Tame dragons and innovative designers

Designers Harry Christakis and Jocelyn Malcolm pitched their recommendations for a $15,000 and $20,000/room overhaul to two “dragons” at the Western Canadian Lodging Conference session.


Designers Harry Christakis and Jocelyn Malcolm were asked to pitch their recommendations for a $15,000 and $20,000/room overhaul to two dragons” at the Western Canadian Lodging Conference session moderated by Bill Tom of Rosedale Advisors. Their designs showed innovation and creativity, and even though the show was supposed to mimic popular TV show, The Dragon’s Den, these dragons weren’t too critical of the designs!

Harry Christakis of HCA Architecture

Christakis, principal of HCA Architecture, made up a story to help visualize his $15,000 design. He imagined hypothetical guests in a non-branded downtown Vancouver hotel — a yoga instructor in town for further training; a fashion blogger and a photographer, who were in town for the wine destination; and a touring musician who wanted a weekend alone.

They would stay at Christakis’ hotel because it includes wellness features and recognizes an ongoing need to destress; it is sustainable including finishes that don’t off-gas; the technology is understandable and easy-to-use; and it is inclusive. 

There would be no need for a TV in the room: Even when you fly Rouge, you bring your iPad,” Christakis noted.

The rooms should also be adaptable to future requirements — with case goods that can be adjusted instead of replaced. He visualized three zones: the wash zone, the unwind space and the slumber zone.

For the slumber zone, the floor would be concrete sealer; there would be a really great king bed, roller shades and artwork on the walls — at a cost of $4,100. There would be no closet, just a horizontal rod with a series of hangers and a full-length mirror, with a platform on top that lets clothes be exposed.

The unwind area would have vinyl on the floor, paint, two moveable lounge chairs on castors, a full-length mirror, quartz countertop, a fridge, a multipurpose desk with bench that can also be used as a headboard, and a huge entertainment wall with a projector and sound bar rather than a TV. 

The entertainment wall could work for all four of Christakis’ characters, with a yoga video for the instructor; a backdrop for the model and photographer who could project images, take photos and publish them in the blog; and the musician could catch up on the latest music. The wall would also work for a business guest wanting to Skype or Facetime with their family.

There would be no safe, as millennials have no money,” Christakis said. The cost of the unwind area would be less than $5,000.

The wash area would have a decent vanity, shower — he ripped out the bathtub — glass, spotlights and a pivot door at a cost of $5,561. One of Christakis’ pet peeves is corridor noise. He used a pivot door that closes off the washroom or rotates to isolate the room from corridor noise.

Christakis’ design came in under budget at approximately $14,550.

Jocelyn Malcolm of Vivid Interior Designs

Malcolm’s assignment was to design a $20,000 room overhaul for millennials, who like convenience and technology, eco-friendly and socially-responsible companies, and comfortable spaces.

Like Christakis, she created a character to help visualize the space. Meet Matt,” she told the audience at the session. He needs to create his sales presentation while he’s at the hotel.

He turns on the lights and sets the temperature with an app. He’s got a coffee table and a chaise and a beautiful Vancouver view. 

The guestbook talks about technology, eco-friendly design features and social responsibility. The work desk has an LED lamp. [Amazon] Alexa is there to help him pick a restaurant. He has all his web apps such as Netflix, Skype and YouTube.

Matt has to go for a quick meeting, so he freshens up, after putting his bag on the built-in luggage rack. There’s a phone in the bathroom with karaōke so he can sing along.”

Features of the room include low-VOC paint in a strong, bold charcoal colour, with the rest of the room in soft white. There are pendant lights that actually tilt 125 to 360 degrees.

There are 11 eco-friendly lights. The bedding is socially responsible — it comes from a Canadian company that has a relationship with a charity called Africa We Care, which provides linens to African communities. The carpet in the bedroom and sitting area is soft underfoot and provides a noise barrier. The simple, bright drapery is technology friendly, and can be opened and closed using the app. 

Some of the features are good from a housekeeping viewpoint. The dresser and luggage rack are built in and there’s a platform bed, saving on furniture maintenance and making things easy to clean. Bioflooring, an alternative to vinyl is used in the main area. 

The bathroom has a motion sensor, with soft LED lighting, for when guests want to use the bathroom at night. The vanity has a metal frame, where guests can put towels, curling irons or hair dryers. They took out the bathtub to create a double-wide shower for one or two adults. The material used is laminam porcelain, which is mould and mildew resistant, uses less grout and is easy to clean.