We share our insights on what makes a bar or hotel popular, what furnishings are in trend and more importantly how clever design maximises space, increases service offering and more importantly how to drive a return on investment.

It’s great to get a chance to stop, I mean really stop, take time out with your work colleague and think about what we do. Well, I’ve just had that opportunity.


After 20 years,  lots of encouragement from clients, we entered the International Hotel and Property Awards. After all, we have created awesome spaces over the years including a cabaret-diner, restaurant Warner Hotels’ luxurious Alvaston Hall. We extended and transformed their Cabaret into a shared dining and entertainment venue and at the time of the briefing it felt like we had an epic challenge on our hands “…So Mr Client, you would like a Breakfast venue to seat all of your guests which feels fresh and inviting, it must be flexible to hold dance classes throughout the day before accommodating all of the guests for evening dinner in an appropriate intimate atmosphere and then seamlessly throughout the course of the meal transform into a vibrant Cabaret Venue ..No Problem!”


…After tremendous client feedback and outstanding guest reviews, we thought this project may be worth entering for  recognition, we didn’t think anymore about it until we received an email saying we had been shortlisted to the final four design companies in the European category for the International Hotel and Property Awards and could we attend the awards evening in Portofino, Italy in June 2015.


We had a couple of days traveling there and back but the 24hrs in between was epic! We started exploring the local area, and taking hundreds of inspirational photos but I have a confession– I didn’t spend the handbag allowance you gave us on a handbag – neither did Aniela! As you know my other passion in life is Scuba diving and the call of the sea was unbearable, so I took advantage of a conversation I had with my colleague on the plane – she did utter the words “I would love to dive…” – We are in a millionaires playground surrounded by a marine reserve so we persuaded a local dive guide to give Aniela a brief introduction to the sport, take us on his exceptionally fast speed boat past a flotilla of enormous yachts, past Berlusconi’s House and a couple of hours before the Award Ceremony we were (in front of Dolce Gabannas pad) underwater admiring the well-established reef all in the name of design inspiration (of course!)


Anyway – I digress, we went from wet suits to cocktail dresses so fast those Bond girls would be proud and entered the Hotel Splendido and the International Hotel and Property Award event with a suitable air I am proud to say that betrayed our previous hours chaos to make sure we arrived on time. We met the most fantastic, passionate and I have to admit adoringly bonkers crowd I have ever had the pleasure to party with. There was a chihuaha who didn’t get an award but allegedly designed one of the entries, a goddess who lived in Portofino and collected an award but denied all knowledge of the scheme and above all an International crowd who partied like long lost friends until the early hours. We didn’t win our award but we ‘borrowed’ one to pose with.


I am happily exhausted after the most fantastic weekend. I have fallen deeper in love with my job and feel genuinely even more excited than usual about the prospect of new projects that need an injection of doodles and daydreams.