Growth slows for B.C.’s interior design industry

Increased residential work offsets drop in commercial and hospitality revenue


British Columbia’s interior design industry experienced a slowdown this year after years of steady growth. 

The median one-year growth in the number of employees on Business in Vancouver’s Biggest Interior Design Firms in Metro Vancouver list fell to 0% in 2020 from 4.37% in 2019. While the median growth dropped, the average one-year growth increased to 18.6% from 6.2% the year before, largely due to the introduction of No. 7-ranked M Moser Associates, which posted a 300% increase in its number of employees over the past year, to 20 in 2020 from five in 2019.

When M Moser Associates is excluded, the average falls to a 3.8% increase in employment, suggesting that larger companies higher on the list experienced greater growth than their smaller counterparts.

While more than half of the companies on the list either reduced or did not increase their number of employees, the average number of people employed at the top 20 interior design firms increased to 18.5 employees in 2020 from 17.1 employees in 2019. This suggests that people within the industry migrated from smaller companies to larger companies.

Hager Design International Inc., tied for seventh on the list, had the largest five-year growth at 100%. It increased its employee base to 20 in 2020 from 10 in 2016. There were three firms that experienced no growth over the five-year period.

No. 13, Dialog, recorded the largest one-year decline in employees, falling 17.7% to 14 in 2020 from 17 in 2019.

Last year, the top interior design firms in the province focused 49.8% of their work in the commercial sector, which was down from 55.4% in 2015.

The percentage of revenue from the hospitality sector was also down. It dropped to 20.5% in 2020 from 23.25% in 2015. The decline in commercial and hospitality projects was offset by an increase in residential interior design work, which grew to 29.8% in 2019 from 21.4% in 2015. •