Design News | Sarasota Florida Interior Design - Sarasota Interior Decorator Micheline Laberge MichelineASID.com

Commercial Interior Design – Designs for the Children

For some, a commercial interior design to the entrance for a building, might be viewed as insignificant. This is so far from the truth. Recently, I had the pleasure of being honored at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand opening to the Lutheran Child Development Center in Port Charlotte. The Pastor had approached me a little over a year ago to help him create the vision he had for the school with my knowledge of commercial interior design. After his heart warming explanation of his vision and purpose, it became apparent the project was far from ordinary. As a licensed Interior Designer, it is my job  to provide a safe environment for the children to learn and play in, but this was a little more than that. This was primarily an entrance that was meant give a comforting sense to those entering the center, and to exude the feeling of being wrapped in the arms of God’s grace. It was an enormous task, as the weight of the Pastor’s heavenly ideas rested in my hands. The design entailed not only directing people into the existing community building, (where the school was to be located), but to also address the issue of security. By space planning the area to have a special entrance, it accomplished the mission of “the entry gates to heaven’s kids”. Of course budget was extremely small and a huge concern, and my job was to not only design the entry that empowered the Pastor’s vision, but also to provide a guideline for which the pre-school committee could present to it’s parishioners. Here is what the space looked like before and after.

Beyond the basic design concept, there are always site issues to deal with when it comes to the reality of any given project. In this case there were the code requirements to provide a water fountain near the play area. How was I to get water to a convenient location for the drinking fountain? The solution became part of the commercial interior design: to bring the water up and over through the ceiling, and down inside a wall that was strategically placed to screen the play area from the entry. Having access to plumbing in the middle of the space, also gave us the advantage to utilize it for other means. Not only will it give us code compliance, but it would allow us a fabulous water feature at the entry without much expense. The serenity of a fountain presented a wonderful place to stop and reflect. With the partial wall providing a screen from the entry to the secured play area, it also provided a spot next to the drinking fountain to hold a much needed hand-washing sink. Of course, I had to consult my plumber for advice on the fountain design. The GC was very happy with the install since the design made it relatively inexpensive as compared to breaking through the concrete slab.

 In the end, the parishioners approved, the budget was met, the vision by the Pastor was accomplished, and the school was opened on time for the year to begin. I feel blessed to know that the commercial interior design provided for this simple Entry will touch so many people. It was far more rewarding, for what would seem as such an insignificant commercial interior design.