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  • Bespoke design in a post-pandemic era of hospitality

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    Bespoke design in a post-pandemic era of hospitality

    The very essence of bespoke design conjures up feelings of luxury, exclusivity and comfort, all of which are vital feels to capture in hospitality in a pandemic world. To understand the role of bespoke in tomorrow hotel, we catch up with Will Chelsom, Managing Director at Chelsom

    Designing something to perfectly suit its application rather than buying ‘off-the-shelf’ will always add a sense of quality and value to a project which is especially true with decorative lighting. For decades the design team at Chelsom has worked hard to ensure there is a consistent DNA flowing through all aspects of their products. Regarded as one of the leading global suppliers of decorative lighting to the global Hospitality sector, Chelsom’s standard products are selected by interior designers for brands ranging from Mandarin Oriental to Holiday Inn Express and Virgin Voyages to Carnival Cruise Lines.

    Image credit: Celebrity Edge/Chelsom

    Image credit: Celebrity Edge/Chelsom

    Alongside the evolution of the brand’s standard lighting collection, Chelsom is also a leading bespoke lighting manufacturer. The team at Chelsom work in a truly collaborative manner with designers and end clients to bring often challenging, one-off design concepts to life. Recent bespoke projects range from the design and build of a one-off five-metre-high statement chandelier for a hotel atrium as well as the manufacturing of 5000+ table lamps to feature in every cabin on a cruise ship.

    Unique designs require flexible and adaptable manufacturing, something Chelsom prides itself on offering clients at every stage of a bespoke project. The Chelsom bespoke team is made up of specialists in all areas including design, logistics, operations, production and technical, symbiotically working alongside one another in order to achieve the best results. Chelsom has a 100 per cent ‘partnership approach’ when working with clients where they can add extensive knowledge, expertise and skill whilst the customer creative design intent always remains at the core of the process.

    image of men making bespoke lights

    Image credit: Chelsom

    Bespoke design was once considered something for the luxury end of the market. However, the demand for tailored, unique design is something Chelsom works with clients to deliver at all budget levels. The industry has been hit incredibly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and many believe that there will be a need to future-proof the industry by factoring in special qualities to product and interior design. As we all move forward from the pandemic, there will undoubtedly be more of a need to customise products and to specify lighting with added functionality.

    Over the last year, the Chelsom design team have been exploring a number of different aspects of lighting design which could serve to reduce the spread of viruses within the hospitality environment. As bespoke features, Chelsom has developed decorative ‘touchless-switching’ solutions which will reduce the points of contact in a hotel guestroom; They also offer fabrics with antimicrobial qualities, as well as metal finishing options which will significantly reduce the spread of germs and bacteria; The Chelsom team are even exploring the use of UV light within a decorative application in a further attempt to wage war on viruses within the hospitality setting. None of these solutions will suit every project but the technologies are there to be experimented with and by having the capabilities available, Chelsom are able to constantly offer smarter solutions and add even more weight to their bespoke services and products for the future.

    A luxury room with bespoke lighting design

    Image credit: Chelsom

    Chelsom’s goal moving forward is to ensure that the bespoke lighting process can be both affordable and sustainable. With so many supply chain options available, the Chelsom team hopes that their quality levels, experience and market knowledge makes them the go-to lighting experts for projects at all levels. However, price-point and quality can only play part of the role in the world today and Chelsom are constantly looking to streamline processes and be more sustainable in everything they do as the environmental agenda becomes ever more important. Chelsom’s drive to ‘make more in UK’ significantly reduces the carbon impact seen by using overseas manufacturing and global logistics and they are delighted to have completed so many projects using home-grown manufacturing in North West of England.

    Modern room inside Hoxton Hotel in Southwark

    Image credit: Hoxton Southwark/Chelsom

    One recent example saw Chelsom create a huge chandelier for Le Meridien Dania Beach Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Chelsom worked with Dash Design in New York to create a lobby chandelier centre-piece designed to look like a constellation of stars and planets, suspended to create the illusion it was floating on air. A series of ‘planets’ attached to steel arms of varying lengths contain a small LED at the end to represent stars in the sky. Designed to be compatible with the hotel’s existing dimming system, real wow factor is achieved as the chandelier light effect adapts and transitions from a day through to night sequence. The project was challenging and took two years to complete but Chelsom were able to interpret the original design through months of intense planning and development. A huge level of CAD expertise went into evolving the design and miniature model versions of the chandelier were created long the way so that Chelsom could perfect the overall engineering of the product and master the perfect manufacturing technique.

    One of the biggest challenges was how to make a huge statement chandelier, the size of a London Bus, appear weightless and fit perfectly into the six-metre domed ceiling of the hotel lobby. The light effect was also key, requiring a huge amount of technical Chelsom knowledge to create the desired ‘twinkle’ effect so that the chandelier correctly represented the constellation look that the client was after. Every single aspect of this project was carried out in the Chelsom UK headquarters, including all project management meetings, the overall design and engineering, sampling and prototyping and then the overall manufacture. The huge structure was broken down into many sections at the Chelsom HQ and then delivered and installed by the Chelsom in Florida. The final results speak for themselves and this is one of the most impressive light fittings that Chelsom has ever created. It was a technical and engineering marvel in its creation but also an aesthetic achievement to have remained so sympathetic to the original Dash Design brief.

    Since you’re here, why not read more about Chelsom’s Edition 27 Collection? 

    Chelsom, which is a Recommended Supplier, was a Product Watch Pitch partner at Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place on February 23, 2021. Read more about the virtual event here. The next Hotel Designs LIVE will take place on May 11 2021.

    Main image credit: Chelsom

    Hamish Kilburn / 10.03.2021

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