The hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit during the pandemic and the cost of living crisis means venues are now having to fight even harder to entice customers back to part with their hard-earned money.
For many venues that fight has come in the shape of refurbishments to create more appealing, memorable, and stand-out hospitality spaces – and that’s where we come in!
Working with design partners we have been privileged to work on some exciting hospitality projects in the last couple of years and one area that has really grown is the demand for the creative use of tiles in bespoke projects.
No longer confined to floors and toilet areas, tiles are being used to create standout in seating areas, tabletops, bar aprons, exterior cladding and even signage.
One company that we have worked with extensively on pub and bar transformations is the award-winning, Leeds-based Fusion by Design, which specialises in the leisure and hospitality industries. Paula Jepmond, Director at Fusion by Design, confirmed they have seen a surge in demand from prudent customers who want their venue to have the X Factor.
Paula said: “The hospitality industry has been through some real challenges, which has put enormous pressure on our clients. The result is that any refurbishment must deliver a great return on investment. Clients are being more careful with their money, but it is vital their venue stands out from the crowd.
“We’ve seen an increase in clients requesting bespoke solutions – they want to be leaders in both the development and operational aspects of their business and require the design to deliver through new ideas. Creative use of tiles plays a big part and has contributed to some high impact designs.”
Our Director, Cameron Fraser, agrees. He said: “It’s no longer enough to just supply ‘on-trend’ tile ranges, we need to source a much wider range of products to enable us to feed into the design ideas that Fusion create. We have strong relationships with the best tile manufacturers in Europe, so we can always source a tile that fits the brief for a bespoke project.”
Paula continues: “Every project we undertake has its own special requirement or challenge – be that size, scale, geography or planning constraints. Therefore, we require a vast library of knowledge to answer each problem. Many distributors offer the same products, but to deliver bespoke projects we need to work with companies, like Ceramique Internationale, who constantly visit new suppliers and keep us updated.
“Often we’ll find an image of an idea, but may want a different colour, scale or pattern, so working with Ceramique is fantastic as they quickly find solutions and provide us with samples.”
Fusion by Design and Ceramique Internationale worked closely in late 2022 to deliver a standout bespoke project, on a tight timescale, at The Crown Tavern, in Lee, Southeast London, for Youngs Pubs.
The Crown is a pub of two halves – traditional Victorian style to the front but more contemporary to the rear areas – so the challenge for Fusion by Design was to incorporate a number of different tiling styles for the various areas. Ceramique Internationale sourced all tiling for the floors, backfitting, seating details, tabletops, food servery area and screens.
Danny Malone, one of our Specification Sales Managers here at Ceramique Internationale, said: “It’s great to work on such a varied project. We specified Daisy Night, a tile from the Dahlia range by Spanish factory Ape Group, as a feature on the back of a seating area, which created real standout. Fusion created a bespoke design for the bar apron using quite traditional tiles from Original Style’s Victorian range. And they incorporated our new Tesserae mosaic-effect floor tiles around another seating area, giving a modern take on a Victorian style.”
Paula concludes: “Now, more than ever, before, during and after-sales is vital in our industry. We need to trust our partners and suppliers to help us achieve our vision, on time and within budget. The bespoke approach enables us to deliver stunning projects, even during the most challenging times.”