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Person in factory eating

Editor checks in: The unethical merry-go-round in design I want to jump off

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor checks in: The unethical merry-go-round in design I want to jump off

Somewhere between furious and frustrated are where editor Hamish Kilburn’s emotions currently sit after learning about the inexcusably unethical design processes behind many products that are in demand of being specified in hotel design projects globally. But will the industry wake up to realise the human cost of a low-priced product?

Person in factory eating

Interior designers are taught and trained to create consciously; to look beyond aesthetics, to consider elements such as materiality and sensory touchpoints, in order to transform empty shells into meaningful spaces. By doing so, students arguably hold the key to unlock hospitality’s innovation and future. The initiatives I have seen emerge recently from young designers – most noticeably when judging the Accor Design Awards – are a breath of fresh air. Some are equally completely unrealistic, which is why, in their raw and brilliant state, they should be nurtured for when technology, behaviour and society inevitably catches up (which they will).

Something changes, though, when a student enters the workplace. Firstly, they start getting paid fairly for their efforts. As a result of being part of something far larger and greater, the freedoms of having ownership of a project in its entirety are, however, lost. That void is filled with hurdles you simply cannot simulate, no matter how many modules you take, such as outrageous client demands, brand standards, and your creativity feeling, at times, somewhat muted. If you are a young designer in this position, I’m afraid it is just part of the process, and in relation to other graduates who are struggling to find the first step on the ladder, you are winning. Perhaps, tough, I can offer you some words of wisdom that may or may not help you on your journey. They come from a close friend of mine who recently shared these strands of advice with a colleague of his who was about to embark on a new chapter in their career.

His advice was:

  • Nobody likes a drama-queen. You might be dying on the inside but try to come across as cool and in control and you will be admired by everyone.
  • Think about the ‘now, next and future’ – carve your plans into these categories and give each one equal attention.
  • Stand your ground when you really believe in something.
  • Balance art with science. Art alone will divide people. Science alone is cold and lacks emotion.
  • Nobody will argue with the data (mostly)

There were actually more than five (at least 15 points in total) but I digress, which wasn’t but should’ve been his next top tip of what not to do. For the purpose of this piece, I want to focus my attention on the fifth statement: “Nobody will argue with the data (mostly)”.

Well, it has come to my attention recently – in fact, like you, I have been aware about it for a while but ignorantly let it sail past my radar without any action or comment being taken – that some manufacturing processes, in this rule-lacking race to bring down the price of products, are deeply and abhorrently unethical. I would like to say that they’re not adhering to ethical standards and/or guidelines, but the truth is that there are no such parameters currently in place. “Blame the brands,” some may argue, but even the companies using these factories that offer a good price are, sometimes with the best intentions, blinded – or choose to shut their eyes – so cannot focus the lens on the social and human costs behind these deals.

One gentleman who is all too aware of the damage that can be caused by moral-abandoning factories is Chris Stimson, the Co-Founder of lighting brand Well-Lit, which I now champion and will amplify hard because of its unapologetically clear stance on ethical manufacturing. I was hosting an exclusive roundtable, exploring this very topic with Stimson and a handful of leading lighting designers, when relayed to us his up-close and personal account with factories that treat their staff badly – he has been arrested three times before (think fly-on-the-wall, Panorama eat-your-heart-out kind of content)!

“I freely admit that I spent the early years of my lighting journey on the wrong side of ethical manufacturing. I knew plenty about lamps, but nothing about the people who made them, or the real conditions in most Asian factories.”, he said. “I made lots of ignorant and naive errors – until I personally witnessed exploitation in factories making bulbs for western brands.

“Unfortunately, sustainability and ethics aren’t quite the same thing. A brand can tick every box for the climate and the circular economy, and still act in ways that most consumers would find entirely unacceptable.”

Sadly, as briefs become more specific, deadlines become tighter and budgets have to work harder. Therefore, the demand for cheap specification in this fast-turn-around society takes precedent. As a result, this is one area of the interior design arena that will unfortunately continue to fall into what will soon be disrepair. The people who suffer most will be the people working in the factories, often hundreds of miles away from their families, who have little to no choice but to accept the disgraceful working conditions that are sheltered in some of these factories that many well-known brands with deep pockets for PR and marketing use, perhaps unaware of the truth that is locked from view.

To all brands, internationally, that are currently using marketing tools to amplify ethical, feel-good messages: I urge you to consider thoroughly which factories you decide to partner with. Ask difficult questions. Become a nuisance. Demand the data to back up the grand statements you will undoubtedly receive when hearing about care of and working conditions for the factory workers. This is the only way to separate quality craftsmanship from cheap labour. Even then, with the best will in the world and by asking all the right questions, brands can be lied to and fed misinformation.

As designers, I believe it is your duty to challenge manufacturers and brands – and if you have access, then also the manufacturing process behind products.

However, even with the best will in the world, you will get so far before you find a black hole of information. This is why it is so important for brands to know what happens under the roofs of the factories that are producing their products – the more information you can gather in this area, the better equipped you will be to help create an ethical design landscape that doesn’t sacrifice the welfare of people over price (and quality).

It’s a difficult yet important road to travel for the greater good of design and humanity, but it is not all doom and gloom. I am pleased to see that brands are, it seems, working hard to amplify craftsmanship and authentic design. In a recent roundtable I hosted, I learned that Ennismore is only interested in working with brands that can prove their products have been made ethically. Perhaps, I hope, the tight-knit design team at the studio is setting the tone for others to follow.

Editor, Hotel Designs

Main image credit: Unsplash/JKN

Häfele UK hotel room

Industry insight: “Vital services add value to industry recovery”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: “Vital services add value to industry recovery”

While the hotel sector is in the midst of a defining era, Paul Smith, Head of Specification Sales at Häfele UK, believes that economic instability, pandemic recovery and tighter budgets are driving great change…

Häfele UK hotel room

Due to recent cultural shifts and strains, operators are creating lean, agile business models that ensure customers receive the same high levels of service they expect, but with more efficient processes in place.

Jobs that have been preserved during the last two years of turbulence will, inevitably, be stretched to cover different roles within a hotel. And as a result, many operators are implementing technology and using their trusted suppliers to help attract customers through their doors.

Thankfully, there is a wealth of products that work in a complementary fashion to make the experience of staying in a hotel a personal, tailor-made and technologically advanced experience.

For example, access control systems like Dialock enable a guest to check in and out at their convenience, gain access to a building’s facilities and secure items within furniture in their room, using approved third party apps such as Hotelbird. It works seamlessly in connection with lighting systems like Loox, which are triggered to come on once a user gains entry to their room and can be adapted – in both colour and intensity – to suit the guest’s mood and need.

Meanwhile, sliding doors can be tailored to open at the touch of a button on a smartphone to provide a guest access to different rooms and amenities within a space. Operators can programme their own level of access, enabling them to maintain control over spaces that are prohibited from public access. These activities require less staff intervention and therefore save teams time, which can be put to greater use.

However, bringing all these systems together under one roof requires an expert eye; the knowledge of a team that understands your building type, function and who will use it, all while ensuring you remain compliant with building and construction industry standards and regulations.

Häfele’s team of specification experts work closely with architects, contractors and hotel operators, helping to bring their ambitions to life. Whether it’s a refit of an outdated scheme, which aims to make long term time and cost savings, or a new development set across multiple locations over several years, we’ll embed ourselves to your vision and recommend the best products and services for your needs.

The 150+ years of experience in our Projects team means we know what can be put into a space to make it more functional. After listening to and understanding your brief, our specification team will provide a specification schedule, which is tailored around you and easy to follow. The functionality of your space will be prioritised; it’ll be compliant to all relevant regulations, your fire safety strategy, accessibility and egress.

We’ll supply CAD drawings, images and BIM assets where available to your design team to help them bring together each of our different systems – Dialock, Loox, sliding door gear, architectural hardware and more – to one complementary scheme. Once all parties are happy, we’ll then introduce additional, valued services to continue making the process streamlined and cost-effective. Häfele to Order, for example, was created to save time, minimise ordering errors, and improve efficiency on-site and during the installation process of lots of our products. All your components can be specified to exact size, quantity and finish, which are then cut, assembled, packaged, labelled and delivered to your specific requirements.

From minimalist design schemes to luxe fit outs, and from boutique, independent facilities to mass market settings which must be consistent in their look and feel, our service provision is built on our experience within the industry and the close relationships we hold with those working on hospitality and leisure projects every day. Our packages of assistance are designed to support every level of the supply chain, from the architect at initial consultation and design phase, to the installer delivering the fit out and, ultimately, the hotel operator who benefits from their space being a functional, effective place to work and reside. We’re here to be a part of everyone’s team, to ensure your refit or fit out achieves everything it needs to.

Häfele UK is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Häfele UK

Virtual roundtable - ethical lighting solutions

Virtual roundtable: Ethical lighting solutions

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Virtual roundtable: Ethical lighting solutions

With the aim to put ethical lighting – and not just sustainability – under the spotlight, Hotel Designs’ latest virtual roundtable welcomes Chris Stimson, Founder of lighting brand Well-Lit, and a handful of leading designers and lighting experts to explore ethical product design. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Virtual roundtable - ethical lighting solutions

For years now, the buzzword that is ‘sustainability’ has been a constant tone; a consistent and unavoidable noise ringing in the ears of every designer, architect and hospitality professional – like tinnitus. Despite the topic remaining important and in its infancy regarding us seeing real change, in order to really clean up our act when it comes to designing consciously, it is not the only subject we need to consider and, if needs be, expose.

To really one day achieve a totally ethical arena for designers, architects and hotel professionals – we live in hope here on the editorial desk – we must also place product design under the spotlight. To do this, designers must not be afraid to question how raw materials are sourced as well as how each element of the product they are specifying is made. But how do we, as an industry, realistically achieve this when deadlines become tighter, briefs become narrower and so many other details need to be addressed on a project?

In addition to advising designers to specify responsibly, after moderating the below roundtable discussion, I no longer believe it is acceptable for brands to be ignorant on how their products are being made. The reason why I say this is because the consequences of such naivety, which emerge thousands of miles away from the first-world problems we face in the western world, can be (and are) unequivocally devastating.

Image caption: Susan Lake's lighting design, sheltered inside Yotel Edinburgh. | Image credit: Yotel Hotels

Image caption: Susan Lake’s lighting design, sheltered inside Yotel Edinburgh. | Image credit: Yotel Hotels

Many brands, both large and small, that currently manufacture their products in Asia are (knowingly or not) fuelling modern slavery. One man who has seen the human cost of unethical manufacturing is Chris Stimson, Founder of lighting brand Well-Lit, who inspired the topic of our Hotel Designs next roundtable.

To panoramically explore ethical lighting solutions with might and purpose, we invited Stimson, along with a handful of designers and lighting experts, to discuss just how bad the problem currently is.

On the panel:

Hamish Kilburn: Chris, why is ethical lighting so high up on your agenda? 

Chris Stimson: It’s based on my own experience. Previously I was based in China, and worked as a sourcing agent for western brands that were looking for manufacturers. Before LED bulbs for domestic homes were known, I was watching the research, travelling to trade shows and meeting the people who were developing the technology. I successfully connected the manufacturers with brands – and that went well for about two years.

Then in 2010, there was a dramatic shift in the market as mass production entered, and the price of LEDs and what manufacturers could achieve fell. I was literally told over night to halve my prices or I would be out of a job. It was during that time when I witnessed things that rocked me to my core; I saw things that could not be unseen. Over the period of just six months I realised I facilitated it. I was part of the problem, so I decided that I was in a position to do better. And this is how we started the lighting brand Well-Lit.

Well-lit light bulbs

Image caption: Well-Lit are one of the few lighting brands that is actively ensuring that the manufacturing process to make its products and components is ethical.

HK: As lighting experts and designers, how aware are you all about non-ethical practices when it comes to manufacturing?

Charlotte Flynn: I’ll be honest, before we had an introduction with Well-lit, we were not aware of the unethical side of lighting manufacturing. It really was new to us. At least knowing that brands, such as Well-Lit, were willing to bring this forward was comforting, but it was also pretty unnerving to think that, despite working with brands who claim to be ethical and sustainable, we actually had no idea just how bad the situation was. The reality is that many designers are unknowingly specifying products that have been made in barbaric conditions.

Metehan Apak: As designers, I think we have all noticed prices of products come down as demand rises. What cannot be ignored are the demands among modern travellers for sustainable design and hospitality. As a result, our clients are getting on board with our thinking to source sustainable and ethical products.

Arianne Ghezzi: We do pay close attention to the suppliers we are working with. There are a few items that we really care about when specifying and that’s usually around what happens in the background. Clients start coming on board when they realise that these ethical decisions often end up saving money when it comes to running costs. More and more, I have seen, that clients are also asking about the lifecycle of products and the recycling qualities of each product.

I also think that manufacturing tours are very usable for designers to understand how components are made and put together.

Image caption: Ennismore recently set new standards to only work with brands that can prove their ethical value. | Image credit: The Hoxton Paris

Image caption: Ennismore recently set new standards to only work with brands that can prove their ethical value. | Image credit: The Hoxton Paris

HK: I can imagine, though, it is very difficult for designers who are working towards a brief for a space to be aesthetically pleasing while also remaining on budget and for the materials to be sourced ethically. Realistically, can all three demands be met?

Susan Lake: It’s a very difficult tightrope that as designers we have to walk. We have to think about the larger picture but we also have to consider the budget, time and aesthetics. It’s reassuring to see that there are brands out there that do source and manufacture responsibly. Equally, it is our responsibility to really demand these credentials when we are specifying products. When it comes to ethics, though, to produce in an ethical way will naturally result in the prices going up.

HK: How do you qualify what is ethical – and what is the human and social cost of unethically made lighting?

CS: The situation around fast fashion really brought awareness to other industries. Even Apple – one of the world’s most recognised brands in the world – has huge problems with their manufacturing in Asia. For example, the brand launched a huge campaign about ethics and manufacturing. Well, on the day they released their press statement, a video emerged showing footage from inside a Chinese factory where the manager was throwing workers’ name badges on the floor for them to pick up at the start of their shifts. It’s incredibly difficult and if a brand like Apple is struggling then you can imagine how challenging it is for everyone else.

“It’s almost like ‘made in China’ is a dirty phrase. And it usually is, but it doesn’t have to be. – Chris Stimson, Founder, Well-Lit.

Image caption: Public areas inside Hotel Zeppelin, designed by Dawson Design Associates. | Image credit: Viceroy Hotels

Image caption: Public areas inside Hotel Zeppelin, designed by Dawson Design Associates. | Image credit: Viceroy Hotels

In terms of my own experience and what I have witnessed, the social and human cost of manufacturing [unethically] in my industry is devastating. I am seeing migrants working hundreds of miles away from their families for very low pay – sometimes even refused pay. The working and living conditions in and around these factories can be disgusting and dangerous. They are being made to work inhumane hours and their jobs are threatened on a daily basis because they can be easily replaced. I have seen what that can do so someone’s physical and mental health and it is disturbing. It destroys people, and yet it still doesn’t get spoken about.

For a lot of brands, it’s almost like ‘made in China’ is a dirty phrase. And it usually is, but it doesn’t have to be. My beliefs are that we all live on the same planet and we should be treated equally. It is as important to discuss ethical sourcing as it is to highlight sustainability and carbon emissions.

“Sustainability seems to be the key word in the briefs but trying to find out information on how the products are manufactured and the conditions of the factories is very difficult.” – Glenn Campion, Partner, LAPD

Image caption: LADP Lighting Design's simple yet dramatic lighting scheme inside The Loft Restaurant. | Image credit: The Loft Restaurant

Image caption: LADP Lighting Design’s simple yet dramatic lighting scheme inside The Loft Restaurant. | Image credit: The Loft Restaurant

HK: In your experiences, are you being told the truth when brands tell you about their ethical credentials?  

Glen Campion: Finding and measuring metrics and data on the ethical standards of manufacturers is nigh on impossible. It’s not something that is published. Sustainability seems to be the key word in the briefs but trying to find out information on how the products are manufactured and the conditions of the factories is very difficult. I think there is a lack of accreditations. The only one I am aware of is the Green Alliance but I know that doesn’t cover everything, so there is a long way to go.

CS: That’s really important because there are no accreditations out there that define exactly what an ethical brand is. I can set up a brand tomorrow and convince a lot of people that we are doing everything the right way and it would simply not be true. The only time in my career that an organisation has really challenged me on what we do was when The Observer  were considering us for ‘ethical product of the decade’ in their ethical awards. They asked deep questions and requested evidence.

For designers, it is almost impossible to know if you are purchasing sustainable or ethically made products, it really is!

“It is impossible to find out in certain regions. We have tried, for years, and we can source about 85 per cent of our raw materials and then there is just a hole. – Chris Stimson, Founder, Well-Lit.

HK: It seems that price is a pretty good indicator then. How much more expensive are ethically sourced lighting products?

CS: When we designed the business, we asked how we could create an ethical product. We had to be a profitable, sustainable and ethical enterprise. By truly doing this, it became clear that there was no way we could afford large-scale PR or a large offices and teams in London. In fact, in 12 years, we have spent about £12,000 on marketing because every penny we have has to go into the design of the product.

What’s more is that we need to present our products at competitive prices to our competitors otherwise we are out of the game. The challenges of running a business like ours is extraordinary when competing against the large brands with deep marketing pockets.

Two big bulbs in lighting scheme for a bar

Image credit: Well-Lit

Glen was talking about supply chains and where raw materials come from. The truth is that it is impossible to find out in certain regions. We have tried, for years, and we can source about 85 per cent of our raw materials and then there is just a hole. Therefore, we cannot promote ourselves as a completely sustainable business – but we try everything we can to be as ethical and sustainable as possible, while being ahead of the technology curve when it comes to lighting innovation.

I also don’t think you can be a sustainable business without being an ethical business. The real sustainability crime is the sheer amount of the low quality, often broken, bulbs that we shipped from China to the western world. If you think about the carbon footprint of these products that end up faulty and subsequently replaced with another bulb that has done the same journey, it’s not an ethical solution.

We make everything by hand, and that gives us such a low failure rate. Yes, we suffer on the cost of that but there really is no other way for us to produce those products ethically.

HK: Charlotte, how have your conversations changed with other brands since learning about what Well-Lit does?

CF: When it comes to the supply chain of products, we have an in-house sustainability focus group. We set up a schedule and there are questionnaires sent out to our recommended suppliers about their supply chain of materials. And yes, we have seen the same, we manage to trace back materials half way and then it descends into a black hole. With lighting, Chris was the first to put this on our radar. We actually only work with Well-Lit at the moment because of our shared ethos around ethical sourcing.

Obviously, we do have the benefit of being in-house so we are able to make those pledges and they are transparently communicated and understood among the whole team here. However, I believe we can set a tone for the industry to follow. It’s been really key to ensure that this, sustainability and conscious sourcing, is within our brand standards at Ennismore.

HK: Why is more lighting not manufactured in the UK?  

SL: It really does depend project by project. Some clients, depending on their clientele and demographic, are more focused on ethics and environment than others. Those clients are willing to pay more for the products. It is easier to trace back materials when the products have been made in the UK, but it is tough because all businesses need to think about their profitability.

HK: Please tell me that brands can ethically manufacturer products abroad as well…

CS: Yes, it can be done – our brand uses very good factories in China while also manufacturing in the UK. There are certain items that you simply cannot manufacture in the UK, such as bulbs, while also retaining a price point that anyone would touch. One of the things that gets missed out in topics like these is that there are brilliant crafts people in Asia who are doing brilliant things. In terms of both technology and the governmental support given to these creatives, they are some of the best people in the world and yet their reputation is being tainted by the result of greed and poor quality mass production of products.

In terms of being able to manufacture in China, there is a lot of trust that come into it. There are just two or three factories that I would use because of genuine shared values when it comes to the manufacturing process and human ethical standards. The most important element for us is that the workers are passionate and buy into the products they are producing. If they are benefiting from the products they are creating, then they will produce better quality products. This ultimately results in a product that has more longevity.

HK: How has this situation become so out of control?

CS: In my experience, most LED bulb brands do not know what is happening. It’s not always that these companies don’t want to know but it’s more that they just assume everything is happening the way they think it is. The sourcing process for most companies is to meet suppliers while travelling to trade shows, perhaps stay on to visit a factory where samples can be made and prices can be agreed. They might do a factory inspection but a lot can be hidden and this process, in my experience, can be highly manipulated and deceptive.

HK: What can designers do to make the industry more ethical?

CS: Ask difficult questions and demand hard evidence. For suppliers, these questions should be directed towards the factories they are working with. Suppliers should know about the living and working conditions of the workers who are in these factories.

GC: I’ll be honest, when it comes to specifying, over the last 10 years the decisions from clients have been driven by cost. The choices on the lighting projects I have been involved in are around supply costs. There are so many components in lighting schemes that need to be measured and presented, so weighing them up against another product that is ethically sourced is not often asked for. It would be great, however, to promote ethical sourcing and really help to educate the industry on the effects of unethical manufacturing.

HK: I think you’re right, the more companies that put forward good, solid evidence around ethical production of products, the more the industry will naturally demand this being an essential. Ultimately, if all suppliers looked deep into their supply chain and if all designers were more inquisitive about the products they are supplying then the healthier the industry will become on a global scale.

Main image credit: Hotel Designs

Illuminating the importance of customer service in lighting design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Illuminating the importance of customer service in lighting design

Designers and procurement specialists should consider customer service quality when making decisions around lighting design, argues Paul Smith, Head of Specification Sales, Häfele UK

Well-considered lighting designs and installations evoke different reactions in us; they can calm, motivate, inspire and even enliven our mood.

Lighting is also integral to helping us effectively achieve any number of functions from exercising and socialising, to working and relaxing.

When it comes to lighting in hotels, systems must be so advanced in their design that they can create the perfect conditions for all of our needs, on demand. As such, we must consider the practical elements of lighting design – where to position it and what type of lighting to use – as well as how the lighting system can complement a room’s aesthetics. For example, concealed switches can be installed into furniture, whether made out of wood, glass or stone, so they are hidden from view. Lighting can also combine with sound technology to give users an immersive experience.

Bedroom with lighted headboard

Image credit: Häfele

Although lighting alone serves to illuminate a space, as part of a wider design scheme, layering different lighting can achieve even more. Accent lighting highlights specific features within a room, while spotlights focus the eyes on a specific area, emphasising interesting objects or acting as pathfinders. Task lighting – often in strip form – helps us use work areas for their main purpose, while ambient lighting can achieve a specific mood and make a space feel bigger or cosier. Essentially, layering lighting can better balance room dimensions, improve spatial awareness and highlight a room’s most important assets, becoming critical to how a space operates, as well as how it looks and feels.

So intrinsic is lighting to the enjoyment of guests’ visits to hotels, that it is essential to consider it at the very earliest stages of crafting a room’s blueprint and theme, rather than seeing it as a bolt on. However, achieving such an effective outcome requires the support of lighting specialists and tailored services that put lighting central to hotel design.

Close-up of lighting in wall

Image credit: Häfele

Häfele’s team of specification experts work closely with architects, contractors and hotel operators, helping to bring their lighting ambitions to life with a variety of expert services. Whether it’s a refit of an outdated scheme which aims to make long term time and cost savings, or a new development that is set across multiple locations over several years, the Häfele team will embed themselves into a customer’s vision and recommend the best products and services for their needs and budget.

Through the Lighting Design Service, hotel designers can submit room plans to the team of designers, who will, in turn, create bespoke lighting layouts on their behalf using the Loox and Nimbus lighting ranges. The team will work in partnership to understand the requirements of a space, creating a design which strikes a perfect balance between furniture lighting and other lighting elements, so they truly complement one another and put lighting at the centre of the hotel’s aesthetic.

The Lighting Design Service comes into its own when used in combination with Häfele to Order. Created to support those working on either higher volume projects or in spaces that require made-to-measure components, Häfele to Order allows hotel designers, planners and fit out teams to specify products to the exact size, quantity and finish. These are then cut, assembled, packaged, labelled and delivered to the requirements. By only purchasing precise quantities, product isn’t wasted and precious time is saved on site.

Whether room lighting is static or built into fitted furniture, the right layout, layering and placement can make the all important difference to how a space works. Häfele’s lighting and ordering service provision is designed to support every level of the hotel design supply chain, from the architect at initial consultation phase, to the installer delivering the fit out and, ultimately, the hotel operator who benefits from their space being a functional, effective place to work and reside.

Häfele UK is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Häfele

3D tech: Dernier & Hamlyn expands studio capabilities to meet designers’ needs

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
3D tech: Dernier & Hamlyn expands studio capabilities to meet designers’ needs

As part of its continued investment into the latest technology to provide the best service to its designer clients, bespoke lighting manufacturer Dernier & Hamlyn, which recently sponsored our roundtable on bespoke possibilities in luxury design, has increased its capabilities by adding 3D printing technologies to their already impressive studio services…

Although recently acquired, the 3d printer is already being used extensively to produce a wide range of prototypes that help designers and their clients to visualise what the bespoke components or light fittings produced in Dernier & Hamlyn’s factory will actually look like.

It is also successfully being used to produce patterns rather than the more traditional ways such as having them carved in wood or made from bronze or brass which is not only more cost effective, but also greatly reduces the lead times in getting the patterns to the foundry for casting. For some applications this process can also be utilised for elements of the actual light fittings themselves. Recent advances in finishing techniques now enable Dernier & Hamlyn to get these parts finished to suit the client’s requirements whether it’s a sprayed or a specialised metal finish.

This new service complements the existing wide range of skills available from Dernier & Hamlyn’s design team from the very traditional sketching of initial ideas and concepts, hand drawing of intricate designs, CAD drawings used to inform manufacture and finishing through to photo realistic renders.

“Up until now we have always had to outsource all of our 3d printing requirements,” said Mark Harper, Head of Design at Dernier & Hamlyn. “Not only was this an expensive operation as many companies have minimum order quantities but also meant timescales for delivery were out of our hands. Having this printing facility within our own studio means we can now provide a much more flexible and fast service which is key to our focus on quality and high levels of customer service and satisfaction.”

> Since you’re here, why not read the roundtable that Dernier & Hamlyn sponsored, entitled: Bespoke possibilities in luxury design?

While some designers approach Dernier & Hamlyn with fully formed designs and material specifications there is often still a need to work through the engineering challenges of how their bespoke lighting can be made, installed and maintained. In many cases the designers have a clear idea of what they want to achieve aesthetically but are looking for support and expert advice to help translate their aspirations into light fittings that not only look fantastic in their hotel projects but provide appropriate lighting levels, colour rendering, efficiency and vitally, can be manufactured within the required budget.

Dernier & Hamlyn is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Dernier & Hamlyn

Collage of interior images of inside the Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Now open: Inside Ace Hotel Brooklyn

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Now open: Inside Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Following our cheeky sneak peek inside the hotel that was published earlier this year, Ace Hotel Brooklyn is open – with interior design by Roman and Williams , and architecture from Stonehill Taylor

From the brand who shook up conventional public areas and encouraged the rest of the hospitality industry to open their doors to the community as well as travellers, Ace Hotels has officially arrived in Brooklyn.

Collage of interior images of inside the Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Located in Downtown Brooklyn, the hotel stands on the cusp of Boerum Hill, above the ever-evolving intersection of everything: a geographical Venn diagram of intersecting energies, from the tree-lined streets and brownstones of Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens to the art and culture clusters of Fort Greene, and all the way down to the restless East River. The property offers 287 guestrooms, an expansive in-room art programme, a public lobby with multiple bars and an art gallery, plus additional food and beverage outlets on the horizon. Designed by Roman and Williams, with architecture by Stonehill Taylor, Ace Brooklyn’s unique facade welds seamlessly with interiors inspired by the raw artist studio spaces of the European modernists — with soothing and stylish custom furnishings outfitting its every alcove.

> Since you’re here, why not read a roundtable on the new era of lifestyle hospitality, featuring Stonehill Taylor’s Sara Duffy?

“We see Brooklyn as it’s own city, filled with so much hope, possibility and excitement for the future,” said Brad Wilson, President, Ace Hotel Group. Ace Brooklyn has been a labour of love — a gorgeous building in many ways a reunion and a reinvention, and one we’re delighted to share with our guests and neighbours as the evolution of Ace Hotel. We’re proud to have filled its spaces with the talents of many collaborators across art, design and culture; it’s a testament and tribute to the irrepressible creative energy of the borough, and a firm investment in its future.”

Made up of metal, glass and precast concrete elements, the building’s rough-edged façade celebrates the natural beauty of its materials, along with the rugged handiwork of the builders who brought them together. The facade’s dramatic centrepiece is a custom ceramic mural crafted by iconic modernist Stan Bitters, coupled with a sculptural light installation designed by Roman and Williams in homage to the Hotel Okura in Tokyo — a beacon of modernist hospitality designed by Yoshiro Taniguchi, which was sadly demolished in 2015.

Inside, interiors marry exposed concrete with other naturally textural elements — surfaces of douglas fir, oak, plywoods and leathers — to form organic, open shapes throughout. The lobby features vintage and custom seating throughout, with half moon windows illuminating the lobby bar in natural light. The bar is finished with an original wall sculpture from RW Guild artist Verdan Jakšić, and a discreet, large scale drawing by Tara Geer.

“After seven years, we are proud to unveil one of our most comprehensive architectural and interior commissions to date for Ace Hotel Brooklyn, our third collaboration with Ace Hotel,” added Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, Founders and Principals, Roman and Williams. “We aimed to embrace a solid muscular design vocabulary, employing confident lasting construction methods and materials, ones with gravity and strength. A primitive modernist philosophy guided us, it is expressed in the tactile spirit of the design. From the building’s strong and unadorned facade, to the celebration of raw old growth timber in the public screens, to the honest plywood furniture collection in the bedrooms, we aspire to be as energetic and untamed as Brooklyn itself.” 

Drawing significant inspiration from Le Corbusier’s beloved workspace retreat Le Cabanon, the guest rooms at Ace Hotel Brooklyn were imagined as cabins of creative refuge: elegant and efficient, with the kind of breathing room that stirs up all sorts of possibilities. The furnishings are handcrafted from raw, understated materials — including custom sofas and chairs, classically-loomed cotton bedding and purpose-built, minimalist fixtures. Custom bed covers were crafted by Maine Heritage Weavers; bath products are from uka; in select rooms, acoustic guitars are provided by D’Angelico Guitars; turntables are made by Music Hall, with vinyl record selections courtesy of our friends at Rough Trade. Ace Brooklyn’s in-room art programme was curated by artist Niki Tsukamoto, and brings together a dream-woven assortment of original textile and fibre pieces from roughly two dozen artists, many based in the borough.

Guestroom inside Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Image credit: Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Throughout the rest of 2021, The Gallery at Ace Hotel Brooklyn will showcase works by artists featured in the guestrooms, starting with a show of textile works by Cynthia Alberto and Weaving Hand in July and August 2021. The hotel lobby’s Ace Shop will also be featuring custom home goods and jewellery from a number of the artists on an ongoing basis.

Main image credit: Ace Hotel Brooklyn

45 Park lane collage

Checking in to experience The Spa at 45 Park Lane

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in to experience The Spa at 45 Park Lane

“All this time, I had been looking in the completely wrong direction when trying to understand how 45 Park Lane can stand out from its older sibling – and neighbour – The Dorchester.” Editor Hamish Kilburn is among the first to explore the luxury hotel’s new spa, which shelters a clever biophilic design narrative as well as the largest pool on Park Lane, London…

45 Park lane collage

For any hotel operating in close proximity to a sibling property, the need to do something different is innate. In the case of 45 Park Lane, whose sister (and neighbour) is The Dorchester, which in style as well as service is one of London’s most iconic hotels, standing out is essential. Luckily for 45 Park Lane, though, its 1920s design scheme along with its effortless ability to serve up London’s finest pre-dinner negroni followed by an award-winning steak has kept the property on the map – and as such an integral member of The Dorchester Collection.

With arguably less weight on its shoulders than that of The Dorchester to preserve a deep-rooted legacy, the design scheme inside 45 Park Lane is given space to play. That’s not to say for one minute that it does not feel like a Dorchester Collection hotel, because it very much does with the same attentive service that threads together all properties within the collection. The smaller (in size, not personality) hotel stands up to The Dorchester as a younger, confident and slightly more masculine sibling. The General Manager, John Scanlon, who first joined the hotel in 2015 and who was profiled in The Brit List 2020 as one of Britain’s leading hoteliers, is totally committed to ensuring that guests have the best possible stay experience, immediately upon entry. Scanlon’s hospitable nature is undisputed – I caught him, on several occasions, warmly greeting and seating guests. Aside from his cordial style of leadership, it is his passion for art that is simply refreshing.

As I check in, what would be a conventional check-in experience becomes a conversation between myself and the front desk about who is responsible for the colourful art installation that is on show around the public areas. “The artist is called Nat Bowen,” I am told – and to my delight that Scanlon has just extended her artist residency. Perhaps it’s the times we are living in, or my admiration for hotels with traditional values creating scenes that juxtapose pre-conceptions – more than likely it’s a mixture of both – but as arrival experiences go, 45 Park Lane delivers the goods.

Image caption: The lobby lounge at 45 Park Lane sets the tone for an unparalleled luxury experience. | Image credit: The Dorchester Collection

Image caption: The lobby lounge at 45 Park Lane sets the tone for an unparalleled luxury experience. | Image credit: The Dorchester Collection

In just 10 years since it originally opened, the hotel has carved out its own niche, sheltering a members’ club-like interior design scheme that attracts those who want luxury served in more contemporary glassware.

“After a few years of making my way through the cocktail, wine and steak menu, I have no regret to admit that I had been looking in the complete wrong direction before.”

But, despite being a stunning hotel that naturally beats its own rhythm, I can’t help but feel, with just a decade of experience on the London hospitality scene, that it has been wrongly overlooked for more obvious and iconic properties nearby. Well, not anymore.

I have always wondered how a hotel like 45 Park Lane can differentiate itself from not only its neighbouring sibling but also other luxury hotels in the neighbourhood. After a few years of making my way through the cocktail, wine and steak menu, I have no regret to admit that I had been looking in the complete wrong direction all this time. The answer to how 45 Park Lane can remove itself from the cold-morning shadow of its older sister is in fact situated in what was, until recently, a building being used as offices.

Located on the lower levels of the hotel, and reached via its very own lift (which I haste to add is completely accessible for people of all abilities), the hotel has recently opened a spa, designed by Joubin Manku and developed by Clivedale London, that will simply take your breath away – and transport you worlds away from the hustle and bustle of London. “The major challenge was making the spa feel like it is not below ground and a separate destination to the Residences and 45 Park Lane,” explains Steven Blaess Head of Interior Design, Clivedale London.

The Spa at 45 Park Lane

Image caption: The Spa at 45 Park Lane is a botanical dream designed by Joubin Manku. | Image credit: The Dorchester Collection.

Its clever design utilises space while allowing guests the pleasure to meander through wellness and wellbeing heaven, where the walls are adorned with hand-placed mosaic tiles to inject a sensitive nod to biophic design and where the length of the pool is (almost) endless, by Park Lane’s standards at least.

But with any underground spa comes the challenge of light. “The intention for the spa spaces was to create a sense of calmness and tranquillity,” says Blaess. “The subtle glistening of light onto the glass mosaics is a reminder of water droplets on foliage. Dappled lighting was dispersed to help create the illusion of walking through a leafy canopy of light.”

I’m told that Manku, when taking on the project, conducted a brief study of other spas in central London and what was missing from all was a sense of nature and connectedness. “These other spas were usually designed with hard architectural materials and more formal in their layout and approach, adds Blaess. The important thing for the spa was to address both the 45 Park Lane guests link and the residences direct access, without making one or the other less important. It was about creating a unique yet somewhat separate experience for both.

“The Spa Lounge, for example, is the hub of the entire level, where people want to naturally either start their journey or end their spa experience, relaxing on over-sized sofas and armchairs set around a central feature fireplace. Visual glimpses onto the swimming pool provide a connection to water while also providing swimmers with privacy.”

The overriding theme and concept developed by Manku was a connection to Hyde Park and therefore bringing into the interiors natural references of leaves, native grasses and wild flowers. “The glass mosaics were conceptualised by Manku to reference a liberty-style, decorative design pattern, that were successfully mass manufactured as part of the Industrial Revolution,” adds Blaess. “The glass mosaics were made in Venice with one of the regions oldest family mosaics manufacturing companies.” Natural feeling timber was also used to reference woodland trees on wall and ceiling slatted panels with leaves, grasses and native wildflowers designed into the glass mosaics.”

Image caption: The hand-placed mosaic tiles are a unique theme throughout the spa areas that inject biophilic design into the space. | Image credit: The Dorchester Collection

Image caption: The hand-placed mosaic tiles are a unique theme throughout the spa areas that inject biophilic design into the space. | Image credit: The Dorchester Collection

The Spa at 45 Park Lane is undisputedly beautiful, but I would go one step further. The addition of the spa inside the hotel has actually elevated the entire hotel experience for guests checking in. Pre-spa era, the hotel’s rooms and suites were aptly stylish, timeless and complete with their own details (as you would expect from a hotel within the collection). While these areas continue to marry together a voguish collection of art with a distinct 1920s soul that comes through in the interiors, many modern travellers feel as if a luxury experience is not absolute without a destination spa to match. Interestingly, for me, the spa has put more of a focus on wellbeing. As such, even the bathrooms, which always have been beyond perfect – complete with walk-in showers, sumptuously deep baths and hidden TVs in the mirrors, now feel that much more special.

As with all good and meaningful renovations, there wasn’t anything particularly wrong with the hotel before. However, the addition of the spa has, I believe, helped keep 45 Park Lane on the radar of luxury travellers by offering an experience unmatched by any other hotel on Park Lane.

Today, as the hotel re-opens up to welcome a new chapter of hospitality – one where the demand for wellness is and will remain off the scale – the existing hotel that shelters timeless decor remains an invigorating blend of art and landmark architecture in the middle of classical London. The spa feeds the demand of luxury travellers, while also cleverly staying true to the Dorchester Collection’s undisputed hospitality style.

Main image credit: The Dorchester Collection

Rainfall chandelier

Lighting case study: Gazprom’s new HQ in St Petersburg

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Lighting case study: Gazprom’s new HQ in St Petersburg

Following the brand participating as a Product Watch Pitch Partner at Hotel Designs LIVE in February – and while we are gearing up for the next virtual event – Inspired By Design shares how it put forward lighting solutions for a challenging brief in St Petersburg…

Rainfall chandelier

Lighting design studio Inspired By Design “jumped at the opportunity” to work on this project for one of Russia’s prestigious largest companies known throughout the world.

Working with the UK architectural team to a very specific design brief, the client wanted to create a ‘rainfall’ style chandelier in their VIP reception area and a further chandelier in the private dining room also for VIPs. In order for the client to get a ‘feel’ of what the chandelier would like, the bespoke lighting company created a mini sample piece. The arms were to be gold-plated and the Swarovski crystals needed to be a very specific colour. After the drawings were finalised, the sample was created for approval and it was tested in their offices. “We were delighted to receive approval and then started work in producing the chandelier,” explains Inspired By Design’s Simon Shuck. “As part of our quality checks we undertook a factory visit to see the chandelier in its glory before the packing was one.

“Everyone’s breath was taken away when we saw the stunning crystal glowing from the special LED that had been used especially with all the factory lights having been switched off. It certainly looked like a rainfall chandelier which the client would be proud of.”

Following this, the team at the lighting studio viewed the private dining chandelier, which was large circular fitting filled with short strands of Swarovski crystal in matching colours. The client, meanwhile, had just moved into their new HQ premises in St Petersburg which is a very impressive building.

“As you can see by the image, a stunning chandelier was produced for this VIP reception area,” adds Shuck. “We were delighted to be asked to install the two chandeliers which enabled the team to explore this magnificent historic Russian city  during which the sun shone and was pleasantly warm and spend  many hours in The Hermitage soaking up all the fantastic artwork and other displays together with visiting Faberge and even taking a river cruise around the city.”

If you have a bespoke lighting project, whatever the size, Inspired By Design believes it can bring its global expertise to assist. The lighting studio can even offer full FF+E lighting packages to suit your budget and for projects in USA the UL certification can be offered.

Inspired By Design was a Product Watch Pitch partner at Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place in February. The next Hotel Designs LIVE will take place on August 10, 2021.

Main image credit: Inspired by Design

The power of Franklite’s lighting in public areas

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The power of Franklite’s lighting in public areas

With lighting being the source of energy for hospitality’s creativity, Franklite’s range of products allows designers to further light up personality in public areas. Editor Hamish Kilburn was given a detailed look at what’s new…

It goes without saying that lighting can drastically enhance the architecture of any space. Public areas such as arrival experiences, lobbies or even corridors are the spaces people interact with first. Therefore, making sure these areas are lit correctly is integral in order to set the right scene for the rest of guests’ journeys. Good architectural design together with functional, decorative lighting in spaces like these create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere.

Franklite offers integrated emergency lighting on a range of interior and exterior fittings specifically designed for public areas. These reserve battery operated emergency lights are on a separate circuit within the fitting and will last for at least three hours once engaged.

The traditionally styled lanterns of the Atrio range, finished in chrome with bevelled tapered glass panels are the perfect examples of decorative fittings designed with the emergency gear. Available in various finishes these lanterns will complement any architectural design.

The Woburn is another popular range used in public areas. With dedicated LED decorative shades which all come with top and bottom diffusers to ensure an even distribution of light and low maintenance, are available in a wide variety of sizes, colours and suspensions.

With an extensive range of flush ceiling fittings in both modern and more traditional designs, Franklite truly has a fitting suitable for any public area. These ranges can be also be supplied in various sizes, shapes, finishes and fabric shades.

Dimmability and integral lighting control options can also be included with many of the ranges mentioned improving the efficiency and longevity of the fittings. To ensure optimum efficiency it is recommended that the reserve batteries be changed every two to three years.

Franklite is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Franklite

Perry 18 light staircase

Product watch: New lighting ranges from Franklite

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: New lighting ranges from Franklite

Having been in and out of the dark over the last 18 months, the hospitality industry deserves illuminating. During the pandemic, lighting studio Franklite has been busy adding new contemporary products to its growing portfolio of lighting products. Let’s take a look…

Perry 18 light staircase

Over the last few months lighting brand Franklite has introduced spectacular new product ranges to its well-renowned decorative lighting collection. Whilst most of these new ranges reflect current trends through innovative and modern designs a more traditional range based on the popular Flemish style design has been included as well.

The Mondrian range which consists of four chandeliers and a wall bracket replicates the ever-popular Delft and Halle ranges. These Flemish style fittings carry through the candle tube design and are finished in pewter as opposed to the bronze and polished brass finishes of the other ranges.

This range includes three and five light chandeliers which are ideal for hotel bars, restaurants and dining areas. Whether it’s a three light chandelier positioned over every table in the restaurant or a five light chandelier perfectly centred above a grand piano, the finish of the Mondrian range adds a slight modern twist to the traditional design style. The two light, candle tube wall bracket within the Mondrian range will accentuate more neutral tone corridors whilst still carrying through the popular Flemish style design within a hotel.

In comparison, the contemporary style of the Perry range is both majestic and comprehensive. With single and multiple drop suspensions in satin nickel finish metalwork and clear cable suspensions this range is like no other. This versatile range comprises four colours of beautiful pear-shaped glasses with a slight textured design. Available in two sizes, these glasses provide a myriad of possible compositions to give the Perry fittings a tailor-made, custom design, perfect for any space. The colour options include clear, smoked, amber and copper glass. The enormous 18 light multiple drop fitting would make an exquisite centre piece in a reception area or staircase. Drawing the eye upwards to take in the full effect of the combination of glass sizes and colours adds dimension, making the most of open plan, communal areas.

Other fittings within the range include three and six light spreaders, three light bar fittings and single pendants all finished in satin nickel. These variations can be used in any space throughout a hotel, mixing and matching the glass colours and sizes to complement many interior design styles, creating continuity throughout the hotel.

In a press release, Franklite said: “[The brand] will continue to produce quality decorative lighting for the hospitality industry over the years to come. Each time ensuring, we never compromise performance for aesthetics or vice versa.”

Franklite is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image caption: Perry 18 light staircase. | Image credit: Franklite

Aloft Osaka Dojima

Marriott International opens 70th hotel in Japan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Marriott International opens 70th hotel in Japan

With the opening of Aloft Osaka Dojima, Marriott International now has 70 properties in Japan, which means that, with 18 brands in 21 prefectures, the hotel group leads with brand offerings in the country – and there are still more hotels in the pipeline…

A few months ago, Marriott International opened its 800th hotel in the Asia Pacific region. A few months later, the hotel group announced that it would add 100 new hotels to that impressive portfolio between then and the end of the year.

Aloft Osaka Dojima

And now, the hotel group has reached yet another milestone by opening Aloft Osaka Dojima, which becomes the group’s 70th property in Japan. With this opening, Marriott International continues its solid growth in Japan as the hotel chain with the most brand offerings. The company has 70 properties across 18 brands in 21 prefectures including major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, as well as other lesser known gems like Tochigi, Gifu and Wakayama. With a pipeline of more than 30 additional hotels, including three hotels expected to open later this year, the portfolio is poised for continued growth in Japan.

“We remain confident in the future of travel.” – Rajeev Menon, President, Marriott International Asia-Pacific (excluding Greater China).

“Expanding our presence and bringing more brands and experiences to Japan has been a priority for us,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Marriott International Asia-Pacific (excluding Greater China). “We remain confident in the future of travel and look forward to welcoming both domestic and international guests with new and exciting travel choices when they are able to travel again.”

The opening of Aloft Osaka Dojima, Marriott International’s 70th property in Japan, is emblematic of its select-service brand category growth in the country, with the number of open hotels nearly tripling since 2019. The brands in the category such as Fairfield by Marriott, Courtyard, Aloft Hotels, and Moxy Hotels to name a few, offer distinct value for travellers with streamlined services and amenities, paired with casual, convenient dining options and warm hospitality — all at an approachable price point. The new Aloft property is centrally located at the crossroads of entertainment, shopping, dining and business in Osaka. In addition to vibrant urban centres, many of the select-service hotels are opening in Japan’s lesser known areas and are expected to offer easy and comfortable stays for travellers exploring less travelled, yet attractive locations.

The “Michi-no-eki” portfolio – which now comprises 13 Fairfield by Marriott hotels in prime locations near roadside rest stations in Japan – is a key driver of growth in the select service category in the country. Earlier in 2021, five Fairfield by Marriott hotels opened across picture-perfect destinations including Odai in Mie, Minamiyamashiro in Kyoto, Nikko in Tochigi, Kushimoto in Wakayama, and Susami in Wakayama. Later this year, an additional new Fairfield by Marriott hotel is slated to open with the arrival of Fairfield by Marriott Gifu Takayama Shokawa. The new hotels are situated close to national parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, providing guests a gateway to secluded destinations and local gems across the country.

This summer, the highly anticipated opening of Japan’s fourth Moxy Hotel, Moxy Kyoto Nijo, is expected to add a stylishly playful twist to Kyoto’s bar and social scene, celebrating youthful nonconformity, open-mindedness, and originality above all. Located in the Kyoto Nijo historic district near the World Heritage site of Nijo Castle, it is set to be a buzzing new location to play and explore.

Meanwhile, the recently opened Hiyori Chapter Kyoto, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, is the Tribute Portfolio brand’s second property in the country, and welcomes guests from near and far to craft their own story and live like a local on a journey of exploration in picturesque Kyoto.

Earlier this year Marriott International celebrated the opening of Japan’s very first W hotel with the arrival of W Osaka, which, thanks to design influence from design and architecture studio concrete Amsterdam, brought the brand’s singularly bold attitude and a playground of new possibilities to the city’s already-vibrant hospitality scene.

The iconic lifestyle luxury brand EDITION will further expand with the expected opening of The Tokyo EDITION, Ginza later this year. The hotel is slated to be the second EDITION property in Japan following The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon, which opened in 2020.

A sedated interior scheme inside the guestroom of the hotel

Image credit: Tokyo Edition/Marriott International

“We are gratified to see the strong growth of Marriott International in Japan, and appreciate the confidence of our owners and franchisees in our vision for the future of hospitality in the country,” said Karl Hudson, Area Vice President, Japan and Guam, Marriott International. “Like us, our owners believe that the future of travel lies in providing what travellers truly want, based on lifestyles, interests and preferences. Marriott’s strong and differentiated portfolio of brands cater to the individual requirements of travellers, and this is how our guests know they can count on us to provide what they want, wherever they may travel to.”

With today’s announcement, Marriott International is well-positioned in Japan with 70 hotels across 18 distinct brands, aimed at serving differentiated experiences across traveler segments. The brands currently operating in Japan include: JW Marriott, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton and Ritz-Carlton Reserve, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, and EDITION in the luxury segment; Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Westin, Autograph Collection, Tribute Portfolio, and Renaissance in the premium segment; Courtyard by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, Fairfield by Marriott, Aloft Hotels, AC Hotels by Marriott, and Moxy Hotels in the select service segment.

Main image credit: Marriott International

Shalini Misra

Wellness in design: tips from designer Shalini Misra

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Wellness in design: tips from designer Shalini Misra

Ahead of her anticipated appearance at Hotel Designs LIVE, where she will join a panel of experts to discuss surface design, we caught up with interior designer Shalini Misra in order to understand how wellness and design are working together in this new era of lifestyle, luxury and wellness…

Shalini Misra

Interior designer Shalini Misra, who will be joining us on the virtual sofa at Hotel Designs LIVE in August in a panel discussion on surface design, recognises that her clients’ lifestyles are key to the design of the studio’s interiors and their wellbeing. Wellness is intrinsic to a successful and healthy lifestyle and the studio integrates it into their spaces by looking at the physical, emotional and aesthetic sides and drawing on effects for each of our senses – another topic we will explore at Hotel Designs LIVE. Wellness incorporates using sustainable natural materials, ample flow of natural light and air, intelligent use of artificial light, creating versatility in the layout to cater for social areas and pockets of privacy for personal reflection and headspace, adding value to clients’ existing pieces through upcycling, and using colour to fine-tune the mood of the spaces.

If you would like to attend Hotel Designs LIVE (free for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers, click here – booking form takes less than two minutes).

“Our surroundings affect how we feel on a daily basis and it has never been more important for us to embrace the concept of wellbeing – intrinsic, as it is, for our own happiness and ability to lead successful lifestyles in challenging times,” Misra says. “So for those of you who know us, you will not be surprised that as part of our styling process, and we place a great deal of emphasis on the idea of incorporating wellbeing into the projects we take on.”

Wellness not only relates to interiors but also to the wider environment, which the studio achieves through sourcing materials with sustainable attributes and using existing pieces such as vintage pieces.

Misra kindly shares her tips when injecting wellness in design – and which vital areas she looks at when designing her projects.

Sustainability

Sustainability and wellness in design travel together in parallel lanes. Opt for sustainable materials like linoleum, floral leather, cork for furniture and wall and floor finishes and incorporate existing pieces such as vintage items. The use of the latest technology also ensures efficient energy use in the spaces. Through computer calculations which map the sun’s movement you can decide how much cooling and heating is required for a space.

Healthy interiors

Colourful lounge inside Aberdare Gardens

Image credit: Aberdare Gardens/Shalini Misra/Mel Yates

Interior design can improve your health and wellbeing in so many ways. Ensure that the natural light and air flow of the spaces are effective. Create quiet peaceful private zones bringing nature inside. Always draw on natural materials and organise your space efficiently to create a smooth running of the environment. “We will always strive to ensure that our clients enjoy their homes and maximise their wellbeing by looking at the physical, emotional and aesthetic aspects of how the spaces in their homes work,” Misra says. “We will organise the space, in consultation with you, to forge its flawless running, using sustainable, natural materials wherever possible and ensuring an ample flow of air and natural light and also making the most intelligent use of artificial light.”

Colour and mood

The colour of a room can evoke certain emotions. Bold reds and yellows, for example, are known to be energising, stimulating and motivating. In contrast, blue is a soothing colour that calms the mind and promotes intellectual creativity, while green provides balance and harmony. Of course, neutral colours such as whites, greys and taupe, provide calm reassurance and a harmony between wellness and design. Through the use of colour a mood can be created which influences the clients’ emotional wellbeing. By using colour that is appropriate to the main use of each room, we can enhance the purpose of the space.

Making an impression is not only down to the first room you encounter, the whole design needs to have moments of impact whether through art, views through windows and internal spaces, architectural volumes or colour and texture.

Upcycling

With upcycling becoming such an integral part of any project, the studio looks at clients’ existing pieces and sees what can be repurposed, amended or relocated to ensure that no existing piece is wasted. This is an element of the sustainable side to our designs.

Lighting

Through the intelligent use of lighting and the latest technology we create flexible moods for lighting, making the spaces versatile as well as beautiful.

Meditation areas

Image credit: Farm House project/Shalini Misra/Mel Yates

Image credit: Farm House project/Shalini Misra/Mel Yates

Depending on the size of your space, you may wish to dedicate an entire room to meditation. While turning an empty room into a holistic meditation space is certainly a great use of your environment, you don’t have to devote an entire room to wellness. Instead, you can carve out space in an existing room and create a versatile environment that lends itself to tranquillity and calmness.

Ideally, you’ll want to choose a ‘low traffic’ area, that will allow you to meditate undisturbed. This might be a corner of a bedroom or space in a spare room. You can even turn a quiet part of your living area – or lounge – into a holistic meditation space if you wish.

Having a dedicated meditation space can certainly enhance your practice and encourage you to meditate regularly, but you can easily extend the design and style of your meditation space throughout your entire home. By doing so, you’ll create a calming, welcoming and tranquil environment that consistently enhances your well-being and reflects your unique personality.

Main image credit: Shalini Misra/Mel Yates

Rainlight

Circle of light in hospitality and workplace

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Circle of light in hospitality and workplace

Designer Yorgo Lykouria sheds light on the convergence of hospitality and workplace, how we are living in a ‘post categorisation world’ and why his award-winning circular lighting design is as at home in a hotel lobby or an office…

The concept of hoteling: booking office space and enjoying concierge-style services in a workspace dates back well into the last decade, proving just how omnipresent the influence of the hospitality is on the world of workplace. But instead of being a one-way street is there actually more of a convergence between the two sectors than was previously thought?

Rainlight

Designer Yorgo Lykouria certainly believes so. “We’re almost at the point of post-categorisation, a place where good design can be presented anywhere,” he argues. “Good humanistic design should be everywhere. A hotel can be just as much of a workplace as a hotel.”

He continues: “When we think of things in that way, everything from furniture to lighting is embedded within our own preconceptions about what works for a particular setting be it an office or a hotel.”

Lykouria, who is founder and creative principle of design studio Rainlight, is responsible for Ambitus, a luminaire which has recently been awarded the ‘Best of the Best’ product prize at this year’s prestigious Red Dot Awards. The design of the luminaire found favour with the judges due to its mix of state-of-the-art technology combined with daring, nature-inspired aesthetics, held in place with distinctive, thin cables. Lykouria collaborated with Austrian manufacturer Zumtobel over a ten year period to create the final design. “It was initially intended to be a flexible piece for the workplace but it has an adaptable graceful quality that means it could equally belong it in a hotel lobby.”

The development of Ambitus involved using pliable LEDs and a complex tooling process while the perforated, laser-cut pattern which says, Lykouria, “is like an explosion of supernovas.” The light engine: the element consisting of LEDs mounted on the circuit board plus the electrical and mechanical fixings, offers tuneable white direct and indirect lighting and the colour temperature can be adjusted to suit the ambience required. In an office environment, it’s about harmonising with workers’ Circadian rhythms, providing energising or calming light as required but actually in a hotel setting that ability to switch moods is equally applicable. “You could have a warm light in a meeting space or above tables in a restaurant or a combination of warm and cool light. Depending on the finish, Ambitus can create a range of moods from austere minimalism to adding a more decorative, ornate quality.”

“The light is able to replicate true human-centric lighting and this is a rare occurrence with just a single light fixture,” he says. Its round shape is key, a contrast to the linear form of most office lighting. “It seemed to me a paradox to design a luminaire with straight lines when all natural sources of light such as the sun and moon are spherical. Because it is a circular light, it can make a space glow, like a campfire.”

It’s this sense of gathering around, of coming together that intrigues Lykouria about hotels. “A hotel is a very important part of the urban fabric, it’s a meeting place for nomads. Hotels are places of impromptu gatherings, it’s the connection of life and community: you get that contact with local people. Everybody is a nomad.”

He talks about the idea of grand hotels such as the Ritz, the Savoy, the George V in Paris or the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, “They really stitched together the fabric of life and now we have boutique hotels which are smaller and there’s more of them but they do the same thing.”Eschewing chain hotels, he prefers places that “look like the city they are in. The worst hotels are the ones where they don’t have that sense of place.”

Moving from the hotel lobby to the guest rooms he says, “It’s also an experience in solitude, that’s actually what I love about hotel rooms. You don’t have all your stuff around. It’s quite a calming experience, it’s just you and the few things you brought with you. In that way, it’s quite cathartic, a repose from the busy way of life.”

Hotels, he says, are even more important now in the days after our freedom of movement has been so substantially curtailed for so many months “Their relevance has been enhanced, you’re choosing to go somewhere different for some days. It’s a change from everyday life, somewhere that provides that reboot, that sense of being in the now. Suddenly you’re thinking new thoughts, it’s challenging. Hotels give you that sense of a refresh.”

While some of us may be missing our places of work in a similar way, in terms of opportunities for face-to-face social interactions and frankly the change of scene, hotels transcend that idea. Lykouria adds finally, “When we’ve been living off the internet for the past year or so, I’ve really missed the ability to travel and to be in different cultures. Hotels are key to that.”

Main image credit: Rainlight

Bathroom-GIF

Product watch: Bathroom lighting collection by Chelsom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Bathroom lighting collection by Chelsom

With our editorial team safely drawing to the conclusion that the bathroom is vast becoming more than just a practical element of the hotel experience, as we heard at our last Hotel Designs LIVE event, we take a closer look at Chelsom’s bathroom lighting collection to understand how designers can take their bathroom designs to the next level…

Bathroom-GIF

The bathroom is far from being last on a designer’s priority list and the interior design schemes being created are anything but boring these days. For a space that’s both beautiful and functional, lighting plays a starring role and Chelsom is a specialist brand when it comes to the design and manufacture of bathroom lighting for the global hospitality market.

The brand has a varied selection of bathroom lighting available as part of its latest collection, Edition 27 – of which more than 40 per cent of the collection is entirely new and all pieces are available with LED light sources to accommodate the latest developments in technology and energy efficiency.

In addition, the brand also works with clients to design beautiful custom products that create flawless lighting on every level and that meet the necessary requirements and regulations for products in the bathroom environment. One of Chelsom’s most recent projects, among others, is Riggs Washington D.C., where the brand collaborated with designer Jacu Strauss in order to ensure that each space was effortlessly lit in order to radiate the hotel’s luxe style and distinct personality.

Image credit: Luxurious bathrooms inside the hotel. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Image credit: Luxurious bathrooms inside the hotel. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Chelsom is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Chelsom

The Brit List Awards judges 2021

The Brit List Awards 2021: Meet the judges

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The Brit List Awards 2021: Meet the judges

Now that the free nominations/applications process is open for The Brit List Awards 2021, it’s time to meet this year’s judges. The 2021 panel consists of respected travel journalists and international experts in the design, architecture and hotel development arenas. The judges will gather to select the winners ahead of the awards ceremony on November 3 at PROUD Embankment, London…

The Brit List Awards judges 2021

Right on cue – and continuing tradition – the next step after nominations and applications have opened for The Brit List Awards is for us to announce this year’s judging panel.

This year, as well as continuing our firm relationship with the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) by welcoming both the President and the Past-President as judges, we have also included an award-winning travel journalist and a cluster of respected hospitality and hotel design experts to join this year’s panel.

(Free to apply/nominate) To nominate/apply for The Brit List Awards 2021, click here.

Without further a due, the judges for The Brit List Awards 2021 are:

Lindsey Rendall, President Elect, BIID

Image credit: Rendall & Wright

Lindsey Rendall is the soon-to-be President of the BIID. After graduating Lindsey Rendall worked for Designers Guild, the internationally renowned home furnishing brand before continuing her design career with Cameron Broom, based in south London. During her five years with the company, Rendall became principal designer and designed a wide range of projects including more than 90 domestic properties, five offices, three commissions for The Hurlingham Club and the complete renovation of 28 Portland Place, a beautiful historic building dating from 1775.

Rendall enthusiasm, attention to detail and ability to identify with her clients has ensured repeat business and many recommendations and referrals. In 2010 Lindsey was granted full membership of the British Institute of Interior Design. Lindsey joined forces with Helen to set up Interior Design practice Rendall & Wright in 2006. This dynamic duo, bring together design expertise and seamless project management, providing a personal and professional service.

Lester Bennett, President, BIID

Image credit: BIID

As a registered interior design with more than 30 years’ experience, Lester Bennett will be the Past President of the BIID during the judging process of The Brit List Awards 2021. Joining the panel for a second year, Bennett has covered many areas of design from running his own practice to being Design Director for the residential development company Westcity. He has built up a stunning portfolio of high profile residential developments both in the UK and overseas.

Lisa Grainger, Deputy and Travel Editor, Times Luxx magazine

Image credit: Twitter (@LisaGrainger4)

Viewing this year’s entries from a different perspective over the likes of design and architecture professionals, Lisa Grainger is an award-winning travel journalist who has worked for The Times – from the arts and news desks to The Times Magazine and LUXX – since 1995. Grainger, who has become a well-known figure on the luxury travel scene and an influential voice which is amplified regularly in her authentic reviews, is a regular contributor to panels on conservation and luxury travel.

Frank M. Pfaller, President, HoteliersGuild

Image credit: Frank M. Pfaller

Image credit: Frank M. Pfaller

Frank M. Pfaller, the Founder and President of Hoteliers Guild joins the panel with his ‘no two people are alike’ attitude. Impressed by the accessibility of The Brit List Awards 2021, Pfaller believes that  while every property must meticulously reach and maintain highest standards of quality and personalised guest services, none should have to bear the dull stamp of conformity. HoteliersGuild was created with this mentality, and has become a private and independent society of active luxury hoteliers with the aim to connect the best of the hospitality community in a place that encourages the exchange of ideas and personal friendships.

 

Dereck & Beverly Joubert, filmmakers and owners, Great Plains

Image credit: Great Plains

Dereck and Beverly Joubert are world-renowned wildlife filmmakers and are the founders of Great Plains, an authentic, unique and iconic leading tourism conservation organisation. The pair will capture this year’s entries through their unique lens to capture, hopefully, the hotel projects that push boundaries in architecture, design and hospitality. Great Plains consists of 16 prestigious owned and partner safari properties in Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe – and offers exceptional safari experiences built around bespoke, caring, meaningful and considerate values.

Ngahuia Damerell, Senior Design Project Manager – Premium & Luxury Brands Design Solutions, Design & Technical Services, Accor

Image credit: Accor

Ngahuia Damerell, on the Board of Directors for the NEWH Paris Chapter, will join the panel to assist in the judging for the Rising Star Award, following Accor’s commitment to support young talent with the Accor Design Awards.

Damerell earned a bachelor’s degree in textile design with a focus on interior textiles from Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand. Her professional journey has taken her to Sydney, London, New York and now, Paris, where she works as the Global Senior Design Project Manager for Accor’s Luxury & Premium brands, including Raffles, Sofitel, Pullman and Movenpick.

Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs

Editor Hamish Kilburn headshot

Image credit: Hotel Designs

Completing this year’s panel, Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs, will return for a fourth consecutive year to act as head judge for The Brit List Awards.

In his role on the leading online publication, Kilburn sensitively narrates the industry’s development. As well as travelling the globe, to far-flung destinations, in order to review some of the world’s most impressive hotels, he has also interviewed the masterminds behind their creations. “The Brit List Awards has become a valuable tool for the industry to understand who the real leaders and visionaries are among us,” he said. “In our meaningful search, we are looking for people and brands going beyond what is conventional – and in the four years I have held this position, the industry has never disappointed in showing us projects that are, quite simply, incredible.”

Most recently, Kilburn become the host of DESIGN POD, a new podcast for the A&D community and was also part of the team who masterminded Hotel Designs LIVE, a series of virtual online conferences for designers, architects and hoteliers in order to keep the industry connected and the conversation flowing. As a result, he has gained a detailed understanding as to what it takes to be at the forefront of the industry’s development and evolution.

So there you have it, your judges for The Brit List Awards 2021.

You can now purchase your tickets to attend the live awards ceremony, which takes place on November 3 at PROUD Embankment (designers, architects, hoteliers & click here. Suppliers, click here).

If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

Headline Partner: Crosswater

Product watch: The Chawton Collection by Vaughan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: The Chawton Collection by Vaughan

“An exciting combination of contemporary and classic pieces,” the Chawton Collection by Vaughan launched in March and is largely based on early 20th century design. The collection was a big attraction at London Design Week…

Featuring some familiar favourites, such as the Menerbes Table Lamp – available in two striking new colourways – and the addition of a number of new furniture pieces, mirrors and lights, the Chawton Collection continues Vaughan’s foray into the world of luxury design and decoration.

Located in the heart of Hampshire – only a stone’s throw away from Vaughan’s factory – Chawton is known for its ancient woodlands and chalky hills. Famous for being home to Jane Austen in the later years of her life, the village serves as a perfect metaphor for Vaughan’s new collection: showcasing the abundance of the natural world and honouring the products’ historical context too.

Lucy Vaughan, chairman and co-founder of Vaughan Designs, comments on the collection: “It is with great excitement that we release the Chawton Collection. Like our previous pieces, each of these has been a real labor of love. From the tapered legs seen on the Colbury Table, to the chalk white finish on the Broughton Bobbin Chair, and the decoration on the Marchwood Lantern, no attention to detail has been spared. The result is a satisfying union whereby products are rooted in antiques but then given a contemporary feel.”

Vaughan is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Vaughan

Heathfield & Co welcomes spring and ‘invigorate interiors’

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Heathfield & Co welcomes spring and ‘invigorate interiors’

With days getting longer and the weather getting warmer, the newly arrived spring season brings with it new inspiration and the opportunity to reset and refresh. With their spring curation, Heathfield & Co embraces a sense of optimism and new beginnings…

In a delicate palette of natural blues, earthy greens and off whites, Heathfield’s Spring favourites invigorate interior spaces to create a lighter, brighter aesthetic.

With a softly fluted form, Heathfield’s classic Elenor table lamp (above left) captures the essence of Spring. Its subtle crackled glaze reflects the delicate veins running through petals and leaves. In the same delicate crackle finish, the Camellia table lamp (above right) is a petite rounded base, representing the beauty of the fine details found in nature.

A delicate colour gradient transitions Heathfield’s Laurel table lamp (above left) from a deep moss green at the base to a light spring white at the top. The hexagonal honeycomb structure on the surface features strong lines and deep ridges, mirroring the complex prism shapes seen on the surface of the Laurel leaf. Taking inspiration directly from spring flowering snowdrops, the Nivalis wall light (above right) features glass shades reflecting the classic bell shaped flower and pointed petals. In a beautiful white dappled finish, each glass shade is unique and complemented with considered metalwork in the form of a snowdrop stem.

06. Heathfield & Co Eden Table Lamp

Image credit: Heathfield & Co

Light fabrics, textured surfaces and neutral tones reflect the blossoming outdoors, transitioning interiors in a seasonal update that provides a warm and inviting atmosphere. Organic shapes paired with muted and soft details from Heathfield’s collection create a textural and tonal style; adding paired back simplicity to any interior scheme.

Heathfield & Co 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: Heathfield & Co

Chelsom LED EYE

LED EYE from Chelsom wins Red Dot Award

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
LED EYE from Chelsom wins Red Dot Award

Chelsom has achieved a design milestone by being awarded the Red Dot Award in the ‘Product Design’ category, for its brand new LED reading light, LED EYE…

Chelsom LED EYE

It is considered to be the most prestigious product design competition in the world, The Red Dot Awards is judged by a panel of leading design experts from a variety of industries. Thousands of products from more than 60 countries were submitted with each product being evaluated on design quality and innovation in a judging process lasting several days. Well, lighting brand Chelsom was announced a winner at this year’s awards ceremony in the ‘product design’ category for its LED EYE. The award recognises Chelsom’s hard work and continued commitment in creating design-led original products.

On notifying Chelsom of their award, Founder and CEO of Red Dot, Professor Dr. Peter Zec, commented: “Never before in the more than 60-year history of our design competition have so many companies and design studios faced the professional judgment of our international jury as this year. Products from around 60 countries reached us, and their design quality and degree of innovation were evaluated in a process lasting several days. The fact that you claimed your place in a strong field of participants speaks for the excellent quality of your product.”

Chelsom designs and manufactures decorative lighting for the global hotel and marine industries and their in-house designs have enabled them to win prestigious projects all over the world. Chelsom has an exceptionally strong client base including major operators such as Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Royal Caribbean and Virgin Voyages.

When designing the LED EYE collection, Will and Robert Chelsom wanted to yet again disrupt the guestroom head board LED Reading Light design status quo by fusing totally original aesthetics and raw functionality. Will Chelsom, Managing Director, says: “The starting point was to create a product which nestled into a headboard with minimum projection whilst serving as a decorative accent to an interior design scheme. It had to start with ‘the look’ of the product but quickly we focussed all of our efforts on creating a thoroughly advanced mechanical design which made ‘THE EYE’ easy to use and essential to any guestroom design scheme.”

The labour of love for the father and son team saw this design process completed within an 18-month period, a process that required infallible design, engineering and technological precision making the award win even more of an achievement. Will added: “We are of course truly honoured to receive this seal of quality for outstanding product design. We pride ourselves on our original designs and would like to thank everyone at the Red Dot Awards for their recognition.”

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

A marble like chandelier in dining room

Product watch: The Nova Collection by Heathfield & Co

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: The Nova Collection by Heathfield & Co

“The inspiration for the Nova Collection by Heathfield & Co has developed through conversation, in response to what is happening around us. At a time of such change, we have evolved our aesthetic to create designs with a new, conscious approach…”

A marble like chandelier in dining room

Reflecting on the brand’s product range, Heathfield & C0 highlight the design features that define them – glass production techniques that they know and have mastered over many years. Building on this foundation, the Nova Collection covers new ground.

Exploratory finishes reimagined on beautifully simple glass forms are complemented by solid brass details, with a fit and finish that elevates the design. The considered connection of these elements create the focus for their new collection of clean and contemporary lighting.

Milo and Cosmo

White glass grains disperse naturally across the surfaces of Heathfield’s new Milo and Cosmo pendants, forming irregular patterning unique to every piece. Evoking a sense of serenity, the cloud-like formations captivate, inspiring the imagination to detect individual shapes and outlines. In two considered forms, light diffuses softly though the glass, casting harmonious reflections across their surrounding space.

Orla

Image caption: Orla wall lights | Image credit: Heathfield & Co

Characterised by its uniquely speckled finish and curved form, Orla is an expressive creation. Metallic grains are protected in a cocoon formed by two layers of molten glass, in an artisanal technique practiced by talented glassmakers. As the metal reacts, the delicately tapered bowl shaped glass frames the volcanic frit on its surface, creating infinite variations of markings on each piece.

Main image caption: Orla 5 Light Horizontal pendant | Image credit: Heathfield & Co

Main image for virtual roundtable on bespoke possibilities in luxury design

Virtual roundtable: Bespoke possibilities in luxury design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Virtual roundtable: Bespoke possibilities in luxury design

To specify or not to specify, that was the initial question that editor Hamish Kilburn put forward to our expert panel of designers and lighting masterminds for our latest roundtable, in association with bespoke lighting brand Dernier & Hamlyn, on bespoke possibilities in luxury design…

Main image for virtual roundtable on bespoke possibilities in luxury design

There are a plethora of well-documented benefits linked to selecting bespoke products in a luxury brief – it eliminates the need to flex or drastically change the interior design scheme, for starters. Bespoke is therefore, in many if not all scenarios, the best and most preferred solution among leading designers where budget is no barrier. Or is it? In association with the bespoke lighting experts at Dernier & Hamlyn, we recently invited a cluster of leading interior designers and world-renowned lighting experts in order to explore the bespoke possibilities in luxury design. As well as understanding today’s perception of ‘luxury’ among clients and guests alike, we were intrigued to also understand the pitfalls designers should avoid when deciding to go bespoke.

Meet the panel: 

Hamish Kilburn: How have hotel operators’ perception of luxury design changed over the past few years? Is what used to be considered luxury now standard? And what does this mean for designers in ensuring their schemes exude luxury?

Justin Wells: We pontificate over luxury so much – it’s just like defining colour! Firstly, it’s very important to know your audience – and that includes understanding cultures and demographics. In our experience, luxury in North America has been around legacy brands. In more perhaps progressive markets, such as South East Asia, for example, they are certainly trying to reposition luxury to be more lifestyle. In the region of the Middle East, which is where I am now, the perception of luxury is to make up for lost time. Elsewhere, in more mature markets, such as Europe, there’s certainly a reinvention happening at the moment, which is very exciting.

HK: You talk about perception, which makes me want to bring in social media and this demand for ‘accessible luxury’ into the conversation. Has that damaged the integrity of luxury hospitality?

Simon Rawlings: It’s interesting, we’re finding that luxury is becoming more standardised, certainly when it comes to peoples’ expectations of luxury. With many brands and experiences that are global, we’re really seeing that each region’s differences are disappearing, which is actually quite boring when you want to emphasise differences.

 “Authentic luxury has to be very particular to that project, and to standardise luxury is dangerous.” – Simon Rawlings, Creative Director, David Collins Studio.

Luxury is a difficult thing to pinpoint and it can be as simple as beautiful service in an ordinary space. Authentic luxury has to be very particular to that project, and to standardise luxury is dangerous.

Also, we will never get a brief that says ‘we want to be a luxury hotel’. Instead, it will be the ideas and thoughts around sustainability, aims to stand out from the crowd that, combined, lead spaces and projects to look and feel more luxurious. The idea that luxury is lavish and excessive is an outdated mindset. For us, it’s been an interesting and exciting time recently because a lot of the briefs we have received in the last few months show that people are really willing to invest in good design.

“The luxury element 10 – 20 years ago would have been more around the materials and finishes, but it’s less and less about that now.” – Kirsten King, Design Director, Bergman Interiors.

Image caption: Interiors inside Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, designed by David Collins Studio, which features bespoke lighting from Dernier & Hamlyn | Image credit: Jack Hardy

Image caption: Interiors inside Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, designed by David Collins Studio, which features bespoke lighting from Dernier & Hamlyn | Image credit: Jack Hardy

Kirstin King: For us, the luxury element 10 – 20 years ago would have been more around the materials and finishes, but it’s less and less about that now. Instead, it has become much more about lifestyle. We have to think more intelligently to really understand the local craftsmen, and in doing so we need to pair things back to allow the ambiance to naturally reflect luxury.

Paul Nulty: For us, luxury lighting design is something that fires all the senses. Whether it’s visual or a composition. If it’s heightening the senses and the emotional connection with that space, then it feels luxurious.

HK: Similarly, how have guests’ perceptions of luxury design changed over the past few years?

Hamish Brown: We have always worked with private clients, and our understanding on what luxury guests need and demand stems from experience in residential. The key difference that consumers are expecting now is that sense of place. Across all brands, the industry went through a brief moment of standardisation, but now we are seeing brands really understand and celebrate cultural difference. For example, if you take two Four Seasons properties in two locations within one country. By both capturing the local flavours of their unique destination, it sets them aside from each other. That in itself becomes luxurious, bespoke and individual. And then, what happens is that the brand’s DNA gets threaded into the design scheme through consistent service – it’s no longer a look or an aesthetic but much more a feeling.

HK: With the sheer number of options that suppliers offer in their standard ranges these days, why is the demand for bespoke design in luxury projects still growing?

Jo Littlefair: I think that bespoke design, both in hospitality and high-end residential, gives you the flexibility to respond to a project individually – it’s a great way to bring in local vernacular. It’s really important for us to give a strong identity. In our studio, nothing is a cookie-cutter approach. Instead, we respond to everything individually – and I think bespoke design gives you that ability to scale and size things perfectly. It allows us to really craft interiors as opposed to just select them.

Mayfair Townhouse peacock entrance

Image caption: a 67-inch peacock sculpture adorned in 25,000 Swarovski crystals sits inside the Mayfair Townhouse, designed by Goddard Littlefair | Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

SR: We’ve started specifying more than we have ever done. Yes, of course, there’s still the demand for bespoke, but there are so many incredible designers who are creating some really awesome things that we love to embrace and collaborate with them on. With the Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, for example, one of our goals was to specify as many statement pieces as we could. As someone who has always championed bespoke everything, I don’t think by specifying you get a lesser product, and I don’t think the clients think anything less of it either. It’s changing, and there are a lot of us who have our own collections so we will specify our own products for certain projects.

“The quality of the end bespoke product is not necessary as high as something that has been crafted over many years.” – Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners.

Tina Norden: I would say that there are regional differences. Particularly in Asia, clients may believe you can get the product cheaper but sometimes the quality of the end product is not necessary as high as something that has been crafted over many years. Therefore, you have to be extremely careful as an interior designer. You need the right manufacturer you can trust that allows you to see the prototypes – we have all been there when that simply isn’t an option.

With the late Sir Terence Conran traditionally being a furniture designer, we have always had – and shown huge respect for – the work that furniture designers do. I guess that sometimes people don’t appreciate how much time specifiers take to get products just right.

HK: You’re right, Tina! Trust is vital – and the relationship now between quality suppliers and designers is stronger than it has ever been, is it not?

Mark Harper: We are seeing and contributing to more artisan people who are being specified. For us, as a bespoke lighting manufacturer, we do what we do to the highest level of quality.

HK: At what point in the design process do you decide bespoke is the best option?

PN: Designers go bespoke when they cannot find a product on the market that achieves the look, feel and quality that they are looking for. Perhaps the bespoke product will give a slightly different glow, but for me it comes back to the senses. It’s relevantly simple, and yet extremely complex at the same time.

Shayne Brady: At the end of the day, it is a case-by-case basis – and it depends on different factors. We often have clients come to us with a specific vision. In Bob Bob Cite, for example, the client wanted to create a full suite of bespoke wall and ceiling lights. Bespoke is great when you are working in a space that has high volume because you can customise each product to fit the space.

Image caption: Bob Citi Citi diner, designed by Brady Williams Studio, which includes bespoke lighting from Dernier & Hamlyn | Image credit: Bob Citi Citi

Image caption: Bob Bob Citi diner, designed by Brady Williams Studio, which includes bespoke lighting from Dernier & Hamlyn | Image credit: Bob Bob Citi

HK: Do bespoke projects always have to be the statement design pieces?

TN: In lighting terms, quite often it is. Ultimately, it is really coming down to the client and the location. Quite often in Europe, making something bespoke can actually feel a lot more special. Whereas in Asia, it feels more luxurious to select something from a high-end brand as a feature piece.

HK: And surely if you have a really ambitious idea that is pretty unconventional, bespoke becomes your best and sometimes only option – and Kirstin I am thinking about your project, The Engine Room…

KK: It was a really interesting project for the team here. The idea was an indoor rowing club that was sheltered in a converted church. The budget was low and therefore we recycled a lot. For example, the juice bar was made out of church pews. I would say 60 per cent of that project was lighting. As the guests were working out, the lighting would move and react in order to enhance performance. We worked very closely with the lighting designers to create that effect.

Image caption: The Engine Room, designed by Bergman Interiors | Image credit: The Engine Room

Image caption: The Engine Room, designed by Bergman Interiors | Image credit: The Engine Room

HK: That is a great example of using the demographic of where you are and thinking outside the box, and elevating the five senses. Are designers now approaching projects more holistically with sound and smell in mind?

“For me, sound and lighting are very closely linked – maybe that’s me going back to my clubbing days.” – Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners.

TN: Yes, very much so. A few weeks ago, at Hotel Designs LIVE, we discussed how sound was being used in experience. For me, sound and lighting are very closely linked – maybe that’s me going back to my clubbing days. It’s all enhancing the overall ambiance.

PN: Multi-sensory lighting and design is the future! We started offering sound design in some projects. Going beyond acoustics, we are very interested to understand how sound can help enhance the consumer journey and we are seeing this now in hospitality. The third element of that is smell, which is becoming really important. Lighting, sound and smell work together, almost as a set of sub-consultants in design and architecture.

A bespoke lighting scheme by Nulty Lighting for the Earth Hotels concept at Downtown Dubai | Image credit: Nulty Lighting

A bespoke lighting scheme by Nulty Lighting for the Earth Hotels concept at Downtown Dubai | Image credit: Nulty Lighting

HK:  That’s extremely difficult to get right when all of those elements are very personal.

PN: Absolutely, and that’s why you have to really understand the brand from the outset of the project and what you want that user experience to be.

TN: That’s the key, it’s about being specific and designing for the demographic. You are not trying to please everyone.

“There will be dialogue about creating separation – which removes barriers and planning. In many ways, that’s allowing brands to reinvent themselves.” – Justin Wells, CEO, Wells International.

Blue co

Image caption: The Maximilian Hotel in Prague, designed by Conran and Partners

SR: I was doing an interview recently where I was asked when we come out of this pandemic whether or not people are going to struggle with noisy areas, and it’s an interesting point. At the same time, I met a sound identity designer. There are so many people listening in on podcasts these days. Ultimately, it made me realise that you can close your eyes but you cannot close your ears.

JW: We are trying to create thriving spaces and there were a lot of social collisions in these areas before the pandemic. However, now there will be dialogue about creating separation – which removes barriers and planning. In many ways, that’s allowing brands to reinvent themselves.

“Our clients reported that spend was greater on the tables that had more space.” – Shayne Brady, Director, Brady Williams.

SB: In between the second and third lockdown here in the UK, the guests were really appreciative and enjoyed the restaurants that had more space – not from a Covid perspective, but more from a luxury point of view. Actually, our clients reported that spend was greater on the tables that had more space. Perhaps we don’t need as many covers as we used to have.

HK: Do you therefore think that F&B spaces will be larger and take up more space?

SB: It will be more of a dialogue, for sure. There are more questions around capacity and what the sense of luxury means. Not being confined is luxury to me because that makes the experience far better.

“When we come out of this, there will be a need to decompress even more.” – Jo Littlefair, Co-Founder and Director, Goddard Littlefair.

JL: Pre-pandemic we were thinking about de-compression. We are very aware that people need that disconnect. The pandemic has definitely amplified that. When we come out of this, there will be a need to decompress even more.

Image caption: W Abu Dhabi Yas Island, designed by Wells International | Image credit: W Hotels

Image caption: W Abu Dhabi Yas Island, designed by Justin Wells | Image credit: W Hotels

HK: And now for a word that brings shivers down our spines: trends… what are the topics and movements that are dominating your conversations at the moment?

MH: We have seen an increase in enquires and requests for natural materials and clean lines with a traditional twist. What we are going to see now is the bigger picture; it’s about longevity and sustainability. Also, you cannot ignore the fact that LED technology has come on leaps and bounds and I expect that to evolve further and faster than perhaps ever before.

SR: LEDs are a nightmare, though, because the colour temperature on every single LED is different. So, trying to marry the interior design is very difficult. We still end up using filament bulbs because you just can’t rectify it.

PN: One big trend we are seeing is towards wellness – certainly towards business hotels and using lighting to mitigate jetlag. Lighting using circadian rhythm has a huge role to play in that. There’s a hotel in Reykjavik where the lighting is tied in to the alarm clock, and it illuminates before the sound of the alarm clock goes off in order to wake the guest up gently.

HK: Is that extremely expensive? For me, the benefits of circadian rhythm in lighting is so obvious, so why is it therefore not in more hotel design schemes?

PN: It’s more expensive and of course if you’ve got a 300-key hotel then it adds up. However, the benefits of that technology are being more and more proven.

HK: Do you worry about suppliers copying a bespoke design after seeing it in your projects? Does anyone have any examples of this they can/would like to share?

HB: Yes, you see that in parts of Asia and it’s not ideal, but it’s unfortunately part of our work that is always there.

 TN: I think there’s an opportunity there. If we work together with the manufacturer on a product going forward then it beats them at their own game.

HK: The ‘Norden’ chandelier, you heard it here first! Other than the ‘Norden’ collection, what’s lacking in lighting at the moment?

HB: Being able to visual prototypes in lighting is very important and be able to adapt and mold them in that creative process allows us to do more things.

SR: I agree. The first thing we want to know is what type of light the product will give off. If there was a tool to establish that, it would help us understand which light a fixture will give. For me that comes before what the product looks like. Some way of understanding the type of light the fixtures give off would be so invaluable.

“The issue is that designers love the materiality of stuff. It’s trying to engage with the intangible stuff.” – Paul Nulty, Founder, Nulty Lighting.

SB: That is interesting. We are working on a project at the moment where they have that already for furniture, but something similar in lighting would be very helpful.

PN: I agree with you. The issue is that designers love the materiality of stuff. It’s trying to engage with the intangible stuff. So many people disregard the quality of light. Quality of light and quantity of light are independent and are, I believe, misunderstood.

KK: From my experience, this should happen before we get fully into a project. Maybe it should happen even earlier!

striking bar with marble surfaces featuring distressed mirrors

Image caption: Worlds away from the hustle and bustle of London life above, The Spa at The Lanesborough was sensitively designed by 1508 London | Image credit: 1508 London/The Lanesborough

HK: Let’s finish by talking tech. The advancement of render software is incredible; it has given designers a tool to be more accurate and as a result allowed them to make informed decisions ahead of purchasing. However, it does also mean that clients now expect to see sharp renders in pitches. Does this ever narrow the window for new ideas to come into the project once it has been won?

HB: It’s such a hot topic at the moment within our studio and we have invested in a lot of technology at the moment to really confront this. You are correct in terms of narrowing down the window – and there is always a debate in our minds as to how far you go in the pitch. Right now, I think renders should happen later in the process and there has to be a visualisation tool that is a half-way house. That journey has to be a process – and that’s how you get a perfect space.

HK: And you are all competing against each other to win projects… Does it require across the board, designers stating that they will only present sketches?

HB: It would be amazing to have a conversation with designers to establish how far we should all be going in a pitch.

HK: It’s catch 22. As tech improves and the clients and consumers’ knowledge of design expands then so too does the demand for wanting to see more in a pitch.

KK: I agree totally. Sometimes the client demands a minimum of three renders in the pitch and it is a huge cost. You want to win the project and you know that everyone else will be producing renders.

SB: It depends on the client. Some clients do not understand the concept of your pitch unless it is a perfect CGI. More and more, these days, the client is very involved and there is a collaboration from start to finish. If you can hook a client with a great idea that is where it should be won.

JW: We always go quite analogue in our pitches. We use vignettes to highlight certain areas. We then, during the pitch, talk about these spaces and elements, which become frameworks. The aim of the pitch is for the client to establish how we think and how we work. If we win a pitch, we will then produce more emotive non-photo realistic renderings. The next set of renders will be marketing quality.

Dernier & Hamlyn, the sponsor of this roundtable, is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

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.

The Ned marble bathroom lighting

Bathroom lighting from Vaughan: A look back at masterpieces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bathroom lighting from Vaughan: A look back at masterpieces

Vaughan was one of the first companies to provide bathroom lighting that was both functional and refined when the brand began designing lights for this purpose more than 15 years ago. Let’s a take a look back at some highlights…

The Ned marble bathroom lighting

Although bathroom lights need to be equipped with an IP44 rating, Lucy and Michael Vaughan also recognised that clients require a product that kept in line with their visual aesthetic. Throughout the past 15 years, Vaughan’s bathroom lights have been featured in numerous hotel projects – from the Soho House Group to Firmdale Hotels, as well as stand-alone projects including Claridge’s and Grantley Hall.  In the past year alone, Vaughan has provided lighting for more than 50 hotels across the United Kingdom and Europe.

Variety, as well as quality, are two central components to Vaughan. Product design is meticulously developed and led by Michael and Lucy Vaughan, co-founders of the company. Their shared background as antique dealers is without a doubt an underlying influence in their creative process.  As Lucy comments: “Our creative process is very much cyclical, updating and reflecting on products we’ve already made and antiques which we have seen throughout our time as dealers.” Bathroom lighting is no exception – with a variety of styles, finishes, metals and shapes available to the trade, and a clear alignment with the brand’s existing lines. Ranging from the more subdued Beverley Wall Light to the more ornate, glass-art beauty of the Morillon Wall Light, Vaughan offers a wide selection of bathroom lighting to choose from, while remaining committed to their pursuit of quality and craftsmanship.

Notable bathroom past projects include The Ned, Gleneagles and St Ermins Hotel as shown above. Other notable hotel projects where Vaughan bathroom lighting was successfully and thoughtfully installed are shown below at the Le Bristol, Paris, Doonbeg in Co. Clare and Ballynahinch Castle in Co. Galway, both in Ireland and Villa Stephanie Spa in Baden Baden, Germany.

Specified by MM Design and installed by Societe SPIE, Hotel Le Bristol has elegantly placed two pairs of Vaughan Octagonal bathroom wall lights in nickel in their deluxe suite bathroom.

Made from solid cast brass and nickel plated, the Octagonal bathroom wall light is one of Vaughan’s early designs – one which is more traditional in style yet still stands the test of time and the design allows for lampshades to soften the light.

Image credit: Le Bristol Paris Suite, with lighting supplied by Vaughan

Image credit: Le Bristol, Paris showing Vaughan’s Octagonal Bathroom Wall lights

Following a recent refurbishment at Ballynahinch Castle in Co. Down Ireland, bathrooms feature Vaughan’s Dover bathroom wall lights in nickel together with Berrington mirrors in a bronze finish.  Inspired by the Art Deco movement, the Dover bathroom wall lights feature a circular backplate and frosted glass cylinders which can be placed horizontally or vertically.

Image credit: Ballynahinch Castle featuring Vaughan’s Dover bathroom wall lights and Berrington mirrors

For the classic and superior bathrooms at Villa Stephanie, part of the Oetker Collection, interior design studio MM Design chose Vaughan’s Norfolk Wall Lights in a sleek nickel finish.  Placed either side of each mirror, the wall lights are topped with a square fabric shade which softly diffuses the light.  The Norfolk is a simple design and form – featuring a rectangular backplate, square candleholder and angular arm.  When combined with the oval sinks, cylindrical worktop legs, and rectangular mirrors, it creates a satisfying, playful interior – one that is predominantly focused on the relationship between different geometric shapes.  Made with a base metal of hot forged brass, the Norfolk is available in a number of finishes – from the chrome one pictured here to antique brass and nickel too.

Vaughan is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Vaughan

Bespoke design in a post-pandemic era of hospitality

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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

NOBU RESTAURANT DCS

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

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: The bespoke lighting narrative inside London’s Nobu hotel

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. Editor Hamish Kilburn exclusively catches up with Lyn Newcombe, Head of Projects at Dernier & Hamlyn and Lewis Taylor, Design Director at David Collins Studio, to capture the full story…

NOBU RESTAURANT DCS

The design narrative for Nobu Hotel London Portman Square was focused on creating an atmosphere of timeless elegance and contemporary luxury. In order to create the right ambience when it came to statement decorative fittings, bespoke lighting manufacturer Dernier & Hamlyn, which has been making bespoke lighting since 1888, became the obvious choice.

The brand’s work for David Collins Studio at the new Nobu London address saw its team’s extensive experience and wide-ranging artisan skills brought to bear in a variety of ways to produce more than 100 individual pieces, all of which were crafted from brass and hand-finished in bronze.

the lobby/lounge with green and purple furniture and modern bar at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square. Image credit: Jack Hardy

Image caption: The lobby/lounge at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square. Image credit: Jack Hardy

Lighting made by the brand features in the most spectacular areas of the hotel including wall, ceiling and pendant lights in the restaurant, bar and private dining room.

Particularly noteworthy bespoke light fittings crafted to David Collins Studio’s design schemes include:

  • In the restaurant’s lobby lounge, a pendant some 1,600mm square and four square luminaires that sit atop cabinets containing wines and spirits comprise hand crafted brass frames fitted with glass panels on which bespoke parchment shades are fitted.
  • Four bronze pendants finished in antique brass some 1,300mm in length are above the sushi bar which were hand cut, shaped and welded fitted with bespoke handmade seeded glass shades.
  • 12 ceiling lights for the main restaurant feature reeded glass tubular shades and hand formed brass end caps. They are fixed using one-metre long, handcrafted brass rods fitted with solid brass spheres.
  • An 80-metre brass track system to accommodate hand-folded, white-paper shades created by Danish bespoke shade maker Le Klint.
  • 12 colonnade wall lights installed in the lobby ceiling, which were formed from brass sheets cut by hand, all pieces individually silver-soldered and finished in a unique bronze shade created by the David Collins Studio team. Light is softly dissipated through the 22 shades created by sandwiching luxury Spanish parchment between glass panels.

“We wanted the lighting to convey Nobu’s strong brand identity and to reference Japanese principles of design without making anything too “themed”.” – Lewis Taylor, Design Director, David Collins Studio.

“This project utilised many of our team’s skills to ensure the lighting we manufactured achieved the quality and attention to detail required,” Lyn Newcombe, Head of Projects at Dernier & Hamlyn, told Hotel Designs. “The lighting they produced for Nobu Hotel London Portman Square is even more exquisite than we hoped for and we have no doubt that the hotel’s guests and diners will have their experience enhanced by the mood it helps to create.”

Following the opening of the hotel, we talked to Lewis Taylor, Design Director at David Collins Studio, to shine the spotlight on the role of lighting inside Nobu Hotel London Portman Square from the designer’s perspective.

Hamish Kilburn: At what point in developing the design concept for hotels do you consider lighting?

Lewis Taylor: Lighting and custom lighting is considered at the very start of the design process along with all the other elements that make up one of our interior designs. Our starting point for a design is always to consider the feeling that the space should evoke, and lighting is such an important factor in creating and maintaining the overall mood of space.

With all the spaces we create, there is a common thread of design details, colours and textures that create the overarching concept and carries through from the furniture design, material selection, custom finishes, and bespoke lighting, that link everything together in a subtle and sophisticated way. So when we start to create this narrative of details at the beginning of the design process we are considering everything holistically, lighting included.

HK: How important is bespoke lighting to you and for which areas do you tend to specify it?

LT: Bespoke lighting really helps to give each project a unique sense of identity that you cannot find with simply specifying a piece.

HK: What were you looking for the lighting to convey/reference at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, and how did you achieve this? 

LT: We wanted the lighting to convey Nobu’s strong brand identity and to reference Japanese principles of design without making anything too “themed”. We looked at simple and honest applications of materials and clean simple shapes that follow the forms created in the interior architecture. Warm and dappled lighting effects really help to give the space an inviting and intimate feeling.

HK: Nobu Hotels is known for blending modern, cool luxury and minimal Japanese tradition. What therefore was the lighting in the restaurant and bar areas’ role in this?

LT: In both spaces the lighting really adds intimacy and interest. In the bar the relatively low lighting levels and dark finishes mean that the lighting really pops. The Japanese book binding paper on the shades on the bar top are unique and the unusual triangular form of these bar lamps are mimicked by the textured glass ceiling pendants.

In the restaurant, the hanging pendants around the perimeter of the room create a calm warm glow, whilst the custom wall lamps on the columns reflect the light beautifully off the textured mirror glass columns.

HK: Very simply, why did you specify Dernier & Hamlyn for this project? 

LT: We have a proven track record of collaborating to create unique lighting pieces that are finished to the highest quality. Their craftsmen and technicians really know the level of detail we will want to go into and the uncompromising quality that we expect. The process of transforming an idea off paper and into reality with them is also an enjoyable one with sampling and mock-ups to ensure the desired finished lighting effect in addition to the finished product.

HK: Have you worked with the brand on other projects?

LT: We have worked with Dernier & Hamlyn on many projects over our 35-year history, in a range of locations and varied sectors, from private home to hospitality and retail space. Our work with them on the custom lighting for Harrods Mens Superbrands being one of the more recent examples.

Dernier & Hamlyn is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Jack Hardy

Image of LED Eye in modern bedroom

Product Watch: LED eye lighting from Chelsom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product Watch: LED eye lighting from Chelsom

Following Chelsom‘s participation at Hotel Designs LIVE on February 23, where the lighting brand pitched Edition 27 in a Product Watch pitch, Hotel Designs takes a closer look at the brand’s latest LED Eye collection…

Image of LED Eye in modern bedroom

When Will and Robert Chelsom designed the iconic bedside reading light LED Dock, the design intent came with years of experience in successfully lighting hotel guestrooms. Trying to mix being inconspicuous and striking at the same time was a big design challenge, little did they know it would become the company’s most successful product ever enhancing hotel schemes in more than 30 countries worldwide. A hard act to follow!

GIF of LED Eye lights by Chelsom

Image credit: Chelsom

As part of Chelsom’s latest collection Edition 27, Will and Robert wanted to move on the aesthetics of a bedside reading light whilst maintaining all the successful features of function and light output. The starting point was to create a product which was inconspicuous in that it nestled successfully into a headboard with minimum projection and yet was cool and stylish to look at when guests first entered the room. Development led to compact and slim outer vessel  which surrounded the ‘eye’, a sculptured cast metal piece which invites the hotel guest to open the eyelid thereby illuminating the light and allowing a full range of movement to create the perfect light spill. Much time and engineering skill went into prototype development ensuring that the cast centrepiece revolve and rotates wit the lightest of touch and can be easily opened to operate the microswitch and closed to extinguish the light.

The highly tactile moulded centrepiece still remains extremely slim with a subtle curve at the bottom edge. Once opened the warm white LED light passes through a high-quality focusing lens to create perfect reading light.  The product comes in 6 different standard finishes; Matt White, Brushed Brass, Brushed Nickle, Satin Black, Brushed Nickle with Satin Black, Brushed Brass with Satin Black and to special order combination finishes are available giving a contrast between the outer vessel and internal moulded eye. The product is CE and UL certified and represents great value given its high- quality function and superb finishing.

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

5 minutes with: Mark Harper, Head of Design at Dernier & Hamlyn

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 minutes with: Mark Harper, Head of Design at Dernier & Hamlyn

Ahead of Hotel Designs’ next roundtable, in association with Dernier & Hamlyn, on bespoke possibilities in luxury design, editor Hamish Kilburn caught up with the brand’s Head of Design, Mark Harper to understand bespoke lighting’s role in tomorrow’s hotel…

Mark Harper is Head of Design at bespoke lighting manufacturer Dernier & Hamlyn. He worked in various manufacturing and design roles and, after a brief spell at other bespoke manufacturers recently returned to the company’s new premises in Surrey. We caught up with him (over Zoom obviously) to talk lamps, lifestyle and lightbulb moments.

Hamish Kilburn: How long have you worked in the lighting industry?

Mark Harper: I’m proud and also a little surprised to say, more than 35 years!

HK: In that time, what have been the major changes you have seen in hotel design?

MH: Mostly to do with the use of technology. When I started out it was nearly all bayonet cap and ES lamp holders, then fluorescent lights became a really big thing and now, of course, LED is the lighting technology of choice. The light they produced was a bit cold and not very user friendly at first, but they have got progressively better and better and it’s rare that anything else is used in most places now.

Also, the technology that we use for both design and manufacturing has really changed the way we work. Things such as CNC and laser cutting has drastically altered production methods and CAD, while 3D rendering and printing has given more scope to the design, development and presentation of our work.  Although I still prefer putting pencil to paper at least during the initial stages of a project. I think it is the best way to experiment with what can be achieved and means I can put my heart into it so that the lighting that is finally in situ in beautiful hotels is part of me as well as the designer’s aspirations.

“It used to be all about varied finishes on metals, and although there is still a lot of that, we are increasingly seeing specifications that include combinations of various woods.” – Mark Harper, Head of Design, Dernier & Hamlyn.

Image caption: Mark Harper working on drawing for Adare Manor Tack Room lighting design

Image caption: Mark Harper working on drawing for Adare Manor Tack Room lighting design

HK: And what would you say are the current challenges you are dealing with?

MH: Sourcing the diverse materials that designers want for their bespoke lighting can be challenging. It used to be all about varied finishes on metals, and although there is still a lot of that, we are increasingly seeing specifications that include combinations of various woods and even skins.

HK: We like to remain upbeat here at Hotel Designs. What are you most looking forward to in 2021?

MH: Hospitality getting back to business. In regards to work, that means sharpening those pencils and helping designers achieve their bespoke lighting dreams for their clients. We’re really looking forward to inviting designers and their clients into our new studio so that we can work collaboratively to engineer and produce the bespoke lighting they want. And out of work that means getting together with friends and family again and enjoying their company.

Image caption: Public areas inside Adhere Manor | Image credit: Dernier & Hamlyn

Image caption: Public areas inside Adhere Manor | Image credit: Dernier & Hamlyn

HK: Are there implications for bespoke lighting post-pandemic?

MH: Not really, but we are, of course, feeling the effects of what is happening to hospitality with people working from home and not coming to our factory as much as they have in the past as well as some holding back of projects. We are starting to see this turn around, which is great for everyone involved in the industry.

HK: What do you think will be the upcoming trends in hospitality design?

MH: I think there will be more and more focus on sustainability, both of the materials utilised and energy usage.

Massive leaps forward have been achieved with the use of LEDs which use around 90 per cent less energy and have a life-expectancy that is 20 times longer than a typical incandescent bulb. This also means they need replacing much less frequently which is good news for hotel operators and their staff and also for designers who can be more confident that their painstakingly designed light fittings, will be kept illuminated as they intended, which was often not the case in the past when non-working lightbulbs were sometimes not replaced for months.

Provenance of the materials we use is increasingly important and will become even more so as younger designers, who tend to be more ethically aware, come through and will want ever more transparency about where and how things were sourced and produced.

HK: What would you have been if you hadn’t been a lighting designer?

MH: Something to do with sport. Probably training of some kind. I was a county level squash player at 17 and also played football to a fairly high standard but stopped most of it when I discovered the kind of things that boys in their late teens usually do. Although I love my job, earning your living from sport must be brilliant. And I’d be fitter a lot than I am too!

HK: What has been your favourite hospitality project?

MH: I have worked on so many over the years that it’s impossible to pick one. Standouts include Adare Manor  and Gleneagles (which Hotel Designs reviewed) both of which are places with illustrious pasts that needed the lighting to make reference to this, while contributing to the designer’s aim for their future ambitions.

Image caption: The Century Bar, Gleneagles | Image credit: Dernier & Hamlyn

Image caption: The Century Bar, Gleneagles | Image credit: Dernier & Hamlyn

Bob Bob Cite, the amazing 190 cover restaurant in the Leadenhall Building, which we made more than 400 light fittings for was brilliant to be part of. And the recent project we have worked on which has been fantastic is lighting for the beautiful restaurant, bar and private dining room at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square. I love the way that the designers have engendered a modern feel with really clever and subtle traditional Japanese twists.

Image caption: Bob Bob Cite restaurant | Image credit: Dernier & Hamlyn

Image caption: Bob Bob Cite restaurant | Image credit: Dernier & Hamlyn

HK: What are the best and worst traits in the designers you have worked with?

MH: The best are those who have a clear vision for what they are trying to achieve with their projects and the role that the bespoke lighting they have specified has in it. I’d rather not dwell on the negatives, but let’s call it indecisiveness to be polite.

Dernier & Hamlyn is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Dernier & Hamlyn

12 design pieces by Hommés Studio that will transform your interiors

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
12 design pieces by Hommés Studio that will transform your interiors

From lighting and mirrors to room dividers and rugs, Hommés Studio presents a perfect selection combining high-end materials in design pieces that will elevate your interiors and offer your design project the desirable unique style…

Hommés believes that a home must express the owner’s soul, as clothes convey the personality of the person who dresses them. With the vibrant purpose of introducing a nouveau Haute Couture Interiors concept, Hommés presents spaces with bold and unique identities.

1) LIGHTING

Lighting plays a significant role in human life today. Since ancient times, it has fascinated us, regarded as a synonym of security and a chance for survival. Adequately selected lighting for the interior can give the room a completely new look.

Cocoon

The shapes of Art Deco jewels inspired cocoon Suspension Lamp. It was designed to bring elegance and character to any living area. A luxury chandelier for a high-end interior design project.

Minelli

Minelli Chandelier reflects an irreverent modern design style. It combines a premium selection of materials, making it the ex-libris of the Hommés Studio ceiling lamps collection.

Dyta

Dyta Table Lamp was designed for lovers of authentic, provocative design. Its structure represents a female silhouette’s shape, holding a globe lamp with a rotating circle in a refined brass finish. The product was inspired by the ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite, associated with love, beauty, pleasure, passion, and procreation.

2) MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL

A mirror is a unique element of interior design. Hommés Studio always intends to offer the boldest and daring option, and this collection is no exception.

It allows us to cover up many of projects’ imperfections and expose their advantages. A room may seem deeper and bigger and a narrow room – wider, thanks to a correctly positioned mirror.

Ibiza

Ibiza is an eye-catching wall mirror perfect for a modern design decor. The hanging mirror is inspired by the raw and timeless textures of the tribes’ decorations, jewels, and artistic elements.

Image of Ibiza mirror

Image caption: Ibiza | Image credit: Hommés Studio

Moritz

Moritz is a luxury wall mirror inspired by the raw and timeless textures of the tribes’ ornaments, jewels, and creative aspects. Moritz’s mirror reflects identity and character to any contemporary wall decor.

Titan

Titan Wall Mirror is a spontaneous and sophisticated mirror design for walls. Inspired by the solar system, Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. This mirror represents a multifunctional design vision. While human beings cannot live on the Titan moon, Titan Wall Mirror can surely be part of their living areas.

3) ROOM DIVIDERS

HOMMÉS Studio presents you with products that offer an eclectic mix of cultures and design styles. From vibrant colors to more neutral tones, this room dividers collection was customized to a luxury lifestyle and elegant interiors.

Rebus

Rebus Folding Screen is the perfect choice for a room divider. This Folding Screen is the encounter between aesthetics and functionality, honoring an expertise handmade manufacture process.

Manu

Manu Folding Screen is a modern project must-have piece. Instantly transform your space with this statement screen: a designer room divider crafted with traditional details.

Zebra

Boasting a melodic and luxury flair in the gentle curves and warm sand tones, the Zebra Folding Screen is perfect for sectioning-up a luxurious space or adding a different mood and texture.

4) RUGS

Exceptional in design and fearless in attitude. Rugs have the power to create a new silhouette in the home and hotel. A welcoming variety of opulence rugs to take your interior design project to another level. With an aesthetic ranging from abstract, organic, and bold design, it will inject colour and personality into any division. A modern rug performs a significant part in space design, a reflection of your distinctive identity in the space you call home.

Antelope Rug

Antelope rug is a design masterpiece, perfect to be part of your next luxury design projects as a statement decor item. The beautiful and one-of-a-kind details will infuse any room division with elegance and magnetism.

Piano

Piano Rug evokes a potent combination of colours and shapes that collide in the same dimension. An abstract design is a bold choice for a modern-living project. Made by the wisest hands, this rug features a unique design. Following the design trends dictated by the interior design gurus, this rug can be placed on a wall as an art piece.

Ammir

Ammir rug is a boundless expression of the Islamic culture. Hand-tufted with New Zealand wool, mohair, and cotton. A mix of shapes and neutral tonalities will make your dining room a one-of-a-kind.

Hommés Studio is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Hommés Studio

eathfield & Co Veletto Wall Light

Product watch: Popular lighting designs from Heathfield & Co

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Popular lighting designs from Heathfield & Co

From the soft curves and natural textures of Elder and Terra, to the simple and understated linear forms of Torchere and Veletto, this month Heathfield & Co celebrates its bestsellers…

eathfield & Co Veletto Wall Light

Featuring classic pieces, recently launched favourites and long established designs, Heathfield’s collection of bestsellers perfectly illustrate popular products for the home. Warm, earthy textures, brass tones and neutral fabric shades complement both classic and contemporary interior schemes.

Image caption: Heathfield & Co's Audrey Pendant

Image caption: Heathfield & Co’s Audrey Pendant

Drawing from a range of influences, from mid-century aesthetic to organic forms, these popular designs in ceramic, glass, wood and metalwork cover decorative and functional styles with a focus on quality and fine details.

Heathfield & Co 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.

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.

Main image credit: Heathfield & Co

Product watch: Ceiling light collection from Chelsom

834 788 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Ceiling light collection from Chelsom

From the looks of things in the Edition 27 collection, which launched last year, Chelsom likes to give designers plenty to play with. With this in mind, Hotel Designs takes a sneak peek at the diverse range of ceiling light options the brand offers…

Every hotel or cruise ship needs a statement chandelier and this eclectic collection has been carefully created to cater for all budgets and applications, taking design aesthetics to the next level without compromising on function and efficiency.

Hello VETRO: a seamless fusion of design and function

Slender disks in brushed brass and sculptured glass create a timeless, elegant design that makes the range extremely versatile for any application in hospitality and marine environments.

This statement pendant dramatically illuminates the surrounding area with each facet of the sculpted glass catching the light creating a striking light effect that is a statement in itself.

Chelsom is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Chelsom

Various images of bathroom mirrors and lights

What’s in the spotlight this March on Hotel Designs?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
What’s in the spotlight this March on Hotel Designs?

This March, Hotel Designs is serving up a multiple stories that will be dedicated to lighting and bathroom; two areas in hotel design that are seeing evolution and meaningful change…

Various images of bathroom mirrors and lights

Throughout March, Hotel Designs will be putting both lighting and bathrooms under its editorial spotlight in order to continue to define the point on international hotel design.

Lighting (part 1)

Due to the popular nature of the topic, the editorial team have planned two features this year dedicated towards lighting solutions. We will be exploring the latest innovations on the market as well as understand more about lighting’s role on the post-pandemic hospitality scene.

Bathrooms (part 1) 

Also being covered in two parts throughout the year, our editorial features around bathrooms will explore hygiene demands and solutions as well as how designers are working on new ways to inject personality in the bathrooms, ahead of the topic being amplified at the next Hotel Designs LIVE in May.

If you are a supplier and would like to find out more about how you could feature in Hotel Designs, or know of a product that we should be talking about, please email Katy Phillips

Main image credit: Villeroy & Boch/Duravit/HBA/Chelsom

1 - Bangle LED - Image Credit Luum

Beautiful lighting from Heathfield & Co and lighting studio Luum

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Beautiful lighting from Heathfield & Co and lighting studio Luum

Capturing the natural world in fixed form by merging light with scale and sculpture, Luum transforms interior spaces with lighting products from Heathfield & Co that stirs a heightened sense of wonder, excitement and energy…

1 - Bangle LED - Image Credit Luum

Beautiful lighting from Heathfield & Co is something we have come to expect – take a look at the Linden Collection, for example. But it’s the brand’s latest collaboration that is really hitting the right notes with our editorial team. Established in 2015, in close connection with Heathfield & Co, design studio Luum presents an inspired collection of beautiful contemporary fittings and large scale installations commissioned for clients across residential, hospitality and commercial sectors.

From the interlocking pyramid configuration of their bestselling Bangle to the decorative disks of Leaf or Samara, the brand’s sculptural fixtures transform interior spaces.

A cascade of aluminium discs pierced with a sunray design, Leaf (pictured above) offers unlimited design possibilities. Look up and you are reminded of the dappled light of the sun filtered through the canopy of a tree. The boundaries of the pendant and the space beyond it are blurred, creating an elegant and adaptable centrepiece.

Inspired by contemporary jewellery, Bangle is constructed by a series of pyramids locked together in a scattered formation to create a geometric sculpture. Available as the original design (pictured above left) or with integrated diffused LED strips (pictured above right) Bangle is a modern lighting sculpture, creating lively interaction between light and shade.

Heathfield & Co 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: Luum

Two images of lighting in kitchen and lighting in lounge

Franklite launches 15 new lighting product ranges

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Franklite launches 15 new lighting product ranges

With designers requesting for variety and choices, Franklite has introduced 15 new lighting ranges, each with its own variations within the brand’s new supplement…

Two images of lighting in kitchen and lighting in lounge

Over the last few months, following a busy 2020, the team at Franklite have been working tirelessly to design a range of products that are not only functional and efficient, but also beautiful and creative. In continuation of Catalogue 26, the brand is launching 15 new product ranges each with its own variations within the new supplement. Here’s our sneak peek of the collection, including our editor’s pick.

The Allium range is perfect for adding style and sophistication to any space. This range consists of two spherical pendants and two half-sphere flush ceiling lights in chrome with elegant, multifaceted crystals on wire stems. The organic curve of the cable adds to the floral aesthetic of the pendant, giving the impression of a stem or vine, perfectly paired with natural interior design elements.

Cut-out image of the Allium range from Franklite

Image credit: Franklite

For those looking for something a bit more contemporary and industrial, the Wain pendants are ideal. These rustic matt finish ‘wheel’ pendants on a chain suspension will compliment a space with wood tones such as exposed ceiling beams and wall panelling ideal in open plan living areas or restaurants. Designed to be used with decorative LED lamps these pendants are available in an eight and 10 light option depending of the size of the space.

Cut-out of Wain lighting product from Franklite

Image credit: Franklite

Editor’s pick

The Prophecy, Hotel Designs’ editor’s pick out of the collection, is a comprehensive range of modern matt black fittings with smoked glass spheres. There are three semi-flush fittings, two pendants for a longer drop, a matching wall bracket and a three light floor lamp. The pendants in the Prophecy range have adjustable arms which allow customers to style the pendant as they like. Whilst the bold, smoked globes create a moody and minimalist aesthetic.

For a more subtle, yet extraordinary, industrial pendant we have the Precis range. These elongated dome shaped pendants feature a sturdy, smooth cement outer shell. With two interior options, either in a copper or satin nickel finish, this pendant will go with most kitchen accents.

Cut-out of Precis in the Franklite range

Image credit: Franklite

Franklite is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

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.

Main image credit: Franklite

A Chelsom LED reading light above a white bed

Product watch: LED reading lights from Chelsom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: LED reading lights from Chelsom

As part of Chelsom’s new collection, Edition 27, the dynamic lighting brand has introduced a ‘totally original’ collection of LED reading lights…

A Chelsom LED reading light above a white bed

Edition 27, as reviewed by our team last year, is an eclectic lighting collection, featuring beautifully designed lighting products – from striking chandeliers to LED reading lights – specifically for the global hospitality and marine interior design marketplaces.

Amongst many things, Edition 27 offers the widest range of LED reading lights in the company’s history. The versatile collection has been created to cater for all budgets and applications, taking design aesthetics to the next level without compromising on function and light output.

Products are CE and UL certified and all ranges are available in a variety of finishes, ensuring there is something perfectly suited to compliment any interior.

The brand new state-of-the-art LED reading light is discreet yet striking and perfectly easy to use. This wholly original design sits flush into any headboard and is as stunning when closed as it is open.

Since you’re here, why not read more about Chelsom’s Edition 27, which launched in Q4 last year?

Chelsom is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Chelsom

Two lights insight Hilton Hotel Airport

Case study: making style a priority in Hilton at Gatwick

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: making style a priority in Hilton at Gatwick

Putting the spotlight for a moment on style, lighting brand Franklite reveals how its products were used to created timeless design inside Hilton London Gatwick Airport…

Two lights insight Hilton Hotel Airport

What factors do you consider when making a hotel reservation? Location? Route accessibility? Price? Whilst these are all important factors, equally important ones to consider are comfort, style and luxury. There is nothing more satisfying for a lighting brand to see their products being used in a creative way especially when it adds luxury and style to a space, such as this project from the Hilton London Gatwick Airport.

A subtle yet impactful light is the Aura wall light range. Designed to be inconspicuous until lit, this modern matt black cast aluminium LED fitting lines the hotel’s corridors. The foyer showcases multiple versions of this range as well each reflecting different light patterns onto the walls. When these beautiful patterns are cast it creates a piece of art.

The single-drop Cordelia is ideal for above a bar area within a restaurant. These beautiful satin brushed pendants with textured glass bases are available in gold and silver with some accents of chrome and matt black. The multi-drop versions will make a statement in a larger space such as a reception area or staircase.

The dining area has been divided into two distinct spaces by using different lighting families, the Eros and Spirit ranges. An additional feature of the Eros ceiling lights is the emergency reserve battery hidden within the fitting, combining style and functionality.

The dining area with our Eros and Spirit ceiling lights

Image credit: Franklite

Another exquisite feature in this area is the Eros wall light which has been installed within a frame-like moulding with decorative wall paper which accentuates the architecture of the space.

Franklite has been manufacturing and distributing lighting products for more than 45 years. The experts in its customer service and projects teams understand the importance of keeping up to date with changes in regulation, the development of efficient light sources, and changing interior design trends.

Franklite is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Image credit: Franklite

A close up of the Azzero Collection by Heathfield & Co

Heathfield & Co collaborates with Harris & Harris to create Azzero Collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Heathfield & Co collaborates with Harris & Harris to create Azzero Collection

Heathfield & Co’s lighting range with conscious design studio Harris & Harris centres on innovative use of materials, crafted with expertise and precision…

The Azzero Collection by Heathfield & Co in collaboration with Harris & Harris range’s aesthetic is underpinned by the prominent use of terrazzo stone; a material with a rich design heritage.

A close up of the Azzero Collection by Heathfield & Co

Presented in a black and white speckled finish, the terrazzo is paired with Rich Gold metalwork in a minimal form, and Opal white glass capsules, which provide a soft ambient glow.

With a minimal and sophisticated form, the Azzero table lamp (right) features a two-tone cylindrical base. The vertical stem leads to a deeply ribbed centre body which holds two delicately lit outward facing opal glass capsules. An extension of the table lamp design, the Azzero floor lamp (bottom) features a large rounded base in speckled black and white terrazzo stone. The Azzero desk lamp (left) is defined by its angular stem and intersecting ribbed metal cowl, making it an elegant addition to any home office or working space.

A

Image credit: Heathfield & Co

Heathfield & Co 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: Heathfield & Co

Franklite collage

Year in Review: Franklite reflects on its hero launches

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Year in Review: Franklite reflects on its hero launches

To conclude our Year in Review series, lighting brand Franklite throws it back to highlight the brand’s major launches of 2020…

Franklite has played an exceptional role in various projects over the course of the year, ranging from luxury hotels to executive homes over the UK and providing a range of exquisite lighting solutions to complement each individual space.

Franklite collage

The Taper Pendant has become a popular choice this year as it has appeared in numerous spaces including show homes and hotels. Available in smoked, copper and amber glass finish, these angle-cut pendants are on a matt black plate with black braided suspensions.

The single-drop Cordelia is ideal for above a bar area within a restaurant as displayed at the Hilton Gatwick Hotel. These beautiful satin brushed pendants with heavily textured glass bases to diffuse the light are available in gold and silver with some accents of chrome and matt black. The multi-drop versions will make a statement in a larger space such as a reception area or staircase.

Another favourite is the Dandy fitting, a contemporary spherical pendant in matt gold with matt black discs around the outside. A cluster of these pendants are featured perfectly within the recessed ceiling of the Vista restaurant at the Gleddoch Hotel.

2020 also saw the launch of Franklite’s Catalogue 26, showcasing an extensive range of fittings filled with a combination of innovative designs and our classic Franklite products that customers have come to know and love.

As the year draws to a close, we are putting the final touches to our first Catalogue 26 supplement, which will feature exciting new lighting solutions available to order from early 2021.

Franklite is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Franklite

Year in Review – lighting by Christopher Hyde

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Year in Review – lighting by Christopher Hyde

As we conclude our Year In Review, we take a look at what Christopher Hyde has launched in the last 12 months…

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Christopher Hyde launched a stunning new bathroom collection of opulent light fixtures. This exquisite collection of wall fixtures has captured the luxury quality that Christopher Hyde stands for without compromising on performance.

These fixtures can be manufactured to the IP44 standard allowing them to be specified for bathroom designs and fitted near showers, baths, and basins. Perfect for adding a splash of extravagance to those areas that need protection against moisture or dust, but equally as suitable for adorning a formal sitting room or hallway.

Not only did Christopher Hyde launch a new collection this year but also invested in a high-end renovation for its showroom in The Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. The upgrade has provided our customers with even more space to view each fitting in comfort and style.

Neutral colour tones, soft grey panelled walls with light pine wood flooring all add to the aesthetics of the space. The implementation of an open plan concept creates a natural flow throughout the showroom. It is important to showcase each individual fixture to its full potential and now our products can be viewed from multiple angles.

As the year draws to a close and we reflect on the changes it has brought we can guarantee that at Christopher Hyde we will continue to create a tailored experience for each and every one of our valued customers.

Christopher Hyde is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Christopher Hyde

 

Product watch: Heathfied & Co’s Pearl Collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Heathfied & Co’s Pearl Collection

Inspired by the iconic and classic symbolism of pearls featured throughout fashion, beauty and film over the years, Heathfield & Co’s Pearl Collection reflects the rare beauty of this unique gemstone…

Whilst each piece holds its own distinctive influence, opal glass spheres and hemispheres are characteristic throughout, each providing a soft ambient glow. Curved brass metalwork, subtly reflective surfaces and asymmetric configurations are combined to provide a cohesive visual identity.

Referencing a pearls timeless and traditional nature, these innovative designs carefully reinterpret the original aesthetic to create a simple, yet elegant range of contemporary lighting.

Perfectly petite, our Halo table lamp (left) demonstrates a contemporary design highlighted with classic styling. The subtly tapered alabaster cone creates a soft aesthetic, set off against polished brass metalwork and a defined opal glass globe, which provides an ambient glow.

Drawing inspiration from classic jewellery design, the vertical body of the brand’s Vermeer pendant (right) creates an elegant aesthetic in any interior. The piece features four opal glass spheres, asymmetrically positioned around its minimal form.

Audrey Pendant in the Pearl Collection | Image credit Heathfield & Co

Image caption: Audrey Pendant in the Pearl Collection | Image credit Heathfield & Co

Heathfield & Co 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: Gabriella Pendant in the Pearl Collection | Image credit Heathfield & Co

Green light

Product watch: new ‘greenworld’ lighting from Inspired by design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: new ‘greenworld’ lighting from Inspired by design

Inspired By Design, which was a Product Watch Pitch partner of Hotel Designs LIVE, brings the outside indoors with its new range of biophilic lighting. The brand’s Simon Shuck explains…

Green light

During the pandemic, being outside and connecting with nature has never been more important. This helps us to relax and think more clearly. Following our recent attendance at two Hotel Designs LIVE virtual conferences, where public areas were put under the spotlight, it became apparent that this type of lighting is of paramount importance.

Public areas suffused with biophilic lighting exudes calmness and are more welcoming and have been reported to increase room rates. As moss and other biophilic materials absorb excessive noise, they create a more tranquil atmosphere reducing stress levels which is particularly beneficial in busy hotels, offices or clinical settings. So we realised that biophilic design enhanced entrances and other areas to be more inviting.

Our moss and foliage is 100 per cent natural and maintenance-free and can also be used to create walls and dividers to aid absorbing sound in open spaces; ideal for large lobbies in hotels and commercial buildings.

Bespoke lighting solutions

Whether dramatic, delicate or discreet, we work bespoke to transform lighting ideas into reality – however flamboyant, we offer bespoke solutions. As one of the UK’s leading lighting suppliers, we love creating unique designs – the more fantastic the better.

Our lighting is sheltered in five-star hotels worldwide including London, Monaco and Beverley Hills and Dubai.

More recently, we are just about to start working on a new Hilton hotel in Woking, which is being structurally designed by architecture firm Gensler, where we will be supplying all the bedroom lighting together with bespoke decorative in all the public areas.

Since you’re here, why not read our Hotel Designs LAB article on biophillic design 2.0 – from living walls to living hotels?

Presently we are quoting for all the external lighting for a resort in Seychelles.

Inspired By Design was a Product Watch Pitch Partner at Hotel Designs LIVE. 

Main image credit: Inspired By Design

A purple lit bathroom with black bath and candles on the floor

Industry insight: adding personality in the bathroom with scenic lighting

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: adding personality in the bathroom with scenic lighting

Bathroom brand Duravit explores lighting in the bathrooms, both as a functional element and as a personal one…

Light is functional and atmospheric and plays an elementary role in the bathroom. There are three aspects that need to be considered for the perfect lighting setup: basic lighting, accent lighting, and functional lighting.

A purple lit bathroom with black bath and candles on the floor

While basic lighting lights our way, accent lighting injects a feel-good factor into the lighting concept. Contrast-rich and expressive lighting generates a stimulating atmosphere in the bathroom and creates cozy accents. Conversely, the focus at the washing area is on functional lighting this needs to be bright without dazzling the user.

Image caption: Illuminated treasure chest: an optional inner lighting system is available for the Happy D.2 Plus vanity unit. The LED light turns on or off when the drawer is opened or closed. | Image credit: Duravit

From warm white to neutral white and up to daylight white – the spectrum of light colours ranges from warm yellow to cool blue, you can enjoy the perfect light at any time of day: cold in the morning to wake you up, warm in the evening to help you relax.

Duravit is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly feature in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Since you’re here, why not read more about the psychology of colour?

Main image caption: Candlelight and mirror lighting light up the darkness: Happy D.2 Plus mirror with circular ambient light. The LED- lighting can be individually configured via the touchscreen | Image credit: Duravit

Image of pictures hung on the wall

Industry insight: the art of lighting

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: the art of lighting

As we begin to steer our editorial attention towards art, lighting brand Franklite offers an interesting perspective on the possibilities of creative lighting schemes…

Image of pictures hung on the wall

Artists use light to give form, depth and atmosphere to their piece when they sculpt. By studying the way light works artists used this knowledge to evoke an emotional response with their audience. Leonardo Da Vinci researched the effects of light during the renaissance, breathing a new sense of life and realness into his paintings that wasn’t present in the most religious art of that time.

With light being so important in the creation of art, it is equally, if not more, important in the display of that art. There are various ways to light art, ranging from the picture light to the framing projector. Accent lighting is used to highlight pictures and collections by accentuating architectural features, adding drama and creating a mood.

Last year in Amsterdam at the Independent Hotel Show, Franklite collaborated with the Saatchi Gallery to illuminate their exhibition. In these portrait pieces it was important to highlight the faces of the subjects. For this the lighting designer decided to utilise our adjustable picture lights to direct the light source as required.

The brand’s picture lights are available in modern matt gold, bronze, polished brass and satin nickel finishes to suit any décor and the LED lamps come in a variety of colour temperatures to help you evoke the right mood for the space – and picture light dimming options are also available.

Franklite is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

*Lights supplied for the Saatchi Art Gallery by Franklite.

Main image credit: Franklite

A number of wall and floor light pendents

Product watch: Sustainable Kyoto lighting by Harris & Harris

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Sustainable Kyoto lighting by Harris & Harris

Harris & Harris, an environmentally and socially responsible interior and product design studio, unveils the Kyoto range, a sustainable lighting family with Eastern influences featuring bamboo and opal glass…

A number of wall and floor light pendents

The Kyoto lighting range by Harris & Harris is a calming lighting family, will provide a sense of zen to any interior.

The designs are influenced by the Harris & Harris’s founders European and Asian heritage coupled with Modernism and 1960s Pop Design and their love of craft and texture

The lights are named after Japan’s historical city of Kyoto and comprises floor light, wall light, pendant and 2 sizes of table light for both residential and commercial settings

Hand made to order in England, the group of lights feature a mix of highly sustainable solid bamboo with bamboo sticks & string, reminiscent of a sushi rolling mat. A warm and soothing light emits from the matt opal glass globe, containing a low energy and efficient E14 G9 LED bulb. In the case of the floor and table lights, a woven power flex exits the bamboo ‘lily pad’ shaped base with an inline switch.

While you’re here, why not read more about how the conscious design studio Harris & Harris was born?

Main image credit: Harris & Harris

Feature: How lighting has changed

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Feature: How lighting has changed

To mark Lighting being put under the editorial spotlight for the second time this year, Hotel Designs asked Franklite how lighting’s role in hotel design is changing…

Lighting is one of those extraordinary elements that gives hotels the comforts of home all while still experiencing the luxuries of what they have to offer. Certain spaces within hotels will require specific lighting and that’s where we come in.

Franklite provides innovative lighting solutions for any space, ensuring your design exceeds expectation. With a reputation built on using only the finest components in the manufacturing process and a laboratory which has one of the first near and far field goniophotometers – a development that measures light levels extremely accurately ensures that the lighting will be exactly as required.

Highlighting recent projects Franklite have had the pleasure of being involved with this year are the Palace Hotel Inverness and Gleddoch Hotel and Spa in Glasgow. The Vista Restaurant in the Gleddoch receives a lot of natural light due to the panoramic views of their 18-hole golf course. Changes in natural light are more noticeable during the day and as a result will require different lighting at different times. Understanding these distinctions has been the key to our success at Franklite.

A project currently underway at the Hilton Gatwick Hotel showcases the Aura wall light. The modern matt black cast aluminium LED fitting lines the hotel’s corridors. Designed to be inconspicuous until lit, these fixtures cast beautiful flower patterns on the walls mimicking a piece of art.

Franklite is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Franklite

 

How conscious design studio Harris & Harris was born

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
How conscious design studio Harris & Harris was born

Harris & Harris has earned Hotel Designs’ stamp of approval as an environmentally and socially responsible interior and product design studio…

Founded in 2014 by husband and wife team Alexander and Sharon Harris, Harris & Harris emerged onto the design scene as a sustainable breathe of fresh air. Working internationally, the studio creates chic yet playful designs focusing on craftsmanship and quality whilst minimising the impact on the planet – and it was this unique blend that caught our editorial attention.

The dynamic duo met in 2007 whilst working for an architecture practice in Melbourne, Australia. They moved to London in 2010 and later married and started a family whilst growing their dream design studio.

Prior to founding Harris & Harris, Alex worked for some of the biggest names in design; Terence Conran’s furniture company Benchmark, David Collins, Kelly Hoppen and Yoo, co-founded by Philippe Starck.

Sharon has a truly international perspective having worked as an interior designer in Singapore, Melbourne and London for blue-chip clients including China Construction Bank, Citigroup, Molton Brown and Goldman Sachs as well as the Dubai property developer Emaar.

In 2019, the team boldly stepped into a new territory by unveiling the conscious bedroom for the Independent Hotel Show London. The guestroom set that was designed sensitively challenged conventional hotel design from every angle.

The Harris & Harris team now creates inspiring and innovative designs for clients that include hospitality brands, interior designers and developers such as The Arts Club, Conran, Finchatton, Four Seasons, Hakkasan, The Hoxton and Soho House as well as private individuals. Products and projects reach far across the globe including Monaco, The Hamptons, Miami, Seoul, Munich, Limassol, Macau and Paris.

The studio’s Product Collection features more than 100 pieces of furniture, lighting, outdoor furniture and interior accessories, all designed in-house by the studio. The designs are influenced by the founders European and Asian heritage, together with their love of modernism, art deco, mid century and 1960s pop design.

Each product is handmade to order by skilled artisans and workshops and are named after the places Alex and Sharon have frequented around Singapore, Australia and Great Britain.

Image caption: The Raffles seating range, named after the iconic hotel, is a refined family that injects refined glamour into an interior space. The pieces are influenced by art deco style of designers, including Eileen Gray and Charlotte Perriand.

Aside from being a studio that shelters awe-inspiring design, Harris & Harris strives to be environmentally and socially responsible wherever they can and in all areas of the company. The studio developed the Product Collection to include as many of their self-initiated ‘Responsible Factors’ as possible:

1) Designed For Life Foundation

The studio established the ‘Designed For Life Foundation’ to donate a percentage of every sale from the product collection to charity. Their furniture and lighting is predominantly specified for luxurious hotels, bars, restaurants and high end private homes and the founders felt it was important to help balance this. So for every product sold from the Collection their clients are automatically donating to the following three charities concerned with providing those without the basic needs of food, water and shelter: FareShare – the UK’s national network of charitable food re-distributors, WaterAid – providing clean water and hygiene solutions worldwide and ShelterBox – an international disaster relief charity, providing emergency shelters.

2) Made in the UK

Most of the collection is manufactured in the UK. Being a London-based company, this helps reduce transport energy consumption, particularly when a project is also UK based. Producing in the UK also helps support local industry and communities.

3) Sustainable upholstery option

Most of the upholstered seating is designed to have the option of being manufactured with natural materials including coconut fibre, natural latex, wool & cotton wrap and feathers. This minimises the impact on the environment by reducing the use of harmful chemicals, plastics and oils as well being biodegradable at the end of the product’s life. Natural materials are also far better for the health and well being of those using the seating.

4) Made from recycled materials

Recycled materials have been introduced into many of the products. This includes working with the German manufacturer Magna to provide their ‘Glaskeramik’ material for table tops in the collection, which is produced from 100% recycled waste glass. Harris & Harris also works with London stone specialist Diespeker to provide their terrazzo material which includes crushed recycled glass and marble off-cuts. A selection of the products are produced from clay and terracotta which create very little waste as off-cuts and unused material can be easily reused in future production

5) Made from renewable, low-embodied energy and natural materials

Most of the products are made from abundant and sustainable materials. Harris & Harris uses timbers including Ash and bamboo, which is very fast growing and requires no fertiliser or pesticides. They use natural stone, glass, clay and terracotta on many of the products which have a very low embodied energy (the total energy within the material from extraction to finished product). The natural upholstery option minimises the impact on the environment as highlighted above and Harris & Harris work with UK based Alma Leather to provide their natural cow hides that have a sustainable 100 per cent vegetable tan finish. The studio will also be introducing a vegan option as an alternative to the current leather selection very soon

6) Made from FSC or PEFC-certified timber

Harris & Harris ensures its factories and craftsman only ever use sustainably sourced timber that has been given either FSC or PEFC certification. The studio will never use exotic tree species from non-renewable forests

7) Supplied with Low Energy LED Bulbs

The Azzero and Kyoto lighting ranges utilise efficient LED G9 bulbs. For the Wharf, Siloso and Chalford lighting ranges Harris & Harris works with the UK based lighting brand Tala to provide their long lasting and low energy LED bulbs. Tala bulbs look fabulous thanks to their old filament style design but with using the latest LED technology. Tala are committed to reducing carbon emissions in the atmosphere and support reforestation programmes around the world

8) Built for longevity and durability

Harris & Harris work with well respected craftsman, factories and workshops who use high quality production methods, together with durable and premium materials, to ensure the product collection is created for a long life span. The team is passionately against a throw away culture and design all of their products to be resilient and long lasting that can be handed-down over generations rather than thrown away

9) Easily disassembled and recycled at end of life

Many of the products are easily disassembled and can be taken apart by hand (or are single-material) so they can be separated into their individual materials to be recycled, biodegraded or reused.

Harris & Harris was a PRODUCT WATCH pitch partner for Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place on October 13, 2020.

Image credit: Harris & Harris

Dernier & Hamlyn updated and improved under new ownership

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Dernier & Hamlyn updated and improved under new ownership

Bespoke lighting manufacturer Dernier & Hamlyn has moved to new, premium premises in Chessington…

Dernier & Hamlyn’s new HQ incorporates a state-of-the-art studio where clients can work with the company’s design team to progress their lighting designs from concept to reality.

Significant investment is also being made in manufacturing and finishing capabilities including the latest technology and 3d printing, to ensure that the company’s reputation for the highest quality lighting is maintained and improved.

Experienced experts who previously worked for Dernier & Hamlyn are still part of the team including Head of Production Mark Pye, project manager Lyn Newcombe and Design Manager Adam Coare. Strategic and operational management of the company will be greatly enhanced with the appointment of Michael Mulhall as Director of Sales. Michael was previously head of major projects for Dernier & Hamlyn’s new owners NVC UK where he oversaw large lighting programmes for hospitality and luxury residential clients.

Mulhall says: “We were attracted to Dernier & Hamlyn by the strength of its brand and reputation in the lighting industry. Feedback from our research with designers and others has shown that the quality of the products manufactured was second to none, but there have been frustrations in the past with lead times and flexibility of delivery.

“Dernier & Hamlyn will operate as a totally autonomous company, but one that is part of a global organisation which made sales of more than $600 million in 2019. This gives us access to varied technical, engineering and design resources that complement our own, backed by sound financial support from shareholders including Schneider Electric. We will continue to deliver the high- quality lighting that Dernier & Hamlyn has always excelled in, but in ways that meet the needs of designers and clients in today’s markets.”

Dernier & Hamlyn is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Dernier & Hamlyn

Case study: lighting Jesmond Dene House

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: lighting Jesmond Dene House

In a recent development of the public areas and bedrooms, Karen Walker Design created a series of design schemes focusing on complementary texture, pattern and colour. Here we explore Heathfield & Co’s role in lighting the spaces…

Jesmond Dene House is an independent boutique hotel located on the outskirts of Newcastle upon Tyne city centre.

Selected to bring harmony to the 43 guestrooms and suites, Heathfield & Co’s Coupole table lamps feature on each bedside, mirroring the classic contemporary aesthetic of the hotel. Additionally, their Pierre Monochrome table lamps are presented in the suites to add a tactile and sculptural focus point to the vibrant rooms.

Further highlights from Heathfield’s collection can be found in the public areas. A pair of Addison table lamps provide the scale required in the Great Hall Lounge, with their large smoke glass bodies and substantial brass metal details.

Image credit: Heathfield & Co/Michael Baister

Heathfield & Co is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Heathfield & Co/Michael Baister

Confessions of a lighting designer – what is lighting design?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Confessions of a lighting designer – what is lighting design?

Throughout October we are, for the second time this year, putting the spotlight on lighting. To kickstart this series, we reach out to Gary Thornton, senior project designer at neolight global, to understand lighting design from the inside.

The profession of architectural lighting design is a relatively young industry, even though the practise of what we do in determining where there is light and where there isn’t has been around for centuries.

Of course back then this was simply people deciding where to put candles or, as far back as the 9th century, where to locate oil lamps.  But architectural lighting design as a more formal profession really only goes back to around the 1950s with the likes of Richard Kelly pioneering the practice, followed by people like Derek Phillips and Jonathan Speirs.

So what is lighting design and what is it that lighting designers actually do?  I’ve lost count of the times I’ve tried to explain this to my friends who think we “choose where to put light bulbs”!

It can be easily forgiven that it is not a widely known profession.  There is no formal educational pathway and many people stumble into the profession from a semi-related field of design and find themselves “doing lighting design” before they even realise what it is (myself included!).

As an example, our office comprises lighting designers with backgrounds in product design, interior design, electrical engineering, film and television, photography, sculpture and architecture.  There are indeed well-established Masters degrees, or undergraduate courses in Theatrical Lighting Design, but this is not the case for Architectural Lighting Design.  Something that has been brought up again recently in our industry.

Lighting

Lighting concerns itself with how people perceive their environment, yet because light is intangible it has an intrinsic, and often underestimated, role in all aspects of visual design.

Working in a medium which remains invisible until it strikes a physical surface means that we lighting designers must be as concerned with the nature of the surface and the biology behind the human eye as with the light which strikes it.

Ambient illumination, direct light, reflected light, the use of colour, areas of relative darkness and contrast all contribute to how a space looks and how it feels, resulting in designs made up of layers of light.  The better lighting schemes consider what should be left unlit as much as what should be lit, so maybe we are just as much “darkness designers” as we are lighting designers.

Because of the immateriality, great lighting is rarely lauded.  If you walk through a space and it looks and feels great then chances are it is because of the lighting. Not to take away from the interior designer, architect, or landscape designer that has typically designed more of the physical environment, but certainly in how the colours appear, how the material textures catch your eye, whatever the mood it prompts or the visual aesthetic it provides, it is because of the lighting.

Poor lighting on the other hand gets no end of complaints.  Lighting that is overly bright or dark, too much glare, or feels cold and uninviting can make spaces feel uncomfortable so people don’t want to visit and spend time there.  Even the best interior design schemes can be marred by bad lighting, and at the extreme bad lighting can even be bad for your health depending on the time of day or the tasks required of the people using it.

Lighting for hospitality

At the core of neolight’s work is the hospitality sector, and one of my favourite spaces to illuminate is the All Day Dining restaurant within a hotel.  This is largely because it’s such a transformative space and great way to demonstrate the power of lighting.  An All Day Dining restaurant needs to be able to provide a bright and fresh environment for breakfast, right through to the warmth and relaxing ambience of an evening meal.

When you get this right, the space will look and feel like a different restaurant to the guests from morning to night.

Lighting experiences

Architectural lighting design really started an accelerated upward curve with the mainstream adoption of LED.  Since then light sources have been getting smaller and more efficient, and the fixtures themselves are increasingly packed full of technology.

Alongside this evolution of lighting technology has been an evolving expectation of the role of the lighting designer.  No longer are we providing simple scene-setting schemes with smooth dimming to meet the client expectations, now clients are looking for more engaging and dynamic schemes concealed within the fabric of the building, with light that entrains and supports your circadian rhythm, they want an experience.

Yes the experience is framed by the architecture, or informed by the interior design, or the service that you receive, but transcending across all of those to make it a good experience is good lighting design.

Lighting design = experience design.  And if that helps become popular on social media, then all the better.

To this end we are not just designers anymore.  We have to be artists and scientists, knowledgeable in Bluetooth and LiFi, experts in daylight and green building codes, understanding biology of the human eye, of the physics of light, and all manner of material properties.

And this is all before we even mention the Internet of Things, where we are suddenly being asked about the limitations of LoRaWAN as a protocol to control light fixtures with.

Lighting is digital

There is an underlying expectation to all of this that we are digitally savvy.  Lots of industries are going through change and digitisation, but lighting is changing right up there with them.  In order to keep meeting the expectations of a modern day lighting design, we have to be able to understand and design with all these evolving elements.

One particular attribute that I’ve taken on is learning to code due to the increasing overlap with disciplines that do require this, and at the very least we need to be able to coordinate with them. For example, this is a prototype app written in Python that communicates with light fixtures in a hotel room to automatically adjust the colour temperature and brightness based on personal circumstances, such as jet lag.

Internet of Things

We have gone through the exponential growth of LED and now we have even further miniaturisation of technology so there is virtually nowhere that LEDs cannot be integrated, and conversely almost anything, like a sensor or a camera, that can’t be put back into light sources.

Lighting is a prime choice for the IoT to piggy back onto as it has an already existing ubiquitous infrastructure of power and data.  This means that light fixtures can be used for monitoring space occupancy, improving shopping experiences, reporting crimes, and more.

But in order to be able to implement this we have to understand it, and that means lighting designers becoming experts in something else that isn’t traditionally “lighting”.  It’s becoming experts in data, cloud servers, and Bluetooth meshes as part of the whole IoT network.

And this isn’t a trend that’s going away. At a macro level Smart Cities are well underway around the world (we are working on a Smarty City strategy for a brand new city in KSA at the moment), and on a micro level it’s using your voice to control the lighting in your own home. Lighting is a key part of the future of connected services.

Covid-19 will undoubtedly accelerate the demand for contact-free environments. Why carry a physical ID or ticket and have to touch door handles, when AI could verify you and open the door automatically?  Why touch any number of surfaces and interfaces to check-in to a hotel, when facial recognition could automate this as you walk through the lobby and give you a “key” on your mobile phone?

In assessing these expected trends we see that lighting is well placed to provide this as part of the IoT. Retrofitting sensor-embedded light fixtures becomes much easier than ripping out ceilings, pulling cables, and installing new networks.

As part of this learning curve affecting lighting, designers are no longer just visiting project sites, but also visiting data centres that test these sensor embedded light fixtures and the data points that they capture to understand it first hand in order to be able to implement it as part of a lighting scheme.

Misunderstandings

As lighting becomes more understood it’s great to now be reading comments like this, highlighting the importance of lighting to a space.

But for every moment of understanding, we still work with wider design teams who still misunderstand what we do. Consultants that have heard of ZigBee or BLE, and so that’s how they want their lighting controlled – when in reality all they really need is a simple control plate.

Part of our role is taking a step back from the technology and really understanding the project needs. We won’t use technology for the sake of it, especially if it’s not needed and likely to end up not being used.  How often have you struggled with a fancy lighting control system in a hotel guestroom when a simple rotary dimmer switch would have been just perfect?

As lighting design finds its way into mainstream vocabulary, more buzzwords like “human centric lighting” have come to the fore, which is another misconception to overcome.

Human centric design is human focussed design. At the heart of this notion is what we have been doing for many years now.  Designing for humans.  Lighting for humans.  Lighting for, and with, people at the centre.

The future

Who knows what the limits are to where lighting will reach – even a few years ago we were barely imagining what we have today of subscription models offering Lighting as a Service, secure wireless data through light in LiFi, and even highly secretive LED spectrum recipes used in horticulture to maximise crop yield!

Of what I have no doubt is that as lighting design continues to advance and evolve, so will the humble lighting designer along with it.

Main image credit: neolight

Light it up: Chelsom officially launches Edition 27

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Light it up: Chelsom officially launches Edition 27

More than two years in the making, Chelsom’s brand new lighting collection, Edition 27, has official launched. Hotel Designs celebrates by selecting some of its favourite pieces. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Every two years on the international hotel design scene, something incredible happens. The industry becomes temporarily blinded by new lighting designs that are created with tomorrow’s luxury hospitality projects in mind. The brand behind this much-awaited artificial phenomenon is, of course, Chelsom.

The launch of a new ‘Chelsom Edition’ becomes a precious moment etched in modern design history, usually marked in a grand setting with no expense spared to introduce the A + D community with the brand’s latest dynamic and timeless designs. And although, this year, suppliers are prevented from hosting live events, this, by no means, makes Chelsom’s unveiling of Edition 27 any less sensational. In fact, some would go as far to argue that the pandemic has created a catalyst for brands like Chelsom to launch their latest products with a deeper meaning for the sake and sanity of tomorrow’s hospitality landscape.

As expected, the collection reflects Chelsom’s brand image, showcasing a plethora of beautifully designed lighting products specifically created for the international hospitality and marine interior design arenas. More than 40 per cent of the collection is entirely new and all pieces are available with LED light sources to accommodate the latest developments in technology and energy efficiency.

“I believe that our clients will not only appreciate the refinements we have made to our product collection in terms of even sharper product designs, higher quality levels and strong focus on value engineering, but also the continued evolution of our brand image as international market leader,” said Will Chelsom, Managing Director at Chelsom. “Both the catalogue and website illustrate this perfectly and have been carefully designed with our clients’ requirements as a priority.”

“Edition 27 has been a fantastic collection to produce and it’s our most ground-breaking to date.” – Robert Chelsom, Chairman at Chelsom.

Edition 27 is a truly eclectic harmony of lighting that harnesses and refines the latest trends in finishes and materials. Striking brass tones, textured Venetian glass and cutting-edge LED pieces are just some of the elements that dominate the bold and exciting new collection, offering designers creative lighting solutions for any interior space from guestrooms, to corridors, through to restaurants and other public spaces. Amongst many things, Edition 27 offers the widest collection of LED reading lights in the company’s history including the LED Eye range which moves on the aesthetics of your standard bedside reading light whilst maintaining all the successful features of function and light output.

Robert Chelsom, Chairman at Cheslom, added: “In all my years working within the industry never has there been a more challenging yet exciting time to be designing lighting products. Triggered by fashion cycles, interior trends are moving increasingly faster and in doing so constantly stimulate new design directions when it comes to finishes and materials, which is something we have given careful consideration to. Edition 27 has been a fantastic collection to produce and it’s our most ground-breaking to date. Will and I are proud to be able to say that all product has been designed in- house to create this diverse lighting collection that truly caters for all levels of the hospitality and marine sectors.”

Here are some of our editor’s picks:

LED EYE

Image caption: LED EYE | Image credit: Chelsom

Image caption: LED EYE | Image credit: Chelsom

When Chelsom designed the iconic bedside reading light LED Dock, the design intent came with years of experience in successfully lighting hotel guestrooms. Trying to mix being inconspicuous and striking at the same time was a large design challenge, little did they know it would become the company’s most successful product ever enhancing hotel schemes in more than 30 countries worldwide.

In the new collection, Chelsom moves on the aesthetics of a bedside reading light whilst maintaining all the successful features of function and light output. The starting point was to create a product that was inconspicuous in that it nestled successfully into a headboard with minimum projection and yet was cool and stylish to look at when guests first entered the room. Development led to compact and slim outer vessel  which surrounded the ‘eye’, a sculptured cast metal piece which invites the hotel guest to open the eyelid thereby illuminating the light and allowing a full range of movement to create the perfect light spill. Much time and engineering skill went into prototype development ensuring that the cast centrepiece revolve and rotates wit the lightest of touch and can be easily opened to operate the microswitch and closed to extinguish the light.

The highly tactile moulded centrepiece still remains extremely slim with a subtle curve at the bottom edge. Once opened the warm white LED light passes through a high-quality focusing lens to create perfect reading light.

Hybrid

Image caption: The Hybrid set | Image credit: Chelsom

Image caption: The Hybrid set | Image credit: Chelsom

The main concept of this striking collection of wall, floor and table lamps centres around the over-scaled cylindrical head, creating ambient room light through the matt opal glass top dome and directional task light from below. The head swivels from left to right with a mechanical stop to prevent over rotation.This sleek and contemporary range is available in an assortment of finish options and is the perfect fusion of design aesthetic and technological refinement making it the perfect addition to any interior space.

Crook

Crook features a stepped column supporting a shepherd’s crook-styled arm, which allows a good spread of downlight. The base on this product has a rounded stepped detail, while the lampholder cover features interesting knurled detailing.

Shield

On the wall, the perforated metal tapered half shield emits a warm glow and throws light onto the oval backplate, which creates a halo effect around its concave-curved perimeter. On the ceiling, the chandelier ha conical, perforated shades with opal acrylic liners giving a warm glow.

Glass Effect

Image caption: Glass Effect | Image credit: Chelsom

Image caption: Glass Effect | Image credit: Chelsom

The main concept of this striking range of wall lights centres around how light effect can be created on the wall and within different types of glass so that the fittings were not just about achieving ambience but also about the projection, pattern and play of light on surface and the refraction of light through different coloured and shaped glasses. Traditional components have been used in unique applications to achieve a powerful light effect suited to any environment with one of the key features being that the glasses can be fully interchangeable to create totally different results.

Cheslom is one of Hotel Designs’ recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Chelsom

Case study: lighting InterContinental Park Lane hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: lighting InterContinental Park Lane hotel

Located in the heart of London’s prestigious Mayfair, the InterContinental Park Lane hotel delivers elegant natural interiors, award-winning restaurants and bars, and unrivalled views of the Royal Parks…

Alongside designers RPW Design, Heathfield & Co were delighted to supply both bespoke and standard lighting from their product range, as part of the development of the hotel’s exclusive Mayfair Collection.

This luxurious range of guestrooms and suites are said to be ‘a refinement of the timeless elegance for which we are loved.’ With a careful attention to fine and subtle details, materials such as wood, leather and brass set the natural and comforting tone. Heathfield’s experienced team worked on a series of bespoke bedside ceiling fittings, inspired by their classic ‘Derwent’ design.

image credit: IHG/Heathfield & Co

The solid brass framework and Dandelion satin lampshades reflect in the panelled mirrors behind, perfectly framing the centre of the room. The Derwent Large cube pendant and Vivienne Clear glass table lamp create decorative features in the suites, enhancing the soft and elegant design.

To see the project in full visit Heathfield’s website.

Heathfield & Co is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: IHG/Heathfield & Co

Lighting product watch: Eltham Collection by Vaughan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Lighting product watch: Eltham Collection by Vaughan

Vaughan has launched Eltham Collection, a selection of products, based on early 20th Century design…

Featuring four new table lamps, and five pieces of faux shagreen furniture, Eltham Collection continues Vaughan’s longstanding theme of creating products rooted in antiques, but then given a contemporary flair.

Lucy Vaughan, chairman and co-founder of Vaughan Designs, recalls how the collection came into existence: “From admiring my grandmother’s monogrammed boxes, to professionally taking an interest in my time as an antique dealer, shagreen has a particularly special place in my heart. Paired with the lights, it encapsulates all that I love about early 20th century design, with its emphasis on simplicity, purity of line and subtlety of form.”

The Eltham Collection includes :-

Hudson Table Lamp

A contemporary shape, reminiscent of American skyscrapers, this table lamp has an appealing crisp line to it. The decorative applied lines on the sides add a more ‘statement’ feel to the piece. The monumentality and decoration have an affinity to Axumite obelisks from 4th Century Ethiopia.

Wyndham Table Lamp

Based on an early 20th Century original, this vase is decorated with flowing swirl motifs to give it a wonderful textured feel. The non-uniform color adds a Modernist element to the aesthetic.

Shoreham Table Lamp

Based on an antique original, this playful design takes its inspiration from the work of the mid-20th Century. Its bright pop of color makes it a wonderful, statement piece.

Fairmont Table

A neat and satisfying design, this side table has a classic hexagonal shape to it, which is given a contemporary twist thanks to the addition of faux shagreen.

Vaughan is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Vaughan

Product watch: Facet lighting by Studio Waldemeyer

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Facet lighting by Studio Waldemeyer

Hotel Designs learns how lighting designer Moritz Waldemeyer bent glass to its will in order to create FACET…

In all its beauty and variety, glass is essentially an amorphous material with no regular crystalline structure.

Yet through a design vision and mastery in glassmaking craft, the material can come to mimic its opposite, creating highly organised and consistent structures.

As if trying to systematise the chandelier-making tradition, Moritz took the geometrical shape of the Classic chandelier outline and turned it into a diamond-like hexagonal glass building block. On its own, with just single pendant, or in combination of multiple items into a large chandelier, the FACET modules stand out as clear, disciplined and geometrical.

The light source included inside every block allows the FACET system to be universal and almost unlimitedly extendable.

Moritz Waldemeyer is an internationally renowned London based designer who’s work occupies a diverse range of creative spaces. 2004 saw his debut into the design world with an interactive chandelier for Swarovski. With a forward thinking approach and a philosophy of playful experimentation Studio Moritz Waldemeyer is forging links between technology, art, fashion and design.

Led by Waldemeyer, the studio has taken on projects for Audi, Intercontinental Hotels, Rinacente and Wallpaper Magazines 2014 Handmade issue. Studio Moritz Waldemeyer has also created bespoke light studded costumes for Will.I.AM, Rihanna, Take That and the 2012 London Olympics handover Ceremony performers. Under Moritz’s direction the studio strive to create innovative concepts incorporating his signature aesthetic into each piece.

Studio Waldemeyer is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Studio Waldemeyer

“Fit is the new sexy,” and it’s here to stay in hospitality!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
“Fit is the new sexy,” and it’s here to stay in hospitality!

In an exclusive editorial to celebrate the upcoming ‘WELLNESS’ concept coming to ‘ACCOR by Bergman Interiors, Hotel Designs takes a look at the future of wellness in hospitality…

A few years back, gyms were a place where you trained, lost weight or gained muscle. Today, gyms are part of our lifestyles. And with that lifestyle comes community. Whether the gym has a nightclub style with beaming lights, or is an industrial shell, we all seek a gym with the lifestyle and community that speak to us.

This lifestyle is getting us stronger, not just physically but also mentally – such an awakening calls for mind, body and soul.

Within the luxury market, wellness is not an expectation; it’s a dominant consumer value that is essential to the future hotel experience. This demand has inspired the collaboration between ACCOR and Bergman Interiors, in order to design wellness for tomorrow’s consumers.

Image credit: ACCOR

How hotels are changing regarding fitness in general?

Within the exercise world, fitness methods and training techniques have changed however these methods and concepts have been slow to be embraced within the hospitality industry.

What was once seen as an amenity for guests is being recognised as a key facility within luxury hospitality. 66 per cent of Gen X’ers say they actively participate in self-care to improve their physical wellbeing. What’s more, 76 per cent of millennials exercise at least once per week – exercise has become a vital part of our hotel customers lifestyle and our concepts need to meet this heightened expectation.

With this key demand in mind ACCOR has brought the fitness concept centre stage for the Pullman brand with our newly created Pullman Power Fit concept. Working with Bergman Interiors was a natural choice with their strong experience in creating innovative exercise and fitness concepts coupled with a depth of experience within luxury hospitality.

Image credit: ACCOR

Pullman Power Fitness replaces the stale one-size-fits-all hotel gym environment with a bold, artful, social approach to contemporary fitness. Pullman Power Fitness defines and explores our ambition to energise bodies and inspire minds. In-touch with today’s traveller and their fitness goals, we offer much more than a gym. We provide a community where guests can have fun while challenging themselves to take their performance to the next level within a stylised interior design, energetic branding and the latest on Video on Demand exercise technology.

A collaborative partnership with Bergman, the Pullman brand, Wellbeing and ACCOR design departments the concept was developed over 12 months and the result is a vibrant fitness space that makes a statement, beckons interaction, and energises the body while inspiring our guests. Our spaces and programming tap into an exciting new era of training diversity, integrated technology, and embracing the spirit of friendly competition.

Wellness mentally and physically?

“When it comes to wellness consumer research confirms a fundamental societal shift underway, feeling healthier as a lifestyle goal has well and truly entered the mainstream,” Albin Berglund, co-founder and managing director of Bergman Interiors, told Hotel Designs. “Because the modern luxury travellers of now- and the future- is on a journey: to find purposeful new travel experiences that speak to their inner self and to personal fulfilment. And they’re willing to pay a premium for it.”

Image credit: Engine Room

Broadly, we have defined five areas – nutrition, holistic design, movement, spa, and mindfulness – that we view as essential to the overall wellness experience within hospitality. We then customise the delivery and tactics in these areas to suit each brand and its unique guest preferences, demographics, psychographics, brand positioning, culture and locations.

Changes to wellness within the hotel industry after Covid-19

It is important to separate the temporary impact such as heightened sanitation measures, social distancing and impact on travel versus the longer term impact on consumer attitudes and behaviour.

Image credit: BXR

These push factors are the relentless pressures on our health, such as less physically active work, the prevalence of processed food, air quality concerns, light and noise pollution – all of which create malaise, illness and stress. Covid-19 has been a “super-accelerator” to these “push factors” globally, with a cross generational embrace of the need to invest in ones well being and a clear reminder of the benefit of leading a “preventative” lifestyle.

Then we have the pull factors. Wellness is a highly appealing touch point among consumers, a desirable draw that promises unique, enriching, relaxing experiences that help us define and express ourselves. Wellness helps us move away from the push factors and embrace the highly attractive lifestyle that is so integral to luxury hospitality and again this desire to combine wellness with travel will blossom.

In conclusion, we are expected to see an increase in the demand for healthy food within our restaurants, for outdoor exercise and access to nature, exercise will move from inside the gym to outside or a greater demand for in room or video driven options.

Main image credit: Bergman Interiors

Product watch: Maria Teresa chandelier by Masiero

740 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Maria Teresa chandelier by Masiero

The Maria Teresa chandelier by Masiero is an iconic product that comes from Venice’s historical tradition and each piece is characterised by uniquely shaped crystal glass pendants…

The precious classical style of the Maria Teresa chandelier maintains its original, iconic look but adopts a new personality thanks to the fascinating creativity of colour and a varied range of lighting effects achieved by the latest control systems.

Image credit: Masiero

Each Masiero’s Maria Teresa is available in three different lighting technology: the classic, the Dynamic White LED that allows you to customise light temperature and the RGB_W Led that allows you to transform light in colours.

In Touquet Paris la plage, for its renovation, the Grand Hôtel Le Touquet specified the brand’s red Maria Teresa chandelier, made with Murano glass, as the decorative fulcrum of its atrium.
More recently, the bar of the Hotel, “Le Menko”, has been adorned with 10 black Maria Teresa chandeliers that gently illuminate the room and reinforce the Gatsby / art deco style of this new space.

Masiero is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Masiero

Case study: a bespoke approach to lighting two hotels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: a bespoke approach to lighting two hotels

To showcase Heathfield & Co’s bespoke approach to lighting design, Hotel Designs explores how the brand designed unique lighting schemes for two well-known hotels in London… 

From cruise ships and shared working spaces, to five star hotels and restaurants across the world, Heathfield & Co’s bespoke portfolio showcases more than 40 years of knowledge and experience in commercial projects. Here are just two examples that illuminate the brand’s creative approach to lighting.

The Curtain

Located in the heart of Shoreditch, The Curtain is a 120-key go-to for London creatives.

Starting with the client’s initial brief, Heathfield & Co’s bespoke team worked closely with U.S. based Duncan Miller Ulmann to design unique lighting to suit the sophisticated urban city aesthetic.

From an initial project review, through to final delivery and site support, Heathfield’s dedicated project managers led every stage of the process, ensuring the budget was met and final designs were perfectly executed.

Adjustable bedside wall lights, perforated ceiling pendants and picture desk lamps were among the bespoke products designed, developed and manufactured exclusively for this stylish hotel.

Kimpton Fitzroy

Combining contemporary interiors with the original features of its 19th century building, the Kimpton Fitzroy in Bloomsbury is a London hotel like no other.

Collaborating with the creative teams at Tara Bernerd and Russell Sage Studio, Heathfield’s dedicated team of product designers and engineers created a series of extravagant chandeliers and sleek wall lights to complement the hotel interior. Specialist finishes and materials were developed and produced for the project to achieve a truly unique design.

Heathfield Lighting is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

Main image credit: Heathfield & Co

5 minutes with: the founders of Avenue Interior Design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 minutes with: the founders of Avenue Interior Design

Following the completion of a handful of luxury hospitality projects in the States, Avenue Interior Design has become known for its refusal to be defined by any one style, as editor Hamish Kilburn learns when he interviews the firm’s founders…

Avenue Interior Design, led by founders Andrea DeRosa and Ashley Manhan, has positioned itself as a small yet mighty powerhouse in an industry full of giants.

Most recently, the firm spearheaded the design for Palms Casino & Resort’ renovation ‘From Dust to Gold’, and brought their skills to boutique properties such as The Ramble in Denver, La Serena Villas in Palm Springs as well as SLS Baha Mar.

With the world of hospitality slowly re-opening, there remain concerns and hesitations among operators and travellers on what will become of the industry. I speak to DeRosa and Manhan, two level-headed designers who understand and respect how design evolves around cultural shifts, in order to explore how the pandemic has affected hotel design decisions.

Hamish Kilburn: Let’s dive straight in, how will public areas look in the post-pandemic world?

Ashley Manhan: Business and convention travel will likely lag compared to leisure travel as we see safer at home orders lift. Convention travel has been a critical component for many hotels as occupancy and F&B revenue are strongly tied to properties located near convention venues or for properties that have large meeting facilities.

A luxury F&B interior area with plants and cute seating

Image credit: SLS Baha Mar

Andrea DeRosa: Accommodating large groups and conventions may require smaller breakout rooms with improved air circulation and potentially live streaming speakers to these smaller rooms. On the F&B front, buffets and family-style plating will likely be put aside for individual plates or packaged meals.

HK: What new/different materials might go into hotel builds now?

AD: Given that COVID-19 transmission has found to be primarily airborne, much consideration is going into upgraded air filtration systems. Increased ventilation and better filtration will be essential components of healthy building strategies. Additionally, we may see the use of mobile and handled UV disinfection systems for sterilisation and disinfecting of high use spaces. In terms of interior finishes and materials, and those selected for FF&E, designers will face the added challenge of selecting materials that can withstand more frequent cleaning and disinfecting.

AM: In terms of lobbies, our current clients are requesting short-term solutions for partitions and countertop shields at transaction points, check-ins, and other places social distancing may not be feasible.

Fitness spaces will likely decrease in size- a trend for some properties already in major urban areas with access to specialised gyms and studios. Look for more in-room fitness options and equipment like yoga mats and lightweight dumbbells.

Restaurants face some of the largest obstacles in terms of social distancing and the use of PPE by diners. Restaurants will surely seat fewer guests to accommodate for social distancing protocol. Menus may go digital or restaurants may offer apps to place orders from your own device. Larger service counters for pickups or extended “grab and go” options maybe also be more prevalent as people warm up to the idea of eating out again.

Modern interior design in a clean open bar area

Image credit: SLS Baha Mar

AD: In the short term, we are seeing many hotel brands unrolling programs to build guest confidence and implementing quick, sometimes temporary solutions now while permanent solutions are analyzed and explored. Long term, we anticipate pandemic related measures to be modifiable to give operators the option of adjusting to meet current health risk levels. Such modifications may include digital occupancy signage, movable partitions, and digital projections indicating recommended social distances in queuing areas. A large part of the equation is understanding guests’ demands, expectations, and associations with these changes. There will certainly be varying levels of concern depending on where in the country/world the guest is traveling from. Those guests from the hardest-hit areas are likely to expect greater measures than those traveling from areas less affected. Ongoing observation of guest behavior will inform decisions owners and operators make for long term modifications to their properties.

HK: How can hotels shelter these new hygiene protocols without disrupting the design or the experience?

AM: Taking into consideration that guest safety and wellbeing is, and always has been, a top priority for any property, the next priority remains firmly rooted in good design. Ownership teams require that our commitment to creating a hospitality quality experience remains the top priority just as it was pre-pandemic. Modifications to properties should be subtle, flexible and well-intentioned. This includes careful consideration to the function of the space, the circulation of guests through the space as well as more obvious elements like materials, furnishings and even wayfinding. Creating more space for guests to comfortably, and naturally, socially distance may be as simple as removing a few clusters of lounge chairs in a lobby or replacing a communal table with a series of smaller, movable tables that can be situated individually or easily paired together.

AD: Incorporating decorative, movable screens or drapery also allows for social distancing flexibility while providing a thoughtful, well-designed element to the space. Graphics, signage, and font styles can be utilised in a way that provides informative guidance on precautions or protocol in a way that is consistent with the design language of the brand or property. For new build properties, especially food and beverage venues, you will likely see more fluid floor plans with fewer permanent features to allow for flexibility in furniture layouts and the function of a space.

A blue interior scheme inside a junior king room

Image credit: The Ramble Hotel

HK: Have you already begun incorporating any changes into the hospitality projects you’re working on?

AD: Many of the modifications we’ve made for our current projects have been temporary or short term solutions that will allow our clients to adhere to guidelines as outlined by local jurisdictions. Before making more costly or broad-sweeping modifications, our clients are waiting to gauge guests’ expectations and behaviours to ascertain what long term modifications should look like. For instance, the addition of automated faucets and hand soap dispensers seem like a logical move, however, for many properties that have been without revenue for the last few months, the expense of a modification requiring any construction or electrical work may be out of the budget. Scale is a monumental consideration as well. The cost of making such a change in a hotel with 50 keys is likely more feasible than making that change in a hotel with more than 1,000 keys.

HK: Have you made any changes to guestrooms in the projects you are working on?

AM: Guestroom size, function, and programming have also been a hot topic amongst designers and Ownership teams. In recent years the emphasis was on creating public spaces so dynamic and engaging it drew people out of their rooms and into the lobby, restaurant, bar, pool, etc. Guestroom sizes were generally shrinking and the furnishings were becoming paired down and multi-purpose in their design. It will be interesting to see if guestroom sizes increase to become more of a mini-sanctuaries that offer personalised guest experiences.

Hotel Designs will be discussing topics such as adding personality in public areas and reassuring the post-corona consumer at Hotel Designs LIVE on October 13. If you are a designer, architect or hotelier, click here to participate for free.

Main image credit: Avenue Interior Design

Case study: Bentley & Studio Waldemeyer’s fresh approach to lighting design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: Bentley & Studio Waldemeyer’s fresh approach to lighting design

To celebrate its 100 year anniversary, Bentley Motors approached Studio Waldemeyer to help the brand create all aspects of illumination on the most sophisticated concept car in the company’s history…

The vehicle Bentley Motors showcased to mark its 100 anniversary displays the future of luxury craftsmanship with seamless fusion of materials and intelligent curation of technology, whilst introducing light as a new luxury material – all highly relevant when centering the focus back to lighting solutions for tomorrow’s hotels.

Bentley, which is a brand that has flirted with hotel design for many years with a handful of luxury hotel brands sheltering ‘Bentley Suites’, approached Studio Waldemeyer to join their design team and help design and engineer all aspects of illumination on the show car.

The car manufacturer’s challenging design brief required a completely new approach to light design and engineering. Studio Waldemeyer created an innovative tool chain, seamlessly merging the latest in parametric design tools from the world of computational architecture with electronic circuit design software. This approach not only allowed the perfect 3D integration of light in the complex surfaces of the car, but also the turnaround of the project in record time.

Close up of the centre console of the Bentley car

Image credit: Bentley Motors

The Bentley EXP 100 GT is by far the most complex and challenging project for Studio Waldemeyer up to date and represents the perfect combination of artistic expression and technical innovation the studio is know for.  Entering a new creative discipline the studio has yet again helped to raise the bar of innovation, in this case producing the most sophisticated illumination in the history of vehicle design.

Starting at the very prominent front grill, the illumination continues along the central spine into the interior space and finishes off with the sophisticated treatment of the rear horseshoe panel and 3D rear light clusters. While the approach to the project was that of a holistic 3D body of light, each area had its own challenges – be it the exotic materials, complex curvatures and the interaction with specialist design teams and craftspeople.

Attention to detail was paramount – the flying B logo required a weeks worth of hand polishing before receiving the tiny bespoke LED component that illuminates its wings. Different approaches were taken for every material – be it the hand woven silk or the 5000 year old river wood. The interior contains two hand blown crystal pieces that visualise the inner workings of the car’s AI. Collaborating closely with Cumbria Crystal, Studio Waldemeyer worked on the 3D design, implementation and illumination of this central feature.

The champagne cream interior with led lighting of the car

Image credit: Bentley Motors

The biggest research effort went into the external illumination. Starting from the sculpted surfaces of the car’s exterior, thousands of LEDs had to be placed at precise locations, requiring large numbers of different bespoke circuit board designs. This is a unique problem for an industry that is normally geared to make large numbers of a single design. Since no design tools existed for this task, the studio created their own: merging parametric 3D software with PCB design programmes. The manufacture of these unique pieces of electronics was done in Italy – a country famous for its long tradition in fine craftsmanship.

The concept car created a splash far beyond the automotive world and continues to receive praise in the press – garnering coverage in publications such as Wallpaper and Forbes – whilst collecting some of the most prestigious design awards in the process.

Studio Waldemeyer is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Studio Waldemeyer

PRODUCT WATCH: LED neon strip lighting in the spa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: LED neon strip lighting in the spa

To understand the creative possibilities and boundaries of lighting design, Hotel Designs asks Timage Architecture to share why LED neon strip lighting should be considered in the spa and wellness area…

We have long promoted the benefits of buying a marine-grade product for architectural application and have a dedicated Timage Architecture side to our business which focuses our product range for this specific audience.

The quality of materials and design consideration that goes into a product originally destined for yacht application is generally much greater than its architectural counterpart.  The materials not only offer a better overall aesthetic but also are very durable and can sustain a more aggressive installation environment.  These characteristics sit well with those looking to source sustainable product solutions for the hospitality sector.  Our products are more suited to clients looking to buy once, perhaps paying a small premium over an alternative product but being sure that they will not have to revisit the item once again after a season or two of use.

Nowhere in a hospitality setting is the above situation truer than in a spa.  The humidity levels, use of chemicals and temperatures can all culminate in poor product performance or failure, especially with regards to lighting.  Too often steam rooms have failed strip lighting under the seating or showers have fittings with a few diodes out.  These maintenance issues can have a negative impact upon the customer’s experience and overall perception of the spa.  Our marine-grade lighting can help resolve this problem, offering the hospitality sector a reliable and beautiful solution.

Our range of neon flexible LED strips is one of the best examples of these transferable products.  The neon strip lights are produced to the length required for each installation and the connectors are then injection moulded to ensure a safe IP68 underwater rating.  Lengths up to 20 metres can be specified if powered from both ends and a 24Vdc low voltage input makes them a safe product should any of the outer skin be breached.  The strips are available in a huge variety of colour temperatures as well as fixed colours.  In addition, RGB, RGBW and RGB pixel chasing versions can also be specified.  The RGBW models can be supplied in several white colour temperatures to sit alongside the coloured chips.  RGBW offers the ultimate flexibility for a lighting plan allowing the user to select custom blended colours or run colour sequences whilst still maintaining the option of a high-quality white light.  This year sees the addition of CCT technology or Correlated Colour Temperature to the range which allows users to adjust the strip from warm through to cool white at the touch of a button.  CCT is a great choice for spaces that may have a dual function requiring different ambient lighting styles or simply for those who like to tweak and change their lighting settings from time to time.

We have a large range of spa lighting solutions in addition to the neon strip lighting mentioned above and can supply luminaires for swimming pools, communal areas, shower enclosures and exterior zones.  Our lighting is always made from marine-grade materials and features the latest LED technology, rigorously tested for harsh environment application.  Please contact us for further product information or advice on spa lighting.

Timage is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Timage

Lighting & furniture: raw materials in extraordinary essentials

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Lighting & furniture: raw materials in extraordinary essentials

Buster + Punch’s love for working with rare, solid metals in lighting and furniture has led the brand to transform everyday functional fittings into extraordinary essentials…

From the light bulb, the dimmer switch and the pendant lamp, to the door handle and the cupboard knob, Buster + Punch has created an innovative collection of unexpected design details.

All of its hardware, lighting and accessories are made from solid metal and feature a signature diamond cut knurling. This ensures all our products can be paired within the space, creating a visual, and unified design throughout any space.

The lighting ranges are designed to work in harmony to create a smooth transition between spaces.

CAGED lighting takes a simple design and transforms it into a series of extraordinary building blocks. This light can be mounted as a wall or ceiling light and can work on its own in various rooms and spaces or in a linear procession for maximum impact, such as adding caged lights in a hotel hallway.

This all-time favourite classic Heavy Metal light features a single light pendant made from 450g solid metal and finished with a matt black rubber cord. A light that adds a refined touch in any room. Accent a single Heavy Metal light over a coffee table in a hotel room, or several Heavy Metal lights over a lounge.

Buster + Punch introduced the world to the beauty of cross-knurling and changed the way people felt about their forgotten home fittings. And in 2020 Buster + Punch launched LINEAR – a range of elegant, small-scale, cabinet handles inspired by fashion accessory hardware.

Diamond-milled from rare solid metals, the range features our new signature linear knurl pattern and machined torx screws.  LINEAR features new products such as the L-Bar and Precious Bar,  and new finishes Gun Metal and Burnt Steel. The hardware range can be fitted to a bedside table for a unique finish, on a dresser, or even a bathroom vanity.

Buster + Punch also launched a new door stop range featuring wall-mounted and floor-mounted door stops. The perfect final detail when entering and exiting a room. The signature diamond knurling can also be found, and comes in a range of finishes- brass, steel, smoked bronze, and brass.

Buster + Punch is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Buster + Punch

FEATURE: nautical lighting trends in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: nautical lighting trends in 2020

On or off the water, lighting technology is evolving rapidly. Voltra Lighting explores this year’s most prominent nautical lighting trends…

Every summer, discerning guests seek out the thrill of sailing away on luxury vessels to explore breathtaking far-flung destinations around the world.

In order to meet the sky-high expectations of these jet-setters, yacht owners and luxury cruise liners invest in the most sophisticated decor elements from custom linen and drapes to designer furniture and premium cutlery. But, what is often forgotten is that to enhance your charter vessel’s interior design composition and experience, creative lighting schemes are a must.

That’s why designer lighting brands, such as Voltra Lighting, offer just the right visual and chromatic accents to enhance the look and feel of your stylish marine vessel. Crafted to deliver homogeneous illumination throughout the luxe spaces of yachts and superyachts, its hallmark design is sure to compliment your vision of hi-tech and intimate lighting.

According to designer and naval architect Adam Voorhees, “lighting plays such a critical role in how we understand a space..and how we can control and direct an experience in that space.” Mirroring this thought, especially over the last few years, superyacht lighting has grown to become an essential piece of the yacht design or refit process. From stunning chandeliers, wall lights, and decorative lamps to floor and furniture inlays, there are so many innovative solutions that are mushrooming when it comes to lighting up yachts.

If you are considering using high-end lighting to create the perfect atmosphere within the cabins and lounging areas of your yacht, then here are some upcoming trends to keep in mind:

  • Natural stone lamps: Unique and modish, lighting fixtures fabricated from naturally occurring rock are increasingly being considered a statement decor accessory. These lamps evenly illuminate the surroundings without dazzling the eyes; thus enabling guests to navigate safely over to the deck for a relaxed evening of stargazing.
  • Smart lighting: These intuitive and connected vessels of light are programmed to respond to movement, external environmental conditions, or direct user input; making for an advanced way to light spaces up.
  • Marine light sculptures: Many lighting designers, simply through creative placement, turn tasteful lighting fixtures into works of art. This ensures that the installation remains the focal point of the yacht’s interiors.
  • Charging bays: Particularly useful considering the space restrictions in private yachts, Voltra has bay chargers that charge up to eight lamps simultaneously. It is easy to put anywhere on a flat surface and requires only one power-point per bay.
  • LEDs grow in popularity: Not only are LEDs less sensitive to vibrations of the yacht but also incredibly flexible (can be adjusted to the mood or time of the day) and provide the same (or better) quality of light as incandescent lamps.

Iconically cordless

The right mood lighting can offer the perfect backdrop for a candlelight dinner or a late evening aperitif, on the front deck of your luxury boat. But most yachts and superyachts do not have wired electricity on the deck, upfront.

Enter the ambiance-setting manna from heaven – advanced cordless lighting.

Timeless both in form and function, Voltra’s range of portable lamps are excellent design objects for your yacht’s open-air spaces. Here are some of the many reasons why our portable lamps are found in some of the finest locations across the world:

  • Battery-powered: Voltra’s future-proof light installations are an incredibly customizable and intelligent way to incorporate lighting into any design project. Being battery-operated it does away with design limitations relating to the location of available electrical outlets.
  • Rated IP 65: No need to worry about damage due to water spit and harsh winds, as our lamps are incredibly dust and water-resistant. Voltra’s iconic range is also made from materials that are anti-corrosive in the face of high humidity.
  • Customisable lighting: Voltra’s exquisite lamps feature power, light modes, and the freedom to change lumières, placing the power in the hands of the guests to set the ambiance they prefer.
  • Adherence: All Voltra lights have a silicone border on the bottom, which ensures that they adhere to any surface. And since each of our handcrafted lamp units weighs upwards of a solid 609g, it is unlikely to “slide” or fall easily during oceanic turbulence.

Ultimately, be it a private yacht charter or a corporate event at sea, if you wish to create an intimate ambiance for your onboard guests, think Voltra cordless ambient lamps.

Voltra Lighting is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Voltra Lighting

PRODUCT WATCH: Chandelier by Buster + Punch

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Chandelier by Buster + Punch

With lighting playing a vital role in all first impressions, Hotel Designs takes a closer look at the modern interpretation of Chandelier by Buster + Punch

Designers and architects are often willing to think outside the box in order to evoke a lasting first impression.

When it comes to lighting in public areas, however, often opting for a simple, clean and striking design scheme can make the brightest statement. A pendant chandelier, for example, will complement a modern and contemporary interior design style.

Chandelier by Buster + Punch is an eye-catching lighting display that can work in many lifestyle and luxury settings. Designers can choose from classic diamond or cascade formation, as well as a 19-pendant drop or a 31-pendant drop.

The dimmable lighting product aims to immediately set the tone by allowing users to personalise the brightness so that they can achieve the right ambience in all public areas. As well as the lobby and dining areas, designers may wish to add the pendent chandelier in the stairwell in order to add a new layer while acting as a decorative feature that also provides much needed functional lighting.

The bespoke heavy metal chandelier is a stylish LED light for large stairwell spaces or living areas.  The chandelier is teamed with the brand’s critically acclaimed LED Buster bulbs available in gold, smoked or crystal finishes. The brand’s heavy metal solid metal pendants are available in smoked, bronze, steel or brass.

Buster + Punch is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Buster + Punch

Lighting

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Human-centric lighting in hotels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Human-centric lighting in hotels

Never has it been a better time for a new lighting brand with a plethora of experience and a fresh ethos to enter the international hotel design arena. Cue the launch of humanlumen

Lighting

Coronavirus has swept through the world causing a trail of destruction to everyday lives everywhere – how and where we work, live, play and learn has been reimagined on an unprecedented scale.

Wellbeing has been high on the agenda for a good few years now, and as the human race begins to emerge cautiously from lockdown, the health and safety of individuals will be even more critical.

Designers of the built environment have always built spaces for people to thrive and flourish however now it is more overt in the integration of biophilia through green walls, as well as the technology enabled tuneable lighting which can impact on the circadian rhythm of humans.

As we all begin to inhabit public spaces such as airports and hotels once again, I believe that customers will increasingly seek experiences that have their wellbeing at heart. Increased assurance that operators are adhering to the highest standards of hygiene for example and the guarantee of todays most valuable asset in the health currency right now  – sleep.

Jet lag can be a debilitating condition for frequent flyers but imagine if the lighting in your hotel room could accelerate the adjustment to a new time zone?

This is how it would work: as you enter your hotel room, your key card tells the control system where you have arrived from and the lights then change to the ideal colour temperature to adjust your body to the new time zone. The lighting prescribed by the system would differ depending on where in the world you were, and where you had travelled from.

For example, if you are travelling east from London across more than eight time zones, you need to avoid morning light and actively seek out afternoon light for the first three or four days because dusk light delays the circadian clock, while morning light advances it.

There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that the right light – at the right time – can stabilise hormonal rhythms, enhance night-time melatonin secretion, improve sleep quality, increase day-time vigilance and raise our resilience to stress.

The rule of thumb for alertness is that 30 minutes before you want to go to bed, you should minimise light exposure. But what’s the last thing most of us do before we go to bed? We stand in the most brightly lit room, the bathroom, looking into the mirror cleaning our teeth! A dial by the bathroom mirror which could change the lighting from blue-enriched to red-enriched before you go to bed, may help many of us sleep far more soundly.

Human centric lighting: benefits for hotels

The human-centric lighting system has plenty of benefits which hotels and restaurants.

Helps in Setting the Mood

The ideal lighting temperature and colour is very subjective, using HCL the lighting experience can be customised.

With the human-centric lighting system, you can easily adjust the brightness level of lights as per your every customer needs and offer a comfortable experience to everyone.

Cost-Effective 

HCL is incredibly energy-efficient, light is focused around where the user is and will automatically shut off and on when sensors detect human presence around them.

Stimulating environment

HCL allows for the creation of stimulating environments for all guests, operators can design bespoke decorative and ambient settings in accordance with the mood of customers.

Increase Productivity 

Conclusion: lighting has a well-documented impact on productivity, which hotel owners and staff can benefit from.

Humanlumen, which is based in Clerkenwell, is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: I-Stock

The Flame of mori.london by Studio Waldemeyer

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Flame of mori.london by Studio Waldemeyer

Lighting expert Mortiz Waldemeyer’s innovative collection was born from the simple act of playing with fire. Hotel Designs learns more…

As far back as the collective memory of mankind goes, the flame has been the first and only light source, guiding our ancestors through history from the moment we dared to differentiate ourselves from the animal kingdom. The fascination with the movement and warmth of this light source is hardwired into our brains thanks to millions of years of this most special of relationships. The advent of electric light has done nothing to diminish our love for candle light, if anything it has helped to emphasise, just how special it’s effect is to us.

A few years back a playful experiment with a small LED matrix at Studio Waldemeyer produced a surprising result. Despite it’s very low resolution, the digital circuit managed to perfectly reproduce the complex motion of a flame. But the surprise was less in the technical ability but in people’s response to it. As if by magic we had captured the essence of everything a flame means, and added some intrigue. The tiny circuit had its own soul and captured peoples imagination unlike anything we had created up to this point or since.

After an encouraging debut with Ingo Maurer, London based Studio Waldemeyer launched their own brand mori.london on Kickstarter in 2017 while simultaneously showing the new line during Milan Design Week.

Studio Waldemeyer

Image credit: Studio Waldemeyer

mori.london sets out to define a completely new category of LED lighting: playful, emotional, atmospheric and elegant, always innovative and always low power and low impact on the environment. mori.london creates the perfect balance of beautifully crafted objects with a sprinkling of tech. We use inspiration from the past to re-invent the future.

The response to the concept has been incredible: thumbs up from design heroes     such as Ingo Maurer, Philippe Starck and Tom Dixon and a place in MoMA’s permanent collection. The London Design Museum shows the history of light inventions starting with Edison’s light bulb and finishing with the mori.london LED candle.

The versatility of the concept perfectly lends itself to beautiful bespoke installations. Bicester village trusted Studio Waldemeyer two years in a row with gigantic Christmas installations based on LED flames. Thousands of oil lamps and flying lanterns magically transformed their UK, French and German retail villages.

Nobu Hotel’s minimalist Christmas tree made it onto every single list of London’s best Christmas trees in 2018 while mori.london chandeliers started appearing at Rossana Orlandi Gallery during Milan design week.

Studio Waldemeyer

Image Credit: Studio Waldemeyer

The product range is growing further, currently, new wall lights and XL flames are in the works with higher resolution and more detailed animation, while the studio has taken on new commissions of the largest installations yet to be seen.

Studio Waldemeyer is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Studio Waldemeyer

Lighting design: guests’ demands come first

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Lighting design: guests’ demands come first

Following the industry emerging from the pandemic, lighting brand Franklite explains how guests are at the heart as the hospitality industry enters unchartered waters…

It’s important to understand how the right light can be used in different environments. For instance, in a hotel, light can be used to create an ambience and welcoming feel when paired with the right decor and natural light.

The right light can create a warm and friendly atmosphere; however, the wrong light can easily detract from a nicely decorated room.

Lighting in hotels should be installed with guests at the heart. The entire guest experience starts as soon as you arrive at the front desk of a hotel. If you are arriving late at night, the lighting should be warm and welcoming, helping you to feel relaxed and comforted. This is in contrast to when arriving in the morning, where there should be plenty of daylight or if not possible, bright white lighting, to help you feel energised and awake.

Image credit: Franklite

It’s important to make the best use of light in each space, to create a relaxing atmosphere throughout the entire hotel. For example, the lighting in the restaurant will require different lighting at different times of the day. During the day, where natural light changes are more noticeable, different scenes make it easy to adapt and maintain the right light level. At night, the lighting may be needed to assist in creating a romantic setting.

Understanding these nuances has been the key to Franklite’s success, having manufactured and distributed decorative lighting products from our purpose-built premises for more than 45 years. The brand is renowned, both in the U.K. and abroad, for the quality and versatility of its lighting, a reputation built on using only the finest components in the manufacturing process.

The lighting brand has evolved into a company offering a diverse range of decorative LED lighting products for both interior and exterior, domestic and contract applications, including all areas of hospitality and especially in hotels.

Franklite was one of the first manufacturers of energy saving chandeliers within the U.K. lighting industry. The brand understands the importance of keeping up to date with changes in regulation, the development of super-efficient light sources, and changing interior design trends.

Along with its constantly updated catalogue range, Franklite is able to offer bespoke LED lighting solutions for special projects, ensuring your design is ahead of the game and adding that ‘WOW’ factor when required. The company has dedicated contract sales and technical teams with many years of experience in lighting to assist with all your requirements.

If you would like any assistance or advice on using our products in your next project, please contact us on 01908 691818 or visit the website.

Main image credit: Franklite

 

CASE STUDY: a bespoke lighting scheme for The St. Regis Venice

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: a bespoke lighting scheme for The St. Regis Venice

Bespoke lighting solution provider Inspired by Design was approached by interior design firm Sagrada to assist in sourcing lighting for just under 200 guestrooms and suites inside The St Regis Venice…

The St Regis Venice, designed by London-based design firm Sagrada, captures unmatched vistas that stretch over the building’s luxurious gardens, as well as the Grand Canal.

When it came to lighting, here’s how the designers created the appropriate ambiance in both the public areas and guestrooms.

“It was a difficult project to achieve as it required our extensive knowledge of manufacturers worldwide to produce a bespoke floor light reminiscent of the 1950s,” explains Simon Shuck from Inspired by Design. “As always, we rose to the challenge and found a factory that still had the molds available.” The factory then provided sample finishes with slightly colour variation to ensure we could match the clients exacting finishes. To finish the floorlight there was a shade manufactured to the interior designers choice of fabric and detailing.

However, the involvement did not stop there.

The next item was to produce a bespoke triptych mirror for the bathrooms. It had an exquisite sandblasted detailing to be produced on either side, backlit and to a very specific size and shape. The factory worked closely with the design team as numerous drawings and revisions were made until all the finer details of their designs were achieved before the triptych went into production.

Image credit: St Regis Venice/Marriott Hotels

Within the nearly 200 guestrooms and suites, the company’s expertise was tested again to produce both the bedside and vanity pendants . These required a facetted design to the glass, produced by Venetian master glass blowers to replicate the ceiling details. At the same time the faceting enabled the light to to cast a shadow onto the headboards to mimic the detailing on the ceiling and drapes.

Many samples had to be produced to ensure that the overall design intent would be achieved and as always the Venetian artisans lived up to their reputation.

The completed lighting creates a perfect ambience in the guestrooms, which compliments the history of the building. Shuck adds: “We are confident that when the guests arrive into their room they will be greeted by a beautifully and tastefully designed bedroom creating a luxurious stay in a very relaxed atmosphere.”

Inspired By 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

Main image credit: St Regis Venice/Marriott Hotels

TREND ALERT: Natural stone in hotel design lighting

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
TREND ALERT: Natural stone in hotel design lighting

With designers and architects looking for new innovative ways in which to inject biophilic design, Voltra Lighting takes a look at beneficial properties of natural stone…

Cappadocia, an ancient district in Turkey, never fails to capture the imagination of discerning travellers with its high-end rock-cut hotels that exude pure elegance and character. Everything from the hotel fireplace to floating shelves and even the bathroom fittings tend to transport visitors into the lap of luxury, by virtue of being carved out of timeless and all-natural stone.

Be it luxe beach stays in Greece or heritage hotels in India, there are many such examples where floor-to-ceiling natural stone designs add a distinctly tasteful texture to the interiors. So much so that avant-garde designers are increasingly considering richly patterned accent walls of stone to be works of art in itself; doing away with the need for additional wall hangings and paintings.

Oftentimes, even a few accent pieces fashioned from natural stone can transform ordinary spaces into extraordinary interior marvels. One such decor essential is the precision-cut alabaster lamp by luxury cordless lighting brand Voltra. This vessel of light is designed to create an ambience of heightened intimacy and sophistication.

The allure of natural stone explained

Hotels can choose to adorn their interiors with the likes of stylish Italian marble, delicately polished granite, or beautifully layered slate – each of which has an inherently unique appeal.

But, here are the features that make natural stone decor elements universally captivating:

Sustainable: Luxury hotel properties that have an environmentally conscious bent will find ethically sourced natural stone decor pieces to be great for the triple-bottom-line – being extremely recyclable and fabricated in a zero-waste industry.

Classic and timeless: At a time when trends and forecasts dominate, handmade stone decor pieces will always be an elegant choice. Especially when it’s just the right balance between design and craft, stone is perfectly suited for both traditional and contemporary decor themes.

Easy to maintain: Being able to resist rot, mold, extreme temperatures and water damage, makes natural stone particularly great for high-end bathrooms, outdoor spaces and kitchens.

Incredibly durable: Trust mother nature to produce some of the most resilient and exquisite building materials there is. Classy natural stones materials such as granite and quartz are known for their durability and longevity.

Unique: Just like a snowflake, the intricate designs and colors of no two stones occurring in nature can ever be exactly alike. You may choose from variants that have delicate golden sparkles, different colors, subtle textures and complex veins. This natural diversity of form makes it possible for you to design your hotel interiors to be exclusive and distinctive.

Keeping it trendy with natural stone

The versatility of natural stone has ensured that it remains a symbol of luxury and refinement for decades now. To help your hotel interiors to stand out from the crowd, here are the latest stone-based trends for 2020:

Source local: Hotels in Brazil can use local quartz, those in Italy can choose Calacatta marble, while Lundhs Larvikite can be the stone of choice for Norwegian properties. These indigenous stone varieties, if used with vernacular architecture as inspiration, will not only tick the sustainability box but really add to the cultural richness of your space.

Super-size the tiles: The latest trend is to have large tiles, on flooring, walls or even centre tables; at sizes starting from 60x60cms. This is ideal for creating that modern, sleek look.

Experiment with stone statement pieces: Eye-catching yet understated designs of table lamps, showerheads and planters, made of natural stone, can establish tasteful imagery. Even one exquisite stone art installation can help create a one-of-a-kind look for your interiors.

Luxuriously distressed: Gone are the days when the stone had to be polished to be ready. Nowadays, a well-worn rustic look is in vogue. These distressed materials, with stunningly life-like details, are a classic choice to really suit your garden and outdoor design.

Aim for earthy vibes: Natural stone intimately connects your interiors with nature and the earth to generate versatile and old-fashioned opulence. Unify your decor by pairing your stone decor feature with plants, soil, wood, water and fire.

Voltra Lighting is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Voltra Lighting