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Phono lighting by Chelsom

Product watch: Phono from Chelsom

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Product watch: Phono from Chelsom

As part of the EDITION 27 range, Phono presents table, floor and wall lighting options in an effortless balance of flawless product design with function…

Phono lighting by Chelsom

Since its launch in 2020, the Chelsom EDITION 27 range has been throwing a light onto an extensive and varied range of spaces, places and projects. The range was conceived as a diverse collection that covered an extensive array of lighting options and solutions.

When EDITION 27 first came under the spotlight, we identified some of the stand out designs in the range, and drew attention to the lighting spectrum and solutions included in it, from focussed bedside reading solutions to dramatic statement pieces. Since then, the range has become a firm fixture in designers lighting vocabulary.

More recently we saw the range take centre stage at HIX 2021 when Chelsom were finally able to present the range in person, displaying a selection of the EDITION 27 range on their stand, while showcasing the design trends, materials and finishes incorporated into the collection. Drawing on their vast experience in the industry, designers Will and Robert Chelsom have been able to create products that are wholly suited to the global hospitality and marine marketplaces, expertly fusing function and aesthetics throughout.

“In all my years working within the industry never has there been a more challenging yet exciting time to be designing lighting products,” said Robert Chelsom, Chairman at Chelsom.  “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.”

The Phono collection presents designers with a range of design and functionality options. The conical fabric shades fit seamlessly in to spun brushed brass cone holders and emit a beautiful warm light designed to enhance the ambience of any room. Table and floor lamps stand on heavy satin black cylindrical bases. The combination of fabric with the brushed brass provides a warm multi textured fitting with focussed ambient lighting.

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

LEDS C4 decorative lighting for design studio in barcelona

Case study: LEDS C4 lights up design studio in Barcelona

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Case study: LEDS C4 lights up design studio in Barcelona

Under the guidance of the interior designer Isern Serra, LEDS C4 is providing the lighting for the new offices of the 3D design studio Six N. Five in Barcelona, founded by Ezequiel Pini. We take a closer look at this creative lighting project…

LEDS C4 decorative lighting for design studio in barcelona

The project involved refurbishing the street-level premises of the design studio Six N five. Made up of a multi-purpose space, mainly used as an office, but also as a showroom, with an area for presentations, a small workshop for creating small prototypes, a leisure and virtual reality zone, and a café area. All in all, a multidisciplinary space open to the city with small cultural activities, and one which required lighting up to the all of the tasks.

“The diverse spaces to be allocated and the imposing heights made it possible to create a space in the top section to house the workshop and a storage area,” said Iserm Serra, the interior designer on the project. “This mezzanine also enables us to separate the public area from the more private ones.”

The mezzanine can be closed off with curtains at both the top and the bottom, thus making it possible to not only offer different levels of privacy, but also provide an element for dividing the different areas. The space was devised to be a large architectural sanctuary with a strong artisanal feel. Earth colours were chosen to reinforce the idea of materiality, opting for a smooth finish cement floor with building elements, along with walls in the same tone with uneven plasterwork. The lighting brief was to reinforce these elements while providing different levels of lighting appropriate to the defined areas.

With the aim of designing a multidisciplinary space that encourages creativity, the decision was made to show off the reality of construction, leaving all the original structure uncovered while providing warmth and serenity by means of the materials, earthy tones and light. LEDS C4’s lighting, with Atom Track 52 spotlights and Play High Visual Comfort Adjustable downlights, blends into the architecture of the space and helps to create a cosy, relaxed environment. In addition, Cocktail, Simply, Big and Nude light fixtures from the Decorative Collection help to create sources of light in the creative space, while relating to the monochromatic design scheme of the space.

The end result is a serene, harmonious space defined by subtlety and simplicity. The project is functional, yet also draws attention to the materials of the scheme and relates back to the work of Six N Five with an emphasis on technology and space. In this project the lighting is integral to drawing all these strands together to complete the story.

LEDS C4 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: LEDS C3

Boka-Place-Rooftop

EXCLUSIVE: Introducing SIRO, the new holistic wellbeing brand from Kerzner

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EXCLUSIVE: Introducing SIRO, the new holistic wellbeing brand from Kerzner

Kerzner International, the company behind One&Only, Atlantis Resorts and Residences and Magazan Beach & Golf Resort, has announced it is creating a pioneering new hospitality brand designed to sit at the convergence of travel, fitness, health and wellbeing. Here’s what we know about SIRO…

Boka-Place-Rooftop

Kerzner International has launched SIRO (Strength, Inclusive, Reflection and Original), a new hospitality brand that’s purpose will be to offer a balanced wellbeing experience for guests aspiring to become a healthier, more energised and rejuvenated version of themselves. The forward-thinking aim will be nurtured by SIRO’s engaging environment, supported by experts in a suite of health-related specialisms and made especially memorable by opportunities to experience destinations urban –  from urban jungles to serene countryside – through the lens of fitness.

The holistic wellbeing brand’s first property will be located in Boka Place, a new neighbourhood in the luxury marina destination of Porto Montenegro. Combining a 96-guestroom hotel and 144 managed residences, SIRO Boka Place is being designed by London-based design studio Atellior, and is slated for completion by the end of 2023.

“It is always very exciting to create the first property for a new hospitality brand and this is particularly so with SIRO because it is such a forward-looking concept – destinations of excellence forging an approach to fitness and wellbeing that meets the aspirations of modern, global lifestyles,” Una Barac, Executive Director of Atellior, told Hotel Designs. “We are also blessed with one of the most stunning locations in Europe, overlooking the breath-taking Bay of Kotor as well as Porto Montenegro, and with the Montenegrin mountains rising behind.”

SIRO Boka Place Gym cropped

Image caption: Render of the gym and fitness centre that will be sheltered inside SIRO Boka Place, designed by Atellior. | Image credit: SIRO

SIRO Boka Place will provide thoughtful environments for both guests and local residents. The public areas, we are being told, will emphasise the social aspect of wellbeing, providing a fully immersive experience and encouraging social interaction, with an overriding theme of ‘exploration’ and ‘play’ dictating the tempo. Sculptural bleacher seating in the lobby’s Amphitheatre zone will offer an informal and open place for people to relax and work, where leather cushions add comfort to the typical stadium experience and power points are hidden within integrated tables to provide numerous work hubs. The lobby is designed to come to life through sight, touch and sound, encouraging guests to linger.

Since nutrition is central to wellbeing and integral to connecting with the culture of the locality, the restaurant will provide a ‘mindful menu’ – balanced and nourishing cuisine crafted by SIRO dieticians and chefs using ingredients that are sourced locally and harvested seasonally. The restaurant’s design will have an urban vibe, with a grey conglomerate stone-effect floor and exposed service black-painted ceilings with a striking black mesh; a back-lit feature wall will create a dramatic focal point. In the centre of the space, comfortable lounge furniture in hues of grey, black and deep green surrounding low tables will lend themselves to a casual dining experience, whilst other dining tables will flank the perimeter and spill out onto the meticulously landscaped terrace.

> Designer Una Barac has joined several Hotel Designs roundtables. Since you’re here, why not check out the latest one she was involved in, on the ‘art of lighting’?

Adjacent to the restaurant will be another another pivotal feature of the ground floor lobby; the Juice Lab and After Work-Out Bar, where bar tenders will mix healthy and nutritious cocktails, juices and smoothies.

For those seeking a party vibe, a rooftop bar with live DJs will be a glorious rendezvous spot from day into the night. Contemporary furniture in cognac leather hues will occupy the space, offering a  variety of seating arrangements, from bar stools set around tall, communal tables through to comfortable lounge chairs. Striking, bespoke light features, inspired by sports’ physical movements will decorate the walls and hang as pendants. Contemporary outdoor furniture will grace the terrace together with lanterns and ample planting, creating a perfect al fresco experience and offering views across Boka Bay.

By contrast, the guestrooms are being designed as poised sanctuaries where guests can continue their fitness regime, recharge and sleep very well thanks to blackout and soundproof technology. Importantly, the rooms can transform quickly and easily between active and passive mode, pulse and restorative spaces. Each room comes with a range of fitness equipment, including punch bags, yoga balls and dumbbells, and there is plenty of space to work out or meditate. Another unique feature within the guestrooms will be the stretching bars, which form an integral part of the built-in joinery, enabling guests to exercise whilst also achieving a striking design feature. In-room mist showers, innovative furniture design and sustainable materials will work together to create a private retreat for rest, rejuvenation and recovery.

A high-performance fitness club will sit at the heart of the hotel. Featuring signature equipment and studios for workouts, yoga and dance, it will offer ample natural light thanks to the carefully designed see-saw roof, reminiscent of the industrial buildings that previously occupied the site. In addition, there will be the ‘Experience Box’ – an immersive studio with club-style lighting, sound and a large XL screen, and a smart climate-controlled 20-metre pool with a retractable roof which will allow guests to train freely regardless of weather, pausing only to take in the stunning views from the pool’s rooftop location.

Since rehabilitation is an important part of the SIRO experience, a ‘Recovery Lab’ will offer sports rehabilitation, innovative procedures, meditation classes and relaxing treatments. The Lab’s state-of-the-art equipment and procedures will explore new avenues to renewed, improved and harmonious health. Recovery facilities will include a selection of health spa services, ranging from cryo chambers, specialised massage therapies to meditation classes for mindful regeneration.

Igniting guests’ passions for exhilarating pursuits in the great outdoors, SIRO Boka Place will come complete with access to a number of demanding sailing circuits, plus cycling routes of varying intensity. Other outdoor activities will include hiking, boxing, climbing, kite surfing, parkour and, during the winter months, skiing, to name but a few.

SIRO will also be building TEAM SIRO, a team of key athletes from around the world who’ll each play an advisory role as SIRO develops the fitness and wellness elements at the heart of its immersive lifestyle experience. The first ambassador is GB Olympic gold medallist swimmer Adam Peaty – an Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion, and a favourite to win gold again at the next Olympics.

“SIRO is a gamechanger.” – Una Barac, Executive Director of Atellior.

Atellior’s aesthetic for the hotel has taken its cue from SIRO’s brand values, reflected in finishes that combine both traditional and contemporary materials such as oak, plaster, stone and aniline leather together with concrete, metal and glass. In this way, the contrast between the active and passive faces of SIRO, the physical as well as the mindful benefits that the experience provides, are expressed. The dramatic landscape background has inspired and defined the colour palette – tan leather and dark green upholstery combined with the softer tones of the warm ivory plaster, pale fabrics and light textured wood. Materials are being specified with great care to ensure they are ISO certified, regionally sourced and, where possible, incorporate elements of recycling within their manufacturing process.

The managed residences will range from studio apartments to three-bedroom duplexes and penthouses designed with a pared-back aesthetic. Clean lines and neutral tones will create an optimal environment for holistic wellbeing. Similar in aesthetic to the hotel guestrooms, they are designed with a calming and neutral palette inspired by the local limestone, with pops of colour in aniline cognac leather and striking artwork. Varying in size from 45 metre-squared to 170 metre-squared, the managed residences will all qualify for Montenegro’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBIP).

“SIRO is a gamechanger,” says Barac. “Developing a unique concept with health, well-being and mindfulness at its core has never been more relevant and together we have the opportunity to achieve a benchmark of excellence that will be the bedrock of future SIRO hotels. It is also special to us, as a firm with studios in London and Zagreb, to work in Montenegro with such a forward-looking international team.”

> Since you’re here, why not read about One&Only’s first property in Europe (it’s a stunner)?

Main image credit: Kerzner International

array taper floor lamp by Franklite

Year in review: Franklite continues to take lighting to new levels

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Year in review: Franklite continues to take lighting to new levels

It has been a year full of new designs, divas and dramatic lighting schemes for Franklite, not to mention a few awards gathered along the way. Pauline Brettell reflects…

array taper floor lamp by Franklite

Franklite can look back on 2021 with pride, as amongst its achievements this year, it can list three prestigious awards along with the successful launch of new and innovative product ranges.

Starting the run of success with scooping up the Artistic Award at the Society of Light and Lighting’s Ready Steady Light 2021, the 14 other companies were clearly no match for the Franklite team. Held at Rose Bruford College, the company was tasked to illuminate a specific area of the campus, and not being one to hide its light under a bushel, it lit the way and won the day.

Later in the year, after being shortlisted in two categories for our very own  Brit List Awards  – Best in Tech, and Best in British Product Design, Franklite won the Best in Tech award for its latest development in LED technology, the L11 tuneable white light engine.

Franklite L11TW Overview

Image credit: Franklite

Over the last several months, Franklite has worked tirelessly to design ranges of products that are not only functional and efficient, but also beautiful and creative. In continuation of the well received Catalogue 26, new product ranges each with their own variations, have been added to the Catalogue 26 supplement.

The Diva range is exactly that, extravagant! Chrome finish fittings surrounded by rectangular crystals with a mass display of crystal glass spheres as a base. This magnificent range includes 11, 15 and 20 light fittings and matching wall bracket. When lit, the colour temperature and reflection of the lamps creates very distinctive ambiences.

diva range of lighting from franklite 2021 range

Image credit: Franklite

Continuing with new designs, the large scale chrome finish fittings with a multitude of smoked and patterned clear glass spheres in varying sizes makes the Array a truly stunning centre piece. Available in 29 and 47 light fittings.

Along with new designs, existing ranges were added to. New designs can be seen amongst the brands most popular ranges; the Taper, Perdita, Philly and Wisteria, all providing customers with more product choices. The Taper range now includes wall brackets, floor and table lamps. A phenomenal 21 light, spanning 1.2m in length has been added to the Wisteria range.

Ending the year off with a bang, Franklite received Best Retail Decorative Lighting Manufacturer 2021 at the fourth consecutive Southern Enterprise Awards hosted by SME News. With all the hard work and dedication of the team at Franklite having been both recognised and rewarded, we are excited to see what the brand has in store for the industry in 2022.

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

Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs

Editor checks in: A sense of change in hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor checks in: A sense of change in hotel design

Making the best out of a disruptive situation – day eight of 10 into quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 – Editor Hamish Kilburn finds the time (and the words) to explore in his final editor’s letter of 2021 how sensory design and togetherness could help fuel hotel design and hospitality into a new yet-to-be-written chapter…

Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs

Can you feel, smell, hear, touch or taste it? Don’t worry, this isn’t a new variant symptoms check. There’s a transformation happening. It’s affecting the way we work. The way we communicate. Even my tone seems dissimilar (perhaps more honest) as I write this, uncomfortably pessimistic, in day eight of a 10-day quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 the day I landed back from reviewing a recent cluster of hotel design projects in Spain.

Whether we like it or not, we have no choice but to embrace new ways of living and working. As frustrating as this ‘new world’ may feel at times, we cannot always alter our surroundings. What we can adjust, however, is how we react. In great depression comes new prospects. When we accept a remodelled status quo, we can move past the practical hurdles and start to see how a change in landscape creates a transformation in behaviour, which in turn can lead to new breakthroughs in design, architecture and hospitality.

If you are struggling to see it, look no further than The Brit List 2021, which was unveiled in November at a spectacular, glitter-filled awards ceremony. The publication includes 75 individual examples of people at the forefront of our industry who are utilising this situation, which is becoming to feel more long-term as the months draw on. Take Robin Hutson, the Founder of The PIG Hotels, for instance, who won Hotelier of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2021. During a time when hospitality was forced to be on hold, Hutson started A Seat At The Table campaign in order to give the industry – formally under-represented – an unapologetic voice.

Another example is Tina Norden, Partner at Conran and Partners, who recently completed projects include the new five-star Park Hyatt hotel in Auckland; FEAST within Hong Kong’s iconic EAST hotel and the Peninsula Boutique and Café in Hong Kong. Norden was crowned Interior Designer of Year because of these projects as well as her selfless efforts to support the industry through lockdown, saying ‘yes’ to any opportunity to help raise the profile of British and global hospitality and design at its best. And instead of wallowing in self-isolation despair, I’ve just realised that I am interviewing both leaders in just a few days (note to self: use this time locked away from the world wisely in order to work on thought-provoking questions).

Logically, design and creativity during this period should have suffered, when human interaction and supplies chains have been damaged. Okay, it’s taken longer, and designers have been forced to, at times, sacrifice global FF&E, but it has allowed our community to do what it does best; find solutions to problems. Interior designer Álvaro Sans was tasked to steer one of Seville’s most iconic hotels, Meliá Gran Hotel Colón, into a modern era at a time when it was illegal for citizens to leave their houses. The delivery times of materials was a great task to manage,” he told me. “We had to change some furniture items because they did not arrive after five months of delay.” Sans recently unveiled this project, and it is, in my opinion, genuinely one of the most impressive public area renovations in recent history.

So, you see, change on this kind of scale can be a pivotal part of the overall narrative – we are turning the page of a gripping novel. Well, I have a confession to make. I read ahead and skipped a few chapter, and – spoiler alert – I have to tell you what I found before I read backwards. Waiting for us on the other side is an industry, scarred and not broken, which sets a holistic and more meaningful setting. The textured scene is layered with colour for personality, sound to create atmosphere, touch to make it personal and the smell of fresh bread from the bakery. It’s a sensory fusion of all the things we lost during dark times – a coming together of new skillsets we learned when restrained to the parameters of our homes. I’m not the only one who is reading ahead. At a recent panel discussion I moderated at Independent Hotel Show, Mark Bruce, Main Board Director at EPR Architects; Sound Designer Tom Middleton and Marie Soliman, Co-Founder of Bergman Design House discussed all the possible senses that will take hospitality forward – and no area, even the often forgotten hotel corridors, were off limit. “The gaps between the experiences are just as important as the experiences themselves,” said Bruce. “Those few metres can be thoughtful in themselves.”

The answer to many (if not all) of our problems comes in the form of collaboration, which has long been a fuel for the sector. I’m not talking about interior designers working with lighting designers or architects forming partnerships with sound architects. Instead, I’m suggesting two (or more) interior designers – AKA competitors – actually working together on a brief.

We saw this recently at HIX, in a wonderful display by the three design studios worked together to create Hotel Tomorrow. In this space, Conran and Partners injected the energy of community. Meanwhlile, Areen Design created an art installation-style safe cocoon nest that brought down the heart rate. stroop design, very much inspired by its own situation of launching recently with no physical base, was inspired by nature – and unveiled its co-working pod as a walk-in-the-park experience. Outside these three pods, the studios worked together, using visuals and sounds as tools for transformation from one area of the show to another – and as a result, intentional or not, they helped redefine the traditional trade show into an insightful experience.

Elsewhere in the show, a new revolution came to the surface in the wellness ‘living moodboards’ that were created by Sieger Design, Studio Carter, and Studio Corkinho – think hemp walls, spa-like suites and silent architecture. These concepts that were inspired with the 12 principles of design by Nestwell proved that the world is truthfully our oyster, and there is little we cannot achieve through constructive research and development (R&D).

“Yes, close the laptop lid and prepare to round-off another year on the international hotel design scene with a sense of pride from what we have created in a difficult year.” – Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs.

Render of organic guestroom designed by Studio Carter

Image credit: Studio Carter’s concept explored organic materials as well as soft architecture to create an authentic sense of wellbeing. | Image credit: Studio Carter

I would like to evolve R&D to add a new ‘R’: ‘rest’, which is unreservedly an integral element with innovation in design and hospitality. It’s the same with writing. Leaving an idea or an article to mature is all part of the process, which cannot sometimes be rushed, nor forced. Resetting the scales allows you time to exhale. When the writer returns, the space they’ve created allows the opportunity to add value to whatever was created previously.

And with that, several drafts later of attempting this column, it’s time to ‘switch off’ and turn on our Out of Office automatic replies. Yes, close the laptop lid and prepare to round-off another year on the international hotel design scene with a sense of pride from what we have achieved in a difficult year. I hope that when we return in 2022, we will find it in our hearts to embrace togetherness; to take on, in harmony, new opportunities and challenges.

To spur on this sense of change, I pledge to amplify on these pages bold, genius and non-conforming concepts next year and beyond. Revise the recipe – we’re craving spice and flavour here on the editorial desk – and please help us take hotel design and hospitality forward in beautiful, authentic, and disruptive ways. So, who will feature in the next chapter, I wonder?

Stay tuned…

Editor, Hotel Designs

Main image credit: Dish Creative/James Munson

lighting by Chelsom from edition27 range

Year in Review: Top 7 lighting products that launched in 2021

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Year in Review: Top 7 lighting products that launched in 2021

Continuing our ‘Spotlight On’ feature this month on ‘Year in Review’, where we publish the ultimate throwback of our 2021 highlights, this is our list of lighting products, designs and innovations that have grabbed our attention and got us swinging from the chandeliers…

lighting by Chelsom from edition27 range

Lighting in the hotel and hospitality industry has moved forward in leaps and bounds from the functional to the fabulous, and is now leading the way with the new buzzword in hotel design – flexibility. As demands on the hotel experience shift, so too do the demands on the lighting. In our Virtual Roundtable series this year we have covered several of these shifts in design and direction in the lighting industry with conversations about innovation, through to the broader social concerns of ethical solutions in lighting, reflecting the range of challenges being faced by interior and lighting designers. The seven products and designs below, we feel have responded to these demands, and are set to add depth and dimension into the interiors of 2022.

Chelsom: LED EYE

The joy of an innovative reading light…this combination of functionality with a contemporary aesthetic is what put this product in line to be awarded a Red Dot Award earlier this year.

“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,” said Will Chelsom, Managing Director, Chelsom. “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.”

Christopher Hyde: The Houston Collection

Houston 2 light wall light

Image credit: Christopher Hyde

Christopher Hyde has always included bold statement pieces in its lighting collection, and the designs from The Houston Collection are no exception. A contemporary take on a traditional chandelier, what we love about this design is its versatility; it can make a grand design statement in a hotel lobby, while being equally comfortable on a domestic scale lighting up a corner of your home.

Dernier & Hamlyn: Nobu London Portman Square

It’s always exciting to see bespoke lighting projects literally light up a design scheme, in an equally exciting hotel development. The designs by Dernier & Hamilton for Nobu London Portman Square elevated the interiors in some of the most spectacular areas of the hotel.

“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.”

Franklite: L11

 

Franklite L11TW Overview

Image credit: Franklite

Behind every beautiful designer lampshade, there needs to be an L11 tuneable white light engine! This innovative design makes ambient lighting both a subtle and a simple affair, and gives designers the capability to easily control the transition of light colour temperature wirelessly through an app or hard-wired within a building management system. With this product being noted as a ‘gamechanger’ in the industry, it came as no surprise when the company was awarded the Brit List Best in Tech 2021 award.

 LEDS C4: Grok

This design by LEDS C4 makes that transition from lighting to art installation with its innovative use of materials, along with a strong visual statement. With this system, design studio Nahtrang has created a lighting collection that’s visually surprising, and offers designers endless possibilities for creative and bespoke lighting schemes.

Omio: Nefertiti

The organic shapes and natural materials of the bespoke lighting by Omio certainly caught our attention at HIX2021. The artisanal qualities of the lighting along with the oversized scale and sculptural qualities of some of the pieces are a result of the successful collaboration between craft and production. It is exciting to see the handmade and craft based techniques of the designs taking centre stage in a commercial environment.

Well-Lit: Azure

Well-Lit has brought the question of ethical lighting to the design table, but along with questions of ethics and sustainability, it is also keeping the design profile of its lights high on the agenda. The Azure collection is an innovative combination of light and bulb and is quite simply beautiful, functional, and of course, ethical!

 

Chelsom, Christopher Hyde, Dernier & Hamlyn, Franklite and LEDS C4 are all 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

Roundtable - Franklite

Virtual roundtable: Innovation in hotel lighting design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Virtual roundtable: Innovation in hotel lighting design

With the aim to identify how hotel lighting is evolving in the international hotel design arena, Hotel Designs, in association with Franklite, invites leading interior designers and lighting experts to partake in its next virtual roundtable. From savvy product design to advanced technology – and even the idea of vitamin D lighting solutions – how is lighting in hotels taking centre stage? Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Roundtable - Franklite

Lighting, especially in the parameters of hotel design, is not a tool. Instead it is an art form, which requires sensitive approach. Often an extension of the interior design scheme – and sometimes the thread that brings the whole scheme together – the lighting design in many hotels that are emerging on the scene in 2021 is breaking boundaries by adding theatre into areas of hospitality that otherwise would be look and feel cold.

When identifying when and how lighting in hotels evolved from practical to experimental, the answer seems to be collaboration; when it became the norm on large projects for interior designers to appoint a lighting designer, not only to elevate the ambiance but also to be the vital source of knowledge when it comes to concept turning into reality.

To understand innovation in lighting in today’s arena, myself and the team at Franklite pulled together some industry experts for our next virtual roundtable.

Meet the panel:

Hamish Kilburn: What are the major innovations that you have seen emerge recently?

Michael Curry: LED technology is a huge innovation that we are dealing with. I have been with DPA now for 22 years, and I am of an age that I believe is quite fortunate; I recall older technology and understood at the time why we used those. Things were clunky, functional but not slick. I think the pre-consumption with lighting design is that it is subjective. Actually, a lot of the time, there is a right and wrong way of doing things.

I’ll be honest, we were really sceptical of LED when it first emerged on our radar. It wasn’t until five years ago when we really started to find good products that were almost the same as halogen in terms of warmth and intelligence. In addition, there’s warm, dim and tuneable whites to consider, which allows the user to personalise the lighting scheme. As a result of this, lighting controls have become almost essential in hotels. However, now there’s a large conversation around lighting automation – not only to benefit the usability of the space but also to save energy – that is very exciting and so important not waste power.

We are also looking at retrofit LED, in terms of decorative lighting but also to converse power while also adding quality to lighting schemes.

decorative neon lighting in manchester YOTEL

Image credit: YOTEL

Sam Hall: We are actually currently working on a refurbishment in London that was originally completed 15 years ago, and one of the main comments that came back was that the lighting level was just too cold. Now, we can go back in and create far more atmosphere. What’s great about the lighting scheme inside this project is that you don’t notice it – this, to me, is a sign that the lighting has been really considered; it enhances the space and becomes the unsung hero.

At the moment, we are putting a lot of emphasis on sustainability, which to me too often feels like a buzzword. For me, it needs to now also be about longevity.

Ariane Steinbeck: Having a lighting designer on board at the beginning of a project is awesome, but internationally that is usually lagging behind, because people don’t understand the painstaking research that the lighting designer has done and you fall into the risk of a contractor coming in and wanting to just get on with the project, substitute things and really damage all that work in early concept stages. There needs to be a wider and greater understanding of the role of the lighting designer.

Gary Marshall: Clients are now asking about lighting a lot more than they used to, because they are beginning to see the value of good lighting. I think three or four years ago there was more expectation on the interior designer to be able to design the lighting. Innovation comes into it because thanks to technology advancing there is a lot more choice on the market, and with the interior designer and lighting consultant working in harmony the results can be extraordinary. For me, that’s really positive because it’s understanding the value of lighting, which we have always known but I don’t think that was the case from clients. I think that there has been a real mood change.

HK: Why has it taken this long, do you think, for clients to understand these roles?

GM: My view is that clients are given more choice. Take a hotel corridor for example, you can create completely different effects, using lighting, with what a designer specifies.

MC: Gary, you’re right. It’s exposure and experience. We work on a lot of residential projects as well as hotels. I have noticed in the last 10 years that the managers and head of operations are actually from the design industry and appreciate good design. Quite a lot of the operators, these days, now ask for a lighting consultant to be part of the team.

SH: Technology has become more affordable, and picked up by consumer brands. Good lighting is now more accessible in everyday life. When that happens, it puts pressure on the industry to keep up and stay ahead.

Image caption: Junior suite inside Belmond Cadogan Hotel, designed by GA Group. | Image credit: Belmond

Image caption: Junior suite inside Belmond Cadogan Hotel, designed by GA Group. | Image credit: Belmond

HK: How important is lighting when defining some of these lifestyle brands that are emerging on the international hotel design scene?

MC: Sam mentioned ‘unsung heroes’ and I completely agree. A lot of time, the lighting product itself is out of sight but we make the interior look spectacular. In terms of branding and signage, you can make the lighting and the products look appropriate for that brand.  We as lighting consultants, tend to interfere when needed in order to ensure all areas of the lighting looks exceptional, which I think really amplifies brands’ look and feel as a quality hospitality establishment.

AS: Lighting is such an integral part of the overall design. In my 30 year career in the industry, even ‘lower end’ brands will insist on a lighting designer, not only for looks but also for the economy that good lighting can bring to a company’s bottom line. I see a much greater integration between interior design and lighting disciplines. And I think some of the more sophisticated clients insists on doing things that are intuitive yet simple to operate. With everything, the more simple and more stripped away the experience is, the harder you have to work to ensure that it works behind the scenes.

GM: From a brand point of view, brands across all sectors are battling to get closer to their customer. If you take away the functionality of a brand, it becomes all about emotions, values and that in itself becomes more sensory. Some would argue that there is nothing more sensory than lighting.

HK: Are travel trends dictating the way in which you light a space?

MC: I suppose they are. Take the Instagram moment for example, and having to change moods within spaces. We are working on a project at the moment in Moscow where this is a big draw for the client, in order to, as Gary was saying, reinforce the brand. It comes down to comfort.

SH: I think it depends on the brand, to be honest. On a younger brand, the lighting has more presence. A few years ago we did the W in Shang-hi and the lighting is the artwork. Whereas if we were working on a hotel in a heritage building, then it becomes more subtle. Equally there are hotels that use lighting to enhance wellness and the consumer journey – so yes, lighting is absolutely changing as a result of travel trends and modern traveller demands.

HK: Gary, I wanted to highlight one of your projects, Middle Eight, where you created an immersive, modern suite that had no windows, therefore lacking natural lighting. Talk us through how you designed these areas to become the hotel’s premium suites… 

GM: We broke all the rules with that location. More often than not the most expensive suites are located at the top of the hotel in order to create privacy but also to utilise views. We were repositioning the hotel from a run-of-the mill hotel in London into a luxury/lifestyle hotel. We decided to take what were the meeting rooms on the first floor, which had a light-well on the ceilings in the centre of the room. We were able to punch roof lights in and we wrapped the living spaces around this interior courtyard, if you like.

To ensure we achieved a premium lighting scheme in these premium suites, we ensured that guests could change the lighting setting through the means of very simple controls.

HK: What would you say at the major pitfalls to avoid when creating lighting schemes?

SH: When you are working internationally, it’s very difficult to ensure everyone has the same intent, and that’s where good communication and strong relationships come in.

AS: For me, one manufacturer’s lighting element is not the same as another manufacturer’s lighting elements. They may look the same in image, but unless you touch the elements you really can’t tell whether it’s a quality product. Because everyone is so connected now, you can’t tell if a product element is ‘equivalent’ to another product without touching it.

Mark Lissauer: That’s a great point. We have lots of distributers around the world, and a year and a half ago we decided to open our own office in the Middle East. Whilst all the designs are specified in the UK, our connection to our distributers were losing when it came to going to site. Now, with this investment, we are able to streamline the process.

HK: Another area Franklite has invested in is its research and development with its own testing equipment on site. Perhaps you can tell us more about that…

ML: Michael was saying earlier reducing from 40 watts per square metre to 20 watts per square metre. With the photometer, we can give all the circuit wattages for that. Hopefully, this enables us to prove how our USPs in products are benefiting the overall look and feel of design schemes. We have just invested in this marvellous machine that looks at flicker, the flickers that are subliminal that could be impacting the quality of guests’ wellbeing.

HK: Let’s end by talking about Brexit. Has this resulted in designers being more aware of British manufacturers?

SH: Unfortunately not! There is a change from the project team. We are working on a number of projects in mainland Europe where they are wanting us to specify products from mainland Europe, which is great from an eco-perspective, but it does mean that we have to be more knowledgeable when it comes down to what certain brands can do and what their strengths are – and not trying to do something that’s not natural for that area. It is causing issues, and the general speed of sampling is also very difficult.

Equally, we have UK projects that are really championing only looking at manufacturers in the UK, which has been really refreshing to find even artisan manufacturers. That, for us, has been a game changer because it impacts every project.

GM: The gestation period of a hotel project is so long, we are just getting to the point now where it becomes more of an issue. I envision it becoming more of an issue and I am anticipation that situation.

RPW Design designed The Capital Suite

Image caption: The Capital Suite inside InterContinental London Park Lane, designed by RPW Design (Ariane Steinbeck). | Image credit: Will Pryce

HK: What else in lighting has inspired you recently?

AS: I want to know why we can’t incorporate that healthy spectrum of vitamin D to counter the deficit of natural light we don’t get during the winter,

I want know, especially in northern hemisphere where there is a deficit of sunlight in the winter months, why can’t we, with our sophisticated tech, launch a product that incorporates a healthy spectrum of what we need for our skin to produce vitamin D during these months.

MC: We have heard about this. It was a little while back a bit of a buzzword and idea, but it is just how we get that design into a scheme. The whole conversation around circadian rhythm is very interesting and we should always be thinking about it.

ML: We have just launched our L11 Tuneable White Light engine, which gives the user much more control – and we are absolutely now looking at replicating the health qualities of natural light.

Franklite, which won Best in British Product Design at The Brit List Awards 2021,  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: Unsplash

Trip lighting from LEDS C4

Live from HIX: LEDS C4 presents ‘best choice’ of new products

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Live from HIX: LEDS C4 presents ‘best choice’ of new products

LEDS C4 is presenting its ‘best choice’ of new products at Hotel Interiors Experience (HIX). Editor Hamish Kilburn heads over to stand U36 to learn more about the Tubs, Trip and Noway collections…

Trip lighting from LEDS C4

LEDS C4 is at Hotel Interiors Experience (HIX) this week in London. The lighting company over on stand U36 at this year’s event – and has also lent a few items to Hotel Designs on stand U54. LEDS C4 is an official sponsor of this year’s edition, supporting the organisation with an interesting series of discussions involving famous names such as Tom Dixon. For this London event, the brand will highlight some of the best sellers from its Decorative Collection catalogue – and here’s what caught our eye…

Tubs

The design by Nahtrang Design is a set of geometric lines that make versatility its main strength, with almost endless composition possibilities. Its linear forms combine to create visual poetry in the form of latticework. The Tubs collection has four families: pendant, table, wall and floor. Each piece is a living element that can be infinitely extended; they can also be built in smaller versions that adapt to more limited spaces.

Recently, the collection was extended with a new felt fitting, providing spaces with a greater decorative element and improved acoustic quality.

Trip

LEDS C4 has opted for the Trip collection at the HIX event: a family of wall lights that decorates and illuminates. This soft, diffuse and asymmetric light point adapts easily to any space: “When the piece and the light effect it produces are designed in full harmony, the possible applications of the luminaire are endless”, explains LEDS C4.

Trip is intended to decorate with its mere presence. To do so, it’s available in two sizes (300 and 460 mm), in metallic gold and black, and there is the option of combining two or three luminaires. It’s made from steel and aluminium.

The glass version, TRIP GLASS, connects the design of the piece with light effects, and transparency is the key to its design. It comes in three diffuser colours: Amber, Fumé and Opal. Measuring 270mm, it uses E14 bulbs with IP20 protection.

Noway

LEDS C4 will also present the Noway collection, which is now available this year with a new pendant version. Not only does Noway boast a character based on simplicity and purity, but it also provides visual comfort through high-quality indirect lighting.

Noway, which is a design by Francesco Vilaró, is a luminaire with notable dematerialisation, fully ceding relevance to the light through a surprising effect of weightlessness and lightness that helps it offer high visual comfort with minimal material. This collection offers different options, from purer versions to other more complex choices, playing with a double shade (the colours of which can be combined) and with light effects to provide more visual presence. It’s available in black and gold finishes, with or without a floor counterweight.

LEDS C4, which will also display its Tubs lighting products on Hotel Designs’ stand on U54, 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: LEDS C4

Image of design-led lobby inside The Socialist in Copenhagen

The Socialist: A new Tribute Portfolio hotel hits Copenhagen

730 565 Pauline Brettell
The Socialist: A new Tribute Portfolio hotel hits Copenhagen

Tribute Portfolio, Marriott Bonvoy’s collection of characterful, independent hotels, makes its debut in Scandanavia with the arrival of The Socialist, a new design-driven hotel in Copenhagen. Pauline Brettell takes a closer look inside…

Image of design-led lobby inside The Socialist in Copenhagen

The Socialist is a new addition to the Marriott Bonvoy collection and is located in the heart of Copenhagen. This boutique hotel is housed in a city landmark, a former transformer station. Its city-centre location gives guests direct access to the rich diversity the Danish capital has to offer, from shopping in Stroget to experiencing the attractions of Tivoli; the buzz of Vesterbro or the freedom of Christiana.

The urban boutique hotel is all about a vibrant social scene that is centred around its bar, restaurant, lounge and wine cellar, about creating a vibrant urban intersection, a place where ideas and perspectives meet, which is illustrated throughout the design. The hotel’s restaurant, Bobo Food Studio, headed up by visionary chef Boris Buono, serves up New Nordic cuisine with a focus on organic, local produce, while in the restaurant’s wine cellar, guests can enjoy small tasting plates accompanied by a stellar wine list.

Moody, dark restaurant inside The Socialist

Image credit: Image credit: Filipe Wiens

Lighting and sound is important throughout the design and has been considered in all areas of the hotel, from the dramatic industrial lobby lighting, through to an emphasis on both natural and focus lighting in the guestrooms and suites.

Image credit: Image credit: Filipe Wiens

Each of the 31 guestrooms and suites have been creatively designed as an expression of its urban environment. All of the rooms also feature modern touches of technology, including Dyson hairdryers and Nespresso coffee machines.

The Tribute Collection, now with more than 32 hotels in its portfolio, is all about independent design, and connections. With its attention to detail and design having been ‘created for and by Copenhagen’s’ creative community’, The Socialist is an exciting new addition to this collection.

Main image credit: Filipe Wiens

A bedside table lamp in hotel

Here’s what Chelsom will be presenting at HIX Event

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Here’s what Chelsom will be presenting at HIX Event

Lighting brand Chelsom will be exhibiting at the upcoming HIX Event on November 18 – 19, 2021 at the Business Design Centre in London. Through expo, talks, installations and networking, Hotel Interiors Experience (HIX) celebrates and brings together the people that represent the hotel interiors supply chain, connecting both established and emerging brands. Let’s take a sneak peek…

A bedside table lamp in hotel

Visit stand 21 at HIX Event in order to meet the team at Chelsom, where there will be a selection of products on display from the brand’s latest collection, EDITION 27. Although launched in September 2020, this is the very first time that Chelsom have been able to fully present their latest designs in person.

Image caption: The Hybrid set | Image credit: Chelsom

Image caption: The Hybrid set | Image credit: Chelsom

The new collection has been designed entirely in-house and harnesses and refines the latest design trends, materials and finishes. Drawing on their vast experience in the industry, designers Will and Robert Chelsom have been able to create product that is wholly suited to the global hospitality and marine marketplaces, expertly fusing function and aesthetics throughout.

Image caption: LED EYE | Image credit: Chelsom

Image caption: LED EYE | Image credit: Chelsom

“HIX is an exciting new interiors exhibition for the hospitality market and we are thrilled to be able to present our latest collection in the flesh for the first time in HIX’s debut year,” said Managing Director, Will Chelsom. “Being able to see what the wider market is up to is really inspirational and it’s a great environment for companies to promote their latest product designs and innovations in such a fresh new format. The show has already become an industry talking point and a key date in the diaries of many leading hospitality professionals so it’s exciting for us to be finally exhibiting a selection of exceptional pieces from what is undoubtedly our most eclectic collection to date.”

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

Roundtable: The art of lighting

Live roundtable: The art of lighting

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Live roundtable: The art of lighting

In Hotel Designs’ first live roundtable since the beginning of the pandemic, in association with Dernier & Hamlyn, editor Hamish Kilburn gathered leading interior designers to discuss the art of lighting in 2021 and beyond – from downlights to pendants and pitfalls in-between. Scroll down to meet the panellists and to catch the conversation…

Roundtable: The art of lighting

To celebrate Hotel Designs putting the spotlight on lighting this month – and following the recent virtual roundtable on ethical lighting – the editorial team along with Dernier & Hamlyn invited a handful of designers together to explore where designers’ are putting their focus when decoratively lighting hotel spaces.

Meet the panel:

Hamish Kilburn: What key elements should designers focus on when lighting public areas?

Darren Orrow: Lighting is an integral part of the guest journey and experience, it helps tell a story and create the ambience. Lighting treatments should be tailored to suit each area’s function and be controllable from morning to evening. The colour temperature and warmth of light must be considered in all areas but in particular areas for relaxation, lounging and dining.

With regard to architectural lighting it is about the light effect as opposed to seeing the light fixtures, downlights are often best kept to a minimum. Many fantastic lighting schemes are created from predominantly decorative and integrated lighting treatments, with accent lighting only used to highlight specific task areas and displays where they can add highlights and drama. Decorative lighting is so important in public spaces from both the point of view of their visual aesthetic and the contribution of light to the overall ambience. Table lights and standard lamps encourage guests to sit and relax.

There are a number of hotel operators with lighting guidelines that need to be followed for areas such as reception and check in, which need to be well lit to carry out admin tasks, often overnight when the rest of the lobby lighting is at a very low level / in sleeper mode. So, local lighting to such task areas is preferred in order to not overlight the area. Stair areas also have minimum light level and uniformity requirements.

Image caption: Editor Hamish Kilburn leading the conversation with leading designers on the art of lighting. | Image credit: Dish Creative/James Munson

Image caption: Editor Hamish Kilburn leading the conversation with leading designers on the art of lighting. | Image credit: Dish Creative/James Munson

HK: When pitching to clients, how much detail do designers go into regarding lighting schemes?

DO: I would say that in the last eight years, lighting designers are being engaged in the project really early on in the process. While the interior designer has an initial vision before we are involved – establishing the overall ambiance and decorative details –the best schemes are the ones where a lighting designer is involved in the concept stages of the hotel. Any later than that, then the opportunity to get really creative with lighting becomes limited.

Mimi Shodeinde: With a supplier like Dernier & Hamlyn, I would send them a concept that I have and then the team in the factory come back with suggestions. After this, I will go into the factory and we will together go through drawings and produce models. This is when the concept really develops.

Gemma McCloskey: I think when designers start to look at interior architectural plans and spaces, when they are establishing elements such as the ceiling and wallcoverings, they innately consider where the lighting is going to be integrated. Like Darren said, we also make a conscious decision to stay away from downlights. When looking at the layers of the interior/architecture you start realising which lights would work. Once you have that finalised, and FF&E you can then start allocating where the lighting can be placed before speaking to a lighting consultant in order to qualify how much light we need and advise us on technical details.

Una Barac: From my perspective, we try to get lighting designers on board as soon as we are appointed on large hotel schemes. We do explain to the client that, yes, we have engineers ourselves, but in order to get the successful layering you need a lighting consultant on board straight away. We also recommended that they are kept on board as a guardian role, especially when a contractor can really dumb it down. And if someone is not there keeping a watchful eye on value engineering then all that work can go to waste.

HK: Guy, you have completed simply stunning projects inside iconic, heritage buildings. What have been some of the challenges you have faced – and more to the point, what were the solutions?

Guy Oliver: I think there’s a tendency to over-light spaces. Everyone demonises downlights, but in a banqueting scenario, downlights are a good thing in order to make the food pop on the table. In a beautiful restaurant, they have remote control pin spots because they want to make, for example, the flowers or the food stand out. There are always these wonderful layers of lighting in heritage buildings, such as majestic chandeliers, wall lighting and these modern spots – it creates a really nice juxtaposition.

For me as a designer, it’s all about creating an atmosphere. He is the opposite, he likes to under light a lot of space. Take the Chiltern Firehouse, for example, you’re finding your way around because it’s deliberate to create a dark, moody and sexy ambiance. For me as a designer, I am designing a mise én scene.

I think strip lighting is overused. When you are sitting in a space for a long period of time, linear lighting can burn into your retina. There are other ways you can dramatically light a space, and there’s a hotel in Paris which is a perfect example. Instead of adding that harsh strip lighting under the bar, instead they just added decorative lighting on the shelves, which just highlights certain hotspots. Lighting does not have to be complex. I was in a beautiful palazzo in Malta, where I noticed a single light bulb in the entrance hall, and it was one of the most atmospheric places I have been to because it [the light] bounces off the paintings, mirrors and silver.

“Sometimes lighting can flatten a painting, and it’s really about getting the textures and layering into place.” – Guy Oliver, Managing Director, Oliver Law.

The Wigmore at The Langham London - Dernier & Hamlyn's luxury lighting

Image credit: The Wigmore/Dernier & Hamlyn

HK: Would you say art is a key area you are looking at when injecting sensitive lighting into a space?

GO: Don’t get me started on picture lighting… you could do a whole roundtable discussion on it. I think you should work with artists in spaces. Designers need to consider the period of the space they are in as well as the period of the object that they are trying to illuminate. Sometimes lighting can flatten a painting, and it’s really about getting the textures and layering into place. Sometimes, the painting itself can become the lighting source.

DO: It also depends on whether it’s framed in glass or the size of the piece. For us, it’s a nightmare when the artwork is chosen too late. The wall light needs to be ordered to match what art is going where. Ideally, we like to ask our clients to map out what’s been supplied and the materials being used.

HK: Does this then create a challenge when hotels want to shelter an art residency instead of having fixed pieces?

GO: Sometimes a client doesn’t know what they want, or, as you say it’s a hotel that wants to start an art narrative by launching a residency. Sometimes, clients are collecting art as they go. A simple and flexible solution for this is to put a clock point on a wall where the painting is roughly going to be. From there, you can get any painting and movie it around the clock point so that the picture light is on the frame. Often, I see spaces where the lighting is highlighting the wall and not the painting, which is a classic error in my opinion.

HK: How far can we take lighting in hotel design? It’s come a long way from simply being a decorative element in a room?

MS: Art was my first calling, and this has absolutely enforced my work. As designers, our minds are our largest tool. Essentially, if you can imagine it you can create it. I love working with bespoke products – it’s very rewarding seeing your concepts come to life. We are working on a few new lighting pieces with Dernier & Hamlyn. It’s a lot of fun, seeing my sketches come to life.

Akram Fahmi: I am working with an artist at the moment who made a paint that you simply cannot purchase. We are using this in a restaurant concept with the aim to really tell a story about this paint and artwork. For this, we have inversed the concept by playing with shadows instead of ‘light’, allowing this feature to become a dynamic statement, which changes as different light is added to it.

Working with the artist from the beginning has been a really nice journey. Often, we, as designers, will design a space not knowing exactly what the art is until later on in the process. However, this way, we were able to really ensure that the art, the colour and the lighting really weaved themselves into the DNA of the interior design scheme.

“Often with bespoke lighting we have to really do the leg work to find a supplier who will be able to design the product within the time frame while also being on budget.” – Alex Holloway, Co-Founder, Holloway Li.

MH: As a bespoke manufacturer, our boundaries are set by the imaginations of interior and lighting designers. Some of the more interesting projects we have worked on have included incorporating egg whisks into a pendant for a restaurant, believe it or not.  We’ve also used branches from the trees on a golf course to wrap around large parchment shades to help bring the outside feeling into a large space. And for another project we used scent bottles filled with different coloured waters for a perfumery company. We’ve also worked with a vast range of diverse materials such as Vellum, ceramic tiles, plaster, fibre glass, resins and the notoriously challenging shagreen.

Alex Holloway: In a lot of the hotel projects I worked on, we were not given the luxury of a lighting designer in the budget. We are also quite restricted on our FF&E budgets and our time on a project. Often with bespoke lighting we have to really do the leg work to find a supplier who will be able to design the product within the time frame while also being on budget. In one project, I remember speaking to four different manufacturers who simply could not make the lead time.

UB: Even on high-end refurbishment projects, we sometimes don’t get the luxury of a lighting designer. When we work on residential schemes, clients sometimes give us 12 weeks. We need to know, straight up, what your lead times are.

Mark Harper: It all depends how quickly we are brought into the team. If it’s left until the last minute, then of course we have still got to do all the research and development because a lot of what is being specified is unique. Research and development takes time. The sooner designers can get manufacturers on board, the better it is.

AH: What is great about the projects we get to work on is that as well as picking from the mix of decorative off-the-shelf products, you can also develop your own products within your projects. We have set ourselves a task each time we work on a project to create at least one bespoke element, which creates a unique language around the project. In addition to the aesthetic benefits, it also really allows our design team to understand a lot more about lighting as a result – it’s a fantastic learning curve.

“We are being asked to promote biophilic design, which is really looking at all senses.” – Una Barac, Founder, Atellior.

UB: It’s interesting. We have used lighting manufacturers to help us with lighting calculations and lighting advice when the client has chosen not to use a lighting designer. The reason being is that otherwise, engineers will just kill it – the first thing they would say is that decorative does not come into the deluxe level calculations and if you want to pass building control you have to have a certain amount of down-lighting. So, we have used friendly suppliers to help us when faced with these situations.

Image caption: Nobu Restaurant inside Nobu London Portman Square. | Image credit: Jack Hardy

Image caption: Nobu Restaurant inside Nobu London Portman Square (lighting manufactured by Dernier & Hamlyn). | Image credit: Jack Hardy

HK: There seems to be a louder conversation happening around sensory design at the moment. What’s lighting’s role in this movement?

UB: More and more we are being asked to promote biophilic design, which is really looking at all senses. When doing so, obviously, we have to look at utilising daylight and generally creating a better, healthier environment.

DO: We are also seeing this. The challenge we are seeing is that real plants need the right quality and amount of light in order to stay alive. And sometimes the light needed is not always the light you want in a moody bar or restaurant, for example. So sometimes, we have a different light to switch on when the restaurant is closed. We are also seeing a lot of clients using real plants where you can touch them and faux plants where you can’t, which makes the whole space easier to maintain.

GM: There is a line where it becomes too gimmicky, and sometimes it’s just best to let the light do what it naturally wants to do.

“We are now looking at really simple solutions like a tuneable, soft bedside light.” Darren Orrow, Director, into Lighting.

GO: Anyone who has control over the lighting, from an operational perspective, has to firstly understand atmosphere.

GM: If it’s suitable for the hotel brand, playing on the senses through lighting design can be really interesting. However, for most hotel brands, I fear it will enter a gimmicky territory.

DO: The whole circadian rhythm conversation is really interesting. It’s colour mixing white light. Controls can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. In a hotel room, I believe the control should be with the guest, to be able to tune their lighting how they want it. We are now looking at really simple solutions like a tuneable, soft bedside light. For other hotel clients, we are looking at integrating the real flame effect from candles into the bathroom lighting scheme, creating a spa-like look and feel in the evening.

AK: I think you need to find a balance. You can inject high-tech software with a user-friendly interface. I think guests miss having a switch, and especially in a hotel, the controls need to be simple yet intelligent.

HK: And finally, what would you say are your biggest bugbears in lighting design?

DO: For me, as a lighting designer, the wrong lightbulb being used in a beautiful fitting. The specification of the lightbulb needs to come from the lighting design and/or the interior designer.

GO: Lighting lifts. Anything that comes as standard, forget it when lighting lifts. One of the cheapest tricks is to install a light panel, which literally look like you are in an operating theatre. If you put a panel under it, it softens the lighting. Sometimes people add lighting on the skirting, but it’s a very difficult space to light.

GM: Corridor spaces where designers don’t accept darkness, if that’s suitable for the space. Forcing lighting into spaces is often a big pitfall.

Key takeaways from the discussion:

  • Most designers prefer to have a lighting designer on board if budgets allow
  • Bespoke lighting manufacturers want to be involved at the earliest stages of a project
  • The wrong type of lightbulb can be a disaster
  • Getting the right balance between over and under lighting is key
  • The Wigmore in London does great chips!

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

Bamboo wall lantern

Product watch: Vaughan presents the Ellisfield Collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Vaughan presents the Ellisfield Collection

Lighting and furniture brand Vaughan unveiled its latest range, the Ellisfield Collection, at Focus 21 in September. Here’s our editor’s pick of our favourite pieces…

Featuring renditions of beloved classics, such as the Bamboo Lantern and the Windermere Chandelier, as well as contemporary pieces, the Ellisfield Collection by Vaughan is a British design masterpiece.

Bamboo wall lantern

From the tapered legs of the Colemore chest of drawers to the compelling simplicity of the Thackam bookcase, the collection artfully combines beautiful and practical design.

“Throughout lockdown, creativity has been such a source of comfort and joy to me, the result you can see in the pieces here today” explained Lucy Vaughan, Chair and Co-Founder, Vaughan. “From a familiar table that I would see in my grandmother’s house, to a chest of drawers that for years has been placed next to our sitting room, each design brings me a feeling of being at home. Inspired by the aesthetic of the arts and crafts movement, as well as containing considerable Japanese and Chinese influence, the pieces we’ve made have come from a wealth of different backgrounds – undoubtedly adding to their uniqueness ands complexity.”

Editor’s pick

Here’s what stood out in the collection among the editorial team at Hotel Designs:

Leckford table lamp

Leckford table lamp by Vaughan

Image credit: Vaughan

Large in scale, this table lamp has a sophistication and monumentality to it. Initially modelled in clay by our design team, this ceramic piece is then given a striking antiqued finish glaze.

Windermere chandelier

Windermere chandelier in gilt

Image credit: Vaughan

Based on an original antique, this chandelier focuses on a foliate design and has been decorated with individually pressed and formed maple leaves in a gilt finish.

Morestead table

Morestead table by Vaughan

Image credit: Vaughan

Based on an original antique found in Lucy’s grandmother’s house, this piece centres around an Arts and Crafts aesthetic. Composed of two tiers, it has a wonderful decorative feel to it thanks to the knurled legs, and is finished in acacia wood.

Compton table

Based on an antique original Lucy and Michael bought at auction, this table harks back to the Aesthetic Movement, and has a personal link – ideal when giving character to a lobby/lounge. Available in both an ebonised wood and a light oak finish, it is finely decorated with fretwork detailing.

> Since you’re here, why not read about the Chawton Collection by Vaughan?

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 caption: The Bamboo Lantern. | Image credit: Vaughan

Grok Tubs contemporary, felt fitting lighting in living room

New architectural lighting range by Grok plays on geometric lines

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New architectural lighting range by Grok plays on geometric lines

Grok’s architectural lighting range Tubs, designed by Nahtrang Design, is a versatile and modular lighting collection that plays on geometric lines. It also features a new felt fitting, providing a greater decorative perception as well as improved acoustic qualities…

Grok Tubs contemporary, felt fitting lighting in living room

Answering modern designers’ demands for statement lighting schemes incorporating innovative use of acoustic materials, LEDS C4’s Grok has recently expanded its geometric Tubs collection to now feature felt fitting.

This new fitting is available in two sizes (1000 x 300 mm and 600 x 200 mm), and comes in two shades of grey, as well as a wide range of colours available on special order.

Being showcased at HIX Event next month, the range combines versatility with subtle design. Its linear shapes are joined together to create grids of air and light, enhancing sense of space in a room. The design studio Nahtrang, formed by Dani Vila and Ester Pujol, has created a lighting collection that’s pure visual poetry, offering endless possibilities for creating and dressing large spaces.

The Tubs collection has four families: pendant, table, wall and floor. The wealth of shapes make each piece a living element that can be infinitely extended, and can also be built in smaller versions and adapted to more limited spaces.

Uniquely designed, the Tubs pendant light is characterised by its geometric and pyramidal lines, trapping the light inside and subtly defining and enhancing the spaces where it hangs. Its soft yet powerful light makes it a versatile piece, perfect for large spaces.

Tubs table lamps and Tubs floor lamps cast light through geometric shapes. The linear light source has a broad capacity for movement, providing the space with energy and character. Their black marble bases give them a touch of elegance and quality. These are highly versatile pieces, suitable for domestic, leased and office spaces.

The Tubs wall light also represents a play with light, casting geometric shapes on the surfaces where it hangs. The linear light source has a broad capacity for movement, providing the space with energy and character.

Tubs Modular is a highly versatile and technically sophisticated family of products that allows maximum user control within a slim profile.

LEDS C4 will be showcasing a range of products at HIX Event. The lighting brand will be stationed on stand U36, as well as featuring its Tubs floor lamp on the Hotel Designs stand ( U54) and displaying its products within a live environment in the HIX Works installation. 

Main image credit: LEDS C4/Grok

The Reykjavik EDITION_Tides Restaurant

The Reykjavik EDITION arrives in Iceland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Reykjavik EDITION arrives in Iceland

Opening in preview on November 9 2021, The Reykjavik EDITION is expected to set a new hospitality standard – one that matches the natural magnificence of the destination –  as Reykjavik’s first truly luxury hotel experience. The 253-key hotel combines the best of the Icelandic capital with the personal, intimate and individual experience that the EDITION hotel brand is known for. Melania Guarda Ceccoli writes…

The Reykjavik EDITION_Tides Restaurant

Cool cafes, culinary hotspot, an epic music scene and a vibrant nightlife: we are in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland – land of hot springs, mineral waters and natural fjords. With typical finesse, the long-awaited arrival of The Reykjavik EDITION further cements EDITION Hotel’s uncanny ability to land in just the right place at the right time. Opening this November, The Reykjavik EDITION will shelter a personal, intimate and individual experience that the EDITION hotel brand is known for. The result is a spirited and sophisticated urban hub with 253 rooms, an outstanding line-up of bars, signature restaurants and nightclub and, in true EDITION hotel style, the introduction of a new kind of modern wellness concept.

“More so than any other place in the world, it’s a real opportunity to get in touch with earth and nature.” – Ian Schrager, Founder, EDITION Hotels.

The Reykjavik EDITION hotel is the first true luxury brand entering the market which has facilities and services like no other. First appearing on the map when American chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer won the World Chess Championship in Reykjavik in 1972, Schrager, who was following the event at the time, says he was taken aback by the country’s unspoiled, natural beauty.  “In Iceland, you’re getting to see things you won’t see anywhere else,” says Schrager, the visionary pioneer of the boutique hotel concept. “More so than any other place in the world, it’s a real opportunity to get in touch with earth and nature and we’re proud to further expand the EDITION brand in an incredible place with an incredibly exciting hotel that gives you a true sense of place.”

From the outside, The Reykjavik EDITION hotel is a striking addition to this downtown neighbourhood. Its ebony façade of shou sugi ban timber has been charred to be blacked using an ancient Japanese technique, and blackened steel frames is a clear nod to Iceland’s dramatic lava landscape.

The Reykjavik EDITION_Exterior

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

The double-entrance lobby is accessible either from the pedestrian Harpa plaza, or the harbour. The latter features a canopy, its underside illuminated by 12,210 glass LED nodes.

As with all EDITION hotels, the lobby is a dynamic, social space that subtly reveals a sense of place and sense of time. Here, basalt stone – or volcanic rock – is prominent, appearing on the flooring, which has been laid with an intricate pattern inspired by Icelandic geometry, and a standout sculptural reception desk. The lobby lounge features a central open-flame fireplace which is the hearth of the space, surrounded by seating and a collection of custom-made furniture in intimate seating groups, such as the JeanMichel Frank-inspired armchair in white shearling and Pierre Jeanneret-inspired chairs in black velvet.

Inside the entrance of the hotel, ISC has collaborated with local artisans to create a totem sculpture of stacked, columnar basalt slate from the south of Iceland. Rising close to four meters high, the sculpture’s inspiration is found in the traditional Cairns that act as landmarks across Iceland’s countryside. Dramatically lit by both electric and candlelight and surrounded by a basalt bench, the totem is layered with lush black sheepskins, black damask and silk pillows, becoming a gathering place to see and be seen, at the centre of the lobby. Right next to this, inspired by the spectacle of the aurora borealis (Northern Lights), ISC has video mapped the Northern Lights and has created an immersive, three dimensional and atmospheric digital artwork of beautiful green and purple dancing waves. Located in the lobby, it stirs a reaction and emotion, similar to witnessing the natural phenomenon in the Icelandic night sky…but in the comfort, warmth, and intimacy of the lobby and lobby fireplace.

Accessible from the lobby, the ground floor is also home to Tides, the signature restaurant with private dining room, and café with homemade baked goods, and Tölt, an intimate bar that takes its cues from The London EDITION’s award-winning Punch Room. Tides, which has an outdoor terrace and its own waterfront entrance, is helmed by Gunnar Karl Gíslason – the chef behind Dill, Reykjavik’s much-celebrated New Nordic Michelin-starred restaurant. In the mornings, breakfast is a fresh, healthy mix of clean juices, pastries, fruit, cereal and skyr (Icelandic yoghurt) supplemented by an à la carte menu of hot dishes and a selection of open-face sandwiches. For lunch and dinner, Gíslason serves modern Icelandic cuisine, with subtle hints of traditional cooking methods, focused on seasonal local products and the highest quality of global ingredients mainly cooked over an open fire. Alongside an extensive global wine list, expect dishes such as a vertical salad topped with fried oyster mushrooms aged soy sauce and roasted almonds, whole Arctic char stuffed with lemon, dill and garlic butter, baked Atlantic cod, grilled potatoes, mixed herbs and butter and lamb shoulder braised and slowed grilled, pickled onions mint and apples, and for dessert, Tides carrot cake, buttermilk ice-cream, carrot and sea buckthorn jam, with roasted caraway oil. There is also a weekend brunch menu and three nights a week, The Counter, overlooking the theatrical open kitchen, will serve an eight-course tasting menu with wine pairings for up to 10 people. Meanwhile those looking for something more casual can pop into the bakery and café for a coffee and a selection of freshly baked crowberry scones to delicious sourdough or rye bread sandwiches where guests can dine in or take away.

On the opposite side of the lobby, Tölt – named after the unique fifth gait Icelandic horses are best known for – is a cozy bar.

The Roof is located on the hotel’s seventh floor and offers panoramic mountain, North Atlantic Ocean and old town vistas. A versatile space that can be divided by a glass door for private events allows it to be the best place from which to enjoy the endless bright summer evenings as well as the magical northern lights in the colder months. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open onto a large wrap-around seasonal outdoor terrace, scattered with comfortable seating and a large fire pit, while the slick all-black interiors create a discreet background that doesn’t detract from the views. Here, the casual vibe is supplemented by a small menu of comfort foods like grilled flatbreads, toasted sandwiches and fresh salads.

The Reykjavik EDITION_The Lobby Bar

Image credit: EDITION

The guestrooms and suites have been designed as warm retreats, each with floor-to-ceiling windows and some come complete with an outdoor terrace. From its prime corner spot on the 6th floor, the one-bedroom Penthouse Suite – with its own private terrace has magnificent harbour, Harpa and mountain views that are further complemented by bright, light-filled elegant interiors of plush custom furnishings in creamy oatmeal tones. The Penthouse Suite is also accessorised with an oversized bathroom with Italian white marble and a central fireplace too.

The Reykjavik EDITION hotel offers modern meeting and event spaces, including flexible studios, a boardroom with natural light, bleach oat-wide plank floorings, and a grand ballroom with pre-function space.

Also, on the lower ground floor is a gym. Alongside three treatment rooms, a hammam, steam room, sauna, and plunge pool which offers hydrotherapy, there is also a central lounge with a spa bar, which by day serves a fresh healthy menu of post-workout Viking shakes, champagnes and, delicious moss vodka infusions alongside snacks like volcano bread with black lava salt.

Main image credit: EDITION Hotels

1 Hotel Toronto - collage

Inside 1 Hotel Toronto, the city’s new sustainable masterpiece

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside 1 Hotel Toronto, the city’s new sustainable masterpiece

New York-based design studio Rockwell Group has unveiled the interiors of the new 1 Hotel in Toronto, Canada’s first ‘mission-driven hotel’ that celebrates the beauty of the city’s natural environment in an urban package that sets a new hospitality standards in sustainable luxury…

1 Hotel Toronto - collage

Two years since whispers of the 1 Hotel brand marking its territory on Canadian soil, Hotel Designs is finally able to take a sneak peak inside 1 Hotel Toronto – and it was worth the wait!

Rockwell Group’s design concept for new the latest lifestyle hotel to emerge on the city’s hospitality scene reframes the city – turning its urbanism inside out, responding to the question: “What if a luxury hotel was an inviting portal to the natural world, instead of a flight from it?”.

“Our vision for the hotel invites guests to celebrate Toronto’s ecology through materiality and locally-made artwork.” – David Rockwell, Founder, Rockwell Group.

“We have long admired 1 Hotels’ sustainable and eco-friendly ethos, and we are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to design the new 1 Hotel Toronto with a biophilic emphasis,” said David Rockwell, Founder, Rockwell Group. “Our vision for the hotel invites guests to celebrate Toronto’s ecology through materiality and locally-made artwork.” Every corner of the design narrative unconsciously reflects a strong sense of place. The material palette for the hotel, for example, takes inspiration from the muted colours of Lake Ontario and the contrasting tones of the passing seasons and features reclaimed timber, native plants, board-formed concrete, and local marble.

The hotel’s lobby welcomes guests to a warm and nest-like space surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass windows, which create a light box at night, as well as a feeling of seamlessness between indoors and out. The entrance to the hotel is framed with a mix of granite and limestone boulders, maple trees, local plants, warm wood, and a trailing green canopy, all reminiscent of Canada’s natural landscape.

1 Hotel Toronto lobby - with a sustainable design scheme

Image credit: Brandon Barre

It features 4.5 metre-high ceilings, reclaimed Elm wood flooring and shelving sourced from a dismantled barn in Ontario. Additional sustainable design details include a living green wall, found objects, local stone and reclaimed furnishings from materials such as elm wood and teak root.

Plants and natural materials in lobby lounge of 1 Hotel Toronto

Image credit: Brandon Barre

A stone wall with wood-like striations – carved out of glacial activity along the Eramosa River – serves as the backdrop to an art installation designed by Toronto-based artists Moss & Lam behind the check- in desk.

Once first impressions have been made, guests can discover that 1 Hotel offers an all-round dining and drinking experience, with a selection of two restaurants and two bars spread throughout the hotel.

The modern 1 Kitchen has a vintage vibe and is located in a glass-walled conservatory-like space with a vaulted wood ceiling and curved trusses hung with greenery. Sourcing all food ingredients from within a 50 km radius, 1 Kitchen is a neighbourhood destination that welcomes both hotel guests and locals alike.

In harmony with the local and crafted design scheme, Madera is an organic Mexican restaurant follows the design cues of the hotel, with sand-blasted textured wood, greenery, wooden dining chairs crafted by Benchmark, reclaimed live edge wood tabletops, artistic handmade vessels, and modern, vibrant lighting.

Harriet’s is the city’s newest rooftop hotspot featuring an open concept sushi bar with sliding glass walls and a retractable roof, to get the best out of the breathtaking city and lake views. The design details recall Toronto’s flora and fauna, with a woven rope ceiling interspersed between wood beams, reclaimed Elm wood flooring and leather and lambskin accents.

Harriets on rooftop of 1 Hotel Toronto

Image credit: Brandon Barre

The light and airy guestrooms at 1 Hotel Toronto feature sliding barn wood doors dividing the bedroom and bathroom. The studio added warmth to the Carrara marble bathrooms by utilising Hickory wood surrounds for the vanities. A natural wood accent wall is added behind the bed, with a leather headboard. An art piece comprised of a fallen tree fragment, sourced by a local wood studio, completes the design.

On the collaboration with 1 Hotel, Rockwell Group’s Founder David Rockwell says “We have long admired 1 Hotels’ sustainable and eco-friendly ethos, and we are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to design the new 1 Hotel Toronto with a biophilic emphasis. Our vision for the hotel invites guests to celebrate Toronto’s ecology through materiality and locally-made artwork.”

Main image credit: Brandon Barre

Zany project insitu

Product watch: L11 tuneable white light engine by Franklite

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: L11 tuneable white light engine by Franklite

Introducing lighting brand Franklite’s latest development in LED technology, the L11 tuneable white light engine, which has been shortlisted in the ‘Best in Tech’ category at The Brit List Awards 2021…

Franklite remains at the forefront of the lighting industry as a result of the hard work and dedication of its technical team, who continue to develop the latest in technology and custom design projects. The UK-based brand’s latest unveil takes LED technology to a whole new lighting level, the L11 tuneable white light engine.

Zany project insitu

The product is an innovative and unique take on a traditional candle lamp – designed and manufactured at the brand’s factory in Milton Keynes and tested in our in-house laboratory. The technology offers a smooth transition between amber and cool white from 1,700 to 3,650 kelvin.

Designers now have the capability to easily control the transition of light colour temperature wirelessly through an app or hard-wired within a building management system. With a dimming range from 100 per cent down to one per cent, users are able to create the perfect ambience with a simple touch of a button all while providing customers with the ultimate sensory experience.

The L11 tuneable white light engine is designed to fit a wide range of decorative fittings including chandeliers, lanterns, pendants and wall brackets. The technology can be replicated into the manufacturing of our LED plates for Franklite’s Woburn shade family, and custom designed projects.

Other benefits to using the light engine include a high quality of light across the whole CCT spectrum, increase in light output which exceeds retrofit LED lamps available on the market, longevity and reduced maintenance costs. This dedicated LED technology contributes significantly to energy efficiency with an 80 per cent saving using only 11W.

Franklite L11TW Overview

Image credit: Franklite

Franklite only partners with reputable brands such as eldoLED, Bridgelux and CASAMBI and as a member of the Lighting Industry Association Quality Assurance our quality system and product compliance are audited yearly to ensure it maintains the high level of standard expected.

The L11 tuneable white light engine can also be accompanied by maintained emergency gear within Franklite’s extensive range of wall brackets and flush ceiling fittings. With the essential functionality uniquely hidden, users are still able to comply with health and safety guidelines whilst providing guests with the ultimate luxury experience.

> Since you’re here, why not read about what else is new from 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.

Main image credit: Franklite

Minimalistic living room interior with concrete walls, arc shaped window, a coffee table and two white armchairs near it. 3d rendering.

Industry insight: Statement interior lighting

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: Statement interior lighting

Design inspiration starts with that one magnificent statement piece, a piece that reflects your remarkable personality and style. Christopher Hyde Lighting offers just that – collections of luminaires designed and manufactured to make a statement…

Minimalistic living room interior with concrete walls, arc shaped window, a coffee table and two white armchairs near it. 3d rendering.

Whether it be a modern living area in a luxury New York apartment or a spacious entry way in a private residential home nestled between boulders along the coastline, Christopher Hyde manufactures one-of-a-kind luminaires to suit any interior using only the highest quality materials. The majority of our fittings are made from solid brass with up to 18 different finishes.

The classic collection consists of more traditional and ornate luminaires, whilst the contemporary collection comprises minimalist designs made from carefully sourced traditional materials such as genuine solid brass, crystal, luxury Italian leather, glass, chinette and linen giving each fitting a modern highly refined design. These traditional materials also add texture and depth to any space.

The Houston Collection which consists of a spiral chandelier, five light pendant and wall light, might have a minimalist design but the fittings within this collection are nothing short of grandeur. The multi-level spiral shaped chandelier with six shades extends significantly from the ceiling, whilst the five light pendant has an expansive diameter with a shorter drop, making it ideal for lower ceilings.

Manufactured with a nut-brown painted stem, finished in polished nickel with stone or dark grey coloured chinette shades this collection would fit perfectly in architectural surroundings with a muted colour palette. This collection would complement wood built-in cabinetry or detailed art due to its more minimalist design.

Houston 2 light wall light

Image credit: Christopher Hyde Lighting

Vaulted or recessed ceilings either in an entry way or staircase would be the ideal location to showcase the spiral shaped chandelier. The six shades at multi-levels adds texture and dimension to the vast space. It is important to view a space in its entirety and the spiral shaped chandelier will definitely draw the eye upwards allowing the viewer to take in the opulence of the space.

Coming down to eye-level, the Houston wall light would perfectly frame a tufted linen headboard or provide sufficient illumination and balance amongst detailed art pieces and prints in the form of a collage which would make for an interesting feature in a hallway or bedroom.

A core principle at Christopher Hyde is to provide additional technological features to its beautifully designed, individual, decorative luminaires. This dedicated LED technology in the design of a traditional candle lamp produces the same light output as a traditional tungsten candle lamp and contributes significantly to energy efficiency with an 80 per cent saving using only 11W. With this technology customers also have the option of including dimming capabilities on several of our most popular, one-of-a-kind luminaires.

Christopher Hyde Lighting 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 Lighting

Exterior of Grantley hall

Case study: Designing lighting & audio inside Grantley Hall Hotel & Spa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: Designing lighting & audio inside Grantley Hall Hotel & Spa

Local custom integrator Clever Association worked with Grantley Hall Hotel & Spa to complete the design and installation of perfectly integrated lighting and audio control automation within the bedrooms and communal areas, inside and out. By specifying Sonance Landscape Series systems, the design team were able to ensure the experience of luxury extended to outdoor areas in order to keep up with modern traveller demands…

Exterior of Grantley hall

It’s all very well designing a beautiful interior space that cleverly injects biophilic design, but in order to create a truly cohesive language between inside and outside, designers should consider a dimentional approach to the look and feel of the space by considering the lighting as well as sound. For Grantley Hall Hotel & Spa, in order to do this trend justice, with a meaningful approach, the property called upon a supplier that could seamlessly elevate the entire consumer journey. By doing so, the Grade II listed building has proved that heritage buildings and technology can indeed work in harmony.

Situated on the outskirts of the Yorkshire Dales near Ripon on 30 acres of stunning woodland, parkland and grounds, and complete with its very own English-Heritage listed Japanese garden, the hotel is set to become one of the UK’s leading luxury hotel and spa retreats, immersing guests in complete luxury and relaxation. Many of the Georgian characteristics of the stately home have been preserved, but the 47 beautiful bedroom suites, spa, gymnasium, event spaces and nightclub also benefit from ultra-modern technologies. Local custom integrator Clever Association worked with Grantley Hall to complete the design and installation of perfectly integrated lighting and audio control automation within the bedrooms and communal areas inside and out.

All bedrooms are kitted out with a high-quality audio system, allowing guests to access their own music or stream from the hotel’s music library. Luxury Lutron lighting control, also present in the bedrooms, offers guests the ability to tailor lighting to their own needs and mood. In addition, Lutron Homeworks lighting is installed in all communal areas, ensuring the ideal light level at any given time. Similarly controlled by hotel staff, high quality audio extends to hospitality areas immediately outside the hotel.

The interior design project, which included Grantley Hall’s new ‘Three Graces Spa’ and innovative ‘ELITE’ luxury gym and wellness centre, answered the brief with thanks to the intuitive automation of both lighting and music distribution throughout the hotel to create the perfect ambience in any space at any time of day, season or specific occasion. As a result, staff are able to spend more of their time looking after guests while energy wastage is minimised, and the guest experience is enhanced by the magic of flawless touch control.

Grantley Hall - outside pool

Image credit: Jonty Wilde

Clever Association’s Anthony Gallon takes up the story: “We contacted Grantley Hall after we’d heard about its plans through the business grapevine. They were keen to use local companies so that helped our pitch. Grantley Hall is one of the biggest installations we’ve managed to date, but as with every project, the key objective was to deliver an impeccable standard of work within budget. Part of our competitive tender involved making sure that the client had all the demonstrations they needed to inspire confidence in the quality and performance of our work, in harmony with the hotel’s luxury ethos.”

When it came to designing the luxury al fresco area, the team required a reliable brand that’s products were tech savvy. “We approached Habitech for the outdoor audio elements required to cover extensive areas along the West Terrace including The Orchard, where a substantial sailcloth marquee covers a drinking and dining area,” explained the studio.

Grantley Hall, Sonance speaker“Similarly, a contemporary extension, including the ‘ELITE’ luxury gym and wellness centre and ‘Three Graces Spa’ complex, called for superior and consistent outdoor audio coverage. The design demanded long cable runs, super discreet aesthetics, full range sound quality, the capacity for high SPLs without distortion (although the systems are rarely driven hard) and excellent intelligibility at background levels. In other words, we needed to deliver the quality of audio definition that uninitiated hotel guests would notice. The Habitech team recommended the flagship Sonance Landscape Series speakers and Sonance amplification for the job, providing a custom design and SPL map for each area. In each case we used a mix of LS6TSATs, smaller LS4TSATs and LS12 in-ground subs either discreetly buried at the periphery or hidden within strategically placed planters. Landscape Series sats and subs also surround the spa’s pool area.

“Overall, we’re very proud of what we have achieved at Grantley Hall. This was a big project, which required integration precision, effortless ease-of-use for staff and guests, and absolute reliability. The systems, including the outdoor audio elements, are helping to fulfil our promise to Grantley Hall by working discreetly and beautifully, and the hotel is happy with our work. And we’re grateful to the team at Habitech for its design backup and product performance, which has been consistently excellent throughout our long partnership.”

Equipment specified:

  • Sonance SLS LS6TSAT satellite speaker x 18
  • Sonance SLS LS4TSAT satellite speaker x 24
  • Sonance SLS LS12T in-ground subwoofer x six
  • Sonance DSP-2-150 amplifier x five
  • Sonance DSP-2-750 amplifier x two

> Since you’re here, why not read a case study from Sonance on how the brand fitting out the audio inside The Hendrick’s Gin Palace?

Sonance 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: Jonty Wilde

Christopher Hyde montage

Introducing the debut bathroom lighting collection by Christopher Hyde

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Introducing the debut bathroom lighting collection by Christopher Hyde

Having excelled in manufacturing luxury luminaires for an extensive range of interiors over the past 25 years, Christopher Hyde Lighting has recently unveiled its first bathroom lighting collection, which celebrates both classic and contemporary lighting possibilities…

Christopher Hyde montage

In the past year, Hotel Designs has showcased some of the finest designs within the prestigious Christopher Hyde Lighting’s classic and contemporary collections. Last year saw the launch of an exquisite bathroom collection, a first for the lighting brand. Whilst designed with bathrooms in mind, the collection of wall sconces has the versatility to be used in any space.

The Roma and Naples wall sconces have a minimalist, sleek design, available in antique bronze and polished nickel. Whist the Amalfi features a gorgeous spherical cut-out this wall sconce is a fine example of how two finishes, polished nickel and french gold can be used together. The design lends to that of art décor which will make a great statement piece in the bathroom.

Influenced by nature, the Vieste and Vernazza both feature an intricate leaf detail. Each wall sconce in this collection has been designed to include an opal glass shade. The use of the glass shades makes these sconces fit for purpose in every bathroom zone except zone 0. With 18 different finishes to choose from you can be assured that your bathroom will have that added touch of originality.

Recently Christopher Hyde has been working on new product designs and is excited to include these luminaires to the eclectic collections. The Christopher Hyde Lighting team based at the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, are always available to offer expert advice.

Christopher Hyde Lighting 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 Lighting

A modern living room overlooking the sea

Product watch: A look at what’s new from Franklite

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: A look at what’s new from Franklite

Gather round because Franklite, shortlisted for Best in Tech category for The Brit List Awards 2021, has just dropped new, innovative and modern product ranges that launched this month, as we continue to put the spotlight on lighting. In continuation of the well-received Catalogue 26, these new product ranges, each with their own variations, have been added to the Catalogue 26 supplement…

A modern living room overlooking the sea

Over the last few months, the team at lighting brand Franklite have been working tirelessly to design a range of products that are not only functional and efficient, but also beautiful and creative.

The Shell, a nautical inspired design matt black openwork pendant with a black cable suspension. This exceptional pendant will complement a space with coastal elements and wood tones such as shiplap wall panelling.

The Kasteel range is so unique with its twisted metalwork arms. These dark, antique bronze fittings with brushed brass candle tubes consists of two and three light wall brackets along with larger five, eight and 15 light fittings. The four light fitting is supplied with a chain suspension which can easily be converted to a flush fitting suitable for low ceilings.

Country,Kitchen,Interior.,3d,Design,Concept,Rendering

Image credit: Franklite

Meanwhile, the Diva range is exactly that, extravagant! Chrome finish fittings surrounded by rectangular crystals with a mass display of crystal glass spheres as a base. This magnificent range includes 11, 15 and 20 light fittings and matching wall bracket. When lit, the colour temperature and reflection of the lamps creates very distinctive ambiences.

Diva lighting chandelier by Franklite

Image credit: Franklite

The brand has also added new designs to its most popular ranges, the Taper, Perdita, Philly and Wisteria. Providing customers with more product choices. The Taper range now includes wall brackets, floor and table lamps. A phenomenal 21 light spanning 1,2m in length has been added to the Wisteria range.

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

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

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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

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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 lighting design

LED EYE from Chelsom wins Red Dot Award

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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 lighting design

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

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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!

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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

lighting design by Chelsom LED with 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…

lighting design by Chelsom LED with 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.