The restoration and refurbishment of St. Saviours Church in Dartmouth is nearing completion. This beautiful medieval church had hidden a gem under layers of varnish for the best part of 100 years. Now, the hand painted ceiling which boasts golden stars against a blue backdrop can be seen and fully appreciated. Conservators have worked for 12 weeks on 4 lifts of scaffolding to uncover this ceiling, and the result is stunning. Work has also begun on the restoration of the balcony, and the colours appearing from the shields and crests are unexpected and vibrant. The Victorians had decided to cover these colours in black paint, but now the original intention and celebration can be enjoyed.
If you are in Dartmouth, take a look. It is truly breathtaking, and it has been a joy to work on this project.
I recently visited Totnes “ReFurnish”. This is an organisation that provides inexpensive secondhand furniture and white goods for those people who are looking to furnish on a tight budget. I am sure there will be something similar in everyone’s own area. They rely on donations from people who are disposing of old or unwanted goods which then enables them to provide affordable items to the buyers.
The staff are so lovely, and nothing is too much trouble… They are really making the best effort to offer a great service.
NOW… How can we help. Whilst looking around I saw that there was a real lack of better quality items, and it was explained to me that the “good stuff” flies out the door as soon as it comes in. I know that on many occasions when embarking on a refurbishment project, perfectly good, serviceable, and often attractive pieces of furniture, sanitary ware and other goods are simply disposed of (usually in a skip) because it is simply cheaper to do that.
I think, as designers we should take action! ReFurnish (or whichever organisation is local to you) will collect good items free of charge. We would help them, and at the same time, luckily, this helps the project too. It involves little effort for us, and offers a lot of help to others who would benefit from the donations. This is so important, so please help out where you can, and let the organisations know that there is a wealth of items that may really be of help to them.
I have been recently working on a full scheme for the fit out of a new build flagship office for a company in Exeter. The client’s corporate logo colours are very vibrant and strong, and we needed to reflect this in the schemes proposed. Given that the company also needs to reflect the fact that they are solid and well established, an extremely modern or “wacky” solution was not a possibility.
However, what at first seemed to be a difficult problem to solve, has become the centre of an exciting approach to this building. We have been able to use a softened version of each logo colour on each floor, identifying feature walls in this individual colour. The internal offices are likewise given a feature wall. The fun part is the use of inserted carpet tiles, desk consoles, chair upholstery and screens all in the vibrant and mixed colours of the company logo.
These splashes of colour against a backdrop of more neutral colours, will really offer a fresh, bright working environment. The workplace should be somewhere that you enjoy being, and time spent thinking through the best way to enhance that space will always reward you with great staff response. Happy people mean good work is done!
Is it my imagination, or is there a real feeling of optimism within the creative industries? 2011 was not buzzing in the same way as 2012. Clients are certainly genuinely ready to move forwards and are specifically looking to upgrade their businesses. In order to keep their market share, businesses are looking to be “the best” in their chosen field.
What is really refreshing, is the broad range of services on offer to the client. More and more, companies are collaborating to be able to provide the strongest solutions. We should be an expert in our field, but this should mean that we work in tandem with others to ensure that all areas of a project are covered by the appropriate skills. Working with other like minded professionals means that we all win: The client has the widest range of skills available, and the team are doing what they do best, with the backing of each other. There is room for everyone, and the results are fantastic!