Behind the Scenes at Stone Studios

By Laura Parker / Behind the Scenes , Creative , Marketing Suite / 10th December 2020

Telford Homes’ latest development in Hackney was brandished as raw, expressive and authentic living, and Focus Experiential were tasked with designing and fitting out a marketing suite to match. 

With interior designer Danielle at the helm, we’re delving into what went on behind the scenes to bring the Stone Studios marketing suite to life.

Where we started

When we were presented with this project, the space was already being used as a sales office by neighbouring sales agents Savills. So we had to remove the furniture and what was left was the existing exposed ceiling, carpet tiles, whitewash walls and electric radiators.

Inspired by the Hackney location, we knew the direction of the suite would take on raw, industrial vibes, so we kept the exposed ceiling infrastructure. However, the rest of the existing room was to be completely revamped.

Space planning 

Apart from ensuring the perfect customer journey, we also had a few requests from the client as to what the space required. As the show homes were not due to be released yet, we needed space to show the high-quality specification buyers can expect from their Telford home. This was a challenge because the space was limited. We had so much we wanted to include, as well as the kitchen and WC services needed for the sales team. To ensure the link between the kitchen and the new homes at Stone Studio, we dressed the kitchen and bathroom in the style of a show home to make the area feel more homely.

“To overcome this obstacle, we decided to fit out the sales team’s kitchen and WC to mirror the same spec residents will have at Stone Studios. That way, the team had everything they needed to work and were also able to showcase the amazing finishes in the Telford Homes’ kitchen and bathrooms. 

“We even went as far as to add a dropped ceiling to match the exact ceiling height the Stone Studios apartments would feature.” – Danielle Sewell, Interior Designer

We knew, immediately, that we wanted to do away with the customer chairs to remove the formal aspect of the customer journey. Our persona research informed this decision, and instead of the regular chairs and desks that work in other suites, we instead created an informal break out area with lounge chairs and the stunning bespoke Chesterfield sofa we had commissioned.

Another important element of space planning was the inclusion of a separate meeting room for private conversations with customers, and internal sales and marketing meetings. In the office space we acquired, the designated area for this meeting room was hidden behind a stud wall, but this only made the room feel smaller and enclosed. Instead, we knocked down the wall and made a larger meeting area with room for six people to congregate. The use of Crittall glazing gave the soundproofing and privacy desired, but opened up the space to make the whole suite feel larger, better still, the Crittall glazing tied in perfectly with the scheme.

Architectural feel 

Hackney is known for being creative, edgy, and industrious, and the Stone Studios branding captured that essence perfectly. We, therefore, needed to do both Hackney and the branding justice by bringing it to life in the sales suite. 

With a blank slate to work with, we ripped up the old carpet tiles and replaced them with an imitation concrete latex treatment. Which not only tied perfectly into the scheme but is also hard-wearing and therefore built to last and able to cope with the footfall.

The concrete flooring was not the only interior trick we used to industrialise the office space; we also used imitation brick wall cladding to give the illusion of exposed brickwork both on the wall and around the structural pillar in the meeting room – bringing the outside in.

Other ways we incorporated industrial architecture into the space include the track light to zone and highlight the graphics and graffiti, the painted exposed ceiling and bespoke mesh model plinth.

“You’ll notice the wooden ceiling fans we added in to give another nod to our industrial inspiration. Not only do these add to the look of the scheme, but they circulate the air which we’re sure will be much appreciated in the warmer months!” – Danielle Sewell, Interior Designer

Exposed brickwork was not the only industrial wall covering used at Stone Studios. We incorporated concrete brushed plastered wallpaper and sustainable cork wallpaper behind the desk to add a further dimension to the space.

Community Focus

We’d successfully brought the look and feel of Hackney into the suite, so now it was time to turn our attention to capturing the Hackney community. 

“Hackney is home to such a vibrant, talented community and we really wanted to celebrate that in the space. Ultimately we dedicated a whole section of the sales suite to the community to showcase the very best of local businesses and community spirit.” – Danielle Sewell, Interior Designer

This took the form of a sideboard in between the kitchen and the meeting room where we fixed box shelves and filled them with local products, including bottled beer and coffee from a local roastery. We then got in contact with the community hub nearby to find out all the local events coming up and displayed them on the peg board on the wall. By attaching the posters with bulldog clips, it means the wall can be continually updated to show the very best Hackney has to offer.

All in the details

Known for her attention to detail, Danielle left no space untouched, considering each and every element and how it works within the scheme. 

Quite often, when I have something in mind for a space, we can struggle to find the right piece off the shelf, and so we commission local craftsmen to bring the vision to life. This was the case with a lot of key pieces in this space, including the feature lighting and the Chesterfield sofa.

“For example, the desks and tables. To make the sales desk look as authentic as possible, we found the sheet metal and oxidized it ourselves to make it rust and worn. We then topped this with salvaged timber to make the desk not only beautiful, but sustainable.” – Danielle Sewell, Interior Designer

This theme ran through into the meeting room, as the bespoke meeting table was also made from reclaimed scaffolding, and built by a local craftsman, finished off with a zinc effect top to tie in with the scheme.

To incorporate the TVs into the industrial era, we built surrounds made from metal effect laminate and mesh to ensure they blended in with the space. 

Telford Homes feels very strongly about the safety of their sales team whilst working, so have very strict guidelines on what office furniture is used. We, therefore, searched long and hard for these office chairs that both looked in keeping but also ticked all the ergonomic boxes required by Telford.

From switching the white radiators with cast iron electric heaters to the dramatic filament lamps, Danielle added too many special touches for us to list. But while flicking through the photography, see if you can spot the on-brand metallics, the hues of green to add a touch of luxury to contrast the harsh space, the graffiti-inspired cushions, and the artisan candles and vases used to dress the suite.

Finally, to attract visitors to the marketing suite, we needed to add some curb appeal. This was more difficult than usual due to the fact we were unable to fix anything to the outside of the building, so instead, we created two bespoke signs. The first, a lit fret cut metal sign of the logo facing outwards and second a neon-lit sign above the door to attract attention.

So there’s your behind the scenes look at what went into creating this amazing marketing suite!

To see what Telford Homes had to say about the space, check out our case study.

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Laura Parker

Written by

Laura Parker

Laura is our Marketing Manager at Focus. She is busy taking Focus' content strategy to the next level and spreading the word about our bustling agency. When she's not attached to Instagram, you'll find her following cute dogs around and playing rugby.