Things To Consider Designing Lift Interiors & Entrances

Designers know what looks good but what other aspects are important when designing the interior of the lift. If you look at the behaviour of lift passengers, people tend to observe the side, floor, control panel, mirror or ceiling panels rather than make eye contact with other passengers. The cosmetic look of the lift can often complement the style and architecture of a building and create a harmonious ambiance and desired user experience. A good lift designer puts emphasis on achieving functional and safety aspects in the aesthetic elements to improve the user experience.

Side Panels

Being the most visual element, in heavy usage lifts brushed metallic, plastic laminates with curved corners are easier to keep clean. Plastic laminates are available in fibre, stone, wood or painted looks allowing for greater flexibility in the design. More luxurious panels can include exotic woods, Bronze, Brass metallic finishes or leathers in variety of colours and tones. Finishes also act as functional safety features such as fire-resistant properties or anti-vandal along with assisting people with disabilities. Including handrails aid the elderly and protect side panels from damage.


Mirrors make the confined space larger and allow passengers to monitor the behaviour of the neighbours from a safety aspect and generally allow the passenger to feel more comfortable.


Non-slip materials from a safety aspect such as rubber or matching the lift car floor to the landing floor are very popular requests. It is important to be robust and high quality to resist cleaning chemicals

Ceilings and Lighting

Ceiling height should be considered for safety and aesthetic reasons. Research has highlighted a person’s mood can be effective by the light. Opting for a change in light settings at different times of the day to make the transition between the building and elevator appear more seamless.

Control Panels and buttons

Cosmetically can look however you wish however they are clear standards that must be followed. Invest in anti-baterial options.

Landing Entrance & Car Doors

Doors generally have an arduous lift being consistently subjected to impact damage resulting in wrongly selected materials becoming shabby after a short period of time. Therefore, the Aesthetics of both landing and lift car doors can be enhanced with a wide range of bespoke finishes by either treating the existing door carcass or replacing the door skin with a range of exotic materials. Careful refinishing of the entrance doors can transform the appearance of the lift. However careful consideration to running clearances when recovering the existing door fabric, generally the addition of a replacement skin / cover is limited to a maximum material thickness of 1-2mm. When selecting the finish as you would with the lift car interior it is imperative to ascertain the type of duty the lift is going to be submitted to prior to making any decisions as delicate soft metals,  leathers or laminates are not suited to a goods environment where a more finish robust scratch resistant finish is better suited to the application

Published in The Art of Design