After many long days and nights grouting, carpeting, hammering, painting, assembling and wiring, we finally opened the doors to the brand new lounge at FunkBunk on 9th March, 2016.
The Mess, as it’s affectionately called, gained its name from the building in which it sits, which originally housed an Officers’ Mess. FunkBunk is located within a historic family of buildings erected in WW2 for the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) and, rather than knock these old buildings down, we’ve continued the work of the late, great Laurence Cranwell in refurbishing this interesting site into a unique and interesting workspace.
The Mess has been a real labour of love over the past few weeks. Untouched for many years, the space was in desperate need of a facelift so we stripped the place back to its bare essentials, took a step back and let our creative ideas flow.
After a great deal of blood, sweat, tears and help from friends and family, we slowly transformed the cold grey shell into a warm and colourful pad.
Pallets and Steel
The two pallet walls make a stunning statement in the room and contrast beautifully against the white brick walls. Of all the jobs, the pallet walls were the most physically demanding and left one enthusiastic helper with a very painful tennis elbow (sorry, Graham) but the end result is worth it.
We were keen to retain some industrial features in the room to complement the exposed steel roof trusses, and so encased the cabling in steel trunking which offsets perfectly against the wooden walls.
The Farrow & Ball Downpipe grey paint used on the doors, frames and cupboards throughout the space is very similar to the original colour used in the 1940s interior. The blue tones in the paint keep the grey from looking cold and hard whilst the deepness of the paint sits well against the earthy woods and whites.
We sourced the lighting in a great salvage yard just outside London. As you’d expect from a place that’s popular with TV set designers, the yard was a treasure trove of interesting furniture, including some wall lights that were very similar to the old military light fittings used in our building. We stumbled on some nice bowl-shaped ceiling lamp shades too, which were a little worse for wear but came to life after a spray of copper paint.
The flooring was always an important part of the final look and we spent a long time deliberating over what we wanted. In the entrance hall we laid a random mix of Moroccan encaustic tiles, which we carried through to the kitchenette and WC. In the main lounge space, we knew a bold splash of colour would bring another level of interest and texture. We wrestled with a few ideas but landed on the idea of patchwork. We freely admit that this was probably the result of reading Elmer to our daughter every night for the past two months. Our new carpet has more than an uncanny resemblance to that multi-coloured elephant.
Velour, Patchwork and Decoupage
The furniture is an eclectic mix that includes some deep blue, velour wing back chairs (my favourite), a couple of retro black leather armchairs from the 60s, two patchwork high-back chairs and a statement coffee table that has received an incredible decoupage treatment using our old Creative Review Magazines. We also sourced a couple of metallic folding tables that would camouflage against the pallet wall if it wasn’t for the rusty speckles of light that reflect off the table tops.
FunkBunk is nestled in the beautiful Buckinghamshire/Bedfordshire countryside which is a real plus for anyone working here (you can hear the cows when the windows are open) but it does mean that you can’t walk to the nearest supermarket to grab your lunch (which is kind of nice, actually). Whilst shops and pubs are only a 5-minute drive away, we wanted to offer some snacks (healthy and sinful), fresh fruit and drinks to anyone who didn’t fancy venturing outside. For that reason, we introduced an honesty cabinet to the lounge too. The industrial design and colour matches the greys in the room and fits well with the overall interior design – although most people are too distracted by the contents of the cabinet to focus on the design!
Wondering why we did all this?
We love the historic site at Glebe Close Farm and can see so much potential in these old military buildings, but we also launched The Mess because we wanted to give something back to our loyal ‘Bunkers. The Mess is a free perk for everyone who works here. It’s a comfortable lounge where people can take a break from the shared office space and get comfy on the sofas and chairs, read a few magazines, munch on some snacks, chat to other ‘Bunkers, watch some TV, listen to music or just kick back and relax. They can even work in there if they fancy it.
Come and see if for yourself and experience a little history while you’re here, or take a look at these interior photos: