In today's age, surrounded as we are by new applications, social media and platforms of all kinds, and where identities and image are so important, the field of interior design and decoration has gained lots of weight. Presenting a good image is no longer secondary; it's critical to many businesses involved in the hospitality and catering trades. How many times have you chosen to walk into one café or another depending on its décor? Or why do you choose one hotel over another when the price is just about the same?
As end customers or consumers, we aren't just looking for a comfortable hotel bed, or a well-made coffee. We need the total experience, where we can enjoy it with all five senses. And remember, all of us carry our mobiles or cell phones with their built-in cameras, so images are increasingly important in the minds of consumers of all kinds. So both the comfort and the cleanliness of seating and the general decoration scheme of a public place is always something vital to a business. This is why accommodation, cafés, restaurants, and even supermarkets, are increasingly looking for a perfect balance between decoration, interior design and comfort. And this is where the Contract field comes into the picture.
The Contract sector can be defined as a new, highly specialised sales channel that is totally different from traditional channels, not only in terms of design but also with respect to quality assurance and materials, which have to be more resilient and comply with a series of higher specifications due to their intended use in public places (i.e., Aquaclean Technology® easy and convenient cleaning with water; Fire Retard - fire-retardants;Safe Front - protection against dust mites, fungi and bacteria).
So we can see that the main difference between traditional channels and the contract field is that in the first instance, products are created and conceived for the home, whereas the contract channel is the direct line to public administrations, large-scale businesses and corporations. In other words, both the buyers and sellers in the contract field are interested in design, manufacturing, supply and installation of furnishings and equipment for the refurbishment or initial construction of healthcare areas, leisure and educational buildings, and other locations conceived for collective use.
Because the contract market requires designs and decoration for areas like hotels, cafés, restaurants and other places for the public, we now have specialised contract interior designers, specialised manufacturers of products and professional sellers of this type of equipment. Thanks to this, the contract sector is highly valued right now, because, as we all know, the overall image of a company or business is vitally important for a customer. Nobody wants to spend the night in a hotel room with ugly curtains for the same price as a more tastefully decorated room, right?
One thing that has changed the way people choose hotels today is the use of Internet, where customers can view and inspect the room in which they intend to stay, so any kind of less-than-expected decoration or designs can ruin your booking business if you're not careful.
Aquaclean, the fabric you can clean with water only, has 7 specific collections for the Contract market: Enoa Carabú, Enoa Dakota, Diamond, Nordic, Mustang, Mystic and Stratos.
When decoration schemes are being created for these spaces, designers strive to consider the overall style, functionality and the people who will be using the space, to create what is known as a unique user experience. Many aspects are included in this, such as furniture, bedding, upholstery and maybe even the hotel receptionist. Some things may seem to be minor questions at first, but they can make a lot of difference when it comes to people's actual rating of the overall experience. For example, there are hotels that even take into account their users' sense of smell, perfuming their chosen scent throughout the building, so that customers will remember them better – the aroma of oranges in Seville, or jasmine in Valencia.
A specific example of all this attention to detail can be found in the luxury Five Seas Hotel Cannes, decorated and built around the idea of "a motionless journey for all 5 senses around all 5 continents". Fabrics and upholstery for armchairs and sofas were chosen specifically for each area of the hotel, depending on the message to be conveyed. Thus, at reception, there are lots of velvets and earthy tones in the fabrics, creating a sumptuous and cosy atmosphere. The same was done in the restaurant, where the walls are hung with tapestry panels decorated with flowers, symbolising all 5 continents.
Paying attention to all these details may make a big difference to someone's stay. It’s the difference between a negative or a positive experience. So companies involved in the contract market must always have professionals on hand who can advise and offer products and services that make the end user's life easier, while helping to create a strong brand image.
As regards business refurbishment or re-decoration, owners know it isn't always easy to get a customer to walk into their establishment. In cities like Madrid, where bars and cafés number around 33,000, the competition is fierce. So you'd better offer something no one else does if you want to stand out. For cafés, the normal thing is to see what kind of food or drink you intend to serve, and based on this, the designer can say what kind of decoration and interior design you need.
Let's take the Vintage Lounge Madrid in the posh Salamanca district as an example. When you enter, you are beamed down to a different time. Music from the 20s, Oscar Wilde quotes papering the walls, upholstered easychairs with Belle Epoque style fabrics, Rococo armchairs matched with modern upholstered chairs... No details are left to the imagination, as it is so important to create the perfect environment. This is the strongpoint for this type of establishment.
It is evident that in a business like this, you need experts to solve the problems that crop up and advise on the choice of furnishings and accessories – not only from the standpoint of decoration, but also in other aspects such as quality and functionality.
As you see, decorating and designing the interiors of businesses and corporations is an important part of the overall brand image of any business. You can't just provide a good service; you have to go beyond this to survive. So who can you turn to? We recommend that instead of leaving your brand image to luck, you should always opt for a professional. Or would you let just about anyone run your hotel or your kitchen?