Can't afford the luxury of professional design advice for your business? Interior designer Jennifer Flemming offers tips on how to draw on successful establishments for inspiration
â- Print photographs of striking images onto wallpaper for a bold statement.
CitizenM hotel, Amsterdam, Schipol Airport The breakfast room features a fun black and white montage of swimmers at the beach, while a corridor has a photographic depiction of a made-up vaudeville character with shopping and show dog in tow.
W hotel, Leicester Square The hotel spa wallpaper features a relaxing scene, using a simple image of a serene, meditating figure. This is complemented by the use of spotlights and a dark floor and ceiling, creating a subdued and relaxing backdrop at arrival to the hotel spa.
â- Change the colour and so change the mood. Dark colours such as deep, rich browns, reds and even black, can be used to create a moody, subdued atmosphere; a sense of intimacy; or a feeling of mystery. Yellows, creams and white can create a contrasting sense of brightness, day time and happiness.
â- Paint walls and the ceiling the same colour. It creates visual impact and can give a space an increased feeling of height.
â- Simple painted wall murals of local scenes can provide a sense of place. Include lighting for additional impact.
Nam restaurant, Soho, London The interior intends to reflect the Vietnamese street food culture. Hence, B3 architectural interior designers created in-door street art by painting brightly coloured scenes of daily village life in Vietnam on existing brick walls. The results is an informal, relaxed, interesting and fun environment for diners.
Indigo hotel, Paddington. London Throughout the 64-bedroom hotel there are references to the surrounding neighbourhood in painted murals and prints on canvas. The bedroom walls reflect architectural features of Paddington Station, while prints of nearby street scenes adorn the restaurant's walls. In the bedroom corridors, the ceilings have been painted according to their levels, with those on the fourth floor featuring the skyline, while those below reflect the tree line and the buildings.
â- Create a cultural or a contemporary feature piece.
Wanderlust hotel, Singapore Pieces of MDF have been used to create back-lit cut-outs of lamps, chairs and flowers. The result is a fun and reasonably inexpensive art feature.
â- Change or create a new mood and atmosphere by using soft lighting for an intimate atmosphere and brighter lighting to bring a space alive.
â- Introduce feature lighting such as a chandelier or a beautiful sculptural piece.
â- Install a lighting control with programmed scene settings to make it easily adjustable by all staff.
â- Energy saving products can be used to reduce carbon footprint and keep running costs low, with a longer lifespan.
W hotel, Leicester Square, London Mirror balls are relatively inexpensive and have become a signature feature of the 192-bedroom hotel where they reflect images and light, as well as add a touch of glitz. The hotel features 660 of them in total, including the largest one in London in the Wyld Bar, measuring 3.5m in diameter and containing 17,000 mirror pieces.
CitizenM hotel, Glasgow Paper lanterns are inexpensive and add a fun and interesting touch to a space. The CitizenM hotel in Glasgow has made a feature of multiple paper lanterns at the top of the spiral staircase.
Furniture & fixtures
â- Use old apple crates for display and decoration. Cost is minimal.
â- Position pieces of furniture against a simple backdrop, for maximum impact.
â- Soft furnishings, such as cushions, can provide an inexpensive but an interesting touch - with the opportunity to incorporate a fun, contemporary message.
â- Replace table tops to create an inexpensive, brand new look.
â- Cheap isn't always best and is sometimes a false economy. Tables or chairs rarely encourage customers for a second visit.
The Hoxton hotel, Hoxton, London Bedrooms feature a variety of fun cushions such as the scissors, paper, stone collection.
how to refresh front of house on a budget
Jay Rushton, operation manager at interior fit-out specialist Dawnvale, shares some top tips on refreshing a front of house area without blowing the budgetwww.dawnvale.com
It tends to be a given that designers are involved in larger projects, but smaller clients sometimes shy away from using designers. This isn't a bad thing, but a designer's role is much more than simply selecting colours and finishes; designers assist the client, and understand what they want.
Costs can vary from a few hundred pounds for basic assistance to thousands for larger schemes. However, advice is always free in the first instance.
Fit-out and refurbishment
Simple changes to the frontage can change the customer's perception of what to expect, which then follows through to the interior walls and flooring, furniture, bars, decor, fixtures and fittings and last but not least lighting. None of these areas necessarily need to be replaced, but can simply have some form of refurbishment whilst concentrating on key areas to ensure you gain optimum operational performance.
Faux leather is now so good it's hard to tell the difference between it and real leather, but at a fraction of the price it's a good alternative.
Fabrics can instantly transform existing furniture, and patterns and textures can be incorporated to create a softer feel to interior schemes. Venues with high wear areas can mix the two with hard-wearing areas such as seats in a leather or faux leather and create a softer and more unusual finish to backs and areas with less wear.
Existing floors can often be made good or refurbished for much less than replacing with new. Installation of new flooring combined with some existing floor can result in creating new zones and give the impression that all floors have been replaced. Alternatives to solid woods and stones are now as good as the real thing, and in some case more hard wearing with lower maintenance costs. Some floor covering can be laid directly over the existing flooring, saving time and expense but providing a dramatic impact in large areas.
Existing bars can be altered to create a new look without the need for complete replacement. New lighting can transform a bar and create a key part of the new interior. Consider how changes can be used to provide optimum performance for bartenders, ensuring service levels increase as well as turnover.
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