13 Design Trends in Commercial Office Buildout Renovations

A commercial buildout renovation is any work done to an existing building to get it ready for a new occupant. In many cases, buildouts require nothing more than a few minor touches. In other cases, buildout renovations see the building undergo a complete makeover.

Whatever the case, the following are 13 popular design trends for commercial office buildout renovations in 2021.

1. Industrial Style

The industrial style is popular for its versatility and low-maintenance feel. Common features such as brick walls, raw wood shelving, exposed pipes, and industrial plumbing fixtures play well in a number of settings and do not require a lot of fuss in terms of preparation and maintenance, making an industrial interior a top choice in 2021.

2. Exterior Work Spaces


The COVID-19 pandemic taught everyone how important it is to have functional outdoor space. As a result, commercial offices are looking into ways to repurpose sparsely used decks, patios, and landings as outdoor work areas. Buildings are increasingly equipping their outdoor spaces with movable furniture, strong WiFi, pergolas for shade, and architectural grilles for visual insulation. These outdoor work areas help guarantee workers increased social distance and air quality.  

3. Sound Insulation

While the pandemic has created some social-distancing challenges for the open layout concept that dominates contemporary office interiors, the functional benefits of having open work areas is too great to ignore. Therefore, closed offices and confined cubicles are unlikely to make a comeback anytime soon.

To make the most of open office areas, it is important to have innovative office ceiling panels that can help absorb sound and limit unwanted noise transfer that walls are not there to block.

4. Greenery and Nature

As a year spent mostly inside has driven many professionals stir crazy, it is important for commercial offices to bring elements of nature indoors. This has given rise to the popularity of living walls–vertically built barriers intentionally covered in vegetation. If a full-scale living wall is a bit too extreme, potted plants and indoor shrubs can help the office incorporate a much-needed touch of nature in 2021.

5. Customizable Partitions

As mentioned, cramped offices and isolating work cubicles are relics of the past. Nevertheless, there are still some times when privacy is necessary in the office–an especially relevant concern in the COVID-19 era. Innovative glass partition walls can provide this separation when needed and help maintain the benefits of an open floor plan office.

6. Improved Air Filtration

Another lesson the COVID-19 pandemic taught is the dangers of stale and poorly circulated air. As such, any features that can extract stale indoor air and replace it with fresh exterior air, such as air scrubbers and HVAC dampers, are a popular trend for office renovations in 2021.

7. Inspiring Decor

In the remote work era, it is important to make the commercial office feel as homey and inviting as possible. Drab walls and a cold appearance will not satisfy professionals who can add as much personality as they want to their home offices. Therefore, look into how to remove wallpaper and explore options for replacing it with more inspiring and energizing decor.

8. Integrated Technology

Even when employees return to the office without restrictions, a significant remote element will remain. To help accommodate for this, commercial buildings are increasingly constructing rooms with dedicated teleconferencing screens, digital whiteboards, and plentiful electrical outlets and charging stations.

9. New Fixtures

As frequently touched surfaces get cleaned like never before, commercial buildings are upgrading to fixtures that will stand up in the face of frequent sanitation. Stainless steel sink faucets and black handrail options give a building a classy and durable appearance that will thrive under the increased scrutiny.

10. Workstation Neighborhoods

With the open concept prevailing in office interiors, you may be wondering how employees can find a dedicated workspace. The answer is through the emergence of workstation neighborhoods, or “pivot spaces,” that are equipped with rolling desks, movable furniture, and customizable partitions that can be easily reconfigured into work areas, as needed.

11. Sliding and Double Hung Windows

Traditional office buildings do not typically have windows that can be opened by employees as a means of helping control interior temperatures. However, with the need for fresh air under the microscope, sliding and double hung windows are beginning to make an appearance in commercial spaces. To help provide additional insulation in the face of inclement weather, consider pairing office windows with compression seal inserts or magnetic storm windows.

12. Enhanced Safety Features

Corporate buildings must have a variety of safety features to satisfy a socially conscious workforce in 2021. Adding smoke curtains or fire suppression systems are top safety design trends in commercial spaces.

13. Durable Floors

Tenants want floors that can withstand significant wear and tear without requiring a boatload of resources to maintain. As a result, products such as epoxy terrazzo, polished concrete, and commercial vinyl plank flooring are all top choices for providing a classy appearance while limiting upkeep requirements.

The Top Trends in Commercial Office Buildout Renovations

Commercial office buildout renovations are those projects that get an existing building up-to-date and ready for its new occupant. Whether the building requires a few minor touches or a complete makeover, the 13 trends listed above are some of the most prevalent buildout projects in 2021.


7 Types of Buildings to Consider for Your Property

When many consider building onto their property, some assume that this could mean that they’re adding onto their current home: but there’s more to it than that. You can make a property into anything you want with some know-how and a good contractor.

Here are the top buildings you can add onto nearly any property, as long as you have the space and zoning for them.