We’ve been delighted with the positive reaction from customers and visitors to our new look.

It’s quite a change from the old, pre-lockdown opticians’ practice. If you’ve ever started a quick DIY job at home and then seen it escalate wildly – then you’ll understand how this came about.

We wanted to ensure we were doing everything possible to make our practice as safe as possible for you and us. But once we’d created more space to allow better social distancing, designed some new hand sanitisers and ordered new wipe-down furniture, well, that’s when the fun really started!

How about some fresh wallpaper?
Those walls could actually do with re-plastering.
Shall we get rid of the carpets?
Let’s show off some of these amazing designer frames.

Once Stephen, ever the scientist, had decided we need a new aircon system to improve airflow and ‘bring the outside in’ as he likes to say, we were in for a lengthy re-fit.

I sketched out how we wanted the interior of Woodhouse Opticians to look – and we got to work.

opticians Blackpool: my sketch of our re-fit

My sketch – complete with home-crafted light-fitting!

After the national shortage of plaster we finally got some, weeks late, from Turkey, apparently. New display units and reception desk arrived and were assembled.

I was again able to release the artist inside and create a statement light fitting. It was fashioned from a stock of old circular lenses which were sat around taking up space. Well, we do love to recycle and reuse.

Re-opening was like Christmas

The wallpaper has a similar theme and gives the practice a lovely, light, airy feeling – even on the days when the Blackpool sun refuses to shine.

While we’d remained open for emergencies, repairs and contact lens supplies during lockdown, opening our doors for the first regular patient appointments was a bit like Christmas or the first day of school.

Excited, but nervous that it would be quite a change for our regulars. Plus we all had the PPE and new restrictions to contend with as well.

Thankfully, the concern was unnecessary. The new look has been really well received and now, a month later, we’ve settled into a routine.

Some views inside now – including that light fitting

Clearly things remain different; eye examination appointments take a little longer and hygiene measures between patients are even more scrupulously observed.

But we’re determined that while the physical look may have changed and restrictions are in place the levels of service remain just as high. And beneath the face coverings there’s still a smile for our customers.

Do let us know about your experience when you’ve visited us.

 Sukie Woodhouse

→ Here are some of those fabulous brands we want to show off.