By Richard Cranenburgh
Kiwis have a reputation for being creative and resourceful. Yet more often than not the commercial spaces we work in do not reflect this. A commercial premises needs to work on an aesthetic level for a number of reasons, starting with attracting and retaining good tenants.
I also believe strongly that the buildings we work in day after day have the potential to alter our emotions, either positively or negatively. People spend a good percentage of time at work so let’s make it an experience to visit the building for those who work in it every day – and for clients when they visit.
Exteriors Can often be vague, unclear and even boring. Repainting the exterior of a building can be so much more than just a maintenance chore – make it work as a focal point.
The exterior of the WRMK (Web, Ross, McNab, Kilpatrick) building was a fabulous project to work on. The project took the good bones of the building and gave it a fresh approach with colour and graphic signage – offering an exterior philosophy of ‘professionalism and fun’ to a law company. Now the building has a personality.
Thoughts about the use of colour for commercial premises
- Sometimes it is better not to use the same colour for interiors as the colours in your brand – it may just blend in and lose impact!
- Red & yellow are popular colours for food outlets as they are eye catching and are seen as vibrant, energising and positive.
- Earthy colours are now more popular as give a more intimate feeling to offices to reflect home life – gone are the days of large white walls or corridors.
- Rather than going for a block colour scheme, try using bold colours to highlight individual elements of the building – little bit of colour can go a long way and give impact!
Creative touch to your project!
My tips to start a project either interior or exterior
- Do not follow trends – they will date.
- Explore – who is using the building, its purpose.
- Share your ideas with someone with a good eye for colour – like a colourist designer – and get their feedback
Once you have thought a bit about the above – then meet with an interior designer who has the skills and get a different perspective from yours –then brain storm with your designer. You will get some amazing results.
Richard Cranenburgh owns NDC (Northern Design Consultancy) in Whangarei. He has over 30 years in design, advertising, marketing, teaching and curating. Throughout his design career, Richard has often been asked by individual clients, businesses, architects and the like to advise on interior design, colour, lighting, or furniture. He has worked on projects involving hospitals, local council, business refits and residential interior design.
For more information visit www.ndc.co.nz