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Biophilic Design

How Benholm Group created a ‘planted paradise’ inside a hotel room

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
How Benholm Group created a ‘planted paradise’ inside a hotel room

‘La Chambre Verte’ is the name of the new biophilic, ‘planted paradise’ that was created inside Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel by Benholm Group. Following presenting an insightful pitch at Hotel Designs LIVE, Adrian Byne, the Group’s Marketing and HR manager, takes us inside…

At Benholm Group, we have pioneered the use of creative planting for interiors for more than 25 years; not only as eye-catching focal points, but also to promote the natural health benefits that being surrounded by plants can bring. We have long understood the value plants can bring to every environment.

Known to us all as ‘‘biophilic design’, the use of plants in providing cleaner air and connecting us with nature, when coupled with natural light, certain colours, acoustics, and fragrances has long been proven to have a positive effect on both mental and physical wellbeing.

This concept has now been brought to the forefront of luxury hotel design with our collaboration on ‘La Chambre Verte’ – a unique, immersive hotel room experience filled with lush planting and host of other delights. Located within Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel, our collaboration alongside other industry experts, including luxury skincare brand La Rue Verte and award-winning DJ Brian D’Souza, combined to create a multi-sensory, luxury bedroom spa experience incorporating biophilic plant design, CBD rituals, meditation and sound therapy.

Echoing the practice of forest-bathing, an ancient Japanese process of relaxation, La Chambre Verte encourages guests to unwind in the green space of their hotel room, while observing nature’s beauty; to feel stress levels reduced happiness increased, and importantly, have a better night’s sleep.

Our experienced design consultants were chosen to bring the room to life with lush greenery, to ensure that all plant species would thrive in the climactic conditions of the room and contribute to guests achieving the perfect night’s sleep.

A sketch of a chaise lounge surrounded by plants

Sketch credit: Benholm Group

As part of the design process, we worked closely with the hotel to ensure that the room felt spacious and light, with plenty of floor space for ease of movement around the room. Overcoming certain challenges was a key part of this process, such as ensuring the room was always fully functional, being careful that plant installations did not damage the expensive wall coverings and furnishings, even down to the maintaining good sightlines to the TV!

Hanging plants in a hotel room

Image credit: Naomi Vance Photography for Kimpton Blythswood Square

Our experienced design consultants carefully identified plants that have been proven to improve air quality effectively and combined these into an attractive jungle-like display that is both pleasing to the eye and creates a healthy, relaxing environment. Many of the plants have a useful information tag attached detailing its attributes in providing cleaner air – guests can even scan a QR code to order the plant for their own home or office.

Lady touching plant in her hotel room

Image credit: Naomi Vance Photography for Kimpton Blythswood Square

Inside the room, trailing Ivy cascades down from a living wall panel above the bed, Monstera leaves and Palm fronds frame every view, and lush clusters of hanging, exotic plants purify the air and boost the immune system. Plus, our specialist maintenance technicians are all part of the scheduled housekeeping inside the room to ensure plants are kept healthy and vibrant.

Man watering plants in hotel room

Image credit: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

To have the opportunity to work on a project which is designed to highlight the benefits of biophilia for mental as well as physical well-being has been a real joy, and we look forward to helping others in realising the potential of plants in their own spaces.

Why not get in touch and find out how Benholm Group, a Product Watch Pitch Partner at Hotel Designs LIVE, can incorporate our vibrant variety of plants into your interior space? From offices to restaurants to luxury hotel rooms, being surrounded by plants will delight and revitalise.

Main image credit: Naomi Vance Photography for Kimpton Blythswood Square

Can plants really help you sleep better?

The power of biophilic design: Hotel creates immersive ‘forest bathing’ experience

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The power of biophilic design: Hotel creates immersive ‘forest bathing’ experience

While we gear up to explore sensory design and sleep performance at Hotel Designs LIVE on August 10, a hotel in Scotland has launched a unique experiment exploring the psychological and physical benefits of biophilic design. Forest bathing has been introduced to Kimpton Blythswood Square after a survey revealed that 65 per cent of adults felt their mood improve when they were close to nature. Editor Hamish Kilburn learns more…

Can plants really help you sleep better?

Connecting people to nature through biophilic design is a concept that dates back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. In a Scottish first, Kimpton Blythswood Square today launched the opening of ‘La Chambre Verte’, an immersive luxury hotel suite experiment that measures the psychological and physical benefits of biophilic design.

Kimpton has partnered with luxury CBD skincare brand La Rue Verte, leading horticulturalists Benholm and award-winning DJ, Brian D’Souza to create a multi-sensory experience combining the theory of biophilia with CBD rituals, meditation and sound therapy.

“It is estimated 70 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities by the year 2050, so La Chambre Verte offers a forward-thinking solution to a growing audience of ‘wellbeing tourists’ actively seeking proximity to nature.”

La Chambre Verte installation launches during Mental Health Awareness Week, which in 2021 chooses the theme of ‘nature’, as it became clear in the lockdowns of 2020 that access to green space was vital for maintaining a healthy mind. During lockdown, city dwellers found parks and gardens to bring joy and relief to their mental health[1], while increasingly high numbers of homeowners moved to more rural areas[2], responding to city-centre burnout and a desire in a post-Covid world to live a less polluted life. It is estimated 70 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities by the year 2050, so La Chambre Verte offers a forward-thinking solution to a growing audience of ‘wellbeing tourists’ actively seeking proximity to nature and alternative therapies on their travels to enhance their mental and physical health. 

Designed by plant experts Benholm and partner La Rue Verte (LRV), trailing ivies cascade down the walls of the bedroom, monstera leaves and palm fronds grace every view and eclectic clusters of lush foliage plants breathe life into the space. Echoing the practise of forest bathing, an ancient Japanese process of relaxation, La Chambre Verte encourages guests to unwind in the green space while observing nature’s beauty to feel stress levels reduced, happiness increased and ultimately, enjoy a better night’s sleep. 

“We have created a truly unique health-based experience with Chambre Verte,” said Emma O’Neil, Director and founder of Hashtag Organics, La Rue Verte. “Think of it like a green prescription, I truly believe we have the best natural formula.”

Biophilic design offers physical as well as mental health benefits to interior space[3]; firstly, the use of house plants such as Hedera (ivy)Monstera and Peace Lilies purify the air, removing toxins and pollution. Secondly, the inclusion of plants within the space omit molecular natural chemicals called Phytochemicals, which when inhaled are proven to directly reduce stress and boost the immune system. 

Within the room, guests will be welcomed to a retreat curated by LRV, which includes virtual guided meditation exploring the place of ‘La Rue Verte’, the destination the brand uses to communicate how to live a truly balanced life, the green way. Items usually placed in the hotel room are replaced by a range of LRV 100 per cent pure hemp products, for example an innovative biodegradable hemp yoga mat. CBD vitamin-infused cocktails are available in the mini bar and guests can relax in LRV signature CBD baths, and nourish their body and soul with LRV CBD body oil. 

 Guests can also experience a bespoke nature-based Immersive soundscape within the room created by Open Ear Music. The novel approach combines field recordings of birdsong in Blythswood Square and the surrounding area with sound therapy techniques and relaxing musical compositions from the studio of Scottish Album of the Year 2019 winner Brian d’Souza, (Auntie Flo). A rejuvenating sunrise flow and calming twilight track help trigger the brain into a deep meditative state of relaxation and feeling of euphoria. Guests are invited to take time out to listen deeply and relax in musical escapism.

Finlay Anderson, Spa Director at Kimpton Blythswood Square and Area Spa Director for IHG said: “At Kimpton we believe heartfelt human connections really make a difference to people’s lives and our hotel is so much more than just a wonderful place to sleep. When we opened following the first lockdown in 2020 we noticed a real desire from our guests to return for rest, relaxation and selfcare from the perspective of mental health to our award-winning Spa. Following this, we are delighted to present an alternative therapeutic experience surpassing the usual parameters of an overnight stay which offers guests the opportunity to reconnect with themselves, as well as others post-lockdown. 

“Alongside LRV, we will collect data on the guest experience through a set of questionnaires, assessing the benefits of Biophilia and the Chambre Verte experience in comparison to a standard hotel room environment and look forward to sharing the results and using this experience to continue our development of alternative therapies across the hotel and spa.” 

Hotel Designs will explore the topic of sensory experience at its upcoming Hotel Designs LIVE on August 10. The virtual event is free to attend if you qualify as a designer, architect, hotelier or developer – just click here to secure your seat in the audience.

Main image credit: Kimpton Hotels

Biophilia in design at Hotel Indigo Venice - Sant'Elena, an IHG Hotel

NEWH La Pause: A panel discussion on Biophillia in design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NEWH La Pause: A panel discussion on Biophillia in design

Following Hotel Designs becoming an official media partner for NEWH, editor Hamish Kilburn was asked to moderate the UK Chapter’s next webinar in the La Pause series, which discussed biophilic design solutions. Rita Bancroft shares her highlights…

Biophilia in design at Hotel Indigo Venice - Sant'Elena, an IHG Hotel

The popular La Pause webinar series developed by the UK, Paris and Milan chapters of NEWH have given us all precious moments to stop and reflect on key issues affecting the hospitality industry. As an international non-profit hospitality networking group, NEWH raises money to provide scholarships to students entering the hospitality sector. Sharing knowledge and stimulating design conversation is a vital part of this, and February’s webinar on Biophilia in Design had particular resonance as it discussed how our connections with nature are influencing hospitality design.

With each specially-selected panellist providing a unique and valuable perspective on biophilia in design, we heard from a leading boutique and lifestyle hotel brand, a renowned architect, and an educator specialising in sustainability.

Meet the panel: 

The session was moderated by Hamish Kilburn, lifestyle journalist, traveller, content curator, podcast host, and editor of Hotel Designs. A strong advocate of biophilia in design, Kilburn was able to shine a spotlight on some of the panel’s projects. The panel was clear that biophilic design is not just about incorporating plants, it is about taking a holistic approach to the entire project from build and interior design to the food and beverage served.

Henry Reeve explained how IHG’s QO is a different kind of lifestyle hotel born from a commitment to the world around us. As one of the most sustainable hotels in Europe, it has a rooftop greenhouse illuminated in pink to help the plants grow in order to supply the kitchen. The ingenious solution to introduce living plants in each guest room is delightful. Each coffee plant grows in a specially-designed glass cloche that creates its own eco-system and therefore requires no water or maintenance. This practical incorporation of biophilic design is what makes it truly sustainable.

Given that our ability to connect with nature is more important than ever, Manuela Mannino explained how the pandemic has acted as an accelerator to what was already there. She talked about her holistic approach and that, in addition to incorporating plants, THDP injects a sense of place by connecting places through colour palettes and design. An example of this is IHG’s award-winning Hotel indigo in Venice where the connection between the garden and the open lobby and bar was made through plants and a cohesive colour palette.

Coming into the conversation from a slightly different angle, Johanna Wagner, was able to discuss the integral topic from the perspective of hotel asset management. As co-founder of La Belle EDuC, Wagner is helping lay the groundwork for higher education programs to achieve state-of-the-art sustainability integration in their curricula and empower students in their choice of studies. The EDuC is the first sustainability label for higher education programs focusing on teaching materials and the student learning experience. The EDuC label was developed in partnership with AFNOR, the French national organisation for standardisation and the representative member of ISO in France.

The La Pause series continues with ’Spa & Wellness’ on May 20; and a spotlight on ’Hotel Diffusi – Scattered Hotels’ on June 17. If you would like to attend, register via the website.

Image credit: Hotel Indigo Venice – Sant’Elena, an IHG Hotel

Weekly briefing: Nobu exclusive, Rosewood footprints & sustainability explored

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: Nobu exclusive, Rosewood footprints & sustainability explored

Editor Hamish Kilburn here with your weekly briefing. This week’s round-up includes an exclusive lighting feature, details about Rosewood’s second hotel in London and how to watch out latest panel discussion on sustainability beneath the surface…

2021 is shaping up to be an extremely exciting year on the hotel design front. Already this quarter, we have seen Zaha Hadid Architects complete an incredible architectural marvel in Dubai, watched Moxy Hotels turn up the volume with a landmark opening in Miami and we have even published plans for hospitality to launch into space.

As impressive as that all sounds, this week, the international development plot has thickened, with Hotel Designs leading the narrative around sustainability and the future of hospitality at Hotel Designs LIVE, Rosewood dropping yet more news around its second arrival in London and a study being launched that cuts through the noise to reveal new demands from modern traveller following the pandemic.

So, without further a due, here are the top stories from the last few days.

The industry comments on International Women’s Day

Gif of strong women for International Women's Day

Our nod to International Women’s Day is more of a formal bow or curtsy. For this year’s IWD, we heard from leading female designers, hoteliers and architects about how far we have come and, crucially, how far we have still got to travel in order to operate in an equal and fair global arena.

Read more. 

EXCLUSIVE // Case study: The bespoke lighting narrative inside London’s Nobu hotel

Image credit: Jack Hardy

Inside Nobu Hotel London Portman Square – a hotel that has caused a lot of noise recently on the international hotel design scene – there is a bespoke lighting narrative that flickers unlike any other. We exclusively caught up with Lyn Newcombe, Head of Projects at Dernier & Hamlyn and Lewis Taylor, Design Director at David Collins Studio, to capture the full story.

Read more. 

Nearly half of Brits surveyed expect air purifiers in tomorrow’s hotel

A navy blue air purifier next to a navy blue bed

Blueair, which produces air purifiers that remove air pollutants like smoke, mold and allergens, recently participated as a Product Watch Pitch Partner at Hotel Designs LIVE. Here, the brand shares insights into how consumers feel about visiting hotels in a post-pandemic world.

Read more.

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Sustainability beneath the surface

Collage of speakers for Hotel Designs LIVE Sustainability talk

On February 23, designers, architects, hoteliers and developers from around the globe tuned in to watch Hotel Designs LIVE. Following an engaging panel discussion on the future of hotel design and hospitality, the spotlight for the second session of the day landed on leading design and hospitality figures to debate sustainability, a topic that continues to be weighed down by heavy stigma. Sponsored by Grohe, a brand that inherently has sustainability running through its DNA – if recent accolades are anything go by – the panel was inspired by the recent Q&A between Hotel Designs LIVE and eco warrior, Bill Bensley.

Read more. 

Industry insight: Biophilic spa & wellness design

maggies by thomas Hetherwick

Image credit: Thomas Heatherwick

As wellness evolves as we enter a new era of hospitality, we invite Beverley Bayes, Creative Director at Sparcstudio, to discuss the growing trend for biophilic design in spa and wellness properties. It is inevitable that spa and wellness, post-pandemic will become an ever more important and integral part of our lives. We are entering a new era where ‘Health is the New Wealth’ and a healthy lifestyle is recognised as an important part of preventative medicine.

Read more.

In Conversation With: Lucienne Walpole, Vice President, SB Architects

Image of Lucienne Walpole

Since joining SB Architects in 2007, Lucienne Walpole has played a valuable role on the design team for a number of the firm’s most exciting hospitality projects. Combining her dual backgrounds in interior design and architecture, Walpole brings to the firm strengths in space planning as well as architectural design. Following Walpole’s participation in Hotel Designs LIVE conference, we caught up with the architect to learn more.

Read more.

The Chancery Rosewood, arriving in London in 2024

Render of Rosewood London in former US Embassy

Image credit: DBOX for Qatari Diar

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, which currently manages 27 luxury properties in 16 countries with a further 21 hotels under development, has announced that its second hotel in London will be sheltered in the former US Embassy and will be named The Chancery Rosewood.

Read more.

And finally… 

If you haven’t yet had a change to listen to DESIGN POD, here’s the latest episode. Entitled ‘Choosing Your Lane’, we invite interior designer Constantina Tsoutsikou to join us as our first guest. Episode two, with guest Christos Passas, Director of Zaha Hadid Architects, goes live on Monday!

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Colourful and quirky lobby/lounge in hotel with blue furniture and industrial stairs

Colour trends: A return to nature is calling

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Colour trends: A return to nature is calling

A year after hospitality lost its colour due to the outbreak of Covid-19, we’ve asked brand strategist Emma Potter to inject our pages with some vibrancy. Here, she explores colour’s role in post-pandemic hospitality and hotel design…

Colourful and quirky lobby/lounge in hotel with blue furniture and industrial stairs

The pandemic has created a seismic shift in human behaviour. We have adapted well to new ways of working and new ways of communicating with our friends, family and colleagues, but how will the hospitality industry connect with the post-corona consumer? Through colour and savvy design is how.

I think it’s fair to say that the last year has been a rollercoaster of emotions from worry and anxiety with the announcement of the first lockdown in March 2020 to frustration and confusion with the ongoing uncertainty as we enter a new year. Arguably it is in times like these where we are able to see just how powerful a tool colour is – used correctly and purposefully, it has the ability to control the emotional noise that surrounds us.

Image of pink colour on walls and black outdoor furniture indoors

Image credit: Stefen Tan/Unsplash

Like many other sectors, the hospitality industry has been hit exceptionally hard all over the world but I’m sure the appetite that many have to travel, see and experience new destinations remains pretty solid. Having been cooped up in our homes and restricted to our local areas (in some cases only a 5km radius from our front door) as human beings, we are craving a change of scene; to get away from our daily routine, and to have shared experiences with loved ones that help us reset, recharge and refocus.

As we continue to move through 2021 – a year of optimism and solutions – I believe colour will play an increasingly significant part in hotel design. Whilst the world is undergoing one of the largest global ‘resets’ in decades – with many people re-evaluating their lives, how they use their homes, where they want to live, their choice of career, right down to the way they wish to show-up and be present in the world – this is also a tremendous opportunity for hotels to ‘reset’ and re-open refreshed and reinvented.

In some instances, that may be a guest that’s looking for a high-end, luxury and high-tech experience that gives them the power to control and operate everything contactless. For others, who crave environmentally values, they will want to immerse themselves in nature and find a destination that has focused on bring the outdoors in, adopting a more biophilic style to their architecture and design. Moreover, perhaps hoteliers have taken this time to become more conscious to source all their products locally and from sustainable sources. In all cases, the two types of customers are very different and demand a different colour schemes and design style – and yet, they are often sheltered in the same hotel, which creates somewhat of a challenge for the design team. But it’s not impossible. One hotel that manages to perfectly balance both sustainable approaches and extreme luxury is Jade Mountain in Saint Lucia, which was reviewed in 2019 by Hotel Designs.

Image of Jade Mountain and the Pitons

Image credit: Jade Mountain

Given the fact we’ve had so much screen time in the past 12 months, post-pandemic it’s likely we will see a surge of the environmentally values based consumer – and the hoteliers and designers who inject this feeling with purpose will the ones who come out on top.

“Choosing a colour scheme for a hotel is an expensive decision to get wrong.” – Emma Potter.

In addition, just as colour has the ability to create an effective and productive workplace, it also has the authority to evoke an emotion and a positive memorable experience during a guest’s stay. Remember, guests are making decisions based on their emotions and therefore colour can often influence our emotions and change our behaviour – so it’s imperative for a hotel to get their colour scheme right to establish true, meaningful connections with their guests.

Common pitfalls to avoid when choosing colour

Choosing a colour scheme for a hotel is hugely complex and an expensive decision to get wrong. It’s important to think about what the hotel brand stands for; who their ideal guest is (who do they want to appeal to), what do they want their hotel to offer that others don’t, what behaviours do they want to elicit, what feeling’s do they want to evoke, what memories do they want their guests to take away with them – all of these elements and more need a huge amount of consideration.

“Choosing a colour scheme because it’s ‘on trend’ means you’re following someone else’s version of ‘good’ or ‘great’.” – Emma Potter.

So, when choosing a colour scheme, consider this:

  • Brilliant white – I would recommend that you avoid choosing brilliant white to paint a space, whether it’s big or small. From a psychological standpoint, white may be perceived as perfection to bring a sense of calm and quite; yet on the flip side it makes a space feel sterile, cold and lifeless. It reminds me of stark, clinical hospitals. Instead, check out the brands, such as Arte, that celebrate imperfection in nature.
  • Over saturation – Just as it’s important not to saturate a space with brilliant white, it’s equally not advisable to saturate a space with any ‘one’ colour. All colours, with the exception of pure greys, have positive and negative psychological aspects. Of course, grey may make us feel safe because it has the capacity to help us blend in with the background but for me it’s quite non-descript and when surrounded by it for too long depletes my energy levels, resulting in me feeling drained and lethargic. Equally if I was immersed in a red space initially, I may feel energised and excited but if I remain in a red room for a long period of time, I’m likely to become agitated and annoyed because I’ve been over stimulated by the colour.
  • Think about the space as a whole – When designing for a space it’s easy to get carried away with the colour scheme on the walls, but it’s important to think about the space as a whole. There are many elements to consider, from the walls, carpets, and cabinetry, to soft furnishings (including fabric type and textures as well as the construction of and / or print pattern), to lighting, glassware and the many accessories that adorn and embellish an environment. Think about the design journey and space as ‘one’ and the experience you with so take your guests on will flow.
  • Tonal harmony – A colour scheme will always come together and be a success when the colours chosen relate and come from the same tonal group. When colours don’t harmonise it generally creates a sense of confusion or disharmony which guests will pick up on innately, but what they won’t always be able to identify or articulate is ‘why’ they feel this sense of discomfort. In essence it all comes down to selecting a colour palette that has tonal harmony.
  • Trends are not timeless – I imagine that, certainly when it comes to residential design, opting for a colour scheme because it’s ‘on trend’ is more common than we realise – perhaps a client has picked out the colour because they have seen it in a magazine. Yet to help us choose the right colour scheme it would be good to understand how, as humans, we relate to colour – be that psychologically, personally and symbolically. Additionally, it makes senses to understand the influence of both the positive and negative traits, plus the application and proportion of colour used to create the desired results. Choosing a colour scheme because it’s ‘on trend’ means you’re following someone else’s version of ‘good’ or ‘great’, and not tuning into your intuition to discover your own. There are many well-respected paint-manufactures who make trend predictions at the beginning of every year like Pantone, Dulux, Farrow and Ball or Benjamin Moore – these are great places to go for inspiration, but in the end, make sure you select a colour palette and design style that’s right for your brand and the experience you wish to create – in the end it’s all about creating an immersive and memorable customer journey.
  • Create sense of place – Achieving a strong sense of place in hotel design without straying into cliché territory is often a major challenge in any project. Colour can be a subtle way to reflect the natural landscapes as well as the personality of the destination. Take the newly opened Moxy Miami South Beach, for example. Gregg Keffer, Partner and Studio Leader at Rockwell Group delibrately chose a vibrant colour and design scheme that broke boundaries while capturing the “bright, carefree sophistication” of South Beach.
Image of ensuite in stylish Moxy room

Image credit: Moxy Hotels

Clever ways of injecting colour to enhance wellbeing  

The idea of connecting hotel design and hospitality with nature is not new, yet in response to the pandemic there has been some discussion of the re-emergence and rise of biophilic design – it’s become mainstream! This builds on the idea that as humans we have an innate attraction to, and love of, the nature world. This would possibly explain why people will happily pay more for a room with a view of never-ending, undulating mountain ranges or the expansive horizon of the sea because these vistas will most likely deliver an incredible glowing sunrise to start your day whilst sipping on a delicious cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea, or to end your day with a mesmerising sunset whilst enjoying a chilled glass of rose or perhaps a gin and tonic as a sundowner.

Jungle-inspired interiors showcasing various tones of surfaces

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

In essence, ‘biophilia’ means ‘love of life’, however, when it comes to biophilic design this does not mean putting in a few plants as a token gesture. It means embracing all elements of biophilic design, a true engagement of all our senses – sight, taste, hearing, touch and smell – to help us understand and absorb what’s going on around us. Take art outside the frame, using tiles from the likes of CTD Architectural Tiles. Use natural materials such as wood, maximising natural light, making organic shapes a priority, and using a range of plants to create a sense of the great outdoors – all of which helps to balance our emotions and support our emotional wellbeing whilst introducing a natural range of tones, shapes and colours.

Blue colour on walls with rattan bed

Image credit: Conran and Partners

In this way, not only do we create a space where guests feel safe and secure, we enable them to better connect with themselves by creating a peaceful, tranquil environment, making it a memorable meaningful experience that they’ll want to come back for, time and time again, year in, year out. After all, that is the end goal, right?

Main image Upsplash

Cork wallcoverings and blue sofas inside a lodge like hotel room

At one with nature: the new Spa Lodges inside Gilpin Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
At one with nature: the new Spa Lodges inside Gilpin Hotel

Lake District interior design firm Nielsen House has completed work on a series of luxury Spa Suites, commissioned by the five-star Gilpin Hotel & Lake House in Windermere. Let’s take a look inside…

Cork wallcoverings and blue sofas inside a lodge like hotel room

Interior design firm Nielsen House, which previously designed Gilpin Hotel & Lake House’s pan-Asian restaurant ‘Gilpin Spice’ and five private Spa Lodges, has unveiled the design of the hotel’s five new Spa Suites, which are said to shelter ‘the ultimate spa retreat for two’.

Image of lodge in the lake district

Image credit: Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

“Our brief was to extend the beauty and serenity of the lakes to all who visit,” said Sarah Jane Nielsen, founder of Nielsen House. “The experience had to be completely Gilpin, completely Lakeland, but with our Scandinavian style. We pride ourselves on sustainable design and the interplay between indoors and outdoors. Biophilic design plays a leading role, creating a healthier and more natural environment with all the warmth and comfort of home.”

Each suite, which aptly captures the unique sense of place of the hotel by bringing the outdoors in within the interior design scheme, features 100 square metres of private built-in facilities.

Image of half of the bed and plants

Image credit: Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

Nature has been carefully injected into all touch points of the hotel, including the bathroom, which features a circular internal bath with double vanity area, double rainmaker shower, steam room, sauna, massage chair and treatment room.

Taking wellness to new heights in The Lakes, the suites also features a large private sundeck, hydrotherapy stone-built hot tub, water feature, plunge pool and a living wall.

The five new suites are a well-timed addition to the hotel, while the hospitality industry adapts to meet new health and hygiene demands in public spaces – a movement that is expected to evolve with creativity in 2021.

Main image credit: Gilpin Hotel & Lake House 

TREND ALERT: 2020 outdoor/interior design styles

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
TREND ALERT: 2020 outdoor/interior design styles

Whether you are designing for a small patio, a city-sized rooftop area or a large piece of land, each outdoor living trend can be adapted to suit any interior/exterior style, writes Paisley Hansen…

Following on from predicting 2020 interior trends at the backend of last year, here are some ideas that will help designers and architects maximise their outdoor space in style.

Biophilic design

For years, the biophilic design ‘trend’ or ‘movement’ has been gaining in popularity. It began as a concept for commercial properties to bring nature indoors and has been expressed in the form of living walls and communal green spaces.

According to Stephen R. Kellert at Metropolis Magazine: “Biophilic design focuses on those aspects of the natural world that have contributed to human health and productivity in the age-old struggle to be fit and survive.” It is not enough to simply be outdoors; a purposeful design for an outdoor living space should complement and connect you to your outdoor space.

Hardscaping

The man-made features used in outdoor spaces are the basis for landscape design and generally are installed first. These include paths, walls, and patios. If you are not working with a professional landscape designer, it is wise to sketch your intended design and play with ideas on paper before you rent a bobcat.

Currently geometric designs for garden beds and patios are popular, however a curvilinear design is timeless. The style of your home will help you determine the design for your outdoor spaces.

Plant materials

It is wise to plan your garden on paper also, rather than plant, dig up and plant again. Make use of your public library, horticulture sites and the agriculture department of universities in your plant zone to compile lists of trees, shrubs and flowers that will grow in your area. Merely loving tulips will not make them grow well if you live in southern Texas. The biggest trend in plantings over the last decade is the installation of plants that are native to a climate instead of fighting to keep a plant alive in an inappropriate zone. Not only does this end up saving money it also discourages nuisance plants–especially those that become invasive.

More plant trends

Choosing a type of garden previously meant flowers or vegetables, but this has changed significantly in the last decade. Combination gardens are easy to grow and the variety of flowers, herbs and veggies that are available to home gardeners will help you create a beautiful garden for all your needs. Match plants according to the amount of sunlight and water for companion planting.

Furnishing outdoor space

The current trend in outdoor furniture is the use of natural materials like rattan, wood, or wood-like, along with wicker elements – just look at Minotti’s new 2020 collection.

Lifestyle shot featuring Minotti sofas outside

Image credit: Minotti

Styles range from mid-century modern and classic coastal to contemporary. The perennial favourite in outdoor furniture is the porch swing. The nostalgia associated with a big porch, a wooden swing and a warm summer night is classically American. With fewer front porches these days many people are finding alternatives to the hanging porch swing.

Furniture designs

Adirondack chairs have been fashionable for centuries and the style is popular even today, though many current pieces are brightly painted for a fresh new look. Egg chairs and barrel chairs are trending right now as is flexible outdoor seating. Furniture that can be moved around the yard for various occasions allows you to invest in a few quality pieces rather than buying furniture for every spot in the garden. When creating a fashionable outdoor area, choose what appeals to you. If an all-white garden gives you a sense of peace and harmony that should be your goal to create. For others, a riotous mix of colours may be your happy place.

Additional trends

The trends in lighting are currently focused on overhead string lights hung in outdoor-café style. Lights can also be strung on the perimeter of your space to give more definition to the area. Up-lighting beneath a specimen tree or shrub will highlight the structure of the special plant or vignette of plants. Fire features run the gamut from huge stone fire pits to small, gas-fuelled tabletop models. Water features are also available in a multitude of sizes and shapes.s

Current trends in outdoor design can be specific to a style or be an eclectic mix of styles. The most important part of outdoor design is making it fit your lifestyle.

Main image credit: Taylor Simpson/Unsplash

FEATURE: The ever-growing importance of biophilic design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: The ever-growing importance of biophilic design

While sustainability remains high-up on the agenda, and following editor Hamish Kilburn’s panel discussion at the Surface Design Show on biophilic materials in surface design, Nest explores the importance of bringing nature in…

If there’s one thing we’ve noticed over the past few months, it’s been how much people have been connecting with nature.

In times of stress, we crave a relationship with the natural world – whether this be walking through our local park, filling our homes with houseplants or being able to relax in our gardens. Exposure to nature and the colour green has been shown to provoke the release of good endorphins; it can even help people heal faster. Mental health charities across the world also recommend spending more time outdoors to combat problems such as anxiety and depression.

So, with nature’s proven impact on our mental health and physical wellbeing, could biophilic design principles hold the key to creating sustainable and inviting spaces in the post-pandemic landscape?

How biophilic design can be applied in a hospitality setting

Wellbeing is huge industry that will only continue to grow. Spaces that can improve our health and wellness will play an ever bigger part as the hospitality sector looks to entice people back to international travel.

Biophilic design principles suggest that humans have an innate connection with the natural world. Through bringing elements of nature into our interiors, we can elevate the well-being of those inhabiting the space.

“Oliver Heath suggests that guests are willing to pay 23 per cent more for rooms with views of biophilic elements.”

As shown in many studies show, biophilia has the potential to be very powerful within a hospitality setting. A cost-effective way of improving the experience for guests, Oliver Heath suggests that guests are willing to pay 23 per cent more for rooms with views of biophilic elements. This is something that can be clearly seen in the link between the price of hotel rooms and whether they have a sea view.

But biophilic design is not just about views or introducing plants to your spaces. Materials, textures, colour, shape, lighting and ventilation all combines in well-designed biophilic spaces to create an environment which is calming and inviting.

We’ve picked out a few key ways in which you can start to introduce biophilic design principles into your interiors:

Directly introduce nature into a space

Whether this be through framing a striking view out of the window or simply displaying a bunch of fresh flowers in a statement vase, bringing the great outdoors inside is easier than you may think. Layer up your greenery to create a statement feature or even invest in dried flowers if keeping plants watered is too much to handle. This is an easy and often affordable way to introduce biophilic design principles into a space.

Image caption: Nest’s Fritz Hansen Lily Chair | Image credit: Nest

Make it easy for people to access the outdoors

As well as providing glimpses of nature within your interiors, consider how your building allows people to access the outdoors. Could you introduce outdoor seating onto a patio to create a place of refuge outdoors? Does your courtyard encourage people to spend time in it? An inviting outdoor space may well be key in a socially distanced future.

Introduce natural motifs

A pattern in the wallpaper, the form of a vase or the curves in a chair – organic forms that suggest shapes from nature are a great way to introduce another nod to nature into your interiors.

Make the most of natural materials

Textures that tempt our fingertips – combining materials such as cork, rattan, wool and wood in a space creates a natural material palette which can put us at ease. Tactile stimulation has been shown to help reduce our cortisol levels (which cause stress) and trigger the release of oxytocin (the love hormone) helping us to feel happier and more relaxed.

Consider the colour temperature of your lighting

Lighting can have a huge impact on our mood and alertness. There are now a number of circadian lighting systems on the market which mimic natural daylight through colour-changing LEDs. By subtly removing the stimulating blue spectrum of light in the mornings and evenings, these lighting systems help to improve both alertness and sleep quality by creating a more adaptable space.

As many of us continue to spend more time indoors, spaces that support us both physically and mentally will only continue to grow in importance.

Nest 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 caption: Nest’s Hashira Table Lamp | Image credit: Nest