Our recent project for Worcester AC Hotels features common areas that are strong, architectural and layered with a strong emphasis on local art. There is a masculine appeal with a rustic and elegant integrity. We developed this lime plaster finish to mirror this aesthetic with a taupe/brown Marmarino. It is particularly unique because of the depth of color and the graphite and bronze mix of metallic wax we custom made with acrylic medium.
There is a lot of “behind the scenes” studio work in the development of a particular look. The designers, XSS Hotels, a division of PROCON Inc. had a specific feel, color and movement in mind. Approximately 3 preliminary samples were done to create each of the 4 samples submitted for their approval before “the one” was chosen.
Although authentic Stucco Veneziano has been an architectural finish of choice in Europe and the Middle East for centuries, we Americans have only come to love its many attributes in the past 3 decades. After being in business for 18 years we decided to take a course in lime plaster application. We quickly added it to our repertoire of surface designs. That was approximately 15 years ago (you do the math!). After earning a steady stream of work for Venetian Plaster we quickly realized that hospitality design would be the ideal venue for this branch of our business and to targeted our marketing in that direction.
That’s why the most thrilling kind of inquiry is out of the blue. It is from a designer or architect that we’ve never worked with before. He or She has contacted us via an internet search for custom/architectural or artisan finishes. When it happens I feel that I did my job right. And if they’re designing a brand new boutique hotel by a large chain, i.e. AC Hotels by Marriott, our hearts beat a little faster. So when we were sent the invitation to bid from PROCON Inc. we did our due diligence by submitting samples and an estimate and kept our fingers crossed. The job came through and we did a little happy dance on the studio floor.
Work in the hospitality design world is challenging in a good way. It demands a high level of professionalism and keeps us growing as a business. And even if we are repeating a finish that we’ve done elsewhere, each project presents a new set of circumstances. The surface needs to be consistent everywhere and appear to be done by one hand. There is nothing mechanized about these trowel finishes so keeping the hand applied plaster to appear the same over hundreds of square feet is a skill that takes much practice.
In social media posts I often say, “Did we mention that we love our job?” And it is true, we do love it. There is creativity in the hunt for work. Aiming for hospitality design commissions and getting them is practically thrilling. It may not be as satisfying as actually doing the job itself, but it’s pretty high up there. And playing a supporting role in the creation of a beautiful interior that will be enjoyed by thousands of guests is a great feeling.