Q&A with Lotti Baker-Johnson, Shaw Hospitality
Lotti is the Hospitality Design and Sales Specialist at Shaw Hospitality, Design Insider discussed with her how hospitality design has changed over the years and how their product is now featuring in new sectors.
Day to day Lotti works with interior designers, brands, owners, contractors and purchasers to assist in achieving the best flooring solution for their needs.
Shaw Hospitality primarily focuses on hotels but have you seen an increase in other areas? Such as healthcare and office?
Yes, we’re seeing a crossover within the market. Designers who were predominantly hospitality based are now being asked to work on healthcare, offices, back of house and many other areas, which we have not seen before. Hospitality designers bring a different flair and finesse to interiors and I believe that all areas now require this sort of detail and a high-end, luxurious look. This is especially true for Senior Living which is mirroring the hospitality vibe. We see these requirements reflected in the flooring briefs we are receiving; there is a new desire for luxury in areas other than hotels.
“This is especially true for Senior Living which is mirroring the hospitality vibe”
This month on DESIGN INSIDER we are looking at the development of the hotel lobby, as part of the projects you have been involved with have you seen how the space has transformed? And has this affected specification in any way?
Historically, the front of house areas have been mainly functional, with a reception and a concierge desk often situated within a cavernous and open, uninviting space. Nowadays hotel lobbies are becoming specialised and personable, and serve as a meeting place, with small hub areas, computer docking stations, charge points and free Wi-Fi being the norm. Designers are using luxury seating and furnishings to make the hotel lobbies a more pleasurable and inviting space to spend time in, meet people and generally socialise.
Hotel lobbies no longer have a clear definition; bars are merging into restaurants, coffee houses, private meeting spaces, and check in/check out areas. The styling and interior design aim to make lobbies look like a ‘hip’ place to hang out rather than the desk entrance to your overnight accommodation. As a result, specifications for flooring are definitely changing. Designs are becoming more fluid with less visual boundaries and more continuity within the space. Design concepts are flowing with colours or patterns that are merging and infusing into a new kind of design. Layering and textual appearances help to achieve a more ‘complete’ property feel.
Back in November 2015 Shaw won the DESIGN INSIDER ‘Best Product at Show’ at Sleep for their Noble Materials Collection, the design was praised because of its connectivity throughout the hotel, could you see this design working in other areas?
It was incredibly exciting to win this award for a collection of designs that we worked on methodically and diligently to create an interesting and diverse package of ‘starting points’. This resulted in a diverse range, which, although showcased in specific hotel areas, would also work in office spaces, healthcare and leisure facilities. We are pleased that our Noble Materials collection was recognised as a comprehensive and original set of designs.
As with all our collections, we provide interior designers with starting points they can utilise, amend, adapt, recolour and scale as they see fit for their projects. We work closely with the designers to help them achieve the desired look for the complete space or location, based on the starting point they selected. Designs within collections can be mixed and overlaid throughout different spaces, and collections can be combined if the designer finds alternative visuals they prefer. It really is an example of flexibility in communication and design to achieve the overall look the interior designer requires.
Any new collections for 2016 we need to keep an eye out for?
Vertical Layers is a collection based on our RIBA accredited Coloursense CPD, which has been received very well in the industry, and is still available to view, should any practices be interested. The Vertical Layers collection reflects the ‘sense of time’ concept that uses the beauty of surfaces exposed to natural elements as inspiration.
Design effects such as paint peeling off wooden surfaces, oxidisation, as well as weathered and worn surfaces, create a collection of patterns that bring out the ‘beauty in the unexpected’.
This summer we also hope to add more colours to our multi-award winning collection Hexagon, and present the long-awaited smooth floor complementing product.
What are you seeing as big trends for 2016?
The demand for texture is slowly making its way into the briefs for hospitality flooring. Cut, loop and tip-sheared surfaces create an extra dimension, ideal for interior designers who are looking for something new and different compared to the traditional. Simple patterns take on a new feel with cut and loop, and complex patterns become more intricate and layered with these techniques.
“Cut, loop and tip-sheared surfaces create an extra dimension, ideal for interior designers who are looking for something new and different compared to the traditional.”
We are also seeing a huge interest in metallic and high lustre yarn – designs we have included in the Noble Materials collection. This is new to the flooring products manufactured in the UK and Europe, but has been produced by Shaw Contract Group for many years now. This type of yarn is an incredible ‘Fit for Purpose Yarn’ which we are excited to share with designers and end users.