Supplier spotlight: interior design

Boutique Hotel News takes a look at the companies who add a sprinkling of design magic to property interiors.

The first few seconds after walking in to a boutique hotel are crucial – the visitor takes in a huge amount of details and almost subconsciously makes judgements, so the look and, just as importantly, the feel of the property are essential.

Whether it is for a new-build, a conversion or a refurbishment, selecting the right interior designer who understands your vision and can work to a brief and a budget is hugely important.

Suna Interior Design is an award-winning boutique interior design consultancy which provides a full range of interior services for property developers and the hospitality industry. Helen Fewster and Rebecca Tucker head up the London-based studio, ensuring that a high level of attention is dedicated to each client and project. “As a tight-knit team of designers we ensure concepts and visions become reality, producing lifestyle enhancing designs delivered through a consistently personal, brief-led service. We are proud of the portfolio we have created,” sats Tucker.

Suna Interior Design has worked on numerous projects from four storey townhouses to refurbished apartments, exclusive serviced apartments, marketing suites and luxury hotels. The company is involved in the whole design process, subtly steering the final designs towards specific target markets, from quirky, eclectic refurbished units to classic and contemporary designs. It focuses on all aspects of interior design from furniture, fixtures and fittings (FF&E) to interior specification and the final design and fit-out. The company also has a Design for CGI service, a partnership with visualisation companies where Suna Interior Design create interiors which are then used to create bespoke CGIs.

Tucker says: “The current widespread appeal for more individual boutique hotels and for unique interior design fits perfectly with our studio’s work, ensuring that we are perfectly positioned to cater to the hospitality industry’s requirement for design that offers something that little bit different. The discerning guest wants to feel like they are getting something that has been carefully designed and considered, with infinite attention to detail, and that constitutes an overall ‘experience’. They want to feel like they have found a hidden gem, that they can recommend this new find to other discerning travellers, which will reflect their own criteria for unique and one-off hotels and serviced apartments. For the boutique hotel the challenge is to promote this concept of ‘best kept secret’ through its design and its customer service, whilst increasingly getting the word spread through social media and recommendation that this is the place to stay!”

Fusion Interiors Group is an international interiors and graphic design studio specialising in creating unique identities for clients in the boutique hotel, aparthotel and serviced apartment sectors. Managing director Hilary Lancaster won the 2016 Women in Build award for Most Innovative Interior Designer In Europe. She says: “Our strength is our creativity married with functionality and commerciality. We try to avoid trends as much as possible, but a trend in boutique hotels is to create a ‘lifestyle’ hotel where the guests feel that they are welcome whatever their age or income group. This means the design can be very conceptual and allows us to do a lot of research to come up with something specific for the brief. Another trend is in the design of the public areas where people want to be able to work as well as socialise. Multifunctional furniture and a changing, flexible, atmosphere is needed. The lobby could be a breakfast area, then a workspace and at night come alive with a DJ!”

Sarah Burghard, of Sarah Burghard Designs, has a passion to create fabrics and products for the hospitality industry that reflect her clients’ individuality, personality and heritage. As a former actress Burghard says she has an interest in the character, history and story of the boutique hotels she designs for and she intends to expand what we view as textile design: “I really love what I do, as working with the creative minds of the business owners that I collaborate with is always an exciting journey. Finding a letter or postcard that is part of the building’s archive is often a great starting point, alongside the geographical location, architectural details or points of reference that the client wants to celebrate with their customers. My finishing touches enrich their guest experience and impart their business story to make a more memorable visit. I am open to a wide variety of inspiration, this is about the client and their businesses identity, I am like a chameleon as I take on their character and reflect it back on eye catching, quality interior furnishings”

On the point of trend, Burghard is a little more prescriptive in her view point: “I pride myself on NOT following trends, I prefer to focus on authenticity of the clients’ offering. Trends come and go, my work is based on the inherent qualities of the business and often it’s surroundings so my work never goes out of fashion or becomes irrelevant. I am, however always in touch with trends that the industry is following in order to ensure my designs are fresh and innovative with regard to the products I can supply and the schemes within which they sit. I pride myself on offering quality products that reflect the heart of the business in a functional form.”

Recent commissions have been as varied as the range of clients Burghard works with all over the country: “The owner of Harringtons Hotel in Bath explained to me with glee that a previous resident invented the first lavatorial flush, not an easy remit to create an attractive design from but I came up with the Spend A Penny range which shares the story with a humorous twist. The Plough & Harrow in Birmingham had a wall mounted metal sign that hadn’t been noticed by the new owner, once I photographed it and enhanced it into a repeat pattern it sat well with the William Morris influence the building called for and will become a signature print throughout the refurbished rooms.”

Andrew Martin is a luxury interiors brand that distributes a wide range of fabrics, wallpapers, furniture, and home accessories worldwide. Founded in 1978, the British brand describes itself as  a global authority in the interior design world.

The company says its aesthetic “takes inspiration from a diverse mix of cultures and eras, injecting style, elegance and comfort into the everyday. Andrew Martin interiors are designed to surprise, stimulate and entertain, with touches of high glamour eclectically mixed with more traditional elements to create a statement look that is never dull. What may otherwise have been impossible is made cohesive in Andrew Martin’s hands.”

The company has launched new collections including a collaboration with emerging British artist Holly Frean on an animal-inspired collection of flocked wallpapers and “printed velvet fabrics with a fun, mischievous and above-all original slant”.

A partnership with the National Gallery offers clients the chance to recreate their favourite masterpieces from the collection as bespoke digital wallpapers. Other new ranges include luxury velvet, linen and silk fabrics from the Mews collection, globally-inspired Maurishka digitally-printed organic cottons and linens and a range of sofas exclusively filled with goose feathers.

Founder Martin Waller’s philosophy is to celebrate travel as “the great luxury of our generation”, which affords us the opportunity of discovering and blending flavours and ideas from around the globe. He describes his style as “a recipe for elegant living, simple but eclectic propositions, fusing ideas from many different cultures. It inspires designs upon the home which provide a sense of escapism and pleasure similar to the experiences of travelling.”

Recent Andrew Martin hotel designs have included Spanish ski lodge El Lodge in Sierra Nevada, which was awarded fifth place on Conde Nast Traveller’s list of The Best Family Hotels in the World this year, and a renovation of the Puente Romano resort in Marbella, Spain, which involved the refurbishment of 200 rooms plus 47 owner suites and the main restaurant.

Suna Interior Design
Fusion Interiors Group
Sarah Burghard Designs
Andrew Martin

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