Designing for residential spaces is a very different task than designing for commercial spaces. Many things must be taken into consideration for designers when choosing which to specialize in.
Over the course of their careers
, interior designers will tackle a wide variety of spaces. Kitchens, living rooms, and even commercial office will all at some point be a challenge for the average designer. While every designer will likely take on a variety of projects, though, most will specialize in a particular field of interior design. One of the strongest distinctions for most designers is whether they will work for residential or commercial spaces.
A residential space is defined as a person’s home, or some other private living quarters. Designing for a residential space requires a high amount of interaction between customer and client. A person’s interior space is a highly personal thing, and interior designers must be aware of this. Generally, every aspect of the design must be approved by the homeowner.
Also important in a residential space is comfort and usability. Spaces that will include children or small pets as traffic must be designed accordingly, making for the safest environment possible. Spaces must often be designed around items the person owns or memorabilia such as existing artwork, photographs, or pieces of furniture. Personal preferences in color and fabric must also be taken into account, and incorporated into a space.
In a commercial space, personal preferences are far less important. Instead, spaces are often designed around what they will be used for and the mood they want to set. Designers who work with hotels often find their task difficult, as they must create a space that is easily cleaned, minimal in design, and suiting whatever aesthetic the hotel is going for whether it is contemporary or old-fashioned.
Office spaces in particular hold a special place in design. They must be designed efficiently and comfortably, while still promoting a calming and welcoming atmosphere. Many designers have their own methods of designing a space which can increase productivity among employees. Restaurants also have this task, as their spaces must accommodate large crowds, waiters and waitresses moving within those crowds, and easy clean up and they must also capture the mood that the restaurant owners are trying to express.
One final difference between an commercial and a residential space is that while residential spaces are designed to be able to grow and develop over time, commercial spaces are designed to last for many years without significant change. The materials used in these spaces are more durable, the space is easy to clean, and the designs are chosen so as not to incorporate any current trends.
Whichever a designer chooses to specialize in, each present its own particular challenges and rewards. A designer should take the time to work with both over the course of their career, developing a repertoire of designs that work best for them.