HI Connect®? offers an incredible opportunity to view, first hand, original concepts designed by industry designers, architects and purchasing companies in collaboration with suppliers shown in context within a real environment. You’ll see guest rooms, bathrooms, and public spaces such as Bar/Lounge, Spa/Fitness to name a few. This is truly the most collaborative effort ever at any hospitality event.
As part of our countdown to HI Connect®?2015, Glenn Haussman interviewed an Interior Designer that is bringing her creative vision to life.
Interview with Andrea Deckard
Glenn Haussman, Editor-In-Chief, interviewed Andrea Deckard, owner Andrea Deckard Interiors who is creating a mid-scale modern guest room during the three days of HI Connect®?.
Glenn Haussman: I really like the whole idea of mid-scale modern. I kind of feel like, Andrea, the whole mid-scale approach is kind of changing. It’s not homogenized anymore, and it’s really becoming like what your room is all about, modern. How do you see what’s going on in the mid-scale hospitality business?
Andrea Deckard: Well you know we’ve seen some exciting changes, and one of those is that our owners that we’re working with are trying to push the brand standards a little bit to exceed them. Instead of trying to get by with just the bear minimum, they’re trying to attract clientele through design and really catering to those needs.
Glenn Haussman: Hmm. Do you think that’s pushing the brands to kind of change their approach too?
Andrea Deckard: I do. I think that a lot of the brands are having to accept that we’re exceeding their standards and say, “Okay, we understand that the standards are in place to keep you know the riff raff out and make sure that you stay you know true to our standard and that you are at least meeting those qualifications.” But they’re having to allow owners to exceed it and do things that are nicer.
Glenn Haussman: Okay. So keep the riff raff out, so obviously I’m not allowed to go any of these hotels. Hopefully I’ll be able to get permission to step into your mid-scale modern room at HI Connect®? of course March 25th through 27th. So okay, so motel owners are trying to push those standards. That’s not usually the story I hear, owners wanting to spend more money. What’s that about?
Andrea Deckard: It’s not even necessarily about spending more money. It’s about spending money in places that help sell those rooms. For instance, making sure that we have electrical and data outlets that are at user level instead of having to crawl down and underneath furniture to plug in your phone to charge it.
Glenn Haussman: Now I personally like that because I get a little extra exercise in, but I totally get where you’re coming from. Man, isn’t that annoying? All right, I’m sorry to interrupt you.
Andrea Deckard: No, that’s fine. I think that’s something that’s important not just to the younger travelers so that you know we’re all referring to the millennials, but that’s anybody anymore. We all need to have access to charge our electronic devices.
Glenn Haussman: Yeah. And what other kinds of things are they doing, because it’s gotta be more than just hey I’m gonna put in some more plugs, because that’s not the only thing that’s gonna get me wanting to come back time and time again.
Andrea Deckard: Right. Well we’re also seeing kind of an uptick in the materials. So we are seeing you know stone countertops, quartz, granite. We’re seeing some amenities, some more decorative light fixtures. The bedding is going to be sometimes a little bit more luxurious. We’re just really seeing them wanting to attract a different kind of traveler and make sure that they’re still in a price point that’s attractive to these travelers, business or leisure. But they’re catering to them and making it a very comfortable, modern space.
Glenn Haussman: Yeah, and I’m also seeing a lot more textures being brought in with design as well, especially like with wall coverings and other places in the room too. Are you seeing that as well?
Andrea Deckard: Absolutely. Texture’s always been a big part of design. I’m always thrilled to see it you know make a resurgence. We’re seeing some more luxurious chenille-type textures. We’re seeing some more interesting window treatments. One of the things that we can do is we’re seeing solar shades.
We’re seeing decorative printed sheers, which bring a little bit of texture and pattern into the room over a blackout instead of you know the traditional heavy draperies.
Glenn Haussman: What are they – chenille, I only know the Captain and Tennille from the 1970s.
Glenn Haussman: All right, a little stretch there, but I like to keep my references timely.
Andrea Deckard: Oh well a chenille fabric is kind of a fuzzy fabric. It’s actually French for the word caterpillar.
Glenn Haussman: Oh cute.
Andrea Deckard: Yeah, it’s got some texture to it. It has a softness and kind of a luxurious hand. So we’re seeing that mixed with full silks, and we’re really kind of playing with the different textures in that space.
Glenn Haussman: And I think that really ups the experience overall, right?
Andrea Deckard: Agreed. And one of the things we can do to kind of hold costs down is we can print onto a chenille versus having something that’s a woven, as having a custom woven piece can be very expensive. But having something printed onto that kind of texture helps kind of hold our costs down over the total of all the rooms.
Glenn Haussman: Andrea, I’m getting a sense then that technology has kind of played a part in the ability to give you a bigger palate to play with when designing things to go in the room, and I don’t specifically mean things that plug in. I mean like oh now you can print on this fuzzy wall upholstery paper kind of stuff, right?
Andrea Deckard: Soft wall covering has made a mini-resurgence in the residential market, but I’m trying to avoid it a little bit.
Yeah, I think it’s been interesting to see how technology has affected all the different aspects of our industry. We’re seeing better-quality materials that last longer, and we’re seeing the prices of those become more and more affordable, which allows us to do more design-wise.
Glenn Haussman: And that’s really what it’s all about for you, being able to go into that sandbox and put together all these new tools to create something that guests haven’t really seen before, right?
Andrea Deckard: Right. And we wanna make sure that we create spaces that feel serene, and we do know that you know technology is wonderful and we love it and we’re attached to it all the time. However, when you do wanna unplug both you know physically unplug your phone and to just recharge yourself, it’s nice to have a space that feels comfortable and clean and uncluttered to do that.
Glenn Haussman: Right. And speaking of that, then what you’re probably talking about as a guest room is having different zones, somewhere to more like relax, somewhere to be a little bit more productive by those plugs you were talking about.
So how do you create different areas that give people that emotional cue that this is what they could be doing there without it overlapping into the rest of the room?
Andrea Deckard: Well that’s interesting. The vignette that we’ve designed actually creates three different specific zones. We have of course the sleeping space. We have a workspace that has a desk integrated with lighting plugs available, and that kind of segues into a leisure space where we have lounge furniture and we have the television. So we have kind of three separate zones and a very compact space that serves you know all of those different needs.
Glenn Haussman: So you have to also I think figure out a way to handle a people that are working differently as well, and I suppose that kind of fits in there too, like I’m a real staunch guy, I gotta sit at my desk and work, I can’t do it from the bed. But a lot of people wanna do it from the bed, so are you able to balance all those needs?
Andrea Deckard: Yeah, absolutely. One of the nice things that our vignette specifically has a television that actually swivels from the bedroom side to the seating side, so you can be in either place for leisure or for work. We’ve got you know outlets by the bed. We’ve got of course the desk space, and you cannot see the television from the desk space, and that’s nice because I think a lot of people need to be able to be in kind of a little zone and say, “I’m gonna focus on my work right now, and I will relax and put my feet up and watch television later in a different area.”
Glenn Haussman: Interesting. I never really thought of it that way before. I always kind of wanted to multitask and you know use that TV and work at the same time. But now that you mentioned it, it’s probably why it takes me four hours to do an hour worth of work when I’m in a hotel room. [Laughs]
Andrea Deckard: Could be.
Glenn Haussman: Yeah. Hmm, so this has been a very productive call so far for me, and thank you on educating me on all of these things. So I think that’s really exciting; I can’t wait to see what you’re gonna be doing specifically at HI Connect®. Now Andrea has not revealed too much on purpose, because you have got to come and see it and experience it March 25th through 27th down in Nashville. Make sure you check out hiconnectevents.com to learn all about it. So, Andrea, wrapping up here, where can people learn more about you?
Andrea Deckard: Well of course you can go on my website, and that is adeckardinteriors.com. We’ve got lots of projects. I have a Facebook page as well, which is also adeckardinteriors. I’d love for you to come and check out some of my work.
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