Katie Rodriguez

Interior design plays a huge role in corporate branding – in establishing the look, the feel, the harmony of a space. A well-designed interior reflects and reinforces a corporate brand: it evokes the essence of “who one is” and “what one stands for” – and what that means for customers, employees and anyone who walks through the front doors.

Behind the scenes, before paint hits the walls or furniture is specified, the interior designer immerses herself or himself in the client’s vision and mission, and an examination of the company’s logo, images, typefaces and colors.

“There’s a psychology to it. Good design triggers the senses, recognition and memory,” says Katie Rodriguez, LEED AP, an interior designer with NBS Commercial Interiors.

The Steelcase dealership has an internal imaging division within its Troy, Michigan, headquarters to help its clients incorporate branding into their work spaces.  

Katie uses CET Designer and the Steelcase SmartTools Extension to handle much of NBS’s imaging work. 

“It’s the most influential tool I’ve used,” she said. “I can’t imagine communicating intent to clients without it.”

She recently used CET Designer to design a building addition for a client that needed to convey its presence in the international marketplace.

Along with imaging, she provided design services for building finishes, furniture layout/finishes, millwork design and window treatments, as well as imaging and color consultation for the company’s existing space. All furniture was specified in CET Designer; because the software is smart and rules-based, parts and costs are automatically and accurately calculated.

Katie used CET Designer to create this “Welcome” reception work/lounge space. The wall image was created in collaboration with NBS corporate partner Brainwerks, a graphic design firm. Katie incorporated the image into CET Designer as part of the design and specification process. The wall features “Welcome” in multiple languages to welcome companies from all over the world.

katie rodriguez

In the company’s boardroom, the international theme continues with an “orange globe” image imported into CET Designer. Lively color adds energy to the area.

The “Opportunity” sign in existing space reflects opportunities for businesses in southeast Michigan and also bridges the color scheme from the new space, Katie said. 

Katie also used CET Designer on a special library project.

“The new library was dedicated to a local English teacher who had recently passed away. She loved reading EVERYTHING! So NBS collaborated with Brainwerks to create a wall graphic honoring her passion for books,” Katie said.

The wall graphic, imported into CET Designer, showcases the many genres the English teacher loved.

“Images were selected to evoke a sense of excitement about the adventures of reading as students enter the library … to emulate her exciting style of teaching,” Katie said.

NBS Interior Designer Jennifer Newton is working on an innovative furniture layout, in CET Designer, for the rest of the library space that will pull colors from the graphic.

A stairwell renovation may sound basic – until you see Katie’s idea for it.

Katie is using CET Designer to convey concepts for a stairwell renovation project currently in progress.

“Our goal was to focus on innovation, quality and sustainability. We showed this visually in CET Designer, depicting recycled rubber flooring and adding plant life. We upgraded the finishes, such as changing the stair rail to a glass solution, which showcases the rubber floor and doesn’t distract from the large wall graphic.”  

One of the company’s internal graphics inspired the large wall graphic. “It symbolizes the vertical markets that this international company provides products for. Working with Brainwerks, we updated the graphic with an outdoor image to show the company’s commitment to sustainability, and we introduced the clouds as a symbol of innovation.” 

Katie is providing design services for the company’s entire space, including building finishes and custom millwork – all presented to the customer by using CET Designer. 

“The software enhances that elbow-to-elbow experience, whether you’re working with a strategic partner or the client. We’re able to communicate better, work faster and get to the end-result quicker,” Katie said. “Simply put, CET Designer helps me to be a better designer.”

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