22 May Hotel Designs Article #2 – Bringing The Outside In.
Bringing the outside in & reconnecting with nature…
In our last article we approached the issues facing hoteliers in the current climate of the COVID-10 pandemic. To follow on we would like to consider the transference of bringing what is natural from our outside spaces into the interior. Whether it be inspiration from the gardens of our estates to the geological uniqueness of the surrounding landscape.
So how are we going to re-connect with both our guests and nature and bring it into the practical and working hospitality environment? I’ve discussed locality and community in previous articles on LinkedIn and surely it is here is where one can bring what is unique from our locale into re-connecting with our hotel community.
What materials are environmentally friendly and can be sourced locally? We have an abundance of natural and raw materials on our doorstep which are native to our country. Whether these be stones, woods, shells or natural fabrics such a wool keeping touch with what exists around us is the key.
Near to where the Harris Jackson studio is based are the Purbeck hills situated to the East of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site. The Purbecks are renowned for their raw variety of stones. Purbeck limestone is a hard-wearing, durable stone which reputedly improves with age, making it suitable for the wide variety of internal and external uses. Think if you will of how this material can be utilised outside surrounding a natural pool setting and followed through into a spa or all day dining/cafe area as a flooring finish. All Limestones have varying degrees of texture so can be used for may different configurations and end uses.
If we are using our surrounding as inspiration why not also look at the trees native to your area & property? In the New Forest where we are based the area is synonymous with ancient trees having stood the test of time throughout the ages. You can find a variety of different tree species in the Forest including mighty redwoods, oaks, beech and yew amongst others. Let’s utilise sustainable versions of these woods as interesting panelling for feature walls, sustainable hardwoods for flooring or feature table tops in the dining rooms.
Let’s make the most of our surroundings and appreciate and celebrate the beauty in them. A perfect example of this is the Chewton Glen in South Hampshire where they have offered the hotel guest a unique stay in their Tree houses.
Within the New Forest and many other natural parks around the UK can offer a multitude of inspiration to transfer inside. Colour inspiration can often be depicted by the flora that can be found there; carpets of bluebells in May and the bright yellow of celandines in the late winter months offering a burst of colour on the woodland floor. All these natural hues are a designers colour palette that can resonate within bedrooms, spas & public areas.
Picking out the colour from our surroundings can tie us to the outside in a most subtle of ways. We can look at incorporating the blues of sea, greens & browns of the forest, limestone neutrals & colours of the local flora & fauna at different times of the year.
Let the sun in
But the natural environment is not always made up of tangible objects accessible to the human touch. In these challenging times where we have been quarantined within our homes one of the things that we find ourselves craving is space and light. But rather than relying on electrical enlightenment why not search out natural sources? We can now rely on solar energy to power properties which is excellent and undoubtedly concretes a future of sustainable energy. However why not look to using light wells and harness the power of actual sunlight?
Where we can open up the space with glazing that itself could utilise solar energy to light interiors. The Watergate Bay hotel uses glazing to its advantage. Not only to treat the guest to the most remarkable views but also to let the light in.
Not merely a spectator
One of the most beautiful contemporary attempts at a country hotel residence stunningly immersing itself in its locale is Lympton Manor. This hotel is set in 28 acres of beautiful East Devon Countryside nestled between the Exe estuary and the untamed wilderness of Woodbury Common.
The hotel and its chef & patron is Michael Caines, the 2 Michelin starred chef has taken on the mantle of transforming the estate. It has sympathetically been restored & reinstated to help bring the grounds and the manor back to its former glory. In fact it is now far in excess of its former state. The restoration has successfully taken into consideration the surrounding environment and historical reference of the buildings features & grounds.
At every juncture of this beautiful property’s interior design is the connection to the exterior and surrounding nature. The colour palette imbues the soft watery & sandy tones of the Exe Estuary outside teamed with the rustic woody hues of the estate & landscape. Named after the extraordinary views down to Berryhead across Lyme Bay, the Berryhead restaurant presents sweeping drapes, crystal chandeliers and cool elegant tones depicting the views outside.
Once a visitor to Lympton Manor it is quite apparent both the quintessential subtle grandeur of this beautiful country house not only moulds into its landscape bringing the outside in it also allows the guest to feel that “they are part of the view, not merely spectators”.
So utilising the areas unique local materials we can maintain our future in sustainability and staying connected to our environs. Surely guests want to feel part of the landscape that they visit, otherwise why would they visit a given area? We want to be connected with nature with an added emotional enhancement of contentment & security which familiarity gives us. Let’s make this connection an integral part of our stay in the future.