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Aesthetics vs. Practicality: Finding the Sweet Spot in Design and Build

Updated: May 25, 2023

As we progress into a post-pandemic world where we all have to adjust to fast-paced environments and constantly work on upscaling our skills, improvements in our workspaces have also become necessary.

Without a doubt, humans are visual beings who enjoy basking in stimuli that emit beauty and soul. Studies show that seemingly small interior details significantly affect productivity and satisfaction, from well-decorated flower arrangements to walls painted in calm hues.

However, when designing and building an interior space, it is necessary to create a careful balance between aesthetics and practicality. The reason is that while aesthetics generate a sense of beauty and emotional connection, practicality ensures that the design serves its intended purpose effectively. When it comes to architecture, combining these two elements is crucial to creating a successful and functional space.

How can this be achieved?

1. Evaluate the building's purpose.

The building's function will determine the design's form, style, and materials. For example, when creating lounges or lobbies, the plan must consider the needs of the staff and visitors while also requiring practical considerations such as accessibility, safety, and hygiene.

2. Consider the Environment

The building's location, climate, and surrounding landscape are factors that greatly affect an office fit-out. When located in a harsh environment, durable and energy-efficient materials must be utilized. Furthermore, healthy and responsive surroundings that promote the company’s brand image, provide enough privacy, and even comfortable indoor temperatures are factors that must be kept in mind when envisioning the space that you want to create.

3. Know your Intended Occupants

The design must cater to the needs and preferences of the occupants who will utilize the space. Part of the goal should be to provide comfort as they engage in their daily tasks. Adding fixtures such as soft lighting or indoor plants that promote a relaxing atmosphere will be beneficial, but quality also goes alongside this. Furthermore, although it may be helpful to follow trends, one must also have long-term considerations when renovating an office fit-out, such as including new technology that can help the workflow and well-being of the employees.

4. Keep your budget in mind

It is also necessary to consider whether the feasibility of a specific design fits within the given budget. As much as possible, a project must be cost-effective. However, the design choices must still be made without compromising its overall look and functionality.

Overall, it must be understood that aesthetics in design can range from color and shape to texture and pattern. It can evoke emotions and create a sense of beauty that adds value to the user's experience. However, this alone cannot guarantee functionality, which is an aspect that should not be overlooked in the pursuit of beauty.

On the other hand, practicality in design should be efficient, easy to use, and maintainable. This can be achieved by carefully considering the user's needs, workflow, and environment.

Finding the right balance between aesthetics and practicality requires careful planning, research, and testing. It's a process that involves collaboration between designers, engineers, and stakeholders to achieve a successful outcome. Ultimately, a design's main goal should not be solely about looking good but also about providing measurable results in how it impacts people.

With Neptel Design + Build, all these considerations are carefully mapped out and executed to ensure the creation of a soothing and dynamic office plan. Learn more about our services here.


ChargeSpot. (2022, March 22). Important factors when designing a new office building. Retrieved April 13, 2023, from

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. (n.d.). How lighting affects productivity. Retrieved April 13, 2023, from

Vantage Fit. (2020, July 30). Plants in the office: Their impact on health and productivity. Retrieved April 13, 2023, from

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