B is for Budget
Being on a budget doesn’t necessarily mean designing on a dime. Designing to a budget is all about smart design, smart materials, and smart ways to fabricate. Renovations are typically cost conscious and most developers want more bang for the buck to ensure the longevity in their hotel. This design on a budget scenario puts a few challenges ahead for the designer at hand, but nothing that a designer can’t be cleaver enough to sort out, on a reasonable level of coarse!
Reusing materials is a great example of how to help keep a developer with tight pockets happy. A wood floor is a great material to salvage especially if it has decent bones or a few more sanding’s left. Enhancing the color from light to dark can completely give the space an entire facelift. If you decided to rip out that old floor, think about reclaim the floorboards and apply them as a decorative detail to a ceiling.
At AJC Design, we were hired to assist with converting a fully out-fitted Brooklyn, New York based boutique hotel to a brand that raised the IHG flag, Hotel Indigo. We had a great vanilla shell to work with, but we had some unique brand details that needed to be integrated without breaking the bank. With the brands emphasis to incorporate bold color and a neighbor hood brand story that was eminent throughout the space, this was something AJC Design was elated to be put to the test.
The less is more approach (not in the Miesian sense) was how we created a few bold statements that give our space character, a brand story and an environment for the traveler to remember but most importantly to be affordable in my client’s eyes. We re-used a white lacquer Parsons desk, added a red glass top to give it a pop of color but more importantly to protect the surface from scratching. Sounds like creative design, practical material and cost-effective fabrication. Artwork is a FF&E item that always seems to be treated like the red headed step-child (a former strawberry blond child myself) of the group, frequently being forgotten from the budget or even eliminated completely. However, the artwork specifications can be the most powerful and thought-provoking items in the entire package. We weren’t ready to forfeit any artwork and we needed a wow statement throughout this hotel.
The solution was a mural that was digitally printed on wall covering and strategically placed throughout the hotel. The murals conveyed the neighborhood story, were printed on environmentally friendly substrates with an extremely easy installation. The brand conversion was a win win for our client even with their budget restrictions. The brand story has been evident in this Brooklyn neighborhood way before the hotel was even a thought in our client’s mind and the charming part is the story will continue to have longevity through the test of time.