What is British design? Particularly when it comes to hotels, you often hear terms like “Scandi-chic”, or “Asian inspired” – but it’s not so often that we hear “British” being referenced when it comes to contemporary hospitality design. But the aesthetic of the island nation is alive and well – albeit perhaps understated and somewhat modest, themselves British traits – and beautifully represented in some of the UK’s luxury properties. We seek some eye-candy driven inspiration in the work of London-based hotel architects and interior designers of the moment, Goddard Littlefair…
British design ingenuity is everywhere you look and has been for centuries. Perhaps in its inherent modesty, what defines it doesn’t jump out at you immediately. But from the red mail and phone boxes across the country; to typography on the London underground; to the clean curves of a Jaguar or Aston Martin; to the cut of a Savile Row suit; to the artsy-crafty sensibility of William Morris textile … you’ll soon understand that Britishness in aesthetics combines the revolutionary purpose-driven innovation of industrialisation, plus the particular craftsmanship in form, that stems from a long heritage of makers; and dashed measures of eccentricity and personality to top it all off. But it is also internationally influenced, just like the diversity of the country today, resulting in a powerful fusion of the very best of the world and a sense of unrivalled inventiveness.
Goddard Littlefair is a luxury interior design studio, established a decade ago by Martin Goddard and Jo Littlefair. Their ethos is about “combining aesthetic perfectionism and boundless curiosity.” Which to us sums up our own feelings about British design. Designers like Goddard Littlefair have a particular talent for creating architectural interiors that are timeless in style, rather than conform to fashion. Both architects and interior designers, this close association help them achieve cohesion in their spaces, with beautifully executed emphasis on scale, proportions, light and flow. It has made us want to get out and discover their work across the UK, and we’re pretty sure you’d want to join us.
At The Principal York, the Goddard Littlefair gave a nod to tradition, while creating a light, contemporary environment, balancing its characterful, industrial-age architecture with softer, country-house-like interiors.
Drawing inspiration from Manchester’s rich industrial history, the Presidential Suite (which is incidentally the largest in the city) at The Lowry makes reference to the city’s industrial heritage and geometry, including the shape of the iconic Trinity Bridge, located directly outside the hotel, but with splashes of bright, tonal colours on its furnishings for a home away from home feel.
Goddard Littlefair has designed some 30 suites, estate rooms and corridor treatments for the gorgeous The Gleneagles Hotel, developing a number of rich accommodation concepts inspired by the location, and delivering a look and feel that marries luxury to authenticity, complete with bespoke furniture pieces and a collection of curated art.