“Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling”, said Irish author Cecelia Ahern. We all have that special ‘feeling’ for our home, the place we can be ourselves. Naturally, we take special care to make the brick and mortar structure our ‘home’.
Have you ever wondered about the places that are nobody’s ‘home’ in particular? Places that we all like to visit, but never think of them as ours? I’m talking about the commercial establishments – hotels, malls, airports – that form an integral part of our modern lives, especially our social lives. Can you imagine Generation Z surviving without a mall or a movie theater?!
Whenever you visit a mall, a restaurant or a movie theatre, and you sit at a table to enjoy a good meal or buy your movie ticket at the ticket booth, you are using…commercial furniture.
What, then, are the distinguishing features of commercial furniture?
Durability and easy maintenance are two very important considerations while designing commercial furniture. The sofa that adorns the lobby of a hotel or the waiting area of a café is used – and abused – by multiple people for several hours every day. If the upholstery of a restaurant chair is not easily washable, can you imagine the new patterns that will be created everyday by a cocktail of sauces?
‘Best’ is a very subjective term, especially in the world of commercial furniture design. There are so many types of establishments, with varying design and décor requirements.
A café, for example, has chairs, tables and couches designed according to a common theme, which is also reflected in every other facet of the place. A bar, on the other hand, uses furniture that’s cosy as well as sturdy, because guests spend a lot of time lounging at the bar, unwinding after a long day. At the airport traveller’s lounge, comfortable, yet easy to clean chairs are ‘perfect’.
The office. A workplace where different shades of ‘perfect’ coexist. Managerial, writing or floating desks; conference, ergonomic or task chairs – what is suitable for you is the ‘ideal’ design.
So, what constitutes ideal commercial furniture design? Irrespective of the type of business, there are some features that are common across most commercial interior designs.
The desk, for example, is a versatile piece of furniture, whose design depends on its functionality. Square or oval shaped, placed on the floor or attached to the wall, with or without storage and lighting spaces – the choices are numerous.
The shelf is another multi purpose furniture item. Depending on the location –
store, office, doctor’s chamber or library – shelves can be made of wood or metal, may be floor, wall or ceiling mounted and may have static or dynamic display.
The beginning, said Plato, is the most important part of the work. In a commercial facility, it’s the reception. A place that gives you the first – and often lasting -impression about the business, the reception can be a point of sale as well as a space for advertising. What is ideal for hotels and cafés may be vastly different from the perfect design for a medical reception.
Excellence, like beauty, lies in the eyes of the beholder. What is the perfect
commercial furniture design for your business is, ultimately, your choice.