18 Mar 2020
What is the difference between residential and commercial design?

What is the difference between residential and commercial design?

The spectrum of interior design involves the classification of various categories, the majority of which involves commercial interior design residential interior design. Though the meaning behind both the classifications is self-explanatory, going into more details of the same will give a clearer picture of the same.

We take a look-

Residential Design- Styling personal spaces:

As the name suggests, residential involves designing your home, it can be bungalow interior design single/double/3 BHK apartments, condominiums, small cottages, and the likes. Interior designers, who specialize in this area, work with the clients to ensure that they infuse their tastes, styles, preferences in the decors in their homes. However, it is not just only about the design aspect. The interior designer needs to take into account various other verticals such as paying attention to the safety standards and building codes (in case of buildings) or the bungalow codes. It needs to be seen that an interior designer working on a residential project needs to look into the personal needs of the owner and his preferences in daily life. Some of the designers also specialize only in kitchen interiors, luxury house interiors, or custom appliance design. This can also include cabinets, main doors, open shower rooms, and partition doors. The designer working in this area also needs to have a sound knowledge of various elements such as the ceilings and the wall placement, lighting, technology, exteriors, and landscapes.

Commercial Design- Executing styles in public space:

Commercial design includes a tremendous range of variables such as stores, shops, restaurants, hotels, banks, malls, modern office interior. It may range from a very wide scale to a small office interior design.

Commercial design is far more a diverse field as compared to residential as it also involves a lot of other niches to be looked into. E.g. each kind of building whether it is a boutique, a shop, a mall, office cabin interior design or a large restaurant, has different kinds of requirements and objectives.

Commercial Interior design, in short, takes into account the needs of the public, as also the specific goals of the individual client. A successful designer has to combine these goals in one and make the best use of these two clubbed together to create one masterpiece.

We note the difference at a glance-

One of the major points of differentiation for residential and commercial design is that the standard rules and regulations are starkly different for both and so are the approaches to work.

Residential is all about creating a warm, liveable and inviting living space with an extremely personal touch to it, while commercial is focusing on the usability and the functionality part of the design. 

In Commercial design, the interior designer has to take care of the physical structure and follow the codes. Optimum utilization without surrendering the design is the whole idea of commercial design. In Residential, however, designers have to infuse a lot of creativity which will suit the tastes and needs of the owner in that one space. It can either be an entire apartment or a single corner.

Residential design focuses on completing a family’s personal needs with a view to bringing to fore personal expressional along with shelter. It can be a luxury house interior or the designing of only a single room, apartment or a corner. The commercial design focuses on integrating the community and the surrounding environment in the design while providing services for business purposes.

While there sure are differences in residential and commercial design, each of them is important in their way. Designers specializing in either of the fields or for that matter both the fields need to adjust, shift and transform their thinking process accordingly as the specifications of the branches are extremely different.

At Wood Works Club, whether it is residential or commercial our designers will work out a strategic plan, to devise novel ways to create your space which will have a distinct identity of its own complete with the aesthetics, whether it is commercial interior design or residential interior design.


Pratul Bajaj is a well-known interior designer in Pune. He is having huge experience in interior design. Get creative ideas for your home interior with Praul and renovate your house with expert tips.

One comment

  1. There is a vast difference in designing for residential and commercial space and you’ve elaborate it very clearly. I’ve learnt so much information from here. Thanks for sharing this article, Pratul.


Write a Reply or Comment

Have no idea how much your interiors will cost?

Receive instant cost estimates for your interior works in just a few seconds.