Hospitality venues are getting creative in order to create post-pandemic stand-out. Here Cameron Fraser, director of Ceramique Internationale, and Paula Jepmond, director at Fusion by Design, look at the role that tiles are playing.
The hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit during the pandemic and the cost of living crisis means venues are having to fight even harder to entice customers back.
Many venues are undertaking ambitious refurbishments to create more appealing, stand-out hospitality spaces – and the creative use of tiles in these bespoke projects has been prominent.
No longer confined to floors and toilet areas, tiles are being used in seating areas, tabletops, bar aprons, exterior cladding and even signage.
Paula Jepmond, director at award-winning Fusion by Design, which specialises in the leisure and hospitality industries, has seen a surge in demand from prudent customers who want their venue to have the X Factor.
Jepmond: “The hospitality industry has been through some real challenges, which has put enormous pressure on our clients. Clients are being more careful with their money, but it is vital their venue stands out from the crowd, so any refurbishment must deliver great ROI.
“We’ve seen an increase in clients requesting bespoke solutions, the design to deliver impact through new ideas. Creative use of tiles plays a big part in this.”
Cameron Fraser: “It’s no longer enough to just supply ‘on-trend’ tile ranges, we need to source a much wider range of products to feed into the design ideas that Fusion creates. Our strong relationships with Europe’s leading tile manufacturers mean we can always source a tile that fits the brief for a bespoke project.”
Jepmond: “Every project has its own special requirement or challenge – be that size, scale, geography or planning constraints. Therefore, we require a vast library of knowledge to answer each problem. Many distributors offer the same products, but to deliver bespoke projects we need to work with companies, like Ceramique Internationale, who constantly visit new suppliers and keep us updated.
“Often we’ll find an image of an idea, but may want a different colour, scale or pattern, so working with Ceramique is fantastic as they quickly find solutions and provide us with samples.”
Fusion by Design and Ceramique Internationale worked closely in late 2022 to deliver a bespoke project at The Crown Tavern, in Lee, Southeast London, for Youngs Pubs.
The Crown is a pub of two halves – traditional Victorian style to the front, contemporary to the rear areas – so the challenge for Fusion by Design was to incorporate different tiling styles for the various areas. Ceramique Internationale sourced tiling for the floors, backfitting, seating details, tabletops, food servery area and screens.
Cameron: “It’s great to work on such a varied project. We specified Daisy Night, a tile from the Dahlia range by Spanish factory Ape Group, for feature seating areas, which created real standout. The bespoke design for the bar apron used quite traditional tiles from Original Style’s Victorian range. And Fusion incorporated our new Tesserae mosaic-effect floor tiles around another seating area, giving a modern take on a Victorian style.”
Jepmond: “Now, more than ever, before, during and after-sales is vital in our industry. We need to trust our partners and suppliers to help us achieve our vision, on time and within budget. The bespoke approach enables us to deliver stunning projects, even during the most challenging times.”