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Category: Interior

FIS Accredited Members

It’s about Quality: We are proud Members of FIS


Meridian Interiors are proud to be accredited members of FIS, the trade body of the £10 billion fit out, finishes and interiors sector.




FIS represents specialists in all aspects of the interior fit-out and finishes sector. As a vertically integrated organisation, FIS works with members from across the sector supply chain support best practice knowledge exchange, drive technical competence and support quality, through the FIS Product Process People Quality Framework.


FIS is a not-for-profit community, built around a strict code of conduct – members are subjected to regular ongoing vetting.


At Meridian Interiors, as specialists in commercial fit out and office refurbishment, we are advocates of producing high quality office installations, and are proud to be members of this dynamic and proactive community that is focused on delivering a better construction experience for all involved.


      4 coloured circles with words on top      Plans on table


Paul Dawson, Managing Director, said: “FIS is a highly-regarded, well-respected organisation at the forefront of the sector that does much to uphold values and drive quality in our sector. We are delighted to be recognised as member of an organisation which is an essential component of the modern-day construction industry.”


Meridian exist to make our clients’ working life comfortable, achieving this by listening to and understanding the human side of their business. Teaming up with the FIS has cemented our commitment to our clients to uphold quality throughout the process, from design and space planning, through the quality in materials and workmanship, to the project management and consultation throughout the project.


Please contact us if you would like more information or guidance on your next project.

You can email us on [email protected] or call 0333 3448 772 today.

Office Refurbishment Checklist

Read our office refurbishment checklist from the experts at Meridian Interiors.

Investing in your workspace is a positive way to update working practices within your organisation, boost staff morale and express your company’s brand. This guide walks you through the path involved in the office fit-out and refurbishment process, so you are well informed for your next office refit.  

The Office Refurbishment Process

Deciding when to carry out an office refurb is a good place to start because it is a very involved process, so you need to have the time and dedication to commit to it. Utilising the skills of your own staff (IT, Facilities Management, Office Managers), coupled with an experienced office refurbishment and fit-out company, like Meridian Interiors can help the process run smoothly, ensuring important elements are not missed.   

Stages of Office Refurbishment

There are a series of stages to work through to design, plan and implement a new office refurbishment. Even though the size, scale and cost can vary dramatically between projects, the process remains very similar.


When you decide to carry out an office refurb, the first stage is referred to as the consultation stage. It is at this stage that initial conversations are had to establish what the goals are for the build, and how that will influence the design and planning stage.

At Meridian Interiors we focus on four fundamental concepts: Listening, Understanding, Creating and Delivering.  

During the ‘Consultation phase’, office refurbishment companies will strive to take your vision and turn it into a reality.  A workplace evaluation is paramount at this stage, where key people from your organisation set out the project parameters and review your main project objectives. Whether it be owners, managers of SMEs, facilities managers, maintenance teams, IT, finance, sales and marketing or operations managers, this is the first key step to ‘listening’​ to your needs.

Design and development

Following the consultation and having defined your needs, the design and development of the project will need to be established using the framework below:

  • Headline Project Objectives
  • Team synergy in your organisation
  • Employee Habits & Wellbeing
  • Your Brand Themes
  • How the current space is utilised & performs
  • Requirements for expansion/future proofing

Analysis of these factors can then be used to determine what options and solutions your company can use to create the best possible working environment for stakeholders.


During the planning phase, it is important to understand how the budget can be used to achieve the desired result.

As planning a project is very involved, using both 2D and 3D drawings, can help shape the interior refurbishment and ensure all parties are on the same wavelength, after all a picture speaks a thousand words!


Once the design and plans have been agreed, ‘creating’ and ‘delivering’ are the next steps.

Have a programme of works in place with your chosen office refurbishment company will help the project to stay on track. Regular meetings between stakeholders are important to ensure the project is built accordingly to plans and change management can be implemented, where necessary.

The final project needs to run according to the planned budget and therefore having a project manager, to control costs and lead times, is imperative to achieving an office refurbishment that fulfils the brief.

Office Refurbishment Solutions and Options

For an office interior refurbishment to be successful, changes and improvements to the areas discussed below are paramount. Office refurbishments can vary in scale, so you may be looking to change only one or two of these items, to establish a better working environment. Or you may be looking to make significant changes and incorporate all these items within your new scheme.

Suspended Ceilings

Many offices have suspended ceilings because they are a practical way to hide ductwork, cabling and pipework.

A suspended ceiling is made up of a grid system, which is suspended on wires, with ceiling tiles and light fittings fitted within the frame. A lighting design is recommended to ensure the correct lux level is achieved throughout the space.

Suspended ceilings make maintenance for air conditioning, power and lighting accessible and are therefore a practical addition to an office.


The infrastructure behind a great office space needs to be well thought out and planned as part of the design process. Power, lighting, plumbing and HVAC systems are the elements of a design that make the aesthetics work.

As described in HSE’s Lighting at Work report, poor lighting at work can represent a significant cost to business in the form of:

  • Time off work because of accidents and injuries
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Reduced staff efficiency and productivity

Getting it right is therefore paramount for the health, well-being and productivity of employees.

Having a lighting design created for your specific layout is a useful design tool, both to ensure the correct aesthetics of the refurbishment and the practicalities of having the correct lighting in the right areas. For example, you may need specific task lighting for carrying out detailed work, more relaxed lighting in a breakout area or feature lighting to make an impact in a reception area.  


Decorating your workspace is an easy way of refreshing the space, without the need for a big budget. There is a seemingly endless range of wall coverings, paint colours and wall tiles. Using Meridian’s expertise in commercial office design, can help you to realise your ideas. It may be as simple as bringing in the colours from your company’s brand or selecting a style and colour you like!

As part of a larger project, decoration can form an integral element of the overall aesthetics of the office interior design and with a little creativity and inspiration, you can create a ‘wow’ factor or point of difference, setting your business apart from the competition.


Partitioning needs to be considered to create a fully flexible working office, as it offers privacy, better acoustics, meeting rooms, departmental layout, and safety, while offering enough personal space for workers to feel individually valued and productive. 

Meridian can provide many different types of partitioning systems for the modern office or industrial environment.

  • Drywall Systems
  • Jumbo Stud Partitions
  • Industrial Steel Partitioning
  • Fully Glazed Partitioning Systems


Glazing, used in partitioning, has the added benefit of allowing light to flow throughout the office.

Natural lighting in an office is incredibly important. Employees will favour natural light for its many properties, as discussed in this article: Must-Have Office Features Employees Will Love.

We discussed how incorporating as much natural light into an area as possible and positioning workstations evenly throughout the area can be beneficial to employee’s well-being.  A 2018 Harvard Business Review reports a study concluding that workers in daylight office environments reported a 51% drop in the incidence of eyestrain, a 63% drop in the incidence of headaches and a 56% reduction in drowsiness.


Flooring is so versatile and a great way of zoning a space, without the need for partitioning it physically.  Different types of flooring with varying textures, patterns and colours can make a big impact to an office refurbishment.

There is suitable flooring for every budget, use and colour scheme, making it a great way to freshen up an office space, re-purpose an area or adding an injection of colour or branding.

Breakout Areas

As a focal point within a workspace, a place where employees can interact socially, have drinks, have some lunch or catch up for an informal meeting, we believe the provision of a well-designed kitchen and breakout area, is essential in any workplace.

The space available will help with the design process, along with creative input from an office fit-out specialist and the analysis of how employees would like to use the space.

Top TipRead our blog: Ideas for your breakout area

If you would like to discuss your next office refurbishment, Meridian Interiors are celebrating 20 years of experience this year and enjoy helping clients design and plan their office schemes.

Office Refurbishment Checklist

An office refurbishment can completely revitalise your office space, and transform your workplace into a modern, stylish space that employees can enjoy. With regular studies finding that increased employee happiness links strongly to productivity, it’s no wonder that an inviting office space is on many employees’ wish lists. After all, if you spend so much time at work, why wouldn’t you want to invest in an office space that ticks all the boxes?

Step 1.

Identify your needs and objectives. This should be the easy part! Ask yourself, why do you want to refurbish your office? What do you want to gain from your office space?

These are simple enough questions, but they can help you finalise a goal from your office revamp, so you don’t go off track along the way, which is far easier to do than you might think.

Consider these points below…

Expansion: Do you need to create more room?
Facilities: Do these need to be upgraded?
Workplace environment: Is your reason for wanting to create a nicer place for your employees to improve wellbeing, or to improve productivity?
Legislation: Do you need your space to meet new government guidelines or /legislation?

Step 2.

Identify who needs to be involved in the project.

This includes company members and external companies. Depending on the size and scope of the refurb, you may find yourself liaising with additional companies, for example, if you are upgrading your company logos or signage, you’ll likely need to find a supplier and work with them on the design.

Company members: How will your team members and employees be involved with the project? Will they be involved directly or indirectly? Consider all departments from your financial team to human resources and management to marketing. They will all have an important input.

External companies: Employee unions and regulators, external professional services involved will need to be considered.

Step 3.

Talk to your Landlord
It is important that you keep your landlord fully up to date with any plans you have to refurbish your space and that they have given you permission to make those changes.

TOP TIP: Remember, you may need to obtain a ‘License to Alter’. This ensures the landlord is aware of all changes so an accurate and detailed Alter can be drawn up.

Step 4

Choose a reputable office design and refurbishment company.

It is important to choose a reputable company to work with, things to look out for are their reputation, experience, and previous projects.

Step 5

Initial consultation

Headline Project Objectives: To stay organised it is important to set objectives to ensure all parties involved are aware of the timeline and project outcomes.

● Team synergy in your organisation: Create an environment that allows a team. to come together and collaborate, plan spaces that inspire synergy.

Employee Habits & Wellbeing: Your team spends 8 hours a day in the office. . Create a space where their well-being is boosted and create places within these. spaces that incorporate healthy habits.

Your Brand Themes: Allow your team to live and breathe the brand they work for by using the themes of your brand within your business.

How the current space is utilised & performs: Understand what is already working and what isn’t. Speak to your team, spend a day in different areas of your office to understand the dynamics.

Step 6

Identify your budget vs expenses of the project you want to carry out.

Get quotes on every aspect of the project and understand your budget. The project will include expenses and fees from transactional fees to planning permission to contingency costs. Prepare for these as early as possible by budgeting as early as possible.

Step 7

Identify when the best time to start your project is.

You’ll ideally want to avoid disruption as much as possible to day-to-day productivity in the office. Obviously, some disruption is expected, but you can plan this well to avoid it colliding with a busy time of year, for example.

When is your quietest time of year? When can you fit this in when it will not affect day-to-day operations too much, can your team remote work during this? Also, consider the environment around your office.

Step 8.

Design considerations

2D and 3D drawings: Consider the best designs using both 2D and 3D drawings to understand the use of space. This will help the refurbishment company to thoroughly understand your vision.

Interior design: The design, branding, and colours will feed into all aspects of the refurbishment and design, and these should be considered during the design process.

Furniture: If you are planning on keeping your current furniture or planning on buying new, ensure to plan your purchases around the design. Furniture is very important to the look of your new refurbishment.

Lighting: Positioning of your lighting will affect the look of your design and your employee’s work life. This is also a health consideration.

Glazing: To allow appropriate lighting and to conserve heat, whilst blocking out sound from the outside. Work with your refurbishment company to choose the most appropriate glazing.

Flooring: Appropriate flooring will complete the look of an office and ensure a safe place for employees to walk around on.

Storage: A new space allows for new storage solutions; correct planning will allow you to take advantage of all new storage opportunities. Storage whilst your refurbishment takes place is also essential to store your equipment and office suppliers.

DDA Compliance: It is important to comply with DDA, the law requires you to consider the needs of current and future employees.

Please contact us if you would like our guidance.  You can email us on [email protected] or ring 0333 3448 772 today. 

What is an Open Plan Office?

Employers choose different office layouts dependant on a variety of factors – What is the function of the space? What do you want your space to portray? Do you want a collaborative environment or an independent office space?

As there is no simple one-size-fits-all solution we have a comprised a short guide that looks at the following:

  • What is an open plan office?
  • Why open plan offices are good?
  • Disadvantages of open plan office
  • How to reduce noise in open-plan office?
  • Open plan vs closed plan office 

What is an Open Plan Office?

 An open-plan office space in simplistic terms refers to the use of large open areas to minimize the use of small, enclosed office rooms. Open offices originally pioneered in the 1950s have regained their popularity as the chosen layout for many businesses for a variety of reasons including;

  • A flexible approach for working between departments, as there are no physical barriers.
  • Ease of collaboration between colleagues.
  • Layout flexibility to accommodate company growth.
  • Cost-Effective, as no partitioning, separate heating or A/C is required.
  • Provide a community, with all staff feeling like they are working towards the same goal.

Why open plan offices are good?

As open plan office layouts are incredibly common, chances are, at some point in your career you have worked or will work in one.

As with all types of layout, open plan offices have both positive and negative attributes but your viewpoint on these probably comes down to the type of workspace you thrive in.

Employers tend to opt for an open space layout as these designs can minimize various costs within the office, such as reduced construction fees, the ability to squeeze more people into less square footage and fewer cubicle furniture pieces to purchase. This cost element is mainly geared towards the company overheads and not what is best for an employee.

However, a lot of businesses believe that an open space office can create a greater company culture, can encourage communication between employees – consequently improving interpersonal relationships and can contribute to creating a community atmosphere. This, I would like to think, has more of a bearing on a company’s decision.

The type of industry you work in will also influence whether you work in an open plan office, because as this type of layout is thought to encourage collaboration, teamwork and creativity, they have gained recognition as a favourable layout for companies that operate from employee participation and innovation, such as advertising agencies, graphic design companies, journalism newsrooms and marketing agencies.

Having said that, with more recent developments in technology, whether virtual meetings using Zoom or GoToMeeting, enterprise social media like Slack or MS Teams, do we need to be working alongside each other in an open space at all?

As employees have become more used to working from home, in their own environment, coupled with developments in technology, how people work has probably changed dramatically during the past year and I believe we will start to see more flexible and multi-functional areas.

Disadvantages of open plan office

Though open plan office layouts are of high demand and of favour for many, the open office concept has received backlash and disapproval from businesses that require quiet working areas, confidentiality and concentration, such as accounting firms, financial planning agencies and law firms.

Commonly, open layouts can be noisy, chaotic and lacking strict organisation which can impact employee productivity and well-being by increasing stress levels.

 Using space planning experts to create an open plan office design can help to alleviate these elements, as they can draw upon experience to use materials with acoustic properties, zone areas affectively, use the correct furniture for space… the list goes on.

How to reduce noise in open plan office

As I have identified, one of the main disadvantages of open plan office design is that they can be noisy environments to work in. Whilst some people may enjoy this environment, it is not for everyone and most people at some point during their working day need to work in a quieter space.

If your workplace is large enough, creating separate quiet rooms for private working, making phone calls or having a one-to-one meeting is an ideal solution and creating a more multi-functional office appears to be an expanding trend.

For those companies who do not enjoy such large offices, there are a few sound masking solutions that can be used. Tangible solutions such as acoustic screens and panels, strategically placed furniture and locating certain teams next to each can all help. Other solutions are cultural changes that can be made, like not using speakerphones, turning down ringer volumes on phones, holding impromptu meetings is an isolated area etc.

Open plan vs closed plan office

One of the leading questions you may be faced with when planning and designing your office space is open or closed?

The term closed office, or otherwise known as enclosed refers to an office layout that is centred around individual working spaces for individual employees using panels and cubicles. Closed offices have come along way through the decades, from the adoption of what can be described as the ‘cubicle farms’ which broke through office trends in the 1980s to the contemporary, acoustically sound and comfortable spaces that are used today.

Closed offices encourage concentration and focus as commonly they are distraction-free environments that reduce noise and bustle, which may reduce productivity. These private spaces also allow employees the freedom to personalise their desk space, to one that is comfortable and a reflection of their ethics.

Enclosed spaces state a hierarchy system, which may promote healthy competition between employees which is fundamental in company growth. If the closed office layout includes different spaces for different level employees – such as corner offices; this can give employees motivation and something to work too. Thought statistics suggest that employees have increased well-being and productivity in closed office spaces, employers do not necessarily favour enclosed office layouts.

With employees working in confinement and privacy, it is hard for business owners to supervise whether workers are wasting time or working to their full capacity.

For businesses that require teamwork and collaboration – closed office spaces are not ideal. Employees working in this environment tend to reach colleagues via email or chats rather than communicating face to face – which can negatively impact innovation and inspiration.

If you are looking to plan your own office space, whether open or closed, Meridian Interiors are well-placed to design a comprehensive office to suit your requirements, bringing your ideas to life.

You can find out more about our office design services here, or give us a call today on 0333 3448 772 to talk to a member of our team.

Ideas for your Office Breakout Area

Investing in your workspace matters to your staff and can impact the success of your overall company. One important space to consider for your office is an office breakout area.

Our article will explore why you should consider the merits of a breakout space within your workplace, including:

  • What is an office breakout area?
  • What to include in an office breakout area?
  • Office breakout area ideas
  • Office breakout area furniture

A 2019 report carried out by Staples found that 68% of staff would feel more valued at work if their organisation invested in their workspace, and as Paul Zollinger-Read, former Bupa Chief Medical Officer so nicely put it “as individual happiness is linked to productivity, satisfaction, and fulfilment – why wouldn’t we invest in our spaces?”

What is an office breakout area?

An office breakout area is an area for employees to take a break from their desks and screen. Within the modern working environment, where much more of our time is spent in front of a screen, it is important for employers to not only provide a breakout area for staff but to encourage its use.  

These areas can be versatile and used to not only provide a space for staff to enjoy their lunch (the more traditional reason for creating a breakout space). Office breakout areas also create:

  • Informal meeting areas
  • Space where people can catch up on their personal ‘life admin’
  • An area to socialise with colleagues around a tea-point
  • A place to rest their eyes from the screen!

By providing a space that is more relaxed, it gives employees time for rest and rejuvenation throughout the day. Breaks like this are important, as employees can return to their desks revitalised and raring to go. Such breaks in the day can result in better productivity compared to an office where employees never leave their desks!

These areas can also function as an alternative workspace for tasks that require collaborative or creative thinking.  Sitting in a more relaxed environment alone or with a colleague, in a separate space away from general office noise, can be beneficial when brainstorming new ideas of having important discussions.

What to include in an office breakout area?

Due to the versatility of these spaces, it is important to consider the office breakout area design so it caters to everybody and works with the existing office.

The available space for your breakout area will depend on the size of your business premises and the number of staff you have. With developments in acoustic screening and pods, you will not need a huge space, particularly if you are an SME employer. The use of acoustic furniture is an ideal way of creating small breakout spaces in pockets around your offices. Pods or booths, as featured below can offer an area where several colleagues can meet, shutting out the background noise.

The acoustic winged chairs used in The Parks Trust atrium in Milton Keynes are a brilliant way of providing relaxing seating, that when you sit back, the cleverly developed wings help block out background noises.

Depending on how you want staff to use the breakout spaces will determine what you should include. As well as the acoustic seating options above, if you have the luxury of a separate room or space for your breakout area, creating different zones could be an option for you.

Office breakout area checklist

  • A tea-point or kitchen facility
  • Fuctional seating with table for either eating or meetings
  • Relaxed seating
  • One to one booths
  • Quiet working areas
  • Social Areas
  • A library
  • Charging areas (ports for technology devices)
  • Games/Chillout space

The ‘comparehemarket.com’ common room has a putting green in it to help staff relax on their break.

Office breakout area ideas

In order to transform an office space and improve employee wellbeing, morale and productivity, we have put together some office breakout area ideas from previous client projects. This small selection illustrates the different look and feel that can be created within a breakout area.

Elements that can be incorporated within these breakout spaces are outlined below.

Glass partitioning

To provide an element of separation, but to ensure light flows into the breakout space, using glass partitioning can form an attractive and practical solution.

Company branding

The breakout area can be a place to have some fun with the company branding, incorporating colour into furniture, soft furnishings and paint finishes.

Recharge rooms

Creating a sanctuary of calm among a vibrant and busy office can provide an area for staff to recharge their batteries and take a break.

Lounge area

You may find in a larger company that a lot of staff go off-site for lunch, to either a coffee shop or sandwich bar. If space allows, creating a lounge area with a coffee shop vibe can encourage staff to socialise with each other during their downtime, form better working relationships with colleagues.


These self-contained areas for smaller offices, can provide a private area to carry out work in peace, make a sensitive phone call or have a meeting with a colleague.

Office Breakout Area Furniture

Selecting furniture for your office breakout area design will depend on what you plan to include.

Types of furniture to be incorporated would ideally include:

  • Breakfast bar
  • Sofas and relaxed seating
  • Low coffee tables
  • Poufs
  • Benches

As with all office design, considerations to natural light, ventilation, and foot flow all come into play when designing a breakout area, so it is sensible to seek advice from a specialist office fit-out company when planning to incorporate this type of space into your office.

Explore our office fit out and refurbishment services today to learn more about how we can transform your space.

Must-Have Office Features Employees Will Love

Office design, employee wellbeing and therefore satisfaction and productivity has become an important factor for employers.  When possible, employers should reflect on their current office environments for their staff and focus on the key features they should be considering. Workplaces with a modern approach to a work-life balance are more important than ever, in tune with the modern-day attitude to workplace wellbeing. 

This article will look at office design, how to design the perfect workspace and the features that should be considered. 

What is office design?

Office design needs to consider many factors, including the structural layout of the building, the types of workspaces that are needed within the office, how much natural light is available, what facilities are required, how staff will interact with each other… the list goes on. 

What makes ‘good’ office design, is how all these elements work together to create a workplace that impacts favourably on staff well-being and productivity, as well as creating a positive impression for visitors and customers alike. 

How to design the perfect workspace

When designing a workspace, the key is to ensure it works for everyone, which can be a challenge as people, by nature, like working in different ways. Some may thrive in a busy, noisy environment, while others may work best in a peaceful setting and some may like both, depending on what work they are doing or the mood they are in.

A ‘perfect’ workspace is probably an impossible goal, but creating a place where colleagues enjoy working and are productive in, is a great place to start!

As people are at the heart of offices, the main focus should be on the types of spaces that they thrive in and create areas that harness this. As a lot of people will have become used to working from home, we may see the type of areas they feel comfortable working in change over the next year or so, as they start frequenting office space again.

Features of good office design 

Collaborative Spaces 

These areas can offer a relaxed atmosphere, but have functionality build in, with wipe boards, interchangeable desking and seating, projectors/screens etc.

Social Areas 

These areas act more as break-out areas, with a mix of sociable seating and more private areas, where people can ‘get away’ from work but also catch up with colleagues, if they want to. The focus here is on providing different options for individuals. 

Quiet Areas 

Let’s face it, sometimes you just need to sit on your own and concentrate. With many offices opting for open plan layouts, this is a type of space that is often lacking in many offices but is hugely beneficial. Giving staff options of where to carry out their work, is a good way of boosting morale, through autonomy.

‘Zoom Rooms’ 

A relatively new addition to workspaces is ‘zoom rooms’ which are essentially small rooms with a chair and the technology to either make phone or video calls. These are becoming increasingly popular, as more business is done virtually and through lockdown, many people have become accustomed to working in this way. We anticipate that this trend continues, as employers increasingly realise that travelling long distances for meetings is not always needed. 

Natural Light 

As well as creating a variety of types of workspaces within one office facility, there are aesthetic features that help to make those areas really work for people.

Incorporating as much natural light into an area as possible and positioning workstations evenly throughout the area to benefit from this, is a good place to start. A 2018 Harvard Business Review reports a study concluding that workers in daylight office environments reported a 51% drop in the incidence of eyestrain, a 63% drop in the incidence of headaches and a 56% reduction in drowsiness. These benefits would certainly improve staff well-being and productivity.

If possible, if exposure to natural light can be coupled with access to outside space, you are onto a winner! It does not need to be a massive space, but a small area with some seating and access to Wi-Fi, can serve as a great place for staff to recharge their batteries.

Who are Meridian Interiors?

Meridian Interiors is an office design company that gives your employees everything they need to succeed, and more. We use our knowledge in office design to create a workspace for collaboration, whilst promoting health and wellbeing for all. 

From ​Workplace Consultancy​ to our detailed site surveys, the data gathered helps us to plan your environment accurately. This allows us to review future proofing of the space, whilst identifying building constraints and checking on regulator and environmental compliances.

Please get in touch today for our assistance in encompassing up and coming trends, while also producing functional and practical office layout ideas. Contact us online, call ll 0333 3448 772 or email [email protected]

Air conditioning your office space

Anyway, enough with all the science stuff. Let’s get into the benefits, how/why it affects people differently and the design considerations within an office space.

Ventilation & air conditioning; the benefits for staff and visitors

Heat can make workers feel hot, flustered and sluggish in the office. Many studies back this claim and as the warmer weather sets in, discomfort is more apparent, resulting in poor productivity. Air-con systems provide appropriate ambient conditions for employees to concentrate and work effectively; negating this productivity slump. Here are just five of the benefits for both staff and visitors alike:

⦁ AC allows windows to stay closed, negating pollen intake among hay fever sufferers, reducing symptoms and improving work ethic as well as keeping out the noisy external environment.
⦁ AC reduces heat and moisture levels. Mould and mildew stop forming, reducing maintenance costs and potential respiratory issues
⦁ Air quality is improved as AC units contain purifiers, reducing nasty bacteria and dust particles responsible for sickness, low motivation and productivity
⦁ Conditions such as noise levels are undisturbed as modern AC units operate almost silently
⦁ Clients will feel good in a conditioned environment. A comfortable, welcoming space prompts customer visits and business growth

Office temperature; a bone of contention?

The simple fact is that every individual has his or her own unique preferences. Some shared, some different to others. With this in mind, it’s important to note men and woman’s idea of the ‘perfect temperature’ differs at physiological levels. This is dependent on our gender, age, weight, ethnicity and adaptability. The bottom line? Women generally feel colder than men. Arise, the bone of contention and potential office conflict! But don’t panic… We’ll explore some key points to consider.

Physiological differences are to blame, not your colleague’s mood! A study found woman typically produce less body heat than men. They’re more likely to feel chilly in the office, whilst men tend to feel warmer. Everyone knows a happy workforce is a productive one, so how do we accommodate everyone? An agreeable solution seems impossible, right? We recommend sticking to the guidelines. The Approved Code of Practice states a minimum workplace temperature of 13-16 Celsius, depending on the activities carried out. Not everyone can be pleased, so a tip for those suffering in colder spaces – have a portable heater to hand! Try and find a happy medium, gather a general consensus of an appropriate office thermometric.

To dig into this topic a little further, we’ve carried out our own research, asking 1000 UK office workers whether they felt too hot or too cold in the office. As predicted, women are officially colder at work, with 37% of females saying they often felt cold in the office, and 13% saying they felt cold in the office all the time! 

We also analysed the temperature debate by age, and the youngest age demographic, 18-24, appear to be the coldest at work, with 48% claiming they are cold in the office all the time. In fact, there was a noticeable correlation between age and how warm or cold people feel in the office, with older age groups less likely to feel cold at work than their younger colleagues. 

Lastly, we had a look at geographical location to see whether this had an impact on people’s opinions. Residents in Wales were the most likely to feel cold all the time, followed by workers in London. Surprisingly, workers in Scotland were the least likely to feel chilly! 

Air conditioning considerations within office design

So, we’ve explored the science, the benefits and why AC affects people differently. Yet a question still remains, how should AC be considered within office design? Air con specialists will examine the parameters of an office, the number of people, as well as exit points such as windows and doors. In addition, sun trajectory, building structure and ceiling types will all be looked at closely to determine spatial configurations.

The design of an office impacts how well the AC works. They work well in open-plan areas, however individual spaces should have their own systems. Finally, consider the businesses critical equipment and cooling needs. The modern workplace contains tech that generates a lot of heat. It’s important to filter this to improve operating efficiency, ensuring safety in an optimal workspace.

But need not worry! Our team of experts will design your office with comfort and ventilation in mind, maximising airflow for a happy, productive environment. Get in touch with us today!


wooden boardroom table with black chairs and TV mounted on wall

Bringing a community together – The Winter Night Shelter MK

What is the Winter Night Shelter MK

The WNSMK began as a response to urgent need when, during the severe winter of 2010, Milton Keynes Council became aware of a number of homeless people sleeping in bin stores, despite freezing temperatures and thick snow on the ground. At the time the YMCA was the only viable option for many, and with their beds full, a new solution was needed. A conference brought together people from various interested agencies to discuss the issue, and the concept of the Winter Night Shelter MK was born.

The WNSMK supports the homeless in Milton Keynes by providing them with a meal and temporary emergency accommodation. Furthermore, their dedicated welfare team helps people in countless ways, including helping people to access counselling services and medical care, providing access to laundry facilities and clean clothes, advocacy with authorities, the recovery of missing ID, support to apply for jobs and attend interviews, transport to work, help to find family and many other things. They do what is needed for the person who needs their help.

Last winter, the WNSMK closed their 8th season of operation, and it was their busiest season yet, a sign that unfortunately the need for the help they provide continues to grow. Between 1st November last year and 29th March 2019, the WNSMK was assisted by 931 volunteers and served around 11,900 meals over the cold months. The shelter accommodated 114 rough sleepers (99 men and 15 women), an increase of 65% from last year, with 66 of these successfully moved into longer-term accommodation. The WNSMK has also been able to assist their guests successfully in finding permanent employment opportunities.

How Meridian has helped

As a local business, we take pride in helping build the community, bringing opportunities and support wherever we can. Over the years, Meridian has helped WNSMK in different ways.

Late 2018, Meridian Interiors was procured to help fit out a meeting room, needing to be installed in the recently refurbished Unity Park Station in Central Milton Keynes. Alongside the volunteers, we worked tirelessly to provide an area that would be fit to help both the guests and the staff change their lives and others around them.

Take a look at the renovation below:

More recently, family member Carl Tucker completed a double header of both London and MK marathon’s back-to-back, raising almost £800 in support of the WNSMK. Running the London Marathon in just 2 hours 44 minutes. One week later running the MK marathon in just 3 hours 2 minutes. Phewwwww!

All in all, Meridian are constantly looking for ways to help the charities closest to our hearts, as we believe a supportive community, is a happy one!

If you’d like to learn more about the Winter Night Shelter MK or donate for yourself, see their website: https://www.winternightsheltermk.com/

A Full ‘Turn-key’ Service

When you embark on a new office refurbishment, the amount of different tasks to think about can seem daunting, especially if you are developing designs, sourcing trades people, dealing with building regulations, working with a project manager through another company, the list goes on…!

If, however, you choose to deal with a company, like Meridian Interiors, who offer a full ‘turn-key’ service, you benefit from dealing with a main point of contact who can look after the following services and talk you through the project from beginning to end:

  • Space Planning
  • Office Design
  • Product Sourcing
  • On-going Project Cost Analysis
  • Project Management and Change Management
  • Health and Safety Coordination and Management
  • Local Authority Regulatory Compliance

Benefits of using Meridian Interiors for your ‘Turn-key’ Service

  1. One point of contact with specialist knowledge and expertise.
  2. Better communication and quicker project turnaround.
  3. Bespoke service, tailored to your needs.
  4. Use of an Office Interiors company, who work with a sister company, specialising in Office furniture.

Our Team at Meridian are customer facing, always pleased to discuss your future projects and we are proud of our reputation for gaining repeat business, which equates to 80% of our annual turnover.

If you would like to experience what Meridian can offer for your next interiors project, please do not hesitate to contact us today!

Using Glazed Partitioning within your Office

Open plan offices are common place, due to the benefits gained through the collaboration between individuals and departments, and being able to offer a healthier environment from better ventilation. 

As a result, we are often asked for a solution to keeping the open plan look, feel and benefits, with the addition of smaller break out areas, meeting rooms or individual offices.

As a solution to this, we like to recommend the use of glazed partitions, especially within open plan areas. Glass is ideal for letting the light flow between environments, improving the perception of space. 

One advantage to using glass is that you can use manifestations to control how much light you need to flow through the space or the amount of privacy you need within a room.  Manifestations can also be used to incorporate branding, feature designs or add colour onto the glass.

Another benefit to using glass partitions is having the option to use different lighting and floor coverings within these spaces, which can been seen across the open plan office, adding different layers of texture and improving aesthetics. 

Our Design Team at Meridian Interiors would like the opportunity to discuss how you could benefit from the use of glazed partitioning within your office facility.

Inspiring Interiors: Inventionland

Who? Inventionland | What? Invention Factory | Where? Pittsburgh USA

What do you think of when you hear the word invention? Something that has never been made before? The unique creation of a device or method? Unique, creative and unprecedented are certainly words that be used to describe Inventionland – The Invention Factory.

Pittsburgh – The city in the USA known as being at the forefront of innovation is home to one of America’s ‘coolest’ offices – an office space which includes an array of innovative and outstanding themes from a pirate ship to a castle designed for a specific working environment and product field. The workspace known as an ‘Invention Factory’ has been designed of the back off the company’s moto – ‘The best work comes out of the spirit of play.’

George Davison the innovator, visionary and founder of the Inventionland offices decided when designing the workspace to change the ‘expected’ and ‘standard’ working environment to one that inspires, motivates and excites employees to create and produce astonishing and interesting inventions. Davison collaborated with his team of entrepreneurs when designing the space and ensured that the somewhat whimsical office environment was also fully functional and equipped.

Inventionland Motor Speedway

The 150 foot Scalextric space is home to the garage and automotive product field. This area itself has won an array of awards, including winner of the Industrial Design Excellence Award by Business Week!

Nursey Nook

The Giant Shoe which can be seen in the work space is home to Nursery Nook – a space designed to inspire inventors to develop children’s products such as books and toys. The space can also be double as a crib service!

Inventalot Castle

The castle is often described as the heart of the office. The castle which included turrets and a drawbridge is the place of meeting for senior directors, and a hub of brainstorming ideas.

Pirate Ship Discovery

This space, which includes pristine water and is home to Inventionland’s resident shark houses the home for high-tech products and games.