When seeking a commercial property for your business it’s easy to get lost in the search. Spending time viewing properties online and calling agents to arrange inspection times can be time consuming only to find the property isn’t what you dreamed of for your own business venture. In a discussion with Brittany Cini, an interior designer at The Hallmarc Group, we identified just what an interior designer might do when inspecting a potential space to find a diamond in the rough.
CPG: Searching for a new property can often be hit and miss, from an interior designer’s point of view, when inspecting a new commercial property, what are some things to look out for?
BC: The first thing I would look for is how much natural light the space has. A typical business person would spend around 8 or so hours a day in the office. If there is limited natural light, eventually it would start feeling claustrophobic and closed off.
Then I would consider how the space has been configured. For instance, is the bathroom door tucked away for privacy and odour control, or is it directly off the main work room? Is the lighting layout flexible enough that if partitions are built you wouldn’t have to perform electrical work which adds costs to your fitout?
If you feel that a lot of work would need to be done for the space to meet your requirements then it isn’t right for you.
CPG: Does a buildings aspect have any advantages, i.e. north facing?
BC: Typically a west facing office would get a lot warmer through the day due to the afternoon sun beaming through the glass. However these days it is recommended to have double glazed or tinted windows in addition to blinds to resolve this issue. If one has the choice I would definitely consider which direction would benefit me and my workplace, however I don’t feel that it should make or break a purchase.
CPG: What are some interior design tricks to look out for to ensure you don’t purchase a dud property?
BC: From an interior design point of view there are no obvious signs of an inferior property. If anything is particularly of poor quality it would be found structurally or in materials used.
When seeking a property for your own venture you may want to keep these things in mind:
- Seek a property with lots of natural light
- Find a property with a flexible floor plan
- Don’t get dismayed by a dirty property, it can be cleaned
- Check with the faults you initially see are cosmetic
- If the property is cosmetically appealing, check that is it structurally sound. It may look ok, but might be hiding some potential issues
- Look for cosmetic changes that can be quick and cheap to fix i.e. a paint job, change the colour of a splashback or update the carpet
- Most of all stay positive and open minded to the whole experience. The perfect property is out there, it might just need a touch of love to reveal itself