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A textured grey surface from Granorte

Celebrating imperfections in design with Granorte

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Celebrating imperfections in design with Granorte

With the blend of Japanese and Scandinavian interior styling making itself felt in the Japandi trend, Granorte’s Wabi cork wall covering executes the look to perfection…

A textured grey surface from Granorte

Bringing the warmth and calming influence of natural finishes in elegant fashion to walls, Wabi is a wall tile from Granorte, made entirely of recycled natural cork, leftover from wine stopper production. Bringing new meaning to walls in private residences and commercial locations alike, Wabi takes influence from wabi-sabi, the Japanese philosophy of appreciating the beauty that can be found in the imperfect creations of nature.

The cork wall tile’s elegant aesthetic in a palette of 14 tones, ranging from peaceful hues of Ice and Snow through to hues of rich forest green in Leafs and deep ocean blue in River. Each colour is available in a texture from a selection of four. Whether the uneven and rough nature of Virgin cork, the virgin cork and shaves of Burl, pressed wine bottle corks in Corky or the linear effect of unused bark in Linea, it’s a powerful and fascinating look. Each design is available in 900mm x 300mm tiles treated using CORKGUARD, an extra-matt water-based finish that seals and protects to ensure lasting natural beauty.

Paulo Rocha, Granorte, says; “We’re really interested in finding ways to explore cork’s creativity. We believe cork is an interior finish that is more relevant today than it has ever been, but we also want to demonstrate that it can be applied in interesting and exciting ways that can lift interiors out of the usual. Cork really highlights that choosing natural and sustainable materials doesn’t have to be limiting in terms of creativity.”

Since the 1970s, the family-run Granorte been making cork products in its Portuguese factory, creating everything from classic floor tiles through to furniture, fabrics and even baths and sinks. Continual investment in the latest technology, including a seven-axis robot, has made sure that Granorte is at the fore of innovative uses for the material.

As we continue to look to create interiors that deliver a sense of comfort and assurance, cork’s natural origins, natural aesthetic, comfort, excellent acoustics and thermal insulation make it the perfect material.

Granorte 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: Granorte

Atlas Concorde launches new colour palette for Prism Collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Atlas Concorde launches new colour palette for Prism Collection

Hot off the heals of presenting a dynamic Product Watch at Hotel Designs LIVE, Atlas Concorde launches a new colour palette in the Prism Collection…

In interior design, colour is key. Just as sunlight splits into the colours of the rainbow when it goes through a prism, Atlas Concorde’s Prism collection transforms space with the magic of a 13-tone palette.

The original palette was specially selected by the Lissoni Associati studio led by Piero Lissoni, an exceptional colour consultant who described the design process in the following way. “We based the concept on the effect of light through a prism,” said Lissoni. “These colours are what we imagined would be the result of prism light transformed into a rainbow. We then worked on this refracted light to try to reproduce it on the tile surface, a palette modified to become domestic colours or architectural colours.”

The graphic effect inspired by the flowing beauty of hand-troweled resin, calibrated according to each size, defines the temperament of each tone with a soft texture, sinuous lines, and an authentic look. With Atlas Concorde’s Prism colour is the key to understanding the character of the environment, while the floors and walls become protagonists of the interior’s style, capable of taking any architectural project to the next level.

An aerial video of a red sofa

Image credit: Ceramiche/Atlas Concorde S.P.A

What atmospheres does Prism evoke? The metaphysical scenery of Giorgio de Chirico’s paintings immediately comes to mind, always evocative and exciting. The suggestion combines the “new decò” trend of contemporary architecture, opting for classic codes reinterpreted with an unprecedented freedom. While colour is the common thread, the sinuous graphics of the hand-troweled resin effect is the detail that reflects the personality of those who choose it and match its style.

“The explosion of colour that the Prism palette offers is accompanied by all the practical benefits of porcelain tiles.”

Atlas Concorde’s Prism collection combines the beauty of resin with the performance of porcelain tiles. The explosion of colour that the Prism palette offers is accompanied by all the practical benefits of porcelain tiles such as resistance to time, weight, and stains and ease of cleaning, installation, and maintenance. Prism is also available in the large 120×278 cm format, offers modularity of the floor and wall tiles, and can be ordered with a Silk finish – velvety to the touch and with a subtle gloss – providing additional design tools to shape spaces that express the taste and identity of those who live in them.

The colours range from warm, welcoming tones that can be combined with most wall tile shades to cool, contemporary tones that can be used with all the wall tile shades. The colours are designed to be matched in varying shades or broken up with accents like grape.

> Since you’re already here, why not read more about Atlas Concorde’s debut decor collection by Piero Lissoni?

Wall decorations 

GRADIENT  – 50 x 120cm decoration

Decoration made in a 50×120 cm format. The surface features soft nuances that recreate the strokes of a dry brush. 120×278 cm matching decoration.

BRUSH – 50 x 120cm decoration

Decoration made in a 50 x 120 cm format. A strong identity distinguishes the graphics with shaded brush strokes that add three-dimensionality to the decoration.

GOLD – 50 x 120cm decoration

Decoration made in a 50 x 120 cm format. The minimalist, simple graphics are enriched by the earthy effects of the delicate, contemporary geometric texture. The resin effect is thus expressed in an original manner with a precious appearance.

WIGGLE MOSAIC

For use only on walls. The mosaic features interlocking geometric shapes that create a strongly three-dimensional effect thanks to some tiles with a reflective surface. Available in different colour combinations.

BEAD MOSAIC

For use only on walls. Sinuous geometric shapes fit together to create a mosaic with a horizontal arch, simple but with lines that blend perfectly with the product’s graphics. Suitable for decorating rooms with an attractive but non-invasive pattern.

Q MOSAIC

For use only on walls, the mosaic consists of small square tiles with a slight shine.

ENIGMA DECORATION

The Enigma decoration creates a geometric pattern enriched by sparkling effects that complement most of the colours of the resin-effect surfaces of the Prism collection.

Atlas Concorde was a Product Watch Partner for Hotel Designs LIVE, which will return on February 23, 2021.

Main image credit: Ceramiche/Atlas Concorde S.P.A

Image of minimalist bedroom with earthy tones

Architectural films: the eco-friendly materials that are transforming hotel interiors

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Architectural films: the eco-friendly materials that are transforming hotel interiors

With eco-friendly materials fast becoming rising stars in the world of interiors, there are multiple benefits of using architectural films and how they can refurbish existing surfaces. Lindsay Appleton, from surface manufacturer Architextural, explains…

Image of minimalist bedroom with earthy tones

Gone are the days when wrapping was exclusive to vehicles; architectural films have opened up a wealth of design possibilities.

In a world where businesses need to keep up with the latest trends, refurbs are always high on the agenda, but contrary to popular belief, a renovation project doesn’t have to break the bank. Transforming a hotel interior has never been easier. From walls to partitions and even lifts, doors, columns and ceilings, thanks to architectural finishes you can wrap any surface. If you’re looking for an alternative renovation solution, why not consider self-adhesive films for a simple and cost-effective resolution for interior design projects?

You may not realise it, but you are surrounded by architectural films. Commonly found on intricate structures, self-adhesive films can be used in both domestic and commercial environments, including bars, restaurants, offices and more.

Third Wave Coffee Shop Interior

Image credit: Architextural/Third Wave Coffee Shop

Architects and interior designers turn to wrapping films for a number of reasons. They are durable, 3D-conformable, and can be quickly and easily installed with little noise, mess or waste and because they are lightweight, they can be applied in situ.

Wrap it, don’t rip it

The last decade has highlighted the importance of looking after our environment and architectural finishes can help tick that box too.

The traditional rip out and replace refurb methods result in existing interiors and materials being sent to landfill. Architectural finishes solve this problem. With a durability of 10 years plus, cost-conscious businesses have the option to renovate on a budget by simply wrapping the existing surfaces and upcycling instead.

With sustainability set to be a key trend in 2020 surface finishes can be used to make high-impact, sophisticated designs, in a variety of realistic finishes, ranging from textiles, concrete, marble, wood grain and more.

 On trend

With over a thousand patterns to choose from, the possibilities really are unlimited, making in-vogue design more than achievable with architectural finishes.

Mimicking the aesthetics of natural materials, architectural films offer unrivalled choice of on-trend patterns and an alternative method to upcycle existing substrates in an affordable, high-quality finish.

Believe it or not, concrete is increasingly becoming the go-to material for bathrooms. Replicating this trend using film can be achieved, without having to build a wall of concrete. Giving a robust, industrial feel, the tough yet stylish look can offer a focal point for wall design.

Ever pined for interior design that replicates the outdoors? Then a realistic wood finish should be high on your list. You may be thinking that the look, feel and touch of wood would be impossible to replicate; however, with the new dry wood collection from 3M DI-NOC architectural finishes, it is possible to look and feel like the real deal.

A chair in a lounge with dark surfaces on the walls and a bookshelf

Image credit: Architextural

Feature walls are also a must-have in numerous commercial spaces. We are starting to see more and more distinctive feature walls or partitions and vinyls can provide businesses with a creative way to stand out from the crowd as a more durable alternative to wallpapers and painted effects. It’s important to maximise feature wall opportunities as it can help to create a strong, dynamic impression within an interior space. The new ultra matt or suede range also ticks this box.

Cost benefits

The market opportunity for refurbishment projects is huge. Market growth is a key indicator that shows commercial businesses are keen to invest to improve their spaces, to not only enhance branding, employee satisfaction and also customers experience.

As it typically costs seven times more to rip out and buy new interiors, rather than refurbishing existing surfaces, architectural finishes offer a great way of keeping within a manageable budget.

Image of wood-like surface in modern bedroom

Image credit: Architextural

Companies looking to reduce costs and improve their environmental sustainability should perhaps consider upcycling the building’s doors, structures, partitions and furniture with self-adhesive finishes to refresh spaces without the loss of revenue or disruption to the business.

Architextural 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: Architextural

Siminetti shortlisted for SBID Product Design Awards 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Siminetti shortlisted for SBID Product Design Awards 2020

Surface brand Siminetti is among the impressive global design talent to have become a finalist in the SBID Product Design Awards 2020, for its entry into the Surfaces and Finishes category…

Luxury surface brand Siminetti has been shortlisted for the SBID Product Design Awards 2020 in the Surfaces & Finishes category.

Respected by the industry at large, success in SBID’s GOLD-rated awards programme is achieved purely for design, innovation and functionality of the entries. The finalists in each category therefore demonstrate the highest standards of design excellence for interior products within their field, spanning the commercial and residential design sectors.

Consistent in its quest to recognise, reward and celebrate global interior design, this year’s SBID Awards has been the most globally represented edition to date; receiving entries from 49 countries around the world.

Each entry undergoes an exhaustive two-tier judging process, where leading industry professionals evaluate essential elements such as compliance with the brief, budget, health & safety and fit-for-purpose design. Siminetti‘s product “Golden Pearl Drop” was shortlisted by this year’s revered international jury for both its technical standards and creative delivery.

The Judges decisions are finalised by the third and final stage of judging, where the public are invited to vote for their favourite projects at www.sbidawards.com. Accounting for an influential 30 per cent of the results, the public and ultimate end-users of design have the final say in which products have what it takes to take home a prestigious SBID Award. With previous years seeing an astounding 225,000 unique voters, the voting will close on September 30 at 5pm (BST).

You can show your support and vote for Siminetti‘s project by visiting the website.

The Surfaces & Finishes category is for architectural and interior surfaces and finishes. These include but are not limited to panels, wallcoverings, stone, veneers, ceramics, wood, acrylic, glass, mouldings, paint and tiles.

Siminetti’s Mother of Pearl Decorative Panels are the next generation in Mother of Pearl surface finishes. Handcrafted by Siminetti’s team of artisans, the ‘Golden Pearl Drop’ Decorative Panels capture the stunning natural beauty of Mother of Pearl that has for centuries been associated with luxury, sophistication and elegance. Utilising a combination of Siminetti’s ‘Bianco’ and ‘Golden Promise’ Mother of Pearl, every panel carries its own bespoke appeal.

Founder and CEO of SBID, Dr Vanessa Brady OBE says: “Business has been disrupted for many during the pandemic, but I’m pleased to confirm that the interior design practice has remained relatively steady. The SBID Awards received submissions from more countries this year than in any other year, demonstrating the strength of SBID and the industry as a whole. We are thrilled to be the award that industry professionals want to win and for that, we are particularly proud and honoured, as an interior design body for trading standards, to continue showcasing the world’s best interior and product designs during these difficult days.”

The winning entry in each category will be announced on October 23 and be awarded with a bespoke trophy as this year’s prestigious SBID Awards Winners. An Overall Winner will also be awarded for the product that scored highest overall from both the judges shortlists and public votes combined.

Main image credit: Siminetti

Stylish emerald green and golden poster above comfortable king size bed with headboard and pillows in dark green bedroom

Upcycling: “Revamp, don’t replace,” says surface brand Architextural

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Upcycling: “Revamp, don’t replace,” says surface brand Architextural

The trend for upcycling shows no sign of abating; businesses are increasingly looking to upgrade their interiors on a budget and without the upheaval of ripping out and replacing furniture, explains surface brand Architextural

Stylish emerald green and golden poster above comfortable king size bed with headboard and pillows in dark green bedroom

Upcycling taps into the trend for sustainability that continues to be big news; it is better for the environment for venues to make use of what they already have and give it a new lease of life, rather than replacing it wholesale and sending old furniture and fittings to landfill.

This is where vinyl wrapping processes come into their own, providing a fresh new look in a multitude of styles, quickly and easily.

Wrapping is a simple process, whereby an existing surface is covered with a self-adhesive film. Architectural finishes are highly engineered, durable films, designed to look and feel like real-life materials. The films are applied with heat, by skilled installers, to provide a realistic hardwearing finish. This allows clients to create bespoke furniture using less expensive materials, wrapping them to look like authentic marble, wood or concrete. With thousands of finishes available, the possibilities are vast.

Modern loft living room with black steel slats 3d render.There are concrete floors , Decorate wall with pattern of black steel slats.Furnished with dark gray fabric chair.

Image credit: Architextural

Diverse applications

Architectural films can be used on a wide range of surfaces, including walls, lifts, doors and FF&E.

Such films are conformable for 3D applications, meaning their use is not limited to flat surfaces. Almost any surface can be wrapped, making films ideal for the commercial environment. What’s more, they can even be applied over existing substrates.

As the surface finishes are conformable, they can be applied to curved structures to create eye-catching designs. This provides a key advantage over laminates that require edge banding, whereas films offer the opportunity to wrap fully over edges to completely seal them.

“Wrapping is also highly durable – lasting for an average of 12 years on interior surfaces.”

Environmental benefits

On average, it costs seven times more to rip out and replace interiors. Refurbishment with architectural films is a way to upcycle existing fixtures and fittings, rather than send to landfill.

It’s a budget-friendly option for architects when costs are being squeezed, allowing businesses to refresh a venue more frequently or at a lower cost. Wrapping is also highly durable – lasting for an average of 12 years on interior surfaces – meaning it can work out more cost effective over the lifetime of the product, when compared to fabric, paint or veneer.

a clean living room with black wallcovering

Image credit: Architextural

Less day-to-day disruption

It’s also easier for businesses, as vinyls are applied in situ, with no noise, mess or waste – allowing the venue can stay open throughout. Little equipment is needed, with minimal prep, meaning less downtime and inconvenience.

All finishes are fire tested and meet building regulations. And as the product is a PVC solution, it is fully water and heat resistant, as well as and hygienic, all of which are important in high-traffic venues such as gyms, bars and restaurants.

With a world of possibilities at their fingertips, companies looking to reduce costs and improve their sustainability would be wise to look at upcycling using self-adhesive finishes to refresh spaces with minimal disruption to the business.

Architextural 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: Architextural

Product watch: ‘Snowfall Promise’ Mosaic pattern by Siminetti

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: ‘Snowfall Promise’ Mosaic pattern by Siminetti

Snowfall Promise’ Mosaic pattern by Siminetti, Hotel Designs learns, is a combination of Freshwater Mother of Pearl ‘Bianco’ and Saltwater Mother of Pearl ‘Golden Promise’…

Siminetti’s Mother of Pearl Mosaics are handmade by Siminetti’s team of artisans using eco-friendly and sustainably sourced Mother of Pearl.

‘Snowfall Promise’ is a striking combination that is sure to impress; Due to the natural qualities of Mother of Pearl, every tile has a unique patination creating a truly distinctive aesthetic.

Mother of Pearl is a naturally occurring, hardwearing, non-porous material which makes it ideally suited to high demanding environments. Each of our mosaics are sealed with resin, ensuring an exceptionally strong mosaic suitable for both wall and floor surfaces supported with BS EN ISO Certification. This quality also makes the product incredibly easy to keep clean and sanitised.

The individual Mother of Pearl pieces are hand placed onto a lightweight, mesh or paper backing depending on your requirements to ensure easy installation. This approach allows the company’s mosaics to be applied to even the most complex curves, making the mosaics suitable for swimming pools, spas, and external walls.

Siminetti offer a bespoke design service for all our mosaics and decorative panels. allowing architects, designer and specifiers to develop their own unique style.

Siminetti 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: Siminetti

Judges announced for Surface Design Awards 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Judges announced for Surface Design Awards 2021

Steve Webb of Webb Yates Engineers and Basha-Franklin’s Creative Director, Nicola Osborn, have been appointed as Co-Chairs of the  Surface Design Awards for 2021

Steve Webb and Nicola Osborn have joined the judging panel of the Surface Design Awards 2021, and will be joined by a multi-disciplinary team of fellow judges selected from the architecture and design communities.

The Co-Chairs invite their own team of design industry colleagues to join them on the judging panel. Steve Webb has invited Sarah Castle from IF_DO; Joseph Henry of GLA’s Regeneration Team and Architecture Initiative’s Lee Mainwaring.

“I am delighted that Sarah, Joseph and Lee have joined my team of judges, they bring a wealth of design knowledge and skill,” comments Steve Webb. “I know from being part of the 2020 judging team that they face an exciting and challenging task!”

Nicola Osborn has drawn on her contacts in the interiors world to bring together Nic Fallows of BNF Capital; Simona Auteri and Sofia Steffenoni from Matter of Stuff and Kresse Wesling MBE from Elvis + Kresse.

“I really enjoyed my experience of judging the Awards in 2015,” said Nicola Osborn. “I wanted to bring together a diverse team, so have invited a design-led property investor, a contemporary design & manufacturing consultancy and an environmental entrepreneur…judging day should be fun!”

For the 2021 Awards, greater emphasis will be paid both on the selection process for the different surface materials used in the entries and on their sustainability credentials with each entry being accompanied by a statement and calculation for the carbon footprint kgCO2/m2 of the cladding/material surface.

London’s Business Design Centre will be Sponsoring the 2021 Supreme Award – the project selected by the judges as being ‘the winner amongst winners.’

“The Awards Presentation is taking place at the Business Design Centre on Thurs 11 Feb next year and we are delighted once again to be sponsor of the Supreme Award,” said Max Bull, Executive Director of Venue Sales at the BDC. “The BDC is home to many design-led businesses and we are keen to support the sector.”

The 2021 Surface Design Awards will open for entries in June 2020 with a closing date of Friday 25 September 2020. The Awards Presentation ceremony will be on Thursday 11 February 2021 as part of the annual Surface Design Show taking place in London’s Business Design Centre from 9-11 February.

The Supreme Winner of the 2020 Surface Design Awards went to the Krushi Bhawan building in Bhubaneswar, India by Studio Lotus.

Other winners included Sterling Prize winner Goldsmith Street by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley; Nobu Hotel in London by Ben Adams Architects; CF Toronto Eaton Centre Bridge by WilkinsonEyre and Zeidler Architecture and University of Sheffield Concourse by Arup Lighting.

Entries are now OPEN! Head over to the website to read more.

Main image credit: Surface Design Awards

Parkside unveils “most sustainable tile material on the market”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Parkside unveils “most sustainable tile material on the market”

To kickstart Hotel Designs’ month with ‘Sustainability’ under the spotlight, we investigate Parkside’s Sequel Vibe, a material from yesterday made for tomorrow…

While the company settles in to its new design studio in the Cotswolds, Parkside has launched Sequel Vibe, the most waste-efficient and sustainable tile readily available to designers and architects to date.

Answering a demand for sustainable and stylish tile solutions without compromise on design and aesthetics, Parkside was keen to include a collection that lived up to sustainable credentials while appealing to the creative spirit of designers and architects.

Sequel Vibe is the work of the team at Alusid, a creator of eco-friendly surfaces. Alusid started its life as a research project at the University of Central Lancashire by Dr Alasdair Bremner and Professor David Binns that aimed to explore the ways waste and low value materials could be reused rather than ending up as landfill. It was also important that the process used to manufacture would use less energy and added chemicals than conventional tile manufacturing.

This research led to Sequel Vibe, created using 98 per cent recycled materials from post-consumer glass and pre-consumer vitrified ceramic carefully bound during a low-impact, ingenious manufacturing process. The glass element is sourced from bottles, windows and car windscreens that have reached the end of their useful life cycle, while the porcelain is sourced from sanitaryware and fine china tableware manufacturers.

Since its launch at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019, the range has continued to endear the design community it was aimed at. With its unique subtle nuances in colour and texture, the finished tile is a perfect companion for designers and architects wanting a modern, contemporary twist for interiors. During the manufacturing process, tiles take on a unique shade and patina making each one an individual work of ceramic art.

There are three glossy organic shades available; Greenwich Green, Paddington Pink and Shoreditch Blue, each bringing a contemporary twist to design schemes. Three size options are available: square (100x100mm), metro (200x100mm) and large metro (300x75mm). The colours chosen are a step ahead of palette trends predicted for the design market for 2020 and work as a great companion for multiple design schemes and styles. If designers are looking at alternative colour options, then these will be considered for large scale orders.

“Sequel Vibe was a great addition to our tile offering, with sustainability and aesthetics at its core,” comments Sarah Holey, the marketing manager for Parkside. “The collection would be a great option for feature walls in reception areas or would look stunning as a bar front but its adaptability as a wall tile is enormous, and ready to take on the most creative of architects and designers on commercial and hospitality focused projects.

“As well as being sustainable products themselves, when Sequel Vibe tiles come to the end of their useful life they themselves can be recycled within the very same process used to create them.”

The Sequel Vibe collection can be seen at all four Parkside design studios in Chelsea, Clerkenwell, Leicester and the recently opened Cotswolds location, where the Parkside team will be able to provide help and advice.

Main image credit: Parkside

EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Adding personality in hotel public areas

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Adding personality in hotel public areas

In partnership with Arte Wallcoverings, editor Hamish Kilburn invited some of the leading hotel designers and architects to Design Centre Chelsea Harbour for a live debate on how to add sustainable personality in the ever-evolving arena of public areas. In addition to being involved in the engaging conversation, the designers, directors and principals were also the first to see Arte’s five new collections, which were officially launched a few days later at Focus19 during London Design Festival… 

Design experts around the table:

Regardless of style, size or star-rating, recent hotel openings suggest that public areas are evolving, and fast. No longer an empty air pocket in the building’s structure, the lobbies that are being created or renovated today are unconventional active spaces, designed to flexibly accommodate all guests whether they are checking in for business, for leisure or in many instances, for both.

Hamish Kilburn: How have the ways in which consumers use public areas changed?

Fiona Thompson (FT), Principal, Richmond InternationalGenerally, how guests behave in hotels has changed. The demographic is completely different. At one point, hotels were quite intimidating places, and not very accessible. That’s been one of the most significant changes I have seen. Hotels have become much more outward-looking and much more accessible to everyone. People now use spaces how they want to use them. Therefore, public areas, in general, have a greater sense of informality.

Vitalija Katine (VK), architect, Jestico + WhilesOne of the largest changes I have noticed is the accent of activation points in lobbies. The activation point of, for example, pop-up bars and pop-up receptions can be positioned and adapted easily in the lobby. I think the public space of a hotel has been the highlight of the last four years, because people are lounging in the lobby as opposed to using it simply as transitional space.

David Mason (DM), Director of Hospitality, Scott BrownriggThere’s a lot more awareness now about the ecological message that hotels are trying to amplify. Also, with the appeal to millennials, there’s much more awareness on the public areas. I imagine there will be a lot more focus on some kind of hotel standard where we really start to look into what is going into hotels, and that will come from hotels aiming to achieve an environmental space. Although hotels are already acting to be more eco-friendly, I think it will become even more of a focus.

Caroline Cundall (CC), Director of Interior Design IHG – Europe: How people work and specifically how people hold meetings has changed massively. That has had a large affect on our lobby spaces. More and more people are roaming around with small laptops and lobbies are much less formal than they used to be. Hotels are recognising the value in attracting more than just the guests staying at the hotel, and the current boutique influence is a catalyst in all of this.

Sam Hall (SH), Global Head of FF&E, GA GroupI have seen more awareness in hotel operators in understanding how space is used. There are many examples of hotels that use every inch of the space as a revenue generator. CitizenM, for example, feels very intimate because the space is broken down. The grand volume of entering a hotel is behind us, perhaps not in Asia or the Middle East, but in Europe and elsewhere for sure. Space is at a premium and every inch of it has to make money. Designers are using the materiality to make spaces feel softer and warmer. These grand areas full of marble are not really where it’s at anymore. Instead, designers are trying to make these soft and reduced acoustics, so it feels more comfortable.

“It doesn’t matter what word you throw on it, what people want is a well-designed space.” – Arianne Steinbeck, Managing Director, RPW Design

Arianne Steinbeck (AS), Managing Director, RPW DesignThe launch of W New York on Lexington Avenue in 1998, designed by David Rockwell, was a pivotal moment. Before that, it was unheard of to serve drinks in the hotel [public areas] and play music. And now everyone is doing it. That was the start of this boutique look and feel that we see today. It doesn’t matter what word you throw on it, what people want is a well-designed space. I think that everyone in the industry has upped their game across all brands, which is a result of consumer demands. To be honest, I’m surprised it took so long.

HK: Are you saying that there is less of a space for grand and open lobbies on the international hotel design scene?

AS: I think there will always be a space for this style of hotel. Personally, I love hotels that remind you that they are a hotel, where the service element absolutely completes the overall experience.

SH: I agree with you, and it’s about the coming together of quality and luxury, working as one.

FT: But even some of the smaller luxury resorts capture that feeling of grand luxury. It all comes down to that amazing sense of service, but it is perhaps delivered in a more modern way.

“All these hotels that feature over decoration to differentiate from others will disappear.” – Fiona Thompson, Principal, Richmond International

HK: Trends is a sensitive term in hotel design. But do what extent do emerging trends come into your decisions when selecting wallcoverings on a project?

AS: It’s come full circle. When I started in the ‘80s there were a lot of patterns on the wall. And then it washed out to a symphony of beiges. Now we seem to be coming back to a little bit more colour and pop. In a few years’ time we might perhaps look at this ‘greyeige’ situation again. That’s why we have all these different brands, because there is room in this industry for individuality.

FT: There is going to be a move away, for sure, of this extraneous design for the sake of it. All these hotels that feature over decoration to differentiate from others will disappear. The young generation want something that is a bit more meaningful. All these words get thrown around: timeless, authentic, and I’m not really sure what they all mean. There is going to be this move away and everything will have more of a purpose.

Hotels are typically big environmentally bad beasts that use power and electricity and decimate environments. Therefore, I predict there will be a call for them to be more responsible, and this filters down to the materials being used to design them.

HK: From a product point of view, how does Arte select trends?

Siobhan Kannenberg, Commercial Manager UK & EIRE, Arte Wallcoverings: As a brand, we don’t really have a specific style. You can always recognise Arte by the quality, but we try to cover all basis. Trend-wise, sustainability is becoming more and more important for our customers, so we are using more natural materials and that is certainly what is called for. Also, I am really excited to see tactile patterns are coming back around.

CC: The fashion industry has always had a huge influence on design. There’s so much talk about recycling in the fashion industry at the moment. Like for example reusing materials, and this is already something that hotels are looking at.

FT: The fashion industry is always half a season ahead. However, things are going to change because they are being challenged. It will be interesting to see how this will filter down into the design sector.

SH: Where brands could go wrong is using sustainability as a selling point, whereas I believe it should be the foundation of the brand and not the feature. I’m hoping that everyone will end up speaking the same language in design to use for purpose and just naturally recycle materials. One of the key benefits of wallcoverings is that it is so easy – and much more affordable – to change and update interiors.

AS: I have no problem reusing something from a previous renovation that still looks good. You don’t always have to throw everything out. Sometimes the casegoods, for example, are on par or better than what you could buy new. And with the right wallcovering, the space will look fresh and retouched.

SK: When we are designing our Arte collections, we like to think of wallcoverings as our showstopper. Is that accurate?

FT: I think it hasn’t been in the past, but actually bright colours and patterns are becoming the centre stage.

HK: In all honesty, how much of the budget, time and consideration goes on the wallcovering decisions – and can you talk me through that process?

CC: You can never estimate these things. The fact that Arte has many wallcoverings that are quite distinctly statement pieces is interesting. If an interior designer would put that into specifications there’s no way that would be changed. It’s the one thing that would be a focal element to a scheme. And if that’s an initiative that everyone agrees on then it will go ahead.

DM: Designs are moving massively forward. From what I remember 20 years ago, the range and difference is incredible. There are so many interesting things you can do now with the wallcoverings, and I have been introduced to such a vast range of materials.

AS: It’s also worth mentioning how much more you get in a product these days. Digital printing changed the pace of innovation. You can have so many awesome effects with digital printing, and I expect to see more of that.

HK: What would you say is the biggest misconception from a client’s point of view?

ALL: That the client can do it better!

SH: In all seriousness, all of these interior designer programmes make it look so easy.

HK: How has the evolution of social media changed the ways in which your briefs from clients are coming in?

FT: I don’t think it’s any different from years ago when we were asked to create ‘wow factors’. It’s just a different terminology. I ban Pinterest. It is too easy to find information these days. I really encourage our designers to go out and see hotels in person, because I don’t want them to lose that discovery process.

AS: I always have to ask which page on Pinterest a look came from, because if it’s from the first page, I don’t want to know.

DM: You’re right, and when they see hotels, I encourage them to find something new than what they have seen online. Too often people are looking for the same shot, the same framing that they have already seen on social media, and it is stripping creativity from the process.

We were actually given a brief for an independent hotel which was solely to create an instagrammable hotel, which would never have happened only a few years ago.

We were challenged quite a lot by Hard Rock International when designing the London property. The brand is American and very bold. To be fair to the client, although we did go backwards and forwards, we did manage to convince them to tone down the ‘instagram moments’ for an audience in London.

VK: We are asked quite often by clients what we consider to be ‘our moments’ in the design. The attention that the ‘Instagram moment’ is getting is much larger and much more exposed to the general public. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. What works in one region does not necessarily work in others.

HK: With the rise in demand for hotels to feel more boutique and independent, how are the materials you are using in the public areas changing?

SK: From Arte’s point of view, there seems to be a lot of misconception that vinyl is what is asked for from the big brands. Actually, with the influence of independent and boutique hotels, hotel groups are more willing to use range of products and materials. As manufacturers, we see vinyl an essential material for corridors for obvious reasons, but it’s a different story in the lobby. People don’t really touch the walls, so there is the ability you can have more fun with a variety of materials.

CC: Fire regulations is key for the country you are in. As long as a material and product has passed its certification, I totally agree.

HK: How do you predict public areas further changing in the next 10 years?

CC: More people will start to work remotely. Working in London, there isn’t anywhere comfortable to sit and have a meeting with a few people. I think that should be the next focus, to have more discreet places to have a meeting – and hotels could harness this well.

SH: I think that there is more that can be done around connectivity. Public areas can still further become even more accessible.

FT: It will be totally connected to how we work and live. People don’t have the formality so much of going to an office anymore. The behaviour of ‘hotdesking’ is interesting and public spaces in hotels can really respond to that.

Following the exclusive panel discussion, the leading designers and architects were the first to browse Arte Wallcoverings’ five new collections (Expedition, Wildwalk, Essentials – Les Nuances, Velveteen and Sketch (HookedOnWalls)) before they were officially launched a few days later at Focus19.

Excava surface product

Surface trend alert: Caesarstone launches new industrial-themed collection

1024 529 Hamish Kilburn

The new Caesarstone Metropolitan Collection, launched last night in London, comprises of nine surface products that reflect the UK industrial design trend…

Surface manufacturer Caesarstone has launched the Metropolitan Collection in the UK. The new collection welcomes five new products, which join the four already launched surfaces. Interior designers, members of the press and friends of the brand gathered last night at rough and rustic Barge House, on London’s Southbank, to celebrate the launch.

The latest products include:

Manufacturing on two continents, Caesarstone products are sold in more than 50 countries around the world. Now seen to be leading the industrial trend, Caesarstone’s s latest collection includes rough and unpolished, bold surfaces that form part of the revival of modernism, a rethinking of brutalism and the rekindling of industrial architecture.

The collection launches as a response to the robust construction finishes that have become a popular choice among consumers. This trend, and the collection itself, has been inspired by factories and lofts and has been translated for residential and commercial interiors. Each energetically styled surface in the collection has been designed to reflect the authentic textures of raw manufacturing, such as oxidized steel, poured plaster and raw concrete. Via innovative cutting-edge technology, weathered patinas have been achieved in quartz for the very first time – a breakthrough that can be felt as well as seen.

“Caesarstone continues to set surface design trends that others can only follow,” said Jon Stanley, Caesarstone’s UK Vice President of Marketing. “Last year’s reveal of 4033 Rugged Concrete was a significant hit with both commercial and residential designers; numerous projects and a number of awards followed. But what the launch really did was set the tone for the Metropolitan Collection that we are unveiling now. The brands’ deserved reputation for product design innovation continues without challenge.

“Caesarstone works with the world’s leading trend forecasters and the in-house design team are acutely aware of what’s becoming in vogue and when. Many of our leading partners that already have display materials in their showrooms are seeing significant interest.”

4046 Excava

Inspired by the intriguing patinas of casting and oxidising, combining the authentic features of rust and concrete. Its beauty reflects the geological decay of stone, weathered by time and nature. Its excavated look is appreciated for its texture and depth, ranging from different layers of earth shades to copper and dark brown. Its rough concrete finish is subtly coarse to the touch, yet cleaning remains as effortless as with all Caesarstone surfaces.

Rough industrial-style surface

4011 Cloudburst Concrete

Subtle. Sophisticated. 4011 Cloudburst Concrete with its white on white, tonal cloud like patina delivers a truly unique look. With its “Rough” low reflective matt surface, the design works alongside light and dark timbers, stainless steel, concrete surfaces (including 4033 Rugged Concrete) providing wide design flexibility, from industrial loft to Scandinavian through to minimal contemporary aesthetic.

White industrial-style surface

4044 Airy Concrete 

The light grey base illustrates the richness that minimalism can achieve: an authentic rough concrete finish that has been refined for the home. Its airy visual textures express depth across the worktop, enriched by dark grey and white areas, providing the true feel of concrete while maintaining the easy care synonymous with all Caesarstone products.

Authentic concrete-like finish

4023 Topus Concrete

Inspired by topological strata – fossilized textures built up over time in veiled layers – and combines the mineral formations found in nature with the rugged patinas of industrial materials, giving this surface movement, opacity, and depth. With a gentle hint of warm pink, its blush undertone echoes the pastels that are impacting the interiors market today.

Soft grey surface with a hint of pink

4601 Frozen Terra

Fresh, modern, industrial-inspired concrete / terrazzo fusion with sparsely distributed irregular translucent aggregate and fine black basalt. Further enhancing the overall appearance of Frozen Terra is the “Concrete” matt finish which brings an authentic industrial patina, look and feel to the surface and like all Caesarstone surfaces, never requires sealing.

Caesarstone’s Metropolitan Collection has been designed to reflect the authentic patinas of industrial materials. The variations in appearance capture real depth and movement, revealing different qualities that make each slab unique

In addition to the Metropolitan Collection, two further products have also been added to Caesarstone’s UK range; 6011 Intense White and 4643 Flannel Grey. Both are priced in Caesarstone’s Premium Group 2 category.

Surface with a concrete matt finish

4643 Flannel Grey

Grey has become a versatile neutral in the home-from-home environment. It works in contrast to complementary colours or can calm the space in monochromes, making any of its shades a reliable choice for the contemporary interior.

versatile neutral surface

6011 Intense White

6011 Intense Whites brings light into the kitchen. Its evenly distributed glass flakes reflect the gentle granular nature of stone, while its truly white colour illuminates the surface and adds sophistication.

Pure white surface

The new Caesarstone Metropolitan Collection is available nationally now..