Spring 2019

33 Feb19297 Reinventive Interior Design for the Hospitality Sector Beleco is a full-service interior design company that specialises in hospitality and high-end residential projects. Based in Los Angeles, the firm has built a formidable reputation on the back of a simple ethos – creating spaces that are interesting, different and new. Earlier this year, Beleco was recognised in LUXlife’s 2019 Leading Designers programme as ‘Most Outstanding in Modern Restaurant Design’ for the state of California. We spoke with Christian Schnyder, Principal of Beleco, to find out more about their work and inspirations. The hospitality sector thrives through originality and bold choices. Perhaps nothing epitomises this idea than Beleco’s approach to redesigning HaiDiLao, a hot pot restaurant that has become a global challenger in the sector over the last few years. Capitalising on the company’s focus on traditional comfort foods, Beleco redesigned the space with a homely, inviting atmosphere and an experimental twist. Utilising bold reds, blues and whites, the restaurant’s redesign is a celebration of pattern, drawing the eye along the walls and down the striking columns. It’s an effective design that is sure to draw customers over the threshold and into seats. According to Christian, creating a strong story and theme is the key aspect when designing for hospitality clients. “Our hospitality clients are interested in site-specific design solutions. A strong concept or story is the foundation for every one of our designs. It has naturally led to a stylistically varied portfolio, which is more interesting to us and shows the clients that we’re interested and invested in the serving the projects and them, rather than pushing our design agenda onto the space. “We call ourselves storytellers. It’s about what is appropriate for the building, the client and the budget. In that way, we follow our own path, looking at, and considering, the cultural or architectural history of a space, finding fun details about the town, or incorporating specific elements – nonetheless, you are always developing a concept and design language.” “Above all else, listening is the key. Clients want to be heard and understood. It is our task to understand what they’re after and deliver to meet – and exceed – their expectations.” “It’s about being flexible without losing sight of the core design concept. We always have the client’s and project’s best interest in mind. Ultimately, interior design is a service industry. If we can’t deliver good design on a budget and on-time, we won’t be able to get repeat customers, which is – at the end of the day – the best compliment we can get.” As Christian moves on to discuss, Beleco’s relatively small team remains an asset when it comes to this client-centricity. The team dynamic is one that embraces collaboration, with every member of the team playing a role in creating the final product. “This is one of the advantages of being a small business. We regularly discuss the culture of being ‘in service’. The talent alone does not keep you in business. In this highly competitive market, we want our clients to work with us. To choose us because they like working with us, and we deliver a great design, on time and on budget. Beleco has three designers who focus on materials and furnishings, two designers that focus on the architectural aspects of the project and one person working on brand design.” Unlike other areas of interior design, the hospitality sector is always in flux, racing to stay relevant, eye-catching and modern. This, naturally, creates a constant demand for designers: “The hospitality design sector doesn’t have much longevity. Hotels and restaurants are being renovated on a regular basis to stay fresh and current. Because of that, sustainability will become more of a focus. We need to stay educated to help our clients to make the right choices. Incorporating technology into the design a component and not an afterthought is another aspect of designing a hotel room or restaurants. It’s the small details – like how and where does one charge a phone etc.” Finally, in his closing comments, Christian sheds some light on the future of Beleco as they look to strengthen their portfolio over the coming year. “We are a young firm and are excited about every new project. We love the boutique and lifestyle sector but are excited to have tapped into the luxury hotel market. We have a major face lift of the JW Marriott Denver planned, which is under construction. We can’t wait to share the outcome when it’s completely done at the end of the year.” Company: Beleco Contact: Christian Schnyder Address: 5371 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 211, Los Angeles, 90036, California, United States Website: belecodesign.com Telephone: +1 323 815 8700

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