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Retail interiors designers are employed to plan and design commercial spaces such as shops and restaurants. They may be employed to design interiors for existing spaces or for buildings which are in the process of being built.
Depending on the function of the space, interior designers are tasked with making it most appealing to the target market. For example, a high-end fashion outlet will employ designers to create an enticing and luxurious atmosphere. A technology shop would employ a designer to construct a modern, cutting edge feel. A restaurant might employ a designer to create a continental, cosy or upmarket vibe through the furniture, layout, colour schemes etc. They may also be responsible for coordinating shop window displays, although most established shops will have employees who specialise in window displays.
Designers will meet with clients either in an office or onsite to discuss the practical and aesthetic requirements of the space and to negotiate budgets and deadlines. They will then plan layouts, colour ways, furniture and all features right down to the last detail, according to the demands of the client. They put together schemes and mood boards to show to the client for approval.
Depending on the type of projects an interior designer undertakes, typically at the higher end, designers may have to commission one-off pieces of furniture or designs for furnishings, such as carpets, wallpapers and curtain fabrics. They also visit antiques dealers and design fairs to find pieces to suggest to the client.
Often an existing building or space will undergo a structural inspection or renovation before the interiors can be coordinated. This will sometimes need to be organised and overseen by interior designers working with architects and contractors. They will also commission blueprints and floor plans from architects.
Designers will frequently visit the site to supervise instalments and fittings and will report progress back to the client.