Changing Rooms: How to create Interior Design that will stand the test of time
Property is built to last, but how it is used is constantly evolving. As properties now see many incarnations, adapting their usage from old banks, railway stations and working mills into homes, wedding venues and boutique hotels – the interior design approach we take has had to evolve.
From staying true to a building’s end purpose to embracing and emphasising glorious heritage features to give us interiors inspiration, every detail of the interior design scheme needs to be considered. From the common concept of choosing your colour palette, to the more abstract concept of incorporating balance and harmony into the design mix – gone are the days of basic and simple designs that blend in; we are now embracing a much bolder design era through every room. This is especially true in the bathroom which previously was just a place for functional use but now sees design inspiration from other areas as people look to use it for relaxing, unwinding and getting some elusive ‘me time’.
The idea of changing rooms has never been truer than when we look to the hotel industry. Not only is it the public spaces which get upgraded but the bedrooms and bathrooms are becoming a bigger focus and opportunity for the industry to ban the bland and opt for playful spaces which help them stand out and meet the demands of increasingly trend-aware guests. There’s more to marry up than ever before though.
In the age of the digital detox and the mindfulness movement, Biophilic interior design, connecting with nature, isn’t new but it’s definitely sought after and helps hotels get guests through the door. But it’s no mean feat bringing the outdoors in to calm the mind and cleanse the soul while making sure the minute you get in the room, cutting-edge technology can still keep you connected to the outside world.
Then of course you drill down to the basics, the practical products that make or break a hotel room. Keeping the space clutter free, building clever compositions with furnishings and finessing the focal points, while making sure your guests have a home for everything they may need during a stay. In the bathroom, this can mean a drenching shower, quiet soft close toilet seat and a towel in the perfect place when needed.
To discover how bathroom brands are adapting to the changing demands and priorities of hotel guests, and therefore specifiers in the digital age, we spoke to Sophie Taylor, the National Specification Manager of luxury bathroom brand, Heritage Bathrooms.
“A hotel could easily get caught up in a revolving design overhaul, ushering in new trends as they come and go, and when you work in the hospitality industry the high traffic wear and tear a space will see could probably justify it. But at Heritage, we believe that you could turn our products to any backdrop and their distinctively individual design will continue to shine through year after year.”
“One such way to ensure a bathroom can stand the test of time and be infinitely adaptable is to opt for products which are built with personalisation in mind. Heritage cast iron baths which are primed and ready to paint in any hue or retro fit brassware which can be updated as though it is jewellery on a designer outfit, are products which can evolve in line with changing trends and demands, and therefore a smart and stylish way to future-proof your design.”
“Of course, substance remains equally as important as style especially within the hospitality industry, so striking the perfect balance between fashion and functionality is paramount for specifiers. That’s where multi-purpose products come in.”
“The exposed metallic base of a washstand for example oozes boutique glamour, but options with accessories and amenities to add a little something extra to a hotel guest’s experience are also ideal for ticking the practicality box. Glass shelves to display toiletries and towel rails for convenient hand drying are little touches which go a long way and help to keep a hotel bathroom both clutter free and chic, while ensuring guests leave feeling like they’ve had the luxury treatment.”
“This all ties into the idea of well-being, self-care and ‘me time’ too which is a huge focus within the specification market at the moment – where the role of a bathroom is no longer really just a bathroom at all. Providing a relaxing place to not only bathe but also read a book, pamper or listen to music is key in order to appeal to modern guests who are already increasingly blurring the lines between bathroom spaces and living spaces within their own homes. This expectation means specifiers should take an integrated approach to designing technology, lighting, flooring and décor to ensure the final vision for the interior design is seamless and all elements work together in harmony.”
“Finally, in the age of Instagram where the seeds of interior design inspiration are sewn and shared, bathroom designs which delight and make an impact are providing hoteliers and specifiers with a new and exciting viral marketing opportunity too. Despite this being a relatively new phenomenon, Schofield’s insurance recently found that 40% of 21 – 37 year olds now choose their holiday destinations based on how good they will look on Instagram – so it’s more important than ever that hoteliers and specifiers work together to create unforgettable spaces in order to remain competitive and make the cut in this growing market. At Heritage, we support this by constantly reviewing trends and bringing the latest inspiration to our products. For example we have just launched a daring mock-croc effect bath called Alderley with these Instagram guests in mind, giving hoteliers a playful way to introduce showstopping and tactile textures with ‘feel appeal’ across all elements of a guest bathroom space. It is the ideal way to create a truly unforgettable aesthetic that guests are sure to love to share.”
Creating the new hybrid hotel to make it a timeless destination and an oasis of opulence, calmness and serenity, will take its own design journey, one that is perfect to start at the Independent Hotel Show on 16/17 October at Olympia, London – an event that plays host to a curated collection of innovative products and brands from across the hotel supply chain. Heritage Bathrooms are showcasing some of their stand out designs and sharing inspirational ideas for boutique hotels. Visit them on stand 187.
To find out how the Heritage Bathrooms product portfolio of beautiful brassware, suites, freestanding baths and accessories could help you when changing your rooms, or to find out more about its end to end specification service visit: www.heritagebathrooms.com/specify