The Bluewood Blog
Office Design, Fit Out and Dilapidation News...
"A very professional team"
At Bluewood we are all about putting a smile on our Clients faces and therefore we are delighted to have received the following testimonial from the Team at VIQU.
"Thanks to Bluewood Office Interiors for their support with the refurbishment of our new Southampton office! A very professional team that worked quickly to achieve a great finish throughout our new workspace. Keep up the good work!"
Managing Director, VIQU
Testimonial from HMM Southampton
Thrilled to have received the following testimonial from HMM Southampton who we have supported along with d/vide.
What a great way to kick-start the week...
"Having been occupants of our previous offices for over 20 years the thought of moving to a new office filled us with apprehension, however we should not have been concerned as Bluewood Office Interiors made the transfer seamless, all of our requests adhered to and office design changes were resolved very quickly and efficiently.
We highly recommend their service."
Gary Carter, Uk National Import Manager
Bluewood working with some incredible charities...
Businesses, families and communities across the globe have been knocked sideways by the staggering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. For the minority, it has created opportunity but for many, the impact has been catastrophic.
We have seen the NHS and support workers soldier on tirelessly to care for the infected, putting themselves in the firing line, neglecting their own health and families for the sake of others. People have lost homes, jobs and loved ones and the vulnerable have become even more so.
These are the people who rely on charities and non-profit organisations for support but these organisations are among those who have been hit the hardest. Both in terms of financial support and people-power. They are experiencing a significant rise in cries for help and an increased need for resource to support.
In a recent interview the Countess of Wessex, patron of both Childline and the NSPCC, references the significant rise in calls for help since the beginning of lockdown with a 32% increase in phone calls from children contacting the NSPCC helpline, averaging one call an hour. Domestic violence, or as described by the UN ‘the shadow pandemic’ has seen an increase in around 20% according to an article by the BBC.
One of our intentions we set as a business at the start of this year was to work closely with a nominated charity so back in January, we partnered with Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity of rugby who fund and support children with disabilities and facing disadvantage across the UK and Ireland
30% of children living in the UK and Ireland live in poverty and 7% live with a disability. The numbers are growing significantly with project applications rising by 63% but fund raising income down by 69% this year.
Wooden Spoon is an events-based charity and as such we and its many kind donors have been limited in the way in which we can support given the restrictions of Covid but we remain committed to raising awareness for the charity and supporting in whichever way we can.
We spent some time with Sarah Webb CEO for Wooden Spoon to understand the position and direct impact Covid has had on the Charity’s ability to operate and support its projects.
“Our model is simple in that the more we raise, the more projects we can help. This coming year will be reflective of the funds that we have been unable to raise due to event cancellation and our army of over 300 volunteers have not been unable to support in the ways they have previously. As such, less children and young people across the UK will benefit from our projects. This is against the back drop of significant cuts to children's services and the need for support around mental health being at an all-time high - all due to Covid-19.”
Whilst Corporate partners have been very supportive, they themselves are trying to juggle what their future landscapes look like and we have been mindful of this when working with them. We have been lucky that a handful of our Major Donors have been able to step in and help us get through this current year so we can hit 21/22 on a solid basis but looking ahead we will take into account the shift in donor culture and how people give.”
It’s fair to say that lockdown has exacerbated pre-existing factors that contribute to mental health concerns, domestic violence and abuse and poverty as well as generating new anxieties and behaviours. Charities have had to tailor their approach and become more creative and imaginative with how to engage with donors and generate funds.
In a blog on the Institute of Charities, Sam Boyle writes that “charities which innovate and find ways to reach their audience will still find a public who want to give …despite all the considerable challenges we are facing the public still want to engage with the causes they believe in. Fundraisers have achieved incredible things in trying circumstances and the evidence we are seeing so far suggests that the public will continue to give generously when asked”.
Not every form of giving needs to be financial. Time, equipment, services can all be just as valuable as sums of money. We recently worked with Jami, a charity who provide mental health support to sufferers and carers within the Jewish community.
The projects and initiatives Jami supports are broad, operating four community hubs ranging from cafés to upcycling factories as well as online pre-loved clothing shops.
In the same way other charities have experienced an immediate requirement for addition support, Jami’s support for existing service users has risen by 55% in terms of hours with a 29% increase in the number of people being supported. 100% of all new referrals were Covid related and there has been a 110% increase in referrals from July to August alone.
We designed and manufactured the infection protection screens for their Headroom Café based in Golders Green. This isn’t just any old café! It provides a sense of community and belonging, generates funding from food and drink to re-invest, provides an opportunity to re-skill mental health sufferers and facilitates a steady transition back into society. It’s a safe place for people to visit, to talk to someone and to seek support in times of despair.
Our protection infection solutions aren’t just a physical barrier to be installed in the workplace to prevent the spread of viruses and germs, they are much more than that for some and can provide a sanctuary for those suffering with mental health or experiencing abuse or violence at home.
Working with Wooden Spoon and being a part of the re-opening of the Headroom Café has been a humbling experience. Our faith in human kindness has been restored and as a business we are keen to continue to support Jami and other charities in whatever way we can.
Here at Bluewood and d/vide we specialise in the design and manufacture of perspex infection protection screens and can provide either an off -the-sheIf solution or something more tailor-made to suit you. If you would like to talk to us about how we can help, please get in touch with one of the Team today via dvide.co.uk / firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer discounted rates for all screens and safety solutions solutions for local charities.
The Bluewood Team is growing!..
At Bluewood, 2020 has been a time of re-setting, re-adjusting and refocussing in order to give us the best foundations for 2021 and whatever that has to bring! Part of our strategy has been to grow our Team ready to welcome in the new and exciting projects we have starting towards the end of this year and early 2021.
We are delighted to welcome Alannah Laud to the Bluewood Family. Alannah joins as part of our Design Team, bringing with her 5 years of experience within the Industry with expertise across space planning, 3D visualisation, client pitch creation, working drawings and site surveying. With a hands-on approach to working on site alongside contractors and suppliers, Alannah has the skill set to perfectly match the demands of a busy commercial fit-out business such as Bluewood. Alannah’s creativity and ability to understand what each client is aiming to achieve makes her a real asset to our Team and our ethos and her affiliation with our Design Partner Ribbon Projects brings a natural fit.READ MORE...
We are delighted to have received the following testimonial from Scott at NMT Shipping...
“Working with Bluewood has been a real pleasure, not just in terms of the project finish but also the entire process from beginning to end. It was an important part of the tender to find a business who listened to what we wanted from our new space and how we wanted it. Simon 100% worked with us, understanding what we wanted to achieve and finding solutions to ensure our new environment would deliver everything we needed and more. The project ran smoothly to schedule and within budget and has genuinely been a real partnership - we could not be more thrilled with the final result.”
How office space is evolving to accommodate its many functions
Office space is taking on many different functions in the aftermath of the recent pandemic and as businesses prepare for a Covidsafe return, huge consideration is being placed on the design and lay-out of the workspace. This is to ensure it accommodates social distancing whilst creating an environment that provides connectivity and interaction between employees, ensuring productivity, efficiency and of course Wellbeing.
Many of our recent clients have opted for an open plan approach, but this week we embarked on a new project which is the complete reverse!
Click 'Read More' to hear about our recent partnership with Nortek, how office space is changing and how Bluewood Office Interiors can support businesses in their individual response to the change.READ MORE...
A Room, or should we say office, with a View for International Shipping Company NMT Europe
Counting our Bluewood Blessings right now as we kick-start September with yet another exciting project! Being based on the South Coast means we are so fortunate to partner with local businesses who are situated near the water and this latest project is no different. We are delighted to be working with NMT Europe, an International Shipping Company who are preparing to re-locate to their new 4,500 sq ft office space in Waterside Place, Town Quay. NMT will enjoy some of the nicest views of Southampton’s water-front available in commercial space within the city. Our design will ensure to capitalise on the stunning scenery, bringing the outside inside. With a blend of open plan and cellular offices, the use of glass partitioning will create a bright and open environment as we look to create a contemporary finish.
Works will also include an impressive 18 person glass boardroom with television and videoconferencing facilities, a break out space for the Team, a new Reception area and floor boxes with power and data supply.
Stay with us on the journey and watch the transformation!
VIQU Recruitment refit Project
Loving our current project for VIQU Recruitment as we near the end of Week 2 of a 6 Week project to transform their Southampton office space in Ocean Village. The project is progressing well and our amazing Team have been working incredibly hard to ensure we are on target to deliver on time. They have without doubt earned themselves a well deserved break this weekend!
This project is particularly exciting as it really is a blank canvas. We will be supporting with complete internal re-construction as well as fit-out and design finishes to create an urban style hide-out for a team of fast paced recruiters and consultants. The space which started out as an empty shell changes daily so stay with us on the journey and watch the transformation!
We are delighted to have been chosen to partner with Viqu, an IT Recruitment & Consultancy Company as they move into their new work space in Canute Road Ocean Village.
Viqu are established in Birmingham and Southampton and we are thrilled to be a part of the creation of their new southern space.
We will be delivering a complete internal construction transforming a 130 square metre shell into a buzzing, urban hideout, ideal for the fast pace and energy of the Viqu Team. Watch this space for progress reports!
A Covid-safe work space
The first steps of the back to work journey are daunting not just for employees but equally employers and business heads who, with the knowledge that they cannot eliminate exposure to Covid-19, have a legal obligation and responsibility to minimise the risk of infection for their workforce. Knowing where to start can be difficult and confusing but the brilliant news is that there’s guidance out there not just from official channels such as the Government and World Health Organisation but from other professionals whose businesses have the expertise to help you navigate the way.
Where to start? The Government guidance for working safely during Covid-19 is a great first port of call for those responsible for the overall safety solution and short term back to work plan for their business. It lays out a comprehensive and step by step process which can be used as a check-list to ensure measures which limit the risk of infection transfer have been carefully considered and the appropriate action taken. For some businesses, remedial action may be minimal and others may need to think seriously about re-working existing space to accommodate preventative measures ensuring safety, wellbeing and engagement for all.
Practising what you preach! Creating and implementing a Risk Register is the easy part, putting these measures into practice however is not always straight forward. A risk register is all very well and good in principle but how does it translate into real-life. Bluewood can you help you do just that. Our business is based on designing and refurbishing office space. Our approach is not just functional but holistic too. Our design team focus hugely on the psychology and flow of the spaces we create. We understand how the flow defines its environment and in the aftermath of the recent pandemic, with every new project we undertake, we have adapted our approach to consider how the need to be ‘Covid safe doesn’t stand in the way of effective communication and visual connection between colleagues.
Designing your solution. We provide a bespoke service, tailor made for you, your workforce and your business and one which can bring your Risk Register to life.
Get in touch today to discuss how we can help you in kick start your back to work journey and help you create a space that works safely with Covid-19.
An exciting and enjoyable project to refurbish and fit out the new HQ for Sirus Telecom in Chandlers Ford. The new space was 2,500 sq ft and included a complete strip out and removal of the previous interior, a design and build service, new LED lighting new flooring throughout, an entirely new kitchen, refurbished air conditioning system and decoration. With a blend of open plan office and break-out space, meeting rooms and a management suite, the new space has provided a light and fresh working environment.
We were delighted to receive a testimonial from the Managing Director of Sirus - "Working with the Team at Bluewood has been a really positive experience. The project was managed professionally, efficiently and most importantly completed on time. Design input from both parties ensured the vision for the work space was achieved – to create a modern, clean, and open working environment. We are pleased with the end result and would certainly recommend Bluewood to prospective clients looking to refurbish new or existing office space."
Protective Workstation Barriers - d/vide
As many businesses will now be forced to adapt to a profession Covid-19 world, we at Bluewood have been busy working on solutions to support employers with the back to work transition, helping to create safer work spaces.
We have developed a new brand, d/vide which can offer tailored solutions for all business looking to protect employees against infection transfer.
Visit dvide.co.uk and get in touch today.
Working in Isolation!
Whilst we find ourselves in an extended lockdown we remain fortunate as we are able to deliver for our current clients.
Social distancing has meant that many workspaces are currently empty. At Bluewood we pride ourselves on our close-knit team, many of whom are family and professional partnerships which means we can safely begin to get our latest project underway for Critical Software. With the newly acquired office spanning separate spaces, our Team can work in isolation and ensure we complete the project on time.
In these difficult and worrying times, we would like to reassure our current and prospective clients that we are mindful of what is going on in the world with regards to the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19. We are doing our very best to stay positive with our priority being the welfare and safety of our employees and clients and are diligently following guidance and best practices from the NHS, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Government advice.
Whilst at present we are trying to stick with the 'business as usual' approach, with many people opting for self-isolation we are encountering a quiet period. As such, we have capacity to take on new projects and would like to offer reduced rates for the next 4 weeks so as to support small businesses such as ours and work together in the attempt to maintain economic stability.
If you would like to find out more, please get in touch with one of the Team.
In the meantime, stay safe, stay positive, be kind and look after one and other. We will get through this.
Simon, Chris & Nicola.
Office Layout Design ideas for a Healthier 2020.
Wellness at work has become a driving force in shaping the trends for office design space in 2020.
With the office becoming a more agile and informal place, traditional work spaces are now primed to be repurposed for the workers' well-being. The layout of offices are being are being shaped to capitalise on natural lighting to decrease the impact of prolonged eye contact with devices. Meeting rooms and rows of office desks are being transformed into more social spaces for employees to recharge.
Flexibility in work-life balance is being explored through multi-purpose workstations and in the variety of spaces available for teams and individuals. From themed meeting rooms and private work booths, to games rooms and gyms, the office is becoming a more diverse and healthier space to work in. With UK workers' health and well-being sat at worse than average on the international scale, it falls to UK companies to refurbish the workplace for the needs of a modern digital society.
Get in touch with Bluewood to see how we can help you with your office layout design…
Bluewood Back in the Neighbourhood!
Recently we completed a project for Raymond Brown in Chandlers Ford and are fortunate enough to be back in the neighbourhood, directly opposite, where our Team are working on one of our current projects. We are delighted to be partnering with Sirus to deliver a complete renovation of their office space with design and re-fit. As you will see in the plan this will really transfer the current space with a light and open feel creating a truly modern approach and airy working environment for the staff at Sirus. We have been working around the clock for our client with our Team on-site across the weekend to ensure we complete on time. Currently in Week 2 of the fit-out and already the space is really taking shape. Join us again and visit our gallery to see the end result!
Bluewood Behind the Scenes at Chelsea FC!
In November 2019 we were delighted to be selected to work behind the scenes at Chelsea FC and undertook a project to refurbish and fit-out the Security Control Room at the Club’s training ground in Cobham. An exciting project for our Team who were working on site alongside some of the worlds’ greatest footballing legends! This did not however detract us from the job in hand which was extremely involved.
The scope of the project was to re-configure and design the existing space with the addition of a break-out area; installation of LED dimmable lighting throughout; installation of new floor coverings and suspended ceilings and all decorative interior finishing touches to complete the space. The vision was for a light touch look and feel with glass portioning and doors used to give the illusion of a larger, brighter and open space. The project completed in December 2019 and we are extremely pleased with the results … see for yourself!
Nicola Newland - Creative Director at Bluewood Office Interiors
We are almost a month into the new year and already 2019 feels like a distant memory. With many projects completing towards the end of last year, 2020 has brought with it some significant and exciting changes for Bluewood. We have expanded our leadership Team and managing these transitions together with the pre-activity planning for this year’s new projects has kept us very busy during January!
Over the last few years we have seen our business grow significantly. 2019 has been a time of reflection for us as a team and our focus now and for the year ahead is to nurture that growth. This brings with it the need to ensure we diversify our expertise and increase our infrastructure accordingly. In particular, we are delighted to welcome Nicola Newland to the management Team here at Bluewood. Nicola joined us on 1st January as Director and brings to the business a wealth of Sales & Marketing experience having worked for many years in retail, consulting with leading global and well-known brands in the technology industry to design, deliver and execute their sales and marketing strategies in alignment with business plan ambitions.
As the business evolves so too will the ‘Bluewood Brand’ and Nicola will be focussing efforts on driving this forward as well as supporting from an operational and people management perspective to ensure we continue to provide a first-class service to current and prospective Clients as well as helping us execute new and larger projects in the most efficient way.
We believe the investment in our people will allow us to achieve our mission and to be the pivot point between ‘Design, Function and Price’. We are excited to see what 2020 has in store for Bluewood.
Please join us in welcoming Nicola to our Team.
Small to medium sized businesses are putting emphasis on making the working environment an inspiring and enjoyable place to be.
It has been some years since the big tech firms started installing amazing break out areas, fun zones and informal collaboration space within their multi-million-pound facilities. Now small and medium sized firms are acknowledging that making the workplace an enjoyable and inspiring place is a sure-fire way of getting the most out of existing employees and attracting the best people.
Working in an environment where office work is ongoing always presents a challenge however the project went well and our client was very pleased with the end product.
We are getting increased demand within the region to install informal meeting and breakout spaces within existing offices.
New HQ for Raymond Brown - Office Refurbishment Chandlers Ford
We are pleased to announce the recent completion of a project to create a new headquarters office for Raymond Brown in the centre of Chandlers Ford.
We were on site for 8 weeks and the works transformed the 2nd floor office from a rather dilapidated disused accommodation in to a modern contemporary space with new A/C.
Before we started the it was dark and drab but with the use of lots of glass it now provides a great working environment.
A really successful project!
Office refit for Claire Logic in Abingdon
Bluewood have recently completed a 14 week phased project to refurbish and refit the offices of Claire Logic in Abingdon which extended to approx. 3,000 sq ft. Our brief was to create a new contemporary working environment for the business whilst enabling them to continue operating in the property. We did this by splitting the job in to two phases. Phase 1 involved moving some staff and meeting facilities in to the ground floor of the property to enable us to refurbish the first floor as a fairly high density desking are with a small one to one meeting room and a kitchenette. Claire Logic then moved their team to the first floor so we could build a new super smart break out area and board room / client area on the ground floor.
Working in an environment where office work is ongoing always presents a challenge however the project went well and our client was very pleased with the end product.
The project involved new W/C's, flooring, suspended ceiling, a break out area, new lighting and electrical installation, air-conditioning and decorating.
Office Refurbishment for Southampton Cargo Handling completed
Bluewood are pleased to announce the completion of a thoroughly exciting project to transform an 8,000 sq ft dilapidated Grade 2 listed building in Southampton in to a new headquarters facility for Southampton Cargo Handling.
The property which was constructed in the mid 1800's was originally used as a Port office however more recently it was a Chinese restaurant. Our works involved working closely with our clients and the conservation consultant to produce a product which provided an efficient and impressive working environment and package of works which respected the grade 2 listing and the buildings architectural features.
The project involved new ceilings, lath and plaster walls, a new electrical and structural cabling installation, new air-conditioning, decorations W/C's, flooring. It was a great project and we are proud of the results.
Office Refurbishment for Aggregate business - Fryern House, Chandlers Ford
Bluewood are very excited to be embarking on a project to comprehensively refurbish and fit out a second floor office suite within Fryern House in Chandlers Ford. This is for a leader in the aggregates and recycling business.
Firstly, we are totally gutting the existing space back to the frame and then we shall be constructing a fully air-conditioned space which will include meeting rooms, glazed offices and a break out space.
Every element of the space will be brand new and the end product will provide a first class working environment…
Abingdon Office Refurbishment for Claire Logic completed
Bluewood have just completed a project to transform a rather ordinary two story office building (circa 300 sq m) in central Abingdon in to an inspirational workspace for 20+ staff on the first floor with a modern contemporary meeting room suite and break out area on the ground floor.
The job wasn't without its complications as we had to allow the work force to continue in occupation for the duration of the works however disruption was kept to a minimum by phasing the works and our client Claire Logic are by all accounts very pleased with the end product.
Works included interior design, demolition, new toilets, installation of a shower, installation of two kitchens, new ceilings, new glazed and solid partitioning, flooring, air-conditioning and the supply and installation of new office furniture.
Pilgrim House is being transformed in to a new HQ for Southampton Cargo Handling (SCH)
Originally an historic dock side office and more recently a Chinese restaurant, Pilgrim House is in the process of being transformed in to some fantastic new office space for SCH.
As a listed building great care is being taken to retain the original features and heritage trades are being used to ensure the correct building methods are being used.
When complete the space will consist approx. 7,000 sq ft. We are only 3 weeks in to the job but progress is steady;
This is proving an exciting job to be involved with!
Phase one of Claire Logic’s office refurbishment completed in Abingdon
Abingdon based IT support company Claire Logic employed Bluewood to completely overhaul their Head Office.
The job consists of relocating there main office function to the first floor and the installation of a new meeting room and breakout facility on ground floor.
As this was a refurbishment of existing space and not a relocation we had to split the works in to two packages. Phase one saw the development of their new working space to include new ceilings, air conditioning, LED lighting, flooring a tea point and power / data.
We hit our deadlines and their team moved upstairs on 8th / 9th June 2019. Now on to phase two!...
Global marine shipping agency GAC Pindar appoints Bluewood to modernise their office in Southampton
Recognising that GAC Pindar wanted to improve their employees working environment at their Southampton office on Town Quay Katie Watts (Commercial and Marketing Manager) took steps to appoint Bluewood to design a new look and feel for their space.
The budget was tight but a selection of new floor finishes, a re-decoration to include a feature wall and new signage has transformed their space.
Technology and smaller desks mean occupiers can save on rent, rates and service charge by taking less space!
With improvements in technology, smaller computers, smaller screens and a movement away from paper storage to “cloud” based systems, businesses are giving more office space to informal collaboration and in general they are occupying less space per person. In years gone by typical ratios ranged from 1 person to 50 sq ft for call centres and 1 person per 150 sq ft for professional firms. We are now seeing far fewer individual offices with the emphasis on open plan environments with shared work spaces and hot desking areas.
For those who are in existing offices which feel cramped you should give real consideration to investing in new desking and storage solutions and perhaps look at layout before committing to bigger and more expensive office facilities. We can provide design advice and undertake works to help you achieve contemporary, efficient and enjoyable work space.
A quote from GAC Pindar...
"When you have a limited budget and grand designs then you need a service provider with a flexible approach and a delivery team prepared to give that little bit extra.
This is what we found when we gave our design and refit project to Bluewood Interiors and is the way we work on a daily basis so it was a great pleasure to receive the same treatment ourselves.
GAC Pindar – the marine sport, leisure and event logistics experts.
New contemporary offices for S B Joinery at their facility near Stockbridge
We are really pleased to report completion of a project for respected Hampshire joinery firm S B Joinery.
Back in October 2018 we embarked upon works within their factory near Stockbridge. The task was to design and build a two storey structure to house a modern contemporary space to be used by their administration and senior management teams.
It was a complicated process which involved construction as well as fitting out works which were ongoing whilst the joinery workshop remained fully functional.
We were delighted to report that the project was delivered on time and the space looks great!
A misunderstanding about Dilapidations
Just because you lease a commercial property in a condition which dilapidated it DOES NOT automatically mean that you can give it back to the Landlord at the end of that lease in the same condition. A very common misunderstanding!
Indeed most full repairing terms will state that you have to return the property in good and substantial repair and decorative condition and this has no specific regard to the state of repair of the property when you initially enter the lease. As a result it may mean that you will have to refurbish the property to a standard that is superior to that which it was in on the term commencement date.
To avoid this you should ideally seek to put in place a schedule of condition at the outset. This serves as a record of the condition of the space and some landlords will agree to restrict the repairing and decorating liabilities by linking them to the schedule of condition. The aim being that you are required to leave the premises in worse (nor better) condition than when you took them.
In the absence of a schedule of condition the ‘yielding up’ requirements at the end of your lease may be onerous. It is always worth taking advice in this area and dependent on that advice we can provide guidance on the extent of works needed and the associated cost and obviously undertake the works on your behalf.Get in Touch...