Your Business Footprint
Commercial interior design & fitout to suit your business!
Have you ever wondered how much space your business actually needs and how much space you might be wasting?
Sometimes, space really does matter in your commercial interior design & fitout…
Because Bellfort is an interior design and fitout specialist across all sectors, we really understand that too little or too much space can be a major problem and hurt the hip pocket. With this in mind, we thought it could be advantageous if we put together a few pointers for you to consider, when it comes to determining the footprint that your business needs.
While some people promote the use of space calculators to determine how much space a commercial office may require, we at Bellfort don’t believe this is always an accurate solution. For starters, each space is quite unique and an electronic solution may not consider impractical angles, curves and columns.
Major areas that are often overlooked in an office interior are storage, equipment, and circulation spaces. Anyone who says they have no storage, needs to go and have a look at what others may be hiding away in discreet cupboards. Equipment sometimes requires ventilation around it or supplementary services to make it work. And circulation spaces are often overlooked due to a lack of understanding of the Australian Building Code. That’s why it’s always best to have a commercial interior design & fitout professional handle your office refurbishment or relocation project.
Some commercial interior design general rules
As a general rule, a standard, comfortably sized office, able to accommodate a desk, return and small credenza is approximately 10-12sqm. If you want to add a meeting table or extensive storage, the office needs to grow accordingly. Workstation allowance per person is approximately 5sqm but this doesn’t include storage and surrounding circulation areas. A boardroom table to accommodate eight people should be approximately 2400mm long however, chair size also needs to be considered.
Never forget that chairs need to be pulled out and moved in order for them to be sat in.
When it comes to storage, an existing method of storing your business resources may not be efficient. Compactus units do work but you need to consider load bearing values and space efficiency before deciding which one of these large units is the best solution for you. Generally, a 900mm wide bookcase that is 1800mm high (or 6ft) will hold 3.6 lineal metres of storage. And always consider increasing storage heights where possible. These days wall space is far more cost effective than floor space.
Cafes, Restaurants & Bars
Any commercial interior design & fitout that has a hospitality focus needs to be flexible enough to adapt and grow to meet your clientele needs. It also needs to meet current BCA requirements and this is an area that is often overlooked when people choose to set up a café, restaurant or bar. Due to the nature of each individual space and its intended catering needs, it is difficult to generalise about standard space requirements.
Menu and cooking requirements will determine what equipment needs to be planned into your space. Not only do you need to accommodate the equipment, you also need to consider associated services that will allow it to work. Don’t forget about cold, dry and general storage, which will be based around your intended menu. Always keep in mind that carefully planned back-of-house facilities will ensure smooth running of front-of-house for all patrons.
Table and seating layouts need to have adequate circulation space around them so that nobody is trapped or unable to have free movement in case of an emergency. on site services such as airconditioning and toilet facilities will also determine the number of patrons you can plan for. That’s why it’s important that you have a commercial interior design & fitout professional to help you plan your interior space.
Education & Learning
Gone are the days of boring interiors to suit education and learning purposes. Enclosed, restrictive spaces are now being developed into open plan, “free” space that is flexible and fully optimized by whichever minds occupy it. With this in mind, there are still vital areas that should be considered when planning a commercial interior design & fitout for an education and learning interior to suit your business.
Age appropriateness always has to be factored into your design. Childcare facilities require secured, safe areas without being too restrictive or create a prison-like impression. Toilets, drinking fountains, furniture and access-ways should be scaled to suit the inhabitants. Play areas should also be safe environments without restricting any fun to be had.
Adult education facilities may have a heavier focus on IT infrastructure with multi-function screens and presentation devices being incorporated into daily learning lives. You may also want to think about room flexibility and if your space could benefit with the installation of an operable wall. These walls can divide a large room into a few smaller ones very easily. Walls may be best if they are interactive and treated with pinnable or writable materials.
Colour and texture should also play a large role in any education and learning interior. If you create a supportive and creative environment, minds of any age will flourish.
The commercial interior design & fitout of government interiors should not be boring; they should be vital and inspirational. While the basics of offices, workstations, meeting rooms and utility areas are still required, they don’t have to be institutional.Offices, workstation spaces and meeting rooms can be addressed in a similar fashion to what has already been mentioned in the office section of this blog.
Considering the time some customers may need to spend in public areas within government interiors, they should be the star attraction. Seating for waiting areas should be comfortable but also very serviceable. Eliminate potential messy areas such as coffee tables with untidy magazines and replace them with wall-mounted TV screens that can provide information or entertainment, depending on their location.
Always ensure that your interior space is easily navigated and allow additional circulation spaces where possible to ensure high-traffic areas never become congested. Think also about customer and staff security. Viewing panels in meeting room doors, cameras and strategically placed visual barriers can form the creative basis of your government-focused interior.
An interior specifically designed for healthcare purposes should be practical but also comfortable. When you take into consideration that most people visiting a healthcare business are not relaxed, whatever you can do to make their time within the interior more pleasant will leave a lasting effect.Waiting areas should not be too cramped as this will impact on visitor comfort and confidentiality. You don’t however want people to be too comfortable or have seating that is difficult for elderly or disabled people to manoeuvre out of.
Storage, in particular filing, is often an oversight within many medical practices. These days, even though a lot of data is stored electronically, there is still a large quantity of hard-copy records and information that have to be stored in some manner. Maximise wall space as opposed to floor space and place items of lesser priority at higher levels.
We are surrounded by shops. We walk past them every day and more often than not, they blur together without leaving an impression. Your shop needs to “pop” and beckon customers into its interior, even if they’re not interested in buying. Word-of-mouth is often the basis of your shops success so don’t be shy when it comes to making an impact.
Every business owner has a budget and if yours is on the smaller scale, you can still make it work to suit your needs. Always determine the major spaces that you will need within your shops footprint such as display areas (based on what you will be displaying), storage areas, office areas and staff areas. Ensure that you get all practicalities covered like work spaces, benches, shelving, lighting, power and data installations. These are all essential elements in creating a commercial interior design & fitout for your retail space.
Get your retail interior design to work for you
Maximise non-display areas with as much storage as possible which will eliminate the requirement for this essential element elsewhere. And, if it’s a proven fact that people don’t usually view items on display below 600mm and above 1800mm, you may as well use this redundant space efficiently.
Always allow areas for signage because this will often make the first impact on passers-by. And keep in mind that visual impact doesn’t have to mean permanent fixtures and fittings. A lot of successful retail interiors use a lot of smoke-and-mirrors for effect. Much like a decorative veil over a dingy interior, you can bring your retail interior to life with very little fuss.
As Bellfort’s focus is on commercial interior design and fitout, we know and understand the different varieties of interiors that various businesses require. We don’t believe that large budgets equate to more successful projects – we think the exact opposite. A project that delivers a final result that meets our client’s brief, has stayed within the set budget and hands over the keys on time, is a success.
How can Bellfort help you determine what footprint your business needs?
Contact us if you would like to make a free, no obligation appointment to discuss your business’s footprint and how it can work best in the space you have.