From dull to dramatic: Hotels as museums
Hotel guests no longer want same-same in their hotel suites. Business and leisure travelers seek a memorable experience and this assertiveness extends to their hotel accommodations. Some boutique hotel suites have started to reflect this trend, while others look at the price of furnishings and fixtures (think mink coats and large diamond rings) and default to boring (think Walmart and Sears). For the designers and hoteliers looking to bring WOW and OMG to their guests – please look at the suggestions brought to you by SMEG, Koket and NOALiving.
Every year, Architectural Designer Magazine curates a group of cutting-edge, high-end vendors who present their top-of-the line products to interior designers, architects, journalists and consumers who get to cherry-pick the products that will maintain the SENSATIONAL factor for decades to come.
Jousting Paladins by Gianfranco Fiore
Beyond belief, this $30,000 refrigerator from Dolce & Gabbana and SMEG would easily enhance the dining area of any hotel suite from Boston to Barcelona. Part of a series of 100 refrigerators, each one features images by Sicilian artists and the themes for each product are embellished with classic floral motifs that combines innovation and a meticulous eye for detail.
Fifty Shades of Grey
While the Portuguese company may not yet be a brand with instant recognition, it should become part of your furniture and fixtures vocabulary (Boca Da Lobo, Delightful, Brabbu, Essential Home, Maison Valentina, Luxxu, Circu, Covet House and Koket).
All the products are bold and sassy (but not brassy) and make audacious statements at first sight. The sensuous pieces are inspired by fashion and nature, the metals are bright and daring, the colors are vivid and brave, and the semi-precious stones make these investment pieces to covet and cherish.
Koket pieces included in Fifty Shades of Grey:
The Burlesque console was placed in the hallway leading to Christian’s Bedroom.
Chloe is pictured here as a cabinet door handle and wall sconce. In the film, it was placed on the wall in the hallway on the way to the Playroom.
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The Gilt Mirror is designed in gold tones from hammered and textured brass surrounding a convex mirror. It appears in the movie in the hallway enroute to the Playroom.
Rute Hneriques, Brand Ambassador (USA Market) discussed the development of the organization that was started 16 years ago by Ricardo Magalhaes. As a young 20-something design school college graduate Magalhaes decided he wanted to build a furniture company that would reflect the culture and heritage of Portugal.
Koket and Boca LoBobo (and all the other divisions) leave no part of the furniture experience to chance. Every inch of the product lines, from door handles to bathtubs, the furniture and fixture options are unashamedly elegant and scream that they are pricey (but worth every penny).
For guests with a musical talent and a yen for a touch of Africa in their suites, the Congo Zandi Slit Drum will become an instant best friend. The Drum (via NOA Living), represents an antelope from the Zande tribe and dates from the early 20th century (or older). Slit drums were used to communicate between villages and to listen to festivities. The style corresponds to museum pieces.
The Hotel as a Museum
A hotel offering museum-quality furnishings, fixtures and art offers guests with an experience they might not otherwise enjoy; visits to museums are not part of everyone’s travel itinerary. However, when good art and design are integrated into a living space, the benefits accrue to everyone engaged and offer new opportunities for viewing and enjoying excellent works by talented artisans.
Integrating art and elegance into a hotel suite is not only sustainable and good for business, it is also good for society. Hotel furnishings and fixtures need not be “disposable” – the hotel can be the “museum” for the 21st century.
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