Yes, You Can Still Afford Those Renovations

Let’s face it, COVID-19 has changed a lot of things about how guests travel and spend money.  This of course affects hotel developers and owners who had very different plans about 2020.  Most developers who factored renovations into their budget for 2020, want more bang for their buck to ensure the longevity in their hotel. The good news is, trimming your budget doesn’t necessarily mean designing on a dime. Designing to a reduced budget is all about smart design, smart materials, and smart ways to fabricate. This design on a budget scenario puts a few challenges ahead for the designer at hand, but nothing that a designer whose motto is “Creativity is Everything” can’t figure out!

Reusing materials is one 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 sandings 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 reclaiming the floorboards and applying them as a decorative detail to a ceiling.

A few years ago, AJC Design was hired to assist with converting a fully out-fitted Brooklyn, New York 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 brand’s focus to incorporate bold color as well as a neighborhood brand story that would be eminent throughout the space,  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. And most importantly, to be affordable in my client’s eyes. We reused a white lacquer Parsons desk, added a red glass top to give it a pop of color and protect the surface from scratching. In essence, a creative design with 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. It is frequently forgotten from the budget or even eliminated completely. Did you know that the artwork specifications can be the most powerful and thought-provoking items in the entire package? Naturally, we weren’t ready to forfeit any artwork and we needed a “wow” statement throughout this hotel.

The solution: murals that were digitally printed on wall covering and strategically placed throughout the hotel. Not only did the murals convey the neighborhood story, they were printed on environmentally-friendly substrates that could easily be installed. 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. The best part is that this story will have longevity through the test of time.

Travel might be down but guests still expect the best hospitality experience and ambiance.  Before you scrap those hotel renovation plans to save money, let’s have a chat.



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