Designing branch interiors like a living room

This Memphis Business Journal article (PDF here) says the design of bank branches has become “a branding bonanza.”

The article says the key to designing a bank or credit union is “making employees feel safe and comfortable while at the same time conveying the brand.”

The article details the work of one Memphis architect’s work for Commercial Bank & Trust. About his branch design work for Commercial, the architect said:

  • A living room feeling is achieved through the use of rich colors, sofas, accessories, art and lighting.
  • The bank relies on an interior designer who does primarily residential work, to bring it all together.
  • The branch design features a fireplace that immediately sets the tone.

Mott Ford, vice chairman and CEO for Commercial Bank & Trust, says the bank’s interior
design choices are as much a reflection of his father’s taste as they are a conscious way to set the bank apart.

“We lean toward antiques, more the look of an established sort of living room feel than cutting edge furniture,” he said. “Art is a significant part of the atmosphere.”

Ford’s father, R. Molitor Ford, chairman of Commercial Bank & Trust, personally picks out much of the art.

Commercial Bank & Trust was founded in 1877 and has 10 branches.

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