This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features a unique facility designed to surpass all expectations of a traditional care home. Set in a nature reserve and bringing new standards in comfort and sophistication for later-life in Dorset. The iconic building draws on art déco influences in the surrounding Poole and Sandbanks area, embodying an oasis of calm modern living, and a careful balance of striking design and the delivery of award-winning care.
Cafes, cosy sitting rooms and a contemporary bistro flow from the entrance atrium out to living walled courtyards. Opulent chandeliers and carefully considered lighting flood the home, while natural light streams through from private gardens. Refined decorative details and a bold colour palette, combined with gold finishes and ornate wallpapers give a hint of déco glitz. The contrasting aluminium-clad roof pod offers an impressive orangery style bar, flowing into a roof garden with views to the sea.
SBID Awards: Healthcare & Wellness Design finalist sponsored by The Stone Federation
Practice: Colten Care
Project: Bourne View Care Home
Location: Dorset, United Kingdom
What was the client’s brief?
To design an extraordinary home for residential and nursing residents, that provided luxury lifestyle living, in an environment that surpasses all expectations for a care home.
What inspired the interior design of the project?
The wealth of art deco heritage in the Poole and Sandbanks area inspired the design of this project. Modern nods to the art deco period can be found all round the home.
What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?
The biggest challenge with this project was creating an exciting double height central space that would be the hub of the home, but without being overbearing, and also meet the acoustic demands for an older person. Building on a steep sloping hill plot caused many delays and headaches for the architects and construction team.
What was your team’s highlight of the project?
Whilst creating the entrance and central hub was the toughest challenge, it was also the biggest success, the buzzing environment is a real highlight in the home. The lighting design in this space was a particular success.
Why did you enter the SBID Awards?
The SBID Awards are the most respected awards within the industry, and to be recognised by the awards is a huge accolade for the designers and the company.
Questions answered by Georgina Colwell, head of design, Colten Care.
We hope you feel inspired by this week’s Healthcare design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring a palatial villa with 18th century rococo style decadence, click here to see more.
SBID Awards 2019 | Healthcare & Wellness Design finalist sponsored by The Stone Federation
It’s more important than ever to focus on our health and wellbeing during this challenging time. With this in mind, this month we’re serving up some interior inspiration from last year’s SBID Awards Finalists with their award-worthy designs across the healthcare and wellness sector; from gyms and spas, to care homes and health clinics.
This ‘Extra Care, Over 55’ development was to be something people aspired to rather than settled for. There were numerous communal spaces to design but also numerous special sector considerations to factor in. Suna was determined to avoid the stereotypical institutional look this sector often falls into. Colour and contrast have been used carefully throughout the spaces to ensure they look beautifully designed but help support people with visual impairments and dementia. Flooring has been carefully chosen to work with the overall design, while being practical and assisting natural flow between spaces without distractions. Suna worked alongside a specialist sector supplier and designed and manufactured items to support comfort, mobility and safety while still feeling ‘designed’. The client proclaimed the scheme a “gamechanger for the sector”.
Embracing Equinox’s luxury lifestyle brand, designers at Elkus Manfredi Architects reinterpreted select standards to introduce light and inspirational views at their newest location in the Boston area, Equinox Seaport. Designers resolved a significant challenge of the leased space – unifying two non-contiguous floors– by creating a monumental staircase leading from the ground floor retail and reception area directly to the members-only workout and gathering spaces on level three. Members climb to an upscale lounge and co-working area immediately adjacent to exercise areas beyond, reinforcing the brand’s holistic live/work/play lifestyle experience. Natural light streams deep into the interior through the floor-to-ceiling windows, an effect that designers amplified by painting ceilings and exposed ductwork white – a first for the high-performance wellness brand. Abundant daylight and harborfront views distinguish Equinox’s 35,000-square-foot fitness club in the heart of Boston’s booming Seaport District, while offering an on-brand fitness-as-lifestyle experience.
The site was in a 15 years old modern designed building, the original thoughtwas to rejoining the natural atmosphere within the construction.The project is to design the main lobby of the Welldosha spa. The main design concept of the space is to create a multi-functional space which many events can take place in the space. Therefore, we created a space that can be fully opened up suites for different purpose.
The Tia Clinic pairs science, technology, and community with real-world healthcare services to create a radically inclusive, highly personalised, and compassionate experience. The clinic’s lobby and entrance convey convenience and clarity, signaling that Tia is frictionless, clear, and accessible and puts patients at ease. When patients arrive, they are greeted by a curved white, ribbed wood reception desk with a terrazzo surface. A graphic environmental mural covers the walls with speckled, amoebic shapes in pastels and grays. Rather than a typical waiting room, Rockwell Group created the Living Room as a space that encourages members to choose their own adventure. Wellness and educational talks will take place here, and the Living Room softly and warmly assumes holds space for those events, while also creating a safe feminine universe.
Emerson Grange is a luxury Cinnamon Care residential home situated in Kent. Cinnamon asked Catalyst to create a home with ‘understated elegance’ throughout, with a focus on the entrance and reception areas. Emerson Grange has been designed with the social needs of the resident in mind. Providing a luxurious space in the foyer and reception designed as a hub for the local community. A piano bar, gym and salon offer a destination for residents whilst providing the sense of being in a public space, without sacrificing the safety of the home. As you travel through the building towards the communal areas the design takes a noticeable change. The focus takes a shift towards a more personal and connected environment that creates the true feeling of a home.
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features a comforting, patient-focused healthcare design. Needing a new Cancer Center, Virtua Health chose an old Acme Supermarket adjacent to their new Health & Wellness center for the project site. FCA Architects reimagined how that old Acme Supermarket could be re-purposed as a bright, warm place of healing. Creating easy-to-navigate paths through the space with a central gallery, which serves as a landmark for patients and families. This concourse then leads to smaller intimate waiting spaces that provides a more personal scaled spaces to interact with clinicians and staff. By reframing a former basic retail box for ambulatory oncology, they not only provided a community setting for a needed service, but avoided the decay of a structure that still has viable physical life. The new Cancer Center is an inspiring, patient-first facility that accommodates radiation oncology, an infusion treatment suite, and a cancer administrative suite.
SBID Awards: Healthcare & Wellness Design finalist sponsored by Stone Federation
Practice: FCA Architects
Project: Virtua Samson Cancer Center
Location: New Jersey, United States
Virtua wanted to relocate their Cancer Center from an outdated existing hospital to a new facility that would incorporate the latest technology; a facility that would improve the delivery of cancer treatment to patients as well as provide a community health care resource. They wanted to provide community-based cancer care to their patients in a way that would be deeply accessible to the surrounding community.
The main design goal was to provide a soothing patient experience within a very large footprint without overwhelming patients and their caregivers. For the interiors, the Design team emphasised access to natural light and views to provide a sense of place and orientation. A long skylight was created within the existing solid roof to provide an organising circulation element above the Main Gallery. For the exterior, starting at the front door, the White Box of the entrance is an off-balanced entry point: it reminds the visitor that, though cancer is not normal, it too is something we can pass through.
Virtua selected an old Acme Supermarket adjacent to their new Health and Wellness center as the project site. The existing facility was built to suit the intended supermarket retail function with a very large footprint to perimeter ratio and very high floor to ceiling height, as well as poor access to natural light. The new proposed Cancer Center program consisted of smaller rooms that required acoustic privacy and regular ceiling heights, and warm natural light.
The design team strategically placed treatment rooms to serve both patients that are sensitive to natural light versus those that aren’t impacted by natural light. Skylights were installed above the Main Gallery to provide diffuse, controlled light that eases the deep distance of the gallery through the centre of the building’s footprint. The site’s high ceilings led to the Main Gallery being designed to prioritise the access to natural light to improve patient experiences during visits and to provide clarity of circulation to the interior. It also prompted a challenge for smaller rooms that require acoustical privacy: in these cases, a substructure was implemented to allow the ceiling and lighting to be suspended, minimising the need to construct full-height walls to the full height of the structure.
The White Box: a monumental entry dressed in semi-opaque white panels, its elevation slightly at odds with the sidewalk. The mass is “supported” by three white column legs, an implied fourth leg absent. This is because cancer is not a normal event. It is disruptive. The White Box is not an everyday, straightforward entry point – it’s off-balance. But it is also a beacon: bright, warm, and uncluttered. It reminds the visitor that, though cancer is not normal, it is something we can pass through. At the bottom of the White Box, and above the columns, is a canopy. From a distance, the canopy and columns appear as a pair of hands, shielding visitors. From outside the building, the Main Gallery is visible through a full-height glass opening that allows visitors to orient themselves before entry. Beside this glass opening is a wall clad in the same material as the canopy, which is repeated in the entryway, transitioning the visitors through the White Box, into the Cancer Center. This serves as a visual connection between the white Box and the interior. These wayfinding elements go beyond functional necessity – they serve as opportunities to both differentiate the facility and make a brand statement, emphasising that cancer patients’ needs require a unique design sensitivity that differs from other patients.
The opportunity for our work to be recognised by a larger audience of our professional and international peers.
Questions answered by Jennifer Kenson, IIDA Principal of FCA Architects
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring a boutique townhouse in Notting Hill with bespoke luxury detailing, click here to see more.
SBID Awards 2019 | Healthcare & Wellness Design finalist sponsored by Stone Federation
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features the fluidity of architectural curves with the V Line Cosmetic Center located at the Miramar Tower in Hong Kong. For this project, GWP Architects explored symbols that represented women and the female form; translating the soft, curved posture of female dancers into the curvature of the structures and spaces; using the ‘dancing ribbon’ as the core design theme. The whole space uses these curvaceous forms to express the dynamic changes of life with graceful shapes, exuding an elegant temperament throughout. Sensibility or rationality, a space that seems to breathe is created in the light and shadow between dynamic and static.
SBID Awards: Healthcare & Wellness Design finalist sponsored by The Stone Federation
Practice: GWP Architects
Project: V Line Cosmetic Center
Location: Hong Kong, Hong Kong
The project is 5000 sq ft in size located in Miramar Tower in Hong Kong. The client wanted to build the most elegant cosmetic space in the city. The design therefore focused on capturing and expressing the brand name of V Line Concept, and the style of the space needed to balance professionalism whilst remaining warm, elegant and welcoming for its costumers. And last, they wanted the project be fully completed within just two months!
The concept of the ‘dancing ribbon’ became the main theme behind the design scheme, with visions of a charming scene of dancers creating fluid and captivating movement with long strands of ribbon. With this in mind, we explored different symbols and shapes that represent women and the female form; translating the soft, curved posture of female dancers into the curvature of the internal structures. The entire space incorporates these curved forms to express the dynamic changes of life and create a sense of flow, gracefully guiding visitors through the cosmetic centre and exuding an heir of elegance in each zone. Sensibility or rationality, a space that seems to breathe is created in the light and shadow between dynamic and static.
The toughest hurdle I would say was the collaboration between our design team and the construction team within such a very short time frame. The client was in Canada during the whole process, so he wanted us to control all aspects of the project and finish it within 2 months. To make this happen, I brought my team to work on the site and we collaborated with construction team, fire equipment team, water system team, the air conditioner team, the dentist manager, and so on. In this way, when we make any changes or confirm any detail of the drawings, we could ensure each of the different teams are updated and on the same page to keep the work progress as efficient as possible. Effective communication helped us complete the project on a tight schedule.
There are many highlight points of the project. The choice of material, the smooth curved wall and ceiling design, but the most interesting part is the detail of craftsmanship where the corners meet the two different materials touch seamlessly. If you look at the images closely, you will find the round corners aligning very well, and between the walls and floors there is this a linear panel to express the space change.
First of all, the SBID Awards is a well-known interior design award with a wide brand influence which deserves attention. After the completion of the V Line Cosmetic Center, we received positive reviews and some awards in China and Hong Kong. Our team believes that good design should be tested and recognised by international awards, and that good design in China can be seen by more people around the world. Finally, we would like to establish our brand image through international media.
Questions answered by Guowei (John) Zhang, Founder and Chief Architect of GWP Architects
We hope you feel inspired by this week’s Healthcare & Wellness design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring hotel public spaces with Omani influences, cultural inspirations and a modern design scheme, click here to see more.
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features a modern fitness centre which proves that working out can be a stylish experience! The circular reception area is surrounded by wooden grids which curve towards the ceiling, meeting at the centre. This arresting design feature acts as a point of focus, creating instant visual intrigue as you enter into the space. A feeling of openness is created by circling multicoloured glass which is designed to divide (but not completely separate) internal spaces with its transparency. The glass panels also add an air modernity and vibrancy as the light shines through, casting colourful shadows. Huge semicircular lampshades and sturdy triangular prisms also punctuate the space. Other features include black iron artwork studded with metal rivets and cement walls clad in wood which come together to create an industrial aesthetic and evoke the feeling of strength.
SBID Awards: Healthcare and Wellness Design finalist sponsored by Stone Federation
Company: The XDH Design Firm
Project: Five Fitsport
Location: Guangxi, China
Five Fitsport is located on the fifth floor of the National Film City in Nanning ASEAN Business District, Guangxi. It is a fitness centre combining sports and leisure, with an area of 3578㎡.
The design inspiration of the project was to combine the strength of fitness with materials in the form of an industrial style, so as to express the theme of exercise. The space is interspersed with coloured ground glass, reflecting light and shadows to convey movement and the rhythm of the movement.
The most difficult obstacle to be overcome in the project was that the overall design needed to optimise the structure by combining the factors such as mechanics and considering the connection and grade of steel structures to achieve the practicability of the structure.
The highlight of the project is that the design scheme of the space is fully open plan but zoned in a creative way using coloured glass, so the design fits the modern yet industrial aesthetic with design elements which introduce colour and vibrancy. The special design feature of the suspended ceiling in the fitness area also adds to the visual focus.
The SBID International Design Awards is one of the most prestigious and interesting activities in the industry, and the competition is also very fierce. Participating in such a competition has been a very interesting and valuable experience for us!
Questions answered by Denver Hsu, Chief designer at The XDH Design Firm
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring SBID Award winners for the sustainable retail design for cosmetic brand, Lush with the opening of their largest global store in Liverpool, click here to see more.
We hope you feel inspired by this week’s Healthcare and Wellness design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features the SBID Award winning project for Healthcare & Wellness Design. The Salt Room encompasses innovative, receptive and modern design reflected through a prism of artistic and quirky vision. The actual halotherapy areas feature rare Himalayan salt decor accompanied by a relaxing café/retail unit and kids play area. The walls of the hallway and kids play area were hand created by an artist using all-natural paint to recreate a jungle themed fairytale trail. Diana Interiors Group used a creative approach to create space that promotes rest and calm, yet features a modern and artistic style.
SBID Awards: Healthcare & Wellness Design winner sponsored by the Stone Federation
Company: Diana Interiors Group
Project: The Salt Room
Location: Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
The project was located in the heart of the city centre with a complete refurbishment required as the venue was previously a casino. The prime, busy location meant that a catchy design is needed to attract passing footfall. Overall the key factors outlined in the brief included:
Nowadays we live in dynamic, often stressful environments which impacts our wellbeing significantly, hence more spaces which encourage relaxation and care for our health should be created. With this project we recognised an opportunity to demonstrate that interior design can influence sustainability and has environmental impact. Our inspiration came from the theme of organic nature and personal wellbeing. For that reason, we intentionally used animal and plant wall drawings, as we believe children should be inspired to look after the planet from a very early age. Our studio was very keen to undertake a project within the Healthcare & Wellness sector as it shows that private commercial organisations can be responsible and promote sustainable practices. We believe this is one good of example of it.
The Salt Room required enhancements to the heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems in addition to the installation of a halogenerator to ensure that there is an effective, unchanging amount of the dry salt to be dispersed, and mitigate any corroding of the salt in the environment.
Harmonising zones with such a different purpose and infusing The Salt Room brand into the interior design. Certainly, the highlight of the project was the art work. Every single element of the wall drawings were hand created by an incredibly talented artist using all-natural paint. We wanted to recreate a fairytale from the entrance to the kinds zone, so we followed the animal pattern all the way through. It took us months of work, but we are very proud with the final result.
Winning a SBID International Design Award is truly a high achievement, not only because these awards are recognised as one of the highest accolades in the interior design industry but also because they are an opportunity for a designer to find out what the public and technical experts think about their work.
It allows an artist to be at the forefront of design ideas and this is exactly what we aim to do in our studio. SBID Awards carry credibility and help build the reputation of a business, so every successful interior design studio would be thrilled to be among the arena of the finalists. The competition was very stiff, but we faced the challenge positively, and are extremely proud and honoured that our project was awarded.
Questions answered by Diana Shimbova, Group CEO and Lead Interior Designer at Diana Interiors Group
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring a playful residential design with bold colour schemes and striking artwork, click here to see more.
SBID Awards 2019 | Healthcare & Wellness Design Winner sponsored by Stone Federation
Matt Robb, Digital Media Executive at Stone Federation shares how 100 years of experience in the natural stone industry help them guide, support and inform design professionals when specifying stone for their projects. Keep scrolling to find out more about the SBID International Design Awards sponsor for the Healthcare & Wellness Design category.
What are the origins of your brand?
Stone Federation has existed in various guises for over a century. We have over 100 years’ experience in the natural stone industry with the longstanding goal of connecting specifiers with the very best materials and companies. There has always been a need for an independent body to champion natural stone and to promote best practice within the industry and in this way, the activity and aims of the Federation have stayed the same while the methods and markets have developed.
How do you work with interior designers?
Our work with interior designers is primarily focused around connecting them the best materials and companies for their project. We have a wealth of free design and technical resources to help design professionals take full advantage of the potential that natural stone provides. We also connect interior designers with the member companies who are best placed to service their specific requirements.
What value does your sector add to the interior design industry?
Natural stone has a rich history of providing interior designers with a wealth of options in both texture and colour. The natural stone sector has a high value for best practice and education and works hard to ensure that we provide specifiers with the right information for the materials they use.
How does your offering enhance an interior designer’s projects?
As the independent natural stone source point, we connect interior designers with a wealth of technical resources, stone sourcing guidance and opportunities to connect with suppliers.
What are the latest trends you’ve noticed in your client’s requests?
We’ve seen an encouraging increase in the number of specifiers placing a higher value on materials that deliver not only the required aesthetic but also the ethical and sustainable assurances that more and more clients are looking for.
Why did you want to become a sponsor for the SBID Awards?
SBID and Stone Federation have a strong working relationship built upon a mutual desire to promote best practice and education within the design and architectural sectors. There is a natural synergy between interior designers and the vast design potential that natural stone provides.
Sponsorship for the SBID International Design Awards 2020 is now open.
To find out more about becoming an SBID Awards sponsor next year click here or email [email protected]
SBID Members, Bespoke by Evans use their expertise in the art of tailored textiles to comment on how bespoke fabric design can enhance care environments and contribute to improving wellbeing, engagement and style within an interior design.
Designing bespoke textiles for care home environments is far more complicated than simply making fabrics look pretty. Unique textile designs that are tailored to specified interior design projects go beyond simply the look of a design and incorporate the everyday needs and demands of modern care. Guests, residents and staff alike are all important considerations whilst also addressing the specific age, mobility, sight, hearing and memory the care home cater to.
Whilst the style and aesthetic are still important (especially when relatives are going through the process of finding the right home for a loved one and first impressions count), substance and practicality need to be provided. Of course, as an easy option, a generic interior fabric from the many pattern books available to an interior designer could be chosen for a care home, but it raises the question, “will a generically designed fabric better support staff and help residents enhance their lives, each and every day?”
Home away from home
Each care home is different and so too is every resident. A bespoke fabric designs allows for the flexibility to adapt surroundings to specific needs; chairs, cushions, curtains, bedding and more can reflect desired characteristics within the care environment whilst overall, enhance the personality of a property. There is a strong public misconception of care homes being outdated or clinical, but with the ability to create any design, pattern or colour, a care home can easily be made into a ‘home-away-from-home’. In recent times, there has been a strong emphasis to create domestic-like appearances in care. This domestic-like appearance may help with the transition into care and also help residents to understand their new surroundings – what better way to make a space feel like a home by allowing a personal touch with a bespoke design?
A bespoke textile design will offer endless possibilities. Whatever your inspiration, it can be become a finished fabric. Stimulating textures, rich colours and contrasting patterns on bespoke fabrics can be used in private rooms or communal areas giving a coordinating warm look across a care home. Previous research suggest that colour has a profound impact on wellbeing; with bright colours leading the way in helping us feel energised. Designs married to these colourways can help us engage in everyday activities, remind us of the times gone-by or boost well-being through a more personalised approach.
Safety and comfort
Style is nothing without substance. Every fabric that is used for soft furnishings within a care environment has a requirement to meet the British Standards. Every care home has a duty of care to ensure everything in their power is done to reduce the risk of fire and improve the safety of their guests, staff and residents alike. A simple change to inherently flame retardant, British Standard certified fabrics will reduce the fire risk in any environment and can be coupled up with a multitude of designs through a bespoke fabric design service.
The considerations of a bespoke design on flame retardant fabric may encourage residents to retain and indeed regain some independence, help address impairments associated with old age and promote positive emotions through visual stimulants. A good example of when bespoke designed flame-retardant fabrics can provide both safety and comfort is on the chairs and sofas around a care home. As an everyday piece of furniture, chairs and sofas are an imperative soft furnishing item. The fabrics used as such, should offer prevention from any long-lasting damage that could be caused by accidents; easily wipeable, waterproof and durable. Having breathable fabrics will also be much more comfortable for residents when they are sat for prolonged periods of time. With the possibility of being able to get any designs printed and upholstered onto a chair, residents can benefit from contrasting coloured panels to help remind people with cognitive loss of where to sit, help reduce confusion and lessen any distress.
Other benefits of specialist healthcare fabrics may include infection control with anti-bacterial properties, blackout or dimout fabrics offering optimal light entry/exclusion and the ability to easily disinfect and wipe down the fabrics.
Choosing the right specialist fabrics
Selecting the right fabrics that are ‘fit for purpose’ and the right textile design partner is of paramount importance if you wish to enhance not only the look but the wellbeing of a care home environment. At Bespoke by Evans, our highest priority is you and your client. We’re able to offer a dedicated textile designer to deliver artwork catered to your next interior design care project. In doing so, we will help you create comfort, safety and wellbeing for the residents.
Whether your next care home project is a simple refresh or a full renovation or new build, we’re happy to deliver on your brief and budget. We take the hassle and time out of looking through generic pattern books and we would never ask you to settle on a design that you aren’t completely happy with. We offer our expertise, so you get the exact design that meets your clients’ requirements. Our bespoke fabric design service is tried and tested amongst some of the UK’s leading interior design agencies and offer care homes stand out, one-of-a-kind fabrics for their guests, residents and staff alike.
Bespoke by Evans are a proud SBID partner and unlike other bespoke fabric services, the initial design concept is completely free of charge. There are zero charges on fabric samples and no bulk commitments on orders – you can order from as little as 10 metres per design or colourway. To find out more or request a complimentary brochure visit www.bespokebyevans.com or call 0161 320 2121.
On SBID’s journey to discover more about the personal experiences and careers of interior and design professionals throughout the industry, we interviewed the CEO at Panaz Holdings, Tony Attard. Tony shares his approach to that all-important work-life integration, the latest on his design agenda, as well as his thoughts on the predominant issues faced by the industry as a whole.
Can you describe your current job?
I am CEO of Panaz Holdings, Chairman of Alusid, Chairman of Marketing Lancashire, Director of BCFA and currently High Sheriff of Lancashire. My jobs are primarily strategic although I get involved with many of my company initiatives to ensure they are delivered OTIF (On Time In Full).
What is your background and how did you get into interior design?
I was always interested in the integration of Art, Design, Marketing and Business. I therefore applied to study Fashion Design at St Martins, and Design Management at the University of Manchester (formally UMIST). I eventually opted for Manchester as it was a little more technical (BSc) and I was offered a University scholarship by Courtaulds which ensured a fast track career in Industry. Design is to me about the delivery of a brief, and should be manged like any other management decision. Of course there is inspiration, but that should not be at the expense of delivering on time. The more stress, the more creative the solution!
Describe an average day in your job role..
My life is not about balance, it’s about life work integration. I wake at 6.30 am and either go straight to my computer to check emails and prepare for the day, or go to the gym. Either way I then shower and have a cup of tea. I have given up on Breakfast as the healthier option and do not eat until lunch time. I get to my first meeting either at 8.30 or 9.00 am, dependent upon who else needs to get there. As I have no children at home any more, child care is not an issue for me as it may be is for others. I am usually in meetings most of the day, however as I am now High Sheriff, I could have a number of other priorities. I represent the Queen for the Judiciary, therefore I could accompany a High Court judge on the bench for a trial, I could also be out with the police force or fire brigade, or even an ambulance. Meeting people in the voluntary sector has a been a great part of being High Sheriff; the work that they do in the community is invaluable to so many vulnerable people and must be encouraged and rewarded. If I am in London I usually eat out with friends or customers and then get to bed about 12ish. If I am at home in Lancashire, I have dinner with my wife Patricia, usually on our laps and watching an episode of a program we are following (Killing Eve is our latest one!). Then, I retire to my study to write an article (like this one) or catch up on the news, prepare a report or read a board meeting agenda. I usually go to bed at 11.30 pm and read for a bit before turning off the light as my eyes start to drop.. Kindles are great because I do not need the big light on!
Which elements of your profession do you enjoy the most and/or find the most rewarding?
The most rewarding aspect for any creative is to see one’s work in the marketplace. I love creating collections with my Head of Design, Sarah Lloyd and her team, but unless anyone buys it, we have not been successful in interpreting what our customers require. It’s always very gratifying to see our fabrics in an interior either great or small, and to see that our vision can become reality.
Is there anything new you are working on?
There are so many different things. We are constantly working on new collections at Panaz, releasing 10 – 12 per year. But the new Alusid Silicastone brief is particularly interesting. Alusid is a very new company that is making a new material called Silicastone that was developed for solid surface and tiles out of a sustainability project at the University of central Lancashire. It uses two waste streams from broken pre-consumer ceramics (baths, toilets, shower trays, tiles) and post-consumer glass that would usually go into landfill. We crush it and then make great solid surfaces for table tops, work surfaces, and wall tiles. The effects we can achieve have been quite amazing. There are a number of furniture companies now using the product as a standard working surface for tables and we have installed it in a number of Architectural projects. The tiles can be used inside or outside – are frost resistant and have high colour fastness to light. We have just been granted a Design Guild mark for it!
What do you find the most challenging aspects of your job?
Keeping creatives working on time!! No seriously, I juggle a lot of balls and try not to drop them. It makes for an interesting life!
What do you wish you knew before working in the field?
I got great technical training from the University so I was able to contribute quickly to Industry. I would have liked to have known more about how to start a business, however maybe naivety in that area helps you become fearless. You cannot be frightened about what you don’t know!!
What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance?
Don’t say no to an opportunity because it may never come around again.
What has been your favourite project to work on?
I am very fortunate to have had a great creative life, I have great customers who work on some amazing projects with us, including Palaces, Cruise ships, Restaurants, Night clubs, Hotels, healthcare facilities, Hospitals and work spaces. Each project is different with many interesting solutions so to pick one out is very difficult.
What do you think is the biggest problem the interior design industry faces?
I think that Interior design is very undervalued. There is the MD’s wife syndrome where somebody that does up a home thinks that they can create a commercial interior. Dreadful mistakes can occur when this happens. The Industry must ensure that professional integrity is maintained and standards upheld. I also think that people should value intellectual copyright.
Which people do you admire the most in the industry and why?
Anybody that works that extra hour or goes that extra mile to ensure a customer is happy and satisfied.
If you were inspired by Tony’s story and want to learn more about interior design, click here.
SBID continue to explore the personal journeys of interior design professionals throughout the industry. This time, we interviewed the Head Designer at Evan’s Textiles, Bethany Grace Lewin, as she talks about her desire for creativity from a young age, the day-to-day life of a textile designer, and what it’s like working directly with interior designers!
I’m Head Designer at Evans Textiles which is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of soft furnishings to interior designers, specifiers and industry professionals. The majority of what I do is based in interior textile design and creating unique printed fabric designs that meet our clients’ interior design briefs – which can be for both domestic and contract markets. We’ve recently seen an increase in the popularity for our bespoke contract fabric designs and I’m very excited to say we’ve launched a new division which focuses solely on designing contract fabrics for healthcare and hospitality environments. Needless to say, my role and responsibilities are changing to meet this growing demand for our contemporary bespoke fabric designs.
What is your background and how did you get into textile design?
Since a young age I’ve been fascinated by art and design – the way it can influence a behaviour, tell a story or change a mood. I studied Maths, Biology and Economics during A-levels, but I always found myself gravitating towards art and design as I’ve always had a creative flair and felt strongly about using my artistic talent within my career. I went on to do a foundation degree in Textile Technologies, Photography and Fine Art & studied a BA (Hons) Fine Arts Degree at the Manchester School of Art. I have furthered my practice with a Post Graduate Certificate in Art & Design Education and a Master’s degree, in which I specialised in painting, print, drawing and illustration. I now use my qualifications and skills to produce high quality artwork for our interior design clients.
I’m usually up quite early around 6.30am and I’m in the office by 8.30am. As soon as I’m in the design studio, I check my emails for anything urgent over a coffee, then it’s straight to work. There’s never a dull moment and no two days are ever the same – that’s why I love my job. You have to be versatile and quite resilient within the team as the briefs can come in thick and fast and as we’re producing custom artwork daily on a variety of different base cloths, there can be a lot to manage as our clients have expectations and can often be working to tight timescales. I generally work up until 5.30pm but it’s not uncommon for me to take work home as we’re all about meeting our clients expectations.
I love to see the finished article come together in situ. It’s so rewarding to see the design I’ve been working on make a difference within an interior design scheme – and because our designs are hand-crafted and cannot be found elsewhere, they often take centre stage as the focal point in a room and give that ‘wow’ factor for our clients and their customers.
From concept to completion, I enjoy the work but it’s also brilliant when an interior designer repeatedly comes back to us with new and exciting ideas knowing the possibilities are endless with our bespoke design service and that we can and will deliver their project within budget and on time.
What’s the latest plans for Evans Textiles, is there anything new you are working on?
We’ve just launched our new division, Bespoke by Evans that specialises solely on performance fabrics for dementia care homes and healthcare facilities. We’ve created a core collection of FR contract fabrics that offer a contemporary take on the more traditional designs that you’re likely to see in standard pattern books. Plus, we have the option of our truly bespoke contract design and print services too within this division so there’s ample choice. All our designs incorporate patterns, scale, texture and familiarity so they can be used across a number of applications from bedding, seating, upholstery to drapery and more. With Evans having over 100 years’ experience in soft furnishings, the division is also able to tap into our core products like curtain lining, window blinds and curtain tracks meaning many of the essential elements for a redesign can be found in one place – saving our clients time, resource and money! I’m very excited to see what the future holds for our new initiative I think it’ll be very exciting for our clients too.
Although it’s cliché to say, often it can simply be there’s not enough time in the day. Meeting our client’s brief is our top priority so we work around the clock to create concepts, colourways and designs. There’s no fixed rule for what signifies a good design as it’s so subjective, so if we receive an unclear brief or our clients’ customer isn’t sure, it can be quite difficult to understand and manage their expectations within a certain time frame.
What do you wish you knew before working with interior designers?
The granular detail. From the outside looking in, it’s almost too easy to think interior design is all about aesthetics but there’s so much more to it. The coordination of materials, safety, design elements and space are fundamental and as we work collaboratively with all our clients, we gain a deeper understanding into the demands and strain on their particular projects.
Trust your instincts!
That’s a tricky question as every brief we receive is very different and the requirements of the client and their customer can vary greatly. There’s a botanical design that we worked on very recently for a care home it’s been a huge success with residents and staff alike. In fact, it’s been such a success it has been recognised for an International Design award by the Society of British and International Design. That’s a design I’m quite proud of.
Due to the popularity of the internet and the rise of social media, I think the traditional way of choosing a fabric design has changed and many interior designers risk missing a trick by not adapting. The days of carrying around numerous heavy traditional pattern books with limited design collections is fast coming to an end. Nowadays, both savvy interior designers and indeed their customers take to websites, Instagram and Pinterest to find inspiration. This is something we’ve actively tackled with Bespoke by Evans. Our clients can showcase our range, request free swatches, an initial design concept or request a brochure for their customers all on our website. We’re also active on social media channels too so there’s always something new to discover.
If you were inspired by Beth’s story and want to find out more about interior design and the role of an interior designer, click here.
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