Articles Tagged with: commercial interior design


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.


Good commercial interior design encourages guests, residents, and potential customers, or whomever your target market may be, to learn more about your business.  

No matter what, it is important to make your commercial establishment stand out.  In order to do this, you must be open to keeping things fresh and re-visiting your design inspiration from time to time.  Most importantly, think about good commercial interior design as an opportunity to tell your brand’s story.

As one of New Jersey’s top commercial interior design firms, Design Alternatives founder Carrie Fusella is sharing some important design considerations when it comes to evaluating whether your commercial space match’s your brand’s identity and how to know when it is time for a new look.  

Know When It is Time for A Change

Many times, property managers or facility owners can get complacent in how interior design is affecting their space. Dated finishes, old or sometimes damaged furniture, and worn-out pieces are important indications that it is time for a revamp or renovation. These items, in particular, can make it look like the facility doesn’t care about the space or the people living or working in it.  

The best spaces speak to a brand’s overall ethos while also being a representation of the people they serve or the community that lives there.  Impactful commercial interior design should be a projection of the company’s brand standards and values coupled with a high regard for capturing the spirit of your clients and the true essence of the space.

If you look around your space and feel it looks dated, it probably is.  Don’t be afraid to take a step back, evaluate the space as a whole, and discuss with a professional what can be improved upon and evolved to better represent your brand, and meet current design standards and facility needs.

Function STILL matters

Great commercial interior design is a balance between form and function.

As a building gets older, its intended use may change.  Or, the population may have grown and there is a new need to re-evaluate how the space is used.

Design Alternatives always addresses the function of the building, in addition to its overall appearance.  This requires having a master plan that clearly outlines the affordability and feasibility of the project and then addresses the design themes to integrate into the overall aesthetic.  

Further, your commercial interior design firm should always give you options when it comes to functionality and affordability.  The possibilities when it comes to commercial interior design renovations can be endless. It is wise to approach every project with a plan A, B and C in terms of pricing that can address immediate and long-term needs and determine the overall scope of the project.  From there, your master plan can inform how you stage a space, whether you move walls, or update a facility’s living areas.

Less is more

“Less is more” is minimalism’s mantra: a very popular style that is based on introducing the least number of design elements and preserving space.  It is also the hallmark of timeless design.

To embrace this design philosophy, think about the bones of the building and focus on updating accessories and finishes that reflect design-cycle trends while maintaining the overall integrity of the space.  Yes, current trends are important to consider, but you should also think about the longevity of your brand and the longevity of the space. Jumping on the latest and greatest design trend doesn’t always mean they will stand the test of time.  

The industry also plays a factor.  For example, the design cycle in the hospitality industry is every seven years, plus or minus, while some corporate offices mandate a re-vamp every seven to 10 years.  Senior living facilities can sometimes go as long as 12 to 15 years before they really need a renovation to enhance the allure and profitability of a community.

Dependent on who or what you are designing for, you can make important commercial interior design enhancements while maintaining the overall integrity of the space and its intended use.  This means not always turning to the hottest design trends but thinking about efficiency, longevity and overall use, and creating a design plan from there. Remember, minimalist decor is defined by the simplicity and elegance of its forms, so it should be clean and generate harmony between all the parts that comprise the space.

Change things up based on the NEED

Whether it be a boutique hotel, a special-event ballroom or a senior living facility or clubhouse, it is important to create a warm and welcoming environment.  This is achieved by really honing in on the standard you are looking to create and selecting a commercial interior design partner that can help get you there. This also means the aesthetics need to be both beautiful and elegant, while also strategically applied to fit the needs of the space – including its residents, guests, and workforce.

For example, if you are renovating a senior-living facility, open floor plans, wide hallways, and familiar spaces for elder residents are all important needs that should be considered.  This layout isn’t the only design aspect that contributes to the atmosphere of the facility, however. When designing for a senior environment, it’s not just about what the interior designer likes, it’s about what will make the residents comfortable and help them navigate the space. This can often mean ignoring trends popular in other environments or industries. Browns, for example, are popular in private residences, but they can turn to black for an older eye. This is only one of the considerations a commercial interior design firm needs to think about when designing for specific audiences like the elder community.

Keep Your Branding Guidelines in Mind

Brand guidelines determine how the elements that make up your brand are used and fundamentally dictate how your business communicates with your intended target market. They are a set of rules to create a unified identity when connecting multiple elements within your brand, including but not limited to color palettes, logos and typography.

A brand’s look and feel is what sets it apart from its competition.  In a competitive industry like travel and hospitality, incorporating brand standards into regional design aesthetics is a must.  For example, a hotel chain will not tell a Florida facility that they have to have the exact same look and feel of a sister venue in Minneapolis.  While the overall brand is the same, the regional needs and anticipated uses for the space are different. This is why it is essential that you work with a commercial interior design firm that can develop a public space that fits the region and supports the overall brand aesthetic.

In other instances, brand standards for a single-venue client may not exist. This is when firms like Design Alternatives collaborate with clients to create one.  This includes defining the look, feel, and overall quality to create a design standard that can be referenced and implemented for years to come.

To learn more about Design Alternatives, or view our recent work, please visit our portfolio page.

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