We have been in our current offices for well over ten years and needless-to-say they were starting to look very tired. Back in the day, clients never came to our offices so it didn't really matter what they looked like! But now that we have more and more clients come to visit us it was clear that a change was needed.
Walk the walk
As a marketing company it is pertinent that we 'walk the walk' and not just 'talk the talk'. We make every effort to ensure our website and other marketing communications, accurately reflect our brand. However, our office space definitely did not do this - it was drab, tired and soulless.
We worked with Kelly James from Shadow Play Design to help us manage the project; a 'mum from school' friend and an interior designer with great taste to boot.
Due to uncertainty with the building and our lease (in terms of it being put on the market at one point) we decided to not invest too much in the infrastructure of the building in case we found ourselves being forced to move, it just didn't make sense.
Our offices are in a prime location in the centre of Cheltenham and we have parking - too good a thing to give up!
Initially we were going to fully re-plaster the walls, put in new lighting and update the kitchenette, but instead we scaled it back to mainly focus on a scheme that we could easily 'pick up and move' to another premises should we need to.
We wanted to create a space that fitted with our brand, but at the same time was welcoming to clients. Much like our approach to work, we wanted our office space to be professional, yet friendly and welcoming at the same time. We wanted a classic, understated feel with small elements of fun (not too in-your-face loud and wacky!)
The design process
Pinterest was a great tool to enable us to show Kelly what we liked and likewise for her to test the water with certain items/ideas. You can check out our original Pinterest Board here https://uk.pinterest.com/bhmarketing/office-refurbishment-20156/
From here, a mood board was put together:
Blue Horizons 8 step process
We commissioned local illustrator Charlotte Farmer to add more interest to our 8 step process - the perfect opportunity to add Lola, the office dog!
Meeting table & chairs
Due to holding more client meetings at the office, a large meeting table was key. We wanted a statement table that didn't feel too office like, so we opted for a mango wood dining table along with contrasting Eames style chairs to add pops of colour.
As we were on a budget yet wanted to create a quality feel, we cheated! We used Ikea wardrobe carcasses and then bespoke doors and handles made by Swedish Company Superfront.
During meetings, scribbling down ideas and drawing pictures is a big part of the process, but we wanted something that was more aesthetically pleasing than a white board.
We also quite liked the idea of going back to good old-fashioned pen and paper to sit along the digital technology that we use.
Getting stuff done
Its frightening how much junk an office accumulates over ten years. We recycled where possible and used The Furniture Recycling Project. We would wholeheartedly recommend this charity who work to create a better community throughout Gloucestershire.
The whole process, although tiring was so cathartic; out with the old and in with the new really does change the energy for the better. Now the room was clear we could crack on with getting the painting done before the new carpet was due to be fitted.
How it all came together
We purposely wanted to create a sense of space in the office but once all the furniture was in place it did look a little stark. Using plants and artwork really helped soften the look to create a more homely feel. You can see the finished room here:
This year we aim to tackle the second office, which we are referring to as the 'engine room' - where all the magic happens! So watch this space for part two.....