Pinspiration: Commercial Design

It has been a while since I have shared any pinspiration with you, but things have been extremely busy and it has been a little difficult to sit down at the computer. Never fear, I am always finding inspiration all around me, and on Pinterest.

Spending a lot of time in office buildings, it can be hard to find the beauty in a commercial space. But I am fortunate to live in a city with some amazing architecture and historic spaces that are being used for commercial purposes. So I found some other examples on Pinterest that are truly inspirational for color, design, and unique materials.

Let’s start with a little bit of vintage design. This is the Vernors  Plant lobby in Detroit. If you know anything about Detroit, you know we love our Vernors. This lobby is a dream for any mid-century modern design lover like myself. Just can’t believe this is a  soda plant. Looks so chic!

Another piece of history and Detroit pride. This is the McGregor Conference Center on the Wayne State University campus in Detroit. This building was designed by Minoru Yamasaki, a Japanese American architect. He created modern structures with clean lines and simplistic beauty. In Detroit, we are lucky to have a number of buildings built by Yamasaki, including One Woodward building. The One Woodward is an office tower that was built as a test of his skyscaper skills, it was also the model for the original World Trade Center twin towers. Here is a look at One Woodward.

This is a super stylish Italian shoe boutique, Aquazzura Boutique, in NYC, and it is over the top luxury. There is pink and striped marble, which I didn’t know was a thing, a backlit altar, and pink suede couches. Definitely lives up to it’s Tuscan cathedral inspiration. Stunning details in this shop. Almost outshines the shoes.

Speaking of retail shops, this fish farm in Quebec is not your usual fish spot. The architect, Jean de Lessard, was inspired by the book “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” and succeeded in creating a underwater oasis for this project. I love the tones on the ceiling and walls. I don’t typically like a lot of blues, but these just really speak to the calm of the water  for me. The unobstructed view of the fish is just genius!

Who said that public restrooms can’t be stylish. This public city center restroom is pretty chic and guess you could say functional. I love the lighting down the hall and the uplighting on the identifier signs. Just a great use of space, design techniques, and simplicity.

We all know Uber is a transportation guru, but their HQ office isn’t too shabby in the design department. This front desk is pretty unique and quite stylish. I love the mixture of texture and dichotomy of the different materials. It works and has a modern and clean look.

Now, the lighting is what caught my eye first in this restaurant design, but then I took a deeper look and the tile work on the banquettes is stunning. I love that the pattern is so different from the cushions of the banquette. Would seem that a guest may miss the beauty that surrounds their seat. The different color arm chairs is quite interesting as well. There is a lot of mixing and matching, but I think it works for this space.

Now this space is a little personal. This black box theater space is very dramatic and has great acoustics. I know this because my oldest attends this school. Yes this state of the art space resides in a public high school, a performing arts high school. Detroit School of Arts is one of the only public schools in Detroit that requires you to audition in order to get in. But this space is personal because it is dedicated and named after one of our city’s talented singers who we lost too soon. Aaliyah Haughton was a singer who attended DSA when it was a new concept. She passed away in a plane crash. Aaliyah was also a friend of mine from 8th grade, and fellow Art of Motion Dance company member. The loss was great but her legacy will never be forgotten.

This is the Vice Media office. Who says your workplace has to be boring cubicles. This design layout is definitely not boring and uncomfortable. The modern touches make the space look open and more inviting for long hours and weekly meetings. I also like how it has a slight vintage feel and looks like the office of the show Mad Men, but with a modern twist.

This is another treasure from Detroit. This is an old pawn shop turned restaurant called Gold Cash Gold restaurant in our historic Corktown neighborhood. This old pawn shop was a hot spot back in the 30s. And after being abandoned for a while, some innovative business owners got the idea to make use of the space already available. I think they did a good job of keeping the history of the building and incorporating it into the name and design.

Next time you are sitting in a waiting room, lobby, office space, retail space, or restaurant take a deeper look at the design around you. You just may find something inspiring. Here is the full board.