Designing a Themed Space for Your Business
If you’re starting a business, moving your business, or just wanting to give your space a much-needed face lift—what are your options? If you’ve got the budget, you may be inclined to seek out a designer to create that perfect space. There are many talented designers and firms out there that specialize in commercial storefront or workplace design. However, if you’re in the market for a glow-up on a budget, here are a few things to consider if you’re planning to tackle this sort of project yourself:
One of the greatest barriers to commercial design is durability. Commercial spaces frequently see more heavy traffic than our homes, and often need to be designed using furniture and surfaces that are made to handle such traffic. At Dimension XR, we opted to use paints that had a scratch resistant rating to fight scuffing and marking. In addition, we went with a finish that was conducive to regular wiping and cleaning. In a fun, family friendly atmosphere, such as ours, where we host birthday parties, corporate events, and other meetings we’re very prone to accumulating curious fingerprints—so durability and cleanliness were key purposes to consider. We also chose to use standard spec construction grade materials that would be readily available now and in years to come. This choice enables us to pivot and grow along with the needs of the business while still maintaining consistency in materials and furniture.
If your space isn’t customer facing, you may not have much need for branding inside your space. When we were planning for Dimension XR, we knew we needed to have a tasteful branding presence throughout the space to inject some ownership and representation into it. Doing so also affords the brand visibility in photo and video content that is captured in the space. This is something that can be easily overdone—which you also don’t want. In order to keep this potentiality in check, we limited ourselves to one branded piece per major room inside the space. In our lobby, we settled on a bold backlit sign just to the rear of our point-of-sale installation. In our main arena, we opted to utilize a projector that projects a large logo on one of the main walls of the space. Just outside that area, we installed a large vinyl cutout of our icon that doubles as a selfie wall. Even these three intentional branded items bring a sense of intentionality to the experience.
It’s all about feel.
Sometimes it can be hard to realize or conceptualize the ways that a room imparts a “feel”. When designing, however, this is at the forefront of the intent. Since Dimension XR exists in the virtual reality gaming space, we needed to convey a feeling of awe when the customer enters. Since our flagship experience is a virtual reality laser tag game called Limitless VR, we felt that lighting would be an important vehicle for communicating such a feeling. The backlit sign is the centerpiece, with backlit modern art panels emanating light from their perimeters. Controlled light pours through small holes in the panels shrouding the fluorescent tubes in the ceiling. Plexiglass panels in the drop ceiling allow colored light to pour in—while hinting that another dimension exists just beyond the barrier. In our arena, colored bulbs explode from the center of the room, priming the viewers eyes to the bursts of glow coming from the flood lights pouring over each corner of the space. Modern art panels continue in this room—giving a nod of continuity to the lobby area.
Whatever the budget, intentionality and planning can come together to create a space that’s worthy of representing your business to your customers, clients, and staff. Have fun with it.