Time is running out to enter the 2017 new-look Vision Style Awards. For the last three months, we’ve been searching high and low for the most innovative, the most stylish and the most outstanding establishments across healthcare and hospitality that will take away the prestigious title of being Europe’s most stylish across 13 different categories.
Soon enough, our eight judges will sit down and take a look at all entries received in order to decide upon three finalists from each category. These judges come from across the entire industry from an award-winning chef, a renowned hotelier and interior design gurus specialising in hospitality design.
This week, we caught up with Richard McCready-Hughes, Creative Director of Goddard Littlefair; a London-based luxury interior design studio. Richard is responsible for delivering high design values and ensuring maximum creativity across any project undertaken and has a wealth of experience working with some of London’s biggest-name interior design agencies.
We spoke to him about exactly what he’s looking out for in the world of hospitality design over the coming months.
Richard, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve had a passion for architecture and design for as long as I can remember, but it’s the interior spaces and the impact these have on us emotionally which really fascinate me.
What made you decide to be a judge this year?
I love working with other designers, understanding what inspires them and hearing about the thought processes and the rationale behind their work. It’s one of the things I like most about my job.
What are we seeing in terms of innovation in hospitality design trends that you haven’t seen before?
Hospitality design is becoming increasingly sophisticated and we are seeing much more collaboration between operators and specialist consultants to create a guest experience which is much more memorable and emotionally involving.
Subtle visual cues, unique experiential signatures, entertainment, smart use of technology and ultra-intuitive service are some of the elements combining to provide distinction within the market place.
What do you think will be some key design trends across hospitality over the next 12 months?
I’d like to see operators embrace originality, innovation and modernity again and inspire guests with something that excites them and which they’ve never seen before.
Is there anything that’s becoming less stylish? Or is there anything that hospitality venues aren’t doing as much of?
Over the last decade there’s been a rise in the ‘anti design’ and ‘anti corporate’ up cycled, shabby chic look which which evokes a sense of nostalgia, familiarity and comfort for guests. I think the market has become a little saturated with this particular style to the point of becoming a cliché. Everyone from higher end hotels, members clubs and restaurants right down the local high street coffee shop are doing their own versions of it.
What do you think will set an entry apart from the rest this year?
Thoughtfulness, attention to detail and the sense that guests would find the place truly engaging and memorable.
In a highly competitive market, how do you think the design of a venue influence one to stay?
Consumers are more aspirational, discerning and fashion conscious than ever before. I think part of their decision will be influenced by the lifestyle or brand values the establishment manages to convey. The design of the venue is the most tangible element of this and good design is a powerful asset.
What do you look at first when stepping inside a hospitality establishment; a hotel, B&B, restaurant or bar?
That’s a difficult question for a designer to answer; most of us will be scrutinising everything the minute we walk through the door! I think once I’m over the initial impression I’d be looking to see that it’s clean, well-managed, has a the right atmosphere and promises to deliver what I’m expecting. A fabulously designed venue is worth nothing if it’s not maintained, managed well or fails to deliver.
What do you look for when choosing a hospitality venue – whether to stay or to eat?
Style and personality, the sense that it’s been considerately put together, what kind of reputation it has (I’ll definitely check it out on TripAdvisor first!), convenient location, price. Pretty much in that order.
Do you have the most stylish hospitality venue in Europe? Vision are looking for spas, bars, restaurants, B&Bs, self catering accommodation, holiday lets, serviced apartments and hotels to enter the 2017 Vision Style Awards.
Entry to the Awards is absolutely free of charge and we’ve got a huge 12 categories to choose from. Will you be crowned one of our winners and win a double-page spread in the coveted Style Guide?