Hotels are renovated frequently, which inevitably leads to waste. Materials wear over time and need to be replaced, but there are many ways to maximize the life of products used. One of the most disappointing things in the hospitality world is how often items are thrown away due to aesthetics and not performance. Designers have a unique opportunity to save resources by maximizing the use of existing items and saving everything possible within the framework of a new design. The best way to effectively reduce waste in renovations is to utilize existing elements to create timeless looking designs.
The idea is two-fold. When a design is first implemented, the core elements should be timeless and not trendy. Items like flooring, bathroom tile, draperies and casegoods should have a timeless flair that is relevant to the brand and location. Casegoods made of solid wood can continually be refinished to like-new condition. Tile can last almost a lifetime when maintained properly. Items that can easily be changed with minimal waste, such as wall paint and accessories, should capture the essence of the times, adding that current trendiness to the room. And careful planning ensures functionality that will not need to be addressed or is intuitive enough to be modified to maximize interactions. Implementing a great design from the start makes future renovation more adaptable; it provides a framework for the next iteration of the design that reduces waste by requiring less changeover all-around.
Not all renovations are created equal. We don’t always have the opportunity as designers to walk into a good design that is somewhat dated or a well-maintained property. Older properties are plagued by challenges that demand even more creative thinking when trying to reduce waste. It’s not always the easiest thing to utilize an old marble tile design in a new contemporary space or reuse an old cabinet that doesn’t seem to fit a forward thinking concept. But the best designers find a way to maximize these elements and arrive at an even more interesting and greener design. So what if the inset in the table is bright yellow with an oak edge? Find a way to make it work instead of throwing it away. Refinish the edge, create a balance of color that makes the room pop. You just saved a ton of material from going into a landfill + your client a bunch of money. Always a win-win! Happy designing!