Giles Dooley

By Giles Dooley
Head of Furniture |

Furniture is an important part of office design and we have you covered, whether you’re embarking on a furniture-only project or tackling an office fit out. Simply put, my job is to help clients make educated decisions on the best way to invest their furniture budget!

The brief

Truly understanding your requirements is probably the most crucial part of the entire furniture process. We never start a project without getting to know you and your business.

Your furniture brief is closely linked to your design brief but we’ll still have some questions of our own. What office behaviours do you want to encourage? How would you like people to move around and use the space? Will everyone need their own workstation? Does your five- or ten-year business plan include any recruitment or consolidation? What existing furniture can be reused? What furniture do you like and dislike?

We’ll look at the size of your space, your existing and desired working culture, the requirements of individual user groups and your brand identity. We’ll interrogate your designers too (nicely, of course!), and start shortlisting furniture concepts, styles and ideas specifically for your unique project.

The design concept

Once we’ve written your brief, it’s time for us to work with the project designer to put together some concepts. This is the visionary bit of the process where you’ll be presented with options on how to physically and practically create an environment, which ticks all your boxes. Basically, we translate the overall design concept into a furnished environment you’ll love!

This phase is where we start to play with colour palettes, textures, fabrics and materials to see how they’ll work in the space. You’ll have the opportunity to mix and match from mood boards to build a functional concept with a great aesthetic. We’ll also think about the ‘look and feel’ of the space; should it be professional or playful, formal or informal, functional or fashionable?

Whether its booths and touch-down benches to support activity based working, sit-stand desks for greater flexibility or functional workstations, our furniture suggestions will bring your design concept to life.

The ‘art of the possible’

This is my favourite part of the process - and many of our clients feel the same! We know it can be hard to visualise your chosen concept and its furniture so we take the guesswork out. We invite your key decisionmakers to visit a handful of furniture showrooms with us.

It’s what I call showing our clients the ‘art of the possible’. You may find it a little stretching at the start, or even overwhelming, but stick with it and you’ll be rewarded. It’s one thing to pour over furniture catalogues and reams of specification sheets. It’s an entirely different experience actually sitting in a piece of furniture!

Setting up a demo or sample room in your office is another strategy. Once you’ve narrowed down the furniture suggestions we’ve made, take those pieces to the people! We often mock-up different office scenarios and ask for feedback from end users. This is an excellent way to encourage staff engagement and get buy in.

When you’re happy, we’ll define the final specs and get them plotted into your design. You’ll review all the costs before confirming your approval and we’ll get the ball rolling with suppliers and manufacturers.

Pre-install logistics

A few weeks before the anticipated completion of a project, we invite the suppliers and manufacturers responsible for the specified furniture to visit your project. We discuss responsibilities, onsite health and safety, delivery dates and times, phasing and access routes for delivery. We even measure doorways, staircases and elevators to avoid the famous pivot scene from Friends! These measurements are plotted out on your project’s drawings, alongside every piece of furniture to be assembled and installed.

We anticipate all the little things that could go wrong and prepare for the worst; this doesn't make us pessimistic, it makes us highly effective! Our goal is to ensure each person in our extended team knows exactly how to prepare and how their part fits into the bigger picture. The all-important Pre-Installation Handover Pack, which is prepared specifically for your project, becomes our bible and playbook.

Installation

We’ve completed hundreds of furniture projects in our 40 years and rely heavily on our experience to make sure everything goes according to plan. I’m certain there isn’t a furniture installation hiccup we haven’t solved!

We also do all ‘snagging’ of your installed furniture to be certain everything is in working order. And, because we’ve been working with your project designers and onsite team right from the beginning, we’re able to get ‘teething’ issues sorted before you arrive with your boxes.

Day one and beyond

Day one is what everyone is working towards. You’ll be able to grab a coffee at your new kitchen bench, work at your desk or catch up with a colleague in a booth. We’re involved right from your project’s inception to its completion; we’ve refined the brief, informed decisions, mocked up your space and chatted to you throughout. At every stage of the journey, we’ve intentionally managed risk out of your project so your move-in day is effortless.

We’re always on site on your first day and, although furniture snagging is completed before you set foot into your space, we’re around for troubleshooting and queries. Importantly, we’re around beyond day one too! We have a project-to-project philosophy, which means we’re on call throughout the life of your existing project and your future one too – whether you want to upsize, downsize or upgrade.