Category Archives: Interior Design

Kitchen surfaces are all white now

Anyone who was old enough to watch TV in the 1980s may well remember one particular commercial from a well-known washing powder brand, promising to leave the country’s laundry ‘whiter than white’.

It’s quite a claim, after all white’s white, right? Actually, that detergent manufacturer may just have been on to something, as some whites are quite definitely whiter than others. And it’s not just when you’re putting on a load of washing that this can matter; it’s important in kitchen design too, particularly when you are working with a material such as quartz.

CRL Quartz

As a material that is made up of several components, including stone aggregates and resin, one white quartz surface may be a different, or whiter, white than another, dependent on how and where it is manufactured.

Quartz is normally a clear or greyish colour and often has a lot of impurities, which when mixed with the resin can create a white that definitely wouldn’t pass the Persil test. This makes it extremely difficult to make a very white quartz. At CRL Stone we’ve compared our white quartz with all the major suppliers in the UK and can confidently declare ours to be the whitest white on the block. How? Well, we’re lucky enough to have our quartz plant near the site of a natural white quartz, which is very rare and makes all the difference. Of course it’s not all down to luck; the secret also lies in the blending, as the quartz has to be ground down into a very fine powder to achieve a solid white colour with no pockets of resin.

That said, a practically perfect white isn’t always what is needed, but with that achieved, being able to offer a range of different whites is much easier. The fact that some whites are less white than others means that kitchen designers can choose from several different whites, choosing the best contrast to go with furniture or to match with the white used elsewhere in the kitchen.

With no less than six different whites in its quartz collection, not to mention an option with marble veins, CRL Stone’s offering would pass the doorstep challenge and then some.

For more information call CRL Stone on 01706 863600 or visit www.crlquartz.co.uk

Ahmarra supply and install doors for COMO Metropolitan London

Ahmarra have completed a fit-out sub-contract for the bedroom and corridor doors for this stunning 5 star hotel which overlooks Hyde Park. The 5 star COMO Metropolitan London combines sophisticated design and a vibrant prime position on Park Lane.

Ahmarra Doors

Ahmarra manufactured and installed bedroom doors for the 144 bedrooms and suites. Pale sycamore veneers were carefully selected by the interior designer, Forme UK, for the bathroom and bedroom entrance doors to complement the light and clean interior of the hotel.

Ahmarra Doors

Ahmarra Doors

The entrance doors also featured a striking bespoke design incorporating a separate matching side panel separated with a band of quarter cut American Black Walnut veneer, which uniquely also have the room numbers inscribed into it.

Ahmarra Doors

The cool, sophisticated design balances the contemporary and the timeless—a rare achievement for a London modern luxury hotel. The understated style is clean and simple yet warm— light woods and sun-soaked whites with accents of vibrant yellow. Light floods all through floor-to-ceiling windows whilst the uncluttered design and intuitive technology create a haven of calm. COMO Metropolitan London is also home to renowned restaurant, Nobu for Japanese-Peruvian cuisine and the lively Met Bar.

Ahmarra Doors

Ahmarra also manufactured and installed doors in American black walnut for the corridors and staircase entrance doors as well as cross corridor doors with vision panels and duct doors.

Ahmarra Doors

“We have a long association with the Metropolitan, having completed a fit-out contract for the hotel previously. We are delighted to be associated with one of London’s most prestigious hotels and long may the relationship continue” commented Richard Panrucker, Ahmarra Installation’s Director.

As one of London’s premier joinery contractors, Ahmarra have completed a number of projects for iconic luxury hotels including such brands as InterContinental, Mondrian, Hilton, Apex, Grange, Mandarin Oriental and Sol Melia.

For more information, call Ahmarra Installations on 02392 389 076 or visit www.ahmarra.co.uk

ROCKFON is The Word for stylish acoustics

Acoustic Ceiling Tile

The Word has set the standard for Design thinking in the UK.” David Lindley, Executive Director at Designing Libraries.

The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, is the iconic centre piece of a multi-million pound regeneration project in the heart of South Shields. Arranged as a modern rotunda, The Word offers innovative facilities designed to inspire creative ideas and nurture a love of learning. ROCKFON® Mono® Acoustic seamless ceiling system is installed throughout to meet both the aesthetic and acoustic requirements which helped the project win the prestigious Public Sector Interiors Project of the Year award in the 2016 Mixology North Awards.

The Word is designed to be South Shields’ gateway to cultural, social and business knowledge, and to be exciting. The area’s industrial heritage plays a role in helping to realise this ambition and is woven into the fabric of the building. Salt harvesting in the 3rd century is represented in the fine quartz aggregate of the white pre-cast concrete. The circular glass patterns are symbolised by the feature chandelier in the main atrium. Coal mining is expressed in the external black scrapped concrete plinth. And shipbuilding is portrayed in the large glass window structures and the red oxide primer used throughout the building.

Inside, the circular façade is likened to the pages of a book inviting the reader into the depths of creative writing, of knowledge, of delightful storytelling, of individuality and ideas. The interior has an engaging and open plan design to encourage visitors to explore all the areas available and interact with the different activities on offer. Large group informal pursuits are arranged in the central forum space with more studious and individual spaces arranged towards the perimeter of the building.

Visitors to The Word are welcomed in the building’s triple height central atrium which forms the focal point of the building. Inside the atrium, visitors can take in excellent views of all four levels of the building and beyond towards the water front and the River Tyne. A stunning feature staircase sits in the heart of the atrium and leads to circular galleries on all floors. The atrium is a busy area which has a number of functions: library teams advise customers, there’s a tourist information point and AV monitors provide access to social media and event programmes.

Steve Dickson, Senior Director at FaulknerBrowns Architects, specified ROCKFON for the project and explained why:

In terms of selecting ROCKFON it really was a natural progression for us as we’d used the product successfully in a previous project. The key to our specification was that we wanted a monolithic product that is also Class A rated acoustically, so Mono Acoustic was perfect.

ROCKFON Mono Acoustic is installed around the perimeter of the galleries to help create a homogenous and continuous ribbon around the circular atria of the building which enhances the atrium’s stylish, contemporary interior design.

ROCKFON Mono Acoustic is a unique product which combines the elegance of a seamless ceiling with high performance sound absorption, previously thought only possible with modular suspended ceilings. To create a continuous finish, the ceiling tiles are installed and then finished with an impressive acoustic render to create an elegant, smooth-white, monolithic surface.

John Osborne, Senior Project Manager at Bowmer & Kirkland, was impressed with how well ROCKFON Mono Acoustic enhances the design scheme. “Aesthetically it sits so comfortably in the building and complements the surroundings, specifically how it curves around the central atrium space seamlessly, almost like a halo.”

The atrium’s interior features a mixture of surfaces including glazing and concrete which have the potential to generate unwanted noise. To counter this, Mono Acoustic provides Class A sound absorption which significantly decreases echo and reverberation levels, creating a relaxed environment where visitors can converse with ease.

John Osborne is also impressed with the acoustic performance offered by ROCKFON Mono Acoustic which exceeded the demanding requirements stipulated in the building specification. ‘The system’s acoustic performance is unrivalled. We carried out stringent post completion acoustic testing with our acoustician and all areas tested passed with flying colours. The client team are over the moon with the building and have been quoted saying the quality is the best they have ever had, which is testimony to our Client and Architect’s vision.”

Daniel Reilly at Reilly Ceiling and Drywall installed ROCKFON Mono Acoustic and was impressed with its versatility: “The ROCKFON Mono acoustic ceiling was chosen for this project because it offers the best performing sound absorption with a monolithic finish on the market. It is a ceiling system that provides complete flexibility and design freedom. Approximately 1100m² ROCKFON Mono Acoustic were fitted around the curved bulkheads which mirror the shape of the concrete building to create the central atrium.”

ROCKFON Mono Acoustic tiles are installed using a Chicago Metallic suspension system or can be directly mounted on existing ceilings and walls. The ceiling offers Class A2 fire protection and dimensional stability at up to 100% relative humidity, and allows for easy incorporation of lighting, air conditioning and ventilation systems. It is suitable for new builds or refurbishment projects.

The Word has been very well received. Over 23,000 people visited in the first week. Local author, Ann Cleaves recognised its contribution to the town saying, “thanks to the architects, councillors and librarians who created The Word – performance space, exhibition hall and my dream library.”

ROCKFON specialise in manufacturing ceiling systems that provide acoustic control whilst at the same time enhance the character of the architecture and interior design. For more information, visit www.rockfon.co.uk or email info@rockfon.co.uk.

New quartz surfaces combine style with maximum durability

CRL Stone has launched a new comprehensive range of engineered quartz surfaces, created to meet the demands of modern living. Hard wearing and easy to care for, CRL Quartz is ideal for the kitchen and bathroom where durability and flexible design are paramount.

CRL Quartz CRL Quartz is a beautiful engineered quartz stone, which is scratch, heat and stain resistant, which, unlike natural materials such as marble, never needs to be sealed. Requiring minimum maintenance to keep it looking as good as new, the non-porous surface makes cleaning simple, with soap and water or a mild detergent all that is needed.

Offering a versatile design solution appropriate for any setting, CRL Quartz is available in a choice of 32 colours, with a polished finish. In thicknesses of 20mm and 30mm, the surface comes in an extra-large format slab measuring 3.2 x 1.6 metres, allowing for greater consistency in design over large spaces such as kitchen worktops.

CRL Stone

Commenting on the launch of CRL Quartz, Simon Boocock, Managing Director of CRL Stone, said: “We are delighted to be bringing our own range of quartz surfaces to market. Responding head on to current trends in kitchen and bathroom design, the surface is a versatile, easy to maintain solution that will last the test of time. The quality of the product is backed up by CRL Stone’s excellent customer service and support, built on our 20 years’ experience in the industry.”

CRL Quartz is available from stock now from the CRL Stone UK warehouse.

For more information call 0800 0421 6144 or visit www.crlquartz.co.uk

Altro Xpresslay brings fast turnaround and cost savings at 27 new build schools

The proven cost and time saving credentials of award-winning Altro LooselayTM technology has lead to Altro XpressLayTM safety flooring being selected for installation in 27 new schools being built in the North East of England.

Galliford Try is building the new schools as part of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP). Galliford Try has a longstanding Supply Chain Agreement with Altro, so when it came to specifying flooring for the PSBP schools, both companies worked closely together to select a high quality, cost-effective flooring that was also quick to install.flooring

Roy Perry, Galliford Try Contracts Manager, said: “We chose to work with Altro on the PSBP scheme due to the strength of our supply chain relationship and their array of appropriate products for the schools.

“We selected Altro XpressLay because it’s a cost-competitive option that would also save us installation time on all the priority school schemes in this region. In many instances we require a quick turnaround, as Galliford Try is under pressure to deliver the schools within set timescales.

“We have been pleased with the service we have received from Altro and the flooring contractors, which has enabled us to complete the work to the customers’ satisfaction.”

Altro XpressLay is the world’s first ever adhesive-free safety flooring, and features Altro Looselay technology. Altro Looselay technology allows any subfloor moisture to escape. It has been designed to lie flat, without the need to be adhered. Altro Looselay doubled-sided, moisture-tolerant tape is used to secure the flooring in place while you weld. As there is no adhesive you get same-day welding and can walk on the floor straight away. Altro XpressLay can be easily removed post-installation, re-used elsewhere and then recycled at the end of its life.

The range boasts 42 colours, featuring bright and subtle, sparkle-free designs and decorative chipped options to choose from. The Altro XpressLay palette matches with Altro WalkwayTM 20 safety flooring, enabling both ranges to be combined to suit the application.

Altro XpressLay also features Altro Easyclean technology with superior chemical and stain resistance, to ensure it stays looking good for longer.

The flagship school for the PSBP scheme, and one of the first to be built, is the £18.6 million Hessle High School and Sixth Form College in East Yorkshire. Previously Hessle High was split over two sites, with 1,450 students, including 200 students in the sixth form.

The new build, designed by DLA Architecture Ltd in Leeds, has created a combined, fit-for-purpose school that operates from just one site, with new science labs, ICT and teaching areas and sports facilities for up to 1,550 pupils, including 230 students in the sixth form.

Phoenix Flooring Division installed 5,500m2 of Altro XpressLay throughout Hessle High School in four different shades; Waterfall on stairs and corridors; Blizzard in laboratories; Fog in wet areas; and Roof Garden in the stores.

The easy-to-fit capabilities of Altro XpressLay meant big savings in time and a trouble-free installation, as Phoenix Flooring MD Matt Brown explained.

“With Altro XpressLay there is no need to lay a dpm, and it can be fitted without adhesives,” said Matt. “This makes it very cost and time effective, and fitter friendly too. We know that every time we use this flooring we save a lot of time on a project, so for us it’s a great choice all round.

“Prior to fitting at the school, we prepared the substrate with a smoothing compound to create a true, flat surface. We then fitted Altro Looselay double-sided moisture tolerant adhesive tape to all perimeters and areas where the flooring would have joints. This helps the flooring to stay in place.

“Then it was simply a case of cutting the sheets of Altro XpressLay to fit, laying them into position, removing the backing from the adhesive tape, and rolling the flooring back into place. Joints were finally hot welded to finish off.

“We were on site for three months, with eight fitters working at the busiest period. We had excellent support from Altro throughout the entire project, but they always deliver a very high level of back-up.”

Mark Owen, Facilities Manager at Hessle High School is happy that Altro XpressLay is ticking all the right boxes. “We had a mixture of lino and tiles in the old school, which looked very old fashioned and was neither safe underfoot nor easy to maintain. This new flooring looks superb, colourful and modern, and it’s a proven safety flooring that can stand up to the rigours of busy school life.

“There has been no rucking or movement at all. It’s as firm and reliable as any flooring fitted with adhesive. So for a school it’s a great product, because we have the flexibility to repair or reuse the flooring in the future if required.

“Maintaining the flooring is proving easy as well, and it cleans up very nicely. We mop as and when required, and for areas which get the most traffic and dirt we use a walk-behind scrubber regularly. During school holidays we give everything a much more thorough going over with a circular scrubber, which brings the floors back to their very best.”

www.altro.co.uk

Classic with a Modern Twist

interior door
Vicaima Classic K Range door in Marina Grey

Interior design like all fashion evolves with the times and so the march of contemporary movement can often seem relentless.  Of course a sense of tradition and warmth for the past often shapes our thinking with modern decor and so it is hardly surprising that Vicaima has seen a trend for panelled doors making a noticeable return over the past year.

In response to this latest vogue, Vicaima have reinvigorated their Classic K range to provide a modern twist to an old favourite with some exciting new finishes.

Vicaima
Vicaima Classic K Range door in Walnut veneer

The Vicaima Classic K Range takes elements of shaker styling but with a more up-to-date and appealing look for the modern generation of interior panelled doors.

Available in 1, 2, 3 and 4 panel designs, together with glazed options, Classic K doors offer a solid construction with real veneer faces, together with white or primed for on-site painting if required.

In addition to the ever popular veneer options, Vicaima have also extended the range to include 6 new factory stained Ash finishes and for that ultra-smooth pure look, a new Satin White finish.  All doors are available with fire and security options and can also be supplied as Portaro matching door and frame systems where required.

interior door
Vicaima Classic K Range door in Pastel Cream

K Range doors are one of three ranges from the Vicaima Classic collection.   Classic P, with traditional raised and fielded panels and Classic F, a flat panel design are also available.

Download a copy of the new Classic range brochure from the Vicaima website.

For these and other innovative designs and products from the many Vicaima collections, visit the Vicaima website www.vicaima.com   alternatively, call 01793 532333 for additional information.

interior door brochure

Creating striking and harmonious spaces

Hotel Pestana CR7

A project made possible by the partnership of charismatic football player, Cristiano Ronaldo and the Pestana hotels Group has inspired the transformation of the Hotel Pestana CR7 in Lisboa, Lisbon.

The renovation of this historic building has led to the selection of Vicaima door products for their outstanding performance and design appeal.

http://www.vicaima.com

ROCKFON creates the perfect learning environment

Set in a picturesque village in County Clare, St Joseph’s Secondary School is a new state-of-the art learning facility created as part of an ambitious multi-million Schools Bundle PPP Programme – Bundle 4 Project.

ROCKFON ceiling solutions were installed to help create the ideal conditions for learning and enhance the architect’s contemporary design.ROCKFON

Pat McManamon from BAM Building Ltd, Ireland, was involved in the selection of ROCKFON ceilings for this project “We chose ROCKFON because their ceiling systems met (and exceeded in most cases) the acoustic requirements set out by the Department of Education. Fire safety is paramount in schools and ROCKFON ceiling systems conform to the safest fire classification, Class A1 fire resistance.”

Education buildings need to be functional and pleasant spaces. Major contributors to this are light and sound. ROCKFON Artic satisfies these requirements and was installed in classrooms, offices and circulation spaces. The tile’s smooth, white surface offers optimum light reflection, contributing to a comfortable environment with low glare and reduced eye disturbance. Artic also provides enhanced sound absorption (0.8aw) – ensuring teachers can communicate – enabling students to perform at their best.

ROCKFON
ROCKFON Tropic D concealed edge ceiling tiles were chosen for the special needs unit. ROCKFON Tropic provides Class A sound absorption which helps create an environment that offers optimum speech intelligibility – essential for all children, but particularly those with learning difficulties.

Pat McManamon expands on why ROCKFON Artic and ROCKFON Tropic were the preferred choice: “The tiles have a very white and attractive finish which fits with the school’s minimalist design. The availability of a concealed grid system in the same range and finish was also a deciding factor in selecting ROCKFON for these projects.”

The white, smooth surface of ROCKFON Tropic ceiling tiles offers 85% light reflectance and full light diffusion helping make effective use of available natural light. These excellent lighting conditions help improve the working environment and contribute to a reduction in energy costs.ROCKFON

ROCKFON Koral was fitted in the shower and wet rooms at St Joseph’s as it has a wipeable, micro-textured surface that can cope with increased humidity and the need for regular cleaning with a damp cloth or sponge.

SIG Ireland supplied the ceiling tiles. A leading distributor, SIG can deliver a range of ROCKFON acoustic products from stock via its branches in Ireland and across the UK.

ROCKFON ceiling tiles remain dimensionally stable even at humidity levels of up to 100% relative humidity. This unique performance characteristic enabled the contractor to reduce the original specification of 7-8 different ceiling tiles to just three – saving on installation time and material costs.

Hyland Contracting installed ROCKFON ceilings at the School. Director, Mark Hyland was impressed with the technical support he received from ROCKFON. “Having a representative from ROCKFON here in Ireland made a big difference to the job. He was on site, and offered advice and assistance at every stage, which ensured the ceilings looked perfect. We plan to use ROCKFON for the next three school projects.”

ROCKFON has unrivalled experience in the education sector. With an impressive track record backed by in-house technical support, ROCKFON area managers can provide advice on how to create a school building that satisfies regulations and is an inspiring place to learn.

For more information or samples call 0800 389 0314 or email info@rockfon.co.uk.

http://www.rockfon.co.uk/

Footballer’s hotel chooses Vicaima for winning team

Hotel Design

A project made possible by the partnership of charismatic football player, Cristiano Ronaldo and the Pestana hotels Group has inspired the transformation of the Hotel Pestana CR7 in Lisboa, Lisbon.

The renovation of this historic building has led to the selection of Vicaima door products for their outstanding performance and design appeal.

Hotel Design

Hotel Design

Vicaima, a recognized and international player in the design and production of solutions for the hotel and leisure sector, was selected to equip the Hotel Pestana CR7 Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal. This involved the complete renovation of an historical building. The boutique hotel, inspired by the charismatic footballer, is distinguished by the sophisticated décor for which the carbon grey colour of the Dekordor HD Colours Vicaima range has been selected, creating striking and harmonious spaces in the lifestyle concept of the project.

Hotel Design

Among the many technical and integrated solutions the project demanded, were the installation of Vicaima’s Portaro system, which provides a completely matching door and frame and were used for the entrance to rooms.Hotel Design

These were required to have high levels of technical performance, with fire resistance, up to 30 minutes, and acoustic insulation, up to 40 decibels. In addition the project also demanded integrated communicating doors between suites and sliding doors in various locations, thus enhancing the maximum optimization of the space. The emergency exits and communal areas were also equipped with Portaro® 30 minutes fire certified products.

Hotel Design

Hotel Design

Dekordor HD in Carbon Grey is just one of 22 attractive and contemporary laminate colour options from this exciting and recently introduced Vicaima range. With its easy to maintain and durable surface the product finish is ideally suited to hotels, student accommodation, medical, educational and commercial applications.

http://www.vicaima.com

Stand out from the crowd with interior doors from Vicaima

With house builders and interior design specialists looking to find products that will set them apart in an ever crowded marketplace and home owners becoming much more demanding and discerning in their choice of living space, its little wonder that the innovative and designer led inspiration offered by Vicaima door products is more sought after than ever before. 

Room featuring Vicaima Dark Champagne stained Ash sliding door and panels
Room featuring Vicaima Dark Champagne stained Ash sliding door and panels
Portaro Pivotal
Portaro Pivotal

With the launch of the new 2016/17 Interior Door Selector, Vicaima offer even more to meets the needs of today’s housing.

interior doors

As one of Europe’s leading manufacturers, Vicaima interior doors and doorsets offer specifiers a wealth of choice in performance suitability, designer inspiration and cost effective solutions to cater for every budget. Available both in printed format and for download via the Vicaima website, the new 64 page catalogue sets out product ranges in a clear and concise format.

Portaro Inverse
Portaro Inverse is seamless

Each section includes quality colour imagery to illustrate the range design potential, together with easy to reference individual door pictures to ensure the chosen door is right for the project.  In addition it includes a new Price Indicator Tool, which enables easy price comparison across different ranges to help find the right solution within a particular budget.

Vicaima
Dekordor 3D White with Aluminium inlay pattern

Making a first appearance in the Interior Door Selector for 2017 are some exciting new ranges which demonstrate that interior doors need not be confined to the often seen and used plain painted doors, which have little or no imagination.   These new Vicaima products include Stained Ash veneer with groove designs, horizontally embossed Dekordor 3D with aluminium inlays, Foil faced visual sensations and a modern take on tradition, with the K Range shaker style panel in a wide spectrum of attractive face finishes.

Vicaima
Classic K Range showing K3400 in Walnut

As you would expect from such a leading interior door specialist, a comprehensive choice of constructional core options from lightweight hollow core to solid and fire rated doors are offered for most ranges, with each being available in both imperial and metric sizes.    The scope and design possibilities make selection easy, with glazed options, extra height dimensions, mobility widths and even a customised section, where you can create a design to suit individual tastes.  If this were not enough, the new Interior Door Selector also includes additional information such as technical advice, a guide to performance and even door care. 

interior door selector

To download your copy of the new 2016/17 Interior Door Selector, visit www.vicaima.com  and select brochures, alternatively call 01793 532333 to request a printed copy or for further information.