Month: October 2016

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Finishing touches

You may have noticed during October we’ve been thinking a lot about workspaces.  As the month draws to a close it’s time for the finishing touches and we’re looking to our friends @Haykinshop for a some simple pops of colour and practicality.

Whether you have enough space for a corner desk, or just the corner of a desk, the bright tones of Harto powder coated metal desk storage will modernise and organise it for 2016. 

They come in four different sizes, so use them all to make an original Mondrian style display, which may be the closest you get this year to making paperwork interesting!  We’d style them on a pure white or ash desk, with navy or grey walls, to bring some colour to a plain but simple scheme like this:


Bess uses these magnetic wooden framing dots in her office – a minimal but smarter-than-drawing pins way of displaying designs and work.

And Bubble always likes a trip to a stationery store – it’s a kind of grown up version of a sweet shop!  Being as organised as Bubble isn’t easy and she’s of the opinion you can never have too many notebooks, especially if they’re as lovely as these.

Take a look online, or treat yourself to a peek at Haykin’s pop up store at
toast house on Sunday 6th November.

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Designing with employees in mind


You’ve got the great ideas, you put the hours in and your business starts to grow just as you hoped.  Or indeed you may already have an established and profitable business, you’ve attracted some fab employees and now you want to create them a working environment where they can grow and flourish.  And there’s no shame in saying it, maybe you want your clients and potential recruits to see just how good your business really is.

Whether starting from scratch, moving premises or having a revamp of your current space, there’s no stronger message you can send of your business’s success than through its smiling employees, proudly inhabiting their working environment.  At Sturman & Co., we believe this applies to every single business – who hasn’t got off the phone from a grumpy “computer-says-no” advisor with a mental image of that person sitting in rows and rows of faceless people, in a grey, windowless room somewhere in Nowhereville.  And so you see how a depressing workspace leads directly a depressing customer experience.

So apart from getting in touch with us (our commercial design consultancy fees start at £1,000 plus VAT and we’d love to hear from you), here are a few things to think about when your designing your workplace with employees in mind.

Whatever your business, you want your employees to enjoy their work so that they are super productive.  At Sturman & Co. we feel this means they need different spaces within a business to enable them to work in the best possible manner (and we’re clever about creating these spaces in the most surprising ways).

Recognising that everyone works differently we think it’s a good idea to think about the following areas in a workplace:

1. As much space as possible for the task in hand, which must be capable of being organised efficiently;

2. Space that stimulates (for that 2pm slump) – where space is limited we can design an artwork scheme just right for you;

3.  Creative space – sometimes more important than others, but don’t discount it!

4. Space for reflection, space for collaboration and spaces to play – these may be social spaces or just meeting rooms.   We can even help you make a meeting room do it all.

These spaces apply especially to an office environment, but surprisingly to other businesses too.  We can help you to think around your space and design it properly.  Remember – there’s no such thing as no design, just good design or bad design!


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A chance to sit down with a magazine on a long train journey means I’m only just reading about the new William Morris Pure Collection of fabrics and wallpapers which was released last month.  Available here, the William Morris team have ‘neutralised’ several of the designer’s original patterns by washing the colours out and turning them all into shades of grey.  They are, I think you’ll agree, very subtle and really quite beautiful.

So if the result is serene collection of stunning and classic prints, which are remarkably easy to use, so why is my overriding feeling one of sadness? I’ve said before that I love greys and I do, but I also believe that we can’t get away from the mood they engender. Sophisticated, yes. But also moody and, yes, sometimes more than a little bit depressing.

Grey (whatever the shade) is usually the bland bit of any scheme and in my view it is most useful as a counterpoint to colour. So, with so much grey about, I’m a little concerned that even William Morris’ beautiful colours are being censored. And I hate the idea that we’re all being taught to paint by numbers when it comes to interiors and fashion.  I often imagine how we’ll look back on grey in 10 years time.  Remember “Taupe”?  

So dare I say it, bring on the colours.  I’ll be pairing these fabrics against the softened pastels that the publicity team at William Morris only found in an open landscape shot of what looks like the Scottish Highlands.  

Or I’ll just go the whole hog and help a client to in some Original Morris and Liberty prints to a modern/mixed-era scheme just because they’re so damned beautiful. 

Life is better in colour, so why not cheer up our homes for a change and stop being fearful of anything but grey?