Behind the Scenes at Octagon with Martin Brown

16/03/2016

This month’s interview from behind the scenes at Octagon is with Martin Brown, Client Liaison Manager for Octagon Bespoke.

 How did you end up at Octagon?

After studying interior design at UCA Farnham, I started my career in kitchen design with a central London specialist. During my time there one of my clients, a property developer, offered me a design manager position at her firm in Balham- this was my introduction to the property industry, a field which rapidly became my passion.

I had been an admirer of Octagon’s work for a while- I came across them during my time as a design manager, when I was working on projects in and around Wimbledon, and found their craftsmanship truly aspirational.

I was cycling along the towpath near Hampton Court Palace, when I spotted this wonderful building right by the river. When I realised it was Octagon HQ, it cemented my desire to work there, and when I found out they were growing their Bespoke division in 2012, I applied for a role in a heartbeat. The rest, as they say, is history!

What does your role entail?

I work closely with our bespoke clients, advising them on their interiors and finishes, designing layouts for their furniture and electricals, and taking them to see different suppliers. It’s my job to keep the client well-informed, which means I have to co-ordinate between departments to make sure everything is running smoothly. You have to be organised as we’re always working on several projects at once.

What is the best thing about your job?

I really enjoy building good relationships with clients- working at the top end of the market, our clients really push us to do better, and they often want the team to create something totally different to anything they have seen before. Challenge accepted!

We recently completed a project for a busy couple in a lovely village in Surrey. It was an Arts and Crafts style property which was a first for Octagon, but the end result was truly spectacular. The wife knew exactly what she wanted, but just didn’t know how to achieve it- which is where we come in. I love being able to help make someone’s dream home a reality.

And the worst thing?

Some larger projects require huge numbers of people to be involved, which means you ultimately can’t be as ‘hands-on’ as you like. Saying that, no matter how big or small, it is always incredibly satisfying to see a fully completed home- along with happy clients, of course.

Leisure pursuits?

I’m first and foremost a full time father to two boys, aged 4 and 5, so they keep me very busy! My other passion is keeping fit, I love mountain biking, and I have taken part in two Tough Mudder races. Oh, and I’m a huge Arsenal fan!

Thoughts for the future?

The Bespoke division continues to grow – when I started four years ago, we used to have 3 or 4 projects on the go, and now, it’s more like 7 or 8. I am extremely proud to be a part of this company and to have a hand in creating such a wonderful product. It’s been a fantastic journey so far, and the future is looking bright.

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