founded Inside Out Contracts from a small office in Greenwich in 1999. In the early days, Lisa won her first big tender furnishing McDonald's restaurants, putting the company on the road to success. Since then, Inside Out has gone on to furnish locations from local cafés in Brockley, to the prestigious Marrriot Hotels, to boutique golf resorts in Portugal.
As Inside Out Contracts celebrates 20 years in the furniture business, we thought it would be fitting to hear from Lisa herself and get the low down on how she got into the industry and what she's seen change over the years.
How did you first get involved in the world of contract furniture?
I have an interior design background so I’ve always had a passion for beautiful furniture design. I also worked in retail from a young age and so understand the importance of good customer service. This is key to maintaining positive relationships with clients and growing a successful business. After working for many years with a well-known furniture retailer it soon became clear to me that there was a gap in the market for innovative, design-led furniture for commercial use. I decided to fill that gap.
In your opinion, what makes a great chair?
Apart from great comfort and support, a chair needs to be attractive from all angles and show attention to detail in its design, from the piping right down to the legs. A great example is our Italian designed Constantine lounge chair. One of my favourites, the Constantine is a truly luxurious upholstered chair featuring signature studding and slipper cup detail, a timeless beauty.
Do you have a favourite type of project you like working on?
I can’t say there is one type of project that I enjoy as the variety of work we're asked to be involved in is so much fun. One day we are working with a top designer for a West End restaurant and the next we can be looking at functional seating for an airport. I found working with the designers on the furniture for the Rio Olympics one of the most memorable projects to date.
What has been the biggest change you’ve seen in the contract furniture industry over the last twenty years?
I think that furniture design has now become so unique and so much about individuality that no one is looking for the same pieces as anyone else. This is what makes our job most challenging now but it's definitely also more exciting! The move towards uniqueness means we are always updating our collection, it is an essential part of what we do. The best place for finding new furniture is Milan Design Week. My team and I go every year and we take pride in being one of the first to launch the newest and most exciting designs.
Celebrating our award last year for Innovation at The Best of Royal Greenwich Business Awards, dedicated to our amazing team of like-minded design enthusiasts.
The team at Inside Out, including head of security, Stanley the Vizsla.
Inside Out Contracts
Building 16, 42 Creek Road, London SE8 3FN
Sales: +44(0)20 8305 3130
Production: +44(0)20 8305 3136
Design: +44(0)20 8305 3139
Company No. 02841010
VAT No. 752 0164 61