interior design

Commercial Design vs. Residential Design

We’ve seen the trend in interior design where the segmentation between commercial design and residential design is fading. Clients are asking for home offices with a corporate feel, and kitchens modeled after restaurants, and there is a huge demand for boutique hotel bedrooms and in-home spas as bathrooms. In contemporary design, commercial furniture, materials, lighting, and fixtures are used to replicate luxurious commercial environments. Consumer interest in commercial-inspired design has reached such a high that, as an example, the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas opened a home furnishings store.

This is not a one-way street. Residential elements are also creeping into an increasing number of commercial designs as clients ask for their commercial spaces to “feel more like home.” The natural melting of the live-work-play community is growing as more people want to live closer to their workplace or, in some cases, in the same building. New studies about productivity and innovation have prompted employers to offer employees a more comfortable and personalized workspace.

We have lived so long by the distinctions of the two “types” of design, that at times, a transition into something more ambiguous is overwhelming.

Residential Design:

The first misconception about residential design is its simplicity. First, residential design begins as a partnership between the architect and interior designer making sure that the home is safe and structurally sound. A designer who primarily works in homes will sometimes specialize in a particular area such as the kitchen, offices, bedrooms or custom furniture and home appliances.

Interior design projects sometimes involve planning entirely new construction, renovating an existing space, or historic renovation which can include adding or elimination of entire walls, designing ceilings, window locations, lighting, technology needs, appliances, and more. Only once the basic structure is finished can the designer begin choosing the right textures, colors, and layout. The interior designer makes the home livable, creating a comfortable environment in which to relax and carry out daily tasks.

Commercial Design:

The commercial design follows the same process. Architects create buildings with a robust infrastructure, ensuring that it meets local building code regulations before the designer can begin with tones, textures, and furnishings. However, the larger spaces sometimes demand a greater responsibility for structural integrity and functionality. Commercial design also requires greater infrastructure needs. These buildings need bathrooms for employees and visitors, elevators for people and heavy freight, parking lots, and cafeterias.

Everywhere you go has been carefully designed and created with a distinct purpose and plan. Further complicating the design plans, designers often also incorporate marketing tactics to influence behavior. For this reason, there are numerous specialization areas associated with commercial design.  Designers specializing in buildings like restaurants, clubs, hospitals, and corporate buildings.

Despite their differences, there is no denying that both interior and hospitality designers are realizing the trends that are taking over. From industrial working-living spaces to hotel design, designers are learning to pull insight from the other side. Home décor has taken on many aspects of hospitality design, and hospitality design is leaning towards making hospitality feel more like home. We’ve come to learn that design should be less about the spaces and more about the clients. Too often, designers define themselves by the types of projects they do, when in fact, designers of interiors all respond to customers various needs and deliver project-specific solutions. 

The Recipe for Success: Inbound Marketing for Interior Designers

If you are not immersed in the world of marketing, you might not be familiar with the differences between inbound and outbound marketing. You know that you want to drive traffic to your website and make sales, and have an idea about some strategies, but the details and complexities escape you. Here is an analogy we like to use to explain the difference:

Outbound marketing is like a telemarketer. They call your cell phone during dinner time and you listen to the automated message. It’s disruptive and, at times, annoying. Inbound is like that amazing window display at a store that makes you want to walk in. Inbound marketing is about bringing potential customers to you instead of you going to them. But much like traditional marketing, digital inbound strategies are complex, often requiring a full-fledged marketing plan. 

To set your inbound marketing goals, begin by assessing your current reach. Google Analytics is a great tool for understanding your key performance indicators. These might include: monthly unique website visitors, click conversion rates, and sources of traffic - PPC, SEO, blogging, social media, or email. Decide what you want to increase, and then create a plan for how to increase those metrics. What are the best three tools for doing that?

Blogging, social media, and search engines


Top business blogs answer common questions their customers have. If your company consistently creates helpful content, it'll help establish you as an authoritative source for information. Imagine what happens when your customers start sharing your advice with their friends and family to answer questions and offer suggestions. As your scope of authority expands, so does your customer base. 

In addition, blogging is the best way to continually increase your website's SEO ranking. Each time you write a blog post, another page on your website is indexed. It also creates another opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive organic traffic to your website.

Social Media

Social media sometimes gets a bad reputation in marketing because, for most businesses, it is not the marketing channel that directly drives a large percentage of sales. Email and SEO often outperform it. However, social media is the outlet most use for content discovery and new client interests. Social media is at the very top of the sales funnel and helpful for building prospective clients, building an audience, establishing your business as experts, and nurturing relationships. Despite the confusion surrounding the best way to leverage social media marketing for business performance, social media is not a one-way messaging platform. It is more like that window display we discussed in the beginning; it brings the customer to you and provides a natural platform for conversation.

Google Snippets Box

In the early 2000s, Google helped buyers find the answers to their questions by recommending countless links to potentially relevant information. It was during this time frame that SEO became one of the best inbound marketing strategies. Today, snippets and quick answer boxes reduce the amount of time spent searching through those links by serving up information--no click required. To have the very best SEO, companies should create content not just intended to rank, but also to be pulled into the snippets and quick answer boxes. This process combines a series of formatting strategies that are constantly changing as search engines update their algorithms. Experienced digital markers are usually the only people able to keep up with these trends. 

Inbound marketing is just one section of marketing but it is one of the best strategies that a company can use. For more formation about how to properly sell your brand's principals, email us at

The Recipe for Success: Building Your Brand as an Interior Designer

There is no denying the term “brand” is trending right now, but we often see it used incorrectly. We tend to see the use of the words brand, company, or organization used interchangeably, however your brand is distinctly different from your business model. By definition, a brand is both more permanent, more deep, and more definitive than the services or products a company offers or the colors they choose to represent them. Certainly, the naming of your company and logo selection is important, but your company may change logos and colors several times over the years as the business grows. A meaningful brand is steadfast and devoted. Furthermore, A brand is not a brand unless it leaves a meaningful lasting impression.

Meaningful brands give people the ability to express themselves

Stop overloading your platforms with content for the sake of growing an audience. Quality is far more important than quantity. Your content should be an extension of your brand’s expression. Creating a brand is about creating content that expresses the things your audience feels and WANTS to share themselves. When they see it, they are compelled to reshare it because it is more than just cool. By sharing your content, your audience is able to show their enthusiasm for a concept, idea, or interest you've given them. You never want your shared content to feel like a commercial or ad.

Meaningful brands stand for something above and beyond their products or services

The core to any brand is having a clear mission and set of values that are about more than the money you make from your products or services. Your audience wants to know how and when you got started, what morals your business was found on, they want to know if your work benefits a cause. You want to empower your audience with your success story. We are not suggesting you align your brand with a cause simply to win over your fans, but you should take a bold stance on your core values. Do not be afraid to share those values and make decisions by them. This is how you stand out and build loyalty.

Meaningful Brands Engage in a Timely and Authentic Way

We do not mean to sound repetitive here, but engagement is at the heart leaving a lasting impression. Your fans want to be engaged and entertained by the companies they do business with. What do we mean by authentic? All communications need to be backed by genuine concern and care for your customers. Fixing broken customer experiences is the number one priority, but engagement goes beyond that. Authenticity means having a sense of humor and humility, using the appropriate tone and vocabulary of your community, and speaking up about timely issues concerning your community. 

Meaningful Brands Create Relationships Within Their Industry

It is important for you to realize that the goal of a brand is not to conquer an industry, but rather to become a leading voice. What does a leader do? Usually a great amount of their time is forming relationships. This means standing next to the companies and the people that align with what your brand stands for. Not only do these interactions increase your reputation and visibility, it also opens doors for a wide range of collaborative opportunities.

A Design Partnership is more than a marketing company. We are your partners in developing and maintaining a lasting, meaningful brand. We are committed to your vision and want to help you express it to the world. If you’re ready to become a leading voice in the Interior Design industry, email us at: