Amazing commercial fitouts from around the world

Commercial fitouts done by large companies have gotten better over the years thanks to public opinion being heard and innovative design being employed. The big bosses in the boardroom are paying attention to design now more than ever in order to wow customers and keep employees engaged. They certainly don’t scrimp, as you can see in the examples below.


Starbucks: Kyoto, Japan

This is Starbucks but not as you’re used to it. To take it to a  new level for a commercial fitout, the company has drawn inspiration from Japan’s michi-ya (teahouse) culture. This has resulted in a slightly hidden away outlet that blends in with the rest of the storefronts on Ninenzaka shopping street. Upon entering, you can order your latte or frappucino and claim a spot on the raised tatami floor, if there’s room.

commercial fitout starbucks

Starbucks done differently

Airbnb: Sydney, Australia

Airbnb leases homes and rooms from amazing locations all around the world. Their Sydney office takes workers around the world from Scandinavia to America, Asia, and good old Coogee beach. The beauty of it is that the design team took inspiration and elements from listings in those locations.


One boardroom is designed after a rural Australian cabin, complete with a spoon collection. Another is painted in bright colours like a listing from Havana. There’s no doubt the designers at the company will have more ‘inspirational material’ to pick from as Airbnb’s culture thrives.


Dior: various boutiques

The French couture house is the epitome of excess. On the other hand, its boutiques have been designed with restraint (in most locations anyway).

With each commercial fitout, the colour palette is universal; grey with white trimming. Retaining a neutral colour scheme has allowed the clothes and other products of the house to do the talking. The furniture follows this as well. Some sitting areas have modern, linear couches and others contain French-style chairs and console tables.


Tsutaya: Tokyo, Japan

This book chain’s recent commercial fitout combines two great loves: books and coffee. Tsutaya takes up half of the real estate on the sixth floor of department store Ginza Six, sharing part of its space with Starbucks. Customers can sit in the cafe or the large seating area in the middle of the store with a brew and a book.

Use coworking spaces as inspiration for your office renovation

Freelancers in a coworking environment are envied by employees on the nine to five because they seem to have it all. Freedom to work their own hours, set their rate of pay, and access to cool office spaces. For your own office renovation, you can ‘borrow’ the elements from coworking spaces and transplant them into your own office.


Modern design

Industrial design elements  like exposed brick, and ‘street art’ graffiti as well as a mix of concrete and metal finishes give your office renovation and coworking spaces an urban feel. Other modern design aspects include plenty of natural light and high ceilings.

Open office plans are replacing confined cubicle layouts. The make for better communication and workers feel less restricted. If you’ve purchased or built a multi-storey complex, use the views to your advantage. The Cluster in Melbourne’s CBD has stunning outlooks of the city and the window desks are prime real-estate.


the cluster


Amenities galore

The the purified water cooler and the air-con are no longer the coolest features available. Amenities combine the benefits of play with the seriousness of work. Some coworking spaces have pool tables, pinball machines, and in-house baristas where workers can get their daily drop. Having a space for fun and relaxation brings the workplace closer together, especially when events are done regularly. River City Labs in Brisbane has a Residents Coffee catch-up every fortnight so the regulars can get to know each other. With your own office renovation, don’t be afraid to go next level. Add an in-house cafeteria/kitchen where employees can order off a menu or make their own meals. Plus it’s a place where you can have a Friday-night barbecue!


New equipment

Of course people in coworking spaces will have their own equipment, but this isn’t likely the case with your own workplace. Look into renting the latest desktop computers and high-end printing machines for your own space. Workers need to work on a bigger screen than their laptop and print what they find valuable. Renting in the long term, with the option to buy out, is cheaper than buying outright.


Look at supportive office furniture because people will be sitting for long periods of time. Alternatively, invest in a few standing desks. They’re better for worker’s health both mentally and physically.


Wellness programs

Your office renovation is a chance to do something unique, and everyday workers are a lot more vigilant about their health and wellbeing than they ever used to be. Have casual office parties that make people end the day with a smile. Stock ‘real food’ in the kitchen. Have a ‘no lunch at the desk’ rule.


When you have meetings with the architect, consciously leave aside some space for an indoor fitness area or even a communal ‘chill’ space for workers to take a break. To promote its wellness programs before opening, The Cove in Brisbane held early morning outdoor fitness sessions on a local rooftop bar with much success.

Rooftop area at Fishburner's, Brisbane

Rooftop area at Fishburner’s, Brisbane