“Sleep is like a precious watch in which all the hand-crafted elements rotate around one another to create a unique piece that perfectly tells the time – in our case ensuring our exhibitors do great business and our visitors are inspired.” Kali Nicholson, Brand Director for Sleep.
Nicholson has encapsulated the experience of this year’s Sleep Event perfectly, in fact it was one of the most brilliantly executed shows our team had the pleasure of attending this year. We jam-packed everything into one day; attending inspiring conference sessions with some of the industry’s most respected designers and hoteliers; exploring over 150 exhibitor stands, finding out more about the companies whose products and services help to create award-winning hotels; and checking out the daring and innovative designs entered into the highly anticipated Sleep Set competition.
The team also enjoyed drinks at The Royale Agricultural Bar, designed by Swedish firm Stylt Trampoli who created a lush, tropical oasis of flora and fauna from which to escape the busy crowds. We took another opportunity to relax during the day by trying out a mycoocoon pod. Here we were asked to pick our favourite scent from three options and answered a colour and mood based quiz to determine the programme we would experience. We then stretched out in the pod and were immersed in the glow of a specially programmed lighting display whilst listening to soothing music – bliss!
Back to the spectacular conference sessions; we were entirely enchanted by restaurateur extraordinaire Jeremy King, currently distilling his magic into his first hotel, The Beaumont. King refuses to impose concepts on buildings. Instead he works with a space to reveal its potential and accentuates already-there qualities in his designs. He still insists on walking the tables, wishing to always be known as restaurateur and never simply a ‘restaurant owner’. For a restaurant to be a success he believes it must have heart and soul, presented through long-lasting interiors and by devoted staff. Design must never ‘shout for attention, but should withstand scrutiny’, and at the end of the day, it’s about the people. We have no doubt that The Beaumont will be as successful as all of his other ventures.
Jouin Manku told of the story behind their design partnership – a chance meeting in Paris, and one of those ‘meant-to-be’ situations that has produced a dynamic, collaborative and ever-changing creative office. The duo complement each other harmoniously, describing their working relationship as ‘like playing free jazz. You don’t know who made the melody, who made the bass, it’s just a response’. These ‘realistic dreamers’ respond to each other and to the spaces they work with and believe that ‘you can do anything, you just have to want to do it’. A very encouraging conviction indeed!
Finally, we listened to the Sleep Set competitors explain their design ideas to the judges, with just five minutes each to present. We particularly enjoyed NoChintz’s model that utilised playful features such as temporary tattoos and takeaway coffee cups to promote the hotel, whilst also connecting it to local businesses and allowing visitors to explore the area. This year however, it was industry outsiders, SKM Design, who triumphed with a design inspired by a Pink Floyd album cover and featuring a double sided wardrobe and floating bed!
Keep an eye out for our hotel-themed INSIDE newsletter this week, and to all the hotel designers out there, make sure to enter your projects into next year’s World Interiors News Awards, opening on 5th January! To Sleep, thank you – we are very much looking forward to next year’s event.