Your front office space is the face of your company for visiting clients, and there’s no shortage of options for themes and styles to choose from. However, every commercial interior design job has one guiding factor, and that is the safety of those that use it. Keeping family safe in the home is important as well, but in a business environment, injuries can not only mean a loss of man power due to recuperation, but also of an overhead liability. As the space owner, it is your responsibility to keep your visitors safe, and having these thoughts in mind while choosing a commercial interior design will alleviate possible injuries and keep your reputation intact.
Upon entering a space, visitors expect to be able to move comfortably around without having to dodge random furniture pieces placed for their use. This means placing larger seating options against the wall such as couches and larger chairs, while placing coffee tables in between. An open flow floor plan also projects an air of significance, impressing clients with your company’s attitudes and directives toward customer relations. A clutter free entrance means a clutter free management, and that little tid-bit can go a long way.
If a reception area is reticent of your space, always have it facing the entrance. The first face a client should see is the one expecting them, with a pleasant smile and a kind welcome. If they don’t, and instead come across the side view or worse, the backside of the reception area, they will immediately start off your relationship with an uneasy attitude toward openness. Having a receptionist facing the entrance allows for accountability of who is in the space at any given time, creating a safe atmosphere for employees who aren’t always aware of who might be wandering about.
Punctuate seating areas with potted plants, either reproduction of live selections. This is a great way to ‘travel’ a color scheme of green, while adding in eye catching color statements within with red or purple flower buds. Just as a couch needs a color contrast with a throw pillow, an office plant needs a striking spot of color to punctuate the overall design element it brings to a space.
The other reason for inserting color into plants is to set them apart from the rest of the décor. Much like an Amazonian rain forest frog who colors itself red to warm off predators, a splash of offsetting color gives clients a means of identifying trip hazards. As it stands out, a visitor knows to step aside and walk around an artfully placed room design element.
Electrical cords and trip hazards
If the design starts from conception, electrical cords and telephone lines should be run within the walls of the space. If however that is not the case, invest in appropriate channeling fixtures to keep cables secure and out from underfoot. One loose extension cord can cause a fall, and along with it, a liability lawsuit.
Under carpet runners are another option, though it depends heavily on the style of flooring in your space. Thinner industrial choices show lumps that still can be a hazard, while thicker carpets can catch shoe heels and create a potential fall incident.
Many post modern architectural designs call for hard wood floor, and this means using a molded sleeve to fit over running cables. Choose these in complimenting yet offset colors so they can be seen and stepped over should necessity dictate.
Safety is a major concern in commercial interior design, but it doesn’t have to take away from a design theme. By working closely with your designer, you can find the right balance of attractiveness and safety awareness.