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Shaftesbury has announced a village-wide programme of initiatives to provide support for consumers, residents and operators during coronavirus.  Reflecting the unique nature of its West End portfolio, Shaftesbury is bringing-to-life virtually Chinatown, Seven Dials and Carnaby with a programme of unique digital content created by tenants to entertain, educate and inform people while they remain unable to visit the villages in person.

The first campaign to go live was #BringingChinatownHome, which helps people take inspiration and enjoy the area from their homes.  Shaftesbury has developed a virtual ‘routine’ that allows followers to explore Chinese culture with a series of activities throughout the week, mixing mindfulness exercises and basic language lessons and regular recipe content.  A significant element of the campaign celebrates the diverse cuisine of the area, and Chinatown London is encouraging the public to recreate the dishes they miss most.  To help source key ingredients, Chinatown’s own supermarket, See Woo, has launched SEE WOO TO YOU, delivering fresh ingredients to Londoners within a five-mile radius of their Chinatown London store.  The supermarket also remains open in Chinatown London for all essential goods.

Seven Dials @ Home is a digital initiative to ensure the community and consumers can remain connected to Seven Dials during the lockdown.  The campaign features curated content created in partnership with Seven Dials’ hospitality and retail occupiers for their social media followers.  Participating brands include Another_Space, Flesh & Buns, Lumas, Caudalie, Nudie Jeans, Benefit, Dinny Hall and Tatty Devine, who between them are offering bespoke video tutorials, make-and-enjoy-at-home classes, as well as guides on wellbeing and health.  KERB has also created the Seven Dials Market Cornershop, which is delivering a taste of London to residents throughout the capital.

Completing the virtual village offer is Carnaby Together, which is highlighting the full breadth of experiences available in London’s iconic shopping and dining destination, focusing on sustainability, community and charity.  Examples include recipes and cook-at-home classes from brands such as Dishoom, Pizza Pilgrims and Crumbs and Doilies; wellness and gym classes by triyoga, Sweatty Betty and Heartcore;, and style and beauty advice from Bleach London and MAC.  Carnaby is also providing social media followers opportunities to ask brands questions directly, and to go behind the scenes at retailers and F&B operators.

Commenting on the creation of the virtual villages, Karen Baines Head of Group Marketing and Communications at Shaftesbury, said: “Consumers and the community alike are craving content that helps them feel connected.  At the same time, brands are seeking ways in which they can remain in touch with their followers.  Our virtual villages respond to these needs by taking the brands and wider experience of each of the destinations directly into people’s homes.

“The support has been very positive, with lots of brands working with us to create bespoke experiences, while followers are sharing their own content as further inspiration.  The virtual villages are adding value as people live their lives in lockdown, and maintaining relationship for brands that will pay dividends when the recovery begins.”

The launch of the virtual villages follows Shaftesbury’s creation of a Community Fund to aid local partners in providing support where it is most needed during the current situation.  The Fund is equivalent to the cost savings from the board remuneration waivers announced earlier this month.

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Positive signs: Brewgooder shares messages of thanks to NHS workers on giant billboards nationwide, after thousands of Brits donate beer to health workers

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Brewgooder, the non-profit ‘clean water’ brewer, is saying thanks to the NHS today with a nationwide billboard takeover featuring messages of gratitude and support from generous Brits who have donated beer to front line workers.

The billboards, which are stationed across London and the North East from today, feature some of the thousands of messages of appreciation that have been submitted by the public alongside the 24,000 cans of beer donated to NHS workers leading the fight against COVID-19.

The 31 billboards were donated by a cooperative of 3 independent digital Out of Home providers – Smart Outdoor, London Lites and Open Media – to the social enterprise which already donates all of its profits to clean water projects, in support of its ‘One On Us’ campaign which aims to reach as many hard-working NHS staff as possible.

Launched last month, the campaign allows people to donate a cost price four-pack of Brewgooder beer or Karma Cola alongside a personal message of support to anyone working for the NHS during the current coronavirus pandemic. In just four days, the campaign garnered over 3,000 pledges of support resulting in over 12,000 donated brews. Donations have since doubled to over 6,000 packs, and the brewery still hopes to get beer to the remaining 16,000 workers that have registered to claim a pack.

James Hughes, Head of Brand at Brewgooder commented:

“The core purpose of the campaign was to provide a way for the British public to show love and appreciation to NHS and healthcare workers across the UK. When the guys at Smart Outdoor offered these billboards for the campaign, we felt there was no better use for them than to display genuine messages of support submitted via the campaign by members of the public, which can now be seen by thousands of healthcare workers traveling to or from work to hopefully brighten their day.”

NHS staff were invited to enter their work email into the platform with accompanying delivery details and when they’d like to receive the pack and Brewgooder will issue the contact-free delivery to the recipient’s address. All NHS staff will also be granted a lifetime 20% discount when purchasing any Brewgooder product.

Hughes, continued:

“We never doubted the generosity of the British public but we’ve been blown away by the level of support received for this campaign. From messages of thanks to individual NHS heroes to messages of inspiration and awe to all those frontline workers, it’s clear how much the NHS means to people.

Social good has always sat at the heart of everything we do, and with the generous support of Smart Outdoor team and their partners, who have provided the billboard spaces, we’ve been able to take the campaign to the next level.”

Mark Catterall, Managing Director at Smart Outdoor:

“The Smart Outdoor team are delighted to be able to support this great campaign , thanking our amazing NHS at a time when they are doing so much, we were equally delighted that our close partners at London Lites and Open Media came on board with generous donations to support and extend the message further , as with many sectors it’s a challenging time for the Outdoor advertising market so it makes us proud to have strong relationships with like-minded independent network owners who value and care about the communities they reach every day and showcase what great things we can do working together.”

Alongside Smart Outdoor and its partners, MTC Media, Ground Level Up Video Productions and Cordial Fox have also supported the “One On Us” initiative pro-bono.

To send a Brewgooder care-package to an NHS employee, head to:

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4 Great Degree Choices for a Career in Catering

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One of the beauties of the catering industry is that you don’t always have to study for official qualifications to get in. Many people working in catering started off washing dishes or waiting tables and worked up to a management position. But if you know that working in catering is your dream career, or if you want to start your own catering business, you might be considering choosing a university degree that will help you achieve your career goals faster. Here are some ideal university degree choices to make if you are considering a future in the catering business.

Hospitality and Catering:

While it is not always offered as a degree option by many universities, you might find a degree that focuses solely on working in the catering business. It is often geared towards people who want to become restaurant managers or work in a business position in catering, rather than on the food production side of things. If cooking is more your thing, you’re unlikely to find a university degree, but there are plenty of vocational courses on offer where you can learn to be a chef and develop all the necessary skills needed. As every chef knows, practical learning is usually much more important than classroom learning for this job, so if working as a chef is your dream, the best route to take is usually a vocational course, plus as much on-the-job experience as you can find.


If you love the idea of managing a restaurant or working as an area manager for a large hospitality chain, a degree in business management may be just the ticket that you need. This degree course will help prepare you for the management side of things and covers a wide range of skills necessary to become a successful manager in any industry, including catering. A great thing about studying for a degree in management is that if you do ever decide to change industries in the future, you could easily apply it to many others including retail, healthcare, and more.


If you dream of starting your own catering business one day, a degree in business and entrepreneurship might be just what you need. While there’s no need to get a degree to start your own business, this can certainly help, as you’ll spend three to four years learning about everything that it takes to be a successful business owner. You may already be a great chef or cook and know exactly what it takes to produce food that people love, so this degree will help you brush up your skills on everything else that goes into running a successful catering business like finance and accounting, marketing, human resources and more.

There are plenty of universities across the country that provide business and entrepreneurship courses and you can find a full list at University Compare. For instance, Bournemouth’s courses can be seen here which are delivered by the AACSB accredited Business School (less than 5% of business schools worldwide are accredited by them). Have a look at what’s available and hopefully you’ll find the one most suited to help you launch your catering career.


If you’d rather work on the business side than the food side of things, marketing can be an ideal subject to study. Every restaurant and catering business needs good marketing strategies to keep customers coming through the door, whether you wind up working for a large restaurant chain or a small local cafe. Marketing is a very interesting degree that you can also apply to various other industries if you ever decide that you’re ready for a change; you’ll learn about marketing psychology, digital and offline marketing, email, social media, word-of-mouth marketing, and more.

While working in catering doesn’t always require a university degree, studying for any of these subjects can help you secure your dream career.

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BrewDog Punk IPA pack with all profits being donated to Help NHS Heroes

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Scottish craft brewer, BrewDog, has announced that it will be launching limited edition 12 packs of Punk IPA, the UK’s leading craft beer, with all profits donated to the Help NHS Heroes campaign. The packs, priced at £15 for 12, will be available from its online shop from the 6th May 2020.

The partnership is part of a wider initiative by the brewer that began with its Punk Sanitiser, with 80% alcohol strength,  at the beginning of the Covid crisis. To date the brewer has donated over 250,000 units to charities and NHS services across the country, with plans to continue as long as it is required.

The Help NHS Heroes project was launched by volunteers to provide  NHS workers with on-site access to enough food for two days of nutritious family meals in response to the  COVID-19 crisis. Its mission is to help all NHS hospital workers to have the opportunity to pick up a box to feed a family of four on the hospital’s doorstep. The donations will go towards funding their ability to deliver services to as many hospitals as possible, at minimal cost to the NHS Trusts.

James Watt, Co-founder of BrewDog commented,

“From the very start of the crisis we’ve been looking at how BrewDog can best support those on the frontline of the COVID-19 effort. Now more than ever it’s apparent  just how committed and selfless our amazing NHS workers are, saving lives on a daily basis.

We’ve partnered with the Help NHS Heroes charity, not only because of the amazing work it has been doing, but also because of its growing reach  in offering real-time relief  to our NHS heroes who need it the most.

James Mawer, founder of Help NHS Heroes commented,

“We are delighted that BrewDog has taken the initiative to get behind our campaign to support the NHS heroes. BrewDog is very generous in donating the profits from its fantastic beer and in doing so, helping to provide us with essential financial support to set up in as many hospitals as we can.”


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The FDF and UK trade unions: working together to feed the nation

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The Food and Drink Federation (FDF), Unite, Usdaw, BFAWU and GMB, have joined together for the first time to commend the efforts of all those working in food and drink manufacturing who are doing so much to keep the nation fed and to maintain the UK’s food security.

In a joint statement, the FDF and the unions highlight the critical importance of working together at this exceptionally demanding time to ensure our workforce is safe, protected and respected. As the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, food and drink employs 430,000 people in every part of the country.

The statement highlights the good practice underway in many workplaces, including social distancing and hygiene standards, and support for the workforce. By continuing to work constructively together, our factories can continue to produce the food and drink we need to feed the people of the United Kingdom.

Ian Wright CBE, Chief Executive, FDF

“If you can’t feed a country, you don’t have a country. Workers in food and drink are the hidden heroes, making everyday sacrifices so fellow citizens can access the food and drink they want and need. Partnership between employers and unions has been crucial to continuing production over the last eight weeks. Our member companies will go on supporting their workers through the difficult weeks to come. We look forward to working closely with our trade union colleagues to do so.”

Joe Clarke, National Officer for food, drink and agriculture, Unite

“Unite the Union are proud of the cooperative approach that has been established with trade unions working jointly with FDF to ensure the health and safety and good practice within the sector to support our food workers in feeding the nation. Hopefully the foundations that have been formed will stand us in good stead in the future when we come out the other end of this national crisis.”

David Gill, National Officer, Usdaw

“Usdaw are pleased the FDF continue to engage with unions, share best practices and ensure the health and safety of Usdaw members working in the food and drink manufacturing sector. The health, safety and wellbeing of these key workers feeding our nation is of paramount importance to Usdaw and the FDF during this unprecedented time.”

Sarah Woolley, General Secretary, BFAWU

“We welcome the opportunity at the BFAWU to work together with the FDF and other trade unions across our sector to ensure that our members remain safe and healthy and their workplaces survive the economic impact of COVID 19.”

Eamon O’Hearn, National Officer, GMB

“The current crisis has shown just how essential GMB members are in the food and drink supply chain, ensuring food gets from farm to fork.

“GMB hopes this crisis can be the catalyst for further joint working to raise standards across the entire industry, so that essential workers in both the public and private sector are recognised for the contribution they make to our communities.”

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Clayton Park Bakery Celebrates VE Day with a Hamper Giveaway

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Top local bakery, Clayton Park, in Accrington, East Lancashire, is encouraging socially distanced VE Day celebrations, with a hamper stuffed full of VE Day themed goodies.

For those who don’t know already, May 8th is the 75th anniversary of VE day. But with the coronavirus lockdown still likely to be in force, celebrations this year look set to be a subdued affair. However, much loved bakery, Clayton Park, is determined not to allow the day to pass unmarked.

They have launched an appeal for members of the public to send them photographs of their own socially distanced VE day celebrations from around the area. The popular bakery will then choose the 10 most impressive celebrations and those responsible will receive a hamper full of VE Day themed treats.

VE (Victory in Europe) day marks one of the single most important events in modern global history, and one in which British nation played an invaluable part. It is now 75 years since the guns fell silent on the battle fields of Europe and ever since then this day has been marked with celebrations and remembrance of those who fought in that conflict.

A Clayton Park Bakery spokesperson said:

“This is such an important date that we simply can’t allow it to go by unnoticed. That’s why we’re encouraging the celebrations to go ahead, albeit in a slightly different manner than usual.”

“Just because we’ve got to keep up the social distancing doesn’t mean VE Day is cancelled. Far from it. You can still put the bunting up and raise a glass to Queen and country, and if you’ve got access to the internet you can still interact with others online.”

Clayton Park Bakery was first set up in 1983 and since then the business has become the pride of the local area, supplying pies to many north-west sports and football clubs including Accrington Stanley, Liverpool, Wigan Athletic, and Everton.

For a chance to win the brilliant hamper, submit your photos or video to Clayton Park via their social media page

For information about Clayton Park Bakery visit the website, or call 01254 393200

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3 Common Reasons Why So Many Catering Operations End Up Failing

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Catering is a notoriously competitive and cutthroat business. Unfortunately, too many go into the business with nothing but a dream, only for it to get crushed by the realities and challenges of running a catering business.

Still, this is a sector that offers tons of opportunities for savvy business owners who have a clear vision, a plan, and know how to execute it. But, in order to capitalise on these opportunities, you have to be able to identify possible mistakes you might be committing and correct them immediately. Here are some of the most common reasons why some catering operations end up failing.


One of the most tragic situations is becoming a victim of your success. In many cases, business owners end up stretching themselves too thin and can’t meet the demand. You might be eager to take on new clients, and excited by the chances of expanding your client base, but if you fail in your engagements, people will know and it will affect your business’s reputation. Not being able to deliver on time is one of the biggest sins you can commit as a caterer, and even if you have the best food, people will think twice about hiring someone they can’t trust.

They Spend Too Much Too Soon

Many people start with the impression that they need a 5-star kitchen to get started, but there are tons of ways that you can start without having to spend that much on equipment. For one, you should consider looking into renting commercial kitchen space.

As a caterer, chances are you’ll only have contracts on certain days during the week. You could also consider limiting contracts to weekends only and find kitchen space that will allow you to rent their installations on the cheap. Don’t limit yourself to restaurants either. There are various organisations, like soup kitchens, for instance, that will allow you to rent space while they’re closed.

One area, however, where you can’t cut corners, is transportation. You cannot run the risk of buying a cheap van that could end up getting you in trouble at the last minute. However, there are still ways that you can save on transportation.

One of the ways that you could save, for instance, would be to shop around for van insurance so you can get the best deal. Services like will allow you to compare van insurance quotes from over 60 different insurance providers. Their service is easy to use, and you’ll be able to get instant quotes from multiple insurers at the touch of a button. You’ll also be able to apply for coverage directly through their website or through the phone.

Not Having Enough Staff

Another area where you can’t afford to be stingy is when it comes to hiring people. You can’t run a catering business on your own or with a couple of family members and you will need people to work as kitchen aides, dishwashers, and helpers on the ground. Cutting costs in this area will result in delays and technical issues once you’re on the floor and will eventually reflect poorly on your business.

These are just some of the reasons why so many catering businesses fail. The good news is that you now are better informed on what you should avoid, and can start on building your catering business on solid foundations.

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Carers must have GMB or Unison membership to get their hands on one of 2,000 tickets for Sheffield gig 

Beautiful South stars Paul Heaton and Jacquie Abbott have announced a special one-off gig – only for care workers.

The concert takes places at Sheffield City Hall on October 28, 2020.

A total of 2,000 tickets are up for grabs [1] – but are only available to care workers who are members of either GMB or Unison.

Union members can apply for two tickets each and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Sue Wood, GMB Senior Organiser, said: 

“We’re so proud to be part of this event with Paul and to do something special for the care workers who are helping to keep the country running.

“Unions are all about the values of solidarity and mutual support – we’re proud to be coming together in Sheffield.”

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London, Friday 3 April: Some of the best known household brands have today launched a campaign calling on shoppers to do the right thing during the Covid-19 crisis.

With retailers under exceptional pressure, brand owners are using their collective might to urge consumers to stay home and stay safe and respect shopping hours for the elderly as well as NHS workers, who are working around the clock to keep us safe. The campaign goes live today with messages on the retailers’ websites, in email communications and is accompanied by a #ShopResponsibly social media campaign.

The Shop Responsibly campaign promotes the following key messages, which are aligned with government advice: stay home, stay safe, respect elderly shopping hours, keep two metres apart, support NHS shopping hours and only buy what you need.

The Shop Responsibly campaign was developed by Publicis Groupe UK to drive positive consumer behaviour change.

Annette King, CEO, Publicis Groupe UK, said: “Overnight we’ve seen an irreversible shift in the role retailers and brands play in people’s lives. We’ve also seen incredible efforts by so many businesses and their hard working employees to do the right thing in this difficult time.  Shop Responsibly unites the sector in an urgent entreaty to consumers to behave responsibly and think about others. We invite retailers, supermarkets and other business organisations to sign up to the campaign.”

Amos Susskind, Managing Director, L’Oréal UKI, said: “During this unparalleled time we all have a role to play in the battle against Covid-19. Whether as an individual or a business we must come together and act to support those most vulnerable and exposed. This is especially true when it comes to the way we shop, and as a leading FMCG company we have the responsibility to amplify this campaign, reminding our consumers of the basic but fundamental principles of ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe and Shop Responsibly’.”

Dave Lawlor, European President, Kellogg, said “As a food company we have a unique role to play at this time to ensure that we can continue to supply our customers and keep food on supermarket shelves. Our frontline employees in our plants are coming to work every day to make this happen. We support this initiative as it will ensure that supply chains can continue to run smoothly and that everyone can shop safely, shop confidently and appropriately and access the goods they need during this crisis.”

Susan Egstrand, Reckitt Benckiser’s Regional General Manager for Northern Europe and UK & Ireland, said: “We fully support the Shop Responsibly campaign in an effort to drive change in shopping behaviours – reminding consumers to buy only what they need, when they need.  We all should prioritise the needs of the most vulnerable and think about helping our neighbours.”

Nicola Coronado, Marketing Director of Essity, said: “Every brand and retailer is doing their best to manage a difficult situation. Through Essity’s support of the Shop Responsibly campaign, and our activation across our portfolio of essential hygiene brands, Cushelle, Plenty, Bodyform and TENA, we aim to drive heightened consciousness among consumers about the potential impact of their behaviours on others and in turn, ensure that everyone – particularly the most vulnerable in our society, as well as our courageous and committed key workers – is able to access the products that they need.”

Phil Smith, Director General at ISBA, said: “We champion an environment that is transparent, responsible and accountable and this is more important now than ever. Advertisers have a vital role to play in driving positive behaviour changes during this crisis. In the coming days and weeks, the Shop Responsibly eye-catching bright yellow logo will be used across the advertising channels of various brands within our network, their websites and social media platforms, urging people to think of others in their community who might need their support. This includes the elderly and vulnerable, as well as our key workers, who are working around the clock to keep us safe.”

Publicis Groupe has waived its fees to develop and create the campaign. The campaign incorporates paid, owned and earned media donated from media owners. Industry leaders like AdStream have waived delivery fees.

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Interior Design Trends In 2020 And How You Can Incorporate Them Into Your Establishment

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In today’s challenging hospitality market, hotels, restaurants and other establishments need to optimise every aspect of their business to ensure continued success.

One great way to use the slowdown in business brought about by the Conoranvirus pandemic is to consider how you can improve the layout and design of your space.

By creating a welcoming and enticing look for your establishment, you’ll boost your chances of rejuvenating sales and reinvigorating your brand.

To do this, you need to incorporate the latest interior design trends and combine them with a unique flair and ingenuity to craft a creative, yet at the same time familiar, space for your guests.

To make the process easier, we’ve put together a list of the top interior design trends in 2020 and how you can use them to enhance your hospitality business.

The Rustic Look

Natural products such as wood, marble and stone, as well as floral and rustic patterns have become a popular part of the interior design market over recent years. They show no sign of going anywhere, so consider incorporating them into your establishment.

This trend is particularly relevant for restaurants that want to highlight their naturally flavourful dishes. The rustic look is also less neat and precise than other interior design styles, such as the monochrome look. As such, it’s ideal for hotel lobbies and other spaces where a lot of people congregate and mingle. If they move items or create disorder, it will not look as out of place in a rustic room as it would in a more modern space.

Natural materials can be less durable than manufactured products, so consider finding furniture that is finished with a natural look, but designed to handle the wear and tear that commercial furniture is exposed to on a daily basis.

Pastel Colours

Soft, pastel colours are a trendy way to express your establishment’s quirky, playful side without taking it too far. Gentle colours, such as pale pinks, blues and mint greens, offer a unique and creative alternative to dull neutral colours such as cream and beige.

Pastel colours also invoke memories of spring and the natural world, as they are the colours of some of many beautiful wildflowers. To combine pastel colours with the rustic look mentioned above, check out the work of Artist DK Macleod. His glorious Scottish landscapes are created in stunning pastel colours, making them a beautiful addition to your establishment’s walls and the perfect way to combine two popular interior design trends.

Textured Finishes

One of the more bold and daring interior design developments for 2020, textured cushions, soft furnishings and even wallpapers have become popular with a wide variety of homeowners, designers and establishments.

By using embossing techniques to add velvet or silk onto wallpaper or furnishings, upholsterers have been able to infuse even the most basic of items with a hint of luxury. If you’re keen to improve the look and feel of your establishment, without taking it too upmarket and alienating your target clientele, then using textured finishes on your soft furnishings, furniture or walls could be the perfect compromise.

Prints And Patterns

Prints and patterns have been popular for many years, but they have become a staple of the interior design market recently thanks to the rise of social media. As more homeowners and consumers are keen to share images that will get them noticed, they’ve been seeking to use prints and patterns as a unique backdrop.

For establishments that are looking to make a bold statement, bright prints and patterns are the perfect solutions. If you’re keen to show your affiliation to pop culture, then you could find tiger print cushions to represent the world’s love of the Netflix show Tiger King.

You could also use bright, neon patterns to really set off your establishment and make it look completely innovative and enticing. Alternatively, you can easily use pale coloured patterns or traditional looks, such as check or flora designs, to make a more subtle statement.

Grey Colour Schemes

Grey interiors have been fashionable for many years, and they show no signs of going anywhere. Muted, pale grey walls and flooring can be a great alternative to beige neutrals, while darker, steelier grey furnishings and embellishments can be a great way to make a statement.

When using grey for your establishment’s décor, you need to make sure that you don’t go too dark and make your space feel gloomy and inhospitable. Use light grey for any large surface, such as a wall, floor, door or countertop, and accentuate it with darker grey or another natural colour, such as deep green or an inky blue.

Reinvigorating your establishment’s appearance will help you to boost trade once it reopens after the lockdown and customers search for new venues to fill the gap where old favourites once stood. Use this list to find the interior design trends that will enhance your establishment and encourage consumers to host their future gathers and celebrations in your venue.


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