Inspiration can come from several different sources
Danielle A design for bringing spaces to life sees Fleming, interior designer at Harrogate-based Absolute Commercial Interiors, get creative.
My journey with Absolute Commercial Interiors started back in November 2017, having made the leap into commercial interior design in 2016.
I graduated from university with a degree in Product Design and actually worked as a kitchen and bathroom designer before finding my way to the world of interior design, and specifically office interiors.
I kickstart each morning with a strong coffee and a scroll through Pinterest for inspiration.
Our office has amazing views of the Crimple Valley viaduct, so I like to take five minutes at the start of the day just to enjoy the surroundings and gather my thoughts for the day ahead.
Every Friday we have a tradition at the office for ‘Bacon Sandwich Fridays’ which has become a weekly highlight for the team.
It’s a weekly treat and a great chance for the team to catch up on projects, which often leads to some great ideas being shared. I spend my mornings researching what’s happening across our sector, whether that’s office interior trends or design in general.
I get a lot of inspiration from websites such as Pinterest, Dezeen, Officeinspiration.com, OnOffice, Office Snapshots and even LinkedIn.
Having built up a large collection of clients and contacts over my time in the design industry, it’s always good to see what’s happening on different projects across the globe.
Mid-morning, we usually have an ideas meeting with the design team. We have a fantastic open plan office so even if we’re not in a meeting setting it’s easy to share ideas amongst the team throughout the day.
Each member of the team designs in a slightly different way, so it’s good to collaborate, pull on different areas of experience and get a fresh pair of eyes to look over a project.
A highlight for me is the fact that we’re a dog-friendly office. It really does brighten the mood in the office, no matter the seriousness of our client meetings. Having dogs in the office is proven to help reduce stress and improve productivity so it ticks a number of boxes for us.
As a designer, your days can really vary – one day you’ll be in the office all day working on a new project, like redesigning Elland Road’s hospitality suite, and the next you’ll be travelling to meet a new client to take a brief or present your ideas.
My favourite element of the job is meeting clients to take a new brief on board, it’s always interesting to see how the design develops based on their initial ideas of what they felt was important for their office needs.
Sometimes it stays the same and the design reflects their initial requirements, but often as a design develops, we’re able to add or alter elements to create a design that truly meets their exact needs.
Lunchtimes in the office are great as we have an open plan shared kitchen and dining area.
It’s perfect if we only have time to grab a short lunch because it means that we can still sit down and enjoy a meal together rather than getting something on the go.
A trend that we have continued to see crop up in office design is the use of communal and breakout spaces introduced throughout projects.
Predominantly, the rest of my day is dedicated to designing. We work on multiple design projects at a time, the quantity changes week-on-week depending on the stage of the project, which can include initial sketch, through to development, pricing and finally construction. We’ve always got several different projects on the go at once, which means you can pull ideas from different areas. Even when we’re in the final stages of a design, our ideas are still flowing so we can suggest last-minute additions to clients.
One of my favourite design projects to work on so far was One Pay, based in Ilkley. The client fully trusted our judgement on the project and encouraged us to be creative in certain areas of the office.
At Absolute Commercial Interiors, we really are very lucky to work in such a terrific office space with beautiful views.
Our managing director,
Phil Brown encourages us on the design team to investigate different skills we would like to develop on projects, both personally and as a team.
The office is always filled with our lovely suppliers who pop in regularly for weekly ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions where we gather round as a team to see new products or materials on offer – while enjoying some sandwiches or cake.
We have a fantastic open plan office so even if we’re not in a meeting setting it’s easy to share ideas.
DANIELLE FLEMING:A highlight for me is the fact that we’re a dog-friendly office.