The Portland Mews Case Study
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Portland Mews, in Bridlington, Yorkshire, comprises of 36 retirement properties and a wide range of on-site facilities such as a resident lounge, hair salon, and landscaped gardens.
Hanover Housing is a nationwide leader and not-for-profit organisation who specialise in providing housing and associated services for people aged 55 and over. They provide a range of attractive yet affordable homes in order to meet their individual needs. With around 19,000 rental, sale and shared ownership properties in around 600 locations across the UK, Hanover Housing has a 50-year history and track record as a trusted provider for those wishing to lead independent, active lives.
Procurement for Housing
Vision took part in a mini-competition hosted through the Procurement for Housing framework (PFH) and were successful in providing a complete and coherent design concept to Hanover Housing Association for the furnishing replacement at three Hanover estates. This scheme, Portland Mews, is an Extra Care Housing scheme for people over the age of 55 who rent their properties.
Kim Reed, who led the project on behalf of Vision’s Projects Team said: “Vision supplied design proposals and physical mood boards for the main communal areas and guest rooms as part of the mini-competition process. The brief was to create a modern and contemporary feel whilst remaining homely, fit for purpose and within budget.”
How Did Vision Achieve the Brief?
Vision supplied bespoke window dressings and soft furnishings, furniture, artwork, mirrors and accessories along with specifying flooring and other decoration.
“Furthermore, fabrics needed to be waterproof and functional with antibacterial properties; floor coverings had to be hard-wearing with non-slip properties; wall coverings had to be wipe-clean and comply with the requirements of fire regulations and the light levels in these areas also had to meet additional regulations.”
Vision involved residents right from the start; hosting a number of meetings and consultations where the team presented a shortlist of proposals. Kim said: “This enabled the residents to make the all-important final decisions on the design and be informed of the refurbishment timescales.
The initial mood boards were presented to the residents and we gained fantastic feedback from the residents as to what colours they liked, what they wanted to see more of etc. The physical mood boards we provided incorporated swatches of the flooring choice, curtain fabric, upholstery and wallpaper. This proved hugely useful as the residents were able to visualise the scheme and how the colours and textures would work alongside each other. It also enabled them to be tactile with the swatches.
In regards to the artwork, Kim presented the residents with a number of choices to determine which kind they preferred. She said: “The estate manager followed up from my initial meetings with the residents regarding the artwork. The residents were provided with selection forms and asked to select their preferred choices for the artwork. The artwork with a majority vote won and was installed.”
The colour schemes and fabrics were chosen during a consultation with residents – which took place following the award of the contract. Kim said: “Having been on-site and gaining feedback from both staff and residents it was clear that the communal rooms needed updating with fresh colours. Both the lounge and dining areas benefit from open-plan space with double doors and large windows looking out over the garden.
The mood boards which were created for these rooms incorporated soft, muted heather and olive colours which helped to bright and lift the room from their previous creams and terracotta’s. This made the area look instantly more inviting
The chairs in the lounge were previously all the same colour so we suggested different colours for different chairs to create interest and break the monotony of the room up. The upholstery fabrics we chose were a mix of different textures too including soft cashmere, flat woven and linen effects. The variety of textures can have a major impact on the mood of the room as well as transforming the way the room looks. These new textured upholstery fabrics provided a feeling of warmth in contrast to the smooth, walnut surface on the furniture and chrome accessories.
The linen-type upholstery absorbs light brilliantly and the impact of this colour has a more subtle appearance – thus creating a calming and relaxing environment for the residents to enjoy.”
Kim said: “The inspiration for the hair salon was to create a glamorous room which made having a hair appointment a pleasing and exciting experience. The wallpaper selected for the feature wall had a Van Gogh design with a subtle texture throughout – with a neutral background and light pinks, olives and brown colours; this created a real focal point in the room.
For the internal window, we decided to move away from the venetian blind which was in situ previously – it made the room feel colder and slightly ‘office-like’. We replaced this with a sateen champagne roman blind, softening the overall look of the room and adding an extra touch of glamour. The black salon chairs were replaced with bright lime green chairs which gave the room a pop of colour.”
Kim continued: “When I visited Portland Mews originally, it was clear that the mini-lounge was hardly used and was mainly being used for storing chairs and staff meetings. Having spoken with staff and residents, the feedback was that this room needed to be multi-functional. The choice for the room was to bring an element of fun and vibrancy into it. We looked at ‘bringing the outdoors in’ through natural, autumnal colours and textures. Bright oranges, yellows and olive green colours along with copper coloured accessories and artwork really emphasised this and instantly transformed the room.”
“The corridors were themed by the use of colour in the feature wallpaper, bedroom door paint, artwork and seating with differentiated between floor levels. The inspiration behind the artwork on the corridors involved the residents who gave feedback as to what they wanted to see on their own corridor.
The ground floor corridor theme was nature, including landscape images and flowers in particular. The first floor corridor included marine and sea animals and seascape images, particularly those most associated with Bridlington to provide some context.”
“The lounge was initially set out with high back chairs dotted around the outside of the room which meant it wasn’t the most inviting, collaborative or socially interactive layout for encouraging residents. The chairs selected for this room were a mixture of high back, low back, tub chairs and sofas which offered a choice of support to residents. The tub chairs gathered around coffee tables and acted as small snug areas which encourage the residents to gather and chat.”
Theming was hugely important in this type of design. Kim continued: “Portland Mews is located in the seaside town of Bridlington. Residents at this scheme grew up in the area and have lots of fond memories of going to the seaside so this was the perfect theme to use throughout the design; particularly in the most used room – the dining room.
The images we selected are in the style of retro postcards over the course of a few decades, showing how they’ve changed and progressed throughout the years. They were placed specifically to encourage fond memories to surface and provide a sense of nostalgia for those living there.
Equally, the bright colours and catchy phrases created a great talking point for residents and visitors alike. The home-like comforts provided a sense of familiarity and provided a community atmosphere for all.”
What the Client Had to Say
Jas Samplay, Area Housing & Support Manager for Hanover Housing, said: “Portland Mews is a housing scheme for people over 55 who are renting their properties. It comprises of one three-storey block, built in 2002 and there are 36 apartments for residents.
Portland Mews is part of a newly built estate comprising mainly of good quality, privately-owned homes. Situated on the edge of the seaside town of Bridlington, the tender was to provide replacement furniture, curtains/blinds, ornaments, lamps, pictures and other accessories which both Hanover Housing and Vision worked on.
I feel we worked together extraordinarily well on the project. We jointly designed the mood boards, art work, flooring plans and worked seamlessly together on the project. I would definitely recommend Vision to others.”