suit client needs. Combining their architectural knowledge and a knack for creativity, a professional interior designer can help create an aesthetic yet highly functional space according to your requirements. 

To learn more about commercial interior designing, let’s have a look at the work and responsibilities of a professional interior designer.

The Journey: Education and Licensing

Most licensed interior designers have a base education in the form of a bachelor’s degree in interior design or fine arts with an interior design major. During their bachelor’s education, art majors get exposure to specialties like drawing, computer-aided design (CAD), code building while also honing their aesthetic sense. Some interior designers start working after securing an associate’s degree, while some even go as far as pursuing a master’s degree in interior design. As per government policies, most states in the United States require interior designers to attain a license before working in the field. In recent years, states have incentivized interior designing jobs by making it compulsory for all practicing designers to pass the National Council For Interior Design Qualification Exam to register as professional interior designers. 

Interior Designing

Interior designers design function and attractive spaces that improve the quality of life of the occupants. Similar to an architect, an interior designer draws up a plan considering the location and sociocultural relevance of the construction site. Furthermore, a professional interior designer should be aware of the building code and regulatory policies, abiding by them at all times. Despite attaining expert status in the field, a well-experienced designer always consults its clients to discuss ideas and ensures that the design fits their expectations perfectly. Although most interior designers have no specific preference regarding commercial or residential projects, some professionals specialize in only one of the two areas. 

A quick zoom course for interior design would discuss the role in detail.

How Residential And Commercial Interior Designs Differ?  

The names give it away. Residential interior design is concerned with conceptualizing spaces for homes, while commercial interior design deals with space modeling and renovation for businesses. These include but not limited to: 

  • Office buildings
  • Governmental spaces
  • Warehouses
  • Restaurants
  • Banks, 
  • Hospitals
  • Shopping malls
  • Libraries

You might be wondering if there is a need for this distinction. Well, the short answer is Yes! That may not occur to you initially, but residential and commercial settings have entirely different design requirements. For residential projects, interior designers aim to create a space that is welcoming and comfortable for homeowners by using harris tweed armchairs for example. On the other hand, commercial interior designers focus more on functionality and increasing the aesthetic appeal of the space for maximum customer turnover. Regardless of the scale of a commercial project, an interior designer works towards transforming the client’s vision into reality.

What Does a Commercial Interior Designer Do?

Commercial interior design plays a significant role in helping a business attract customers. The work of a commercial interior designer is multi-faceted. They have to think about the functionality and aesthetics of the space and also safety and any relevant compliance or regulatory aspects.

A commercial interior designer will start giving input in the form of ideas and use their knowledge and expertise from the initial stages of your construction project. A commercial interior designer studies and conducts a thorough analysis of the space they will remodel, coming up with ideas and solutions to make the best choice from the available resources. 

Once the designer has collected all the details about the renovation site, he can then use it to create a blueprint of how to proceed with the construction process. After coming up with the drawings and schematic layouts for the project under development, the sketches and illustrations will then be used to designate spaces according to their utility while also arranging suitable furniture for the desired outlook. 

A well-equipped designer must take a good look at each nook and cranny of the construction site, completing field verification and taking exact measurements where necessary. During the construction process, the designer will also work on plans for the decoration and cultural enrichment of the particular area to transform it into a highly functional and eye-catching space. The designer will work in close coordination with contractors and manufacturers and make critical structural decisions, including but not limited to architectural details, lighting, flooring, ceiling design, and window placement.

A commercial interior designer will be involved in each phase of a project. He will select suppliers for labor and materials, estimate costs, and submit quotes to their clients. He will also inspect and supervise the tradespeople to ensure they meet quality, safety standards, deadlines, and most importantly, the client’s expectations.

Interior Designer vs Interior Decorator

A common misconception is that an interior designer shares the same responsibilities as an interior decorator. It is important not to confuse an interior decorator with an interior designer. While the two professions are somewhat similar, an interior designer has to deal with a lot more intricacies than a regular interior decorator. 

Interior designers assess people’s needs to create functional, structural living or business spaces to satisfy those demands. Decorators are responsible for furnishing interiors with furniture pieces and other accessories like paint, lighting, and textiles, creating an aesthetically pleasing environment. Many commercial decorators in London also provide marbling services, besides the general commercial painting and decorating. An interior designer must obtain a license from the state to practice, whereas an interior decorator does not. As a result, interior designers may design and decorate spaces, but decorators can not design spaces. In short, the primary goal of an interior designer is to create an aesthetically pleasing and functional space. 

On the other hand, an interior decorator only focuses on making the interior spaces look as attractive as possible by using their decorating skills.

The Final Product

After the construction phase of the project is over, the interior designer will use his creative and artistic skills to transform the appearance of the space by selecting suitable color schemes, furniture, fabrics, artwork, and other accessories, everything tailored to the client’s needs.