One of the biggest challenges in estate agency is standing out from the crowd whilst operating within a parent brand. Another is distinguishing sales and lettings divisions in a way that one does not feel inferior to the other. Agent Jackson Grundy addressed both of these aspects using smart office design, thanks to a collaboration with commercial refurbishment specialist, MPL Interiors.
MPL Interiors were appointed after the agent was able to secure a new double aspect corner office in Northampton that lent itself to a dual agency operation. It was clear after the first site survey that MPL would need to carry out a comprehensive ‘first fix’ phase of this six week shop fit out, including a new ceiling, new comfort cooling/heating, and a provision for data, power and light – all positioned intelligently in tandem with the new office space design to improve staff comfort and efficiency.
The next phase of this commercial refurbishment saw lead designer Daina Sakenyte use the natural flow of the premises to create a true dual purpose space. The building already benefited from two separate entrances and although the space inside was unobstructed, this provided a natural division.
The balance of two departments under one roof and brand was achieved in a number of aesthetic and structural ways. Firstly, a tinted glass partition wall was erected to provide an element of sound privacy between the two areas, although the partition stops short of completely dividing the two areas so staff and customers can move freely. In addition, the floor covering changes from one department to the other – a striped version for sales and a plain version for lettings.
Finally, the desks are a reverse of each other – white office desks with mahogany modesty panels for sales, and mahogany desks with white modesty panels for lettings. “We have taken the ‘reverse’ trend to the exterior of the branch too,” adds Daina. “Although all the outdoor signage takes the form of internally illuminated alluminium trays, the sales side has yellow lettering on a burgundy background, while lettings has burgundy lettering on a white background.”
With the division of space agreed, a careful selection of colours, finishes and fixtures were specified to fulfill the second half of the client’s brief. Jackson Grundy asked MPL Interior to create an elegant interior design – one that would mark this branch out as extra special, since it was taking on the branding of ‘The Village Agency’ – an office
specialising in upmarket homes and representing properties from across its 11 Northamptonshire offices.
Instantly elevating the space is the bespoke wall paneling designed and installed by MPL. The detail is subtle yet sophisticated, especially when paired with the soft, muted colour palette. Also echoing the elegant brief is luxurious yet hardwearing vinyl that mimics a herringbone-effect parquet wood floor, bespoke sepia tone printed canvasses and contemporary chandeliers. Finishing details also include a vinyl monotone map applied to a structural column, corporate colour-matched wall mounted 3D acrylic word art and occasional furniture in plush fabrics.
This Jackson Grundy office fitout also included all new office furniture, the addition of a new cloakroom and the refurbishment of an existing WC, a full refurbishment of the communal kitchen, the creation of a private office, the making good of the basement - complete with a new partition wall and storage room - customised welcome mats, A3 illuminated window display units and made-to-measure window graphics.