“Resi-mercial Design”: How Banko Design Makes Commercial Spaces Feel Like Home

At banko design, we’ve perfected translating the residential into the commercial.

Marietta, Georgia-based with projects nationwide. Unmatched interior design from start to finishes.

Developers, do you ever struggle to make your spaces feel “at home” while you balance the performance needs of your commercial interiors? You’re not alone. You want everything from your fixtures, furniture and floors to stand out—that’s how you’ll draw customers—but, you need these pieces to be functional and continue to perform over time even with regular traffic.

So how does one give soul to a commercial space? That’s where our team comes in. Almost a decade ago, our Principal and Founder Melissa Banko coined the term “resi-mercial” to describe that in-between space where comfort meets quality. The resi-mercial space infuses residential touches with human-scaled furniture across multifamily communities, boutique hotels, senior living spaces and more, unlocking a new understanding of coziness in commercial spaces.

The beauty of this approach is in its interior design selections, from finishes to furniture and accessories. Everything is curated to inject the space with life, personality and a “lived-in” quality, making it feel like it’s someone’s carefully maintained home. The process is an art and a science that we not only developed, we perfected.

We give our clients a commercial interior solution that’s not cookie-cutter commercial. Just smart cookie.


Let’s break down “resi-mercial” and why each piece matters.

  • Dorothy knew what she was talking about. There’s no place like home. That feeling is essential. People feel good in places that have warmth and feel welcoming.
  • Elements of interior design feel more quality. They’re more curated and cared for, and people can tell the difference from something that feels cold and “commercial,” especially in a new-build setting.
  • People live in your spaces. If the residential vibe is missing, folks will quickly look for somewhere more inviting and comfy.

“Mercial” = Commercial

  • The interior design needs to withstand commercial use. That means high traffic, heavy use, commercial-grade cleaning, and everyday living.
  • The space must also act like a contract space (because it is one). We can’t get away with many of the architectural “shortcuts” that a residential project may have.

You can’t sacrifice too much of either or the space will underwhelm. At Banko Design, we implement the impeccable: fabrics that don’t feel cheap or plasticky, but are still cleanable or bleachable; lighting that is soft, appropriate and inviting, but still functional and bright enough to see; flooring that looks like it’s part of a fine home, but is a cinch to clean. And it has to have spark. Banko Design spaces are all about not just looking the part, but feeling it too.


The proof is in the pudding. Here are a few resi-mercial success stories in the real world.

The Church Hill Village is an assisted living and memory care community in Newtown, CT. When it comes to Senior Living, the resi-mercial touch is especially important for a number of parties. First, of course, the residents. But it’ll certainly make an impression on the caregivers and family members who may be making decisions on behalf of a loved one.

Our design approach for Church Hill Village was to bring a chic family cottage feel to this brand new building, which sits in part of the site’s farmland. The decor was infused with farmers market finds and freshened up with some modern flair. Add on a custom oversized quilt at the entry made by a local artisan, quirky vintage accessories, pastoral artwork, and “cottagecore”-inspired drapery patterns, and the resi-mercial recipe made Church Hill feel like home.

Our work with Cadence at Olney, a senior living community in Olney, MD, was all about neo-classic coziness. From warm brick walls to terracotta tile flooring, we outfitted the community while staying true to the authenticity of the area. Millwork detailing, comfy leather-look seating, multiple fireplaces, judge’s paneling, even porcelain china-inspired artworks were included to drive the point home. This community feels like Thanksgiving dinner with the whole family without sacrificing senior-friendly design concepts.

Our furniture line with Fairfield captures the timeless beauty of residential furniture with added accessibility features. The line lends itself perfectly to senior living comfort design, but is contemporary enough to be a crowd favorite anywhere.


Since the “aha!” moment, when we realized there was a huge void between residential and commercial design only few could fill, we’ve taken the helm as leaders in the “resi-mercial” sphere. In a lot of ways, it’s been our calling card over the past decade. To this day, no one does it like we do. Our passion for residential design’s attention to detail is conveyed in a way that works in favor of developers, REITs and real estate investors (not to mention their bottom lines).

We’re ready and excited to work with you. Interior design of any space is a serious investment, so we’ll make the most of any budget.

Ready to join the resi-mercial revolution? Reach out to us at, and let’s live it up.

Keywords: commercial interior design, commercial real estate, senior living interior design, Atlanta interior design, 2024 interior design trends, commercial interior design studio, multifamily interior design, hospitality interior design


What Your Multifamily Development SHOULD Look Like

How can you maximize your ROI on your multifamily development? In today’s market, an apartment property needs to stand out to attract and retain residents. The developments that get top dollar in rents always have the following in common: they understand and meet the needs of their target resident through thoughtful amenities and intentional interior design.

Here are the principles of what makes a multifamily development successful for you AND your residents:


The interior design plays a major part in setting up your multifamily project for success. Your residents want to live somewhere they can feel proud of (and will happily show off to their friends in-person and online, boosting your brand awareness and sales). Here are the top tips to consider when designing for multifamily:

Make it look high-end for “less”. The right multifamily interior designer can specify materials and finishes that look much more “expensive” than they really are. We can be smart with the FF&E choices (and your budget) in order to provide the luxury look your residents crave.

Include creative design elements that attract today’s renter without being overly trendy. What our clients have been raving about recently? Consider including an “Instagram-able” moment in your multifamily development’s interior design – great for social media, and great for sales. Instead of being “trendy”, design for longevity – from the time it takes for the development to be built, remember that many “trends” will pass within a few years.

Tie into the local history or culture. When residents are touring multifamily properties, they can all start to blend together. Stand out from your competing apartment communities by tying in local influences into the art, accessories, or FF&E. When designing the Cove at Covington, a multifamily development in Covington, Georgia, that has a history as a crafting and textile hub, bold spool art and a custom toile wallcovering that includes local landmarks was incorporated (pictured above).

It also makes a difference when the interior designers and architects communicate to create a cohesive space. It’s important to design spaces with just the right amount of volume – and bigger spaces are not always better. At The Crest at Acworth, a multifamily development in Acworth, Georgia, the interiors speak to the modern, lodge-style architectural design and include large timbers, stacked stone, and board and batten (pictured below). The interior programming plays with large and small volumes, creating both grand entertaining areas and intimate, cozy gathering spaces.


In short, a successful multifamily development needs amenities that match the needs of the modern resident. The amenities are the first thing future residents see and if they don’t like it, there’s a chance it won’t sell.

So, what are the lifestyle needs of the modern resident? Coworking spaces. Soundproof rooms for content creators. Outdoor spaces for pets. Gathering spaces for entertaining guests or hosting events.

Entertaining is important to the typical age demographic for multifamily properties, and incorporating unique entertaining spaces – like the game room at the Cove at Covington with a large garage door that opens to the pool deck, providing a seamless transition from the outside in – is key to a development’s success.

Plus, it’s always exciting when clients want to stay on top of the latest technologies and incorporate them into the community. Stay ahead of the curve (and above the competition) by considering Uber pickup/drop off zones, refrigerators for grocery deliveries, or retail spaces (how about a coffee house?) in the lobby area. Don’t forget – amenities can be classified as “services”, too, such as laundry pick-ups, dog walking, or meal-delivery services.


An often overlooked space in multifamily interior design? The model units – a critically important component of the design. This is NOT the place to skimp on the budget! These spaces are where the residents envision how they would use and decorate their space, picturing what it could be like to live there.

The furniture, art, and accessories displayed in the model unit could make or break a potential resident’s decision. Make sure your model units feel “full” and remember to accessorize the smaller spaces like the closets, laundry, and bathrooms.

In addition, sprucing up your model units with new FF&E in a pre-existing development can help you stay competitive. A quick FF&E refresh could make a big difference in increasing occupancy and sales!

Overall, a successful multifamily development should prioritize the interior design, thoughtful and modern amenities, and thoroughly designed model units. Adhering to these principles during the planning process, developers can create and maintain vibrant communities that enhance residents’ quality of life while also benefiting the surrounding area with the help of an experienced interior designer.

The team at Banko Design are experts at multifamily interior design, designing spaces that maximize your ROI. Our command of material applications, budgets, and our thoughtful approach to amenity space planning are just the beginning.

Want to have your multifamily development be the star around town? Reach out to us at to get started!

Keywords: multifamily interior design, multifamily real estate, multifamily development, Atlanta interior design, 2024 interior design trends, commercial interior design studio


Three Interior Design Trends We Predict Will FLOP in 2024

Interior design trends come and go, and what was once in Vogue can quickly become outdated. As we look ahead to 2024 – and as you’re planning your next development – it’s essential to identify the interior design trends that are well on their way out. In this blog post, we’ll explore three interior design trends that will FLOP in 2024, making room for more exciting and innovative approaches to interior decor.


Cool-Toned Palettes with Lots of Grey

For years, cool palettes dominated interior design, with…shall we say fifty?…shades of grey taking center stage. While these subdued tones can create a serene atmosphere, they have become ubiquitous and – frankly – make us a little sad. In 2024, we anticipate a greater shift away from the grey-dominated color schemes in favor of the infusion of bold, more vibrant hues. Top developers will seek to inject energy and personality into their spaces, opting for warmer, more inviting color palettes that evoke emotion and promote creativity.

All Things Boho or Farmhouse

Bye, bye boho and life on the farm. The boho and farmhouse design styles have had their moment in the spotlight, but they’re losing their appeal in 2024. These interior design trends often emphasized a cluttered, mismatched aesthetic that can feel chaotic and overwhelming (especially with what we’re learning about the psychological impact of our home environments). People are increasingly seeking an experience that feels more sophisticated and intentional. Instead of the eclectic mishmash of boho or the rustic simplicity of farmhouse, the market is returning to a more cohesive and thoughtfully curated interior design style with special attention paid to utilizing statement-making, quality finishes.

Overly Minimalistic Interiors

Minimalism has been a prominent design trend in recent years, characterized by its clean lines and a “less-is-more” philosophy. However, minimalistic spaces can often look underdressed and unfinished. As we look ahead to 2024, overly minimalistic interiors are falling out of favor. While simplicity and functionality are essential, people are craving spaces that are exciting, personality-filled, and intentionally set a mood in the built environment.

So, what interior design trends should we expect to see in 2024?


Bold Interiors Driven by a Strong Narrative

In 2024, interior designers will focus on creating spaces that tell a compelling story. Creating a strong brand for your current property or next real estate development has never been more crucial. Creating a narrative and adding personalization with unique touches will become essential, allowing for more diverse and expressive interior styles. Anticipate richer color palettes, dramatic FF&E moments, and ample architectural detailing. 

Hyper-Local Design Concepts

People are increasingly valuing locally sourced materials and unique, region-specific design elements. Hyper-local design concepts will take center stage, celebrating the culture and heritage of a particular area in interior decor. Commercial interior designers will take cues from residential architecture in the neighborhoods where projects are being developed so their design feels part of the local fabric.

Organic Forms and Shapes

In contrast to the rigid lines of minimalism, organic forms and shapes will gain popularity in 2024. Curved furniture, flowing lines, and nature-inspired design elements will infuse spaces with a sense of harmony and fluidity. Instead of covering up any material “flaws” or inconsistencies, designers may seek to showcase the inherent beauty of the items’ unique properties.

In conclusion, as we bid farewell to the trends of cool palettes, the boho and farmhouse aesthetics, and extreme minimalism, we welcome a new era of interior design marked by bold narratives, hyper-local influences, and organic forms. These evolving trends promise to make 2024 an exciting year for interior design enthusiasts, allowing for more creativity, individuality, and a deeper connection to the spaces we inhabit.

As a commercial interior design studio specializing in the multifamily, hospitality, active adult, and senior living interior design markets, Banko Design knows what’s current and what trends are coming in the design market. We’re not afraid to push the envelope and bring innovative, sophisticated, and personality-filled designs to your development. We understand the importance of creating a strong narrative and how defining a brand for your property is essential to standing out in the market (and have even welcomed a branding team to the fold – look out for those new services!). 

Partner with us today, and let’s kick off 2024 with a bold, personalized-to-your-market BANG! To get started on the interior design for your next development, reach out to

Keywords: interior design trends, 2024 interior design trends, commercial interior design studio, multifamily interior design, hospitality design trends, active adult interior design, senior living interior design