This article was first published in Spring/Summer 2018 issue of the International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
What hospitality furnishing trends do you think will endure?
Anything that has a positive impact on the guest experience. Right now, we’re seeing wider and cleverer use of textures in hospitality interiors, they appeal to multiple senses. Designers might favour monochromatic spaces today, but it’s the use of a range of materials with different textures from these rooms that will endure.
What key selection criteria do you apply when curating the FZ Collection?
It’s a long list! We look at the quality of raw materials and craftsmanship, structural stability and durability, style and uniqueness, price and availability, colours and patterns. And of course, every piece must work in a range of design approaches and sit comfortably within the wider collection.
In selecting contemporary pieces, are there any simple rules that can be applied to help discern good design from bad?
Some people just have a good eye for design, if that’s you or someone you know, trust their judgement. Unlike the places where you may view other art and design pieces, it’s not enough for interiors to simply emotionally touch you, in hospitality design, they must create a positive experience.
You have won plaudits for the durability of your manufacturing – how can buyers check that the furniture that they select from other sources will last?
I’m a big fan of visiting the factory to check the manufacturing process, inspect the equipment, observe the quality of the workforce and see the raw materials being used. If that’s not possible, try every piece out and thoroughly test whether it’s fit for purpose. Particularly check the quality of the joints and materials used.
Is the industry focus on sustainability now influencing interior furnishing selection?
The environment is definitely a part of the conversation today, yet decisions are still primarily based on price, style and quality. But we are heading in the right direction and certainly businesses that have a strong environmental ethic are more likely to thrive in the future.