Brand-Supportive Design

By Paul Miller

Interior Designer, IDS Professional Member

Every space tells a story. 

We tell the story of the families who dwell within our projects by allowing their interests and patterns to read in the flow and aesthetic details of their homes.  When our job is to design restaurants, lounges, and lobbies, we aim to tell a different narrative: brand story.


At the bare minimum, the task of a marketing agency is to help a company refine and present its message to the appropriate audience.  In the hands of the extraordinarily thoughtful and creative marketer, a company can even develop a stronger sense of its core identity - sometimes learning that it has yet to establish one. 

Many brands are not a physical location to the public as much as a sense of place.

Many brands are not a physical location to the public as much as a sense of place.  Coca-Cola isn’t a plant with offices and conveyer belts to the average soda lover.  It’s a twist of white on a field of red or a half time ad that draws a chuckle.   Deeper still in our consciousness, it’s the sweet, fizzy burn in a childhood memory, as fleeting a pleasure as fireflies lighting a meadow.

Yet for restauranteurs and many experience-based enterprises, the location of their business is as strong a sense of place as the food the chef creates, the drinks the bartender crafts or the way in which staff engages them during their visit.  In the lobby of a service provider, the stability of the business is suggested by the weight of the actual furnishings.  One hesitates to invest money with a firm that lines up folding chairs in the front room and perches a fax machine on a moving box tagged: Ship Next Tuesday.

We believe the designer working on a commercial project must understand the brand identity of the business.  Knowing who the audience for the business is and determining what they will want out of the experience drives every detail of the outcome.  In the best case scenario, the design blows out past what the brand audience could have imagined, providing a memorable journey that sets a business in a class by itself.

We have helped determine the aesthetic and functional details of restaurants, salons, lounges, professional office lobbies,  as well as public spaces in university housing and learning facilities. Without exception, the best outcomes were always arrived at when the brand story of the client was clearly understood and integrated in the design process.

As it heads into its twelfth year in business, MakeNest is positioning itself to capture more commercial and hospitality projects.  Part of our goal is to underscore our unique sensitivity to branding through design.  The procedure for our commercial projects is to dig deep to discover the intentions, the audience, the narrative, and the brand standard of the company.   In this way,  MakeNest can not only impact the function and beauty of professional and hospitality spaces, but help businesses to edit and project their own brand story.