OneZone Member Spotlight: Deviating from the Status Quo of Commercial Design

Mitsch Design, the award-winning Certified Woman-Owned design firm, is a leading commercial interior design, architectural design, procurement and branding firm known for its innovative thinking and expert implementation of design. Founded in 1989 by principal designer Jeryl Mitsch, the design firm continues to grow in downtown Carmel. The firm’s areas of expertise include: corporate, healthcare, higher education, hospitality, faith-based, industrial and multi-family.

Working on its 27th year in business, Mitsch Design has survived the ebbs and flows of the economy over the decades. Mitsch adapted her business to sustain the changing economic climates and has weathered the storms.

“After 9/11, we were mostly corporate design,” Mitsch said. “Citizens Energy Group and Dow AgroSciences are a couple of our clients. After the recession, I noticed that companies that were really healthy were more diverse in their client base. I strategically switched and started going after more higher education projects. We work with Purdue, Indiana, Notre Dame and Vincennes Universities. We’ve also worked with IUPUI in Indianapolis. We work with medical and healthcare organizations such as Eskenazi Hospital, Community and St. Vincent Hospitals. The firm has worked with the Delta Faucet Company on its interior design and worked with the Indianapolis-based architectural design firm, Architura.

“Another segment of our business that is absolutely exploding is the multi-family.  We are working with the apartments at Penn Circle; we do the interior designs and usually the amenities spaces and the models for projects like Penn Circle Apartments. We also usually do the exterior amenities. An award-winning project for us was The Depot in Fishers. We did the Solana Apartments on 79th Street too. We are in 10 different states, working for 24 developers and probably 50 projects that are coming up out of the ground around the country.

“We are focusing on the multi-family sector, and we work with probably 80 percent of the local multi-family developers. In commercial design, typically here in Indianapolis, a designer will specify the furniture and bid it, but in the multi-family world, a designer is expected by the developers to work the entire project from start to finish. So a designer is doing the space planning, designing, selecting, quoting, buying, sending it to the site location and installing it. In the local corporate sector, it is very different. Typically, corporate designers will do the space planning and do what is called the construction document set (CDS), but when it comes to the furniture, they usually spec it and bid it. In the last couple years, we’ve been asked to do the whole project because it really is easier that way,
and we have so much history in the multi-family sector.”

Mitsch Design is also expanding its services as a furniture dealer in the commercial world. Mitsch Design recently aligned itself with Tayco, a Canadian-based office furniture company out of Toronto. They compete with the top five products that most corporate end-users have an opportunity to use here in Indiana.

“This has been well received in the last two months,” Mitsch enthused. “We can do the entire package. We can start with the space planning, get through the design, order the furniture, be there when the trucks arrive and help with the installation. We also offer branding for our clients too.”

In addition to the cities where the firm is currently designing, Mitsch Design is making a big push in the Atlanta area. It is concentrating on the developers in that city, particularly in the multi-family sector, and senior care and university housing that is growing substantially in that market and submarkets.

Currently, the firm employs 25 people, 18 of which are designers. Many of the designers are cross-trained and do the procurement, furniture segment and design work. Mitsch said that she would likely add five more associates to her team by next year, maybe more due to the firm’s addition of furniture dealership.

For more information on its menu of services and furniture line, visit mitschdesign.com or stop in at their showroom located in the Indiana Design Center in Carmel.