Meet Danielle…

Interview with our UK Design Director 2021

Late last year in the midst of UK lockdown we celebrated a milestone – 10 years at Design Clarity for our Design Director, Danielle Lloyd.

As a local Sydneysider and enthusiastic retail designer, Danielle joined our Sydney office back in 2010. Always keen to combine design and travel, Danielle studied both design and international studies, living abroad as a student in Genoa, Italy. Danielle now resides in London.

We caught up with her to pick her brain and ask the big questions!

Having worked in the UK and Australia, where do you feel is the most innovative for ground-breaking new design ideas?

I believe that both countries are innovative in their own ways, however, they are so different and I believe the ideas developed are a result of a number of varying factors, including history, culture, geographical influences, climate and environmental awareness. The UK has a more European focused way of thinking due to its proximity and historical ties, and has a huge melting pot of cultures which leads to really inspiring ideas.
In comparison, Australia, even though influenced by Asia and the Americas, I think has developed its’ own unique design identity over time and being a relatively isolated, it might be more susceptible to change and new, innovative ways of thinking.

Where you draw your design inspiration from?

I’ve definitely been inspired by my travels over the years and living in such vibrant and diverse cities. However, I am also constantly getting inspired every day by what’s happening internationally in the industry.

How do you start your ideation process?

The very first steps involve a series of interactive workshops with the client/s allowing us to gain an insight into their brand, market, and the specific project brief including budget and timescales.
The information gathered from these workshops is key in enabling us to set the initial project parameters and assists us in formulating the ‘big idea’ that drives the design from concept through to completion.

What do you find most challenging when starting a new project?

It varies from project to project, however it can sometimes be difficult to narrow down ideas as often the ideation process leads to many creative routes!

Do you have any tips for balancing sustainability initiatives with budget

The key is to think long term and plan for the future. It’s easy to look at inexpensive products and materials and make design decisions based on up-front costs, however they often are of a lesser quality and have devastating impacts on the environment. Investing in sustainable solutions is a win-win, not only are most products and materials longer-lasting, leading to long term savings for the client, they will minimise the impact to the environment which is extremely important given the current impacts of climate change.
Also – where possible, re-use + repurpose items….Why create more waste when there are so many great products + materials out there!

What are your favourite places to visit in London?

To enjoy the outdoors; Hampstead Heath, Richmond, anything along the canal or Thames; For foodie experiences, emerging art and design: Hackney Borough + Bermondsey

Do you have a standout foodie experience you can share?

A kaiseki-ryōri dinner in a traditional restaurant in Kyoto, Japan was pretty amazing.

Where would be your ultimate dream holiday destination?

I’ve already ticked quite a few off the list, and everyone knows how much I adore Greece…however due to my love for animals and interest in unique ecosystems I’d have to say that Central Africa, the Galapagos Islands and Sri Lanka are up there!

What are you most passionate about?

Problem solving to deliver unique spaces that carefully balance functionality and aesthetics.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in retail design over your career?

The emergence of digital platforms and online shopping has lead to a shift from product-focused store design to a service orientated design with an emphasis over creating the full  immersive in-store retail experience.

What advice would you give to young designers?

Travel often and immerse yourself in diverse and inspirational environments. Challenge yourself constantly and don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes as they are often the best way of learning! Also, It’s great to be inspired by other designers, but don’t compare yourself to them, as it’s important to be true to yourself and develop your own creative language.

Thanks for your time, Danielle!

Office Building Café Design: Build it and they will come

Coffee drinking is a global ritual! This deliciously aromatic bean has infused tradition and habit into the daily lives of billions of people. It’s used for ceremonial purposes, social interaction and for luring coffee lovers to participate in gatherings. With the increase of cafes as a meeting point before, during, and after work, business owners are taking notice while simultaneously finding new and proactive ways to retain excellent staff.

Office Building Café Design

Their answer? An office building café. By integrating a café within the office space, staff can purchase a cuppa, catch up with colleagues and grab a healthy bite without having to step out of the office building. Since this is seen as a huge asset to any office precinct, getting expert designers to help you maximise your office building space is crucial. Here are three invaluable options for incorporating an office building café design:

Hospitality on the Go

Pop-up style coffee bars are a great office building café design that leaves plenty of room for foot traffic. These types of cafes offer hospitality on the go while also allowing staff to slow down, take a breath and grab their favourite coffee brew. Make sure to have excellent café operators and baristas to handle heavy, fast-paced traffic, while also blending character and charisma to spark a little enthusiasm.

Sit Down and Stay Awhile

For an office building café design that allows for staff to sit down and relax, offer healthy pre-made sandwiches, cakes and desserts – and don’t forget the gluten-free and vegan options. Provide comfortable seating, connections to WiFi and battery charging stations. Offer tables that seat anywhere from one to ten, so it leaves the opportunity for coworkers to mingle.

Offer Options

Larger office buildings can offer several options, similar to an aesthetically-pleasing food court. A compact and attractive design like we did for Sabroso! or a healthy juice and smoothie café like a smaller version of Power of Health are unique varieties to include in your commercial building.

The keywords for any office building café design are attractive, efficient, sustainable and comfortable. If you are ready to incorporate this asset into your office precinct, contact our expert design team at Design Clarity. Take a look through some of our portfolio pieces to inspire your possibilities:

Hotel lobby bar design: Reimagined

Hospitality today is more about the hotel experience rather than simply being a place to sleep, hotel lobby bar design is imperative! Customers are looking for places that meet all of their needs, including socialising, eating, networking, relaxing and essentially ‘plugging in’. Hotels around the world are capitalising on the fact that the hotel experience typically begins and ends in the lobby.

Hotel Lobby Bar Design

As leading hospitality design experts, we have several tricks up our sleeve that will help with a new and improved hotel lobby bar design that will leave a lasting impression on any customer.

Open & Multi-functional

Designing for all personalities is our specialty. We love creating an atmosphere that speaks to locals, travellers and bar customers that allows them to move around freely with a sense of zen and efficiency. Having an open and multi-functional bar design means you can have open spaces and lounges as meeting places, co-working areas or for isolated efforts. Try one part coffee shop table with multiple outlets, and two parts meeting spaces and an inviting bar.

Technology is Everywhere

Embrace technology because it isn’t going anywhere but forward. From state of the art flat screens and fast-and-free WiFi to ordering food and drinks from a smartphone and checking in and out via kiosk, there are plenty of ways to make the hotel lobby bar design more of a technological experience.

Bring in the Bar & Restaurant

An aesthetically-pleasing and effective bar design can be a huge success for a hotel’s business. Create a specific food and beverage niche that seamlessly blends with your brand and locality. It creates a space for socialising or ‘isolated togetherness’ as mentioned in our Hotel Restaurant Design article. Inviting customers and locals in for a drink and bar snacks also shows incoming customers that it’s a pretty cool place to hang out.

Bring a completely new and modern approach to the customer experience with a hotel lobby bar design by contacting our team at Design Clarity. To see some of our inspirational work, take a look at our portfolio pieces:

Hotel restaurant design: Eat, Sleep, Experience: A New Approach

Eat, sleep, experience – at least that’s what people truly want in their hotel adventures now and what is most important to remember for hotel restaurant design. As a hotel, your job is to provide an environment that leaves a lasting impression for your customers, so they have memorable experiences and want to come back.

Hotel Restaurant Design

At Design Clarity, our motto is to eat, sleep design, and we are fully aware of two things: 1. You need a hotel restaurant design that will make your customers want to eat in, and 2. We know how to make that happen. Here are a few of our favourite ideas:

Focus on a niche

You can’t please everyone, but you can create an experience that most people won’t forget by focusing on a specific niche for your hotel restaurant design. Do a bit of research ahead of time and see what kind of food or atmosphere people would like to have, then work your plan around that, making it more Instagram-worthy.

Another thing to consider is having your breakfast location completely separate from your lunch and dinner restaurant. This will provide a unique experience, even if it is a much smaller space.

Embody ‘Isolated Togetherness’

Isolated togetherness is a collective term used to describe people who want to be a part of something, while also being separate from it. Including a bar in the restaurant allows people to eat alone while still feeling a part of the crowd. Also, having areas where people can have laptops without feeling isolated in their rooms. 

Sense of Community

Having a hotel restaurant design that also caters to and attracts local customers cultivates a sense of community and brand loyalty. Outside caterers or chefs opening up a restaurant in the hotel is becoming more popular and helps to bring in a wide range of customers. Allow for single-seating or communal seating for ‘isolated togetherness’ patrons and large groups of people.

Make your hotel restaurant design ultra-authentic and memorable by reaching out to our amazing design team at Design Clarity. Have a browse through some of our designs to get some ideas:

Go Green and Eat It, Too: Creating an Eco-Friendly Restaurant Design

Being eco-friendly isn’t merely a trend; it’s an increasingly popular way to build a sense of community, have positive brand recognition and promote sustainability while still having an eco-friendly restaurant design. Since eating out is such an integral part of our lives, it only makes sense to design your restaurant to complement these ‘go green’ efforts.

Eco-Friendly Restaurant Design

Eco-friendly restaurant interior design is also about increasing brand loyalty and health-conscious consumers and, very importantly, using sustainable materials and techniques that reduce exposure to toxic substances. Here are a few tricks from your design experts at Design Clarity:


One of the major benefits of going green is that it cuts down on costs by using more sustainable lighting and ventilation. We took advantage of using psyche-boosting sunlight at Nando’s Newmarket where plenty of natural lighting flows in and creates geometric shadow shapes throughout the restaurant. LED light fixtures and light sensors are two other options. LED lights not only last longer, but they’re much more cost-effective. Use light sensors in areas that are occasionally used, like restrooms and refrigerators.

Hazard Free Materials

Ditch the plastic as much as possible. Instead, use recycled wood, cork and bamboo to create an eco-friendly ambience. Use concrete flooring, brick walls, sustainable wood furniture and flooring and consider 100% cotton or wool for your upholstery instead of synthetic fabrics. Hazard free materials can not only add a breath of rustic elegance, but customers take note of the visual textures and uniqueness of each piece, adding to your brand following.

Natural Walls

Adding natural wall décor to your eco-friendly restaurant interior design can be done with bamboo, grasscloth, rice paper, and brick art. Turn it into a geometric work of art with wood planks, seashells or other pieces of nature. Living walls help to not only brighten the area up, but it emits more life and a fresh atmosphere.

If you’re ready for an eco-friendly restaurant, interior design then give our expert design team a call at Design Clarity. Meanwhile, take a browse through some of our ‘go green’ restaurant designs from our portfolio:

Go Green with Sustainable Restaurant Design

More and more customers are choosing restaurants that follow a green path. That’s why sustainable restaurant design is gaining serious momentum, and the foodservice industry is hailing experienced design companies like Design Clarity to help them get them to create an environment that oozes and beams with green energy.

When creating your restaurant design, you want your space to embody your brand’s identity and become a memorable and addictive customer experience. The only way that’s going to happen is to team up with a savvy and super-knowledgeable agency like Design Clarity who has first-hand knowledge in sustainable restaurants design.

Combining minimalism and environmentalism is key to emitting a sustainable air. This means having clean lines, sustainably chosen furniture, and environmentally-friendly materials and fixtures. Plenty of live plants and as much natural lighting as possible gives it a clean, fresh feel while also incorporating brand personality.

LED lighting technology is another essential go green addition. LED lighting has numerous benefits, including its incredible cost savings and it’s environmentally friendly.

Using refurbished items gives space plenty of character while suggesting a sustainable and functional air. Using refurbished furniture and materials as we did at Din Tai Fung in Sydney’s Central Park DC. One of the most Instagram-worthy spots along this row is the authentic hawker-style bike cart filled with strategically-placed bamboo dumpling boxes. The casual array of mix n’ match chairs offers an eclectic personality as do sustainably-harvested lumber or brick and stone walls.

If you’re ready to incorporate a sustainable restaurant design, contact our team at Design Clarity. Meanwhile, take a look through some of our green designs:

The Future of Workplace Design, Part 4: Design Clarity is Your Workplace Design Company

Workplace design trends are evolving into a progressive blend of stunning, functional and healthy in so many ways. With not only having the customer in mind, employers are also putting a large focus on their staff because they’re realizing that workplace design has a massive impact on their happiness and productivity.

Knowing that the world is in the midst of a huge generational shift in the workforce, it’s imperative to have a workplace design company that you can truly rely on to bring you results and take your business to a new and exciting level. Design Clarity is the workplace design company you’ve been searching for, and we know the trends and the impact they have on your staff, customers and overall business.

In the last three articles, we talked about ways to boost productivity and motivation in your business by putting a focus on an office design that benefits wellbeing and millennials by having a flexible workspace. Design Clarity works with you to develop a design DNA that embodies your mission, brand and strategies, including how you want your employees to feel about coming in to work every day.

Any reputable workplace design company knows that the most desirable businesses are evolving to better engage the individual. This requires knowing how the modern workplace design can stimulate, motivate and inspire creativity while knowing how people work. Cubicles are a thing of the past because business owners are becoming more aware that each staff member has their own needs throughout the workday. As mentioned in Part 1: Flexible Work Spaces, this includes having areas designated for collaboration and social interaction, while also having private workspaces.

Since millennials now make up 40% of the workforce, embracing their technological mindset is absolutely essential. This is covered more in Part 2: Millennials in Mind but recommends integrating technology that speaks to their skills, abilities and potentialities. Since Millennials are highly motivated by their peers, having a flexible workplace design will help them collaborate more easily, provide space for effective feedback and use those amazing pieces of technology that they so crave!

High-quality workplace design companies like Design Clarity are current and future-focused. We know how impactful workplace design trends are on the individual and, in turn, the business. Your business’s layout, furnishings and other elements such as health and wellbeing are impacts that we focus on when working with you to create an environment that supports creativity, focus and teamwork.

Contact our team at Design Clarity today. Our successful projects throughout London and Australia can be seen in our amazing portfolio. Here are a few:

The Future of Workplace Design, Part 3: A Healthy State of Mind

Wellbeing is an enduring state of wellness that encompasses being happy, comfortable and healthy. This is one of the major goals of many employers for their staff, but how often does this dream become a reality?

Design experts at Design Clarity are well aware that the workspace itself can promote a sense of wellbeing, which in turn leads to productive, engaged and healthy employees. It’s essential to have a professional team to assist with creating such a workplace as well as having someone who knows how the wellness trends are affecting workplace design in general.

Here are three ways to create a workplace design for wellbeing, which will have a lasting impact on your staff’s performance.

It’s Not “Just Work”

The baby boomer generation mentality of having a ‘work only’ self at the office also meant that the whole person wasn’t considered… until now. The next generations have pushed the concept of not being just a walking set of skills and tasks, but instead, they present a more holistic version of themselves as more than being a part of the rat race. Your employees will feel more valued and connected when the workplace design is set up with their wellbeing in mind.

Meeting Spaces

Studies have shown that when a business provides a high-quality meeting space for its employees, performance, engagement and their overall wellbeing are greatly increased. Furnishings, lighting, technology and location are fundamental to creating meeting spaces that staff will actively enjoy using. On a different note, having private spaces are fundamental to allowing more internally driven employees to focus, take private calls or meditate.

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

There is no doubt that wellness trends are having a huge effect on workplace design, and, in turn, how the workplace design affects your employee’s overall wellbeing. Health is a factor that new generations have insisted on being one of the most important aspects of the workplace design, and many businesses are putting this into practice. Healthy food options, wellness programs, sleep pods, green walls and supportive furniture are just a few realities that can make it a dream job. Multi-story buildings have opted for attractive staircases in the centre of the building to promote exercise, and adding numerous plants are notorious for reducing stress levels and increasing motivation.

If you’re interested in learning how you can create a work place designed for your employee’s wellbeing, contact Design Clarity today to see how our experts can help. Take a look through our amazing portfolio, showcasing businesses we’ve set on the path of wellbeing:

The Future of Workplace Design, Part 2: With Millennials in Mind

The future is now. At an astonishing 73 million, Millennials make up the largest workforce in history, even beyond the baby boomer generation. Because of this, employers must have a workplace design that is more unique and personal than ever. Here are three practical ways to design your work environment to meet the needs of this particularly innovative and unique generation.

Bye Bye Cubicle

Cubicles are an absolute no-no for Millennials. This doesn’t mean that they require a completely open-space work environment, but it needs to be a little more creative than that: opt for a flexible workplace design that encourages all types of personalities. Millennials want to have a community-oriented environment but also quiet areas where they can escape collaboration and distraction. Adding dynamic pleasure areas, such as ping pong tables and sports spots provides a unique work environment for any Millennial.

Health and Motivation

Millennials put major emphasis on health and wellness, and the workplace needs to reflect that. It’s no secret that sitting at desks for too long is bad for your overall physical and mental health, so inspire physical movement in the office by providing sit-stand desks and areas that encourage movement breaks. If it’s possible, try to create an outdoor area that is available for work and socialization. Adding live plants and other decorative greenery to the office space makes it more attractive and provides clean oxygen.

Technology Gurus

Since Millennials have grown up using technology daily, they need to have the proper technology to entice and encourage them. Investing in cutting edge technology shows them that you’re progressive, and it also provides them with the means of using their technological skills in moving the business forward. Interestingly, research has shown that Millennials have better technology at home than they do in the workplace. Keeping up with the technology trends comes with a pretty price tag, but doesn’t mean you have to go broke. To be more inclusive, consider a collaborative effort on what pieces of technology they would want as a company within a certain budget.

Ready to take the plunge on a flexible workplace design for Millennials, or perhaps you just want to bounce around ideas? Give our design team at Design Clarity a call to kickstart the process. Meanwhile, take a look through some of our projects:

The Future of Workplace Design, Part 1: Flexible Workspaces

Whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert or somewhere in between, a flexible workplace design offers a little something for everyone’s workplace needs. As companies start to move away from the open space work environment, future-focused companies are reaching towards interior design that will engage all types of people.

Design Clarity is changing the face of traditional work environments with flexible workspace designs that are aesthetically pleasing and functional: a combination of open space for collaboration and enclosed work areas for individual focus. Three things to keep in mind when you’re redesigning are:

1. Architectural elements

Experts at Design Clarity found that it’s important to include staff comfort into the architectural design process. When we partnered with People’s Credit Union, we designed a new branch concept that emphasises open, engaging spaces that sparks more conversation and connects clients and staff better. Comfort is reflected in freshly modern lines and angles, comfortable and inclusive seating and the ability to move around with ease. For your architectural elements and ensuring employee satisfaction, we can help you make staff comfort and priority.

2. Adaptable furniture

Allowing your employees freedom and satisfaction to rearrange furniture to meet their needs gives them more autonomy and ownership of their skills and sense of community. This requires using mobile furniture instead of bulky, heavy equipment.

3. Workplace design technology

Remember that power and technology need to be easily accessible. Extended battery life on most modern technology allows employees and customers to work for longer periods without needing a plug. But when they do need a recharge, consider adding charging stations into the mobile furniture. We used this concept when we reinvented the People’s Choice Credit Union branch. We met our objective by turning it into a welcoming and alluring environment for the Millennials and Gen Z groups, while also making it adaptable as their digital capability grows.

If you’re ready to create a flexible workplace design for your company, speak with leading design company Design Clarity on how to make it happen. Take a look at what we have achieved with other businesses such as:

People’s Choice Credit Union