Hacks 101: Commercial Concepts

Today, Birdblack Design is showcasing three of our latest Commercial projects.

All three projects are from three very different industries. Interestingly enough, all three projects are also in different states!

Whether designing cafes, bars, restaurants, clinics, studios, offices or salons; you will find a few key concepts that are imperative in any and all of the above.

‘Harbourfront Seafood Restaurant’, Wollongong, NSW 
‘Urban Miss’, Beauty Salon & Cocktail Bar, Townsville, QLD 
‘Fundamental Health’, Allied Health Clinic, Canberra, ACT

Hospitality, Medical and Beauty – all very different, but today we will highlight key areas to consider when creating Commercial. What are the most important factors in any of these industries?


Whether sitting in a fine-dining restaurant, or sitting for hours getting hair and make-up done, or sitting nervously in a reception area in a clinic; comfort is a beautiful way to express to your clients that you understand and have prioritised their comfort so they can relax and feel taken care of.

In a restaurant, there is nothing worse than catching up with friends and wanting to spend hours chatting and laughing, only to be fidgeting because the chairs are simply uncomfortable. Your lower back hurts, your shoulders are strained and despite the aesthetic, you are not relaxed.

In a beauty salon, the same applies. Are the bar stools too hard? Do the chairs lack back support? Has the cushioning become lumpy over time? Are there armrests to rest upon?

In a clinic or doctor’s surgery – is the main reception sterile? Is that welcoming? Are the consultation rooms warm and inviting?

Most patients need emotional needs met, as well as their physical needs. Simple chair choices can convey this message. ‘Fundamental Health’ understood this well. Interior Design: Birdblack Design Photography: Kelda Sciberras


As self-confessed foodies, the Birdblack Team detest seeing materials pilling on lounge chairs, dining chairs and ottomans of established hospitality venues. It looks tacky and ultimately, durability was not a factor when considering the sheer volume of people that would graze such furniture.

Another firm pet peeve would be a wobbly table. There’s nothing worse! Unless, of course, it’s the wobbly stool you are sitting on at a beauty salon whilst you are supposed to be relaxing…

Durability, functionality, and efficiency are essential factors when considering commercial fixtures, materials and furniture. It is imperative the space can withstand the intended time frame. There is no need to be replacing such items within a year. Consider your clientele and the daily needs of your establishment.

Durable materials means the beauty and cocktail bar at ‘Urban Miss’ will stand the test of time. Interior Design: Birdblack Design Build: AC Jones Builders
Photography: Josephine Carter Photography


All three industries are very stand-up heavy for the staff and service providers. Ensuring their feet and backs are accounted for is important for long-term sustainability. It expresses the business owners care about their employees.

Things to consider may include: non-slippery surfaces in hospitality, soft woods in salons and clinics to absorb some pressure off the feet and legs, and again, a durable material that will stand up to the abundant foot traffic anticipated in flourishing businesses.

Chipped tiles? No thanks. Scuff marks? Unappealing. Worker’s Compensation due to slips and falls on impractical flooring? Disastrous!

Soft, durable, non-slip surfaces are a must. Thankfully, you can have all three and still have a fabulous aesthetic like this chevron-patterned flooring at ‘Harbourfront’. Interior Design: Birdblack Design Joinery Manufacture: McGee Projects Photography: Andrew Ratter Photography


How many times have you squeezed sideways through tables and chairs to get to the bathroom or the bar? An over-stacked dining room is never a pleasant experience. People don’t appreciate sitting on top of each other, hearing conversations, or having to move their tables and chairs around simply to be comfortable.

In terms of beauty salons, considerable thought must be given in ensuring clients with outstretched legs at wash basins are not a trip hazard. Additionally, everyone wants a little space between clients, as not to feel cramped and enjoy some much needed “me time”.

Service providers need space to move freely around their work stations in order to appropriately provide their service – from wide swinging doors in restaurants, to adequate space for full body movements in massage or osteopathy. Service providers also require suitable storage for their tools, equipment, oils, brushes, products etc.

Zoning is critical! Interior Design: Birdblack Design Build: AC Jones Builders Photography: Josephine Carter Photography

With Commercial Design, you as the business owner are creating an interior for your brand, business and customers. It is important to consider all aspects of the design process. If leasing a commercial space, it is imperative that you are aware of your lease conditions from the very beginning. This will save you from coming across future problems.

It is definitely well worth the investment of a professional Interior Designer to ensure your space is designed with divine aesthetics, the most practical / functional layout and suitable materials, ensuring your brand is flowing throughout the space. We looking forward to working with you and transforming your Commercial Concepts!

Talk soon,
BD x