Workplace & Office Design at ClusterHQ

I have the good fortune of working with a rich variety of clients, and it’s been great adding ClusterHQ to the list, introduced to me by the nice folk at Fffuncion.co.

Whilst focusing on getting the design right for ClusterHQ we talked through a lot of ideas and together we created some mood boards to communicate our ideas.

We wanted to make the space more comfortable, welcoming and fun.

In our design meetings we discussed inspirations ranging from 2001: A Space Odyssey, ClusterHQ’s love for Frasier (Dr Frasier Crane), hexagons, bicycles and the desire to keep things local where possible.

With this in mind I spent some time whizzing around the Shuffle Showroom, People’s Republic Of Stokes Croft and a few other galleries looking for prints, alongside sourcing local companies and makers to provide lockers and some wonderfully slick whiteboards.

The main challenge in working within such a large, corporate office building, is making the design ideas work without the experience feeling jarring. For example creating a living room style space within a large building without it looking odd and making that beautiful mid century G Plan coffee table fit in.

Coffee / breakout room, with a small hint in print to Dr Frasier Crane.

Coffee / breakout room, with a small hint in print to Dr Frasier Crane.

Classic mid century G Plan table.

Classic mid century G Plan table.

The bicycle room – the focus here was to create a functioning workspace, whilst providing a practical space to store cycling gear. Here I used some beautiful Opendesk lockers. ClusterHQ loved the idea of open source furniture design.

These bespoke shelves match ClusterHQ’s hexagon brand elements.

Locally made Open Desk lockers teamed up with bespoke hexagon shelving.

Locally made Open Desk lockers teamed up with bespoke hexagon shelving.

Prints from Bristol's Bone Shaker magazine.

Prints from Bristol’s Bone Shaker magazine.

ClusterHQ have a Silicon Valley office in San Francisco and we linked the two in the conference room using images of both cities’ iconic bridges. Using the Golden Gate in Bristol and the Clifton Suspension in San Fran.

Sunshine yellow lamp contrasts against stylish grey in the Bristol meets San Fran office.

Sunshine yellow lamp contrasts against stylish grey in the Bristol meets San Fran office.

ClusterHQ also wanted a space that was more relaxing and tranquil. We created a natural, organic theme whilst matching ClusterHQ’s geometric brand elements. We sourced the prints from local artists.

Local artists prints teamed up with plenty of greenery.

Local artists prints teamed up with plenty of greenery.

We didn’t have space to work in 2001: A Space Odyssey, so if anyone does need a glow in the dark Hal plaque, I may be able to help you.

If you’d like me to help transform your office or just want some advice on how to improve your workplace, call me +44 77167 33708 or send me an email michelleoweninteriors@gmail.com. I’d love to help.

 

It’s All About The Grey, Welsh Slate Grey.

So as you may have noticed when it comes to walls I’m a wallpaper girl. However that’s not to say that I don’t get a bit over enthusiastic when I spot a nice pot of paint.

Especially when it’s environmentally friendly (this paint gets some big eco bonus points) and a rich shade of Welsh slate inspired grey, and coming from Wales myself, I love that Mini Moderns loves Wales.

Slate Grey by Mini Moderns

Welsh Slate Grey by Mini Moderns

I know, the whole grey trend has been going for quite a while now, but it works, and this one really works. Perfect as a backdrop for any bright key pieces of furniture or prints. And Beautiful teamed up with a sharp crisp white.

Welsh Slate.

Welsh Slate.

Check out Mini Moderns colourful range of paints here

William Morris Love (Wallpaper Wish List)

I’ve been a big fan for as long as I can remember and I’m currently having a bit of a revival.
I recently had the pleasure of hanging some beautiful Golden Lily for a client.

This got me to trawling back through all of my Morris books and of course the beautiful Morris & Co website – Here are some of my favourites.

The absolutely wonderful Strawberry Thief wallpaper.

The absolutely wonderful Strawberry Thief wallpaper.

Strawberry Thief in red.

Strawberry Thief in red.

It warms my heart to see that so many classic Morris designs are still in print today.

Originally named Pomegranate, now produced as Fruit.

Originally named Pomegranate, now produced as Fruit.

I absolutely love the Indian wallpaper below.

Indian

Indian

These designs sit so well in both the contemporary and traditional interior and with the current revival of bold patterns within the home.

Liberty Print Christmas

Being a bit of a Liberty print fan girl and part time crafter. (I have been super busy watching Liberty Of London and working my way through their lovely craft blog).

Give your old baubles a new lease of life with some Liberty prints.

Give your old baubles a new lease of life with some Liberty prints.

As you can imagine, I was very happy to find these beautiful festive Liberty print themed decoration projects on their craft blog. So now, since it’s officially December, I’m letting myself get a little bit Christmassy excited!

Whilst I love the traditional wreath, this beautiful Liberty wreath pictured above and from last years blog (see here for instructions) makes me very happy, it will be a fine crafting task to undertake at our Christmas craft club soire.

For individual Liberty fringed baubles see here for instructions

Get your bauble on with these fringed lovelies.

Get your bauble on with these fringed lovelies.

Also if you fancy seeing your initials in Liberty print or want to craft up a batch of gift tags this ones for you, see here for instructions

Lovely Liberty letters, pop them on your gifts or the tree.

Lovely Liberty letters, pop them on your gifts or the tree.

Mini Moderns (Wallpaper Wish List)

My Wallpaper wish list is ever growing and I think I need to add another wallpaper to it!
The Paisley Cresent wallpaper by Mini Moderns

The gorgeous and fun Paisley Cresent.

The gorgeous and fun Paisley Cresent.

This wallpaper was launched from the ‘Buddha of Suburbia’ collection and being a fan of both India and bicycles, what’s not to love about this Paisley with a modern twist?
I love a conversational wallpaper, Can you spot the bike?

Lovely little bicycle  details!

Lovely little bicycle details!

Check out the lovely website for a whole range of beautiful wallpapers, paints and furnishings Mini Moderns

House Of Hackney (Wallpaper Wish List)

I’m an absolute sucker for a bold pattern and a punch of colour, and that’s exactly what the wonderful House Of Hackney are providing.

The gorgeous Peoneden wallpaper

The gorgeous Peoneden wallpaper

With their bold wallpapers and matching fabrics, beautiful lampshades and furniture. I love that you can almost lose your lamp as it blends in wonderfully with your freshly wallpapered wall.

Peoneden wallpaper and lamps in Absinthe green.

Peoneden wallpaper and lamps in Absinthe green.

Or maybe misplace your sofa that’s neatly tucked in between your beautiful furnishings.

The Iinferno 'Martello' Sofa sits very stylishly with  matching lamps and furnishings.

The Iinferno ‘Martello’ Sofa sits very stylishly with matching lamps and furnishings.

Amazing Palmeral  wallpaper and pineapple lampstand.

Amazing Palmeral wallpaper and pineapple lampstand.

All of the above wallpapers and more have been added to my current wallpaper wish list.
For more of the above, a stream of beautiful and inspiring images of patterns, wallpapers and a few cute pets thrown in, check out their instagram feed.

William Morris – Golden Lily Wallpaper

This William Morris wallpaper – Golden Lily was joy to hang.

I’m so happy that it’s still being produced and used today, I’m looking forward to finding space for it in my own house one day.

William Morris, Golden Lily wallpaper, recently hung for a client.

William Morris, Golden Lily wallpaper, recently hung for a client.

For maximum impact wallpaper the entire room, as well as using mirrors to reflect the beautiful patterns.

For maximum impact wallpaper the entire room, as well as using mirrors to reflect the beautiful patterns.

William Morris (1834 -1896) was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist activist associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement. A true hero of mine. William Morris revived a number of disused techniques and insisted on the use of quality materials, mostly natural dyes, and hand processing.

Here are a few Morris quotes –

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

“Nothing should be made by man’s labour which is not worth making, or which must be made by labour degrading to the makers.”

“The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”

Why The Flock Not.

Last week I had the pleasure of heading up to London to do some wallpapering for Claudia, one of my favourite clients. She has extremely good taste in wallpaper, a cat called Mr Humphries and a little Pug dog called Willy! What’s not to love.

I also got the chance to take some pics of a beautiful red and gold vintage flock ceiling that I wallpapered a little while ago.

Make a statement with some vintage flock wallpaper on your ceiling.

Make a statement with some vintage flock wallpaper on your ceiling.

Vintage lights set off this wallpaper wonderfully.

Vintage lights set off this wallpaper wonderfully.

Mr Humphries, love this little fella, he kept me company all week. :)

Mr Humphries, love this little fella, he kept me company all week 🙂

Willy the Pug having a nap. It's hard work all that wallpapering!

Willy the Pug having a nap. It’s hard work all that wallpapering!

Not So Cool Tool Station. Everyday Sexism.

On a recent visit to tool station, I was caught off guard by a very casual sexist remark.

The remark being and I quote “Do you know what you have been sent for?”

I have been a decorator for almost 20 years, an accomplished wallpaper hanger that has worked alongside some incredibly talented trades men and women and to be honest with you, I really haven’t had that much hassle as a woman working in a predominantly male environment. Which I know is not the case in some industries. For example I know the tech/internet world has been been struggling to get a balance, I have heard some terrible stories, online harassment etc, but that’s too big a ball of bullshit to chew here.

So, for me, to be asked if I know what I’ve been sent for, is extremely offensive, presumptuous and sexist.

I’m not saying that within the building trade I’ve never been given any gip or tested on my abilities. Working on a building site can be a baptism of fire! It’s a tough world where practical jokes and banter are the norm. This treatment however is extended to everyone, man, woman and even the client at times. It’s a way to get through the hard physical work and it can be one hell of a bonding experience.

So yeah, I’ve found working within the building trade welcoming, I’ve felt included and valued. As long as you can cut the mustard and that goes for both men and women, you’re in and equally paid may I add.

This is why the remark at Tool Station took me by surprise, they have quite a few women working in their stores and it’s alway been a great place to pick up supplies.

However, I usually go in wearing my work clothes. This time though, killing two birds with one stone, I decided to pop in en-route to a Vintage & Vinyl night, vintage shoes and tweed cape to boot.

My tradie work woman look now transformed into blonde caped vintage wearer, I got quite a different experience.

So how do we really have to portray ourselves? After shedding the protective layer of painty jeans, work shoes complete with random tool/pencil stuck in my back pocket.
Am I just another blonde chick that needs to be sent with a list from the male figure in her life, needing the assistance of a man when choosing what grade of sandpaper is needed. Can’t I get equality in a cape? Can’t I rock a bit of vintage and rev a power tool? Well I think I can Tool Station and I normally do.

But alas, this isn’t really Tool Stations fault, their response to my peeved tweet was very fast and followed up by a call from a nice chap called Ben. There was the assurance of a follow up within store (Not that I really want to make someones life difficult, but come on) plus they have extensive training programmes in place with regards to equality etc.

So where does this leave us? We are at a difficult stage in gaining true equality. I’ve gained a lot of respect within my chosen field, I’ve easily won as many jobs as my male counterparts, even beaten some of them in an arm wrestle. But should we as women have to prove ourselves on a daily basis, can’t it just be assumed that we are just as good as the next person until it’s proven otherwise.

If you can’t cut the mustard whether you a man or a woman and whether its building, typing or sales then fine, move over. But until then don’t just assume that because I’m a woman, I don’t know my decorating products and that I was sent to buy them.

On a positive end note, the world is changing, I’ve worked with some incredibly switched on men, Paper Hangers that chose to read National Geographic at work over the Sun. One builder that actually banned The Sun and The Star and other such newspapers on his site, encouraging equality and respect throughout. And men that expect you buy them a beer at the end of the work day because you are their equal, it’s cool, they’ll get you a beer tomorrow. I applaude these men and may these attitudes pave the way for a more harmonious existence between the sexes.

We’re all just people at the end of the day, some strong, some sensitive, some fearless and others more tentative and this runs across all gender possibilities and we all deserve equality. So just one request, please can we be just a little less casual with regards to gender and what we assume of people and their abilities? Lets just all be a little more mindful.

Thanks for your time,

Michelle x

P.S It’s taken me a while to get this post out, my first reaction was to punch Tool Station man in the face. This however would not sit well with my request of us being more mindful. Maybe if we kill this issue with love and not anger we can all work together. Currently inspired by Emma Watson and the He for She campaign.