Thinking inside the box with interior design agency, White Circle

August 17th 2021

“There is a movement towards a workspace that feels like the home environment.”

White Circle was born over 12 years ago, through the recognition there was a gap in the market for workspace interior design and fit out artwork. Being based in Department Bonded Warehouse means the team can hone their craft in a Grade II listed canvas, from which they deliver a multitude of services including: interior design, furniture curation and bespoke art rental.

HOW DOES INTERIOR DESIGN ADD VALUE TO A COMMERCIAL SPACE?

Interior design is invaluable to commercial spaces, now more than ever. Your environment has a direct impact on your sense of wellbeing, your mood and frame of mind, which in turn affects your productivity and mental health. Creating an environment that prioritises positivity, wellbeing and creativity makes employees feel appreciated and attracts future talent.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR ART RENTAL, HOW DOES THIS WORK?

Our art rental is actually where the White Circle journey began. It’s something that can make corporate environments attractive, welcoming and is our biggest passion. Clients can display a curation of pieces selected specifically for their layout and style – these pieces can then be rotated on a periodic basis within an affordable monthly or quarterly budget. Art brings everchanging colour and visual interest, without onerous upfront costs.

Our team can design and create bespoke pieces; we arrange all of the framing, display and installation too. And bespoke means the art can be as subtle or as bold as you like, but most importantly it’s original and can be synonymous with your brand. We’re always on hand to discuss with our fellow Department community how we could help bring their studios or suites to life.

ARE THERE ANY TRENDS YOU’RE NOTICING WITH WORKSPACE DESIGN?

There’s certainly a widespread inclination towards a workspace that feels more like the home environment. Soft furnishings, lamps, artwork and plants have replaced more stark, plain settings that once housed overhead strip lighting or corporate office furniture. Not only this, but the popularity of flexible workspaces, like Department, have proved that breakout areas, hot desking and collaborative spaces can work even in a commercial environment.

After the past 18 months, employers and landlords are also considering advanced health & safety, with sanitation systems being implemented as standard. We work closely with a provider of scientifically-proven air purification systems, which specifically target airborne pathogens and particles.

WORKING WITH A SMALL BUDGET, WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND A CLIENT PRIORITISES WITH THEIR WORKSPACE INTERIOR?

Plants are always a quick win! They immediately soften and lift a space. If the maintenance of live plants poses a challenge, replica plants are quick to source, install and immediately improve the aesthetics.

Simple yet striking artwork can also be sourced at a great price – bigger pieces work best! Or even a selection of cushions on chairs, a floor lamp in a meeting room or cosy rug in the visitors entrance.

Ultimately, prioritise what your team can see from their desk. What will make their day more enjoyable? Do you need a breakout space creating? And not forgetting the other senses – what scents or music can you introduce to create a holistic ambience. We’ve been known to install scent machines into workspaces to achieve this. It’s a great way to enhance the workspace experience and connect employees & customers.

HAS THE PANDEMIC PRESENTED ANY PARTICULAR CHALLENGES FOR WHITE CIRCLE, WHICH YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME?

Access to and supply of materials has had a knock-on effect for our contractors, which in turn has affected us; we’ve had to build contingencies into our timeframes and budgets. But we are lucky to have clients who understand this! It’s also been difficult not seeing clients face-to-face; it can be hard to explain a design over the phone. So we’re looking forward to events opening back up so we can catch up with clients and contemporaries in the construction industry!

To find out more about White Circle and view their interior design portfolio, visit White Circle.

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“Particular praise for the look and feel of the space. Our teams can work flexibly both for focused work in our private office as well as collaboratively in the shared areas. We’d recommend it for any business of any size as it’s always the perfect fit.”

Modern Milkman

“Being a member has opened doors for us. We have been able to connect with other businesses and work with our neighbours, so we love the community aspect of Department (especially the Community team who are always on hand to help) ”

Credersi

“The highlight of working in Department XYZ is the support we receive from the team - there’s a real sense of community amongst members. We’re proud to work here and in one of the best locations in Manchester.”

Immediate Media

“Spinningfields and Department XYZ is a very professional and inspiring place to have as a business base. The best place I’ve worked from in my 30 year career.”

Spinningfields Lifetime Partners