It is beyond doubt that Australia is set to enjoy many years of sustained growth in the mining industry. It is equally beyond doubt that the need for new and happy workers will continue to be a major focus for employers. With high demand within the industry for experienced and highly skilled employees, there has been a shift to a higher standard of accommodation to attract and retain these valuable employees. One visionary Queensland-based company “Decorate By Design”, identified this need over 12 months ago and has lead the field in design, supply, fitout and project management of remote area accommodation.
Decorate By Design’s mantra is MAXIMISED COMFORT IN A CONFINED SPACE. With the ability to customise furniture, fittings and equipment (FF&E) to suit all criteria in terms of budget, durability, serviceability and aesthetics, Decorate By Design have built a solid relationship with numerous demountable housing manufacturers, the Australian Government, Indigenous Land Council and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services & Indigenous Affairs. Its high level of service and expertise within the area of remote living accommodation means that they have the facilities to provide clients with full project management skills including plan and layout designs, sourcing, supply, installation and guaranteed lead times.
With a firm belief that all employees who live in remote mining camps deserve comfort after a long shift, Decorate By Design has significantly improved small space comfort levels. Increasingly, research is showing the benefit of a good night’s sleep, and some of the significant factors in the achievements of staff are not only based on their skills and intelligence, but the surroundings in which they live and relax. If miners cannot get enough sleep and relaxation, then it is well known that productivity decreases and the risk of injury increases.
So, what changes have Decorate By Design made?
Given spacial constraints, the aim in all of the projects is to optimise the practicality of the accommodation rooms and ensuites, and to provide a comfortable and convenient solution. To better understand the conditions and requirements, a number of Decorate By Design key personnel have themselves spent time staying in the camps and using the facilities. With this extra experience they were able to make an objective assessment as to where improvements could be made.
A common complaint (and one experienced By Decorate by Design themselves) has been the noise created by the bar fridge whilst trying to sleep. By incorporating the bar fridge inside a ventilated wardrobe unit, they were able to decrease the noise level. It was also a useful way to utilise the space where the bar fridge typically sits in the corner of the room with merely a shelf above. The addition of a chest of drawers (lockable if necessary) alleviated the concern of not enough storage space left in the wardrobes due to the incorporation of the bar fridge, and after discussion with tenants it was ascertained that a chest of drawers would be more convenient and useful than the full height robe in any case. The chest of drawers also has the added benefit of bench top space which is often limited in these rooms.
Depending on the style of accommodation required, there are many other space saving solutions offered by Decorate By Design. In some cases the desk is not used by the tenant as an office / work space, so in these cases the desk can be substituted with a comfortable armchair opposite the television (which should be wall mounted). A perfect way to relax and watch television in the evening, instead of on a plastic chair or on the bed. Decorate By Design also have a wall mounted removable desk system that can be used whilst sitting in the armchair if reading a book / newspaper or using a lap top.
With storage space at a minimum in these rooms, Decorate By Design offer a storage bed system, in which the underneath of the bed frame has generous storage capacity, accessible from both sides of the bed if needed. This space will comfortably fit a suitcase, boots, hard hats etc; and comes with recessed legs to allow better access around the bed. The sturdy metal frame is covered with a bed base valance that has velcro lift up flaps on either side to access the space underneath and keep the living space tidy. But, most important is the mattress on top of the bed base frame. Using only mattresses that are developed with the International Chiropractic Association (with zoned support systems for postural alignment) Decorate By Design can offer a number of different mattresses to suit varying budgets.
An affiliated company specialises in the manufacture of soft furnishings, ranging in all classes of bedding accessories, cushioning etc. A range of custom made doona / bedspread fabrics are milled in Australia to your specifications and meet all Australian Standards in terms of fire retardancy and commercial wear and tear. Being 100% polyester it is machine washable, anti microbial, inherently stain resistant and fade resistant. Coordinating commercial blockout curtains not only insulate the room, but also help to absorb noise pollution from outside, all of which are concerning factors in the donga rooms.
With all furniture having commercial guarantees and being suitable for the application, camp managers can rest assured that quality and longevity is not compromised with the upgrade in furnishings. And it doesn’t just finish with the accommodation rooms. Decorate By Design are also well equipped to fitout all common areas and recreational areas from the reception and mess hall, to the theatre room, bar & gym. With many years of experience supplying common / rec area furnishings for places such as Dunk Island Resort, Home Valley Station in the Kimberley and Government Department Representative housing in remote communities, they can equip you with everything that a camp may need. DBD designed the new standard for Ausco’s Stayover Village accommodation and have installed and project managed their Windmill and Zeller Camps in Chinchilla and the Dalby camp. This experience with bulk commercial supply to remote locations demonstrates their dedication to their clients and is just an example of some of the projects achieved, attesting their belief that no job is too difficult or too far away. Decorate By Design are also well aware of the logistical requirements involved in the fitout of these projects, and their skilled staff personally oversee all packing, transporting and installation of goods.
With such a high demand in the mining sector for quality staff, why not provide these staff with quality living accommodation? A hard day of work deserves an easy night of rest.