5 Key Questions to Ask When Choosing a Commercial Interior Design Firm

The 5 Questions you Should Ask Commercial Interior Designers

Finding the right commercial interior design team can feel like hiring a new employee of your own, and it is most definitely just as important. Does their design vision align with what you and your company want? Are you both on the same page? What services do they offer?

Just like hiring an employee, you want to ensure the commercial interior design team you hire is the right fit for your business. Whether you own a quiet dentist’s office, a coffee shop franchise or a bustling restaurant downtown, designers should be working to improve your business first and foremost.

Below are five questions you should ask while interviewing commercial interior designers to determine if they’re the right fit.


How does the commercial interior design team/firm decide which projects are best for them?

This is the designer equivalent of asking a potential employee: “why do you think this role is right for you?”

A commercial interior designer who evaluates your business and project will share their priorities with you. This will illustrate how they handle projects, their services, communication style, personality, design strategy, and other elements. The commercial interior design process can take a few months, or even a year depending on the project, so it’s important that the experience is smooth for everyone involved.


Does the commercial interior design firm have experience in your industry?

Asking what a design team’s existing and past clients were will give you insight into what industries they serve. An experienced commercial interior design team can mention a number of projects off-hand, procure a list and even link you to their past projects or client testimonials.

While interviewing design firms, ensure you review each portfolio carefully. This is like the commercial interior designer’s resume. Previous experience will give you and other decision-makers a clearer sense of what they do and their results.

Don’t hesitate to view projects that are similar to your business. For example, at Janks Design Group, our past projects include businesses such as bars, restaurants, new condo developments, dentistry, homes, ice cream parlours and more!


What was a past mistake they made with a project? How did they handle it and what were the takeaways?

You’ve likely heard or asked this question before in an interview. Working with a commercial interior designer requires trust and the ability to problem solve on the spot. It’s important to learn what the design team has learned from previous mistakes and what their response is if something goes awry.

Commercial interior designers may have preventative measures in place to mitigate past issues. For instance, a team could have close connections to reliable contractors and tradespeople and provide immediate solutions without charge if anything doesn’t go according to plan.


What is their approach to Project Management?

An experienced commercial interior design team should have a systematic approach for your type of business. Breaking down each phase of the project should be communicated to you early on to avoid confusion and surprises.

Phase one should include a strategy, plan, timeframe and accurate cost analysis. Expenses should be negotiated before unexpected expenses arise for the client. Ask if the quote outlines any logistics outside of interior design. Costs like additional consultants, changes during construction, permit fees and more should be discussed prior to signing off on a commercial interior design project.

We ensure to share our process openly with our clients at Janks Design Group.


Are they Communicative and Responsive to you? Do they prefer client involvement?

Good communication is never underrated, especially while working with a commercial interior design company. Working with a design firm is more than selecting paint colours and materials, it’s a two-way conversation about your company’s vision, branding, culture, values and goals. It shouldn’t surprise you that these building blocks of your company influence your interior design.

Having a contact who’s accessible to your firm and who comfortably addresses problems will help you achieve your design goals. At JDG, we communicate using presentations, 3D models, detailed floorplans, specification packages, material boards and more. This allows our clients to review the design before any construction so we can make any changes if necessary. It is MUCH easier (and less expensive) to make a change early in the design phase, rather than amidst construction.

If you’re looking for a commercial interior design team for your business, then don’t forget to reach out to us and see if we’re the right design company for you!


Our Top Tips for Restaurant Design

Did you know that finding a way to improve your customer reviews by only a half star can result in a revenue boost of up to 9%?

Considering this, why not focus on your restaurant’s interior design to give your ratings a boost?

The success of a restaurant doesn’t depend solely on food. At JDG, we can guide you through the process of designing an incredible restaurant – from initial inspiration to permitting and construction.

Here are some of our top restaurant interior design tips to help you think outside the box.



Design a Detailed & Efficient Layout


Although it’s tempting, don’t start ripping apart anything just yet!

The first step is to develop a layout that is functional and efficient for both guests and staff. This restaurant interior design cheat sheet will be a great tool to help you plan out your restaurant. For example, most restaurants locate their washrooms away from the entry and windows, closer to the kitchen and back of the restaurant. This ensures your guests get to enjoy the natural lighting and view from windows.

A detailed and efficient layout will also help customers and servers move freely about your restaurant. This can be a constant challenge depending on how much space you have on your floor plan. Overall, the layout is the foundation of the design process and of your restaurant’s success – both design and functionality wise.

OEB Breakfast Co, Burnaby, B.C / Photo by: Christine Pienaar Photography / Design by: JDG



Thoughtful Lighting & Colour Selection


Lighting and colour selection is a vital element of restaurant interior design. You should involve both natural and artificial light to capture the essence of your establishment, and strategically select colours that boost the appetite and mood of your guests.

Creating a perfect balance of lighting levels can help influence our moods, emotions and feelings. Studies have shown that brighter light can intensify our emotions while lower light keeps them steady.

Here are some quick tips on how colours affect our brains and moods:

  • Blue: lowers high blood pressure and calms us down. Portrays trust, loyalty, wisdom, intelligence, truth, water and tranquility.
  • Green: Green stimulates muscles, bones and more. For restaurant interior design, it portrays nature, growth, wealth, health, harmony, and calmness.
  • Purple: reduces emotional and mental stress. Portrays royalty, power, luxury, dignity, romance and creativity.
  • Red: red is a powerful colour that portrays love, warmth, energy, excitement, leadership, intensity and courage.
  • Orange: this is a colour of creative ideas. It helps portray happiness, energy, enthusiasm, change, and stimulation.
  • Yellow: Yellow is portrayed as a happy colour. It helps us be cheery, optimistic, and energetic but it also brings emotions like caution, hunger, and attentiveness.
  • White: portrays cleanliness, space, coolness, and neutrality.

Dandy’s Artisan Icecream, Regina, SK / Photo by: Andrew Fyfe Photography / Design by: JDG




Select the Right Flooring


Flooring is another critical component of restaurant interior design. There are several choices for flooring – from hardwood, synthetic and more – but you should consider the following features:

  • Safety: Try to get non-slip flooring options and anti-slip coating for customers and staff.
  • Sound Absorption: Noise-dampening floors (like vinyl or wood) can combat this common problem in restaurants.
  • Durability: Wear and tear are expected in restaurants with frequent spills and foot traffic. Tile floors are much more durable, resist wear, and have an aesthetic appeal.
  • Maintenance: Flooring that is easy to clean and maintain is helpful to consider in your restaurant interior design. Concrete requires the least amount of maintenance whereas hardwood is easy to clean but requires regular waxing.

If you’re interested in discussing the many flooring options out there, don’t hesitate to reach out to an expert at JDG.

Tap & Barrel Bridges, Vancouver, B.C / Design by: Tap & Barrel and JDG




Be True to You: Show off Your Brand


Is your bistro a local hole-in-the-wall with lots of charm, character and history? Or is your restaurant modern and sophisticated, serving the bustling business worker community?’

No matter what your brand values are, you don’t want to throw your guests off. Tablecloths and chandeliers will feel out of place at a college brunch joint for example.

Check out this restaurant’s interior design example in Brentwood. The owner wanted customers to walk into a fresh farmhouse as they entered this brunch establishment. By incorporating some raw materials and subtle barn elements, we were able to illustrate the brand’s grassroots values to every customer at OEB Breakfast Co.

Ask yourself: What do you want your customers to feel and remember about your restaurant?

If you need help or more inspiration, you can see our other restaurant interior design examples on our project page.




The Most Creative Layout & Design Ideas for an Open Plan Office

Why Office & Interior Layout Design Matters

The office is your team’s second home. Your team’s lives are connected to the work they accomplish alone and with their team members in the office.

Office interior design and layout do affect everyone in the workplace. Unfortunately, open plans have shown negative employee experiences in recent studies, especially in the realms of noise and privacy.

It begs the question: Is there an open office layout plan that works well for everyone?

At JDG, we believe there is a solution. This is why we’ve explored several inspirational office layouts which are both creative and functional for your team.



Assess Your Team’s Workspace Needs Via Survey

Let’s not put the cart before the horse and assume everyone is wanting an open plan right away. Understanding what your team’s roles are and how they are productive should influence your decision on a concept.

A quick survey via Survey Monkey or a Google Form will help guide your decision on your office layout design. Here is an example of a question you may include:

Ask your team: What percentage of your time is spent on the following?

  • Quiet Tasks (done alone)
  • Collaborating with team members
  • Phone calls and/or virtual meetings
  • In-person meetings

Examining the results will tell you which jobs and personalities are more suited for open office layout designs than others. Workers that spend a higher percentage of time on quiet tasks and the phone will best be suited to a private layout for example.


Choosing an Office Layout Design Concept

After understanding your team’s needs, it’s time to pick a creative concept that works! New ideas are easy to find and visualize, but breathing life into those Pinterest concepts is another task entirely.

Before going down that route, let’s explore a few of our favourite contemporary office layout design options below.


Newsroom Style Office

Best suited for: A team that prefers to be fast-paced and collaborative. If communication and impromptu meetings are your team’s needs, look no further than this office layout design. This works perfectly if your team has some flex time to have meetings, brainstorming sessions and conversations.

Features: Clusters of desks, an open space and flexible seating options

How to Implement:

  • Keep desks together. Make office layout designs based on clusters of desks and tables.
  • Remove cubicles and any room dividers.
  • Provide flexible and comfortable seating options like sofas and bean seats while still supplying ergonomic office chairs.


Artistic Creative Loft

Best suited for: A creative, intellectual team that focuses time on visual work. In this open office layout design, team members can collaborate alongside each other, adding a myriad of pictorial perspectives to projects. Encouraging open ideas by adding whiteboards along the office’s perimeter will encourage the flow of ideas. Your team can find inspiration from one another, even if they’re working on separate tasks.

Features: Extended, colourful gallery desks, whiteboards and abstract art.

How to Implement: Start by thinking like your office space is an art classroom and push individual desks together – or close by – and form horizontal rows. Gather whiteboards, pieces of art, wall graphics, and plants and set them in the main work area. You can also gather input from your team of creatives to customize the design. Print and frame a few extra graphics made by you, the company or your team and place them around the office as a sign of pride and to reflect your imaginative values.



Best of “Booth” Worlds: A Hybrid Office Layout Design

Best suited for: A team with a more dynamic style. This is the layout design choice that best caters to a team that values individual privacy as well as team collaboration. It’s a balanced solution that addresses the pros and cons of open plans, clusters, and cubicles.

If your team has a diverse set of work preferences, conflicting tasks, and requires just moderate amounts of collaboration, this is often the best choice possible. Hybrid office layout design plans can be adjusted around staff work-from-home preferences.

Features: Hybrid office layout designs vary greatly. There’ll be individual and team-oriented workstations present.

How to Implement: You’ll often need a larger workspace (in square feet) to cater to each employee’s work style. They often feature some open aspects like worktables, meeting rooms, and open coffee lounges with sofas and plants. Private areas can include partitioned individual workstations with headphones and even fully soundproof office booths for deep focus.

Hybrid offices are the most customizable and easy to change. They grant employee autonomy on how to work and improve employee productivity, mood and satisfaction by catering to needs.


If you need a hand with a Hybrid office layout design or any other office design concept, don’t forget to reach out to the pros at JDG!


The Top 5 Principles of Sustainable Interior Design

Isn’t it shocking that buildings consume 40% of our worldwide energy?

It’s no secret that people are considering energy-efficient and sustainable interior design options for a greener future. We’re noticing a sharp increase in our clients here at JDG who want to incorporate sustainable principles in their homes and workspaces.

Are you considering unique and sustainable interior design for your home or business? We’ve made a convenient list for you that outlines a few of the most important principles of sustainable design for your interior space.

1. Interior Design with Energy Efficient Options

Becoming less dependent on fossil fuels is more pressing than ever before. We know that heating and lighting are the highest contributors to energy efficiency that interior designers have control over.

Improving your interior space will result in direct energy savings. For example, converting to LED bulbs can save up to 50% on your lighting bill. They produce roughly 85% less energy compared to incandescent bulbs on the same lighting level.

Windows are remarkable for natural lighting but are also notorious places for your indoor heat to escape. Interior designers can ensure windows are double-glazed so heat loss is mitigated by nearly half. Installing stylish curtains or drapes on your windows can help keep your space cozy in the colder months while keeping the sun’s heat out during the summer.

Did you know that carpets are also estimated to retain nearly 10% of a room’s heat? Consider using carpeting or area rugs in spaces you want to stay warmer, such as the bedroom or your living room.


2. Design with Flexibility & Longevity

Serviceable materials and products are discarded far too often.

Our interior designers at JDG evaluate the lifespan of a chosen material that we plan to use in your space.

Design elements that are heavily used – like flooring – should be durable and timeless in sustainable interior design. Thinking practically and choosing an enduring design that’s high quality and classy – like bamboo or reclaimed hardwood – will help increase its longevity.

Your life changes. You move into a new home, you may have kids, adopt pets, and even host events with your friends and family. Your space shouldn’t remain stagnant; it should evolve alongside you and your life.

Innovative ideas have brought a plethora of options in flexible interior design. Some perfect examples of flexible design include:

  • Modified walls
  • Mobile Furniture
  • Modular flooring

Trendy modular carpets are simply pieced together. If an area of the flooring is ever damaged, all you have to do is replace a single square!


3. Using Natural Materials Responsibly

Using non-polluting and abundant products is a common practice of sustainable interior design.

Although lumber may be an answer that’s top of mind, interior designers must consider how ethically it is sourced. Thankfully, there are easy ways to tell. An FSC label on the product will signify that the wood is organically and ethically sourced.

If you’re wanting ethically sourced lumber, there are three different FSC labels to be aware of:

FSC 100%: Products originate from FSC-Certified forests
FSC Recycled: The product is only from reclaimed material
FSC Mixed: at least 70% of the wood comes from FSC-Certifed or recycled material.

Fast-growing bamboo is another great lumber alternative to use for interior design. Bamboo forests grow much faster and are harvested sustainably. Depending on the application, coated and treated bamboo can easily last at least 10-12 years in your space



4. Improving Indoor Air Quality

It’s staggering that the US Environmental Protection Agency considers indoor air pollution in the top 5 biggest environmental threats. Living with optimal air quality is imperative for sustainable interior design.

Volatile Organic Compounds (or VOCs) are known to cause poor indoor air quality. These solvents can be found in certain types of paints or products. Our interior designers opt for eco-friendly water-based paints which don’t contain any VOCs. You can rest easy at home or even at work in your home office with better air quality.

Greenery will always freshen up your indoor living or working space. Indoor plants are aesthetically pleasing while they purify the air around you. Popular choices for indoor arborists include peace lilies, spider plants, snake plants, monkey trees, rubber plants and succulents.


5. Harbouring a Low Impact & Low Waste Mentality

Interior designers have a lot of say on what materials to use to mitigate waste. We know the planet’s resources are dwindling and limited.

Designers are highly aware of current sustainable interior design thinking and practices. New trends here to stay are recycling, upcycling and repurposing. For example, upcycling is when an unwanted piece is repurposed and reused. Picture an aimless piece of driftwood washed up on the beach. Imagine if it could be cleaned and beautifully stained into a distinctive shelf or coffee table?

Our interior designers can be creative with functional pieces and find ways to grant them new life. Today, at least 2.5 million tons of textiles are recycled annually. Sustainable materials for interior spaces include recycled polyester for drapes and upholstery.



That sums up our top 5 list of sustainable interior design elements to consider for your next project.

Do you need a hand with your interior space? Don’t hesitate to contact us and our expert team of interior designers can certainly help turn your space eco-friendly and sustainable for years to follow.


The Most Important Elements of Commercial Interior Design

Have you ever thought to yourself “what does my business space look like to other people? What sort of impression do they get by looking at it and being in it?”.

Whatever establishment you enter, whether it be a hotel, restaurant, or office branch, your brain forms a general impression of the area by its design. It’s common for business owners to be so consumed by other business matters to barely consider these simple queries. Your commercial interior design is immensely important to your potential customers, existing customers and even your employees!

Our team at JDG would like to share a number of the most important elements of commercial interior design with you. This is for you to regard while considering any possible future redesign plans.


Your Available Space


Without understanding the essentials of your available space, other design elements and ideas can fall apart. Your available space is the foundation of commercial interior design. A professional designer must be aware of the square footage, dimensions and utilities. Remember your space refers to wall and ceiling height as well, not just the floor (Length x Width).

Similar to not wanting to overload a new apartment space with too much furniture, understanding your commercial space will help guide your design plan.



Your Lighting Options


Incorporating both natural and artificial lighting is a must-have for commercial spaces. People are naturally drawn to warmly lit spaces and it plays a huge factor in commercial interior design. Depending on the lighting used, you can make areas feel smaller and intimate or larger and unrestricted.

Lighting comes in the forms of natural and artificial light. Natural lighting refers to sunlight which can come through windows, skylights, or glass shields. Artificial lighting is produced by any light source that uses energy (Fireplaces, ceiling lights etc.). This type of lighting can be remarkably effective in creating a certain mood or atmosphere. For example, an office space would use a vastly different source of artificial lighting than a fancy restaurant with outdoor seating. The former would be suited for more task-oriented lighting to keep employees alert and focused, whereas the latter may use a subtle, warmer tone for customers under the night sky.



Choosing Your Colours


Selecting the right colours and patterns can make your commercial space unique and come to life. For commercial interior design, colours are chosen to follow a company’s theme and help stimulate the feelings of a brand.

Colour theory has been studied extensively by designers. Different colours provoke various emotions and reactions. Here are some examples of a few colours and their common associations.

  • Red: Red is a hot colour. It has a range of ties from violence, danger and fire, to importance, passion and love. This colour can become overwhelming quickly if overused in design.
  • Orange: Snappy and energetic, orange can be associated with autumn, creativity and change. It’s also related to health and wellness because of the familiar fruit with the same name.
  • Yellow: Joyous and playful, it’s widely considered the brightest colour. It can be associated with cowardice and caution but also happiness, youth and hope.
  • Green: Green is often associated with harmony and nature. It’s used in design elements related to stability, wealth, eco-friendliness, and renewal.
  • Blue: A popular colour, blue can mean a lot depending on its shade. Dark blue represents stability, security, strength, spirituality and reliability. Light blues are more relaxed, whereas bright blues are viewed as refreshing.
  • Purple: Purple is attributed to traits seen in blues and reds, plus creativity and imagination. The colour used to be expensive to obtain, which makes purple highly associated with luxury, royalty and sophistication.
  • Neutral Colours: Black, grey, white, brown and tan are considered neutral colours and are effective as backdrops in designs. They can also be used on their own to create stunning design layouts. Black portrays elegance, power, mystery and formality whereas white is associated with purity, virtue, health and cleanliness.



Adding Technology to Your Commercial Space


Your business relies on several pieces of technology to operate. Retailers, offices and restaurants use computers for communication, checkouts, and other work functions.

Commercial interior designers understand the importance of space functionality. They have the experience to seamlessly implement your business’ technology into the design. You may need proper pod areas for computer work or perhaps projectors and media players for board rooms. Ensure your design plan considers everyone using the space including employees, guests and customers.



Is it Time for a Commercial Interior Design Remodel?

After reading this article, you should get a basic grasp of commercial interior design. How do you feel about your own company’s design? Do you think your commercial space may need a fresh redesign?

We’d like to be a partner in the process with you. Feel free to reach out to us at JDG for a free consultation.

If you work in an office and want more advice on design pointers, make sure to see our previous blog on office interior design trends to transform your space.


5 Dos & Don’ts for Bedroom Interior Design

Common Bedroom Interior Design Mistakes & Solutions

1. Choosing Loud Colours

It’s tempting to put your favourite bold and vibrant colours in the bedroom, but they’re best left to other areas of the home. Choosing bold and primary colours disturbs your sleep patterns. A recent blog by Casper demonstrates that some of the worst bedroom interior design colours are red, orange, dark purple, dark brown, and black. Red, for example, is a high-energy colour with an extremely powerful pigment which is said to provoke feelings of anger. Orange is said to have similar impacts, but is more related to high energy and excitement, making it difficult to relax and sleep.


Solution: Use Relaxing Colour Palettes & Bold Colours for Accents Only

Choosing a colour palette with shades that make you feel more relaxed, secure and content is best for your sleep. Which colours do you naturally think of? Most people think of blues, greens, light pinks, whites, and beiges. Blue is commonly imagined when people envision a calm environment. A study by Travelodge demonstrated that homes with blue bedrooms had better sleep compared to homes with other colours. Greens are another top contender that symbolizes serenity. A great interior bedroom design tip is to add indoor plants to your bedroom, even if you go with a gentle white or a more neutral beige palette.

It’s alright if you still want bold colours for your bedroom interior design. As a compromise, it could be a good idea to use these colours elsewhere in the room. Try some purple blankets, loud pillows, a bold comforter on the bed, an art piece, or another paint colour on an accent wall.



2. Overlooking Storage & Furniture Size

Bedrooms can get cluttered very quickly. Buying furniture that is too large is another common bedroom interior design mistake. This is commonly overlooked because it’s easy to overestimate the room’s size by not knowing the bedroom’s floor plan or not having a measured drawing of the space on hand. Sometimes, the furniture selected, such as decorative nightstands and desks, don’t come with ample storage space.


Solution: Focus on Space & Essentials First

Bedrooms should look clean, cozy, and elegant. Give yourself space to move while considering your bedroom interior design. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 3 feet between the bed and side walls and at least 2 feet between low furniture.

Try to focus on only the essentials first. A bed, a couple of nightstands, a dresser for your clothes, and a small desk may be all you need. If your bedroom is bigger, you’ll have the luxury to fill out the space with larger pieces like small cabinets or an armoire. Keeping the space less busy and chaotic will help you relax. Don’t forget that’s what the room is ultimately for.



3. Ignoring the Ceiling

The bedroom ceiling is the largest empty surface of your room. Designers often refer to it as “the fifth wall”. A typical error in bedroom interior design is to throw a simple light up top and not think twice about the ceiling.


Solution: Consider Optional Ceiling Fixtures & Painting Tricks

Your ceiling is an untapped space that can add a special, personalized touch to your bedroom. Remember, nobody says that chandeliers are solely meant for just the dining room or front foyer. If you do select a chandelier for your bedroom, try to consider what style your room will have and whether it’ll be more traditional, natural or contemporary to match.

Another bedroom interior design trick is to paint the ceiling a lighter version of the wall colour. What this does is help visually lower the ceiling to evoke a feeling of intimacy and comfort. Further ceiling customization options may include wallpapers, beams, mouldings or decorative paint treatments.



4. Forgetting Artwork & Greenery

After considering the essentials, a big mistake is not incorporating any artistic or natural elements to make the room unique and natural. Not incorporating artwork or greenery can make your room feel ordinary, dull, or even claustrophobic.

Solution: Add Thematic Art & Recommended Indoor Plants

Bedroom wall art gives your room a unique, expressive touch. Depending on your budget, you may go for higher end original art or less expensive art print. Think about what tone or theme you’d like your art to emit. Going for mystery and curiosity? Consider picking up a piece of abstract wall art to position above the bed or desk. Wall art can also help build contrast with vibrant tones compared to your wall colours, so have fun and experiment!

Plants can do wonders for bedroom interior design. As green is a symbol of nature and serenity, plants will evoke the same feeling in your bedroom. They also assist with cleaning and purifying the air for you. Some of the best plants to include are snakeplants, which are low maintenance and even convert CO2 to oxygen at night (most plants do so during the day only). Other noteworthy options for houseplants include heart leaf philodendrons, English ivys, aloe veras, and spider plants.



5. Disregarding Mood Lighting & Multiple Lighting Options

You’re going to want a relaxing place to start and end your long day. A common mistake is to rely on a single light in a bedroom and not include other lighting options like lamps, accent, adjustable or ambient light.

Solution: Explore Your Lighting Needs Based on your Activities

There are a plethora of lighting options to consider for your bedroom interior design. A great idea is a lamp with a moveable arm for reading in bed. If you’re using intense lights with higher lux levels, they have been shown to suppress melatonin, a hormone that helps you get to sleep. Instead, try installing lights with an adjustable dimmer to allow your eyes and body to adjust to the bedtime phase.

Design by: JDG // Photo by: Christine Pienaar Photography


The key takeaway is to use various lightsources based on what you need throughout the day. Whether that’s reading or checking your phone in bed at night, watching a movie, or getting ready in the morning, make sure you have lamps, window treatments, and a comfortable overhead light so you can recharge yourself each day.














Creative Ways to Use Artificial Lighting in Your Commercial Space

Light surrounds and affects us every single day. Both natural and artificial lighting contribute to our comfort, vision and our ability to be productive.

From busy retail stores to productive office spaces, setting up artificial lighting in an establishment can be a time-consuming endeavour. We’d like to arm you with some creative solutions here at JDG so you can brainstorm some innovative artificial lighting solutions for your company.

Over the past decade, lighting has shifted to primarily LED-type fixtures to be more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and much more cost-effective in the long run. Let’s go over some methods you can use to use to boost artificial lighting in your business.


A customer is much more likely to be attracted to a retail store that illuminates and showcases its product in a flattering way. A dim interior may create a sense of mystery, but would ultimately diminish the display and showcasing of a product. Ambient lighting refers to the artificial lighting that evenly illuminates the general space. This is the base of a successful lighting design. You don’t want customers to have difficulty reading your signs and products in a retail space if it’s too dim. A dark space will also emanate an unsafe atmosphere to customers. Conversely, having lighting that’s too overwhelming and powerful will create discomfort for prolonged periods of time.

There are some simple solutions to these problems. Having natural lighting to complement your artificial lighting will save costs and additionally, it will make your space feel roomy, unique and welcoming. Make sure to exploit natural light as much as possible and add windows to the southernmost section of your commercial space to allow sunlight in.

One caveat of this is that natural lighting won’t always be constant. To amplify natural and artificial lighting, keep in mind what tone and gloss of paint your space has. Glossy, white paint tends to amplify light, whereas dull and darker tones absorb it. You can also augment the space with recessed lighting. This way, each light emits a cone to allow no dark spots or unlit areas. There are great low voltage bulbs on the market that can accomplish this. If you’re looking for an eye-catching lighting method, we recommend using LED light strips to create and illuminate various features throughout your space. These focal points can add a great amount of interest to an otherwise plain wall.


If you have more of an office-like space, you will want your lighting to keep your employees focused for the workday. The brightness and colour (warm vs cold) of the lighting will have a significant impact on workers’ productivity. Artificial lighting that’s in the middle of the spectrum from orange, yellow, green and blue, are proven to be better for efficiency and focus. Again, having some daylight will always help and will relax the mind while helping the brain refresh from hours of computer screen time. Diffused natural light will also lessen eye strain.


Adding decorative artificial lighting to your space will transform it from utilitarian to unique. Decorative lighting usually has some illumination to it but is mainly focused on the display factor. You can invoke powerful feelings with these lights such as nostalgia and can be used as a tool to further the design concept.

Classic track lights allow for flexible lighting and can make products pop when used for illuminating displays in a certain area. Wall lights and sconces are a strong choice for mood lighting. Sconce lights are much softer and produce more shadows. They can envelop an intimate, timeless atmosphere, such as having a romantic dinner out or walking the sidewalks of a century-old downtown street. If your business has tables, decorative pendant lights are a must-have. They create “islands of light”, which are great for separated group tables. There are several classic and more ambitious designs to choose from, all depending on if you’re looking to make your space look clean or dazzling.

Sculptural lighting pieces are trendy in modern design. From illuminated wrapping ropes, flowing waves, and jagged lightning zig-zags, there are limitless options to explore for artificial light sculptures. These shapes are best in very open rooms, as they draw attention but do not obstruct people. Great areas for these are lobbies, high office ceilings, in the middle of restaurants, and in recreation spaces.


Considering what mood you want to envelop in your space is a good place to start. Do you want something elegant, jaw-dropping and dramatic or timeless and soothing?

Having a consultation with a JDG Interior Designer will widen your horizons if your business needs an artificial lighting facelift. They can help you experiment with colours and lighting to ensure your space is illuminated successfully based on your specific business needs. Whether you need to showcase a product, set an ambience, or keep employees feeling their best and focused, JDG interior designers can help you to develop a successful lighting plan.

5 Home Renovation Trends You’ll Be Seeing in 2022

Home renovation has seen a boom in the past year. There will be an approximate 10% rise in spending on home renovation projects this year alone compared to 2021. Here are five notable trends to consider and look out for this year.


1. Sustainability, Greenery & Natural Design Themes

Bringing the outside to the inside is a refreshing experience for the home. This is becoming a surging 2022 interior home design and home renovation trend. We see an uptick in outdoor-inspired colour palettes such as the natural colours of sand, various woods, greenery, plants, water and rocks. Shades of green – such as sage green in particular – remind us of being outside and makes even small spaces feel more open and elegant. Natural materials are being used especially in living rooms and offices, aiming for aspects of staying power and longevity rather than quick, perishable furniture.

This plays into practical, sustainable design, encapsulating the going green theme. Anything from ensuring a home renovation plan includes an EV charging station, and eco-flushing toilets for sewer water savings, to solar-powered lighting, is a priority for customers. These options typically have a higher upfront cost, but the long-term focus on savings and sustainability carries more weight for today’s homeowners. The common trend for 2022 is a return to a longer-lasting style. After witnessing the environmental effects of fast furniture consumerism, people are craving items, styles and furniture that stand the test of time.





2. Spare Room to Home Office Conversation

Despite 2020 being behind us, the home office is here to stay. Areas that were intended as spare bedrooms, dens, workout spaces, storage rooms or game rooms are often coupled as office spaces. Having this dedicated space for business, studying, or hybrid employment is a productive game-changer that interior designers are considering and integrating. In regards to home renovation, these rooms have a plethora of outlets, and high-speed WiFi, and can accommodate a desk for the productive powerhouse of the home.

If you’re hesitant about this type of home renovation or don’t have the spare room to convert into an office, consider a versatile or flex space instead.



3. Versatile Rooms & Spaces

Wouldn’t it be great to do your hobbies while not worrying about having enough room? That’s where versatile rooms, or flex spaces, come into play. Interior designers truly understand the importance of flexible spaces. With the price of space only increasing, homeowners are getting more creative on how they use the spaces in their homes. For example, a dining table or kitchen island by evening can be a work or study desk during the afternoon.

Flex spaces are usually allocated to the smaller rooms of the home. Considering what the room will be used for and what items are needed in it will help with conceptualizing the design. Mirrors and proper lighting – both natural and artificial – can make the flex room look larger and not be claustrophobic. Choosing neutral tones helps if you plan on changing the room’s purpose or decoration elements frequently.

There are some popular suggestions for some great flex room ideas that require little to no home renovation. Here are some of our suggestions.

  • Hobby Room: painting, playing instruments, reading, writing or gaming
  • Playroom: great idea for kids. With a limited space relatively out of the way, the clutter won’t be as much of an issue for other areas of the home
  • Fitness Room: at home, fitness has been on the rise. Some smaller exercise equipment like weights, a stationary bike, a yoga mat, steps, or a portable treadmill would fit in most dens
  • Entertainment Room: video games, an extra TV for shows, or even board games for a night of fun for family or guests

Do you need some help creating your flex space? Don’t hesitate to check our our services






Photo Source: wallsrepublic.com















4. Home Renovation: Wall Identity Statements

The prominence of video-calling has made our homes a virtual backdrop, making the design of our homes even more important than before. Although there are synthetic, virtual backgrounds you can use, it’s nice to settle on something more permanent that’s special and unique to you.

A growing amount of homeowners are opting for wallpapers with more vibrant patterns and colours. This can add personality to a home, alongside wall art, paintings and murals. If you’re into greenery and natural themes, many plant enthusiasts are adopting living eco walls and hanging plants in various smallholders around their homes, such as in hallways and social areas. If you’re still experimenting with what type of backdrop you want, you can always opt for simply painting a feature wall in a bold colour, or applying a removable wallpaper.




5. Traditional, Vintage, and Refurbished Themes

Fashion trends, from choker necklaces to ripped denim, come back full circle; this goes the same for home renovation trends as well. Every piece of furniture or decor has a story. This is one of the reasons why traditional details are making a comeback. Due to high levels of uncertainty in the world, more homeowners are drawn to older, timeless themes in their spaces. Vintage pieces help us empower expression in our living space. Traditional themes add nostalgia, comfort and a sense of stability while honouring family roots.

Many challenges have arisen from inflation and frequent supply chain issues, which have significantly contributed to the trend toward preowned furnishings. Adopting this style grants a sustainable, affordable choice while upcycling older pieces and designs. Homes that celebrate uniqueness and personality through furniture choices respect the story and the history of chosen fixtures. With environmental preservation being an ever-growing topic today, the desire for sustainable furniture choices is only rising.

These choices can be accompanied by seventies decor for example. Colours such as terracotta, sage and mustard alongside classic peg-legged chairs and texture-focused fabrics add immersion to the space.

If you’re wanting to bring back some design trends from the past that you love, don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help.

Creating a Concept for Your Target Market

Interior Design has the ability to leave a lasting impression on the individuals who use or visit a space. Throughout the interior design process, having a strong design concept helps to define the design direction and bind all project elements together. When developing a design concept, it is important to execute thorough research on the target market of the business who’s space you are designing. This is crucial to ensure that the finished interior design makes a memorable impact on its users.

From a business perspective, target markets differ based on several factors, like industry, location, and services offered. As Interior Designers, it is our responsibility to develop an interior design concept that connects the values and goals of the business to its guests, customers, and staff.

Identify Your Target Market


The first step in creating a design that tailors to a specific demographic is defining the target market. Several factors, such as their purchasing behaviours, interests, and more, play into who these people are.

In addition to demographic data, consumers differ in interests; these are key data points within your audience research because they establish personas for the types of consumers you are trying to target. Interior design is scientific in a way where we are combining various elements from different realms to find the perfect formula. This is especially prevalent during the design development stages when creating a concept for a business and its target market. Research plays a major role in the process; from that point on, you utilize interior design principles to target the market you’ve identified.

Aspects of the target audience that you will want to identify include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income Level
  • Location of Residence
  • Interests

Interior design is conceptual, dynamic, and personal; it tells a story to the audience. When you think of the target market as a whole, you have to consider what their thoughts and behaviours are. The data you’ve identified needs to inform the design decisions you are making.


Research the Industry and Competitors

Think about what the existing industry looks like and delve further into the different sectors. For example, consider what restaurants are in the nearby area. What are their consumers like?
Research your competitors to find out what elements of their interior design make their space successful, and what draws in the same demographic that you are looking to attract. It is also beneficial to look at their reviews for specific learning opportunities. Especially in the retail and hospitality industry, reviews are vital for getting a glimpse into what the consumers’ needs are.

Competitors come in many forms; some are based on location, and some refer to the industry. By understanding your competitors’ pros and cons, your business has the potential to elevate on such.


Consider Form and Functionality

Once you have conducted thorough research to define your target audience and industry, the next step is to carry those findings into the design process. Draw inspiration from your target audience when making design decisions. Whether you are selecting finishes, light fixtures, or developing a layout, always consider your target audience and their needs.

Form and functionality work together to build a seamless atmosphere, one that is easy to navigate and meets the user’s needs. It’s vital that you establish your target market before developing the form and function of the space because the different elements (like location, age, and interests) will inform the design. This part of the process is very similar to branding – it’s all about creating an environment that fits the target market.

Read more about the importance of form and functionality in interior design


Focus on Elevating the Business

Dish and Duer / Designed by JDG / Photo by Fyfe Photography













When crafting a concept, it is important to focus on how the space will directly benefit the target demographic. How will they feel? How will it make their experience easy? What message are you sending them? There will always be variation amongst your audience, so your plan needs to address the larger majority.


Adapt the Concept

It’s a given that when the business takes off, you will begin seeing different elements that will need to be updated or revised in some way. This is normal; it’s all about adaptability. Consumers will appreciate the renovation for being considerate towards their needs and the rejuvenation of the experience.

Updating a concept keeps the design fresh. Whether for form, functionality, or based on the clients’ preferences. An interior design concept is ever-changing.

Restaurant Design: Form vs Function

A memorable restaurant experience consists of many elements, most importantly the menu and service. But what about the design and ambience? How does such an experiential add-on impact the guest’s perception of your restaurant?

Restaurant interior design is centered around the experience of the guest. It is meant to create an ambience that is reflective of the brand. It sets the tone for the food and beverage that the kitchen prepares. It’s an experience encapsulated by art and design.

Form vs. Functionality: The Value of a Healthy Partnership

Form and function are critical to restaurant interior design because they collaborate to establish a space that is both operational and visually impactful. The difference between form and function is that form relates to the structure and design of a space and function speaks to the ability of the space.

The Value of Ambience & Functionality in Restaurant Interior Design

It is important to design your functional spaces such as the kitchen and bathrooms, before you proceed with the detailed interior design and furnishing of the space. As we’ve already noted, workflow is crucial. Think of the journey from the kitchen to the guests; how can you design the space in such a way that it is effortless and natural?

To establish a seamless environment for your guests, keep traffic at an all time low with efficient and spacious travel paths that allow for guests to move about the space, and for staff to travel from the kitchen to their tables with minimal interruption. The more opportunities to move around, the less traffic there will be.

Restaurant Yugo by JDG // Photo by: Andrew Fyfe Photography












Check Out the Interior Design Trends of 2022

Make the Most of Your Environment

If you feel that your space is small, especially with the addition of tables and chairs, add mirrors to create the illusion of additional space. It may seem like a minor consideration but it makes all the difference for your guests. In smaller spaces, guests tend to feel suffocated because of the narrow walls and seating areas. Adding a mirror to the mix opens the space up and adds a timeless element to the design.

Highlight Every Angle of the Restaurant

All elements of the environment play a factor in the overall experience. Ensure that all masses are addressed and considered when designing a restaurant. The walls and floors are usually the initial focus, but don’t forget to include the ceiling in your story. Implementing a design element on the ceiling can make a space more memorable and unique.

The Psychology of Colour within a Restaurant Seating

The opportunities are endless with color. Go bold and create conversation or go subtle to allow the menu and guests to shine. In regard to the restaurant’s functional design, consider what your restaurant will look like during different parts of the day and in different luminosity.

Warmer tones, such as red, orange, and yellow are considered the best colors for restaurant establishments because of how well they perform in stimulating appetite for guests. Not only that, but in the case of yellow and orange, the human brain associates them with happiness. Warmer tones create a warmer experience.

Lighting: Maintaining Visibility & Ambience

For guests to see each and every detail of the restaurant, it is vital to ensure that there is adequate lighting throughout. Lighting plays a major role in ambience; the hues and brightness work together to create the environment. Go bright and exciting, or dimmed and calm. The design of the fixtures acts as accents to the overall design. Light fixtures play a key role within the overall guest experience.

Topolopompo restaurant by Baranowitz Kronenberg Architecture, Tel Aviv – Israel // Photo Source: Retail Design Blog




















How can you set the tone for the experience? Low lighting tends to be more popular because it creates an intimate environment. Consider the functional element of low lighting though. You don’t want the lights dimmed to the point where your guests are using their phones as flashlights to read the menu – which happens a lot more often than you think!

Elevate Your Commercial Space with the Latest Lighting Design Trends

Furnishing the Space: Comfortability & Decor

Furnishing a restaurant requires attention to detail, as it sets the tone for how your guests will feel. It’s sort of like placing the final touches on the space. You’ve designed the environment, laid out the floors, applied finishes to the walls, and added the accents. Now’s the time to create an intimate sitting area for your guests.

Tables and chairs are, without a doubt, the most vital furnishing choice you will make. They are where your guests will sit and enjoy their meals. Always consider the flexibility, comfort, and maintenance requirements of your furniture. Just because the fabric looks nice, does not mean it is comfortable to sit or easy for staff to maintain.

Although it is important to have a variety of seating options and arrangements to create variety and diversity within your space, it is even more important to ensure that all of the seating is comfortable.

Dandys Ice Cream by JDG // Photo by: Andrew Fyfe Photography












Functionality Equals Comfortability

Functionality is of higher value because comfortability and action are more important than the overall design. A beautiful restaurant cannot succeed without the experience that guests feel when they enter, even if the art is imported from Italy or the flooring is brand new.

A noisy, crammed space will always deter guests from returning. Openness and relaxation are the true pillars of comfortability; they give guests a safe escape from their daily lives. Although openness could be thought of as a design element, it is considerate of functionality.

Consider both the staff and the guest’s experience. Always ensure the space allows the staff to easily move throughout the restaurant, take orders, deliver food, and communicate with fellow staff and guests. By designing a space that is functional for staff, you automatically nurture the overall ease and experience of the restaurant as a whole.

Photo Source: Unsplash.com






















Form and function are especially important in a commercial setting because they are an ode to true productivity, relaxation, and effortless ambience. The goal is to create a memorable experience for your guests, while ensuring that your team has the space and comfortability to service them.

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