Over the past five years, Brits have spent £40bn improving their homes, splashing their cash on stylish sofas, the latest lighting or wondrous wall coverings. Designer décor is big business, and the presence of image-based social media networks Instagram and Pinterest make it easier than ever for us to stay on top of interior design trends. With consumers becoming increasingly sophisticated and turning their own homes into designer dens, they expect the same – or better – from the places they choose to drink, dine and socialise in. Our Creative Director Abi Perry-Jones has contributed to a special report on luxury hospitality design featuring our design at The Old Cock, Harpenden in this month’s Morning Advertiser.  Link to the project in our portfolio – https://bit.ly/2EiEMYV. Excerpts below;

Using natural materials of a high quality that are durable and can age well is a technique used by many designers of high-end pub interiors. “A good example is the new oak bar fitting, which sweeps across the central space at the Old Cock in Harpenden,” illustrates Abi Perry-Jones, creative director at Jones Architecture & Design, who was commissioned to redesign the pub by Apostrophe, the managed house division of Charles Wells, in a way that would ‘retain a British pub feel with an upscale design’. “Oak is an expensive material but the visible grains in the timber and traditional mouldings give a real sense of style and will stand the test of time. This bespoke piece is designed to a specific height with a very specific chunky bar top depth and overhang, which we and the client felt was just right for customers to sit up at the bar or lean against to give a quality feel and appearance.”

Mindful that she is working with a clients’ budget, Perry-Jones takes a slightly different tack. She says: “We are careful to use materials and fixtures and fittings that are appropriate for where they are to be located,” she says, opting to use hardwearing fabrics and leather for seating in busier areas, while ceramic tiles, which are durable and easy-to-clean work well around the bar area. “Expensive rugs or finishes are certainly better located in areas of less footfall,” she adds. “And we often locate more luxurious fabrics around the rear and sides of lounge chairs, which will get less use but reveal a splash of luxury.”

As Perry-Jones points out “good design is not just about the finishes”, it should enhance the overall customer experience. “It was important to our client that the Old Cock remained a ‘great British pub’,”she says. “The budget allowed us to really play with, and adapt, the existing layout so that spaces link together and operate seamlessly. Staff operations and the customer experience flows really well and the layout definitely contributes to a great customer experience where staff can be attentive.”