After many months in the making, I’m pleased to be able to share my guest editor issue of the American magazine, Hospitality Design. In this issue we celebrate a love for craft and colour, as we introduce our favourite makers, weavers, sculptors, and potters.
Craft has always been more anonymous than art, with the name of the craftsperson often overlooked. We aim, in our small way, to change that and to celebrate the people with whom we work.
In this post, we will be highlighting some of our favourite features from the magazine, or you can read the full issue online here.
Meet The Makers
Here, we celebrate the stories and secrets behind our favourite craftspeople. We meet Yelena Ford, Managing Director of The New Craftsmen; Nicola Stacey, Director at the Heritage of London Trust; and master weaver Mary Restieaux. These unique pioneers are united in their ability to redefine traditional forms of craft for modern spaces.
We also celebrate the works of ceramics specialist Daniel Reynolds and sculptor Tom Stogdon who demonstrate how craftsmanship can add warmth and homeliness to a space.
In Living Colour
Author Kassia St Clair expertly explores how colour can set the mood of a space. In her interpretation of some of Firmdale Hotels’ signature spaces, she establishes how balancing a particular set of colours can instil a sense of serenity, or how using different shades of red can create a space that evokes passion.
Ones To Watch
In the ‘Ones To Watch’ section, we speak with contemporary artists Idris Khan and Annie Morris, who use art to heal, and Carla Kranendonk, who explores female power in her paintings.
Hermione Skye creates woven installations to “breathe life” into spaces, while Juliette Losq depicts the beauty of nature amongst decay in her works.
The works of these artists bring so much life to a space, and often act as conversation starters in our hotels.
Every Headboard Tells A Story
At Firmdale Hotels, we like to think of headboards as story boards. They introduce drama and detail, and the touch of an artist or craftsman’s hand enhances the narrative behind every design. For this section, we picked out the stories behind some of our favourite headboards, such as The Asafo in Room 101 at Haymarket Hotel, pictured below.
Next, we get to know our collaborators. In a career spanning five decades, Alan Cristea has worked with many exceptional artists. He is one of the world’s leading publishers of original contemporary prints and editions. One of his colourful pieces by Pop artist Joe Tilson adorns a stairwell at The Whitby Hotel.
Our New York florist Lewis Miller creates stunning designs that have the power to shift the energy in a space. Lewis discusses how his tactile orchestrations of flora and fauna allow the viewer to feel they are stepping into a still life painting. Our beloved Botero sculpture, Crosby the Cat, was dressed to impress this year by Lewis and his team as part of New York Flower Week.
Finally, our very own Head of Design at Firmdale Hotels New York, Ruby Kean, tells us of her love for collage. In bringing together an array of inspirations, ideas and textures, one can create something entirely new – something that she says allows her to be detailed in her storytelling. She details her inspiration, her favourite place to travel, and her favourite places in London and New York.
There is a design thread that weaves its way through all of our works, and I hope this issue inspires you to turn every page of the magazine with curiosity and interest.