Our favourite design conversation from Design Week

You know somethings had an impact on you,  when you are still thinking about it weeks later.

Our Team came back from Design Week having really enjoyed this conversation:

“Designing beautiful homes and hotels that have soul” – hosted by David Nichols from House & Garden & Designers Martin & Jay from Martin Hulbert Design (MHD).

With over 25 year’s of experience, a host of accolades and their work published extensively worldwide, we were really looking forward to hearing what MHD had to say.

They gave us 4 really thought- provoking tips on how they inject personality into their hotel projects. All of which can be used within residential projects to some degree, so we thought you’d like to hear them too.

  1. Use something old & something new

“There is something beautiful about imperfections, (they) make it all the more relaxing” (MHD).

This room is in the Grove of Narberth, Pembrokeshire. The Designers discussed how they ‘layer’ different styles and eras. Welsh vintage blankets were sourced & cleaned before being upholstered onto the backs of sofas.

We absolutely love this feature. To inject soul & personality into a space, what better way than to use something of historic & cultural significance?

The blankets add a real focal point & something unique to the atmosphere  Plus they add a cosy dimension, rather than creating to much of a high-end vibe. Hotel rooms should promote relaxation after all!

2. Bespoke

Here at the Design House we love bringing something unique to a project, where it’s relevant of course! MHD talked about this table they designed for use in a private room at the Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire. This absolutely blew our minds for it’s ability to tick all of our design boxes: beautiful design, utility & creativity. As the room is multipurpose, the iron wheel mechanism allows the flexibility to move the table, as and when required.

3. Anti-fashion – “if something is in fashion we will go out of our way to avoid it” -MHD.

MH discussed their dislike of pot plants and hanging light bulbs instead preferring timeless objects.

Here at the Design House we know it’s easy to follow the  trends & schemes you see on Pinterest, Instagram & the like. Instead though, try and ask yourself before purchasing, will the ‘trendy’ items stand the test of time?  Will you still like them five years from now? If you can’t be sure, the safest, most ethical option,  is to invest in something more sustainable.

4. Collections & Curating

The Designers discussed how difficult it can be to showcase personality within hotels. They gave an example of where they added a ‘key collection’: a collection of vintage keys, behind the reception desk of a hotel that gave out plastic keys only, as below.

They also discussed a light fitting they created at No 15 Great Pulteney Street in Bath. The hotel had a number of ‘lost’ earrings. So they decided to incorporate this feature into the hotel (see main image).

The idea was to start a campaign for local people to donate some jewellery too. A dramatic & truly original light fitting was then crafted from the pieces. Now centre stage in the hotel’s reception, a lasting reminder of the local community & history hangs for all to see.

Thank you to Martin Hulbert Design (http://martinhulbertdesign.com/) and House & Garden for delivering our favourite conversation in 2018 and the images used in this article.

We’ll be considering all of their tips when designing over the months ahead,  so watch this space & see whether you can see us using or interpreting them,  in any of our future projects.

Design Week huge thanks for having us, until next year!