Contact Info

GS House
Moorside, Colchester,
Essex, CO1 2TJ

Folow Us

Working with Entrepreneurial Clients

Since our inception in 1992, we have been extremely fortunate to transform some amazing spaces for our clients, working in collaboration with national brands on their aggressive growth strategies along with one-off clients on their first project.

In recent years we have noticed the growth in what I would class as the entrepreneurial client. i.e. Looking to open their first or second premises, to make this a success with the potential of opening more sites in the future. Working with this client can be challenging but is very rewarding when you support them through the journey working as a collective to the same goal, helping make their ideas a reality.

Below we have provided insight into how we, GS Contracts, can add value when working with entrepreneurial clients whilst highlighting the key factors to consider when thinking about your first project.

our 10 step project breakdown
Man holding sheet of timber

How can we add value?

  • We offer a complete project management service from start to finish making the process as stress-free as possible- Which includes the development of a scheme prior to starting on site, management of on-site works, health & safety, subcontractors, and financial management. We ensure to host weekly meetings to discuss all of these topics whilst ensuring the project remains on track.

  • On all of our projects, the bespoke joinery items are manufactured in-house from our workshop in Colchester, giving us complete control of our supply chain; ensuring that all items are the highest of quality.
  • With over 30 years of industry knowledge and experience, we can share our expertise in terms of material specifications, value engineering options and legislation that needs to be adhered to (to ensure a compliant fit-out).

  • Our operatives are highly skilled undergoing regular and ongoing training, coupled with a hand-picked specialist supply chain that supports us on all of our projects.

In times of recession there are massive opportunities and fortunes to be made, so for new up and coming entrepreneurs, this is the time to go and start a business.
Quote from Richard Branson
CAD Office

Factors to consider when thinking about your first project:

1) Budget

Budget is an important factor to consider when looking to fit out your first project. It is easy to underestimate the cost of a project, so we would advise being cautious whilst ensuring you have a contingency available to capture any unexpected items that arise throughout the project. If you want a better understanding of the funding options available, we work with a selection of finance brokers who can help fund all or part of your project. We are always more than happy to make an introduction to you.

2) Time Frame

It is not uncommon for projects to take longer than initially planned. For you to receive a comprehensive quote, time is required at the initial stages to visit the site, understand the information, put together prices and gather information from subcontractors and suppliers.

3) Team

Having the right team is essential when delivering a project. You need to ensure you select the right contractor and understand their capabilities. Some contractors will only carry out the building works, whereas others will offer the design and build element under one umbrella.

Are you looking to employ an interior designer to put together a design scheme in terms of finishes, layout, space planning e.t.c?

Will you need an architect to provide technical know-how such as licensing, planning, listed building consent?

Other stakeholders involved in a project can include building control, the landlord, the local council, the property agent and many more.

GSC Team

These are just some areas to consider when selecting the right team. At GS Contracts, we are well versed in offering a complete turnkey solution in terms of design and build.

We are also more than happy to assist by just offering our fit-out services if our client has a preferred designer they wish to use.

Ultimately, having the right team on board should help eliminate any potential problems along the way.

Upon acceptance of a quote, planning time will be necessary to carry out any procurement, health & safety, mobilising resources and identifying any long lead items such as the manufacturing of joinery & metalwork etc. In our opinion, getting this stage right is essential to create a seamless and more efficient project delivery.


“Gary Smith and the team at GS Contracts are a true pleasure to work with. They were flexible, professional and went above and beyond to successfully complete our first project to a very high standard. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them and look forward to working with them on my next site.”
Mimi Gaston-Kennedy
Founder of Pre-Salons
“I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you for the fit out of my shop. I am extremely happy with the result, and everybody was super helpful. I would like to highlight Gavin, Alanna and Phil in particular who all have been excellent, and Phil made the entire process very easy for me and looked after everything well. I will for sure be in touch for my next shop.”
White Pine
Sebastian Doehring
Founder of White Pine Forest
White Pine Interior
White Pine

Do you have a project you wish to discuss?

In summary, your first project is an exciting prospect; and luckily, we are here to help. Our role is to make the process as seamless and stress-free as possible whilst providing advice and support along the way.

If you have a project you wish to discuss or would simply like some advice, feel free to reach out to Gary Smith or me- and we would be more than happy to discuss this further.




24 January 2022 by Hannah Steel 0 Comments

Design Trends for 2022

Having settled into 2022, we thought it might be the perfect opportunity to look ahead at the interior design trends we can expect from this year.

We have checked in with some of our closest friends in the interior design sector to find out some of the design trends they think we’ll be seeing more of in the upcoming months.

Having worked extremely closely with Harp Design on lots of projects, we reached out to uncover the latest trends and styles and discover what elements we may be implementing into our projects later in the year.

Sugar Quay Plants
Sugar Quay
Zuaya Interior

A message from the Harp Design Team:

“The way we use spaces has changed drastically from pre pandemic times compared to how we use them now, whether it’s how often we use them, how we move through them or how we interact with them in general; Interiors need to react to how we live and work now rather than staying rooted in the past.

Given that 2022 is the Year of the Tiger, it’s expected to be bolder, zestier, more rebellious and regal than ever before.”

Take a look below for some more predictions…

Biophilic Design

First up, we can expect to see more design briefs incorporating a biophilic design, defined as a concept used to increase connectivity to the natural environment through direct & indirect nature and space and place conditions.

Harp has pictured us seeing more organic designs throughout 2022, enabling us to encompass lots of organic and natural materials such as woods and marbles into our fit-out projects.

Together with organic materials, we are also expecting to see an increase in natural lighting and ventilation, encouraging and promoting sustainability.

Zuaya Interior
Frescobaldi Interior
White Pine
White Pine
Como Garden
Como Garden

Bold Patterns and Colours

The team at Harp Design are excited to see a growth in bold patterns and colours this year. We can look forward to seeing greens, lavenders and other vibrant colours with bold prints and patterns reminiscent of the 60s and 70s.

Geometric grid patterns may also be making an appearance. We saw a glimpse of this in 2021, manufacturing and installing some of the impressive joinery work on this residential property in Sugar Quay.

Harp believe that ‘Minimalism is out with maximalism coming in strong’

Sugar Quay
Sugar Quay

Sustainable Design

Making sustainable choices is becoming more prevalent in our everyday lives and is certainly something to consider when designing your future fit-out. Sustainable solutions could involve up-cycling materials and re-purposing them to last longer.

Sustainable design choices are something we all encourage for the long-term health of our ecosystem. Not only will it look unique, but it’s great for the environment and will have a long-lasting style.

Ottolenghi Marylebone
Ottolenghi Marylebone
Kineya Mugimaru

Pantone Colour of the Year

Pantone has once again released their colour of the year 2022 – 17-3938 Very Peri.

We can expect to see this colour very frequently, encompassing the qualities of blues with a violet-red undertone.

Carefully selected by the Pantone team, it represents a spritely, joyous attitude, which places the future ahead in a new light. 

Pantone Colour of the Year 2022
Pantone Colour of the Year 2022

What Trends Should be Left in 2021?

Steering away from safe colour palettes, pared-down designs, and putting form before function are all things we can agree with the Harp Design team on.

We can’t wait to provide a new sense of life and excitement to our projects this year and are looking forward to seeing new design trends unfolding.

We would like to thank the Harp Design team for giving us insight into the design trends we can expect for 2022 and look forward to collaborating with them on an abundance of other projects throughout the year.

With over 25 years of experience designing, manufacturing, installing, and managing fit-outs, GS Contracts are experts in turning all our client’s design visions into a reality. 

If you have a design concept you want to discuss, contact our team today.