Steve Ward & Associates Blog

3 Cost-Effective Ways to Keep Commercial Design Interesting

[fa icon="calendar"] Dec 3, 2015 / by Geoff McElrath


Design sets the tone for any environment. The right auditorium seating changes the way concertgoers enjoy a performance or the way a community experiences a sporting event. Likewise, high-quality wall panel systems unify style, structure, and brand identity in key spaces such as corporate, education, and healthcare facilities.

Before implementing a design, however, it’s imperative to understand how that vision fits into the client’s needs and the intended use of space. Choosing materials that are cost-efficient, sustainable, and that allow for maximum utility will ensure a result that is perfectly integrated.

Maximize Usable Space Seamlessly

Thoughtful planning anticipates how a project will look on completion and how it will function.

Although leading edge design is often visually striking, a space will quickly lose its charm if it doesn’t account for purpose.

In a busy medical facility, for example, accessibility is a top priority. A hospital’s staff requires quick access to medical gas and other outlets when treating patients. Hospital headwalls, like Steve Ward & Associates’ forWARD® Headwall System, provide a stunning array of color, wood grain, and customization options that both complement design and bolster productivity without the cost of custom millwork. They also have the benefit of being straightforward to install and replace, which minimizes time for construction teams and the necessity of coordinating trades on the job site. In turn, this reduces the overall cost in time and money. 

Find Purposeful Solutions for Multi-Purpose Areas

When a space, like a gym or auditorium, has more than one intended use, it’s important to incorporate creative products that can adapt to the varying requirements of its users.

Telescoping platforms, such as those manufactured by the Irwin Seating Company, extend outward via remote and can accommodate visitors in a matter of minutes. After an event, they retract backward and stack against a wall, thus enhancing floor space for various activities. In comparison with traditional bleacher seating or fixed back chairs, products like Irwin Seating’s telescoping platforms with Integra Chairs save money in the long run because they are quickly paid off through ticket sales for athletic games, dance recitals, and other performances. Furthermore, the stacked configuration protects them against damage when not in use, so they’ll also require less repair or replacement over time. 

Think Vertically

Focal pieces, like art and furniture, aren’t the only aspects that bring a high-end finish to commercial design. Just as important are the structural features that frame interior décor pieces and contribute the backdrop for a cohesive, polished look. Large windows draw the eye in addition to providing more natural light (always preferable) and passive heating/cooling. Protective UV and thermal coatings will increase energy efficiency, which saves cost on monthly utilities.

Where huge windows and sweeping views aren’t possible, a space can still be made to look brighter, larger, and airier through the thoughtful use of products that reflect light or incorporate electrical lighting elements. Wall panels in reflective metals or glossy finishes, like those in the Myriad™ collection by Marlite collection by Marlite, diffuse light to indirectly add illumination to a room. Translucent panels – made from architectural glass, paper, or other recycled material – can be backlit by LED systems for a glow that is as subtle or bold as the environment requires. Similar to the benefits of prefabricated headwalls, these types of wall panels can be manufactured quickly and ordered ahead of time, so installation teams can put them up without compromising deadlines. What’s more, their easy scalability enables the design to grow or change as needed.

With good planning and consideration for how design might best serve its space, it’s possible to use clever, cost-effective products that deliver style and impact. If you would like to receive a sample of Marlite click below to request. We can even have a sample made utlizing custom colors, and with your logo! 


Click Here to Request a Sample of Marlite

Geoff McElrath

Written by Geoff McElrath