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Design talk with Omar Group’s Head of Group Design, Mike Clifford

Following our introduction of Omar Group’s new design team, we thought we’d put the kettle on, pull up a chair and have a chat with each of the team. First up is a top man in more ways than one, our Head of Group Design Mike Clifford.

Can you say a few words about the overall design trajectory for the Group going forward?  

Our aim is to make the Omar, Wessex, and Regal Leisure Home models the number one choice for customers in each sector, especially in style and innovation.

The new designs out so far look amazing, but can you comment on how the design lift is the affecting cost of the units? Presumably you were looking for the perfect balance between adding significant kerb appeal without elevating the cost too much?

The homes are always designed to a budget and through clever design we aim to always achieve the material percentages set without compromising on the overall design and cost of the units.

How has the formation of the design team helped keep the new models and refreshes to a good pace so far? 

The new Regal designs have been created by Anysia and myself, Anysia has been working with me now on design for the past 5 years and the addition of Lola into the team puts us in a strong position for the group design going forward. As a team we will now have more involvement in the group designs and are looking forward to the new challenges ahead.

What’s in the pipeline model wise

From Regal we are currently working on a new MK2 Hemsworth model that will be launched at the NEC in February and Omar will be refreshing the Middleton and Regency Park homes, release dates yet to be confirmed.

How have supply chain issues affected your design choices, or are things pretty much back to normal now? 

Supply chain issues were a problem and, as many other manufacturers did, we had to compromise on certain products initially to ensure our homes were complete. However, things are now back to normal and there even seems to be more material choice available than there was previously, which makes our jobs as designers more enjoyable!

We hear that there’s a real buzz in the design team and you work well running ideas past each other and looking for feedback etc. Have you any further comment on that, and how have the public/buyers reacted to the changes so far?

Yes, we work incredibly well as team and the reaction to the new designs so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

Are there any models you are particularly proud of, and why, or would that be difficult to answer?

The new Regal model range has gone down fantastically well with some great reviews. However, if I was to pick one out as a personal favourite it would have to be The Cranleigh Lodge. We were challenged to design an innovative flagship model that would stand out from our competitors, and we feel we have achieved that in the Cranleigh Lodge .