Designing the boutique hotel in uncertain times

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    Designing the boutique hotel in uncertain times

    As the current pandemic forces the industry to address change in how we work and how the world communicates, Harris Jackson Design offers some advice on how boutique hotels can re-open strong…

    We are currently experiencing very different times and are all aware of how the hospitality industry is dealing with the fallout of the COVID-19 closures. But is there a magic answer as to how we can best prepare for when the lockdown lifts?

    We can see that many establishments are helping out their local communities and establishing stronger links with other surrounding businesses thus creating a support network that will continue into the future. On a positive note, this pandemic enforced closure does give Hoteliers an opportunity to push the reset button. One can challenge the norm of how they have done things previously to improve in areas that they feel are necessary.

    Proprietors should use the time during lockdown to train, innovate, reinvent and raise establishments to an even higher level. It is with this in mind that Harris Jackson Design would like to help those boutique hotel owners offering a 30 per cent discount on our services if clients sign up before the end of June 2020. We would like to look forward to celebrating your re-opening once the threat has passed.

    Aside from the obvious difficulties & practicalities of trying to keep an establishment ticking over we are here to help you re-group, refresh and ready your hotel for your opening with as little expenditure as you may feel necessary. How can we use this enforced closure period to our advantage and use the opportunity to take stock and make the guest experience even more special?

    In preparation for a re-opening there are many ways in which Harris Jackson can assist in creating a fresh new environment. We can create completely new concepts to fit within your brand guidelines for rooms, suites, communal or F&B areas or help refurbish standard rooms and give them a fresh new clean look ready for when your guests stay.

    It is not just a case of a new coat of paint but changing colour schemes to give an area a whole new look. This can be achieved by introducing new soft furnishings in throw cushions, bedspreads, artwork & accessories. For more permanent architectural finishes one can always over tile or over lay textual finishes or cladding. New products on the market can add a whole new dimension to a tired looking space.

    Simple vinyl textures or specialist wallcovering designs can be inserted into panelling to create a whole new luxurious feel at minimal cost. Phillip Jefferies have some beautiful feature designs that work excellently in small spaces but can also create stunning feature walls without much disruption. Some perfect examples of these are Yacht Club. A stunning pleated wood veneer design overlaying a subtle silver background. While not a vinyl the design can be inserted in harder to reach areas where little fingers cannot touch. Another example is Fretwork, which has, as the name suggests, a fretwork design in the same veneer finish but in this stunning imperial blue colourway.

    Alternatively, paper whole walls with this simple but beautiful vinyl linen effect, London Linens by Phillip Jefferies, which is supremely washable and contract quality. Adding a little texture to a wall can warm an environment up and make it feel less clinical. Or if you want to create more of statement just one wall in this Vinyl Crocodile Clutch will add an element of luxe. All the time adhering to a hospitality contract requirements.

    Perhaps it is time to declutter and really streamline not only the brand concepts but also the interior feel of a space. We want our spaces to feel luxurious & homely, but we will want them to be both environmentally and psychologically friendly after all we will have been through. We want to relax and feel safe knowing that the service provider has covered our every desire & need.

    Gone are the days of excessiveness for excessiveness sake. I feel that in the coming months & years our expectations of what we want from a hotel environment will change. The time out away from our busy lives will mean we re-address what is important to us all. Perhaps this will mean opening up our windows so that beautiful garden views can be observed creating more light and space. So that we can sit back and breathe in the fresher air.

    Let’s continue to look at using more sustainable fabrics in our FF&E moving back to what nature intended.  Specifying furniture that is from sustainably sourced timbers as Hill Cross Furniture are doing.  Hill Cross provide high quality sustainable furniture to the contract marketplace. From 100% sustainable banquette seating, to environmentally friendly finishes and materials.

    One of their sustainable materials is called Smart Board. It is a flame retardant, moisture resistant OSB board that is produced from timber sourced solely from within the UK reducing the carbon footprint. Reducing our Carbon Footprint will be an even greater concern going forward as people decide to not fly abroad and stay nearer to home.

    Kvadrat have a wonderful collection of sustainable but contract semi sheers that look stunning floating in the breeze at large windows overlooking the outside. The first being Cocoon by Sacho Hesslein.  Inspired by the web-like cocoons created by silkworms, this fabric is constructed of two layers with floating yarns between. The delicate weave construction is fixed by partial ledgers to form a soft translucent sheer and comprises of 100% Polyester FR although it by no means resembles this. The double-layered textile creates a subtle but unique gentle experience.

    Izolo design by Walker Greenbank Anthology is a collection of sumptuous fabrics with a sleek satin slub look, with colourways inspired by a collection of precious stones and rich metallic tones. This luscious textile is double width and made from flame retardant 100% Trevira yarn meaning it is perfectly suited for hospitality.

    There is no doubt that COVID–19 will change the way we work, how we live and how and where we travel. But let’s use this to our advantage. Harris Jackson are more than willing to help the boutique hotel industry entice the customer with a whole new way of looking at things so that ultimately, we can provide our guests with a new “peace of mind”.

    Harris Jackson Design is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

    Main image credit: Harris Jackson Design

    Hamish Kilburn / 16.04.2020


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