Hospitality Design Inspiration

Join us as we follow 2 designers from concept to execution as they create custom hospitality vignettes for HI Connect. 

Design Force Corporation
Designers: Joanne McGillvray IIDA, ASID

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1. What is the inspiration for your vignette at HI Connect Design?

Our vignette is centered on intuitive technology and innovation. It’s an accolade to the advancements of manufacturing techniques and technology available in our industry and when combined with beautiful aesthetic it provides the ultimate in luxury experience.

2. How does the flooring contribute to the overall design concept?

Unexpected design and product application. Incorporating carpet tile instead of broadloom in a luxury guestroom setting. Plank format allowed us to create ombre design with no particular pattern repeat.

3. Does sustainability figure prominently in your design concept? If so, please elaborate.

Not directly but in using carpet tile instead of broadloom we understand that there would be less quantity required for installation verses broadloom creating less waste. Carpet tile can also be replaced one at a time as needed instead of an entire room of broadloom if carpet gets damaged or soiled. That can be considered sustainable when speaking about the life cycle of a product.

4. Why did you choose to work with Interface Hospitality as a supplier for your design concept?

We consider Interface to be one of the innovators for carpet tile and the new technologies available to our industry.

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Joanne McGillvary_Headshot_web2As Design Director for Design Force, and over 20 years experience in the field of interior design, Joanne is greatly involved with the firms strategic business focus and quality initiatives including design excellence and diversification. Specializing in Hospitality design, her experience and expertise spans the Destination Resort, Boutique, Luxury, Convention and Full-service hotel arenas as well as Culinary, Lifestyle and Retail environments. Her passion is to find innovative solutions, by fusing functional and mindful planning with beautiful aesthetic to deliver revenue driven results that successfully connect the customer with the brand.

The W Group
Designer: Whitney Fisher IIDA, NCIDQ

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1. What is the inspiration for your vignette at HI Connect Design?

This design pays homage to the history and growth of Nashville. Rustic elements reference the early days of Nashville when settlers inhabited the area while more refined traditional elements reference The Hermitage, Belle Meade Plantation, and Cheekwood. Conversely, metallic, modern elements indicate the recent growth and sophistication of Nashville’s current climate. The artwork will feature a modern twist of the history of the Hermitage and the growth of Nashville.

2. Why did you choose to work with Interface Hospitality as a supplier for your design concept?

Interface was chosen because of their innovation in Hospitality Guestroom carpet tiles. We liked that they offer a plank tile that can emulate the idea of wood flooring and are able to create an accent inset easily to highlight a seating or bed area. Operationally this type of flooring is great because the ease of replacing a tile if there is a stain that can’t removed. The fact that there is little waste when used is also a bonus to the overall budget and project.

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Whitney Fisher_head shot_webWhitney is principal interior designer of The W Group. Graduating from Fider accredited O’More College in 1986 with highest honors. With more than 25 years of extensive practice in the commercial interior design industry. She has acquired numerous awards throughout her career, including the Lodging Hospitality Design Award, the ASID Silver Award, and two IIDA Gold Awards. . Publications in which her work has been featured include Hotel Business Design, Lodging Hospitality, Contract Magazine, Her work was judged “Best Design for a Spa” by Spa Finder, and the firm’s Hershey Country Club project was among five finalists in the Remodeling/Renovation category in Golf Inc. Clubhouse Competition. Fisher also has served on furniture and fabric design review committees for new introductions. She also is as an attendee for the Hospitality Design Summit for 4 years for top designers and is by invitation only.

Additional HI Connect Vignettes

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Milan Design Week: Trend Report Pt. I

Gretchen Wagner

During Milan Design Week the already stylish city of Milan, Italy, transforms into a multi-cultural showcase of current and forecasted trends. Soaking in the beautiful new color palettes, materials and products is surely inspiring, but my favorite part comes after the after-parties have long been finished. All the imagery and literature that I gathered is carefully cataloged and cross-referenced with other emerging design trends from various blogs and publications, and I soon begin to find recurring themes. These recurring themes become the basis of my trend research as I continue to step into both the past and the future to understand where these trends have come from and where they are going.

I have broken the overall design trends from Milan Design Week into two categories: Material/Color Trends and Emerging Cultural Trends. Material and color trends are simply a visual analysis of what textures and colors are emerging in various markets. These trends are often moving at a fast pace and typically start in higher end markets and eventually diffuse to consumer markets where they become widely accepted as “fashionable”. Emerging cultural trends represent larger, slower moving trends that dictate not only our material and color choices, but also how and why we design products the way we do. They represent what is happening on a global cultural scale and signify changes in consumer habits and how we interact with one another on the human scale.

So let’s kick things off with a colorful start.

PASTEL vs. NEON

Pastel and neon colors have slowly been creeping into consumer driven markets, particularly the fashion industry. In a world that has gone neutral in most recent years with subtle variations on taupe and cool grays, I am excited to announce the emergence of pastels and neons in contract design. Scandinavian design (both fashion and interiors) has always lent itself to interpreting accents in the form of pastel and neon colors. Unlike most trends that start in higher end markets and diffuse downward to consumers, this trend emerged with consumers where it became widely accepted and is now skyrocketing upward into mature design aesthetics where pastel and neon colors bring a whimsical and play-like atmosphere.

Within the pastel and neon trend I am also noticing blush and dusty rose colors coming to the forefront. Depending on surrounding palettes, blush tones can effortlessly blend in as imitation neutrals or become a subtle statement piece amongst a tonal backdrop. Stylists in home interiors are dialing up the intensity of blush hues and creating soft pink spaces filled with glowing light and simple accessories.

ALCHEMY

Alchemy by definition is a medieval form of chemistry that focused its efforts on transforming base metals into gold. Gold and many other metallic finishes and reflective surfaces were all over Milan Design Week and are hitting home interior trends in the form of copper clothing hangers and brassy light fixtures. Metallics were not the only shiny things at the Furniture Fair. Lacquered side tables and case goods that were so glossy you could see your own reflection in them cropped up across multiple showrooms. Metallic finishes and reflective surfaces are popping up everywhere from copper finishes on handbags, to light fixtures, tableware, furniture and fine art.

Clean and thin metallic wire accents against soft pastels and neutrals are effortlessly modern and bring brightness into any space.

I will continue with the emerging cultural trends in Pt. II of the Milan Design Week: Trend Report, so stay tuned!!

Ciao for now!

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Weekend in Italy

Gretchen Wagner

The past couple of days have been a blur and I am back in Atlanta by way of Verona > Ljubljana, Slovenia > Venice > New York. I didn’t see much of Venice or New York (unless the airport counts) but I fell in love with both Verona and Ljubljana.

So here’s a quick recap of our last two days abroad!

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Narrow city streets of Verona – simply enchanting.

We started Friday in Verona with a beautiful tour of the historic city. Our tour guide was of the classic Italian type and she described the architecture of the Baroque and Renaissance type. We traveled down winding, narrow streets past hidden churches and supposedly the homes of both Romeo and Juliet! After the tour I made my way to Juliet’s square to see where lovers come from around the world to lock in their love for one another on the cast iron gates. Beautifully painted frescoes and colorful, marble city streets enchanted me. Verona is the height of Italian romance, and the city is too stunning to not become infatuated with the light and architecture around you.

Midway through the day we left for our last “three hour tour” to Ljubljana, Slovenia, to visit Aquafil’s recycling and regeneration plants the following day. Friday evening, Interface, Aquafil and all our guests rode up the Funicular railway, which is essentially a gondola that takes you to the top of the hill in the center of the city. At the top is a medieval castle that has been renovated with some contemporary architecture. Naturally, we were greeted with a delicious Slovenian dinner equipped with the famous sausages from the area and prosecco (of course!!). Despite Slovenia being so close to Italy, both the architecture and food display a stronger tie to their Austrian neighbors.

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Nylon 6 fishing nets about to be cleaned and recycled at the Aquafil plant in Slovenia.

The following day we visited Aquafil’s recycling and regeneration facilities located in Slovenia to see how the Econyl yarn is produced. You may be familiar with Interface’s Net-Works™ program in which commercial fishing nets made of type 6 nylon fiber are recovered from beaches in the Philippines and brought to Aquafil for recycling. Not only does this help feed Aquafil’s recycled content in their Econyl yarn, but it also benefits the local communities and villages in the Philippines by providing an alternative source of income that helps stabilize their economy (collected nets are paid for with deposits in local banks) and cleaning the debris on their beaches that could contribute to illness. The type 6 nylon fishing nets are only one component of the recycled content that contributes to Aquafil’s Econyl yarn. It also includes fluff waste from carpet tiles (removed in our own ReEntry® 2.0 facility here in Georgia!!), post-industrial waste from the apparel industry and many other sources. Aquafil accepts anything that is type 6 nylon and then cleans and recycles that content back into their products.

It was truly amazing to see the process, but unfortunately the most exciting parts of the tour couldn’t be photographed because of the unique technologies Aquafil has invented. For a closer view into the process, view Interface’s YouTube channel and watch some of our Net Works and Net Effect videos to see the industrial process.

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The medieval castle in Ljubljana.

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A late night view of the river in Ljubljana with the city reflected in the water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday concluded with a seafood dinner in downtown Ljubljana and afterwards the whole crew set off to a little café for one last round of toasts and celebration.

Now safely back in the Americas and jet lagged, I am sure everyone is sleepy eyed and grinning just like me.

Thank you for such a magnificent trip across Italy!! And stay tuned for continued updates and pictures through the eyes of our guests.

Ciao!

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Have Bus, Will Travel

Gretchen Wagner

Today we said goodbye to Milano and what an amazing time we all had while there. To keep with my new Italian morning ritual, I drank cappuccino and ate croissants while watching the commuters race through the piazza in front of the Duomo di Milano.

Departure was early this morning, so after sipping the last of the espresso foam from my cappuccino, I shuffled back to the hotel in an effort not be late for the bus. I’d like to say the three-hour bus ride to Arco was uneventful, but I’m beginning to realize you can’t do anything in Italy without romance and breathtaking beauty.

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The road cut right through the Alps. With vineyards planted in the valley and lush mountains in the background our trip to Verona didn’t disappoint.

Arco is where the headquarters for Aquafil is located and the town itself is situated at the Northern most point of Lake Gardo. In addition to the sparkling water and adorable seaside villages we passed on excruciatingly winding roads and tunnels, LakeGardo is hugged on three sides by the Alps. As we drove up the west side of the lake, everyone snapped pictures of the mountains, villages and cliffs that surrounded the bus for the last leg of our journey. The roads were fairly narrow and like many experiences we’ve had in Italy with our giant tour bus, we narrowly escaped impact with oncoming trucks and cars through the tunnels. It all makes for a more exciting and authentic voyage.

After arriving in Arco we heard a presentation by Interface’s Executive Creative Director, Chip DeGrace. He discussed our ever-evolving relationship with companies aligned with our sustainable mission and most specifically the collaboration we have with Aquafil. The town of Arco was small, filled with traffic circles and a castle  perched at the top of a steep cliff at the North end of town. We settled in for a “quick Italian” lunch after viewing some installations of our newest product launches.

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The composite rug that was featured during the Interface product presentation in Arco.

We boarded our bus for a supposedly “less scenic” drive to Verona, but I was equally impressed by the scale and greenery of the Alps and avidly snapped pictures of hidden castles and rolling hills through the bus windows. We arrived in Verona late afternoon and after receiving our room assignments headed upstairs to change into more elegant attire for cocktails and dinner at the Bonazzi Villa in the hills overlooking Verona.

Describing the villa is nearly impossible with its unbelievable view of the city, impeccably manicured lawn, wine cellar and fresco-covered walls. Senor Carlo Bonazzi is the founder of Aquafil and his son Julio has now taken up the family business. I did my best to capture the magic of the villa and its surrounding landscape, but seeing was believing during last nights festivities.

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Aperitifs on the veranda at the Bonazzi villa overlooking Verona.

Prosecco and vegetable tempura were served alongside freshly sliced meats and bread. We all wandered the gardens and rooms surrounding the house before dinner and eventually settled in for a three-course meal in the dining room. Delicious dishes one after another were placed on the tables, and wine that Senor Carlo makes himself flowed generously from the bottles to our glasses. Dessert included a lemon gelato with mint and raspberry garnish and small pieces of cake and fruit. I didn’t think it was possible to feel hungry again after dinner, but while writing this post I find myself craving the olive oil covered tortellini from our first dish all over again. It was such an exciting evening of mingling with the Bonazzi family and learning more about their rich history.

The evening concluded with cocktails on the veranda and dancing. Interface hosts and guests alike boogied to 80s montages and bass thumping discotheque beats until our feet were too tired to walk back to the bus.

Now that we’ve arrived back in the hotel, it’s time to head to bed. I’ll need my energy to tour Verona in the morning before leaving for Slovenia in the afternoon.

Ciao!

A gracious thank you goes out to the Bonazzi family and Aquafil on behalf of Interface and all of our guests, for opening their home to us for an unforgettable evening. Grazie!

Follow us on twitter (@Interface_NA) & instagram (@InterfaceAmericas) for inspiring quotes, photos & design trends from our trip. #IFinMilan #MilanDesignWeek

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Think Design Think Milan

Gretchen Wagner
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Entrance to the Milan Furniture Fair designed by Massimiliano Fuksas

As of today we have officially been in Milan for a full day and night. A good night of sleep meant waking up early for breakfast wasn’t quite as challenging as yesterday, especially if you decided to take a quick walk to the piazza down the street for croissants and cappuccinos in front of the glimmering Duomo di Milano. Who am I kidding? Italy is amazing, jet lagged or not!

I hustled back to the hotel with two other designers to catch our bus to the Milan Furniture Fair. I don’t think anyone could have anticipated the scale of the show, but the exhibition halls collectively equal more than 200,000 square meters of exhibitors, showrooms, lectures and espresso machines. The main corridor alone measured a whopping 2 kilometers!! Walking the entire show in one day is physically impossible so we were advised to focus our attention in the “Modern” exhibition halls and the Salone Satellite.

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Vitra showroom; collaborations with Hella Jongerius.

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Sponge Chair by Peter Traag – Erda showroom

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Laser cut cardboard light fixtures designed by Wishnya.

Endless showrooms made for an interesting afternoon at the Fair and I stumbled across countless new ideas that sparked my creative interest. Collaborations with Hella Jongerius, Alexander Girard and many others provoked a playful atmosphere in the Vitra  showroom that delighted the mind and spirit. Knoll presented an edgier approach in Italy than they typically do in the US equipped with colored Saarinen end tables. SCP beautiful textile and ceramic collaborations with British designers. Swedish flooring company, Bolon, lured guests into their booth with an inspirational modern dance video choreographed by Alexander Ekman that was inspired by their weaving process. And GAN introduced a line of modular interior textiles designed by Patricia Urquiola that stick to the floor, furniture and walls using Velcro!

Salone Satellite, where emerging artists and designers have the opportunity to showcase their conceptual development and prototypes, was by far my favorite portion of the show. I fell in love with laser cut cardboard light fixtures designed by Wishnya and was mesmerized by a dancing water sculpture by Tokyo-based creative team, Kappes.

This is just a teaser of all the beautiful spaces and products that were shown today, so keep in touch and stay tuned for a fully captured trend report of the Milan Furniture Fair when I get back to the States.

Evening plans included a quick trip through the shopping district and an Italian pasta dinner accompanied by more prosecco and chocolate desserts (pinch me!).

In the meantime, I’m off to bed to rest these feet for the night. Next stop – Aquafil and Verona in the morning!

Ciao!

Follow us on twitter (@Interface_NA) & instagram (@InterfaceAmericas) for inspiring quotes, photos & design trends from our trip. #IFinMilan #MilanDesignWeek. Also, stay tuned for more updates about our trip.

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