With the modern consumer more aware than ever before when it comes to sustainability, and clients willing to broaden their imagination when it comes to signing off new fabrics and furnishings that can stand the test of time, the era of artisan is having a moment. Felicity Randolph from Gabriella James, Chairmakers explains why the demand for artisan is more than a trend…
One of the leading interior ‘trends’ of 2020 has been a return of traditional textiles and techniques. As the world increasingly turns to a more sustainable way of living, the culture of throwaway items has begun to fade and, in its place, there’s a growing emphasis on artisanal furnishings that will last. Consumers now want products that will stand the test of time, seeking furniture and furnishings that are made from natural materials and built using traditional methods. Within the hotel industry, this celebration of craftsmanship evokes a more unique style and allows brands to tell a personalised story through interior design.
The artisanal renaissance takes inspiration from history, embracing the natural methods and materials of the past. Hotels can achieve this look in a number of ways, from opting for authentic ornaments, ceramics and wall hangings to seeking out natural upholstery fabrics and working with companies that champion bespoke designs. Handcrafted décor items play a large role in achieving this look, creating a unique style that is warm, inviting and filled with personality.
Choose Tactile Furniture
Furniture can make or break the overall look of a room, so it should be the first port of call in celebrating artisanal makers. The bland and soulless designs from mass-produced pieces are increasingly being replaced with innovative products from creative designers. As a result, the idiosyncrasies and nuances of craftsmanship has a new appeal for the public who are embracing the original and personal nature of artisanal pieces. The artisanal trend also lends itself well to tactile furniture, such as through textured fabrics, warm natural woods and soft furnishings that invite visitors to explore.
For example, Gabriella James, Chairmakers create hand-crafted framed chairs with traditionally upholstered seats that make use of natural materials such as coir, hessian and wool. Each of the designs produced by Gabriella James is made using tried and tested methods to create a product that is built to stand the test of time. These include using traditional joinery techniques. Compared to modern joinery which relies on the use of bindings, adhesives and fasteners, traditional joinery depends only on wooden elements for a strong and sturdy result. The use of natural materials helps to bring a more organic and calming atmosphere to any space – something that is of particular importance in hotels where you want your guests to feel relaxed and at home from the moment they arrive.
Details can add unique touches to a space that are subtle yet effective. For example, architectural joinery such as well-considered skirting boards, door panel moulds or creative architraves. These details can improve the feel of a room immensely and provide a pop of individual style as well as a nod to the past. There’s also an opportunity to evoke certain eras with such detailing – for example, bobbin chairs are an example of traditional renaissance style that evokes the look and feel of this time period while also working well with modern furnishings. Using classic joinery techniques, such as those adopted by Gabriella James, helps to create these more traditional finishes. For example, steam bending and hand-carved spindles such as those features on the Darwin or Elkin models, or the elegance of the smooth wooden style of the Marco chair, bring luxury to any space. The use of texture through smooth wooden spindles and backs, as well as different colour and types of wood grain, can create a warm and rustic look that pairs beautifully with cosy wools and natural materials for a welcoming ambiance.
Design for guests
When interior designing, it’s important to remember that you’re designing for people, so emotions play a big role. Looking to artisans and traditional crafts is a great way of achieving an emotional response in a way that can’t be attained through off-the-shelf items. The tactility of good-quality, handmade items, whether that’s a carved frame chair, ceramics or a sumptuous artisanal blanket will remind you of luxurious spaces. Much like having a bespoke item of clothing elevates an outfit, using customised pieces in interior design creates a unique environment that can’t be found elsewhere. Artisan features with a hand-crafted look and feel are great for personalising a space and helping shift the eye around the room to create a comfortable yet interesting feel.
The desire for unique, traditionally-crafted furniture and classic textiles has led to an artisanal revival, both in residential properties and in businesses around the world. The hotel sector, in particular, as adopted this trend as a way of adding character and personality, using natural materials and traditional methods to create inviting spaces that are individual, creative and deliver a sensory experience. Thanks to innovative designers, handcrafted items are enjoying a second wave and the hotel industry is perfectly positioned to embrace this wonderfully creative trend.