From Dumping Place to Creative Space
Deciding to convert the downstairs garage into an office for the design agency was an easy one – doing the actual work was something completely different!
As the Cloudy Creative part of the Cloudy Group became more established, taking on more requests for web design, and with their own new logo design, it was clear that they needed a space of their own. So, the idea was thrown out to the whole team and the feedback was amazing with ideas ranging from a light room to a part-gym, part-games room area! There was talk of a treadmill, beanbags, Xbox and cinema room – we settled on a separate meeting room and a spacious office area which would be home to up to four members of the team.
As a copy writer with a creative mind I could clearly see there was nothing charming about our garage space which was to become our new home. It was cold, dark and filled literally to the roof with junk. There was the entire contents of someone’s old apartment, metal shelves (which we managed to sell on eBay), old pc’s and even a fridge and freezer. So, first thing first we needed to clear out all the mess and see what we had to work with. I did however make the first mistake by opening the freezer not realizing it had been turned off for quite some time. I can’t begin to describe the special forms of life I found growing in there! Let’s just say we should have put in a call to Discovery Channel as new species had been formed in there! Thankfully we are still a design agency Buckingham and not a local zoo and the fridge and freezer were the first things to go.
Next up – the apartment contents that was taking up more than half of the room. A delicate word to the owner of the various pieces of furniture which could only be described as relics from circa 1980 (think MFI furniture store) were soon on their way to a new home (I still don’t know where the new home is). Slowly but surely what was a dumping place was nearly ready to become our new creative space.
Just another Manic Monday
I must be honest, from my perspective I thought all you have to do is clear out all the rubbish, give it a good clean, a lick of paint and away you go – brand new and trendy office. How wrong was I? Some proper plans had to be drawn up and a whole load of processes had to be followed. This was not going to be like 60 Minute Makeover by a long shot. First there was the boring stuff like budgets, that I didn’t get involved in but I knew were going on. All I wanted was a beanbag – not much to ask I thought. After the budget got the go-ahead drawing for the new layout were done, naturally our in-house graphic designer got this done and it looked great – excitement for this new space was clearly growing and our great idea was becoming a reality.
Monday morning came and the work had finally begun! Sitting upstairs trying to concentrate on marketing Milton Keynes, I can hear hammering and drilling as our handyman, come builder, come carpenter, Simon, was hard at work. I came down to make my much-needed cup of tea and we had a stud wall built and a separate entrance built, with a door, for our new meeting room! Over the next week or so the walls we insulated and electricity cables were appearing from everywhere and our old, cluttered garage was a distant memory.
It’s not all Me, Me, Me
We couldn’t just make a cozy new office just for ourselves though – changes were happening upstairs in CloudyIT. Our engineers had a brighter, bigger office space too. We moved our director David into a cozy new office (actually, my old office so it didn’t smell of boys!) and we knocked down a wall giving them more space and most importantly more natural light. We also didn’t want any sibling rivalry in the office so everyone is happy – I hope.
Turn left for First Class
We had to remember to capture the transformation, so we were all tasked with taking random photos of all the changes and it turned out to be a great insight into everyone’s perspective of the comings and goings of the re-furb. It felt a little like awaiting the birth of a new baby with a lot of perspective parents. And thinking about it, the conversion was as messy as a newborn but you couldn’t wait for it to get here. A weekend of plastering was followed by a weekend of painting by our directors. The whining about aches and pains were worth listening to as the office was looking like a real, live place to work. The smell of paint to be fair, was one of the best things for me but the icing on the cake had to be arriving in the office on my usual Wednesday morning and instead of going straight upstairs to my desk I got to turn left (ala First Class on a plane) to my new, carpeted, fully furnished office! There was even a ‘casting couch’ that sits in front of our new window – we had a window! There was so much light and space and it was like a breath of fresh air.
I already felt more creative and ready to do some great work for our existing clients and introducing new clients to our shiny new home. The meeting room just completed the whole thing with its automatic mood lighting and a boardroom table like real grownups! We can invite clients in to the office for meetings and consultations and we can project a much more professional look to our business. The result is a fabulous graphic design agency team of four expert designers, developers and digital marketing executives, working in a great office and turning our dumping space into our creative place. See our business portfolio which has great examples of our website design Buckingham at www.cloudycreative.co.uk. By the way – I am still waiting for my beanbag!!