An Underrated Aspect of Interior Design? Space Planning

 In Industry Insights and Trends

Interior design is often put in a very small box. According to MyMove, when people think about interior design, their first thoughts are of residential spaces, fabric swatches, and high price tags. In reality, interior design goes well-beyond residential spaces and is just as much about making a space functional as it is about making the space appealing.

A truer and broader reflection of interior design starts at the very beginning – with a space’s blueprints. Interior designers with a solid understanding of architecture consider the room’s layout, any underutilized square footage, and whether the overall space will adhere to building codes and inspection regulations.

As such, commercial spaces rely heavily on interior designers for their space planning. Space planning is evident in offices, hospitals, retail stores, dining experiences, hotels, and more.

Aesthetics is a part of interior design, yes, but it takes a backseat to space planning – the foundation of any room’s design. Commercial interior design needs space planning for the following reasons:

  1. Customer Comfort
  2. Employee Productivity
  3. Foresight

SV Design provides innovative and appropriate solutions that meet our Nashville commercial interior design clients’ functional needs, aesthetic preferences, budget, and time frame – regardless of the project size. Learn more

Customer Comfort

If you have ever felt the frustration that follows getting lost in a restaurant or a retail store, then it will come as no surprise that it might be disgruntling to your clients if they can’t find their way through your space. Space planning intentionally creates a map, of sorts, for those who will be using your space. By using a combination of the space’s features (layout, furniture, lines, lighting, etc.), space planning either consciously or subconsciously guides a client or customer through your space and gives them an overall sense of ease, if not delight.

With a good floor plan, your customers will not feel claustrophobic, disoriented, or overwhelmed. Instead, they will be focused on the purpose of their visit – and looking forward to when they can return.

Employee Productivity

A space’s functionality and overall atmosphere also play into your employees’ experience with your company, not to mention their productivity. A recent study found that more than 85% of employees at various companies said being motivated was essential to their productivity at work. For this reason, your space’s size, use of natural light and color (or lack thereof), and traffic flow, to name a few, can all have a huge impact on your employees’ satisfaction and contribution while on the job.

Another aspect of space planning that is vital not to overlook? Thoughtful use of community spaces. Your employees need space both to take breaks and comfortably interact with one another. (No one likes a small break room!)


A truly innovative interior design concept will take growth and bigger-than-life goals into account when planning a space. This can be true of an office space, a restaurant, or even an apartment complex. Will your space have room to expand? What if business booms and you need more space for employees or inventory?

A few years ago, Apple renovated its flagship store in New York City. Aside from doubling the original 32,000-square-foot space to more than 77,000 square feet, one of the primary reasons for the remodel was to change the store’s previous “basement-like feel” by adding skylights, which now allow sunlight to nourish the store’s six massive ficus trees.

The lesson? Apple’s most profitable store was built with room to grow.

Learn more about SV Design and our holistic real estate approach.