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9 Essential Tips for Commercial Fitouts

Bella Living specialising in colour and design consulting & ImpeccaBuild Sydney's leading commercial fitout experts are both devoted to giving every business the best interior design and commercial fit-out. We're enthusiastic about doing this while also providing the highest quality of service and we've collated these pointers on how to achieve your ideal commercial interior fit-out and design.

Restaurant Interior Design

1) Find A Perfect Business Location

Location, location, location is among the most crucial choices to make when it comes to your business and commercial fitout for that matter.

When searching for the ideal site for your business, make sure to also ask yourself:

Does the location target your desired demographic?

Is the site big enough to allow the future growth of your business?

How is the visibility and accessibility of your site?

What is the overall condition of the site?

Once you land on a site which you think may be suitable for your business, don't rush in and sign the lease. Keep your emotions at bay, use your wits and make sure you thoroughly and diligently read through the terms and conditions of the contract. We advise you to hire a lawyer or solicitor to help you here as mistakes can be costly.

2) Have A Budget, Stick To It.

Your commercial fitout should be viewed as an investment for your business rather than an expense. Although commercial fitouts are a big investment, they shouldn't burn a hole in your pocket nor should you cut back on having a fantastic commercial fitout.

It is advisable to speak openly with your preferred designer or builder about your project budget so they can create a design which is realistic for your budget. Having this discussion openly with your builder at the outset will allow you to better understand each other's goals.

Additionally, a reliable builder should be able to provide you with an estimated cost which will help you budget for your commercial fitout project.

However, if you're still you're not acquainted with a trustworthy builder, you can search online for ballpark estimates to help you budget for your project.

Here are a few links which may put you on the right path:

3) Hire The Perfect Designer & Fitout Company

Like everything else, thorough research and due diligence are key when searching for an exceptional interior designer and fitout company.

While looking for companies, remember not to rely on just one quote. Instead, set out to receive 3 or more quotes from qualified companies. This can be a lengthy process; however, sites like Oneflare can save you time and assist you in finding and hiring a specialist builder.

Look for a business with great reviews and feedback from previous clients and do not be afraid to ask them to provide a list of references.

To help you choose the right company, here are a few simple tips:

Check The Work Quality Of Their Previous Projects.

Review Their Online Reviews & Ensure They're Transparent With You.

Thoroughly Check All The Quotes Your Receive & Don't Skip The Fine Print.

For Simplicity, Consider Hiring A Fitout Company Who Also Offer Design.

Check Their Insurances & Licences

If you still need further guidance on this, here's a detailed guide on choosing an office fitout company.

4) Devil's In The Detail....Design Brief

Ensure your design brief is bulletproof, foolproof and free of any ambiguity. This is one of the most important things you should aim for as it'll save you endless, time-consuming back and forths during the project.

Make sure your design brief clearly defines all your choices, needs and specific requirements for your commercial fitout project.

Think of your design brief as a map, the clearer and more detailed your map the more likely you'll end at your desired destination. Furthermore, the detailed design brief will equate to detailed design drawings. The more details you provide to the trade contractors, the less likely there'll be unexpected delays, hiccups and the dreaded V-word. (variations)

Although time-consuming, we encourage you to do this as not only will it save you time, money and potential headaches. Moreover, it'll also leave you feeling confident and motivated once you've completed this step correctly.

5) Project Scheduling & Tracking

One key to an effective commercial fit-out project is proper scheduling and tracking the overall project duration. This provides a discipline to the design and construction process by sequencing and tracking all task activities such as council approval, design consultation and subcontractor scope of works. It's essential to request for your builder to supply you with a schedule of the proposed works. A simplified schedule for a typical office fitout could be as follows:

Pre-Construction Approvals & Design

Site Establishment & Set-Up

Strip-Out/Demolition Of Old fixtures & Fittings.

Begin Trade & Building Works

Fit-Out & Furniture Installation

Final Site Cleaning & Detailing

Practical Completion & Final Defect Checks

Handover & Occupancy

Time is money for your business. Therefore you must have a clear timeline in place for your commercial fitout project.

6) Green & Sustainable

When it comes to the commercial fitout of your business, it is advisable to look at a green and sustainable approach. This is the way of the future, and you'll find that your clients and guests would appreciate your consideration for the environment.

Some of your objectives when considering a green and eco friendly design/fitout would be:

Conservation Of Water

Reduction Of Waste

Reduction Of Energy

Reduction Of Pollution

Reduction Of Operating Costs

Improvement Of Indoor Environment Quality

Some practical tips to consider include:

1. Indoor Plants

Plants provide a beautiful aesthetic touch to your space and they have numerous benefits for your well-being. However, they also offer eco-friendly advantages, such as improving the acoustic rating of your space. If you still need further guidance on this, here's a definitive guide on the best types of indoor plants and all their benefits.

2. Carbon Neutral Materials

To battle global warming and climate change, we must think of ways to reduce the amount of carbon we emit into the atmosphere. When designing and choosing the materials for your office fitout, give priority to materials which produce minimal carbon emissions and keep in mind these tips:

Re-Use Materials Where Possible.

Go For Natural Products

Support & Buy Local Products To Reduce The Transporation Emission

7) Brand Consistency

Your brand is a critical aspect for your marketing efforts which if done correctly, can boost your customer loyalty. Regardless of whether you're a start-up or a large multi-location business.

Therefore, be sure to incorporate your brand in your commercial fitout. Emphasise your company's personality into the design through incorporating:

Your brand-specific colours,

Your company Values & goals

Your company themes, style and lettering.

Not only will this go a long way in motivating your staff, but it'll also give them a sense of pride. Furthermore, this will also be beneficial as it'll make your business stand out to your customers and guests, helping building trust and authority.

8) Bite Off What You Can Chew

Small projects, like a bathroom renovation or kitchen upgrade, could be taken on as a DIY and offer you some cash savings and joy. However, you shouldn't undertake a complete commercial fitout by yourself. We know its tempting to entertain this thought, thinking you'll save a load of money in the process. However, the truth is, you're efforts are more likely to be counter-intuitive and actually cost you more in the long-run if you lack experience.

Commercial fitout experts have the experience to know the scope of the project, the management solutions for the multiple trades, how to stay on time and budget, plus all the potential pitfalls and errors to avoid.

Cafe Lighting

9) Light It Right

The lighting for any business has a significant impact on staff and customers alike. Lighting is crucial as it can make or break the atmosphere and presentation of your space. Ensure you incorporate the perfect lighting plan for your commercial fitout project and consider the tips below:

The Brightness, which is measured in lumens for lights. The greater the lumen, the greater the light which is emitted. However, you need to choose the brightness based on the mood and feel you want for your space.

The Colour Temperature, which basically represents the blue or yellow tinge in lights. Colder burning lights give a blueish colour whereas bulbs which burn hotter, turn a yellowish-white colour.

Understand these four different types of lighting listed below, so you can best incorporate them into your commercial fitout project where you see fit.

1. Ambient Lighting: The predominant lighting type, used throughout a space to allow for basic lighting enabling you to move, read and see safely and comfortably.

2. Accent Lighting: The type of lighting used to showcase or display products. Usually brighter than ambient lighting.

3. Task Lighting: These lighting types allow greater illuminance and contrast for specific task areas which may already have ambient lighting. For example, over a checkout counter or point of sales.

4. Decorative Lighting: This should be fairly self-explanatory. This is the final type of lighting generally used and acts as an aesthetic feature.


Although it may seem like a lot to take in, don't be overwhelmed by the tips mentioned above. Remember, if you partner with the right commercial fitout company, they'll guide you through the whole process and take the stress of all the above of your hands.

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