Focus On Victoria Crawcour: Interior Designer for Desk Centre

Focus On Victoria Crawcour: Interior Designer for Desk Centre

Our new ‘Focus On’ blog series will explore the roles of different building product specifiers from across the construction industry, looking at how they specify products and the resources they use. For our first article, I spoke to Victoria Crawcour, Interior Designer for Desk Centre.

Desk Centre specialises in the design, planning and fit-out of office spaces as well as having significant expertise of working on educational and commercial projects, providing the full solution from the initial consultation to interior design, furniture sourcing and installation. Desk Centre also supplies a wide range of furniture, which can be viewed and bought from the company’s online shop.

How do you work on a day to day basis?
The design and consultation process begins with either one of our Sales Account Managers or a member of our design team visiting the client to discuss the project requirements, and to take a brief. A survey is then completed and a space plan created, allowing our design team to accurately plan according to the dimensions of the project area, taking into account any potential issues.

I start the design work with a 2D plan, and then will create a 3D model after a second meeting with the client if this is required, where specific details such as fabrics, colours and finishes will be discussed and chosen. Personally, I’m not a massive fan of mood boards. Instead, I prefer to take a selection of fabrics to the client and see how they work within the actual space they will be used layering the fabrics and finishes up so the client can see them next to each other as they would be in reality.

Who do you work closely with?
We work extremely closely with the client throughout the whole process, as well as with the contractors and sub-contractors. I have personally been directing my efforts towards creating successful joint ventures with fit-out companies, this limits the risk of the client paying over the odds for workmanship as I only use contractors I trust, resulting in all parties involved being happy with the outcome on a cost and quality basis. In our experience, while the architect chooses products to add to their designs, it is more likely to be the main contractor who makes the final decision on the specification of products.

What type of projects do you work on?
The types of projects we work on not only vary day to day, but also the time of year. At the moment we are very busy with educational projects as schools, colleges and universities push forward to complete their building work in time for the start of the new school year in September. Consultations for educational projects tend to start around May, so quotes can be prepared in time for the budgets being finalised.

As well as educational projects, we also work on commercial projects, and offer a complete project management solution, covering the whole package; design, specification and construction. In our experience, the client prefers to deal with one project team, and to receive one invoice for the work completed.

How do you specify products?
When specifying products, word of mouth and recommendations are important. Also, if we have previously worked with a manufacturer and know their product is suitable and works well, we will use them again. However, we also like to keep an eye out for new suppliers and innovative products – which is where Barbour Product Search comes in as a useful resource for this purpose!

It was my manager that first introduced me to Barbour Product Search, after having the Barbour Compendium. Since then I use the site regularly to keep up to date with new products and to find new suppliers. I also really enjoy reading the blog articles, which cover a wide range of topics.

And finally, what’s next for Desk Centre?
We are currently in the process of expanding our design project management service by forming joint venture partnerships, which is very exciting! We are also about to release a new design e-book, showcasing our interior design and project management services.

Further information
Desk Centre: For more information about Desk Centre, contact Victoria Crawcour,
. You can also follow Victoria on Twitter, @Vic_Crawcour.

Barbour Product Search: If you would like to be kept up to date with new product launches and case studies, sign up to the Barbour Product Search weekly e-newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.

Do you specify building products?

If you’re interested in showcasing your company in our ‘Focus on’ blog series, please contact Grace Lewis, Interim Editor for Barbour Product Search & the Product Search Portfolio,

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