The Caterer

Design tips from Beacon Purchasing

17 December 2009
Design tips from Beacon Purchasing

Beacon Purchasing has always put the needs of our 2,000 members first, listening to the market and ensuring that the suppliers we put forward have what it takes to mirror and match current trends and innovations.

The design sphere is where a deeply competitive trading environment has made an impact on businesses across the board. It's important to expect your suppliers not only to respond to the very real challenge of constricted budgets, but also to pro-actively develop and offer new products and alternatives that won't compromise quality and the all-important ambience.

Businesses today are deeply concerned with creating environments that are warm and welcoming to encourage repeat business, higher occupancy rates and brand loyalty. Hence, they need suppliers to add value while enhancing the comfort and well-being of guests.

The best-run properties are continuing to refurbish, albeit at a slower pace, and most of them are still looking for that "wow" factor to distinguish them from the rest.

Here are some of the design trends we've found:


  • Wrap-around, "statement" furniture, upholstered in strong colours and patterns

  • A renaissance in 1950s and 1960s styles.

  • Among luxury hotels, slim minimalist lines with high-quality veneered finishes and the integration within the furniture of all electronic and communications as well as lighting and wiring systems

  • Demand for raw materials from sustainable sources

    Textiles and soft furnishings - Luxury and contemporary styles without the price tag and complexity of bespoke projects

  • Refurbishing by priority and in stages - whether bed throws, curtains, cushions

  • Vogue in plain white sheets - cotton-rich polyester blends offering the same aesthetics and handling as 100% cotton


  • Themes ranging from solidarity (muted shades, natural influences), to optimism (unexpected mixes), reflection (understated tones like dusky blues and greys), dynamism and vibrancy (saturated reds and purples), to reclaiming the best of the past (bronzes and golds)

  • Blue as the colour of 2010

Beacon wishes to thank Richard Haworth, Curtis Furniture, ICI Paints, AkzoNobel (Dulux), Mitre Hall and Letts for their help with these tips

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