There are dangers in going down the boutique route I am reminded. Let’s be clear – a boutique essentially differentiates itself with design, frequently bespoke. David Balmer of Crosswater Holdings has many years of experience of contract supply of bathroom fittings. He raises an issue related to the specification of bespoke in relation to bathroom fittings which is worth considering in relation to other areas of the hotel. Crosswater can do most things to a special finish but special finishes carry with them some additional responsibilities for the designer. The need for support stock for lifetime repair and replacement needs to be discussed with the Client.It is commonplace when creating bespoke carpets for an hotel, for example, to have extra carpet woven and labelled as ‘attic stock’ so that when a specialist bespoke pattern is woven spare for repair and replacement can be stored – literally in the attic in some cases. It is cheaper to add to an existing production run than tool up to weave a small amount over again.
David Balmer has noticed an increase in designers wanting specialist finishes for bathroom fittings, variations on the classical chrome and white combination that has gone so well with various stone finishes over the years. With the increase in the use of colour in bathrooms, the inclusion of digitally printed areas such as those in the bathrooms at Accor’s ‘M’ Gallery in Bath, there has been an increased demand for a variety of finishes such as brushed nickel, brushed stainless steel, black and gold, gunmetal, bronze etc.. Whilst laser etching an hotel logo on taps etc. can be achieved easily, changing overall finish has risks for both operator and designer.