Category: Uncategorized

Reposition and Reopen Post-COVID19

Shot of two business women work with laptops on the partitioned desk in the coworking space. Concept of social distancing.

As businesses and amenities begin to reposition and reopen post-COVID19 quarantine, it is important to understand how your spaces will function with social distancing, signage, thermometer scanners and other design elements.  It is beneficial to hire a design professional to bring knowledge and leadership to your team.

Is your facility in need of an addition, upgrade or some additional tools/signage to help meet the new CDC guidelines?
Here are some of the design trends moving forward as places reopen.

In order to open offices and other shared spaces safely, many building owners and managers have implemented temperature screening tools upon entry as well as occupancy sensors.  The temperature scanner will ensure no one entering the building is ill.  The occupancy sensors can help keep the number of people inside the facility down to a lower number to meet CDC suggestions for lower capacity.

Clearly defined workstations, areas and cubicles
In previous years, the open concept and share workspace was a popular trend.  Now, after COVID19, offices are going back to the more traditional cubicles and separated workspaces to minimize contact and help prevent the spread of germs and contagious diseases.

Flexible Layouts
Having a flexible office or facility layout is good for fluctuating office staff and to keep a safe, social distance all while meeting reduced maximum capacity regulations.

Easy to clean fabrics and other materials
There are a variety of wall coverings, fabrics and other materials that are available on the market today that are very easy to clean, which can help reduce the spread of germs and diseases in high touch areas.  Some of these materials can even be disinfected and cleaned with bleach – making these materials an excellent choice for an office or even healthcare facility.  Also, with the new guidelines of more strict and more frequent cleanings, you can rest assured that these materials will stand up to the job.


Why You Should Hire a Design Professional

Interior Designer; commercial interior design

A commercial interior design professional is a consultant who listens, understands your needs, and can deliver a beautiful, fully utilized space that meets your goals.  They can transform a variety of spaces including, but not limited to:  offices, schools, hotels, restaurants and retail shops.  When you hire a design professional, they create clean and safe office spaces for employees to work effectively and efficiently.  They create recreational and hospitality spaces for people to have more fun, fully relax and enjoy their dining experiences.  If your office, clubhouse or shared space requires a renovation or update, it should be a priority to work with a full-service design professional who can design, manage and oversee the entire project from start to finish.

Here are some insightful tips on why a full-service design professional is a must-have for your next renovation project.

Design Concept & Evaluate Space: How to go from design inspiration to completed project
When working with a designer they know how to keep your brand in mind to fit the space.  The design professional meets your goals by updating, repositioning and making better use of the space.  Therefore, they might even come up with some ideas or alternatives that you did not think were possible.

The designer provides inspiration through selecting the right color, textures and finishes to achieve the desired look and feel of the room or space.

Evaluate Products & Materials
The design professional is well-versed in various products, materials and product lines including but not limited to: flooring, walls, fabrics, carpets and furniture.  So, rest assured they will select the appropriate materials and features that will properly suit your space and budget.  They are knowledgeable about furniture, fixtures and equipment, otherwise known as FF&E packages.  When constructing a new build or renovating an existing space, the furniture and other subsidiary items will often be separated into their own package.   For more information on some of the products and brands Design Alternatives can provide, please visit:  Shaw Floors.

Codes and Requirements
They are also knowledgeable about codes and requirements on all kinds of products, including:  flooring, carpets, fabrics, window treatments, and other products.

A design professional knows the right materials for the right space and how they will match and align when the project is complete.  They seamlessly incorporate design concept, material knowledge, purchasing while managing the project until completion.

In addition, they are able to better source materials for optimal pricing.  It helps when they are a certified representative for certain products and brands, as the customer you are able to take advantage of those sources and cost savings passed on to you.

Project Management:  Scheduling, Logistics & Purchasing Materials
Next, it is important that your design professional also knows how to manage the project once it is underway.  This includes scheduling subcontractors, logistics and purchasing materials.  The designer understands the order in which certain aspects of the project should be completed.  In addition, they can coordinate the delivery of materials according to the project schedule.  Also, they can oversee the project to make sure items are installed properly and the team is staying on schedule.

They can Coordinate Work in an Occupied Space
Most of the time, a renovation must be completed while the space or building is still occupied.  When the time comes to renovate a busy, occupied space, this poses a set of challenges that should be handled by a professional.  They know exactly how to stage materials and other items and schedule work to ensure the safety of the tenants or residents while assuring the client that the work will be completed on time and with little to no issues.

They Create and Design Functional Spaces 
The designer can help you determine the function and the layout of the room.  Next, they can implement plans to make the best use of the space and use the proper colors, materials and textures to improve it and truly make it your own.  Eliminating wasted space and getting the most use out of every square foot is crucial.  Your designer can help you evaluate the current, under-utilized space and transform it into a fully functioning space.

The best commercial interior space facilitates the human behavior intended to take place there.  All while helping the company to achieve its bottom-line goals.  Professional commercial interior designers accomplish this by focusing on five key design elements:  access, comfort, privacy, flexibility, function, and safety.

How is the space set up?

The occupants should be able to find their way around the space with ease.  Access for people with disability and ADA compliance.

Comfort:  The designer can help achieve the level of comfort your space is meant to have.  For example, if this is meant to be a cozy space, they might incorporate soft textures, comfortable seating and adjustable low lighting to facilitate rest and relaxation.  On the contrary, if this a workspace that needs to sustain an effective work team, they can incorporate brighter lighting with occupancy sensors and multiple workstations with ergonomic furniture to ensure productivity.

Privacy: The designer can help you achieve as much privacy or openness as desired.

Flexibility means incorporating multiple functions in one space.  Maybe you have a large ballroom that can be divided into multiple rooms to split up different meetings and events.  Perhaps you own a growing company that needs to move into a bigger space and want to continue to support that growth by being able to install more workspaces, cubicles, desks and conference rooms in the future.

Function: Does the space function adequately for the tasks performed in the space?

Safety: Critical to the success of the design and project.

They are up-to-date on Design Trends
The designer is forward thinking, meaning they incorporate a design that keeps with current and future trends and demands.  For example, the style and features might be old and outdated by the time you finish the project.  Thus, the design professional helps to eliminate this issue.  A big trend is: How to update the technology in your building.

They Stay on Schedule and Budget
Finally and most importantly, you want your space to be designed and delivered on time and within the proposed budget.  Your designer will work with you to make sure you are able to get positive results within an agreed upon budget.

In conclusion, when you are shopping around for the right vendor to successfully design and manage your renovation project, you want to make sure they incorporate the right design elements that work with your goals and can successfully manage your project from start to finish.  Should you need a designer to help you plan and coordinate your facility’s next renovation, call Design Alternatives today 732.244.7778 or visit our Contact Page to request a proposal.



Embarking on a redesign of a ballroom or special event venue can easily turn into a complicated, hard-to-navigate process. A special event venue is not just a space, it is an area where potential clients want to create memorable moments. Design Alternatives understands the importance of planning a space that can help bring a business’ vision to life, while also guaranteeing a satisfactory return on investment.

Company founder Carrie Fusella is here to present some elements a business needs to consider when designing a space, and why it is best to leave this endeavor to industry professionals.

Identifying the Purpose and Market

An important first step to designing a special event space is to identify the venue’s purpose. A company needs to establish what the venue will be used for, and who the target market will be. Whether an event space is eventually designated as a wedding facility or corporate meeting facility, its purpose can greatly impact the overall design of a space.

With a venue’s set purpose in mind, an industry professional can identify what course of action is needed to best design a venue. Design Alternatives has worked with countless special-event locations to create a space that perfectly captures the needs of its target market.

A banquet facility or special-event venue, for example, is a space that needs to have a lot of thought and planning put into it. If weddings are going to generate the most revenue, then a professional will want to design with a young bride in mind. However, if the venue will generate the majority of its income from a communion or bar mitzvah celebration, the target audience and design, will be different.

Fitting the Venue to Your Brand

When designing a special event venue, the goal is to create a space that will offer your company the greatest return on investment. A smart interior designer will know exactly how to give a client the best design that will meet the needs of their target market and offer them the look, feel and longevity to curate an attractive, profitable space.

Once a company determines what its number one source of income will be, an industry professional can identify a design direction. By creating a layout and space that will attract the most clients, a professional can fit the overall cost to the return on the investment.  

An interior design professional should always work to offer the best possible recommendations and ideas for a space. In short, to plan for the future, special event venues need to take steps to figure out the amount of revenue their business is going to generate, and when the return on investment is going to occur.

Space Planning

Space planning is a significant part of the design process for any venue, especially for weddings. Any change made to a space, no matter how small, can have a huge impact on the way a potential client reacts to the venue. A professional commercial interior design firm such as Design Alternatives can help determine what elements a venue truly needs.

Every event has a different look, feel and overall goal, and each element that is incorporated into a design can lead a venue closer to a company’s overall vision, or stray further away from it.  Not only does one need to think about the functionality of a space, but they also need to consider the lighting, sound, furniture and other elements as well. Working with a professional can help determine that a venue may need multiple finishes, a carpet that wears well, or a bright color scheme to add an extra element of flair. There should also be discussions with lighting and sound specialists that know exactly how to amplify the ambiance and mood a space is looking to achieve.

It is important to recognize that there is more to designing a venue than just decorating a room. A special event venue needs to have the ability to deliver an enjoyable, memorable experience for clients. Valuable memories need to be created out of a one-day experience. With that in mind, there is a lot to consider.

When working with a business, a professional interior design firm should determine exactly what a venue needs for its clients to make long-lasting memories. This can include considerations like where a photo booth can be located in the venue, as well as an area where clients can stage pictures. Proper seating and a thought-out floor plan are other important decisions a commercial interior design firm should weigh in on in order to properly incorporate a variety of stations and experiences into a single event space.

Working With a Budget

Before bringing a vision to life for a venue, a business needs to identify what kind of budget it has to work with. By hiring an interior design firm, a company can understand how realistic its goals are for the space it wants to redesign.

In order to get the best return on your investment, you need a professional that understands the industry and is able to budget the project in the most effective way possible. When hiring a professional or company, the venue owners and managers should be able to comfortably discuss the budget they have available. Then, it is up to the design professional to consult on what can be achieved with that specific budget.

Budget goals can be achieved when a venue and a design vendor create a priority list.  From this list, a realistic and effective budget can be developed. Industry professionals like Design Alternatives know how to be practical, while also helping special-event venues accomplish their goals.

For more information and guidance about special event and ballroom design, contact Design Alternatives at 732-224-7778. To see examples of ballroom and special event venues, visit our portfolio page.

Call Now Button