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A self sustaining solution for electronically controlled taps

Daniel Fountain

With water saving being a crucial factor in the building and refurbishment of commerical projects to ensure that they meet the necessary criteria for efficiency and sustainability, Geberit has launched a new innovation that ensures its electronically controlled taps are the most energy efficient on the market.Geberit’s electronically controlled taps can now be fitted with a self-sustaining power supply that works independently of mains and battery sources. Suitable for use with the manufacturer’s infra-red taps, the new self-sustaining power supply has been designed for use in washrooms with a large volume of users per day, helping commercial premises such as pubs, restaurants and hospitals effortlessly fulfill their green credentials.

Mounted directly on the angle stop valve of the fresh water pipe, a tiny generator uses the pressure of the water in the pipe to generate electricity. This electricity is then stored in a rechargeable battery that is used to power the tap.

Two versions of the self-sustaining power supply are available – one without a mixer and the other with a below-deck mixer.

The lifetime of the product is not influenced by intermittent use, making it perfectly poised for use in the commercial washroom, while no additional back up is required as the battery is built to last around 10 years in a working bathroom. Back up is available should it ever be needed in the shape of a battery charger and analysis tool, which not only recharges the control units to 100 per cent power within five hours, but can also be used to analyse the function of the generator, the control unit and the tap itself.

All in all, Geberit’s new self sustaining power supply is the ideal choice for buildings that need to follow strict ecological guidelines.

For more information call 0800 077 8365 or visit

Sophisticated Suite Concept from Lano Carpets

Daniel Fountain

The endlessly stylish and resilient Suite carpet concept from Lano Flooring Solutions continues to provide leisure and hospitality environments with the utmost in style, comfort and performance, providing designer colours and fine stripes in the stock collectionas well as a bespoke custom concept service.A tufted graphics range renowned for its stylish linear stripe, Suite’s stock collection offers a minimalist look, in subtle shades ideal for hotels and leisure venues. Available in a choice of six different colourways with a pile weight of 1,100g/m2, this range is shipped from stock in any quantity to provide a sophisticated flooring solution that is particularly ideal for areas such as hotel bedrooms and guestrooms.

For added flexibility and choice, the Suite custom concept allows designers and specifiers to create bespoke carpetsfor projects over 400m2. With three pile weights of 1,100g/m2, 1,300g/m2 or 1,500g/m2 to choose from and available with up to four special colours per design, this service will ensure there is a carpetcompatible with all interior schemes. The heavier pile weight of 1,500g/m2 offers classification 33, making it suitable for public areas and corridors to allow for coordination across multiple areas within the same venue.

All Suite carpets have a hardwearing 80% New Zealand wool and 20% nylon construction to offer superb colour clarity and appearance retention. Backed with a choice of fire safe action backing or fire safe polyester felt backing, which offers extra underfoot comfort ideal for bedroom locations, Suite is a great partner for areas that require soft yet strong carpet.

“Across both the stock and custom ranges, the Suite collection offers a unique combination of elegant aesthetics, inherent robustness and underfoot comfort that matches the needs of leisure and hospitality environments to perfection,” explains Birger Karlsson, UK and Ireland sales manager. “With complementary colourways available in the stock range and customisable designs in the custom collection, Suite provides designers and specifiers with ultimate flexibility. With a bespoke multi coloured stripe engineered specifically for Intercontinental Hotels Group (Holiday Inn Express) and with recent installations at an array of locations including the Lensbury hotel in Teddington and the Crown Plaza Resort in Essex, it is clear that the refined and timeless nature of this collection lends itself to any situation.”

Suite is available in four-metre width.

For further information on all Lano Flooring Solutions ranges, freephone 00800 5266 5266 or visit

Wake up to carpet at Sleep with Wilton

Daniel Fountain

A beautiful bespoke woven axminster carpet will take the centre stage on the walls and floor of the Wilton Carpets Commercial stand at this year’s Sleep event, the premier interior design tradeshow for the international hospitality sector. The carpet will use colours from the brand new Elements palette that is being launched at Sleep. Presenting an exquisite fusion of rich jewel colours and lustrous metallics, Elements is inspired by leading colour trends evident in today’s interiors and forecast to continue into 2013 and beyond. Shades of antique bronze and brass and burnt copper with contrasting shades of claret, ruby, jade and lime zest for an end result that is both flexible and inspirational, providing designers with a functional and usable carpet colouration palette.

“The Sleep event has become the industry gathering for interior designers specifically working within the hospitality sector and provides us with an excellent opportunity to engage with the people that matter,” comments Suna Jones, marketing manager, Wilton Carpets Commercial. “Our stunning stand at last year’s event proved to many just how inspirational carpets from Wilton can be and we are determined that this year will build upon this, revealing something even more extraordinary.”

Making use of the new palette, the Elements 1 FastTrack Design collection features organic curves infused with damask and florals in 18 striking patterned carpets, each available in three carefully considered colourways. Offering twist-on-a-classic inspiration and fusing the vintage with the contemporary, Wilton Carpet’s new Ready to Go ranges, – Carnaby, Labyrinth and Sculpture – present 30 designs that also use the Elements palette to diverse effect.

Wilton Carpets will be on G36 at the Business Design Centre, Islington between 21-22 November.

For further information contact Wilton Carpets Commercial on 01722 746000 or

Introducing Cosmos

Daniel Fountain

The UK’s leading independent wallcovering manufacturer, Dixon Turner is pleased to introduce Cosmos to its Premier collection.This unique embossed texture features intricate twisted textile details framed within a geometric pattern of squares. This ingenious design creates multi level textures on the wall, which alter depending on the lighting conditions and the angle at which they are looked at.

The colouring of Cosmos has been specifically tailored to the hospitality market, but this striking design will be equally at home in all commercial interiors. This exciting design is emphasized by the use of metallic effects – shades of gold, silver, pewter, green and teal – as well as pearlescent, delicate creams, ivories and ecru.

For more information on the Cosmos or any other Dixon Turner designs, please contact our sales team on: 0870 606 1237, alternatively you can email

Vaughan Launches New Autumn Range

Daniel Fountain

Combining effortless chic with outstanding quality, Vaughan has launched a wonderful new collection of floor lamps for Autumn 2012.The Villon Floor Lamp has a swing arm mechanism; the Faringdon Floor Lamp has a more contemporary style with a swivel jointed hood and the Ludlow Floor Lamp has an adjustable toggle to lower or heighten the lamp.

Each of the three styles are available in brass, bronze or nickel.

MGallery Adds a Prestigious New French Address to Its Collection: La Bastide De Gordes & Spa

Daniel Fountain

La Bastide de Gordes & Spa is a warm, intimate five-star residence located in one of France’s most beautiful villages. With its surrounding natural landscapes, it is a haven of peace just 30 minutes from Avignon-Caumont airport and 45 minutes from Avignon’s TGV high speed train station. La Bastide de Gordes & Spa, a luxury establishment in the heart of the Luberon Mountains

This fabulous 16th century building is bordered by terraces that used to be the village ramparts. La Bastide de Gordes & Spa is set into the mountainside in the centre of the village of Gordes and boasts a breathtaking view of its unspoiled natural surroundings and the Luberon Mountains.

The hotel’s 26 rooms and 12 suites are sober and refined. They all have a clear, peaceful view of either the Luberon mountains or the village and some suites even have their own private terrace. Like the rooms, the bathrooms are very spacious and feature hand-crafted tiles.

La Bastide’s gastronomic restaurant is an acknowledged “Grande Table”, or fine dining establishment, in the region. Guests can enjoy lunch or dinner in the large, tranquil vaulted dining room or in the shade on the establishment’s sunny terrace.

The Chef serves authentic, refined cuisine inspired by regional produce. The hotel’s wine steward recommends wines from the establishment’s cellar which boasts 800 different wines and 20,000 bottles.

The hotel also boasts an 800m2 Sisley Spa, which can be accessed directly from the rooms or from outside In this area devoted to the peace and well-being of both body and mind, guests can enjoy “Sisley Phyto-Aromatiques” treatments and massages. The Spa’s many facilities include: a double cabin, five treatment cabins, a chromatic pool with massaging water jets, bubble seats, a jacuzzi and geysers, a Turkish bath, a solarium, a fitness room, an herbal tea room and a relaxation room.

Continued on page two…

Brintons new commercial website

Daniel Fountain

Brintons new commercial website makes a leap forward – we’ve listened to what our customers want and made the whole experience a real pleasure.The new commercial site is easier to navigate, more informative and incredibly social. Our revolutionary clipping tool makes it so easy to share information, simply clip what you like and share it with us or the world.

When you’re rushed we want to make sure you find what you want quickly, so we’ve spent lots of time testing the navigation – search by sector, by collection or even by colour – the choice is yours. And when you’re on the go, the website adapts so you can view it on your mobile device easily with all the functionality of the main site.

Best of all we want you to keep in touch, so have an up-to-date blog and links to our Facebook page, Linked In and Pinterest boards which have been created by our designers around the world.

Come and interact – and see for yourself how Brintons are making the world a more beautiful place. We hope you enjoy using and sharing the site as much as we’ve enjoyed building it.

FCW Pop-up Shop to Stay Open until Christmas

Daniel Fountain

Fine Cell Work are delighted to announce that the lease for our Mayfair pop-up shop has been extended until Christmas.The shop is located at 5 Grosvenor Street, London, W1K 4DJ, in the heart of the West End, and is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm. If you haven’t been there yet, now is the time to come and see us and start your Christmas shopping. You can buy from our lovely range of needlepoint and embroidered home furnishings as well as a delightful selection of home and fashion accessories.

We also have recent commissions on display of bespoke projects for interior designers and private clients including upholstered needlepoint chairs, patchwork quilts and dedicated wedding gifts.

There are plans for a series of fun and engaging events such as lunchtime ‘sew-cials’ where visitors can stitch tapestries and gain advice from Fine Cell Work’s expert volunteers; evening talks by skilled embroiderers and designers such as stitched wallpaper creator Claire Coles; delightful ‘get to know and sew’ sessions with stars who stitch; fascinating screenings and discussions with ex-prisoners about the beneficial effects they discovered whilst participating in the Fine Cell Work prison programme.

Wandsworth Brings KNX Smart Home Technology to Grand Designs Live

Daniel Fountain

The Wandsworth Group is to help architects and self-builders understand how they can combine wow factor, comfort and energy efficiency when it showcases the company’s range of KNX intelligent control and visualisation tools at Grand Designs Live (Stand B10).Designed to co-ordinate lighting, heating, A/V systems and blind controls in the home, the KNX systems available from The Wandsworth Group combine advanced technology with a simple to use touch screen panels. Homeowners can run pre-programmed scenes, operate centralised controls or even access the system remotely, making it easy to create an intelligent home that is flexible, controllable and energy efficient.

Wandsworth is the exclusive UK distributor of Jung KNX products in the UK and will launch the Jung Smart Room Controller at the show, a new compact, wall-mounted control screen that has been designed to offer intuitive operation, just like an iPhone. Designed to enable easy browsing, scrolling and management of complex controls, the Smart Controller features a touch screen and touch buttons in a discreet unit that allows the user to select the individual rooms and functions. Users can even customise the unit, using the ‘homepage’ and ‘favourites’ page options to provide fast, direct access to their mostly frequently used functions and locations.

Explains The Wandsworth Group’s KNX technical specialist, Gordon Fry: “Sometimes people can be put off specifying a KNX system because the technology is very advanced and they mistakenly think it means that you need to be technically-minded to use it. This is simply not the case: all our KNX systems have been designed to offer ease of operation and complete flexibility for the end user and now, with the launch of the new Smart Controller, we can confidently tell customers that if they can use a smart phone, they can operate a KNX intelligent home installation.”

The Smart Controller complements the existing Facility Control Pilot offered by The Wandsworth Group, a software and touchscreen package which enables centralised control, visualisation and monitoring of integrated KNX controls. Visitors to The Wandsworth Group’s stand will be able to find out how this can align functions such as heating, lighting, air conditioning and blind controls providing energy savings of 40% with shading control, 50% with individual room control, and 60% with lighting and ventilation control simply by avoiding energy wastage. The system can even monitor the percentage energy consumption from different energy sources, making it an ideal choice for homes that have been designed to combine renewable energy technologies with connection to the grid.

Demonstrating the same level of chic design and advanced technology, The Wandsworth Group will also be showcasing a number of other products from its Jung range. These include the wall-mounted iPod dock; a discreet and compact unit that can be integrated to a KNX installation; and the door entry system which combines superb audio and picture quality with touch screen controls and an integrated voice memo function.

The company will also be showcasing some of its latest wiring accessory innovations on its stand. The Wandsworth Group’s new Penthouse range of low profile and screwless switches and sockets will be on show. Designed with a metal grid to enable a sleek screwless finish, the range is currently available in six finishes: polished brass; unlacquered polished brass; bright nickel; satin nickel; antique bronze and yellow etched primer, with other finishes to follow. Wandsworth’s new look Jung LS 990 in high-quality brass will also be on display at Grand Designs Live. Treated and finished by hand, the new sockets and switches are available in three shades: Classic, Antique, and Dark.


Crosswater Hires Independent Consultant as Part of Key Expansion Plans

Daniel Fountain

The Crosswater Group has enlisted the expertise of independent consultant Richard Hurst of RAH Consultancy, to assist in their bid to improve their customers’ wellbeing and become the leading supplier within all segments of the bathroom market.As technical issues and regulatory responsibilities have become increasingly important within UK and European regulations, the appointment will greatly assist with WRAS approval processes as a route to voluntarily providing for the wellbeing of their customers and contract market by meeting water regulations.

Highly knowledgeable and respected in the water industry Richard, an independent consultant, has over 20 years experience in all aspects of water regulations and compliance both in the UK and abroad. The aspect of the move signifies Crosswater’s expansion plans and intention of dominating market share, as few competitors have embraced this level of responsibility on a voluntarily basis.

Richard says:
“I am excited by the opportunities this offers to me by working with a company that is demonstrating commitment to best practice. I look forward to working with what is proving to be a highly motivated team who believe in bringing the process to fruition.”

Only the top manufacturers that make up Crosswater’s supply base are paying strict attention to the materials of construction and mechanical endurance testing which will prove the durability of their products. With public procurement directives and recent stories dominating the news on Legionnaires Disease, the appointment sees Crosswater going to great lengths to meet the Water Regulations and taking important steps to act on behalf of the welfare of their customers.

Introducing Etienne by Skopos

Daniel Fountain

September sees the launch of an innovative, environmentally responsible new collection from the Accents range by Skopos. Etienne arrives on the market as an impressive linen-look drapery fabric, created specifically for the contract market. Made from 100% inherently flame retardant polypropylene, this quality presents fantastic opportunities for both the contract hotel and leisure sectors. A strong fit with the Skopos environmental ethos, the Etienne manufacturing process uses reduced water consumption and fewer chemicals than production methods associated with traditional piece dyed cloths.

This unique and innovative quality performs to the high level expected of flame retardant fabrics; Etienne is resilient whilst boasting an easy care guide for laundering, perfect for contract interior solutions.

Available in 15 French inspired colours for drapery solutions – Etienne presents a structured yet natural drape and rustic simplicity for contract interior schemes. It is competitively priced and has short lead-times with no minimums.

Customer interest has been evident prior to the official September launch.

Skopos is an ISO9001 accredited company and has over 30 year’s specialist experience in the design and manufacture of high performance FR contract fabrics for the hospitality sector.

Wilton brings Art Deco style to The Imperial Hotel

Daniel Fountain

Glamorous Art Deco inspired carpet from Wilton Carpets Commercial now graces the floor of the elegant Atrium Bar at The Imperial hotel in Russell Square, London, its design harking back to the roaring 20s and the Jazz Age to provide a unique atmosphere for guests.Providing a style contrast to the funky sixties-style axminster created by Wilton Carpets Commercial and fitted in the main bar just last year, this new bespoke axminster 10-row continues their strong working relationship with The Imperial. Fitted by Essex-based contractors Spratlings Ltd, appointed by project managers Connor Construction, the carpet was specified by Trevillion Interiors and created by Wilton’s experienced design team. Covering 436sqm, the carpet delivers a striking historical style statement that fits with the hotel’s desire to encapsulate the spirit of bygone eras in its many different public areas.

As Frances Blackham, design director, Trevillion Interiors explains, “the Atrium Bar at The Imperial lends itself well to the Art Deco age, with wall panelling, high ceilings and plenty of natural light, and yet, when it came to choosing the floorcovering we still wanted to create a spectacular focal point, using eye-catching deco colours ofcharcoal and gold. Wilton Carpets Commercial interpreted our brief to perfection, with design manager Julie Robertson creating an all over large-scale pattern perfect for the grand Atrium bar. An inspiring reflection of Art Deco style, the carpet features a swirling geometric design repeat and truly complements the bar’s sumptuous furnishings and glitzy, elegant décor.”

The Atrium bar is the hub of the hotel, with its Wi-Fi hotspot and coffee bar generating heavy footfall. Crucially, the new Wilton carpet is not only stylish but also durable enough to withstand high-impact use, with its high-performance 80% wool and 20% nylon blend ensuring exceptional colour clarity and superb resilience.

Lano Flooring Solutions livens up Lensbury

Daniel Fountain

A magnificent array of carpets from Lano Flooring Solutions now graces the floors of Lensbury, a luxurious four star hotel resort and conference centre in Teddington, Middlesex. Lensbury chose an impressive 6,250m² of bespoke carpet from the Lano Flooring Solutions collection to complement existing décor in both the hotel and conference areas. The new carpets also add to the existing products from Lano Flooring Solutions that have been utilised at the hotel as recently as earlier this year, cementing the strong working relationship between both parties.

As Ivor Turner, senior general manager, Lensbury, explains, “We have had fantastic results in the past when using carpeting by Lano Flooring Solutions, so it is no surprise that we have again turned to the team to provide us with stylish designs for a variety of locations within the venue. Carpets from Lano Flooring Solutions perform extremely well and are able to withstand heavy footfall while still providing a stunning aesthetic, and this design quality is something that is very important to us.”

London-based firm RDD Design specified 250m² of carpet for the executive wing corridors, designing acontemporary oversized floral printwith flecks of lime green and red petals upon a warm beige striped background.RDD Design also chose 450m² of custom-designed tufted carpet weighing 1,100g/m² from Lano Flooring Solutions’ Suite collection for the executive bedrooms, featuring a camel-coloured striped pattern to provide a contrast to the vibrant soft furnishings in the plush rooms and to offer supreme underfoot comfort for guests.

Specified by the Lensbury facilities management team, 650m2 of nine rowthree-ply axminster carpet weighing 1,460g/m² and featuring a delicate bordered scroll pattern in cream and black covers the hotel’s main corridors, reception and staircases. A further 600m2of this design without borders adorns corridors throughout the hotel for a seamless, flowing look.

The sports bar is now home to 300m2 of hardwearing 11 row three-ply axminster carpet weighing 1,780g/m². A one-of-a-kind pattern inspired by Lano Flooring Solutions’ extensive design library, the rich red carpet features geometric style brown and white squares arranged in an attractive diagonal configuration.

4,000m² of 11 row three-ply axminster carpet from Lano Flooring Solutions’ standard collection has been installed in the conference centre, with Lensbury increasing the quality from nine row to 11 row to meet the demands of this exceptionally busy location. Resilient and robust, the new carpet features a small circular design upon a dark background that matches the existing conference furniture perfectly.

As Ivor Turner continues, “We are extremely pleased with the quality of the new carpets from Lano Flooring Solutions, and each design has freshened up our interior. The floral design in the upstairs corridors adds a modern twist to our period 1930s architecture, and the traditional scroll pattern in the public areas downstairs fits perfectly with the wood wall panelling and dark soft furnishings. Most importantly, all carpets from Lano Flooring Solutions offer exceptional colour clarity combined with superb resilience to ensure fantastic performance and lasting good looks.”

Lensbury has 171 bedrooms and 30 conference rooms, extensive sporting facilities and beautiful grounds, making it the location of choice for a variety of business and leisure visitors.

For further information on all Lano carpet ranges, freephone 00800 5266 5266 or visit

Brintons: The Ampersand Hotel, London, UK

Daniel Fountain

The newly opened Ampersand Hotel is set in a stunning Victorian building dating back to 1888 in South Kensington, London. The interior Designers have taken their inspiration from surrounding attractions such as the V&A, Royal Albert Hall and the museums of Natural History and Science to create a quintessential British design theme featuring botany, music, ornithology, astronomy and geometry.Brintons worked with Architects & Interior Designers Dexter Moren Associates to create a dramatic collection of intricately ornate designed carpets to furnish the guest rooms, corridors and function room.

Cheryl Smith Senior Interior Designer at Dexter Moren Associates says, “We have worked with Brinton’s on a number of projects and have always found them to be an asset to a project. The design team were able to take our initial concept ideas and turn them into some stunning final designs.”

Crosswater Officially Partner with Renowned Designer Kelly Hoppen, MBE

Daniel Fountain

Leading bathroom specialists, Crosswater, is delighted to announce their creative partnership with renowned world-class interior designer, Kelly Hoppen MBE. The collaboration will see award-winning Kelly designing four new brassware collections over the next twelve months to enrich the diversity of the Crosswater brand. Paul Caneparo, Sales Director at Crosswater says:

‘We are thrilled to be collaborating with Kelly. With her knowledge, design integrity and vision, our partnership underpins our unwavering commitment to offering innovative, design led quality products. We look forward to a strong and continued partnership championing standards in the sector’.

As part of Crosswater’s ongoing commitment to innovative product developments and building relationships in the contract and specifier market, Kelly Hoppen was a natural choice. Having carved a name for herself with an enviable list of famous clients and contract projects, Kelly welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with a brand that has design, innovation and quality at its core. With key expansion plans in the pipeline, Crosswater is also delighted to bring the collection to the consumer market, offering retailers an authentic, ambassadorial collection of brassware for their customers to fundamentally engage with.

She says: :
‘Crosswater’s offering has always been synonymous with design excellence and I’m excited to be working with such a pioneering brand. The team are highly enthusiastic and I’m looking forward to the entire process’.

The much-anticipated collections will be an asset to the current brand offering and the four new iconic ranges are due to be rolled out in 2013 in two stages to consumers, retailers and the contract and specifiers market.

Wandsworth Launches New Dimension

Daniel Fountain

Wiring accessories specialist, The Wandsworth Group, has turned conventional design a-round – literally! – with the introduction of a new circular plate range.Drawing on the classic, timeless design that has characterised the Wandsworth range for over a century, the new range is based on the company’s Series 2 sockets and switches, using the same interiors with a ground-breaking circular plate. The innovation marks the first time that circular sockets and switches have been available in a range of finishes from any supplier in the UK. Guaranteed to make a design statement, the new range is available in any of the Wandsworth Series 2 finishes, including polished brass, super mirror stainless steel, antique bronze, satin silver and satin stainless steel.

Explains managing director of The Wandsworth Group, Gary Stevens: “We have produced circular plates before as specials and they make a real impact. We wanted to make that eye-catching design statement available as standard so we’ve launched this range with all the ease of installation and build quality of our Series 2 range with the added wow factor of a product that breaks free of wiring accessory design conventions.”

Installed in exactly the same way as the Wandsworth Series 2 range, with a grid-mounted interior and a plate that fits flush to the wall, the range offers simple fitting and retro-fitting. The striking plates are available as a standard range of single sockets and switches, including, data, telephone, TV aerial and HDMI sockets, along with double switches. Double sockets and socket combinations can also be provided on request by combining two units in a figure of eight format and a wide range of special finishes are also available.

Gary Stevens adds: “The Wandsworth Group is the oldest independent wiring accessories specialist in the UK and we have stayed in business all that time by remaining innovative and challenging the marketplace with new ideas. This new range puts a stylish, contemporary twist on classic design while offering the specifier and installer the confidence of Wandsworth quality and ease of installation.”

New Shower Kits available from Crosswater

Daniel Fountain

An exceptional range of premium showering kits with the option to mix and match components and create your own preferred combination. A cut above the rest, this desirable collection is available to meet the demands of customers with a taste for quality and luxury.With an array of features the range includes:
• Twist-free, easy to clean smooth chrome hose
• Self-clamping, easy gliding handset holder
• High quality handsets featuring silicone jets so limescale deposits can be simply rubbed away
• Adjustable rail angle allowing corner installation (Magnum only)
• Water saving when coupled with flow regulators

Vector Ready to Weave

Daniel Fountain

Vector Concepts Ready to Weave is an exciting new initiative developed by Brintons design team to offer bespoke carpets in a fraction of the time normally associated with their custom commissioned service.The collection provides almost unlimited design flexibility and access to Brintons design excellence in a specially selected colour palette to reflect today’s interior trends.

Vector Ready to Weave offers a variety of design styles carefully selected by our talented design team for use in a wide range of applications across hospitality, leisure and gaming interiors. The collection includes designs which are highly contemporary and modern through to transitional styles which are suitable for use across several interior types including traditional, geometric, abstract, textured, and ‘layered’ design themes.

The designs in Vector Concepts Ready to Weave are offered as a bespoke programme so users can either select a design and colourway as presented in the collection, or re-colour to the standard palette of 36 shades.

Brintons new Ready to Weave collection offers an unparalleled combination of Brintons high quality manufacturing with a flexible colour and design proposition providing high quality and well designed carpet within 4 to 6 weeks.

Vector Concepts is also available through Brintons Design Studio Online (DSO) where users can interact with their chosen designs, recolour them and view them in a room.

Form and function combine on new touchless flushplate to make it simply award winning

Daniel Fountain

The hygiene benefits and stylish appearance of Geberit’s newest flush plate, the touchless Sigma80, have led to it being awarded the prestigious Red Dot Design Award 2012.Being recognised in the Bathrooms, Spa and Air Conditioning category of these most respected of design awards, judges recognised the outstanding qualities of the Geberit Sigma80, noting that ‘this hygienic WC operating panel is self-explanatory and functional, matching harmoniously with all kinds of bathroom surroundings due to its puristic appearance‘.

Adding a contemporary finishing touch to the bathroom or washroom and featuring built-in technology to offer the very latest touch-free operation making activation simple and hygienic, the Sigma80 is activated just as soon as movement is detected. Simply wave your hand in front of the shorter light on the right for a single flush and in front of the longer light on the left for a full flush.

A coloured light effect is shown when the toilet is flushed, after which the plate automatically returns to standby mode, with no lights visible, when the user leaves the room. And when using the WC after dark, the lighting on the flushplate acts as an orientation aid.

What’s more, the flush plate has a self-learning sensor that learns about its surroundings, while its touchless operation not only means that it is simple to operate by all, but also makes it ultra hygienic and eradicates the problem of unsightly fingermarks being left behind on its stylish black or mirrored glass frontage.

The award-winning Sigma80 offers a choice of five lighting colours and is suitable for commercial and domestic applications, being simple to install alongside Geberit’s Sigma concealed cisterns.

While an automatic flush ensures the toilet is always left clean when used in a commercial setting, the default settings can be easily adjusted during installation to suit the needs of domestic customers too.

An essential Element from Wilton Carpets Commercial

Daniel Fountain

With a rainbow of metallic hues complemented by rich accents, the stunning new Elements FastTrack colour palette has been launched by Wilton Carpets Commercial. Echoing the latest colour trend forecasts, Elements allow designers to create carpets perfect for today’s interiors. Tones of Antique Bronze, Brass, Zinc, Burnished Gold and Burnt Copper are balanced and contrasted by shades of Claret, Ruby, Cyclamen, Jade and Lime Zest – giving Elements the flexibility to bring carpets that inspire through rich colour and striking pattern.

Dialling into the global colour trend for ‘powerful colours with staying power that coax, astonish and replenish’, as a brighter contrast to the more subdued tones of past seasons – the Elements palette is used to full effect in FastTrack Designs – as well as in Carnaby, Labyrinth and Sculpture collections within the company’s Ready to Go offer.

Featuring organic curves infused with damask and florals; and urban interlocking geometrics mixed with contemporary herringbones – the Elements 1 FastTrack Design collection makes use of the new palette in 18 striking patterned carpets, each available in three carefully considered colourways. Offering twist-on-a-classic inspiration and fusing the vintage with the contemporary, Wilton Carpet’s new Ready to Go ranges, – Carnaby, Labyrinth and Sculpture – present 30 designs that use the Elements palette to diverse effect.

“We focus on providing colour palettes that harmonise and contrast while retaining an overall sense of balance,” comments Julie Robertson, design manager, Wilton Carpets Commercial. “The Elements palette takes this founding principle and applies a new scope of colour influence from the latest trends in textiles, interiors and fashion to bring a rich, vibrant and, most important, flexible palette that works now and will continue to work well into the future.”

The Elements palette is also available in the Flexiweave service that provides bespoke carpet in any colour combination within a palette in just 28 days.

For further information contact Wilton Carpets Commercial on 01722 746000 or

Fine Cell Work Pops Up In Mayfair – A Shop with Ethical Conviction

Daniel Fountain

Address: 5 Grosvenor Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 4DG

Think of prisoners sewing and you probably conjure an image of men in arrow covered overalls, stitching away at hessian mailbags. Nothing could be further from the truth! Up pops the highly regarded social initiative Fine Cell Work with a new shop in Grosvenor Street – one of Mayfair’s smartest addresses.Opening in early August at 5 Grosvenor Street, Fine Cell Work will be selling exquisite needlepoint and embroidered home furnishings as well as a delightful range of home and fashion accessories. Celebrated designers such as Nicky Haslam, John Stephanidis, Cath Kidston, Emily Peacock and Daisy de Villeneuve have created and donated designs for cushions and witty shopping bags which are painstakingly stitched by prisoners serving sentences in UK penal establishments. The products are beautiful, desirable and of the highest quality.

There are plans for a series of fun and engaging events such as lunchtime ‘sew-cials’ where visitors can stitch tapestries and gain advice from Fine Cell Work’s expert volunteers; evening talks by skilled embroiderers and designers such as stitched wallpaper creator Claire Coles; delightful ‘get to know and sew’ sessions with stars who stitch; fascinating screenings and discussions with ex-prisoners about the beneficial effects they discovered whilst participating in the Fine Cell Work prison programme.

The shop will also display some recent commissions that Fine Cell Work undertakes as bespoke projects for interior designers and private clients including tapestry upholstered chairs, patchwork quilts, dedicated wedding gifts etc.

There has long been a connection between fine embroidery and wall decoration so, in what promises to be a unique retail outlet, textile designer Scarlet Oliver is showcasing a range of wallpapers just recently reintroduced from the Warner Textile Archive and described by Giles Kime as “the coolest wallpaper to surface this summer”. This special collection will be officially ‘launched’ for public purchase in September.

Katy Emck, Fine Cell Work’s dynamic chief executive says, “Fine Cell Work has long dreamt of a retail space to give the quality of work that can be done in prison the recognition and broad customer base it deserves. What better place to start than Mayfair?”

Brintons – making the world a more beautiful place

Daniel Fountain

Based in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, Brintons has been at the forefront of quality woven floorcoverings for almost 230 years, marrying the latest technologies with the finest wools to create truly beautiful carpets. Brintons not only make carpet for homes, the commercial side of the business carpets the world! From hotels to airports, restaurants to convention centres, over the years Brintons has produced award-winning carpets that have contributed to many of the most exciting interiors in the industry. Brintons global design team work closely with interior designers, architects, specifiers and end-users, specialising in products that offer quality, performance, service and innovative design.

In September 2011, The Carlyle Group, one of the worlds’ largest global alternative asset managers, showed their confidence in the Brintons brand by their acquisition of business and backing management plans for growth.

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Hotel design should be seen but not heard

Daniel Fountain

With the components and systems hidden behind the walls being a crucial element of hotel bathroom design, Geberit’s Product Manager Simon Spridgeon discusses the importance of acoustics in making a good impression with guests.There are many elements that make up a successful hotel bathroom design and chief among them, aside from its overall looks and cleanliness, is the acoustics. Above all else, your guests want a good night’s sleep and it doesn’t matter how comfy the bed is or how plumped up the pillows are, if the noise from pipework in the bathroom keeps them awake the only impression they will be left with as they tiredly check-out is one of dissatisfaction.

Part E of Building Regulations aims to protect residents, including hotel guests, from the noise of activities in other rooms or adjoining properties. Helping developers comply with these requirements, Geberit offers a range of acoustic drainage, supply and sanitary systems specifically designed to be compatible with each other and to tackle solid and air borne noise at every potential point of transfer, guaranteeing that hotel guests won’t be disturbed by noisy plumbing in the night.

The first place to look in terms of reducing noise is in the choice of sanitaryware. Wall-hung WCs, with the cistern concealed in a duct, are much quieter than the floorstanding, close-coupled alternatives. The wall in front of the framework also acts as a sound barrier and the frames themselves can be insulated acoustically.

Geberit concealed cisterns are made even quieter with filling valves that are for low noise even at pressures up to 10bar, and polystyrene protection jackets that prevent condensation and further reduce noise transfer.

Of course, drainage and pipework is the other essential element of hotel bathroom design that can affect the acoustics in each room and in the building as a whole. The last thing guests want is to be woken in the middle of the night by someone in a neighbouring room flushing the toilet or washing their hands. Connecting on to the acoustically insulated pipe bracket on the Duofix frames, Geberit Silent-db20 is the ideal drainage system to solve this problem. It achieves outstanding levels of soundproofing with its patented high density material (PE-S2), ribbed fittings for improved sound dampening near impact zones, and acoustic brackets that are rubber lined to prevent solid borne noise travelling to the building structure.

When it comes to water supply, Geberit Mepla pipes and fittings also offer improved acoustic performance with a range of noise limiting parts including rubber lined brackets, pipe fitting sleeves and tap mounts.

The beauty for the developer is that all of these systems are simple to install and are backed up by the Geberit guarantee of quality and reliability, so everyone can sleep easy.

GROHE Tempesta offers value for money

Daniel Fountain

Introducing the latest additions to the GROHE New Tempesta line of showers

GROHE New Tempesta is a line of showers with a lot of value for money in terms of innovative technologies, varied designs and versatile spray patterns. The latest generation of the classic showers is an all-rounder for major projects in particular. The latest additions to the range include a mono spray pattern model without aeration and a shower system priced to fit into smaller budgets.The newly designed showers GROHE New Tempesta and GROHE New Tempesta Cosmopolitan come in a variety of shapes and styles. GROHE New Tempesta comes with four different spray patterns including Rain, GROHE Rain O2, Massage and Jet spray patterns that will trigger different sensations on the skin – from a soft rain shower to an effervescent tingle and a pulsating massage to a firm and stimulating jet. All showers incorporate GROHE DreamSpray® technology which channels water evenly to all nozzles, resulting in highly precise spray patterns and the large 100 mm diameter of the shower head allows the spray patterns to unfold to full effect.

All GROHE New Tempesta showers represent state of the art shower engineering. GROHE CoolTouch® technology prevents the user from scalding as it creates a barrier between the hot water and the outer chrome surface. GROHE StarLight® ensures that the showers and fittings retain their sheen for a long time and are protected against scratching and soiling. Last but not least, SpeedClean technology means that the lime build-up on the shower nozzles can simply be wiped off with your fingers.

Models are optionally available with the innovative GROHE EcoJoy® technology which enables responsible resource management – users can save water on a daily basis without compromising on the enjoyment of the shower.

A perfect match
The variety of variants ranges from head showers and handshowers to 600 or 900 mm long shower rail sets as well as wall holder sets for bathtubs to complete shower systems. The wide range meets the most diverse installation requirements and all products are designed for a particularly easy installation.

Dawnvale: the ultimate in hospitality environments and service providers

Daniel Fountain

Dawnvale are proud to announce their involvement with G&G Goodfellows on the launch of their exciting new venture in central London.

In association with Paul & Valda Goodfellow, former owners of a well-known distribution company, Dawnvale are proud to have been chosen for the key association of the new central London showroom located at an award winning Michelin starred Restaurant building.G&G Goodfellows offer a highly personalised and bespoke – product service to the Hotel and Catering industry. As exclusive suppliers, the showroom features market leading and innovative products from some of the World’s leading brands.

‘’We intend to go back to our roots of providing a highly personalised service and supplying the best brands in tableware, clothing, technology & specialist product areas; to those professionals who are looking for individuality & innovation’’.

Goodfellows are delighted to have been chosen by De Berkel as the new distributor in the UK for their highly respected clothing range. ‘’We have assembled a tantalising collection of niche tableware brands, along with our ‘Atelier de Table’ & ‘Concepts’ services which will offer bespoke-produced products and solutions’’.

The showrooms unique setting provided Dawnvale’s group divisions to play an integral part creating the slick environment, from the bespoke bar through to full interior fit out of the unique space. The feature VIP Champagne booth and London furniture collection, designed and manufactured through the companies own contract division; plays backdrop to showcase the best brands in tableware, clothing, technology and specialist product areas.

Having been chosen by De Berkel as the new distributor in the UK for their highly respected clothing range, Goodfellows have assembled a tantalising collection of niche tableware brands, along with our ‘Atelier de Table’ & ‘Concepts’ services which will offer bespoke-produced products and solutions.

As well as providing exceptional hospitality environments for some of the UK’s leading designers and premier operators, Dawnvale boast specialist teams with an all encompassing knowledge and service for both front and back of house requirements.

From our London and Manchester locations, our teams cater for bar, club, restaurant and hotel projects.

Hotel La Tour, Birmingham, England

Daniel Fountain

Hotel La Tour is a spectacular new concept hotel, which recently opened in Birmingham city centre. Its ultra modern and exquisite interior sets new standards of style and sophistication. The hotel boasts 174 guest rooms, stylish restaurant and an Executive Business floor.The hotels Operations Director asked the Brintons design team to work with Hotel La Tour on developing new custom carpet designs to complement the contemporary design of the property. Brintons designed and manufactured over 6,000 sqms of carpets for the guestrooms, corridors, bar areas, and conference rooms.

” From the outset of our project to design and build Hotel La Tour Birmingham, it was critical that we were working with partners who were as passionate as we were and who understood, and could adapt to, our collaborative style of working. The team at Brintons proved to be invaluable both in terms of their creative ideas in helping me to create innovative designs, in keeping with our brand values. We are delighted with the quality of workmanship and the finished product which has helped to create a real wow factor to our building” – Adrian Colman, Operations Director, Hotel La Tour

Project details
6,100sqm of Woven Axminster and Hand Tufted Rugs

A Relaxing and revitalising massage courtesy of GROHE’s Power&Soul™

Daniel Fountain

Featuring up to four different spray patterns, GROHE Power&Soul™ offers individualised showering experiences – for a fresh start to the day or for simple relaxation. The Rain spray pattern allows for gentle water flow that envelopes the whole body, while the innovative Rain O2 is enriched with air which results in soft bursts of water that massage your head and body. The Jet spray pattern effect functions like a deep tissue massage that eases tight muscles after a workout or a long day at the office. While the Active Massage spray pattern, inspired by the aboriginal head massage technique called ‘Bokoma’, offers ultimate relaxation that revitalises the body with a moving, circular spray. “One-click showering” makes all of the difference. The GROHE AquaDirect™ spray selector fuses advanced engineering with outstanding design. Four buttons on the shower head give direct access to four single spray patterns and another unique seven mix patterns. This feature takes personalised showering to a new level.

The GROHE Power& Soul™ line delivers an unparalleled choice of designs, sizes and spray patterns – for any preference, any occasion and any style. The range includes showers with diameters of 100, 130 and 160 millimetres.

Matching hand showers to all GROHE ranges help to create a coordinated design throughout the bathroom. From minimalist modern Cosmopolitan design to organically shaped showers in Contemporary style.

The product already garnered the iF product design award 2012 and the red dot design award 2012.

Wandsworth Helps Make Me by Melia ‘Special’

Daniel Fountain

The buzz about the new ME by Meliá Hotel in Covent Garden is all about its Foster + Partners design…..but with a destination hotel like this, the devil is in the detail. No matter how striking and inventive the design concept, if the finishing touches don’t meet the same stringent standards the whole effect could be ruined. It’s for that reason that wiring accessories specialist, The Wandsworth Group, was brought on board to provide design-led sockets and switches that would both carry through the design concept and maintain the exacting quality standards specified throughout the hotel. A company with a 108-year track record that still manufactures in the UK, The Wandsworth Group supplies everything from the most traditional to the most contemporary wiring accessories and many installations have stood the test for time for 50 years or more.

Explains Andy Howe, head of sales at The Wandsworth Group, “ME by Melia London is the first UK hotel to be created by the brand and aims to offer a ‘personality-led’ experience in one of the world’s ‘leading capitals of culture and cool’. The wiring accessories are often over-looked as a commodity requirement but here incorporating design-led wiring accessories into the interior scheme in order to maintain the ultra-stylish look was all part of the attention to detail that is obvious throughout.”

The Wandsworth Group has provided wiring accessories from the company’s grid-mounted Series 3 range, ensuring clean lines and an elegant finish with screw-less fittings. White accessories have been selected for use on the white leather padded wall in each room, with matching black accessories used to complement the black wall opposite. For the entrance to the bathroom area, The Wandsworth Group has created bespoke chrome plates to match the chrome door surround and complement the white and black accessories.

Andy adds: “This is not an off-the-shelf hotel so an off-the-shelf approach to specifying the wiring accessories would not have been appropriate. Our UK manufacturing base allows us to design and manufacture bespoke ‘specials’ quickly and with the same quality guarantees that customers can expect across the range: that’s the kind of finishing touch that turns a great hotel into a stylish destination.”

Introducing Minerva by Skopos

Daniel Fountain

July sees the launch of a luxurious new collection from the Accents range by Skopos.

Minerva, an opulent, chenille velvet, delivers textural interest and a radiant lustre across 27 fashion-inspired colours. Ranging from must-have neutrals through to a rich palette of jewel-like tones Minerva brings excitement, drama and contrast to hotel and leisure contract interior schemes. Available in an inherent FR curtain/bedding quality – Minerva presents a soft drape and silken handle. As an upholstery quality, with flame retardant Crib 5 backing, Minerva is a durable, heavy-weight contract option delivering 50,000 Martindale rubs.

Both qualities are available with small minimums and short lead-times and offer a contemporary solution at a competitive price point. Customer interest has been evident prior to the official early July launch.

Skopos is an ISO9001 accredited company and has over 30 year’s specialist experience in the design and manufacture of high performance FR contract fabrics for the hospitality sector.

Prison Charity Fine Cell Work Is Honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Daniel Fountain

Prison charity, Fine Cell Work has been given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Fine Cell Work, founded in 1997, is a social enterprise that trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework – undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells – to foster hope, discipline and self esteem. It’s a way of life that enables them to serve their time with dignity and purpose and the earnings give them hope, skills and independence. The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest honour that can be given to volunteer groups across the UK for outstanding work. It is the equivalent of an MBE for the organisation. It is given for outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to helping others in the community, improving the quality of life and opportunity for others and providing an outstanding service.

The award specifically recognises the work of Fine Cell Work’s south-eastern branch of volunteers, which includes London – the longest standing and most evolved region of volunteering. The volunteers train the prisoners participating in the scheme to achieve world class embroidery and needlepoint, often working in an unfamiliar and unfriendly environment. Fine Cell Work relies almost entirely on its volunteers’ efforts. From the start, they have shown courage and ingenuity. They are Royal School of Needlework or City & Guilds qualified, and are almost all women. They have had to win the trust and respect of prisoners, 75% of whom are male. They teach them irrespective of the offences for which they are in prison.

Acknowledging the award on behalf of Fine Cell Work, its chief executive Katy Emck said, “Fine Cell Work’s volunteers are not just needlework teachers. They are figures of continuity and humanity in dehumanizing places.’

‘After 15 years of the volunteers’ dedicated work in obscure places, fine embroidery in prisons has become not only accepted but in some quarters orthodox. The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is recognition that their efforts are at the heart of Fine Cell Work’s achievement and we are exceptionally honoured to gain this award in the Diamond Jubilee year.’

‘In 2011 Fine Cell Work worked with more than 400 volunteers teaching in prison and helping with events, administration and promotion. This is an army of support and it is growing. We are always looking for more volunteering offers.”

“The volunteers treat us like people. They are not in it for themselves,” said a prisoner in HMP Littlehey. These sentiments are often expressed by prisoners, who say Fine Cell Work takes them beyond prison and puts them in touch with normality, making them feel socially useful and that they are “giving back.”

Lano enters the Big Brother house

Daniel Fountain

Three striking colours of Zen carpet from Lano Flooring Solutions now adorn the 2012 Big Brother House, providing sumptuous underfoot comfort for this year’s excited housemates.Sourced through carpet supplier We Sell Carpets of Borehamwood, 209m2 of Zen in an array of stunning blue shades grace the floor of the living areas of this year’s colourful house. Two tones of cornflower blue and a richer turquoise colour from the standard stock collection provide a vibrant lift and create a warm atmosphere.

Suitable for high-impact areas, Zen is the ideal choice for the busy Big Brother house. A tufted 1/10” Saxony cut pile crafted from the finest Invista polyamide 6.6, Zen has a pile weight of 1000g/m2 and offers supreme softness combined with impressive resilient qualities. With the durability to withstand heavy footfall, Zen offers long-lasting performance and is easy to maintain – ideal for those messy housemates.

“It is very exciting that Zen is being used in the UK’s Big Brother house this year,” enthuses Anja Temmerman, Marketing Manager, Lano Carpets. “Zen is a fantastic choice as it offers superior levels of durability, and the combination of blue tones looks truly stunning both on-screen and in reality. The use of Lano Carpets here really cements our status as an incredibly popular choice for important contracts, and we believe this is because we consistently deliver great results for all of our clients.”

Zen is available in four-metre width and is officially classed as suitable for heavy commercial use.

For further information on all Lano carpet ranges, freephone 00800 5266 5266, or visit

Geberit Monolith: Design and Functionality in One

Daniel Fountain

The new elegant Geberit Monolith sanitary module for washbasins; perfect merging of form, functionality and quality

The bathroom is more than just a space for daily hygiene – it’s an oasis of wellbeing for the body, the eye and for your sense of order. The family of Geberit Monolith sanitary modules bundles together a bathroom’s various functions – from WC to washbasin – and turns them into architectural focal points.The entire Geberit Monolith family are strong design elements in a bathroom and the new sanitary module for washbasins is no exception. The washbasin, as if it were on stage, is mirrored in the glass surface of the module. Optional easy to open side drawers offer convenient storage for toiletries, helping to keep the whole space free of clutter.

The choice is yours
Elegant and aesthetic wall-mounted taps are a particularly attractive option in a bathroom. Installing them is easy with the Geberit Monolith for the washbasin, while Geberit also offers the Monolith for washbasins with deck-mounted taps giving you the freedom to choose.

And when it comes to selecting a ceramic appliance, the choice is just as varied with Monolith as it is compatible with many readily available washbasins on the market. An optional double towel rail is available to complete the look, particularly useful as a space saver in the smaller bathroom

Amazingly simple
The Geberit Monolith for washbasins does not just look good, it’s also quick and simple to install making converting a conventional floorstanding basin with pedestal to a wall-mounted version an easy process for both you and the plumber, with the minimum of inconvenience or mess. All the fixings are neatly concealed behind the elegant glass panel to create a minimalist finish that will be a style statement in any bathroom.

Characteristics: Geberit Monolith sanitary module for washbasins

Six good reasons:
– Timeless modern design, winner of many international awards (e.g. if Design Award)
– Quality product made of high-value materials including aluminium and glass
– Elegance through coloured front cladding made of safety glass, available in black, white or umbra
– Choose from many ceramic appliances and valves
– Wall-mounted taps or optional deck-mounted taps for an attractive look
– Simple and rapid installation

Game, Set and Match with Lano Carpets

Daniel Fountain

A variety of Lano carpets now adorn the prestigious Roland Garros tennis club in Paris, providing a beautiful and stylish backdrop for the renowned French Open Grand Slam tournament.Chosen by the contractor at Roland Garros, Technique des Sols Appliques, for delivering results in other projects and because of its longstanding reputation for providing quality, high-performance contract carpet, Lano supplied different carpets for three separate areas of the venue.

A total of 1196m2 of Lano Carpets’ Carve L72 design from the standard stock collection was specified for the exclusive VIP bar and restaurant area, providing sumptuous underfoot comfort for sponsors and esteemed guests. Chosen in an attractive grey colour, the L72 Carve carpet features elegant horizontal wave grooves that create a striking textured look and feel. Matching perfectly with the floor-to-ceiling glass partitions that demarcate the restaurant and bar areas, Carve provides understated glamour and its strong polyamide pile composition is resilient yet soft enough to create an opulent ambience.

In the busy interview and media rooms, Lano Carpet’s Opera concept was used, offering a strong woven loop pile crafted from the unique recycled Econyl nylon yarn. Ideal for heavy commercial use and able to withstand high levels of footfall, 707m2 of Opera covers these high-impact areas. With its bold plain black base tone and contrasting light silver geometric-style squares, Opera provides depth and interest and is paired beautifully with the all-white interior of the media rooms.

Lastly, Arena in a dark charcoal grey colour with a coordinating textural dotted pattern decorates the floor of one of the most important areas of Roland Garros, the reception and office of the president of the FFT (Federation of French Tennis). With direct access onto the Court Suzanne Lenglen, Arena offers a fantastic contrast to the rich orange clay of the tennis courts. With exceptional underfoot comfort and a contemporary yet timeless design, Arena works seamlessly in both office and meeting rooms. A tufted 1/10” cut and loop pile, Arena is suitable for general commercial use and combines softness and strength.

For further information on all Lano carpet ranges, freephone 00800 5266 5266, or visit

A bespoke woven beauty for Castle Bromwich Hotel

Daniel Fountain

Bespoke woven masterpieces from Wilton Carpets Commercial now adorn a range of areas in the stunning and historic Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel, blending in perfectly with the traditional period interior and providing an elegant finish in keeping with the fine surroundings.Specifically choosing Wilton Carpets Commercial due to its reputation for exceptional quality and the flexibility of a thorough bespoke design service, Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel specified a total of 1200 square metres of bespoke woven axminster carpet in a variety of locations. Fitted in the public areas, corridors, bar, restaurant, bridal suite and executive bedrooms of the hotel, the carpets feature an 80% wool 20% nylon pile for superior colour retention and fantastic durability.

Able to withstand the heavy footfall of this popular hotel, each carpet has been designed by Wilton’s design team to complement the hotel’s 17th century beginnings and Grade I listed status.

A striking deep crimson carpet with soft beige pin-dot diamonds flows down the grand carved staircase and continues into the main corridors of the hotel, seamlessly meeting the panelled dining room and changing into a traditional bordered design with larger leaf-inspired diamonds interspersed with the original pin-dots. The same latter design is mirrored in the public bar area and the executive bedrooms, but in a contrasting light colourway of cream and beige, complementing the stunning dark wooden furniture.

The design team at Wilton, spearheaded by design manager Julie Robertson, provided a thorough design service for Castle Bromwich, working directly with the hotel from the initial briefing stage right through to perfecting the finished product. With a choice of woven or tufted options in the Ready to Go, FastTrack, Flexiweave and Bespoke collections, Wilton Carpets Commercial can create carpets in a variety of colours, textures and designs suitable for use in applications from light commercial to very heavy contract.

Set in 10 acres of beautiful walled gardens, Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel is a unique venue with beautiful architecture, transporting guests into a more elegant and simplistic era, and Wilton Carpets Commercial have captured this essence of grandeur flawlessly.

For further information contact Wilton Carpets Commercial on 01722 746000 or

Introducing Ecuador by Skopos

Daniel Fountain

June will see the launch of a new upholstery collection from the Accents range by Skopos. Following the vibrancy of the Calle velvets launched by Skopos in May, Ecuador is a collection of textured weaves, delivering natural simplicity with tonal interest. This collection offers an extensive palette of 29 colours echoing nature and the tropics, with a rugged slub feel. Ecuador brings honest simplicity and interesting dimension to interior schemes and provides a much anticipated choice of interesting textural upholstery plains at a competitive price point.

Both collections are flame retardant to Crib 5, offering 45,000 Martindale rubs in line with the requirements of the contract hotel and leisure sector. Available with small minimums and short lead-times, customer interest has been evident prior to the official June launch.

Skopos is an ISO9001 accredited company and has over 30 year’s specialist experience in the design and manufacture of high performance FR contract fabrics for the hospitality sector.

New Collections for 2012 from Bauhaus

Daniel Fountain

The Crosswater Group launched over 250 new products at this year’s KBB Birmingham. The new collections offer all of the benefits designers seek when planning a premium, well equipped bathroom; 8 exciting, innovative brassware ranges, state-of-the-art smooth running shower kits and 2 great new shower enclosure ranges including the ground breaking high-polished chrome Elite. Three new furniture ranges were introduced from Bauhaus in an array of refreshing original finishes including Teak, Blackwood, Graphite and Calico. The Bauhaus portfolio was further strengthened with the launch of new aluminium body mirrored cabinets, de-misting illuminated mirrors and extensions to the heated towel rails collection.

Celeste is available in four high quality finishes; Graphite, American Walnut, Calico and White Gloss all in a choice of sizes; 60cm, 80cm and 110cm and a tower storage unit. The Celeste basin unit is one of the largest of the Bauhaus basin furniture offering three spacious size options; 60cm, 80cm and 110cm. Curved illuminated mirror styles also complement the range.

Linea is a minimalist range, designed with practical elements and the flexible option of a round or square basin shape. Available in Graphite, Teakwood, Blackwood and White Gloss, all in a choice of square and round sizes; 60cm, 75cm, 100cm, 120cm and a tower unit.

Solo is a simple, compact solution formed to complement a variety of bathroom layouts. Modern and minimal with subtle curved edges, Solo features hardwearing high gloss basin units that are taller in height than most units this size, with heavy-duty full depth drawers to accommodate weightier bottles and boxes. Available in Graphite, Calico and White Gloss.

Boss Design launches Optima at Clerkenwell Design Week

Daniel Fountain

Boss Design – leading British seating designer and manufacturer – announce the launch of Optima, a quietly elegant chair that offers an understated yet distinguished aesthetic across its exquisite collection.Previewed at the recent Clerkenwell Design Week – London’s answer to Milan and leading UK furniture and product innovation exhibition, Optima was the main attraction and a definite head-turner at the Boss Design showroom.

Designed in-house, Optima is completely uncompromised. Its engineered upholstery has the classic touch and is further enhanced by a choice of exceptional frame finishes. The desirable collection comprises of an armchair, two seater sofa, an armchair on a bright chromed swivel base and a complementary coffee table.

Speaking about the collection Design Director, Mark Barrell said; ‘Optima symbolises the very best of British upholstery and furniture manufacture. We have taken this product to the extreme and made no compromises along the way. Its metalwork is unquestionably the very best in the world whilst the upholstery detailing is second to none.’

The collection is available in bright chrome as standard, with the armchair and matching sofa available in black or satin chrome. Its intricate tailoring and sleek profile make it the ideal choice for corporate reception and executive break-out areas.

The collection is available in any leather or fabric. For more information call the Boss Design information line on 01384 455570 or 0207 253 0364. You can also visit our website at

New Website Launch for Crosswater

Daniel Fountain

Leaders in bathroom design, Crosswater Holdings has launched a stylish new look website. Excelling with a vast, exciting and an innovative product range, the site now combines all three prevailing brands: Crosswater, Simpsons and Bauhaus. Bringing the site up to date, the refreshed look has brought the site in line to coincide with the design of the new brochures, POS and other marketing material. The new site now offers retailers, consumers and interior designers full accessibility to the entire product range with detailed information, easier navigation and improved search tools. The website has been updated to provide retailers a more efficient channel to view all of the products with technical advice from the three brands. The latest brochures can be downloaded and the site also features the latest news and product launches. Designed to offer consumers and interior designers with inspiration and all the tools and advice needed, there is also a login ‘Wishlist’ page, which enables users to save all of their product preferences for their bathroom ideas.

Keeping the site current for all customers, the website will be continually updated as new products and innovations are brought to market.

To view the new website, visit:

Introducing Calle by Skopos

Daniel Fountain

May sees the launch of a refreshing new upholstery collection from the Accents range by Skopos. Calle, a collection of strié velvets has been developed for contract upholstery, delivering a soft luxurious velvet touch in 28 colours, ranging from reliable neutrals to a bold and vivid palette with a Mediterranean flavour. Confident, fun and cheerful this collection delivers quality and luxury to the market at an excellent price point.

Flame retardant to Crib 5, Calle offers 45,000 Martindale rubs in line with the requirements of the contract hotel and leisure sector. Available with small minimums and short lead-times, customer interest has been evident prior to the official May launch.

Skopos is an ISO9001 accredited company and has over 30 year’s specialist experience in the design and manufacture of high performance FR contract fabrics for the hospitality sector.

A regal Wilton for the Royal Pavilion

Daniel Fountain

A stunning bespoke carpet from Wilton Carpets Commercial has been laid in the Music Room Gallery at the Royal Pavilion, featuring a striking and intricate design that carefully replicates the original carpet that adorned the gallery in the 19th century.The new carpet consists of unusual deep reds, pinks and golds on a soft beige base colour, a design that complements the Chinoiserie style décor of the Music Room Gallery. With small motifs and fine detailing, this is a complex and sophisticated carpet that gives the room a lavish, grand feel.

The carpet was first imitated in 1975, when staff from the conservation team at the Royal Pavilion worked closely with the Wilton Design team to recreate the original hand-knotted carpet from 1821. Referring to watercolour paintings by Pugin depicting the Music Gallery from this time, Wilton worked to replicate the carpet, using influences from carpets from Turkmenistan that included motifs that corresponded closely to those seen in the paintings. Some 37 years later in 2012, the carpet needed to be replaced and Wilton was the obvious and preferred choice for the Royal Pavilion.

As Louise Brown, Facilities Manager for the Royal Pavilion, explains, “When it came to replacing the carpet, we knew that Wilton had a copy of the bespoke design pattern from 37 years ago. We felt confident that by purchasing the identical carpet from the same manufacturer, we could expect high quality carpet that should last us another 35 years or more.”

However, it was not just a simple re-order of the same design. The design team at the Royal Pavilion requested a small sample piece to be made first, to re-check the carpet against the original watercolour for ultimate likeness. As a result of this, some of the colours were adjusted for a look that is even more true to form than the first copy, allowed by the wider choice of colours now available from Wilton and highlighting the carpet manufacturer’s commitment to achieving perfection.

“We are delighted with the finished carpet,” enthuses Louise. “It really renews the palatial feel of the Music Room Gallery once again and we are sure that it will continue to look fantastic for the next few decades and withstand the pressure of the next 12 million visitors who walk across it.”

Initially decorated in the Chinoiserie style and used as a billiards room in 1803, the Music Room Gallery has undergone many extravagant transformations, including assuming an Egyptian style and eventually reverting to the original Chinese-inspired design. In 1821, the room was again redecorated, and has remained in the same style right up until the present day. Now, thanks to Wilton, the carpet looks set to remain the focal feature of the Music Room Gallery for years to come.

This commercial carpet, a wilton 10-row weave in an Avebury Super cut pile, was fitted by P.H Buxton & Sons across 189 square metres. Wilton Carpets Commercial’s bespoke carpets are ideal for clients who want something unique and striking. The Design Team at Wilton provides a thorough service, working directly with designers, contractors and clients right from the initial briefing stage to perfecting the finished product. With a choice of axminster, wilton or tufted weave carpets, Wilton Carpets Commercial can create carpets in any colour, in a choice of qualities, from light commercial to very heavy contract.

For further information contact Wilton Carpets Commercial on 01722 746000 or

A Winning Combination

Daniel Fountain

On The Level, the UK’s leading manufacturer of concealed wet floor shower trays, has been working alongside Geberit to produce a unique and complete wet room system. On The Level has designed and developed a range of special “formers” (underfloor shower trays) to complement the new Geberit Duofix drain system, resulting in an ultra smooth wet room design.

The Duofix from Geberit is a new shower element which integrates the drain neatly and unobtrusively into the wall, removing the need for a drain in the standing area of the wet room. The Geberit Duofix is simple to install and it also has advantages in terms of easier installation of underfloor heating systems and tiles.

The unique former designed by On The Level has a specially designed three-way fall to ensure that the wet room functions perfectly. This unique former is manufactured from top quality birch plywood in the UK and has a PEFC certification. It is available in a choice of six sizes to complement any wet floor shower area.

The result of this winning combination is a visually striking wet room with a sleek, spacious and inspirational style.

Snapshots Enhance Wandsworth’s Hotshot Door Entry System

Daniel Fountain

The Wandsworth Group has launched the UK’s first door entry system to offer picture capture technology as part of a host of enhancements to its Jung door entry system range.When it was launched in 2009, the Jung Door Entry System was the first to offer completely echo-free simultaneous speech with full duplex operation that removes virtually all background noise or network interference. Things have moved on since then: The Wandsworth Group is now Jung’s exclusive UK distributor and the product has undergone a number of enhancements, ensuring that it continues to lead the way in technically advanced door entry system for single or multiple residential dwellings or commercial properties.

The new picture capture function allows the occupier to take a still picture of any visitor to the property via the 1.3 megapixel camera integrated into the external unit. The system stores in excess of 100 pictures with the oldest ones being overwritten when the memory becomes full, each with date and time information, providing a valuable record of calls made to the property.

Comments KNX technical specialist at The Wandsworth Group, Gordon Fry: “The door entry system already offered fantastic visual quality with touch screen operation to allow the user to tilt the camera, change the view point or zoom in or out. The new picture capture function adds a new dimension to this for the security conscious, providing a tangible and accurate record of who visited when.”

In addition to the new picture capture functionality, the door entry system’s integration capabilities have also been enhanced and it can now interface with PABX (VoIP systems), PC and softphone applications, making it possible to answer the door using a telephone or PC. The system is even featured as a control on Jung’s House in Hand iPhone app, making it possible to see who is at the door even when the user is not even present in the property.

Gordon continues: “The ability to interface the door entry system with other platforms means that end users can answer the door without having to go to the internal door entry unit. This has real benefits for many situations such as lone workers, the disabled or even busy mums!”

In addition to the end user enhancements, Wandsworth’s Jung Door Entry System has also been updated to offer specifier and installer benefits too. The audio communications can now be retrofitted on two wires and a new online tool also allows design of bespoke plates, with an installer tutorial to aid installation.

Gordon adds: “The door entry system provides a valuable first impression for a visitor to any property by our Jung Door Entry System is about much more than wow factor. It offers an advanced range of features that enhance security and communication all with the easy-to-use operation that customers expect from Wandsworth.”

Geberit Offers a Fresh Approach to Odour Extraction in the Bathroom

Daniel Fountain

Always at the forefront of design and innovation, leading sanitary solutions manufacturer Geberit has cornered the market with its revolutionary new DuoFresh odour extraction system that fills the room with pure fresh air after every use.Incorporated into the company’s existing market-leading Duofix framing system for wall-hung sanitaryware, DuoFresh is simple to install with fixings that installers will already be familiar with, but now has the added benefit of a built-in odour extraction to help keep the air fresh and clean.

Integrated into Geberit’s stylish Sigma40 flush plate, the unit extracts odours from inside the WC pan and purifies the air through carbon filters before release. Extremely effective, highly user friendly, DuoFresh is ideal for small bathrooms, ensuites or cloakrooms which have minimal natural air flow. The Sigma40 flushplate features Geberit’s innovative insert for in-cistern blocks, providing the dual benefit of cleanliness as well as freshness. Compared to toilet bowl rim hangers, in-cistern blocks have the benefit of not being seen yet their refreshing effect is enjoyed on every flush.

DuoFresh helps to enhance the minimalist look that wall-hung sanitaryware works so hard to create, with no need to clutter up the bathroom with cans of air freshener as everything needed to bring fresh air into the area around the WC is hidden behind the wall.

Duofresh is good news for the eco-conscious homeowner, as not only does it eliminate the need for ozone destroying air fresheners, but it is also designed for use alongside Geberit’s Sigma dual flush concealed cistern, so it has water-saving credentials too. Plus it ensures that valuable heat is kept in the bathroom as a window does not need to be opened to ventilate the room.

Available in either white, black or umbra glass finish, the Sigma 40 flush plate offers the ideal hiding place for the extraction unit, offering a stylish finishing touch to any bathroom setting.

While the benefits for the homeowner are numerous, DuoFresh has advantages for installers too, enabling them to use Geberit’s tried and tested tool-free Duofix frame, while the unit itself works independently from any other ventilation systems in the room so it takes no time at all to fit.

For more information contact Geberit on 0800 077 8365 or visit

Lugo Group Europe Appoint Two New London Account Managers

Daniel Fountain

As the UK economy shows green shoots of stability, 2012 marks an ongoing investment in our Midlands furniture factory where much of our hotel contract furniture is manufactured. This expansion programme is reinforced by the introduction of new and experienced personnel to further strengthen our Sales team and ensure that Lugo’s clients and specifiers get the very best possible personal service and advice from our company:Maura Giles:
Lugo Group Europe is delighted to welcome Maura Giles into the team this month as Senior Account Manager for London and the South East.

Maura has worked within the field of specification sales for the hospitality sector for some twelve years working predominantly for market leading companies such as Brintons, Interface, and latterly with Tai Ping.

During that time Maura become a knowledgeable and respected sales professional amongst her hotel clients, architects and design accounts for whom she is responsible.

Maha Khaliq-Bye:
Maha Khaliq-Bye also joins Lugo Group Europe as Account Manager for London North and the western Home Counties.

Maha is a qualified interior designer and lived and worked in the Middle East for many years. During this time she has worked within the hospitality sector firstly as Associate Publisher for Asian Hotelier Worldwide magazine, before working in specification sales for Novario Fabrics targeting the hospitality sector. Most recently, Maha has been involved in luxury kitchen design and as such we are sure her knowledge of quality cabinetry will quickly become an asset to our company as she now embarks on her career with Lugo.

Lush botanical carpet adorns The Three Bears

Daniel Fountain

A beautiful botanical print carpet from Wilton Carpets Commercial now covers the floor of The Three Bears bar and restaurant in Stockport, giving the interior of the pub a modern and welcoming feel.As part of the redesign of The Three Bears’ interiors scheme, Frederic Robinsons Brewery commissioned a design practice to create a classic, timeless interior for the bar and restaurant. Using a collection of floral illustrations to inspire the carpet design, the brief was to move away from the usual small-scale floral prints and instead use a contemporary large-scale floral pattern to give The Three Bears a distinctly modern feel.

The design team at Wilton Carpets Commercial took the brief and turned it into reality, creating a large-scale botanical print that has the appearance of a hand-drawn illustration and features detailed, blown-up motifs to create a striking look. Using a burnt orange base colour and a contrasting cream flower print with red and green detailing, the resulting design lifts the interior of The Three Bears and clearly fulfils the interior ambitions of the brewery.

The bespoke bar and restaurant carpet benefited from Wilton Carpet Commercial’s Flexiweave service which uses colours from a standard palette. The palette selected incorporated a complementary array of contemporary and traditional colours. The carpet, laid by Adams Floorcoverings, was made from 80% wool and 20% nylon for durability and appearance retention with a 7 x 8 row quality. With a lead time of just 28 days the flexible Flexiweave service was the ideal option for the restaurant’s interior.

For further information contact Wilton Carpets Commercial on 01722 746000 or

Vaughan Introduce New Designs for Spring

Daniel Fountain

Vaughan have recently launched a new range of products in time for Spring.These include:
The Halifax External Lantern, a smart but simple outside wallight; the Varenne Lantern in Bronze (which is also available in Brass or Nickel); the stylish Dunkeld Alabaster Semi Flush Fitting with bronze/gilt finial and ceiling plate; and our popular Savona Floor Lamp is now available in a nickel finish.

See our website for more new products launched this month including a range of Picture Lights and some colourful new fabrics.

Belgraves Hotel opens in London

Daniel Fountain

Set in the heart of Belgravia, Belgraves is Thompson Hotels’ first flagship London Hotel with designs by EPR Architects Ltd and Tara Bernerd & Partners.Harilela Hotels commissioned the architects to fully refurbish the existing out-dated Sheraton Hotel to meet the standards of a contemporary luxury boutique market, both internally and externally, with a minimum impact to the existing concrete structure.

The existing building had many issues, but the primary challenge was the development of the two main frontages along Chesham Place and Pont Street. The architect’s proposal was to remove the existing two and three storey brown glass extension and replace it with a clear double height frameless glass façade providing light and transparency as an essential element of the design.

The detailing of the glass frontage was critical to the success of the interiors and the styling of the hotel as a whole. The structural glazing needed to be domestic in scale without creating a ‘goldfish bowl shop front’ or becoming too commercial. A combination of stainless steel columns, glass fins and point fixings were proposed and subsequently developed with the sub-contractor. The design also incorporated a 3m high solid timber and bronze entrance door with a bronze finished canopy and columns protruding through the frameless glass frontage. This warmth of materials in contrast to the glass façade offers an immediate understanding and statement with regards to the hotel entrance.

An all year round roof-top terrace was designed at the rear of the hotel to provide the necessary open space under UK Smoking Regulations. The design for this semi-enclosed space incorporates a bi-parting retractable roof light and fixed frameless glass roof over the double height extension linking this outside space to the main building.

A successful collaboration with Tara Bernerd & Partners, Creative Direction & Interior Design, ensured integration of the key architectural elements within the overall branding of the hotel and an intelligent and creative solution to the project.

Dawnvale Completes Work on Baffitos Bar and Pizzeria

Daniel Fountain

Interior Fit out Specialists Dawnvale were appointed as main contractor to a new bar and pizzeria chain making its debut in Warrington. The designers R2 Architecture behind such fabled Liverpool drinking holes as Alma de Cuba, Baby Cream and Panaromic have applied their skills to the interior scheme in conjunction with Dawnvale’s Projects Team.An early visit in November to the North West Design Centre with Baffitos Managing Director, proved invaluable to enable a fast track programme to be planned for a pre-xmas commencement date.

Baffitos 140 cover restaurant is spread over 1.100 sq ft, the centre stage of the restaurant is the traditional stone hearth oven around which the theatre kitchen encompasses the dining space.

Dawnvale commented, “We are thrilled to have been so heavily involved from early discussions through the opening of this exciting new concept. This project has been passionately managed throughout all stages to ensure no detail is missed.”

The restaurant is divided into piazza, Trattoria, garden and cafe.

The piazza area juxtaposes farmhouse-style furniture with zesty bright colours, laid out on a checkerboard vintage tiled floor. The large hand-drawn illustrations on the walls map out the Baffito’s brand story, whilst referencing the striking inner city graffiti found in Naples.
The cafe, with its caged light-bulbs, customised chairs and olive leather booths, is the most informal area, where the clientele can relax with a cappuccino, away from the hustle and bustle of the main restaurant.

Continued on page two…

Better feedback thanks to Wilton Carpets

Daniel Fountain

Tufted and woven carpets from Wilton Carpets Commercial now adorn the bedrooms and corridors of accommodation facilities at the Cranfield Management Development Centre, regarded as one of the best conference centres in the country. Following on from its previous installation of woven axminster in the corridors of another building within the Cranfield site, Wilton Carpets Commercial was asked to tender for the replacement of the corridor carpet of the hotel accommodation, which often provides rest and working facilities for top executives in its 186 bedrooms.

Cranfield Management Development Centre, comments: “At Cranfield Conference Centre we always strive to create a home away from home and each of our bedrooms has been designed to support the needs of the business executive, offering comfort and quality. In our recent refurbishment we wanted a carpet design that would complement the retro feel to impress, but not overwhelm our guests.”

For the heavy-duty requirements of corridors, designs from the FastTrack axminster collection were specified in a durable nine-row construction and in a high performance 80% wool 20% nylon mix. Originally specifying a polypropylene fibre for the bedrooms, Cranfield Management Development Centre instead selected the appearance retention and performance benefits of tufted wool-rich carpet preferring the design and quality offered by Wilton Carpets.A total of 1,500 square metres of 42oz weight carpet were installed within bedrooms.

Cranfield Conference Centre chose re-coloured Filament and Parallel designs from the FastTrack collection for the 600 square metres of corridors, while in the bedrooms the tufted bespoke linear stripe utilised a shared colour palette to create a sense of continuity throughout the building. Feedback to the carpet has been very positive, with a higher than normal ‘10’ rating in customer feedback in design and comfort.

For further information contact Wilton Carpets Commercial on 01722 746000 or

Touch-less Flush… style and hygiene with the new Sigma80

Daniel Fountain

Effortlessly combining design, comfort and hygiene in the contemporary bathroom or washroom, the new Sigma80 touch-less flush plate from Geberit has all three in abundance, creating a design focal point in the most stylish of ways.In standby mode no lights are visible on the Sigma80; it is activated as soon as movement is detected. Simply wave your hand in front of the shorter light on the right for a single flush and longer light on the left for a full flush. After giving visual feedback in the form of the coloured light effect when the toilet is flushed, the plate automatically returns to standby mode when the user leaves the room.

Featuring the very latest touch-free dual flush technology, the Sigma80 has brains as well as beauty, as the flush plate has a self-learning sensor that will recognise how the users use the WC and learns about its surroundings. What’s more because it has a touch-less operation it is supremely hygienic and its striking good looks are never spoilt by unsightly fingermarks.

Requiring a mains power connections the Geberit Sigma80 is available in either black or mirror glass and offers 5 different design options as the light behind the glass can be changed in colour to tone with the bathroom to dramatic effect.

Suitable for semi-public and domestic applications, the Geberit Sigma80 flush plate is simple to install using Geberit’s tried and tested components and is suitable for use with the manufacturer’s Sigma concealed cisterns (UP320 and UP720)

While an automatic flush ensures the toilet is always left clean when used in a commercial setting, the default settings can be easily adjusted during installation to suit the needs of domestic customers.

Juno – luxuriously soft chenille upholstery fabric from Agua

Daniel Fountain

Luxuriousness meets practicality with the new Agua Juno collection – comprising 13 contemporary colours, Agua Juno is designed to tone with a wide variety of modern colour schemes.With the added benefits of being anti-microbial and impervious with a stain resistant finish, Juno is perfectly suited for use in bedrooms and public areas within Hospitality and Leisure environments. Depicted on the Denby chair by JA Upholstery in Juno Mink with Chocolate piping.

Red Hot Bluetooth Innovation from Wandsworth

Daniel Fountain

The Wandsworth Group has launched a Bluetooth version of its innovative ‘i-fi’ docking station, enabling wireless MP3 play-back for any Bluetooth enabled device.Believed to be the first Bluetooth innovation of its kind on the UK market, the discreet 50mm x 50mm wall mounted-unit is designed to pair with any Bluetooth phone or music media storage device capable of streaming music data files via Bluetooth technology when the user comes within range. Unlike Wandsworth’s existing i-fi unit, the Bluetooth unit does not include a docking station as it can communicate with the device anywhere in the room and within the Bluetooth range and the user simply selects the music playlist or podcast file from their device to play it through either the inbuilt, external or speaker system linked to an existing Hi-Fi set up via the aux output.

Explains head of sales of The Wandsworth Group, Andy Howe “Space-efficient, wall-mounted docking stations have become increasingly popular in the wiring accessories market because so many people now store their music collection on their mobile devices rather than in hard copy. Our new Bluetooth i-fi takes that thinking one step further and allows the user to play back their MP3 files without attaching their device to the unit, which also ensures that unit design can be smaller and less obtrusive than anything else available.”

While many docking station products are compatible only with Apple devices, the new Wandsworth Bluetooth i-fi can be used with any Bluetooth-enabled device that plays MP3 files, including mobile phones, android phones, tablets, laptops and MP3 players. The unit can be installed along with a Wandsworth speaker system or can be retrofitted to operate with existing amplifiers and is available in any Wandsworth ‘Series Two’ finish or as a custom-made special.

Howe continues: “The flexibility of this unit makes it ideal for the hotel sector or student accommodation developments because it is compatible with such a wide range of devices and has such a small plate size. We also expect it to be a popular product for the residential market where multiple units would allow the end user to move from room to room with uninterrupted play back and in the commercial sector it could offer some serious wow factor for the boardroom.

This ingenious device even has its place in the world of medicine where, installed in operating theatres, it could provide some peaceful background music for minor operations allowing the surgeon to listen to his or her favourite classical track to relax the mood of the room.

Once again Wandsworth has proved the company’s drive to innovate and our ability to keep pace with both developments in technology and consumer trends.”

Wilton Carpets Commercial inspires at the North West Design Centre

Daniel Fountain

Providing a dedicated and inspirational place for designers and industry specialists within the hospitality and leisure sectors, the North West Design Centre is showcasing the creative power of Wilton Carpets Commercial with a stunning first floor installation more akin to art than carpet. As a creative hub and materials resource for the hospitality and leisure industry, the North West Design Centre is a melting pot of high-end interior inspiration, featuring furniture, lighting and flooring from some of the most exciting and exclusive brands operating in the industry today. Now an associate of the North West Design Centre, Wilton Carpets Commercial enjoys preferred supplier status for interiors developed through the facility.

Working in tandem with interior design practice Gerald Bowering Associates and the North West Design Centre, Wilton Carpets Commercial developed a bespoke design in a performance mix of 80% wool 20% nylon, using inspiration from previous designs produced for luxurious hospitality environments such as those at the Glasgow Grand Central Hotel.

“We chose the first design to come from Wilton’s design manager, Julie Robertson,” comments Samantha Savage, Gerald Bowering Associates, designers in residence at the North West Design Centre. “Using subtle and timeless colours, we thought it exactly the sort of look we want to achieve at the centre and that it would appeal to the clientele, namely architects and designers. The carpet will help to showcase the creativity and flexibility of what Wilton Carpets Commercial can achieve.”

With an extensive back catalogue of bespoke work, as well as the Flexiweave and FastTrack concepts, Wilton Carpets Commercial specialises in delivering to hospitality and leisure environments beautiful high quality woven carpets, manufactured in the UK. Along with a collection of tufted carpets for use in less demanding applications such as guestrooms, Wilton Carpets Commercial can provide a carpeting solution for any hospitality environment.

“The North West Design Centre is far more than a regional hub for the industry, it works on a national basis to delivers designers and specialists a unique opportunity to witness the very latest in material innovation for the hospitality sector,” comments Stefan Heins, Wilton Carpets Commercial. “Being involved within the space helps us to showcase the creative potential in our carpet, aligning us with other inspirational brands and proving that carpet can be one of the most motivating and thought provoking surfaces within any hospitality interior.”

For further information contact Wilton Carpets Commercial on 01722 746000 or

Vaughan Enjoy Success at Maison et Objet in Paris

Daniel Fountain

Vaughan have had a successful 5 days exhibiting at Maison et Objet in Paris. This bi-annual event is the largest and possibly the most important of its kind catering for the interiors and creative sector in Europe.The show highlights high end design led furnishings across a series of vast exhibition halls, bringing together some of the best of designs of edgy new as well as long established companies.

Vaughan were exhibiting in the prestigious scenes d’interieur Hall 7 with a large inspirational stand designed by Vincent Dane. Vincent’s whimsical creation incorporated silver trees to set off an array of nickel, silver and glass products: Mirrors, Tables, Table Lamps and Floor Lamps to stunning effect.

The Sales Team saw many long established clients and were pleased to make many new contacts. However, if you missed Vaughan at Maison et Objet please contact to be sent the show brochure and for further details of the comprehensive range.

New recruit to the Agua Sales Team

Daniel Fountain

Agua continues to strengthen its Field Sales Team with the appointment of Aimee O’Donnell to cover Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Agua now has a team of seven covering the UK and Ireland but are continuing to look for additional representation for the South West.

Agua continues to see an increase in demand from all market sectors despite the current market conditions.

Plans are also in place to launch a new Upholstery collection in March.

Natura by Skopos

Daniel Fountain

Natura is the latest woven collection from Skopos, consisting of textural weaves echoing nature in a vast range of subtle neutral colour tones. Ideal for curtains, Natura fabrics are wide width and have been designed to be railroaded allowing for seam free curtains. The feature design ‘Talia’ is a calming ogee with a gentle gradation of tranquil colours. It is accompanied by ‘Calista’ a smart herringbone with an organic twist, and ‘Linette’ a subtle textured stripe. An extensive colour range of ‘Felicity’ co-ordinates add a lustrous element to the flat matt appeal of the collection.

Emulating the feel and texture of fine wool the delicate weave constructions drape beautifully whilst also offering all the easy care benefits essential for all contract interiors.

All the fabrics are made from 100% Trevira CS, inherently flame retardant to full UK and International contract specifications, and washable to 40oC.

Skopos is an ISO9001 accredited company and has over 30 year’s specialist experience in the design and manufacture of high performance FR contract fabrics for the hospitality sector.

Charles Rae moves to Hammer Carpets

Daniel Fountain

Hammer Carpets, the design-led Danish manufacturer of high quality contract carpets, is delighted to announce the appointment of Charles Rae to the new position of UK Business Development Director.

Following a distinguished 15 year textile career at Skopos Design, Charles comes to Hammer Carpets with a wealth of experience and is a well-known personality within the contract furnishing industry due to his position as Social Director of the BCFA.Hammer Carpets have had excellent success in supplying carpets to many of the world’s leading Hotels and Cruise ships and recently won the refurbishment contract for 32.000 m2 carpets on Cunard`s (Carnival) luxury liner Queen Mary 2. With the successful combination of good Design, Quality and fast lead times Hammer are keen to expand their UK Hospitality business.

The new Business Development Director role marks a continuation of Hammers investment and commitment into the UK Contract market and will be a key contributor to the future growth and success of the company. Charles Rae can be reached via email

Tom Moller Jorgensen, owner and Managing Director, Hammer Carpets comments, “I am delighted to have Charles on board and I know he will play a leading role in developing our UK contract business.”

Dawnvale: Restaurant, Bar, Hotel and Contract Specialists

Daniel Fountain

As specialists providing comprehensive interior fit out services to Bars, Restaurants and Hotels across the UK, Dawnvale’s in-house manufacturing facilities provide bespoke bars and Joinery, through to contract furniture, commercial kitchens and ventilation. We have the skill sets and experience to provide you with a professional and cost effective solution even within restricted timescales.

Simply put, we offer as much or as little as you require for your project.

From the shell of the building to the bespoke leather on the seating, we manufacture, fit out and deliver project solutions for Restaurants, Hotels and Bars throughout the UK and internationally. We work with Designers, Architects and Industry Professionals to create interior and exterior places and spaces, in individual or roll out developments.

Why not contact our team to discuss your project and arrange an appointment to see our extensive contract showrooms and production facilities in Manchester on 0161 684 7879 or

Flushed away with innovation at Ecobuild

Daniel Fountain

Gracing the halls of London’s Excel with its latest innovations in sanitary systems, Geberit will be at Ecobuild 2012 in March with a stand packed full of excellent examples of the lengths it goes to in offering ease of installation combined with durable, high quality products.Taking centre stage at Ecobuild will be Geberit’s UP320 concealed cistern, the first of its kind to require no tools to maintain. Boasting a number of innovative features, the cistern which is fitted into the Duofix framing system, has been updated to ensure a top-rate performance while helping specifiers adhere to ‘green’ guidelines for sustainability.
Primarily, the flush valve has been adapted to feature an additional low flush volume setting of 4.5 which can be simply activated and therefore provides flush volumes of 6 and 3 litres, factory set, or 4.5 and 3 litres for use with WC pans that have been designed for low flush volumes.

Alongside the UP320, Geberit will also be showcasing its comprehensive range of products, from plumbing and drainage solutions through to easy to install frame systems for wall-hung sanitaryware, stylish flush plates and touch-free infra-red sensor brassware.

Also, making its debut at Ecobuild will be a new self-sustaining power supply for Geberit infra-red taps.

To find out more about Geberit’s innovative sanitary systems and plumbing solutions visit Stand S225 at Ecobuild, Excel London, from Tuesday 20 to Thursday 22 March 2012.

Geberit – 0800 077 8365

Wandsworth Enables Hotels to Stay Ahead For Less

Daniel Fountain

The kind of comfort and convenience offered by luxury hotel room control systems could soon become a much more mainstream feature of the sector thanks to the launch of Jung’s 2-Wire Bus Push Button Modules, available from The Wandsworth Group, Jung’s exclusive UK distributor.The units are simple to install as part of any hotel build or refurbishment and are suitable for both standardised rooms and boutique hotel settings.

While full building control systems often mean that lighting, temperature and blind controls are fully integrated and capable of providing a bespoke environment for each individual guest room in the world’s best hotels, the expense and complexity of these systems means that they are rarely found in sub-five star destinations. But now Jung has combined its intelligent technology expertise and chic, contemporary styling to develop the new modules, which enable hotels to offer their guests centralised switching/dimming of lights, curtains/blind controls and do not disturb indicators in a single wall-mounted unit, without the cost or disruption of installing a full control system.

The discreet module units are designed to allow insertion of a digital image of the room behind the transparent switch panel cover. This allows the hotel guest to identify the corresponding light fitting or control quickly and easily at a glance.

Explains Wandsworth’s managing director Gary Stevens: “Guests at the world’s top hotels expect an outstanding level of specification but the new Jung 2-Wire Bus Push Button Modules mean that middle market hotel operators can now deliver that wow factor for guests in a much simpler, more cost-effective way. And, as you’d expect from Jung, the modules are available in a range of design options to co-ordinate with other style-conscious Jung switches and sockets and complement the hotel’s interior.”

The Push Button Modules are connected to the relay station via a Jung 2-wire bus providing control of up to eight switching, dimming and blind control functions. Extension modules mean that the installation can be tailored to meet the requirements of individual rooms and units can be ‘cloned’ to allow multiple units with the same assigned controls within the room, enabling identical units to be placed by the door and by the bed, for example.

The versatility of Venice from Lano

Daniel Fountain

The Venice Designer Collection from Lano provides seven beautiful designs and performance enough for hospitality and leisure environments and is distributed exclusively in the UK by the Headlam Group.With a 1,000,000 points finish, the Venice Designer Collection has beautiful pattern reproduction ensuring the contemporary and traditional designs within the range are created with pinpoint definition. Woven from 100% Lanoset polypropylene fibre on Lano’s advanced Wilton looms, all carpets within the collection are fade resistant, bleach cleanable and anti-static making them ideal in areas open to intensive cleaning or prolonged exposure to sunlight.

“Patterned carpet is popular in hospitality and leisure environments because it does much to disguise the appearance of dirt and soil,” explains Birger Karlsson, UK and Ireland Sales Manager. “Yet often these carpets are made from wool which requires a more sensitive approach to maintenance and can fade in extreme situations. However, using our Lanoset polypropylene fibre allows the Venice Designer Collection to be used in areas such as restaurants, bars, conservatories and orangeries, in fact anywhere where intensive cleaning and fade resistance is required.”

Featuring Persian and Turkish influenced designs, as well as a Damask, tartan and geometric patterns inspired by Lano’s Axminster collection, the Venice Designer Collection achieves Class 32 Commercial General suitability rating in accordance with EN 1307 or a Contract suitability rating in accordance with BS 7131, supported by a Low Radius flammability rating in accordance with BS 4790. With 16 options in total available in a four-metre width, colourways have been designed to meet broad needs.

For further information on all Lano carpet ranges, freephone 00800 5266 5266 or visit

Wilton Carpets help to maintain standards at Warwick University

Daniel Fountain

Students in University of Warwick halls of residence are studying their way to a bright future upon tufted wool carpet from Wilton Carpets Commercial.

Recognising the superb appearance retention qualities and value of wool-rich carpets, the Estates Office of University of Warwick selected tufted graphics carpets from Wilton Carpets for its Claycroft, Bluebell Views, Lakeside and Tocil student accommodation. With an excellent array of semi-bespoke FastTrack collections in a choice of contemporary colourways, Wilton Carpets Commercial is ideally positioned to meet the needs of the education sector. In this instance, the University selected a mixture of FastTrack and bespoke designs for each premises, with a total of over 21,000 square metres installed over the course of a year.

“Making the students feel they are in a comfortable and relaxing environment is vital in ensuring their wellbeing throughout their stay with the University,” comments theEstates Office, University of Warwick. “Yet we also have to consider the punishment the carpets undergo throughout their life and so we selected wool-rich tufted carpets for their excellent value and long-term appearance retention and durability.”

The installation at Lakeside has now endured the studious lifestyle of students for a year and has proven its ability to retain its appearance, as the Estates Office continues:

“16,500 students and 5,168 members of staff attend the University every day during term time and we currently receive about eight applications per place at the university, so demand is high. However, maintaining that demand is down to more than just the academic departments. The standard of accommodation for undergraduates is part of the whole package that the University of Warwick offers and the halls of residence need to be just as well regarded as the faculties. Part of this is making sure our student accommodation is second to none and Wilton Carpets has helped us achieve this.”

All tufted carpets in the numerous corridors and bedrooms of the four residential Lakeside buildings use a performance blend of 80% wool and 20% nylon for a combination of durability, appearance retention and value. Combined with a vast library of designs and colour palettes to enhance interior environments, Wilton Carpets FastTrack tufted carpets provide education environments with a stylish floorcovering solution that will deliver upon expectations.

Demise of British Manufacturing (4)

Daniel Fountain

When I started this series at the end of October it was not intended to be in the News columns of HotelDesigns. The first written as an Editorial piece in one of our emails (if you want to receive these then sign up for the Directory and choose which emails you want). However the responses were strong. The third article came out at the beginning of December and again prompted responses, but I have held back from this 4th article until the holiday period was over, as I didn’t want the thread lost in the decorations.

The Editorial was simply an attempt to place in context for designers the reasons behind creating the Company Profiles for them, to increase their understanding of the importance of the processes they are designing for when they seek to produce bespoke units. I said in that first article:

“In many ways the skills of designers such as Katerina Zacharides at Morgan Furniture, artisans such as Frank Triggs at Woodforms who carved the magnificent dragons at the Celtic Manor, or Adam Aaronson at Aaronson Noon are the true inheritors of the William Morris arts and crafts movement. Their involvement in the process from inception to completion is part of a great English tradition”
I have consistently warned that exporting manufacturing abroad would lead to loss of design as that followed the manufacturing. As a result there are less local UK manufacturers for Universities to link to, with the result that design for manufacturing becomes more theoretical and doesn’t become enriched through projects being subject to the scrutiny of the potential manufacturer. The process should be symbiotic – the vision of the designer pushing technical developments in an industry, and the technical developments expanding the horizons for designers.

At a recent exhibition there were shining examples of products benefitting from close collaboration, including some quite magical fabrics from companies like Skopos showing how digital production methods change the nature of the end product, and how important the designers vision is in this process. I know many famous and not so famous designers have made their contribution to the design of products as a part of their interiors work – indeed I have trodden this path myself. However if the manufacturer is not there to collaborate with then the ability to innovate is lessened as the understanding of process disappears.

This view was reinforced for my by one of our new Directory companies, Heritage Silverware. Heritage has manufactured Tableware, Cutlery, Holloware and Bone china for the opening of London’s Corinthia Hotel, Coworth Park and the last Cunard luxury Liner Queen Elizabeth amongst many others in last 12 months. Owner Martin McDonagh has spent “40 years in silverware and tableware building a factory and business here in Birmingham” and went on to say:

“Both my children who graduated in design 6 years ago have come into the business which was a shock as I tried in vain to put them off, but they have embraced and loved the world of manufacturing from the very first day.

This was simply because they were able to step on to the shop floor and see their designs being made within hours of drawing and then learn from our craftsmen that the design would struggle to be made competitively without changes to the way it needed to be made.

Instantly they then grasped what was needed and how they should proceed with future ideas and that no Good Design can be done if conceived or planned in a “vacuum”.

Our Universities churn out every year Graduates into the world as though they have been taught and accredited to instantly work in industry without any practical knowledge or skill as to how to make design work.

That’s what has been missing from British Tableware of late as our factories close these kids don’t have the opportunity or the ability to go and see and experience the actual manufacturing process and understand the limitations of product manufacture and how to go about getting around this and coming up with different and even better solutions”

Rodney McMahon at Morgan Furniture has spent time building relationships with local schools in his area of Hampshire, and trains his own work force offering apprenticeships. His comments about the difficulties created by our civil servants (I think we should call them uncivil servants) and ignorant politicians has been echoed by Gemma Stockberger of Versatil who says

“We are a British manufacturer and have been for 44 years now. We would be only too happy to take on apprentices and trainees, but find that legislation makes it difficult.

Due to the machinery we use, legally employees have to be over 21, which then makes them more expensive to employ. The unemployment rate for young people is at record levels which is an absolute crime when there is so much potential out there.

We also have to monitor them at all times when using the machinery, which makes it doubly time consuming and labour intensive. A real catch 22 situation!”

There is much talk now about rebalancing the economy. Desperately overdue, the rebalancing may come too late to save aviation (we no longer produce complete aeroplanes in the UK), large chunks of shipbuilding (Cunard’s Queens were all built in Italy or France), our railway companies (this in the nation that invented railways). Many in the supply chain to the hotel industry have tried to remain small and nimble in an effort to survive the vicissitudes of the British economy. The reluctance to grow and compete globally must be overcome. Companies like PF Collections have successfully serviced the industry in many countries abroad, but we need more of the industry to compete with our German, Italian etc. competitors.

Rodney McMahon has staff who have given his company a lifetime of service. I have a decorated scroll on my office wall salvaged from the London office of Wall Paper Manufacturers Ltd. recording 4 employees who devoted a total of 195 years service to the company.

For manufacturing to survive and prosper over the fifty years ahead we need commitments from all political parties on stable levels of taxation. We need a national industrial strategy that is not going to change every three or four years. We need tax and NI systems simplified, and confidence given to manufacturers so that they take on employees for the long term. Most of all we need to get the monkey that is the national bureaucratic administration system off manufacturers backs.

You can add your views in the comments area under this article – all are checked before publication – be aware that adverts will be deleted!

©Patrick Goff, Editor

International awards confirm that Geberit has the X factor for innovation

Daniel Fountain

Geberit is the most innovative brand in the plumbing industry, with several of its sanitary systems solutions being given the seal of approval as Best Product of the Year at the prestigious Plus X Awards in Germany.Picking up a trio of awards for the Geberit AquaClean, Monolith and DuoFresh products, Geberit also received the much-coveted Most Innovative Brand Award in the sanitary product group at the awards ceremony.

The Plus X Award is one of the world’s largest innovation awards for technology, sports and lifestyle products, recognising those products and brands that offer innovative technologies, extraordinary designs and sleek, intelligent operating concepts. The Most Innovative Brand is the highest award of the Plus X Award and honours the brands with the most seals of approval within a product group.

Criteria for the Best Product of the Year included quality, functionality, ergonomics and design; all factors that were more than met by the three Geberit innovations recognised at this year’s awards.

Geberit AquaClean combines the most natural form of washing with complete comfort and an elegant design, offering the perfect model for every requirement, from the compact enhancement solution to the complete integrated WC system.

Ideal for converting a freestanding WC to a wall-hung version, Geberit’s Monolith is a slimline sanitary module with integrated cistern that can be connected to existing plumbing work just as easily as a close-coupled toilet, with no chiselling or re-tiling required. With its slim profile the Monolith doesn’t impinge on space, while its clear, simple lines and high-quality materials make it an attractive alternative to conventional visible cisterns.

To be launched in the UK in April 2012, Geberit DuoFresh is a WC system that brings a whole new feeling of freshness to the bathroom. With the secret concealed behind the wall, a switch on the actuator plate activates odour extraction, cleaning the air with active carbon filters and resupplying it to the room.

Marketing and Communications Manager at Geberit, Sara Johnston, said: “The Plus X seal of approval stands as a visible symbol of the innovation of these products, giving retailers a powerful way of helping customers in their purchasing decision. The awards are highly regarded within the industry and being recognised with the title of Most Innovative Brand award is a well-deserved honour.”

The passion proved powerful at Sleep

Daniel Fountain

With a stunning stand conceived around the theme ‘a passion for design’, Wilton Carpets Commercial garnered widespread praise among visitors to November’s Sleep Event, dispelling the myth that the British manufacturer is just about wilton carpet and traditional designs.

With a passionflower design carpet that transcended from floor to wall, Wilton Carpets showed to specifiers within the hotel and leisure sector that it is pushing forward the boundaries of contemporary flooring while delivering high performance carpets for a broad range of hospitality environments.

Visitors discovered more about the manufacturer’s Flexiweave semi-bespoke concept that allows specifiers to re-colour hundreds of designs for a carpet unique to their environment and how they can take advantage of a wide range of stock carpets to be found in the FastTrack service. A catalogue of completed projects also proved that Wilton Carpets is ready to take on the most avant-garde of bespoke designs, including large-scale repeats for public areas with co-ordinated designs that can be used elsewhere to a more subtle effect.

Over two days at the Building Design Centre, London, Wilton Carpets proved itself ideal for specifiers looking for a complete carpet solution for hospitality and leisure environments and hailed the Sleep Event a success:

“The exhibition provided us with an excellent chance to engage with a community at the heart of our product,” said sales director, Alan Whittle. “Those that attended were the people that specify our products and so it was vital that we used the opportunity not only to tell them of our ability to meet all design briefs, but to discover exactly what they needed from a modern carpet manufacturer. We were delighted with the responses we received to our commercial collections and look forward to progressing with the many new relationships we made at the event.”

For further information contact Wilton Carpets Commercial on 01722 746000 or

Vaughan Designs Reflects on Sleep Event Success

Daniel Fountain

Vaughan had a successful stand on the mezzanine level at The Sleep Event and very much enjoyed seeing long standing clients and meeting new ones.The new products were greeted with excitement, including the Savona Floor and Desk Lamp, the Valere Glass Chandelier and the Catania Fern Vase.

If you didn’t manage to visit the show and would like details on any of the new products, please do contact us at

Dawnvale Completes Work at Sheffield University

Daniel Fountain

Situated at the base of the Sheffield University, Students’ Union Bar One is not one to miss. As one of the country’s largest student bars it now has an enviable reputation with everything you could possibly want from the perfect Students’ Union bar. Interior Fit Out and Bar Specialists Dawnvale were appointed as Main Contractor to provide a full design and build scheme to the University and Union Officers. With a very clear brief set out for the proposed scheme, our Projects team provided a full design and build scheme managing all aspects of planning and building regulations for the large glass extension and structural works incorporated.

After undergoing a major interior and exterior refurbishment programme to the various areas contained within the Bar, the Bar has successfully achieved the desired affect both from an operational requirement and interior finish.

The interior works and timescales were a test to all involved, as comprehensive Specialist Asbestos works were incorporated within the programme along with all the required notification and investigation. The 6 week programme incorporated substantial structural works to both front of house and back of house areas, the new menus required new additional CPU areas with a new commercial kitchen and extraction for the Bar One Cafe, the extensive Bar was also further extended to cope with the additional footfall with new fixed seating lounges and booths created around the stage and new glass extension.

Throughout the venue, a new lighting scheme with controlled dimmable zones created a perfect ambience to the separate dining, drinking, daytime and evening requirements. Working with the University Technical Team, an upgraded sound system and screens were fitted throughout to attract a wider audience, the internal and external signs and graphics provided the Bar with the newly created Brand Identity and interior scheme.

The Bar now features a large glass extension to the main Bar, from this a separate Cafe area with newly installed commercial kitchen and ventilation scheme, provides a open service for the new menu. The expansive areas provide a further Raynor lounge with an array of bespoke contract furniture and fixed seating throughout, all carefully finished with special RAL colours and bespoke fabrics to match the Brand identity.

The entire venue has undergone new floor and wall finishes, bespoke joinery detail throughout with bespoke glazing to all external elevations. A full M&E package was installed around the newly created room spaces and glass extension, the redundant fixtures, fittings and ventilation systems were removed to make way for the specialist works.

Contact Dawnvale for any of your project requirements or visit our dedicated showrooms and design centre in Manchester

Wandsworth Helps Mayfair Residents Plug In To Luxury Market

Daniel Fountain

Wiring accessories specialist, The Wandsworth Group, is to supply luxury switches and sockets along with a wide range of bespoke wiring accessories for one of the most prestigious new addresses in London: Park House in Mayfair.

The Land Securities development, designed by Robin Partington Architects, combines 15,140m2 of office space, 8,140m2 of retail accommodation and 5,380m2 of luxury residential apartments on the corner of Mayfair and Oxford Street. M&E consultants, Long & Partners have specified products from Wandsworth’s Series 2 range of flat plate wiring accessories in both antique bronze and yellow etched prime for use throughout the residential element of the scheme in a supply deal worth over £180,000.

The yellow etched prime accessories are supplied as ‘unfinished’ plates, allowing bespoke paint finishes to be added at fit out to match the interior design of each individual apartment. The bespoke nature of the wiring accessories does not end there: Wandsworth will be supplying a wide range of custom-manufactured ‘specials’ for the installation, including combined twin data/5amp/twin switched sockets, combined HDMI outlet/switched fused spur /twin data outlets and combined fused connection/cable outlet/HDMI/twin data outlets.

Explains James Webb from The Wandsworth Group: “Our wiring accessories expertise and the breadth of our range means that we are ideally suited to supplying a high calibre development like Park House, where quality of finish and a bespoke approach to providing luxury living are required. We’re delighted to be involved with such a prestigious development.”

Installation of the Wandsworth wiring accessories will be carried out by electrical contractor, Essex Services Group with first phase installation beginning on site in early 2012. The following phases will be aligned to the build programme which is due for completion in November 2012.

Sasi Natarajan from Long & Partners added: “We regularly specify Wandsworth wiring accessories because we know that we can be confident of choice and quality. In a scheme like this, every detail is important and, thanks to Wandsworth, the wiring accessories carry through that high standard with both traditional sockets and switches and new technology outlets.”

New Hotel Range from Wandsworth Offers Style and Function

Daniel Fountain

The Wandsworth Group has launched a complete, co-ordinated hotel sector offer from KNX and wiring accessories specialist Jung.Jung’s exclusive UK distributor, The Wandsworth Group can now offer an integrated suite of KNX building control systems tailored specifically for the hotel market to provide seamless lighting, temperature, audio-visual and blind controls. The result is a hotel environment that offers both wow factor and enhanced comfort for the guest, while reducing energy consumption and costs for the hotel operator. Individual room control panels can be clearly labelled with international symbols and lit with LEDs, with centralised control of integrated services in simple to operate two- or four-gang units. KNX room controllers can be installed to control and display individual elements such as room temperature, blinds and music, allowing guests to customise their room environment to suit their own tastes.

While each guest can control the settings for the KNX system in their own room, the user-friendly hotel systems have also been designed to allow the hotel management team control, monitoring and visualisation of all integrated controls for all hotel rooms, public areas and back of house. Jung Facility Pilot software enables all of this functionality on a single PC or touch screen unit allowing the front of house team to set the ideal temperature for a room before guests arrive, for example, or switch off all lighting and air conditioning to save energy after guests have checked out.

The functionality of the range’s KNX control systems is matched by the stylish design of its wiring accessories range, which includes a variety of switches and sockets for all international socket systems to enable hotel groups to adopt a unified look across their entire portfolio. The range includes both recessed and surface mounted designs and sockets and switches can be co-ordinated with ISDN and DSL units, Schuko hinged lidded sockets for safe use in bathrooms, a wall mounted FM radio and temperature controls also compliment the range.

The Wandsworth Group can also supply a range of safety and security products to co-ordinate with the range including card-key units, an over-sized rocker door access switch, control units for automatic door systems and do not disturb indicator panels.

Comments Gordon Fry, KNX technical specialist, at The Wandsworth Group, “Controllability of the hotel environment is important both to the guests and the hotel operators and our new KNX systems offer this in a very simple to operate format that enhances guest comfort and provides the hotel operator with management and energy efficiency benefits. A coherent interior design style that can be co-ordinated across the hotel and rolled out around the world is also an important trend and this range offers six different design options and a host of colours and finishes to ensure a quality finish for any style-conscious hotel.”

The Demise of British Manufacturing (3)

Daniel Fountain

BBC’s Newsnight picked up on our theme of resurrecting British manufacturing in its programme Monday night (28/11/2011). It took a trip to an area I consider one of my home areas, the North West of England. I lived in the North West for years and you will know from reading my opening remarks in the Reviews of the Indigo and Hard Day’s Night that I have family roots that go deep on Merseyside, so the programme struck a chord with me.

The North West was built on the Industrial Revolution. The cotton mills of Lancashire were built there because of the rain (an annual 56 inches in Blackburn compared to 24 in Brighton) and the fact they sat on the Lancashire coalfields. The inventiveness of Arkwright and others developed manufacturing and led to the growth of railways, canals, and engineering giants such as Avro, English Electric, Waring and Gillows, Lever Brothers etc.. The programme last night looked at the growth of the infrastructure that made much of this possible such as the canals, and showed how nearly all was privately financed.
The programme continued with interviews with manufacturers, many of whom were frustrated at the poor infrastructure, but mainly focussed on the lack of available investment. No, not from government, but the lack of investment in Britain by the City and City banks. Another article I read suggested in part that this was because the City had outgrown the British economy, the size of deals and the amounts of money it handled giving it an International identity rather than a ‘Britishness’. The programme pointed out that not only was decision making now centralised but that it was no longer possible to get local decisions based on the knowledge of industry and its prospects. Indeed it was almost impossible to get any investment decision at all.

Perhaps it is inevitable that younger generations feel international given the global nature of social networks etc., but there is something rotten in the state when there is no allegiance from bankers to their own society. We are a much more globally connected society, but when this global connection is used as an excuse to ignore localism it is like living in an hotel that has no foundations. It may give great service but it is only a matter of time before it collapses. Like hotel guests, bankers seem to feel that they can just move on to another hotel when this happens (“we’ll move abroad if our bonuses are cut”), but the rest of us do not have, nor do we want, that escape route.

In my previous editorial I pointed the finger at the educational elites for much of the lack of awareness of industry. Patriotism is still alive as the service of our young people in Iraq and Afghanistan shows. The lack of a sense of responsibility among the elites is shown by the incompetence of the political administrations that failed to give the Services the right equipment – not a new problem incidentally as the Ministry of Defence was a real problem for Wellington throughout his Spanish campaigns, where he was forced to counterfeit Spanish coin to pay for his supplies.

The problems of this country are deep rooted and varied. I do not pretend to be an expert political analyst, but I do know that we need radical change. In the eighties designers were confident enough in the UK to look at starting their own manufacturing operations here. That was confidence was destroyed by Lamont and his pursuit of the European Monetary System. That same Euro system threatens us once more with economic disaster. Many designers are not even aware of where products they order come from. Several people have suggested I compile a list of UK manufacturers and recommend them to specifiers. Whilst there are many in the Directory, designers should order the best product for their projects. Hopefully that will be British, from Dernier & Hamlyn, PF Collections,Cliq,Axminster, Wilton, Naturalmat or one of the other hundred or so UK based manufacturers we represent in the Directory.

British is not necessarily the best, as those who remember the Austin Allegro will testify. The hammer was not nicknamed a ‘Birmingham screwdriver’ for nothing. But when British companies invest in continual product development through design as Morgan or Panaz do, when they harness the skill base of our people as Andy Thornton do, they are capable of competing with the best in the world, and of exporting their production.

HotelDesigns was started to enable supply companies to reach designers and specifiers across the globe. Over half our readership is abroad. We have enabled designers to find work in Italy, Russia, Egypt and beyond. our list of users of the Directory, now reaching over 19,100, shows most recent sign-ups from Germany, Bangladesh, Portugal, Greece, Lebanon, USA as well as Great Britain (that’s just from the last ten). Whilst the current crisis is ravaging many areas of the globe, some places are still growing healthily – South Africa grew 1.6% in the last quarter, Poland grows 6% a year – so there are still buoyant markets out there.

GROHE: Seminars at The Sleep Event

Daniel Fountain

Join Martin Rowell @ 11.30am on Thursday 24th November (Seminar area M43) where he will be discussing why brands need to evolve and create deeper relationships, promoting the need for balance. He will also discuss how hotel bathrooms can go beyond the norm to ensure that beauty is combined with function. This is a free seminar.

Discover the GROHE top ten unofficial list, compiled by consumers who posted their pet hates in Autumn 2011, and find out what really irritates guests when it comes to ill-considered hotel bathroom design. For GROHE, this highlights why design needs to go beyond styling. We want to see more than just beauty; we want to see beautiful products that perform to perfection.

GROHE Headline Sponsors at Sleep 2011

GROHE is the leading provider of premium bath fittings and showers, kitchen taps, thermostats and sanitary systems. Renowned for its quality, technological innovation and stylish design, GROHE has announced that for the 6th year running they will continue to be the headline sponsor for the Sleep event, 23-24 November, London.

Sleep is the only event in Europe which focuses entirely on the design, architecture and development of hotels so a perfect platform to showcase some of the 350+ diverse and award-winning products from the GROHE portfolio.

As a global brand in this sector, GROHE continues to set the standard. Seven decades of research and development have resulted in a range of pioneering technologies and products that are recognized worldwide for their technical excellence and longevity. GROHE’s reputation for manufacturing high-quality, stylish bathroom brassware make them the preferred choice for use in 3 star to 5 star hotels across all design styles as GROHE has a solution for all price points.

Design at GROHE is headed up by Paul Flowers, Senior Vice President of Design, with a dedicated in-house design team who work to fulfill the GROHE design philosophy; ‘to deliver the perfect balance of superior technology, quality and design’. This was further realized with the GROHE Design team’s latest accolade red dot design team of the year 2011.

The GROHE stand will feature the brand new Allure Brilliant range, which was unveiled at ISH 2011 to rave reviews, the latest news on GROHE Digital for all. Sleep delegates will be invited to discover the GROHE SPA concept – a space as individual as your client… an unrivalled range of bathroom fittings enable one to create a unique bathing space, where design, comfort and function meet. Try the organic hand harvested GROHE SPA lotions and enjoy the GROHE SPA experience- refreshing, soothing and comforting.

Jan Shepherd, Global Brand Director at GROHE is looking forward to unveiling the GROHE stand “Visitors to Sleep 2011 can expect alluring architectural appeal of bath spouts and bath/shower mixers that rise elegantly from the floor. Integrated shower fittings that come to life when you turn on the water. Digital or mechanical operation, all in inspiring finishes. GROHE collections consider every detail imaginable including technology that helps to promote guest safety and comfort whilst still creating a stimulating water experience”.

GROHE, Stand V2 @ Sleep, London 23-24 November, 2011.

A message from David Balmer, National Specification Manager – Hotels (Hospitality) at GROHE:

“If you are already going to the Sleep event, please make a point of catching up with me, either if by arranging a convenient meeting or just would like a coffee and chat …. Only too pleased to see you.

If you have not got your entrance pass, please go on and register now for free, otherwise it’s £25. See you there!”

Wandsworth Switches UK onto Jung’s Sleek Styling

Daniel Fountain

Specifiers looking for a stylish and subtle approach to lighting switches and dimmers can now select from the Jung ‘A Creation’ range, available from The Wandsworth Group, Jung’s exclusive UK distributor.A range of minimalist, translucent frames designed to complement any interior, the ‘A Creation’ line combines German quality with contemporary styling to provide a wide range of colour and finish combinations. Already a popular choice for quality installations across mainland Europe, the range can be used to create a statement look or to blend seamlessly into the interior design of a property, depending on the combination of frame and insert chosen.

Designed to accommodate Jung’s A 500 square-shaped inserts and rockers, the ‘A Creation’ range of frames is available in one, two, three, four or five gang variants, all of which can be either horizontally or vertically mounted. The frames all have an edge radius of 1.25cm and are available in a choice of three duroplastic variants: white, black or aluminium or six glass variants: black, red, blue-grey, soft-white, white or silver (mirror finish).

Comments head of sales for The Wandsworth Group, Andy Howe, “Details such as the framing of wiring accessories can really add a quality feel to an installation and help to bring together design elements in the room. Because it’s available in 1-5 gang options, the Jung ‘A Creation’ range can be used to keep an installation beautifully neat and tidy, even when there are numerous inserts or rockers to be accommodated. We’re confident that it will prove as popular in the UK as it has across much of the rest of Europe.”

A carpet worth conferring on from Wilton Carpets Commercial

Daniel Fountain

Some 5,900 square metres of bespoke carpet from Wilton Carpets Commercial has given a luxurious ambience to the lounge, restaurant, corridors and bedrooms of Warwick Conferences’ Scarman, the largest of three conference and training venues based at the University of Warwick.

Using the design flexibility of woven axminster from Wilton Carpets, the designers at the University of Warwick have been able to achieve an interior to meet the much more demanding expectations of guests since the centre was refurbished 7 years ago.

Preferring the greater design capability and looks retention of axminster woven carpets over tufted constructions, the 204 bedrooms at Scarman were designed with a base palette of neutrals and fawns, with a highlight colour that varied from floor to floor. The corridor carpet was designed from a complementary colour palette, but with panel and runner features that enlivened the long unbroken vistas. Special features to demarcate lifts and lobby areas were also incorporated into the design.

In the high quality restaurant facilities, a contemporary rolling crossover stripe design using a dark base colourway and bright accent tones help to create a feel of luxurious dining surroundings for the centre’s guests.

Scarman is one of the largest residential training and conference centres in the UK; it creates a dedicated and focused environment for its delegates who visit from across the country. It has 204 bedrooms, 54 meeting rooms, its own restaurants, bar, lounge and relaxing outdoor spaces.

“It is important that Scarman provides its guests with the very best in modern, purposeful facilities with a true sense of style and quality. With this in mind,the management team decided that a refurbishment would ensure that Scarman continues to meet and exceed customers’ expectations,” comments the Warwick Conferences Scarman team at the University of Warwick. “We invited carpet manufacturers from an approved list to tender for the extensive and intensive project and felt that Wilton Carpets Commercial could meet our needs in terms of design versatility and quality.

“Working with Wilton Carpets’ in-house design team, we were able to create designs that reflected the quality ambience of the centre, while providing practical floor coverings demanded by such a busy venue. We are delighted with the results and have had positive feedback from users of the building.”

The woven axminster carpets supplied to Warwick Conferences’ Scarman were manufactured in a high performance blend of 80% wool and 20% nylon to maximise durability and appearance retention throughout the life of the carpet. Made in Wiltshire and installed by CFA approved contractor CSB Contract Flooring Services, the carpets were produced and delivered within the timescales required by the refurbishment.

For further information contact Wilton Carpets Commercial on 01722 746000 or

Cashmir – luxuriously soft upholstery fabric from Agua

Daniel Fountain

Luxuriousness and sophistication meets practicality with the new Cashmir collection from Agua. The 11 colours have been carefully selected to tone with modern colour schemes, with the added benefits of being anti-microbial, impervious and with a stain resistant finish Agua Cashmir is perfectly suited for high use Hospitality and Leisure environments.Agua are delighted to be launching this new fabric at the Sleep Event, 23rd & 24th November. Please visit our stand, M24B, to experience this collection for yourself or visit our website for further details.

A site to behold

Daniel Fountain

Wilton Carpets Commercial has launched a stunning, brand new website designed to reflect its stature as one of the most design-focused carpet manufacturers in the UK. Now live, delivers designers, contractors and specifiers a fascinating insight into Wilton Carpets, cataloguing their commercial carpet portfolio, including Ready to Go and FastTrack collections, as well as the manufacturer’s Flexiweave and bespoke services and new tufted collections.

Visitors to the site can search for any FastTrack design quickly and easily, thanks to an easy to use Design Search facility that can home in on styles, patterns or types. The Gallery provides a wealth of inspiration, featuring fabulous images of contemporary and traditional projects, while the News section keeps users up-to-date on the latest installations, events and products. Users can also sign up to have this information delivered straight to their inbox.

The highlight of the website is the clear and easy to use product catalogue, which is designed to make navigation simple even for inexperienced carpet hunters as Suna Jones, marketing manager explains:

“We have spent a considerable amount of time in making sure the website and the way products are catalogued are simple to navigate, as finding what you want from hundreds of designs and colour combinations can be a daunting experience. As insiders, it is all too easy to forget that others are less knowledgeable about our portfolio, but we hope that users will discover that finding just the right design and product is easy with our website.”

Designs being considered for particular projects can be saved as a Favourite, specifications and designs downloaded for moodboards and samples requested – with all details retained with a unique user login and password for future reference. The Brochure Request facility is also well executed and even features the ability to obtain woven colour palettes to help with co-ordination on projects.

“This new website will act as a showcase for our carpet design expertise and manufacturing capabilities,” continues Suna, “and it also reflects our understanding of the importance of a strong internet presence in communicating our message across the world.”

Visit to discover the site for yourself.

The Demise of British manufacturing

Daniel Fountain

I started in Art College in 1967. I quickly discovered, as my school woodwork master had told me, that I was inept in the craft skills. Ever since, I have had a strong admiration for those who demonstrate a command of a craft. Where that skill appears on site I enjoy it and the way in which it is reflected in high quality finishes and detailing. When missing, it often highlights the lack of knowledge many designers show of the processes involved in creating not just great interiors, but also the items they use to create those interiors.
It is not self-indulgent of me to visit manufacturers such as Andy Thornton or Dernier & Hamlyn as designers should never underestimate the intellectual and practical skills it needs to keep these companies profitably afloat through the boom and bust scenarios created by our so-called ‘leaders’ in the political classes. That we have any manufacturing left at all is a measure of the resilience, creativity and sheer dogged determination of the leaders of these companies.

In many ways the skills of designers such as Katerina Zacharides at Morgan Furniture, artisans such as Frank Triggs at Woodforms who carved the magnificent dragons at the Celtic Manor, or Adam Aaronson at Aaronson Noon are the true inheritors of the William Morris arts and crafts movement. Their involvement in the process from inception to completion is part of a great English tradition (not forgetting where you hale from, Katerina). Visiting them is not just a part of the job but in many ways a privilege. The reason for showing them is to help designers to a deeper understanding of process, so that they can design new products or commission individual pieces with a real comprehension of what is involved in production.

Many years ago I wrote of the importance of vocational education. I wrote the Chartered Society’s submission to the enquiry that set up the new Higher Education system, arguing against the expansion of degrees (driven, I believe, by academic snobbery). I have consistently warned that exporting manufacturing abroad would lead to loss of design as that followed the manufacturing. I also stated that the new degree structure would kill vocational education, warning that an all degree system would destroy much of our skill base. I am saddened that in both I have been proved right and the decline of our country has continued.

In 1976, I made my first visit to the USA with the dollar at $2.74 to a pound. Now the dollar is at $1.51 to the pound. This is both a reduction in the real wealth of Britain (now being reflected in falling real incomes here) and an increase in the cost of manufacturing overseas. We continue to see great names in British manufacturing becoming bankrupt, Brintons Carpets and Pedley Furniture becoming the latest of these to make the headlines.

Why does manufacturing struggle in the UK?

Our problem is that for years our education and political systems have been dominated by products of public schools and the Oxbridge academics. For a century, it has been considered inappropriate for the graduates of these systems to demean themselves by getting involved with manufacturing and ‘getting their hands dirty’. The result is a continual decline in a country that more than any other was responsible for the creation of the modern industrial nation. It has been argued that this decline has been inevitable, and that we should become the first ‘post industrial’ society. What rubbish this is.

I have just returned from Switzerland where I spoke to trade journalists from across the globe about developments in hotel bathrooms. The hosts, Laufen (Company Profile coming soon), have been manufacturing on the same site since the 19th Century – and if anything, Switzerland is a higher cost base manufacturing centre than anywhere in the UK. Ideal-Standard are the larger UK equivalent manufacturing from their base in Hull, both as Ideal-Standard and as Armitage Shanks. Their latest manufacturing unit is in Bulgaria.

Do you remember Royal Doulton? Their royal warrant was for sanitary ware. Their first blow came in 1956 when the Clean Air Acts forced the closure of the Lambeth factory. They went bust in 2009 when producing ‘collectables’ and tableware in (no pun intended) China, and are now a part of the struggling Waterford Crystal group. So why does manufacturing struggle in the UK?

In part, it is as I have indicated above, a terrible snob prejudice against manufacturing by our ruling classes. Now many children across society think the path to success is celebrity. They would rather we were flogged by bankers than support manufacturing. You would think that with George Osborne – son of the Osborne in Osborne and Little Fabrics and Wallpapers – now Chancellor of the Exchequer, we would be seeing a change. However, instead of looking methods of fostering manufacturing, Osborne witters on inanely about cutting the top rate of tax from 50%.

Where do we go from here?

If we are to recover, we need to look at industry in the way Germany did in the middle of the last century. We need a national focus on restoring the industrial engines of the North of England. More importantly we need new entrepreneurial investment in the supply chain. We need renewal of our infrastructure including railways. To achieve this we need to change the situation in which for every couple of employees a company pays so much tax and national insurance that it is employing a third person in the state system. We need to reduce the burden of regulation that makes it a crime for a company in Wales (for example) not to advertise a job vacancy in 2 languages.

In the mid 1980’s my practise started discussions with another leading interior designer with a view to creating a joint company to manufacture our designs. Futile efforts that died in the face of the determined effort by our political leaders to maintain the value of our currency by raising interest rates, reaching the giddy heights of 15%, which led to mortgage and borrowing rates of 19%+. Can you imagine what it is like to have a commercial mortgage at near 20%? (The idiot behind this, Norman Lamont, is still rolled out by the BBC as an establishment ‘guru’ on the bank and financial systems.)

Only by releasing the creative energies for which Britain has been famous and which led to the development of so many now global industries can we recreate our industrial base. We will know when we are achieving this by the steady appreciation of sterling as the mark appreciated for Germany.

This may bring a second set of problems as German and Swiss industry found in coming to terms with a high value currency. Surely though it is better to have the problems of success, than our current round of problems stemming from failure.

Patrick Goff; Editor

A note from Jamie Lesinski, Senior FX Dealer at IFX:

“I broadly agree with Patrick where he touches on entrepeneurialism in the supply chain; but more importantly, the British consumer represents a diabolical dichotomy. British consumers do not wish to buy British. This may be because we feel we can source more competitively from abroad, but is also because there is relatively little private and internal investment coming from the UK itself. This is so much so the case that certain British brands no longer represent the people that spawned them. British banks won’t lend to British companies in the same way that German banks will, largely because they are not confident that there is a sufficiently hungry domestic market to support sales at the bottom line.

German manufacturing has just risen for the month of September, and the pound has dropped to a six month low as a result (1.1401), but more importantly, contrary to the inferred correlation between the GBP/EUR exchange rate and growth in European manufacturing, British firms are being pinched at home in the credit markets. We can compete internationally with the likes of Germany, France, Switzerland and even Japan, but our banks are not being allowed to speculate on long term lending plans, and this is suffocating domestic production. Ironically companies are sourcing materials and manufacture from abroad because it is cheaper and ‘safer’ to export the design concept and suffer at the hands of a weak pound, than it is to risk developing products in the UK which may not sell internally.

Adding further insult to injury and compounding the struggle of the UK manufacturer, the exchange rate is no longer being determined by the economics of the global situation, but rather by the political PR machines of the large western sovereigns. A solvent Britain attracts less investment and export sales than its debt ridden neighbors in the euro zone largely because the domestic flow of capital and almost impossible lending policies are smothering our ability to capitalize on our potential advantage.”

Signbox’s Enlighten smart poster system officially launched at London’s Saatchi Gallery

Daniel Fountain

Signbox unveiled its groundbreaking Enlighten smart poster range at the official national launch held in the superb surroundings of the Saatchi Gallery in London’s King’s Road. Over 120 invited guests attended the launch including representatives from leading London advertising agencies, major brand custodians and senior marketing professionals.Enlighten is a revolutionary new smart poster system that enables a range of tailored and customised messages, including promotional offers and wayfinding information, to be transferred direct to target audiences via their NFC enabled smartphones. The launch was the culmination of 18 months R & D between Signbox and their technology partner, Avery Dennison, with close collaboration between the Signbox, Avery Dennison RFID and Avery Dennison Graphics teams. Enlighten is powered by Avery Dennison RFID N-Zone™ Near Field Communications (NFC) inlays, and senior personnel from Avery Dennison attended the event to support Signbox.

Addressing the audience, Mark Bartlett, Managing Director of Signbox Ltd, spoke of the extraordinary pace of technological change over the 26 years that Signbox has been in business – he said that when the company was first established in 1985 fax machines were considered “cutting edge” technology and, remarkably, that was the year of the very first mobile phone call made in the UK. He remarked that everyone in the audience would no doubt agree that “the pace of technological change is astounding” and that the launch of Enlighten represented another “great technological leap forward”.

Bartlett said his guests had no doubt heard of the term ‘smart posters’ and that “Enlighten was the smartest of smart posters, because it incorporates NFC technology”.

Continuing the theme, the audience heard about how NFC will change the way we pay, travel, shop, communicate and entertain ourselves. With NFC enabled smart phones people will use their phones in a different way – with paying for goods and retrieving information becoming second nature.

Contined on page two…

Vaughan at the St. Ermins Hotel, London

Daniel Fountain

Vaughan has recently supplied the refurbished St. Ermins Hotel in Central London, with a number of different lighting requirements. From the stylish hotel lobby to the Caxton Bar and through to the restroom areas; Vaughan’s wall lights and lampshades are displayed with maximum decorative effect. In the lobby areas of guest bedrooms and suites, the simple and elegant Portsmouth flush ceiling fixture has been used extensively to give subtle light and ambiance.

To read the HotelDesigns’ review of the St. Ermins Hotel, please click here.

Wilton will wake you up at Sleep

Daniel Fountain

With a stunning bespoke passion flower inspired carpet running from floor to ceiling, Wilton Carpets Commercial will be creating a stir at this year’s Sleep Event, running between 23 – 24 November at Islingtons Building Design Centre. With a passion for carpets, Wilton Carpets plans to inspire and intrigue visitors with stunning contemporary designs, dispelling the myth that the British carpet manufacturer is just about wilton carpet and traditional designs. Offering creative freedom with bespoke axminster design, limitless colour options and new FastTrack ranges such as the striking Virtue collection, Wilton is pushing forward the boundaries of contemporary flooring possibilities within hospitality and leisure environments.

“We work closely with designers and specifiers to create often spectacular carpets that synchronise with the interior design, ambience and architecture of the building,” comments Alan Whittle, sales director, Wilton Carpets. “This event gives us the opportunity to show the scope of what we can do with our axminster weave, tufted and wilton designs and is an ideal platform to reveal to designers how we can develop bespoke carpet to their exacting requirements. Including large scale designs in any colour for public areas, with co-ordinated designs often used in bedrooms and corridors, Wilton is ready willing and able to design and develop even the most avant-garde design solution.”

Wilton Carpets Commercial will display examples of bespoke axminster, tufted and wilton carpets; as well as its FastTrack and Flexiweave concepts that provide bespoke and semi-bespoke carpet solutions and which are ideal for designers looking for fast turnaround solutions in hospitality and leisure environments. Wilton Carpets Commercial can be found on Stand G36.

For a brochure and further information contact Wilton Carpets Commercial on 01722 746000 or

To Infinity and beyond with Lano Flooring Solutions

Daniel Fountain

Lano Flooring Solutions has gone to Infinity and beyond with the launch of a brand new carpet designed for commercial and hospitality environments.Made from durable and easy to maintain spun nylon fibre, Infinity brings lasting looks in a printed graphic design available in nine colours, with a palette selected to meet the style demands of a wide range of interiors.

The 1/10th cut pile construction is available in a four-metre width and achieves a Class 32 rating according to EN 1307 classification or “Heavy Contract” rating according to BS 7131 classification. In terms of fire resistance, Infinity meets the highest standards: a Bfl-S1 rating according to EN 13501 classification or a “Low Radius” rating according to BS 4790 classification.

“Infinity is perfectly poised to meet expectations in a wide range of hospitality and commercial environments,” comments Birger Karlsson, UK and Ireland sales manager. “With a graphics design that errs on the side of subtle, rather than brash or bold, Infinity is ideal for interiors wanting a carpet that will work within an existing scheme, or that will provide a neutral base.”

Thanks to universal performance, a fire resistant backing, anti-static properties and natural sound absorption and underfoot comfort, Infinity weighs in at a quality 1,830gm/m2 while retaining the manufacturer’s reputation for excellent value.

As part of Lano Flooring Solutions’ expanding Technic Collection, this new contract range is supported by Lano’s reliable delivery and excellent after sales care for a competitive all-round package.

For further information on all Lano carpet ranges visit

New FCW Website Launched

Daniel Fountain

Fine Cell Work is proud to unveil their brand new, user-friendly website.

Read Our Prison StoriesYou can read testimonials from prisoners and volunteers about what Fine Cell Work means for them. There is also lots of information about prison and prisoners and why our work is so important.

Find Out More… and Shop

You can now shop to your heart’s content. As you’ll see, Fine Cell Work’s beautifully hand-made products are now much easier to view and buy.

The website is interactive too: you can give your views on our products, read our CEO’s blog and comment on our prison stories. And we are keen to hear your feedback on the website itself. It has only just been launched so there is always room for improvement.

We look forward to hearing what you think of it!

Professional new meeting point for architects, planners and designers on Fifth Avenue

Daniel Fountain

Located in the heart of New York, on world-famous Fifth Avenue, the new GROHE Live! Center is a place of exchange, training and inspiration. On an area of roughly 15,000 square-feet, GROHE’s professional partners are provided support and advice and can immerse themselves in the innovative product universe of GROHE, one of the world’s leading faucet manufacturers. An exhibition of creatively designed and inspirational bathrooms and kitchens shows the many possible uses of the award-winning GROHE product ranges. Faucets for the bathroom and the kitchen as well as showers and WC actuation plates are displayed in a wide variety of different design styles. Visitors have the opportunity to test the products and to experience by themselves the perfect interaction between quality, design, technology and sustainability.

GROHE Live! has a lot to offer to architects, project specifiers, designers and their customers also in terms of information and exchange. They have access to meeting rooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology in one of the world’s most important locations, where they can jointly discuss their projects, even on a global scale via video conferences. GROHE project consultants provide them with advice and assist them by drawing on their vast product knowledge and expertise. The center also includes various training facilities for designers, showroom staff and installers.

GROHE Live! will serve as a central meeting point for architects and designers, where they can seek information and inspiration and, most importantly, the assistance they need to put their visions into practice,” said David J. Haines, CEO of Grohe AG.

The first major event at the GROHE Live! Center was the opening ceremony on September 7. Paul Flowers, Senior Vice President Design of Grohe AG, welcomed the visitors and treated them to a look at the latest GROHE innovations: the Allure Brilliant faucet collection and the Power&Soul shower line.

Following on from openings in Singapore and Beijing, the GROHE Live! Center is the third of its kind besides the existing GROHE showrooms in London, Paris and Milan. It is open to registered visitors from Monday to Friday.

GROHE Live! Center
160 Fifth Avenue, 4th floor
New York, NY 10010
Tel: 1-212-886-0530

Solid block colour with Lano Flooring Solutions

Daniel Fountain

With colours from cool greys, across sands, earths and moss into bright reds and royal purples, Onyx is the latest collection to come from Lano Flooring Solutions. Bringing architects and contractors 24 solid block colours for maximum impact and a clean fuss free appearance, Onyx can withstand some of the busiest environments around, whether the stairs of a hospitality venue or busy offices.

Made from 100% polyamide for durability, the loop pile Onyx is available in a four-metre width and makes a great all-round choice for contractors and specifiers looking towards plain carpets that will stay looking good.

Rated Heavy Commercial (Class 33) and with GUT certification, Onyx also meets the latest stringent emissions and chemical standards for a carpet that helps to promote a healthier indoor environment.

For further information on all Lano carpet ranges, freephone 00800 5266 5266 or e-mail

Vaughan Exhibit at Focus 2011

Daniel Fountain

Vaughan are delighted to announce their involvement with this year’s Focus event at the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, London from the 25th – 28th September.

A grand carpet for the Grand’s ballroom

Daniel Fountain

The majesty and grace of the ballroom at the Grand Hotel, Brighton is now continued upon its floor with a bespoke carpet from Wilton Carpets Commercial.

The 700 square metres of carpet throughout the ballroom gestures towards the heritage of the hotel with a bespoke Jacobean influenced pattern, given a contemporary feel with a large-scale pattern repeat that also balances well with the large floor space of the room. Unusually for a room coming under intensive use, the bespoke wool-rich axminster woven carpet features an uplifting warm base colour that helps to lift the rich tones used as accents within the pattern and which provides a bright feel in keeping with the hotel’s seaside location. Opened in 1864, the Grand Hotel is one of Brighton’s most famous buildings, with its Victorian architecture standing as a landmark on the seafront. The ballroom makes the most of the seaside location with a partial glazed façade.

The design was based upon a carpet originally produced for another venue in the portfolio of the grand Hotel’s operator De Vere Group and as designer, Harriet Forde, Harriet Forde Design, explains the process included revisions to all elements of the original design:

“After some initial concepts, it was decided that an existing design would prove suitable for use in the ballroom but it was obvious that it would need to be adapted to suit the space. Working with the in-house design team at Wilton Carpets, we looked at the scale of the pattern and different colour combinations. The final design suits the scale of the ballroom and the colourway helps to ‘lift’ the room giving a majestic feel while also providing soil-hiding properties.”

With its durable 80% wool 20% nylon woven axminster construction, the carpet meets the De Vere Group’s requirement for a carpet that can withstand the demands of a busy function room, disguising spills and dirt throughout an event and proving hardwearing enough to endure regular intensive use. CFA accredited contractor Gravity Flooring installed the carpet, with the Middlesex-based company also providing accurate measurements of the space at the design stage to assist with planning the layout.

“The success of the design needed to be millimetre perfect,” comments Natalie Trumper, operations, Gravity Flooring. “As with any old building, the walls in the Grand are far from straight and so we even had to account for fluctuation here to stop the bordered design looking irregular. Wilton made the carpet to our exact measurements and requirements, so that when installed the carpet appears seamless and the border runs equidistant from all four walls and at all points in the room.”

Reducing impact through transportation, the carpet was manufactured at Wilton Carpets’ Wiltshire production site and shipped directly to the Grand Hotel.

For further information contact Wilton Carpets Commercial on 01722 746000 or

Contour by Skopos

Daniel Fountain

Skopos Design offers a comprehensive range of truly expert fabrics created specifically for the varied demands of the contract sector.Contour, the latest expert fabric, is a highly durable, severe contract upholstery collection in a fabulous colour palette. Organic, streamline styling, texture and luxury all spring to mind with the new chenille upholstery from Skopos.

Ideal for use in public areas or bedrooms all over the world – it is FR to crib 5 and soil resist. Contour delivers luxury beyond its price.

Skopos is an ISO9001 accredited company and has over 30 year’s specialist experience in the design and manufacture of high performance FR contract fabrics for the hospitality and cruise sectors.

Brintons bought out of administration

Daniel Fountain

Following the news that broke yesterday (Sunday 4th September) that Brintons had been bought out of administration by the US Carlyle Group, we received the press release below.

I worked with the company on a number of hotel projects, most notably the Celtic Manor, and am a long standing admirer of their weaving skills. The recent recreation of the staircase carpet at the Renaissance St. Pancras was a tour de force from the comapny.

The divorce of design from the weaving sheds in recent years as the company sought the cheapest manufacturing solutions was always, to my mind, a negative move. Designers need an understanding of the manufacturing processes and the close unity of design and manufacturing has been a feature of UK industrial strength.

The comtemporary divorce of the two has been part of a fatal management disease infecting British politicians and industry alike. Brintons is the latest to fall victim to this disease. It will undoubtedly not be the last.

Patrick Goff, EditorKidderminster, UK – 5th September 2011 – Brintons Carpets Limited (“Brintons”)
The business of Brintons Limited, a global manufacturer of specialist woven carpets for residential and commercial premises, has been bought out of administration by Brintons Carpets Limited(“Brintons”), a new company set up by The Carlyle Group (“Carlyle”), a global alternative asset manager. Brintons has received a significant cash investment from Carlyle as part of the transaction, which stabilizes the business and allows management to re-position Brintons for a return to profit and future growth.

Carlyle’s investment will enable Brintons to implement its strategic plan to extend its international expansion. As a fully integrated and global organization, Brintons will be better positioned to serve its global customer base and compete for larger commercial contracts in Asia-Pacific and the West Coast of America. The investment will also support the company’s commitment to technological innovation including the development of Brintons’ new proprietary High Definition Weave technology.

The 228 year-old business, which is the largest manufacturer of axminster carpets in the world, has carried out many prestigious projects, including the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, the Queen Mary 2, many Las Vegas casinos and recently the St PancrasRenaissance Hotel, London. The company currently has plant facilities in the UK, India and Portugal and its product portfolio includes premium woven axminster and wilton broadloom carpets, axminster carpet tiles and handtufted rugs.

Don Coates, Managing Director of the Kidderminster based company, said: “This investment from Carlyle is great news for Brintons as it ensures the continuation of the business and survival of a renowned British brand. The company was impacted by the unprecedented challenges faced by carpet manufacturers during the economic downturn, which disrupted our plans for the business.”

Brintons management team selected Carlyle following a competitive process to find a suitable business partner. The opportunity attracted interest from a significant number of interested parties. “We believe Carlyle’s strategic involvement, investment and international network combined with our global reputation for quality and innovation will set the company back on track for long-term profitable growth,” added Mr Coates.

Ian Jackson, Director at Carlyle, said: “We are delighted to invest in Brintons, a global brand with a long heritage that is recognised for its quality, design and unique technology. Carlyle has a strong track record of managing and investing in companies in this position and welook forward to supporting Brintons’ management team to facilitate international expansion and enable the company to reach its full potential.”

Investment for this transaction will come from Carlyle Strategic Partners (CSP). The CSP team utilizes its specialized expertise to acquire the debt and equity of operationally sound, financially distressed companies. The team focuses on industries in which Carlyle has extensive experience; including aerospace, automotive, consumer, defence, energy, healthcare, industrial, media, power, retail, technology, telecommunications and transportation.

Vaughan to Exhibit at Maison & Objet

Daniel Fountain

Vaughan are pleased to be exhibiting at Maison & Objet for the first time and would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to their stand when you visit.

Skopos Fabrics at St Ermins Hotel

Daniel Fountain

St Ermins, with its beautiful brick façade, has now undergone a major refurbishment. It has been modernised, upgrading the hotel from a 3* to a 4* deluxe hotel, with unique fabrics designed by Powerstrip, designers based in LA, working in close collaboration with Skopos Design. The exciting fabrics have strong design influences founded in the Arts and Crafts movement, drawing on the building’s rich heritage. The use of both print and textured weaves create additional depth and interest in the interiors, a challenging brief for Skopos – specialists in interpreting print and weave onto FR qualities.

The end result is a stimulating combination of historic design, sophisticated warm colourations and contemporary styling

Skopos is an ISO9001 accredited company with over 30 year’s specialist experience in the design and manufacture of high performance FR contract fabrics for the hospitality sector.

Get Ready to Go with Wilton Carpets

Daniel Fountain

Wilton Carpets Commercial has released a new catalogue displaying its entire collection of Ready to Go carpets. With 55 axminster and tufted designs in up to 10 colourways, this is the largest offering yet from the British manufacturer.

Launching new woven axminster designs with Checkpoint and Melrose, as well as tufted Accolade, Zen and Twist40 ranges, the catalogue demonstrates the depth and versatility of the Ready to Go collection.

Other new carpets to appear include Henley, Eton and Heritage from the FastTrack Design Tufted collection, which provides a fast and affordable way to achieve a more individual look with graphics options in velvet pile and beautiful textural effects in a wide choice of contemporary colourways.

Developing, designing and weaving carpets at its Wiltshire site, Wilton Carpets provides wool-rich axminster, wilton and tufted carpets to hotels, guest houses, bars, pubs, conference centres, casinos, clubs, cruise ships and stately homes throughout the world. Now these woven Ready to Go carpets are complemented by an expanded tufted collection and the innovative FastTrack Design Tufted range to provide a solution for all needs, whether a decorative design for a busy reception or a neat design to amplify bedroom space.

Wilton Carpets Commercial manufactures to the highest quality standards and sources the finest British yarns for its axminster, wilton and tufted carpets.

The Ready to Go Commercial Carpet 2011/12 catalogue is available now from Wilton Carpets Commercial.

Majestic corridors and bedrooms thanks to Lano Flooring Solutions

Daniel Fountain

Lano Flooring Solutions has provided bespoke axminster carpets for the bedrooms and corridors of one of the flooring industry’s most well known venues, The Majestic Hotel, Harrogate. Under the operation of the Barcelo Hotel Group, The Majestic Hotel has undergone extensive refurbishment since a disastrous fire took hold on one side of the Victorian landmark in the centre of the Spa town.

Working with architectural interior design firm, Charles Leon Associates, Lano Flooring Solutions supplied 2000m2 of carpet that reflected the heritage of the building and the modern ambitions of the owner. Basing the carpet of the bedroom corridors on traditional Persian rugs and animal motifs, CLA in conjunction with the design team at Lano Flooring Solutions introduced a contemporary twist through colour and the interpretation of design elements. The design flows from modernised traditional through to contemporary as you move through the hotel, flowing softly into the guestrooms.

“We wanted to provide The Majestic Hotel with a carpet that provided a perfect blend of style and performance and thanks to Lano Carpets, we were able to deliver both. A contemporary take on traditional textile design, not only in colour but also pattern and scale now adorns the corridors and guest bedrooms,” comments Joumana Khodr, interior designer, Charles Leon Associates. “and thanks to the state-of-the art manufacturing techniques used by Lano, the durability criteria could also be met, vital in such a busy and popular hotel.”

With the carpet constructed from a mix of 80% wool 20% nylon for durability and appearance retention, the corridors of the hotel benefit from a nine-row woven axminster, while in the bedrooms an eight-row construction was utilised. Using the same nine-row construction as in the bedroom corridors, Lano Flooring Solutions also created a modern classic design for ground floor corridors.

For further information on all Lano carpet ranges, freephone 00800 5266 5266 or e-mail

Majestic Harrogate

Reach a Zen like state with Lano Flooring Solutions

Daniel Fountain

When carpet with a real sense of luxury is demanded, Zen’s beautiful saxony pile provides the perfect answer. Available from Lano Flooring Solutions, Zen is beautifully soft to the touch, yet exceptionally hardwearing, making it ideal for commercial locations looking for an air of class. The perfect guest suite or boardroom carpet, Zen comprises 40 plain colourways along with six striking designs, each available in five exquisite shades.

From pastel-like blues and mauves to architectural greys and impact-laden reds, purples, yellow and a stunning black, Zen’s broad colour palette ensures the perfect opulent statement in any environment.

Manufactured from 100% polyamide, the four-metre wide carpet’s heightened level of underfoot comfort is matched by improved impact sound insulation – up to 28dB – to make for a more comfortable and quieter environment wherever it is installed.

Rated Heavy Commercial (Class 33) and with GUT certification, Zen also meets the latest stringent emissions and chemical standards for a carpet that helps to promote a healthier indoor environment.

For further information on all Lano carpet ranges, freephone 00800 5266 5266, e-mail or visit

Dawnvale: Interior fit-out & Bar specialists

Daniel Fountain

As specialists providing comprehensive interior fit out services to Bars, Restaurants and Hotels across the UK, Dawnvale’s in-house manufacturing facilities provide bespoke bars and Joinery, through to contract furniture, commercial kitchens and ventilation. We have the skill sets and experience to provide you with a professional and cost effective solution even within restricted timescales.

Simply put, we offer as much or as little as you require for your project.

From the shell of the building, to the bespoke leather on the seating, we manufacture, fit out and deliver project solutions for Restaurants, Hotels and Bars throughout the UK and internationally. We work with Designers, Architects and Industry Professionals to create interior and exterior places and spaces, in individual or roll out developments.

Why not contact our team to discuss your project and arrange an appointment to see our extensive contract showrooms and production facilities in Manchester on 0161 684 7879 or

Swinging carpet at the Imperial hotel

Daniel Fountain

Wilton Carpets Commercial is helping the Imperial hotel embrace the swinging 60s with a stunning bespoke woven carpet featuring throughout the bar of the Imperial Hotel in London’s Holborn district.The flagship of the Imperial Hotel Group, with 10 other hotels within central London, the Imperial has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment that plays homage to the 1960s building delivering an interior that captures the fun and frivolity of the period.

The company responsible for the design of the hotel refurbishment, Trevillion Interiors Ltd worked with Wilton Carpets’ design manager Julie Robertson to create a statement carpet throughout the bar that captures the spirit of the 60s. Taking inspiration from an image of a pattern from the era along with tuft colours reflecting the décor – both supplied by Trevillion Interiors – Julie created a large-scale design. The result is a carpet that blends with the ambience of the interior, harmonising with some of the colours in the plain fabrics within the soft furnishing scheme.

“The original Imperial hotel was demolished in the 1960s but some of the artefacts from this original building still remain lending the interior of the ‘new’ building an eclectic mix of styles,” explains Frances Blackham, design director, Trevillion Interiors. “Our client wanted an interior that neither dismissed this history nor the emotional attachment of its existing clientele.

“With that in mind, we decided to embrace the 60s period and the lively, sociable lifestyle of the period seemed so appropriate for the bar area. The carpet is reminiscent of the designs made famous by Mary Quant and is delivered with powerful and vibrant colours so typical of the era.”

Wilton Carpets also supplied a Neo Gothic influenced bespoke design for the restaurant of the Imperial, delivering a total of 1,000 square metres of woven carpet to the 488-room central London hotel.

The woven axminster carpet is made from a performance blend of 80% wool and 20% nylon to provide these busy areas of the Imperial hotel with a carpet that is durable and that will retain its appearance over time. Manufactured on electronic Jacquard looms in Wiltshire, the carpet was supplied with the help of The Carpet Centre, Enfield.

GROHE design team named “red dot: design team of the year”

Daniel Fountain

Chief Designer Paul Flowers and his team win most important red dot accolade

The “red dot: design team of the year” title is a unique accolade and one of the most coveted awards in the global design community. Designers and companies cannot submit entries for this award but have to attract the jurors’ attention through consistently excellent product design and far-sighted company policies. This is the only way to stand a chance of being singled out for this once-in-a-lifetime honour. This year, the GROHE design team headed by Paul Flowers has been named “red dot: design team of the year 2011”, thereby joining an elite circle of such renowned award winners as Bose, BMW, adidas, Apple, Sony and Audi.
“In times of ongoing globalisation, companies find themselves in phases where they are challenged by external conditions to prove their worth,” explains Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, the initiator and CEO of the red dot design award. “Then there are phases when companies prove their worth by coming up with innovative solutions which nobody – not even industry insiders – expected. In its eventful company history, GROHE has experienced both types of phases, but the company’s design efforts in the past five years have put it in a completely new position of strength vis-à-vis its competitors. Design is a value driver and a top management issue at GROHE.”

Strength in design is conducive to brand strength

Apart from quality, technology and sustainability, design is a fundamental pillar of product philosophy at GROHE, Europe’s largest manufacturer of sanitary fittings and a global leader in this industry. Says CEO David J. Haines: “Recent years, in particular, have seen our company build on its design excellence, leading to a sustained increase in the value of the GROHE brand.” GROHE today offers a collection of highly aesthetic products and pioneering innovations which continue to point the way forward for the bathroom and sanitary industry.

The “red dot institute for advanced design studies” has closely followed the progress achieved by the company in its evolution from a mere technology leader to a design leader. This success is measured not least in the numerous international design awards garnered by GROHE. The most notable successes include a series of four “red dot: best of the best” awards, the latest of which has been bestowed on the company for its Digital Collection this year. Paul Flowers, Senior Vice President Design at Grohe AG, will receive the award on behalf of the Grohe design team along with the “Radius” trophy on the occasion of the red dot gala in Essen on July 4.

Says Paul Flowers: “My team and I believe that being named ‘red dot: design team of the year’ is the design industry’s equivalent of winning an Oscar. Winning this award means that we have successfully implemented our new company vision. We set out to create experiences which go beyond the product as such. Quality, technology and sustainability are fundamental pillars, which are genuinely acknowledged by consumers. However, our ambition was to take this relationship to a higher level by converting their acknowledgement into a feeling of love for our products. Through our designs we have been able to achieve this.”

From the Design Studio to the Boardroom

The in-house GROHE Design Studio is part of the company’s Corporate Center in Düsseldorf and reports directly to David J. Haines, the CEO of Grohe AG. This position in the corporate hierarchy affords the creative team considerable freedom to innovate and experiment with new ideas. Apart from designing products to be marketed globally, the 17 team members also draw on their diverse cultural backgrounds when creating designs targeting specific geographic markets. Wherever a product is marketed around the globe, it will always project the distinctive GROHE identity, given that all products are based on the elements of the GROHE Design DNA – the lozenge, the ring and the 7-degree angle. As a result, the products, the packaging and even the look and feel of the website unmistakeably say: GROHE.

A carpet of good and true virtue

Daniel Fountain

Striking large-scale contemporary interpretations of traditional and classical patterns mark Virtue by Wilton Carpets Commercial as a range of true integrity. From the lavish damask of Florentine and the floral flourishes of Pomegranate and Chrysanthemum to the tartan of Dunkeld and the intricate geometric of Woodland, the Virtue collection offers 18 designs that will add an air of sophistication to any environment.

Beautifully woven in a combination of 80% wool 20% nylon for durability and precision pattern reproduction, the Virtue collection is available through Wilton Carpets’ FastTrack service for delivery in 28 days. Any design in the Virtue collection can be fine tuned with any of the 12 colours from the Optimum palette, including shades such as lime zest, ocean, ruby and cashmere.

To ensure suitability in a wide range of environments, Virtue carpets are available in four qualities, ranging from seven-row for medium contract use up to 10-row for very heavy contract use, making the collection ideal for use anywhere from hotel reception through to public house function room. Woven in Wiltshire, the 80% wool 20% nylon axminster collection comes in a 3.66m width.

“The Virtue collection is truly stunning,” enthuses Alan Whittle, sales director for Wilton Carpets. “From lavish and intensely detailed carpets such as Marseilles through to the overlaid geometrics of Orbital, this exciting collection offers a true opportunity to specify a carpet with the ease that comes from a stock collectionand with the looks of a bespoke creation when in-situ.”

Paint Pot – a new Faux Leather collection from Agua

Daniel Fountain

New Paint Pot collection by Agua is made up of 12 inspiring modern colours with an authentic look to modernise and transform Hospitality and Commercial environments. Since the launch of Agua Lunar, a couple of years ago, Agua now has 64 colourways across the Paint Pot, Taurus and Lunar collections and a further 53 colourways within the Mystique and Derrytex collections.

If you’re not familiar with these fantastic faux leather options, please contact Agua for further details or samples on +44 (0)20 8205 0050 or

Pixel perfect with Lano Flooring Solutions

Daniel Fountain

When mono colours are interrupted with the static of black the result is Pixel, the latest loop pile broadloom carpet from Lano Flooring Solutions. Ideal for hospitality and commercial environments where the ability to disguise dirt and wear well are asked of any carpet, Pixel is available in 16 shades ranging from grey through to vivid orange, red and green.

The clever design of Pixel gives specifiers and designers the opportunity to work with a dominant and solo colour to complement the interior scheme without worrying about the appearance of dirt and stains – a problem with any plain colour carpet. The ‘static’ like quality of Pixel will noticeably reduce the appearance of dirt between cleans.

Constructed from 100% polyamide, the 1/10th gauge carpet is also extremely hardwearing with a Heavy Commercial (Class 33) rating. Pixel also achieves GUT certification and meets the latest stringent emissions and chemicals legislation.

For further information on all Lano carpet ranges, freephone 00800 5266 5266 or e-mail

Wandsworth Group Appoints New MD

Daniel Fountain

The Wandsworth Group has appointed Gary Stevens as the company’s new managing director.Gary first joined Wandsworth as a sales representative in 1987and has risen through the sales and marketing management ranks becoming Wandsworth’s sales and marketing director in 2005 and completing an MBA.

Gary has been closely involved with the technology shift in the nurse call division of the Group over recent years and, in his new role as managing director, he will have a clear remit to build on the core strengths and heritage of the 105-year-old company in the design and manufacture of high quality wiring accessories and ‘best in class’ nurse call systems whilst retaining his sales director role.

Comments Gary: “I have been a full board director at Wandsworth for six years and during that time the company has embraced new technology to lead the marketplace in the nurse call and healthcare technology sector whilst staying true to our core values to deliver well-designed, high quality, British-made wiring accessories. I am delighted to be taking on the role of managing director and looking forward to leading the team as it takes the company through the next stage in its development. We have a very robust plan moving forward and we are all looking forward to implementing that plan over the next 12-18 months.”