A quote for today…

You Can Find Inspiration in Everything – (And If You Can’t, Look Again)

— Paul Smith

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Design Myths: Retail

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It pays to make an effort to break from the norm! 

Here are five common Retail Design myths to watch out for:

1: Neutral walls are a must.  Think hard about the feel you are going for. How do you want your customers to feel? What are you selling? A splash of colour and personality makes a space far more inviting. Retailers should develop a “brand palette” of colours that connects with the logo and  business concept. Think about it in terms of how everything ties together to  tell a story to customers.

2: Stick with fixtures designed especially for your type of storeShop owners often feel obligated to use the same  fixtures their vendors use for their products. While a vendor might supply a display fixture or advise you on how to arrange a particular product, you  aren’t obligated to follow their suggestions. You can avoid using the standard white pressboard cubby shelving found in many stores. Instead, you could use  bookshelves, glass cubbies and other miscellaneous objects with personality. Such creative displays will make your store more  memorable to customers.

3: All your fixtures must be flexible.  Now, I understand that building flexibility into your shop is important for making merchandise changes and keeping the space looking fresh throughout the  year. But often shop owners will take this to extremes, using only temporary  fixtures as a way to avoid making design decisions. Unless done really well, when everything is flexible, it gives the store a temporary, noncommittal look that can be  off-putting. Some permanent shelving and fixtures that incorporate lighting, on  the other hand, can give your store a more polished and professional look. Think about where you need flexibility and where can you make more  commitments.

Myth No. 4: You can’t afford an interior designer. Small retailers assume they can’t afford professional  design help, but that’s not true. While you might not be able to pay for an interior designer to plan your entire store, you can choose some services that will help you make smarter design decisions. If you don’t have the finances for the whole design, sometimes it pays to hire a professional for the most crucial part of the process and then take it from there.

Myth No. 5: The big retailers know best. Copy them. While major retailers can provide lessons in logistics such as aisle width and lighting techniques, independent retailers sometimes fall into the trap of too closely mimicking the look and feel of a large store. They assume the big  players know best and try to recreate the color schemes and layouts of stores that have far greater resources. They are trying to replicate what’s already been done and that puts them in the underdog position right from the get go. It’s far better to develop your own look through  distinctive wall colors, store displays and signage.

Getting office design RIGHT !

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Office design is massively important to the success of your company, its well worth consulting professionals to get it right.

Well-designed office space should not cost you more, even though many people feel it will. Specifications cost money, not sensible planning. However a poorly designed office will cost you a LOT of money in the long run !!!

Good office design solves problems, but great office design goes one step further. It should open up new lines of communication, giving staff different environments for different tasks, and making them excited about being in the office, great office design can invigorate a workforce.

People spend approximately 90% of their waking hours indoors, many of them at computer workstations far away from the closest window. Natural light is a much overlooked benefit in office design, but it should be one of your major considerations in office design and layout, it can make a big difference to productivity.

There are numerous studies showing productivity improvements with natural light, particularly in manufacturing environments. In addition, our eyes are designed to work with the changing light levels of sunlight, in contrast with the harsh continuous artificial lighting in offices. Natural light will reduce eye fatigue and complaints about headaches

To improve the amount of natural sunlight within an office, create an open environment by tearing down interior walls, using glass walls for private offices and benching desks instead of claustrophobic workstations.

These techniques will not only enhance the aesthetic of your design, but will also allow natural sunlight to permeate the core of the office, which will have a huge impact on mood and productivity throughout your workspace.

Hand-in-hand with light comes space — another consideration, and not just in an employee’s immediate work area.

Give employees enough space. It’s not only important to give staff big enough desks, but you must also consider ‘circulation space. This is the space in corridors and between desks that enable people to move around freely.

Try and get a balance between space and promoting a buzz throughout the office and managing to cultivate a “buzz” in your office.

Of course you want to give people a quiet place to work, but you also want to create a dynamic and fun atmosphere where people can interact and bounce ideas off each other. Open plan workplaces literally and figuratively take down walls between people, and increase the speed of problem solving.

Dont forget to leave your questions below !!

Thanks

Kel

Real design inspiration!

Design is EVERYWHERE. Seriously, everywhere ! You just need to open your eyes, hop off your computer, put down that magazine and see it !

Many designers fail to see the World and what’s really in it. They think that to find inspiration it must be related to their project in some way. Or related to their industry. Like an Interior Design magazine for example. Or a website promising inspiration for Interior Design. Well we believe inspiration for a project can be taken from anything. And most of the time, completely unrelated to that industry.

We urge our designers to walk around with a camera in one hand and a pad in the other. To take pictures of anything they think is inspiring and sketch! Sketch like crazy. When you start a project, sketch 15 initial ideas, then throw them away. They are rubbsih. Sketch 15 more. The results are scary.

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I’m not going to lie, this didn’t start off well. People had their blinders on. They couldn’t see the beauty in simple things. They had to be told it was inspiration for them to be inspired. But now, they take pictures of anything from someone painting, to a curve or a line, or even a window display. Heck, we’ve even had them say a scrunched up can looked awesome !

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OPEN YOUR EYES.

Take in what’s around you. It doesn’t need to be obvious.

FIND SOME PASSION.

If you’re passionate, you will be engrossed. If you’re engrossed, you will be looking for inspiration everywhere. How many designers flick through the same magazines, same websites…? Get inspiration from your family, friends, anything. Then that is yours, it belongs to you and your creative genius can develop it.

YOU DON’T NEED TO HAVE STUDIED DESIGN TO HAVE A GREAT IDEA.

Take ideas and advice from anyone and everyone.

I’d love to answer your questions… leave them below!

Thanks

Kel

An Inspired Designer

Inspiration is being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially something creative.

We as designers should be taking inspiration from everywhere and not just the flowing trends we see!

When given a new brief, our designers go on an inspirational journey and completely embrace the project. A few tips from our team are:

– Immerse yourself in the Worlds of the people who will use and encounter the space.

– Keep asking: “What is really going on here?” – like a detective

– Focus totally on what people will be doing in the spaces and places you are designing  (next year, in five years, in 20).

– Ask off-piste questions. What if this staff canteen were an indoor Astroturf picnic area? Why not turn this extra meeting room that is rarely used into two split phone booths for private calls and Skype conferences?

– Gather inquisitive and reflective people around you. The rapid bouncing back and forth of an idea can generate compelling concepts at amazing speed.

– Once there’s an idea, turn it upside down and take it seriously for a moment – even if it seems silly.

– We all have a sense of the sublime – use it to test your propositions as rigorously as logic and functionality.

Thanks for reading! Leave your questions below!

Kel