Case Study: The Seven Hotel, Southend-on-Sea
A former care home has been renovated into Southend-on-Sea’s newest luxury boutique hotel. The owners of the care home decided to fill a gap in the hospitality market of Southend-on-Sea by turning an aged care home into a luxury boutique hotel for guests who want to feel like they are in an upmarket central London hotel.
Overview & Scope
Furnotel were enlisted to manufacture and install the hotel’s bedroom casegoods and public area bespoke joinery elements which were pivotal to providing the wow factor for this refurbishment project. A bar centred around different world gins and a restaurant focusing on local produce were all integral to the owner’s vision for the hotel. Furnotel’s expertise was employed to help complete this five-phase project in Southend-on-Sea.
The client worked closely with the interior designers, Tibbatts Abel, a Birmingham based design firm who produced detailed concept design plans for the hotel and restaurant. The design was heavily focused on rich wood tones, opulent gold detailing, antique brass trims, and marble worktops all of which combined to provide the glamorous interior. A lot of reflective surfaces were used not only in the public area joinery but also in the bedroom casegoods which amplified the luxury upper four-star feel of the hotel.
On the ground floor, Furnotel were tasked with creating a great first impression in the hotel’s entrance and lobby area. A grand credenza unit was produced for the hotel’s entrance way. It was constructed out of a rich American black walnut and sits on durable antique brass ski legs with an inset glass top. The intricate geometric pattern carved into the timber flows as a unifying theme throughout this hotel.
The next focal point that guests meet is the bespoke hotel reception desk. A striking L-shaped desk made with a solid metal frame and top with inset LED lighting to set off the textures of the material used. The hints of antique gold and black in the desk are seen throughout the hotel’s décor. The tallest part of the reception desk which provides an element of privacy for the receptionist was tiled on site, contrasting and complimenting the lobby’s colour scheme. From a practical perspective, the reception desk also features an under-counter storage for the reception team.
Moving through the lobby into the hotel’s gin bar and lounge area you are welcomed by an exquisite marble-fronted curved bar with square detailing carefully cut into it. As marble is a natural stone it was a challenging process to manipulate it to curve around the bar structure, however, the finished product is seamless and a testament to skilled craftsman. This bespoke hotel bar is complete with an antique mirrored bottle display unit constructed from steel. The unit boasts contemporary geometric steel shelving, glass shelves and a mirrored back.
A separate, larger wine display unit was also produced in American black walnut. The main part of this unit featured a wired frame inside the glass doors which held the majority of the wine bottles. A hue of perimeter purple LED lighting was fitted inside to illuminate the display and create ambient lighting to enhance the overall atmosphere.
In the bar lounge area, Furnotel also produced and installed a feature fireplace. The gold and copper façade was cleverly designed and was, in fact, MDF panels sprayed with a liquid metal coating to give the solid metal effect. The fire itself was cleverly created by steam and lighting. A unique feature to this fireplace was that the chimney breast appeared to extend and continue across the ceiling. Within the ceiling panel was detailed champagne gold steel metal mosaic tiles.
A number of bespoke joinery items and furniture were produced for the Seven Hotel’s Arum restaurant. Three sections of bespoke banquette seating were produced for the hotel’s 70 cover restaurant in a supple faux leather, not only because it provided a sophisticated feel, but also presents an easy to clean surface.
Additional detailing was added to the U shaped fixed restaurant banquette seating by carefully fixing vertical timber stakes in ascending height order to the outer perimeter. LED lighting was then installed behind which amplified this design feature and created an intriguing reflection in the glass inset table tops.
Both the waiter and maitre d’ stations were bespoke and were designed to be lockable with marble tops, in keeping with the hotel’s wider design scheme. They were manufactured in the same walnut finish as the wine display and bar to create a family of pieces. A bespoke MDF screen with intricate geometric patterns was placed within the restaurant to divide some of the larger restaurant tables and create reflections on the walls during the evenings.
Boardroom/Private Dining Room Design
The boardroom could easily become a multifunctional space either for private dinner parties or important business meetings. The client carefully selected bespoke joinery items for this room that would serve both purposes and space for display and storage if needed.
The TV wall was a unique installation where Furnotel had to accommodate for electricals to be channelled throughout the bespoke joinery. Panels were placed in front of the existing wall and the TV was mounted on them. This allowed for any cables to run in between the original wall and panels.
Another piece of bespoke joinery for this part of the Seven Hotel was an angled display unit. A V-shaped unit was installed at one end of the room to serve as a display or storage space. Soft white LED lighting was installed within the shelving which gave a very elegant and luxurious atmosphere to the room.
Guest Bedrooms Design
Moving from the ground floor of the boutique hotel into the guest bedrooms and suites you can further see the extent of Furnotel’s work. All of the hotel’s guest bedrooms, including the Estuary facing suites, were furnished with bedroom casegoods designed and manufactured specifically for this project.
Furnotel was tasked with manufacturing and installing unusual features such as the impressive ceiling rafts within the 4th floor suites. These grand ceiling rafts were upholstered panels with gold painted structures above the large guest beds which were a continuation of the geometric headboards. The headboards were carefully assembled using individual upholstered panels, in a neutral faux leather and intricately patterned material in the range of the hotel bedrooms.
Slate grey and dark walnut were specified for most of the hotel’s bedroom casegoods. The bedside tables and desks were similar in style as they had a hardwearing marble top and brass fixtures to match other elements in the hotel’s suite. Smaller rooms named ‘Cosy’, ‘Comfy’ and ‘Calm’ followed a seafoam colour scheme and the casegoods were all slightly different in design. The open box frame bedside tables were made from a dark walnut with a glass top which reflected the light whilst the desks were a more neutral beige laminate with brass fittings.
Furnotel was tasked with designing, producing and installing fitted wardrobes that incorporated the bedrooms air conditioning units. Each wardrobe, some of which were hinged and others with sliding doors, had to be carefully designed so that all electrical cables were hidden within the unit and looked a natural part of the wardrobe’s design.
As the client was keen for the hotel suites to be particularly luxurious, additional features were included in the larger 4th floor bedrooms. Not only were they spacious rooms with exquisite views over the estuary, but as part of their casegoods package, extra features such as mini fridges were incorporated into the casegoods design.
Furnotel’s installation team had to work together with an abundance of other trades during the project. Although the absence of a lift for the majority of the installation process required a great deal of heavy lifting up stairwells, it did not deter Furnotel’s expert installation team who managed to manually lift all items to the relevant rooms without damaging the décor nor the furniture in the process. Even though it was a challenging project at times, the finished project was stunning and was completed with minimal disruption and finished to the agreed schedule.
If you’re looking for contract standard bespoke joinery and casegoods for your hotel, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us to see how we can help you.