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Commercial Vs Residential Interior Design

interior designer Melissa discussing options with a client

They say don’t mix business with pleasure  – but does the same apply when it comes to interior design? Understanding the difference between commercial and residential interior design is complex, at the crux of them both is a space where functionality, practicality and the way it makes people feel are of the highest importance.

This blog aims to highlight the differences between commercial and residential interior design. Although the two types of spaces hold such different purposes, how they make people think and feel holds just as much relevance as the other.

Commercial refers to property used for business where as residential projects focus on the home environment. As interior designers, there is a multitude of different things we need to take into consideration when working on commercial projects – business spaces range from small bars to large office blocks, all of which come with their own uses and therefore their own design requirements. Residential projects however are rooted in the family or person that spends most of their time there, with more of a personal touch on the place, interior designers are led in their design choices by the personal preferences of their clients.

shot of Melissa interior designer smiling

commercial design

A well-designed commercial space is just as important as that of the home, but for a number of different factors. Prioritising interior design choices in a commercial building can be the key to enticing and impressing new and existing customers. Beautiful interior design choices can quite literally work as extra advertising – spending time with customers in a beautiful setting is more than likely going to leave them feeling satisfied, not just with your services!

Combining functionality and aesthetics when designing a space is no mean feat, working alongside an interior designer who prioritises the purpose of your business space as well as understanding what you find aesthetically beautiful. 

There are certain additional things that we should take into consideration when designing commercial spaces; its functions, health and safety guidelines and business budgets. Many businesses opt for low cost, purpose-built spaces to ‘get the job done’ however, as an interior designer, I understand the importance of working in a space that is aesthetically pleasing too – and it doesn’t have to cost the earth!

The Design Council have recently concluded that 77% of people work productively in a well-designed office.

If you haven’t already, check out my blog post ‘5 interior design tips to boost productivity’. Making design choices specifically rooted in productivity is really beneficial for commercial buildings such as offices. The way we design our spaces has a direct impact on the way we feel, which is relevant outside of the home too.

residential design

Home is where we (should) spend most of our time. Because of this, the choices we make in interior design can have a direct impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. It is no surprise that how we design our homes, our safe spaces, and our sanctuary can directly impact our thoughts, feelings and interactions with others. 

As an interior designer who roots practices in holistic interior design, I understand the importance of creating a space in which we feel safe and can flourish. Residential interior design is starkly different to that of commercial interior design, instead of designing spaces in which functionality is at the forefront when designing homes, we take into account personal taste and budgets. Making sure a space is liveable and turning a house into a home is a different project entirely from when an interior designer works on a commercial project.

There are more functions to a home, it arguably serves more purpose than a commercial building. A home is where we tend to live, sleep, entertain, in some cases work. Because of this, we have to make advised interior design choices, taking into consideration the purpose, room by room. As an interior designer that works primarily on residential buildings, I look at how I can create a bedroom space that encourages relaxation and sleep and make that completely different to a home office which is designed to boost productivity.

a bed with a mirror next to it


The process of designing a commercial vs residential space is remarkably different. Either way, interior design is a juggling act of aesthetics, functionality and personal taste. Both commercial and residential interior design requires great attention to detail.

The overall aim when working on residential design is that the space is comfortable and liveable, whereas, with commercial interiors, we tend to focus more heavily on purpose and function. Whether it be homeowner or customer centred, both design projects can put the person at the heart.

how i can help…

As a holistic interior designer, I work on many projects, both residential and commercial, with the person at the centre of the project. Both residential and commercial properties will benefit from design choices that are focused on health, wellbeing, psychology and productivity. 

Merging my practices in human design, biophilic design and psychology equip me for bringing the most out of any space. Whether it be a commercial or residential space you are interested in working on – let’s do it together

Give me a call!


Image of Melissa interior designer

Hi, I’m Melissa

I offer a friendly, high-end holistic interior design experience for my clients so they can feel supported and guided towards interior design that takes them out of their comfort zone yet still reflects their personal style, fulfils their needs and improves their well-being.

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Meet Melissa interior designer, yoga teacher and lover of nature.

hi, i'm melissa and i work with clients who are ready to elevate their interior design & transform their space in to a calming sanctuary.

Every space I design, I believe in the profound power it holds to influence your mental and physical health.

I believe in thinking differently about interior design.

I design spaces differently by drawing on knowledge I gained while completing a BSc Hons Degree in Psychology and yoga teacher training. I then blend this with my natural creativity and eye for design.

The result is a space that not only looks impeccable, reflects your style and fulfils your needs but also evokes a sense of calm and soothes your nervous system. 

Are you ready to transform your space?