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Trendy or Classics: Business Establishment Interior Design

Small cafes, cosy & homey restaurants and start-ups have mushroomed in the city and the suburbs. While there is no telling if every business has any investment for their interior design, business establishment interior design is essential for the business ambience and a sense of belonging.

When it comes to space for your business, it all boils down to budget. Why so? Well, for most business owners now, business comes first. Meaning the business is up and running first. From where you ask? Mostly from homes. Simultaneously, as the business is operating smoothly, comes the time to expand the business.

Business owners today may begin their business affairs from the comfort of their homes. But then, there will be a need to expand the business. Thus, business owners must expand into a proper workplace. Even F&B businesses start from homes these days as micro business owners probably did not expect that their business would flourish.

Function or Comfort

For a start-up that may only need an office set-up, the interior design is pretty straightforward. Nevertheless, worker-friendly ergonomics must be emphasized. Most if not all employees in an office would be sitting a lot, working on their computers. It all depends on how the business operates which translates into how office design provides comfort and functionality to the employees.

Some offices could be traditional and prefer a classic layout and furniture where everyone is seated in their respective cubicles. There would be a separate reception area and a meeting room. A typical office, so to say. This is not wrong, it has worked for so many years and so many businesses. So it is a safe option.

However, the newer generation may prefer otherwise and younger chief executives prefer an open office concept, where everyone is easily seen, even from a distance. Offices like these would generally have a more spacious and fluid interior design. Only specific areas where privacy is crucial would have walls and doors to keep people out. Otherwise, it is common to see beanbags as seats and low coffee tables as meeting spots. The spaces would be defined by colour or codenames to inject a dash of creativity to help employees be at ease when working in such a workplace.

An employee from a traditional setting may need time to get accustomed to such an environment which is supposed to be comfortable for working. Some may immediately approve of such a workplace setting. Every office or workplace is designed with employee comfort and office function in mind because getting the business going is all that matters.

Choices, choices, choices

As a business owner, especially a picky one, designing a retail interior can be such a headache. At some point, a fussy business owner could not decide on anything as there is too much to think about. If the budget allows for it, a business owner should hire a retail interior designer to help with designing the business space.

Otherwise, if there is a limited budget, the key is to work on space for business operations first. If you own a cafe or a cosy restaurant, ensure that there is ample space for cooks, and baristas to go about preparing food & beverages for your customers. Then work towards allocating space for customers to dine in or food delivery services to grab orders.

If space is limited, incorporate the design details into the functioning furnishing to ensure there is a unique identity, that is if that’s the intention. For example, if the business owner prefers a homey ambience for their joint, then recreate the cosy home ambience but include functional designs. If the choice is to go for modern and sleek interior design, clean lines, straightforward functional design and safe colours are the best bet.

Get professional advice, at least

Doing your own interior design may save you plenty of ringgits and if it’s the early stages of the business, your customers may not bat an eyelid. But, should the business flourish, it is best to get professional advice to ensure your custom interior design fits the current standard and practices.

Investing in proper and professional retail or business interior design would bring in long-term returns. That is the intention of the business anyhow. But of course, there are interior designs that could stand the test of time and following trends may only work if you are willing to constantly redesign the business interior and constantly invest.

If you have a 3-year or 5-year plan for your business, include a budget for retail or business interior design in it. Even if you are not going to immediately set up a physical establishment, your future self and your future interior design agency will thank you for it. With our years of interior design experience & expertise in retail and business set-up, DDEC is able to help you sort things out and put things back together where they belong. Should your business establishment is in dire need of professional interior design advice, contact us via Whatsapp at 017-680 4679. For more information on what DDEC offers to Malaysian SMEs, visit You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube at ddecmalaysia

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