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High-end wiring heroes

Sep 2018 Lighting | Comments Off on High-end wiring heroes
High-end wiring heroes

After decades of standardisation and the dominance of large chains, demand for boutique hotels is on the increase as consumers seek a more bespoke travel experience. Individuality is key in the boutique environment and the latest generation of design-led wiring devices can make all the difference, explains Emma Segelov, head of marketing for MK Electric

The boutique hotel concept is nothing new, having been around since 1980s, yet it is only in the past decade that these types of hotels have enjoyed worldwide commercial success. In the coming years, the demand in growth for boutique rooms is predicted to exceed the growth for traditional hotel rooms while growth in demand for boutique hotel rooms will also continue to exceed the growth in supply.

What makes a hotel boutique is difficult to define, however, they do share some common characteristics. One of the most important is chic and high-end interior design. According to The boutique and lifestyle hotel report 2015, “style, distinction, warmth and intimacy are key words in the architecture and design of boutique hotels, which appear to attract a set of consumers looking for something different to fulfil their needs. Boutique hotels are not standardised, they are individual and unique. They often have a theme and this runs throughout the whole hotel even to different guest bedrooms all designed along a similar theme”.

What’s more, with the advent of interior design television and the arrival of home interest blogs and social media style experts, consumers are more aware of design than ever before – right down to the final touches. Therefore, although they may be small in size, light switches, dimmers and socket outlets are playing an increasingly significant role in the design or refurbishment of high-end premises.

By being aware of this phenomenon, electrical contractors can potentially win more business within the boutique sector by capitalising on these trends and specifying design-focused, reliable and highly customisable products. So, what are the key considerations when specifying products?

Pick the perfect products

Start with design. While traditional moulded white products have gradually evolved into sleeker, stainless steel and chrome options, there are plenty of hoteliers who want a more tailored design to accentuate their interiors. Due to this, there are now more sophisticated products with unique and luxurious finishes in the market. The wide choice of products available means that products such as sockets, switches and dimmers can now blend seamlessly into their surroundings, regardless of the interior aesthetic. Indeed, they can also be selected to stand out as a focal point in their own right, particularly in guest rooms where individualism is a central part of the experience.

Certain brands, including MK Electric, now offer the ability to create and order bespoke wiring devices via specific design services.

These services allow users to create their own individual sockets and switches to ensure a seamless continuation of the overall interior concept. Nowadays, companies are able to create all manner of designs, with the ability to change colours, materials and finishes with ease. From leather look to metallic and everything in between, online design tools enable hoteliers to create wiring devices that add the wow-factor to their décor.

What’s more, there is an extensive range of flexible product solutions to choose from such as multimedia plates that cater for a variety of euro modules to create the right power and data configurations for all requirements. This means ultimate scalability, as the same device can be customised to match the most luxurious suite or non-customer facing back-of-house areas.

Be practical

The second thing to consider is practicality; it’s vital to specify products that meet the needs of modern customers. For example, thoughtful touches such as opting for integrated USB socket outlets can vastly help improve a guest’s experience. Given the integral role smart devices play in modern life, the need for power on the go cannot be underestimated. Whether it’s an international guest has forgotten their travel adaptor or a customer who needs additional charging ports, USB charging outlets mean hoteliers don’t have to stock spare charging devices and know guests have the charging capacity they need.

For optimal and efficient USB charging, electricians should look for products that feature dynamic device recognition (DDR). Products with DDR are specifically designed to detect charging configurations from a range of manufacturers and react accordingly. This is an important function for an electrical socket to have, as not all guests’ devices will be the same. For example, the charging needs of an iPhone X will be different from that of a Samsung tablet. However, a USB port with DDR will recognise the charging needs of a device and supply those exact requirements.

Something for everyone

The MK Elements collection offers all of these features and more, making it ideal for a boutique hotel fit-out or refurbishment. With 16 standard finishes in four material groups – from natural materials such as wood and leather, to glass effect, metallics and synthetics – there is something for any style.

Outside of the standard selection, there is a nearly infinite choice of finishes and materials and customers can even create their own via the MK Design Service, which provides the ultimate flexibility for tailor-made designs to any requirement. Using this service, hoteliers can provide a sample of other interior materials used within the building, such as wooden veneers, and the team will design wiring devices that are an exact match.

The online MK Elements Design Tool has also opened up opportunities for contractors to offer customers the option of bespoke electrical devices. For example, tablet and PC users can explore the flexibility of the MK Elements Collection, and design their own customised light switches, dimmers and electrical sockets for an end product that is truly bespoke. After saving their creations, they can then create project shopping lists, request quotes and samples, and save images of bespoke and standard products.

Edge is another useful collection for those working on a boutique hotel project. The range of wiring devices combines function and style, with a clean design and slim profile of just 1.5mm thick. In addition to the wide choice of standard finishes, a made-to-order service gives contractors the ability to match almost any colour required.

Boutique hotels are under pressure to create a trend-led experience that impresses customers. Wiring devices that complement the décor can create a unified design aesthetic within a hotel room, while providing flexibility through access to charge in key locations.