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  • Meet the team behind hotel design community, Design Equals

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    Meet the team behind hotel design community, Design Equals

    With a unique model based on bringing a network of creatives together, Design Equals is a community transforming hotel interiors. BAHA in The Lake District is just one of many examples…

    Founder Katie McCarthy has an extensive career history including a long stint as Interior Design Director at The Resort Group. Here, she managed projects such as Midland Hotel, The Grosvenor, Michelin Star boutique hotel Hampton Manor and several 5-star resorts in Cape Verde.

    With a lifelong ambition to operate her own design studio combined with a deep passion for supporting up and coming creatives, she founded Design Equals in December 2018 from her kitchen table.

    With a uniquely holistic approach to interior design for hospitality and residential industries, Katie and her team exist to implement the power of design to make a business-critical difference. Katie said: “I founded Design= to capitalise on the freelance design community which in and around the UK, is incredibly talented and diverse.

    “We believe that making interior spaces look fabulous is just the beginning; the end result should be nothing less than a transformed and multi-sensory customer experience, delivering your desired commercial outcome.

    “We blend exceptional experience, deep knowledge and a wealth of resources to solve our clients’ business challenges. We back this up with dedicated support at every stage of every project. We are here to help you maximise your profitability and grow your business.”

    One of the team’s first project after being founded is a fond memory and now, a huge success story.

    Bar and restaurant BAHA. The team transformed a local bar in the Lake District to a must visit destination which jaw dropping interior, reflective of its surroundings with a modern twist and the ability to transition its atmosphere as the day goes on.

    Floral eye-catching wallcovering in pink restaurant

    Image caption: Asian Fusion restaurant, BAHA in the Lake District designed by Design Equals.

    The business, BAHA, now boasts a unique offering of Asian Fusion food in surroundings you would expect to find in the heart of London. However, it is in the centre of Bowness-on-Windermere, a town usually known for its glacial ribbon lakes, rugged fell mountains and historic literary associations.

    McCarthy said; “The concept for BAHA came from its surroundings. The Lake District is renowned for magical tales, wildlife and beautiful landscapes. We wanted to capture this whimsical feel with a modern twist for BAHA. Something quirky and fun you would find in a bustling city with a nod to the culture and heritage of the local area. The venue has three floors and offers everything from casual drinks to dining and events and the interior is suitable for each cycle of the day, from morning coffees to late, lively evenings.”

    “Design Equals’ vision for us allowed us to be unique and different from the typical Lake District bar or restaurant which can be a little dated,” said owner Owner Stephen Hargreave. “We knew if we were to create a fresh exciting place to go in the lakes with good music and great food – creating the best atmosphere – then tourists, locals and passing trade would be drawn to us. Since the refurbishment we’ve seen an increase in footfall by 25 per cent.”

    Birds and nature inspired interiors in restaurant

    Image caption: The creative and characterful interiors inside BAHA, designed by Design Equals.

    McCarthy added: “Since the start of our journey as Design Equals, we have been fortunate enough to work on some great hospitality projects.

    “Working with Design= means joining the creative community that is right for your project.  A community in which everyone, supports each other through the good and the bad – and feels empowered to deliver the best outcome for you.”

    Finding the right creative design solutions for you is the essence of everything we do: inspiring our community of professionals, making the difference every client desires, so you get a single source of outstandingly creative interior design solutions.

    At Design = we blend exceptional experience, deep knowledge and a wealth of resources to solve our clients’ business challenges. We back this up with dedicated support at every stage of every project. We are here to help you maximise your profitability and grow your business.

    To speak to the team about transforming your vision visit www.designequals.co.uk.

    Design Equals 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.

    Image credit: Design Equals

    Hamish Kilburn / 06.07.2020

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