All Posts By

Georgina Barkworth

functional workspace

From redundant factory space to fun and functional workspace

By Chameleon

Work has now completed at Groupe Atlantic’s new office space at its Ideal Heating premises on National Avenue in Hull creating a fun and functional workspace.

Our team provided the design, fit-out and furniture services, transforming a storage space of the factory into a fun, flexible and inspiring work environment for their operations team. Here’s what our interior designer, Fiona had to say:

“I am so pleased with the result of this project! We chose a range of light colours and materials to keep it looking as bright and vibrant as possible. By adding the mezzanine floor we have given the team some much needed space for meeting and training, whilst also providing the perfect view into the factory where they manufacture over 3,000 boilers per day.

“It was really important for us to work closely with the team at Groupe Atlantic to understand what was missing from their current space. We incorporated two modern kitchen facilities into the design that also double up as a socialisation and break out area for their team.

“Originally they were working in separate spaces that had become crowded overtime. We are so pleased we have been able to provide them with a space that will bring the team back together again, especially after many of them have been working remotely for a number of months.”

Kris Spivey, industrial engineer at Groupe Atlantic added: “Chameleon has created a space that will really bring our teams together again. Chameleon paid careful attention to our brief, delivering a space that not only looks fantastic but gives our team everything they asked for. We couldn’t be happier with the way the space has turned out and how their team managed the restrictions imposed by working so closely to our manufacturing line. We can’t wait to get the team back in to enjoy it!”

You can check out the completed project here: Ideal Heating

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Post Pandemic Workspace Change

Post Pandemic Workspace Change

By Office Design

Our homes have had to work extra hard to support us over the last year, providing us not only with comfort, space to relax and refresh but also to work. It’s time for our workspaces to step up and do the same. With around 1/3 of our lives spent working it’s important to make sure our workspace is the perfect environment to support our team, inspire them and help them grow.

Prior to the pandemic offices typically consisted of…

• Fixed desks
• Focus on maximising capacity
• A small amount of circulation space
• Support for in-office workers

Workspaces now have to work harder to support their occupants, who over the past 12 months have become accustomed to working flexibly from home. A workspace for the future now needs…

• Flexible desking
• Focus on employee wellbeing
• Remote working technology
• Socialisation areas
• More circulation space

We spoke to our design team to hear their thoughts on the post pandemic office, here’s what they had to say:

“The pandemic has reminded us of the benefits of coming into an office: the opportunity for collaboration, socialising and idea-sharing. But our workspaces now need to give employees the freedom to work in a way that’s productive but also flexible.

“With many of us spending so much of our time at home this year, I definitely expect to see a shift in commercial interiors towards a more domestic feel, becoming commonly referred to as ‘resi-mercial’. We’ll be looking to designate a larger amount of floor space to breakout and collaboration areas, ‘pods’ and zones, as well as high benches to allow for standing desks, hot desking opportunities and further integration of technology.” Interior Designer, Fiona Thornham.

“It’s been a tough year for everyone. I think a lot of us have really seen the value in protecting our mental health and I believe that workspace design will really take this new appreciation on board. A lot of our recent designs have looked to bring the outside in with planting, exposed natural finishes and muted tones. This approach creates a space that inspires higher levels of concentration and lower levels of stress.” Head of design, Kevin McIntosh.

Get in touch to arrange a consultation with one of our local specialists

Planet-U

Planet-U office space totally transformed in just six weeks

By News, Office Interiors

Planet-U Energy is the UK’s fastest-growing renewable energy company whose mission is to make renewable energy totally transparent. The team – which has been based in Leeds since it was founded in 2018 – instructed us to assist them with their move to a larger office space in 6 East Parade, Leeds!

We worked closely with their team to gain an in-depth understanding of their company values and vision for the future, in order to design and create a workspace that focused on natural colours and materials, bringing the outside in – in just 6 week.

Here’s what Fiona, our interior designer on this project had to say: “It was great to work with the team at Planet-U to really understand what was important to them and how we could incorporate their brand and values into the workspace.

“To capture their ethos of “better energy, pure and simple” it was essential to bring the outdoors in by using subtle tones, natural finishes and biophilic design to achieve a stripped back and honest interior.”

Working quickly and efficiently we were able to design, fit-out and furnish their project in just a number of weeks, all whilst negotiating tightening lockdown restrictions across the UK. The new workspace will provide Planet-U’s team with the much-needed room to grow as they continue with their recruitment drive and vision of being the UK’s first exclusively renewable energy broker!

Grant Nicolson, CEO of Planet-U Energy said: “Chameleon has truly helped us create a space that works for us. We’re a fast-paced ambitious company and after contracting Chameleon to help us move into our new office space, all within six weeks of signing the lease to moving in, we couldn’t be happier with how they met the challenge of the task. We’re really happy with the end result and can’t wait for clients and staff to see it!”

Interested in what our team could do for you? Find out more here

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Commercial Interiors in 2021

Trend Talk: Commercial Interiors in 2021

By Uncategorised

2020 has been an unpredictable year from start to finish and I think it’s safe to say no one really knows what 2021 has in store for us. One thing we do know for sure is that businesses have had to adapt rapidly to keep up with the changes in government guidance and the health and wellbeing of their employees.

The past few years we’ve seen many organisations making the move to remote and agile working, something that the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly accelerated for the rest of the industry. With social distancing, working from home and Teams meetings becoming the new norm, we asked our in-house team of designers what they expect to see in commercial interiors in 2021…

Our head of design, Kevin McIntosh said: “It’s been a really tough year for everyone. I think a lot of us have really seen the value in protecting our mental health and I believe that workspace design will really take this new appreciation on board, with a more honest approach to design.

“In order to evolve, employers need to seriously consider wellness principles and biophilic design in 2021. A lot of our recent designs have looked to bring the outside in with planting and exposed natural finishes including brick, concrete and steel and muted tones. With the thought of returning to the office causing anxiety for a lot of people, this approach creates a space that people actually want to spend time in – and inspires higher levels of concentration and productivity with lower levels of stress.”

Kevin added: “I’m noticing that more manufacturers are using recycled ocean plastics and environmentally conscious materials in their products, which is really encouraging to see. In a ‘nothing is lost, everything is transformed’ trend, upcycling or repurposing office furniture is something designers should always consider when creating a ‘new’ space.”

“I’m hopeful that next year, we’ll see a real commitment by companies to create sustainable workspaces designed for the future.”

Fiona Thornham, interior designer said: “This year was a huge wakeup call for a lot of people in the industry. Designing for people, not only a pandemic, with long-term sustainable considerations and a proxemics-based approach is certainly the way forward – into what will hopefully be a more stable 2021 for us all!”

“With many of us spending so much of our time at home this year, I definitely expect to see a shift in commercial interiors in 2021 towards a more domestic feel, becoming commonly referred to as ‘resi-mercial’.” continued Fiona.

“The pandemic has reminded us of the benefits of coming into an office: the opportunity for collaboration, human interaction and idea-sharing. But our workspaces now need to give employees the freedom to work in a way that best suits them.”

Thinking of transforming in your workspace in 2021? Get in touch with us here!

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Click here to see our recent projects.

Image Source: Pinterest + Connection

Commercial Interiors in 2021

workspace is important

Why the workspace is important still

By Office Design

With many of us back working from home after the new restrictions were announced in the UK this week, offices across the country are empty – providing the perfect opportunity to invest!

Here are just some of the reasons why your workspace is important, including benefits to your team’s mental health and productivity…

1. Communication

Getting your team together (even if they are 2m apart) encourages quick, creative and spontaneous idea-sharing. It also eliminates the miscommunication that often happens over email!

2. Balance

WFH can make it difficult to separate work and home life. Travelling to a communal workspace allows your brain to enter ‘work mode’ and when you leave ‘home mode’ which can not only prevent burn out but also benefit your mental health.

3. Culture

An office environment can be a great place to form friendships. Spending time with team members across your organisation helps build morale and team culture, encouraging productivity and engaging your employees!

4. Routine

Having a routine can have a number of health and wellbeing benefits. It’s not just about travelling to and from your workspace, but how it shapes your day for other activities including meeting with friends for lunch or going to the gym on the way home.

5. Focus

Workspaces provide the perfect environment for focusing on your work. Although working from home can sound relaxing, it’s not always the case, especially when working around family or young children who may be home from school.

Get in touch with our team to discuss your project today – HERE.

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Dulux colour of the year 2021

Dulux Colour of the year 2021

By Chameleon, Office Interiors

Last month well-known Paint brand Dulux announced their colour of the year for 2021: Brave Ground. The warm, earthy tone was reportedly chosen by their colour experts due to its bolstering nature and its ability to connect back to nature and the simple things. It creates a feeling of stability, growth and potential; providing a firm foundation for change and creativity.

Dulux decided on the shade after months of collaboration work with paint specialists, as well as trend forecasters, design specialists, editors and architects from across the globe.

After a turbulent 2020 (to say the least!) it emerged from their trend forecasts that many of us are reassessing what really matters in our lives. We’re taking stock and finding a new and positive way forward by having faith in ourselves, working together, building on the past and planning for the future. Creative director of Dulux UK Marianne Shillingford explained that “As a result of the global pandemic many people’s priorities are shifting significantly, to focus much more on their well-being,”

We spoke to our design team to hear their thoughts on Brave Ground and if they expect to see it in commercial interiors in the coming months…

Kevin, Head of Design: “If I’m being completely honest, Brave Ground was the last thing I was expecting to be as ‘colour of the year’ and not something I immediately appreciated. For me, the colour of the year to be something bold; the main event – not the supporting act! That said, recently we have been seeing a shift in commercial interiors, especially workplaces towards a more domestic feel (or ‘resi-mercial’ – a phrase I’ve wholeheartedly adopted from my time working in Canada). The focus now seems to be on wellness, agile working and biophilic design with many schemes now aiming to bring the outside in with planting, exposed natural finishes including brick, concrete and steel and muted tones. I suppose Brave Ground does fit in well with this landscape, I won’t be surprised to see this incorporated in some of our new & current projects going forward!”

Fiona, Interior Designer: “I never thought I’d be a fan of such a neutral shade, however after recently painting my bedroom in a very similar colour I’ve been converted! I just love the natural and simplistic feel it brings to a space – the perfect base to build upon to compliment many accessories.”

Photo credit – Dulux

flexible workspace

The importance of flexible workspace

By Chameleon, News, Office Design

Now more than ever it is important to have a flexible workspace. Whether the need for flexibility comes in the form of areas for staff to collaborative or the ability to efficiently socially distance, workspace proxemics are an important element to consider when designing an office space that can adapt to the demands of its users.

Proxemics is the study of human use of space and the effects that population density has on behaviour, communication, and social interaction. It goes without saying that a loud overcrowded office isn’t the ideal environment for communication and productivity! Since the outbreak of COVID-19 back in March many of us have seen the way we work drastically change, and with social distancing measures becoming mandatory we have all had to adjust. For many organisations, the number of employees safely allowed in their office drastically reduced overnight leading to staff working remotely from home. But global pandemic or not, the priority of a space should always remain the same, the people who work there.

At Chameleon we believe in designing for people, not a pandemic, and have been designing flexible people inspired workspaces for over 20 years. Each space we design takes proxemics into account and is tailored around our clients’ company culture and the well-being of the employees that work within it. By working to this mantra, we have created spaces that have enabled our clients to successfully adapt to the ever-changing guidelines relating to COVID-19 and allow for vital human interaction to continue safely.

Our designers Kev and Fiona have shared some top tips for designing a flexible space:

Multi-purpose Furniture

By introducing multi-purpose furniture you’re able to give a space a variety of uses, booths are a great example of this.  Booths not only provide the perfect space for a meeting or to take a break but they can also be used as an alternative working area should desk space become limited.  Booths also permit a natural, physical separation for social distancing providing the short-term solution for social distancing instead of acrylic screens. Our designers recently used the JDD Bob booth in a project we completed in Sheffield for First Group to add flexibility to their workspace, check it out…

Modern technology to provide better connectivity

Providing ample connection points throughout the space allows staff to work from a variety of locations, rather than just their nominated desk. By including sockets, USB points, server connections and additional WAP points in communal areas, staff can move freely and you can get more use out of the space. This also applies to AV hook-ups, providing these in areas other than your designated meeting areas you can create more space appropriate for presentations or larger meetings. having the right connections and technology available such as a Smart TV or Apple AirPlay for your staff enables you to transform breakout areas or communal spaces into flexible spaces perfect for collaboration and increased productivity.

Separate space with moveable dividers

Space dividers such as moveable walls and screens on wheels enable a space to be transformed. These are a particularly great addition to meeting rooms so that they can be divided into smaller areas or opened to create a large area for staff to collaborate. In July of this year, we handed over Victory Leisure’s new customer experience centre. Their team were looking for somewhere they could bring clients to impress, but also somewhere their team could collaborate and brainstorm ideas. Check out the flexible space we created for them…

Utilise all your space – even if it’s outdoors

Outdoor areas can not only be a great way to boost staff morale (especially on a sunny day when no one wants to be stuck indoors!) but also allow staff to effectively social distance due to being able to maintain closer working proximity in open-air. Whether you have land around your building or an unused roof space there are so many options for transforming it into a brilliant extension to your workspace. Check out this space we created for Hugh Rice

If you’re interested in transforming your workspace into a flexible hub for collaboration and productivity – get in touch with our team here

Click here to see examples of a flexible workspace. 

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small office space

How to make the most of a small office space

By Office Design, Office Interiors

Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple are amongst some of the business giants that started life working in a small, awkward office space (in garages, to be exact). For start-up businesses, it’s pretty rare to move straight into your dream office; or so you may think.

The term “Open Office” has been a pretty hot topic in the world of business interiors. Initially, the concept of a large, open-plan space had connotations of creativity, freedom, and cross-functional working, but the concept has come under recent scrutiny over how it can cause distraction. The truth is, a balance between a collaborative space and a quiet retreat can be established in any working environment, suiting the needs of colleagues who thrive in either.

The things that make you tick in your working environment, from creative spaces to interior décor, can be accomplished in any space. So, embrace your awkward, or should we say unique, office space. Take a step back and have a think if any of the following could help you make the most of your space.

Natural Light

It’s the cheapest form of energy out there, so how can we make it work for your office space? Psychology Today’s studies show that employees exposed to more daylight report better quality sleep, less daytime dysfunction, and a better quality of life. Draw your blinds and let the light in, it really can help open a space up.

If you find that natural light doesn’t reach all corners of your space, try a layout reshuffle, or look at more natural styles of artificial light.

Glass

If your office space is less than conventional, glass walls or doors can be used to open the space up, as well as create additional rooms. Glass will also help that natural light reach as far as the sun’s rays will carry it.

Storage

Whether you’re battling with lack of space or are unsure how to fill that crevice in the wall, clever storage solutions are a must. Not only can a funky design liven up your office, but it can be functional and space-saving, too. Storage units can be slotted neatly under windows or in corners. They can also host some office decorations such as plants and photographs.

Layout

Don’t be fixed by your desk all day. Look at optimising your office design to create both agile working spaces and breakout zones. An awkward layout may just be a blessing, as a simple re-jig could help you section off your office. A common, functional area doesn’t require a lot of space. Don’t fill it with big, clunky furniture; think light, practical, multi-functional, and spacious.

Our team have fitted out offices of all shapes and sizes. To find a solution that works for you, contact one of our team today.