We don't often talk about refreshing an existing design, yet it is a service we provide regularly. Wear and tear is the most common reason to revamp but other reasons include wanting to upgrade the look of the space; managing a new floor configuration or furniture layout; aiding in noise reduction; or reducing the dirt and moisture that gets tracked into a building.
The Soho Grand Hotel in New York is a fashionable and renowned gathering space for New Yorkers and visitors alike. It maintains long-standing, respectful relationships with its suppliers and clientele. Almost a year ago, the hotel decided it needed to be in tip top shape for Fashion Week in September 2017 and asked us to refresh the carpet in the salon. Working with Studio Sofield, we had installed the original carpet in 2009. After a few refreshes in the same design and colourway, this year we were tasked with suggesting some deeper, darker and more saturated colours so the look became a touch more bold – to compliment the refreshed furniture.
In general, two to five years is a lifetime guideline for carpets in high traffic hotel public areas (and six to 10 years for professional buildings).
The carpet at the Soho Grand features a diamond grid atop a chocolate background fade. Within the salon it holds the strong architectural features of the room together allowing the furniture and people to sit elegantly in the space. Since it is a plush carpet, it also provides comfort and sound absorption. As is common in luxury hotels, it is an Axminster carpet (the pile and backing are woven together for strength and durability) in 80% wool and 20% nylon. For a touch of stylish variety, two inches (five centimetres) of leather binds the edges.
For a carpet update, a client may choose to replicate exactly the original floorcovering or may need to make changes to the design, size or construction. As the Soho Grand was also replacing the leather upholstery on the furniture in the salon, the hotel asked us to modify the colours in the carpet. They requested deeper, darker, more saturated colours to lend a bolder appearance that would complement the refreshed furniture.
While Vice President Ali McMurter was the project lead, Designer Kayla Bortolotto worked behind the scenes to assemble a variety of new colour palettes. Ali eventually presented two new colour options (above) as the starting point for the colour refresh.
The hotel also decided to refresh the elevator landings and telephone room that use the same design. The carpets were manufactured in Thailand and installed in August, all in good time for the Fashion Week guests.