2020: The Year in Review
To say that 2020 didn't panned out as anyone expected is an understatement – but it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. In fact, there have been plenty of positives to be grateful for over the past year.
In this article, we take a moment to celebrate some of Layrd Design’s 2020 highlights and look ahead to what’s in store for 2021.
The year began with a flurry of activity. Our workplace concept competition launched in January, giving businesses across East Anglia the chance to win an interior design consultation worth £3000. The development project at Taank opticians in Cambridge was also on the brink of beginning in earnest, with contractors in the process of being appointed.
However, it will come as no surprise to learn that those plans were rapidly disrupted in February as the novel coronavirus began to dominate news headlines. Like many businesses, we quickly adapted to working from home but the timeline for the Taank project had to be reevaluated.
Says Will Mayes: “Normally we’d walk contractors through a project on site, but that wasn’t possible this year. Thanks to modern technology, however, we managed to talk them through it online so they could start ordering materials and getting ready to start work after lockdown.”
Leathes Prior in Norwich were also announced as the winners of the workplace design competition but, given the events of this year, the final concepts have been put on hold until 2021.
As lockdown rolled on, we helped individuals across East Anglia to adapt to the practicalities of working from home, which was a rewarding process. We used our experience to provide advice on how to create a suitable space with the right furniture, which was a great way to provide support to the business community.
Typically, spring is also peak exhibition season, which means a packed schedule and lots of travel, but that wasn’t to be in 2020.
“It’s a shame,” Will comments. “We see a lot of new products launch at those events, from furnishings to finishes. It’s normally a very exciting time, but it couldn’t be helped. We’re hoping they go ahead in 2021.”
As a result, Will took the opportunity to formalise his experience in the world of workplace wellbeing and enrolled for a WELL practitioner course.
“Wellness is such an important consideration in modern commercial interiors,” explains Will. “By keeping my skills and knowledge up to date, I can incorporate the very latest knowledge and concepts into client designs.”
In the midst of the disruption, Will and his wife were delighted to celebrate the arrival of their daughter in June, which was certainly one of the highest points in the year!
Then, as lockdown lifted, our team of contractors were able to get on site at Mill Road in Cambridge to start realising our visions for Taank.
Summer also saw the first concepts for Layrd at Home, our new design service, begin to take shape. Due to launch in early 2021, it has been developed to help businesses and individuals create inspiring, functional spaces in their own homes. Watch this space to find out more!
In November, we were delighted to welcome a new face to the team. Isabella Elsworth joined us as a Junior Designer just as the second lockdown began. As a recent graduate from Norwich University of Arts, she has a first-class honours degree in Interior Design.
“Hiring during the second lockdown was an unusual process,” says Will. “Now that restrictions are easing up, however, we can meet and discuss projects in person. Getting on site at Taank has allowed her to see the progress that’s being made in real time.
“The opticians is due to reopen in January and I’m really pleased with how everything’s going,” he adds. “We have some great local contractors working on the project. It’s fantastic to have such a strong team pulling together so we meet our deadline.”
To round off the year, Will took some hard-earned time off. “I’m going to enjoy Sophia’s first Christmas while catching up on some reading. I’ve got a stack of business books that I haven’t got around to, starting with E-Myth by Michael E. Berner. I can’t wait!”
We hope you all had a well deserved break and wish you all a happy new year!
Drop us a line if you need any help with workspace, home office, retail or hospitality design.
We’d love to discuss your project and help you get the new year off to a great start!