LHK design: Incorporating Sustainability to Enhance the Quality of Life
Fairfield Inn and Suites in Waterbury, Vt., wins CID Sustainability Award
Lori Kramer, LEED AP, of LHK design was the award-winning interior designer for one of the projects recognized in the Sustainability category at the Coverings Installation Design Awards, held in Chicago this past April. The firm, with offices on Park Avenue in Manhattan and Upper Saddle River, N.J., designed the complete interior of the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Waterbury, Vt., using a range of tile products that reflect the natural feel of the Vermont environment.
Kramer explains that “This new hotel maintains the brand’s signature features with the rustic charm that defines this beautiful New England town. Upon entering the lobby, guests experience a warm and inviting rustic lodge atmosphere featuring stylized wood grain translucent panels flanked by reclaimed teak wood planks on the registration feature wall, reclaimed wood cabinetry, and a magnificent burnished finished brass ring chandelier set against a ceiling of found teak wood.
“The public areas meet the needs of its productivity-oriented guests with its modernized and contemporary approach to the classic lodge, providing both vacationing and business guests with ample connectivity options, along with more casual and informal areas for relaxation,” she added. “Guests may relax by the impressive stone fireplace in the lobby or enjoy a swim in the inviting indoor pool, which boasts a spa-like atmosphere with its surroundings of rich stone and wood elements.“
Kramer noted that “Our design concept reflects many nature-inspired materials indigenous to Vermont. Flooring consists of wood-look parquet tile, and carpet inspired by the warm color palette of the area’s stunning fall foliage. Furnishings were selected to be interesting focal points, such as the feature communal farm table made by local artisans from reclaimed pine and surrounded by solid birch stools with warm, weathered black stain and iron stretchers. A polished nickel ring chandelier with Edison-style vintage antique light bulbs complements the rustic farm table with its minimalist style and metallic composition. The contextually inspired barnstyle doors at the entrance to the breakfast buffet bring a rustic feel to the contemporary look of the solid stone counters of the buffet.”
In addition, “the locale-inspired guest rooms feature an accent wall with a stunning paneled effect,” she said. “As they retreat to the signature suites, guests enjoy a soothing color palette of pale gray, graphite and warm browns with accents of celadon and wheat.”
Stone and tile products used
To create this warm, inviting atmosphere, LHK design selected natural stone and porcelain tile materials throughout. They included:
- Stone veneer at fireplace, accent walls in lobby, and accent wall in indoor pool – Boral Stone Products LLC/Pro-Fit Alpine Ledgestone cultured stone, color: Echo Ridge
- Porcelain 6” x 30”, 7/16” thick wood-look plank floor tile at lobby – Cancos Tile & Stone/ Albero 6, color: Fresh, with a matte finish. Tri State Stone & Tile of Rockaway, N.J., installed this plank tile in a 1/3-offset staggered brick-joint pattern installation method with 1/8” grout joint.
- Porcelain 24” x 24” x 7/16” thick wood-look parquet floor tile adorned the breakfast room – Cancos Tile & Stone/Albero 6, color: Fresh in a matte finish. Tri State used a straight-lay installation method with 1/8” grout joint.
- A marble mosaic tile backsplash is featured at the connect and print counter – Cancos Tile & Stone/ Chelsea 2 series Golden Sand, color: Beige with a nano-sealed multi-surface finish, 1” x 1” x 3/8” thick, supplied on 12” x 12” sheets.
- Porcelain 6” x 24” x 3/8” thick wood-look plank tile was installed at accent walls in the indoor pool – Cancos Tile & Stone/Albero 3, color: Ash. Tri State installed this in a 1/3-offset staggered brick-joint pattern, with tiles installed horizontally across wall, and 1/8” grout joint. The full height and the full width of the walls were covered in Albero 3.
- Porcelain 6” x 24” x 3/8” thick wall tile was installed at accent walls in the indoor pool – Cancos Tile & Stone/Elements Deluxe Collection, color: Ocean Storm with a honed finish. Tri State used a stack bond installation (tiles installed horizontally across wall) with 1/8” grout joint.
- Porcelain 13” x 13” x 3/8” thick floor tile and bullnose base was installed at the indoor pool and public restrooms – Cancos Tile & Stone/Rok, color: Calcare, matte finish. Tri State performed a stack bond installation with 1/8” grout joint. Slip resistance of this impervious product is a wet slip coefficient: 0.61-0.71 (>0.60 tile classification slip resistant).
Sustainable products on the rise
Although clients don’t always request sustainable products, LHK designs has its own ethic for products it selects. “There has been an increase in the amount of products offered that are sustainable,” Kramer said. “We seek out products that meet the following criteria: encompass our design intent, translate the vision of the client, meet hotel brand standards, are within the client’s budget, and have sustainable attributes.” The rise in the use of HPDs and EPDs in the last few years “provide the means to communicate the environmental characteristics of products to designers,” she added.
LHK designs “incorporates sustainability into every single project, striving to balance all of the mental and physical dimensions in order to create design solutions that enhance the quality of life,” Kramer explained. “Sustainability, as wellness for the planet, goes hand in hand with wellness for the individual. The use of environmentally responsible materials in design and construction leads to an increase in worker productivity, improved indoor air and light quality, energy-saving operational and maintenance practices, and the preservation of natural resources,” she concluded.