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The way a commercial space is designed affects anyone interacting with it. This includes customers walking into the office, the staff working the front desk, potential investors coming in for a meeting, and more. Interior design elements can set the tone for the whole company, making an office feel interesting, joyful, or dull.

At Norwest Contractors, we understand the importance of effective design, which is why we have created our unique and unparalleled DesignLab and have an interior designer on staff. In this article, we have taken a deep dive into the most important elements of commercial design. We hope our customers can take advantage of this information as they work with our designer on their office renovation.


Many client-facing offices find it imperative to create comfortable spaces for customers to enjoy. This is the case with storefronts, medical offices, veterinary practices, dental clinics, and more. Customer comfort ranks right up there with efficiency for many of our clients.

However, something many Portland businesses don’t take into consideration is the comfort of their employees and how this enables them to do their jobs better. For example, if we design a dental space with only patient comfort in mind, a dentist may feel that dim lighting would ease a patient’s discomfort. However, dim lighting is not conducive to accurate medical procedures. So, we must balance both client and staff comfort when considering design elements.

There are design factors that can lead to both customer and staff comfort. These include:

  • Providing spaces for workers to store things.

  • Creating easy-to-access shelving for people of average height.

  • Utilizing natural light sources like windows, skylights, and sun tunnels to add sunlight to a room.

  • Providing private offices or spaces for workers to complete projects without interruption.

  • Focusing on customer comfort in reception spaces, and transitioning to staff efficiency and comfort in workspaces.

  • Using a calming color palette.

These are just a few ways in which a well-laid out space plan can contribute to the overall comfort of both staff and clients alike, making your office an attractive space to both visit and work.


Appropriate design for a productive office environment is something that has been debated and experimented with for years. Commercial spaces have evolved from cubicles to open office environments to offices with sectioned environments, and on and on. Current wisdom says to provide enclosed spaces as well as community areas all within one work environment.

However, at the end of the day, the design of your business will depend on many factors – including what service your company provides. Design of a dental office or veterinary clinic will vary wildly from the design needed for a real estate office or warehouse. However, some factors can remain consistent in any business environment. These include:

    • Color – from paint to flooring, the color of any environment sets the tone of a space.

    • Lighting – well-lit spaces improve productivity and provide comfort for both staff and any visiting clients.

    • Noise reduction – a design that keeps the noise down within a work environment can improve productivity, benefit health, and reduce stress levels.

    • Air quality – installing ducting and HVAC systems that improve air quality can increase overall employee health and boost efficiency.


When you work with Norwest Construction you are working with some of the finest designers, contractors, and specialists all focused on providing you with the best construction experience possible. As part of your project, our designer will discuss your vision for your office space, along with the most important elements of commercial design, and develop an office that is uniquely yours.

We have all the design details you need in one place, so your design comes together without a hitch. Come check out our one-of-a-kind Norwest Design Lab, where you can see, touch, feel, and feel and experience a variety of finishes and materials.

For some inspiration and a peek into our past projects, give our Portfolio Page a visit. Also, be sure to check out our other blog articles linked below to help you as you pursue your next great office design or remodel:

Start your office design and remodel with Norwest by clicking HERE!

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