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Houston's Top Commercial Interior Designers

December 3, 2021

By Workspace Resource

With work-from-home options on the rise in Houston, it has never been more important to create a work or retail environment that is enjoyable. A space where employees and consumers want to be. A place that helps communicate your brand, mission, and fosters a positive environment. A commercial interior designer is a bridge between your current commercial space and the one you just pictured. 

Why Hire a Commercial Interior Designer for Your Office Space

Employing a professional commercial interior designer can help you create an atmosphere that you love and maximizes functionality. A good designer does more than buy new office furniture, they are interior architects that consider the flow, function, and branding requirements of an interior. Here are some of the key benefits you get when you work with an interior designer. 

Cost

Now, I know what you might be thinking. How much does working with a designer cost? While you probably won't find any pro-bono help, it is important to acknowledge that working with an interior designer will likely reduce your overall project spend as they can help in securing cheaper office furniture and will utilize your space more efficiently. 

Future Growth

Your business, ideally, will grow. A designer will be able to help deliver an interior space that meets all of your current needs but makes expansion and growth easier in the future. This will minimize the amount of re-work required (and expense). 

Functional Spaces

Space isn't free. You will want to maximize the utility of whatever space you are leasing, be that ensuring all your employees can fit into an efficient footprint or you maximize the inventory space of retail stores. Interior designers can think through your requirements and ensure that you get the most out of every square foot. 

Culture and Branding

Whether you are thinking of designing a corporate office or retail space, you should consider the environment you create and what is communicated. Imagine that you walked into an MMA gym and it had rainbows on the wall or a medical office that was all black with gothic furniture. Neither environment feels appropriate to the functionality or emotion of the space.

A professional commercial interior designer can assist you in creating a place that will enhance your brand, retain and attract top talent, promote creativity and productivity, and save money.

What to Look For in a Good Interior Designer

Not all designers are the same. Someone might be great when it comes to residential space, but designing commercial interiors is different than designing a cozy living room. Here are some things you should look for when vetting interior designers. 

Experience 

Ask for the designer's portfolio. There are two things you should look for. First, has this designer worked on spaces similar to yours? While many principles can apply across business verticals, a designer who has experience working on similar projects will be able to apply learnings that allow them to move quickly. Second, check to see if you like their aesthetic. Not only will this help build confidence that they can match what you are imagining, but it will create a common reference when discussing the scope of work. You can point to a past project and say "I want something like this." 

Experience also translates to connections within the design industry. These connections will often translate to cost reductions on supplies and labor. 

Reputation

Established designers should have Google and Yelp reviews or testimonials listed on their website. Read the reviews and consider visiting the businesses listed as their past projects. This will give you a feel for their work.

When reading reviews, keep a keen eye for any feedback about how consultative, efficient, and cost-effective the designer is. The ability to work to a budget while delivering great interior spaces is the true sign of experience.

An Eye For Architecture

As much as we have focused on design, we must acknowledge that design should be legal and safe. A good designer will have an understanding of Houston's building codes and will come up with a solution that meets the requirements of the physical structure. 

Personality

The best way to determine if a car is worth purchasing is to give it a test drive. The same is true with interior designers. Paying an hourly rate for a consultation is well worth the cost as it will allow you to understand how the designer works. Look for a designer that asks smart questions about your project. They should be asking functional questions (What does this room need to do?), aesthetic questions (What styles do you like?), and brand questions (What message do you want this space to convey?)

This is a chance for you to ask questions of the designer. Ask them about their recent projects and about their work style. Treat the interaction like a job interview, because it is. 

5 Best Office Interior Designers in Houston

Houston is home to a variety of businesses from corporate headquarters and mom-and-pop stores, which means there is a wealth of experience when it comes to commercial interior designers. To help you get started on your journey, here are five of the best in Houston. 

Powers Brown

The lobby of IVY lofts in Houston, Texas designed by commercial interior design firm Powers Brown.

Compared to many of the boutique offices on this list, Powers Brown's work in Houston has a more vital, more industrial atmosphere.

The Engineering News-Record Texas, The Houston Business Journal's Landmark Award, and Louisiana Best Project Award, a PaperCity Design Award, and an AIA Houston Design Award are among the 81 design honors the company has received. 

The business focuses on "neglected terrain," or building technologies, project forms, and design processes that most architectural firms overlook.

Powers Brown Architecture considers its practice to be distinctive because it pays close attention to the details of each project individually. When potential aesthetics clash with the project's practical requirements, the advantage of this approach usually shines through. Powers Brown Architecture prioritizes a balance of function, aesthetics, construction technology, and budget when providing architectural solutions for its customers.

In addition, powers Brown's Intermarine Shipyard Project won an honorable mention in the 2016 Paper City Design Awards.

Website: http://powersbrown.com/

Address: 2100 Travis Street, Suite 501, Houston, TX 77002 

Inventure Design

A corporate office lobby with a large map of the world and window designed by the commercial interior designer firm Inventure.

In its strategy to do business, the firm places a strong emphasis on teamwork and technology. Clients are presented with prospective ideas using 3D modeling, which allows for an in-depth discussion of the structural elements of a project. James O'Neill, the founder of Inventure Design, likes to be engaged in all projects. Their portfolio is filled with sleek, modern office designs that convey character while preserving functionality.

O'Neill is a member of the Rice Design Alliance and has studied at Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Notre Dame. In 2016, Inventure Design was named BUILD's Commercial Interior Design Firm of the Year for Texas and earned a Good Brick Award from Preservation Houston.

One of the reasons the Inventure Design team can concentrate on constructing amazing workplaces is that their own is so lovely. On an ABC-13 video tour of Houston's trendiest offices, the Inventure Design office was the first visit.

Website: https://www.inventure.design/

Address: 3118 Richmond Avenue, Suite 200, Houston, TX 77098

Gensler

An office break room with booth seating and a large bar-style table with stools.

Although Gensler is a worldwide corporation, its Houston branch maintains a local focus. In Houston, Gensler works on various projects, ranging from planned buildings to media centers. 

In 2014, the Harvard Business Journal named business No. 1 to rank the most prominent architectural companies in the Houston region. In addition, the firm earned the Texas Society of Architects Architecture Firm Award in 2015 and the Preservation Houston Good Brick Award for Renovation in 2016.

At Gensler, Climate change and degradation of the environment is a well-discussed topic, and they have committed to making all buildings they design, to be Carbon zero by 2030.

Website: https://www.gensler.com/

Address: 711 Louisiana Street, Suite 300, Houston, TX 77002

Pamela Hope Designs

Houston office space with purple accent wall and exposed brick wall.

The company works on both residential and commercial projects. Pamela O'Brien, a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and the Greater Houston Builders Association,  has co-hosted the famous Houston show Home Improvement Hotline with Tom Tynan.

In 2014, Pamela Hope Designs won the Legrand Adorne Summer prize for a beach home design in Galveston.

The historic Star Bottling Works building, which originally housed Houston's earliest soda bottling industry, was renovated by Pamela Hope Designs. Everything was rebuilt except the building structures, and the inside was completely renovated from floor to ceiling.

Don't get caught up in the minutiae of an interior design job. Pamela Home Designs' planned, methodical approach to project management saves you time, money, and anxiety. Their personnel might oversee certain sectors or the full project. In addition, they may provide consultancy or a turn-key solution.

Website: https://pamelahopedesigns.com/

Address: 6218 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77007

Ginger Barber

Modern home interior of a Houston highrise.

In 2015, Ginger Barber Interior Design was honored with two Paper City awards in Residential Commercial Interior Design or Architectural Design Under 3,500 Square Feet. In addition, the Houston Design Center recognized Ginger Barber Designer of the Year in 2014.

Ginger Barber founded Ginger Barber Interior Design in Houston 30 years ago after moving from Florida. Ginger Barber has won several awards, including the Paper City Design Awards and the Houston Design Center Designer of the Year.

Ginger Barber interior design specializes in designing residences reminiscent of country estates and city escapes. Much like the Texas-themed escape, Galveston Bayfront Home.

The Ginger Barber philosophy says "keep things simple." The fondness of a simple aesthetic combined with natural, tactile materials serves as the foundation for most of this firm's marvelously harmonized creations. Ginger uses a neutral color scheme in its decor. The firm prefers plain white, beige, or a faint repeated pattern then leaves the rest to nature.

Website: http://www.gingerbarber.com/

Address: 2025 West Alabama St., Houston, TX 77098

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