At Engaging Interiors we have continued to design interiors over the last year as usual, but instead of having the occasional freelancer alongside me in the studio, I would be sat round the dining table with a 10 year old and a 15 year old. This peaceful seen would then be gatecrashed by our 18 year old doing a live cooking session for his Westminster chefs course. The projects themselves have been a mixture of larger projects that had already started, and adaptations or new sites for existing clients making the most of the situation. We would like to thank these clients for their courage and spirit during what has been a difficult situation.
There have been some businesses that have found it easier to navigate the last year. Most of the new work we have taken on has been for independent takeaway style of operations that have a connection with the local community. They were nibble and intuitive enough to know what their customers would want and responded to this during the lockdowns.
As forecast we saw a rise of enquiries for domestic projects as homeowners found themselves working from home with their children around them all day everyday. We generally get similar enquiries after christmas as families are forced to spend more time together and entertain relatives and friends. The lockdowns were like an extended version of the festive season and it meant we were asked to help homeowners to reshape their houses to make them work better for them.
We have been encouraged by the signs of everyone getting ready summer. We have had some enquiries from start ups and existing sites getting ready for the opening up of the economy. If you are happy to take the risk it is the perfect time to refurbish or start a project as you will not need to close your site to do so. Clients have secured bounce back loans with good terms and used the money to finance the refurbishment of their restaurant, bar or hotel interior during a time that they can’t open it to make the most of this bad situation. I spoke to one site where they still offered takeaway from the kitchen whilst fitting out the eat in space. So could this be the time to start a new project? There should be some good deals to be had with securing a site, and there should be plenty of sites up for grabs. Looking at my local high street a lot of the shops that have closed have already been snapped up. Looks like we will have more hairdressers in Lewes, at some point they will outnumber the opticians. Seriously though, it could be a good time to open that new venture you were thinking of, our advice would be to make sure you are passionate about it, you do your research and get involved…