Goods Way, Kings Cross is an award winning entertainment & hospitality destination located in London Kings Cross. An interior with an old-worldly look and feel, taking inspiration and influence from the vibrancy and energy of New Orleans. Testament to its success and quality, the venue had already secured an unprecedented number of bookings and high-profile artists before opening.
Designing such a space is by no means an easy feat, and The Contract Chair Co. are therefore thrilled to have Jordan Littler, Creative Director from 3Stories Design talk us through his expertise, inspiration and valuable insight for Goods Way and beyond…
Hi Jordan … Do you have a signature style and if so how would you describe it?
We always set out to not have a signature style, mainly because we like to immerse ourselves in the brand or the food offer, work it through our process and see what comes out at the end. Our work and clients are so varied and it gives us the flexibility to keep things fresh and relevant for the client but also ourselves and create something unique.
Goods Way is an undoubtedly unique concept. What was the inspiration behind the design scheme?
Our client, Ben Lovett, is well travelled and loves the energy and vibe of New Orleans. His brief was to create a fully immersive entertainment space where guests can dine, drink and dance all under the same roof. Blending together the nostalgia of the Mississippi delta and taking inspiration from the vibrancy and energy of New Orleans.
How do you judge the success of a project?
Seeing a project succeed and develop over time is a great feeling, especially when you know it’s a passion project for the client. Anything that gets built and lasts longer than 2 years in todays climate is also a basic sign of success.
In what ways do you think the pandemic will impact interior design in hospitality?
At the beginning of the pandemic we talked a lot with clients about spacing tables further apart, the 1.5m society and how hygiene will become more of a ritual and more public in the future. With time we feel a lot of these things have dropped away as people quickly fall back into old habits. Work and Play balance has become more important and achievable now than it ever has before and it is going to change the way we work forever. More flexible working opportunities will naturally mean the way people socialize has and will change as well. The hospitality market will need to work harder to attract guests and going out will be seen as a special event, people may end up going out less but are willing to spend more for something special.
What are the qualities of a good designer?
An open mind and positive attitude, a wide and varied set of interests, a good listener, a strong GIF game, a dark sense of humour… also, it’s a massive cliché, but be nice! The industry is pretty small and your personal reputation means everything, even when you’re starting out.
What is the best part of daily life being a designer?
There are lots of aspects that come to mind. Handing over a project that looks exactly like the concept you envisaged never ceases to surprise and delight. Seeing people interact with a space , use it or abuse it in ways you never imagined. But sitting in a venue you designed after it opens, with a cocktail in hand, is one of the best feelings. As long as that space is a bar or restaurant and not a Yoga studio, as that would be weird and people would be questioning where you got the cocktail from in the first place, at 8am in the morning.
What is your favorite book/magazine/site/blog for design?
We spend a lot of time on design blogs, in particular We Heart and Yellow Trace. Both of these showcase some exceptional work and it’s interesting seeing trends sweep across the globe. We don’t really buy design magazines in the office anymore, we generally switched to digital but we still catch up on more long read articles in FRAME and Design Week.
What are the current hospitality design trends?
Personally we’re seeing a lot of clients wanting to expand their offer to appeal to a broader market as well as making better use of their existing space. Flexibility is key. Hotels are re-assessing their public spaces and how they can flex to fill empty lobbies and drive more consumers through the doors. We’re also seeing a rise in demand for extended stays at hotels, with business travellers who are looking to stay in a hotel for 3 days or more but want the rooms to be more like an apartment.
Are you yet witnessing demand for sustainable design?
Naturally, with what has happened over the past year, sustainability has taken a back seat in hospitality as a priority. However, what we are finding is that the consumer is becoming more socially conscious and there has been a shift towards travellers who are more aware of their personal impact from travel and their own carbon footprint. Aligning themselves with brands who use less plastic and produce less waste.
And our final question….Have you a piece of advice for aspiring designers?
Be bold, daring and try to get noticed. Don’t follow what everyone else is doing. Curate, build and maintain an exciting and engaging Instagram profile. It’s a tool we all use and rely on so much now and can act as a great portfolio for interior designers starting out. Aspiring writers are always told to ‘just write something’ That also applies to design. Make a mood board or a sample board, sketch something, design an entire interior then upload it. Don’t be precious. You have to start somewhere.
Take a closer look at our Goods Way, Kings Cross collaboration here
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