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HI Connect® Designer Spotlight - Atelier Durante Interiors

Today we speak with Pamela Durante of Atelier Durante Interiors as part of our series focusing on the hospitality designers, architects and purchasing pros participating in HI Connect® 2015.

Monday, March 23, 2015
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HI Connect®®
HI Connect®
Experience a Design Revolution

We’re getting ready for our BIG HI Connect® event coming this March 25-27, 2015 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN. Act Now and register to be a part of this amazing event now in its fourth year!

We’ve got dozens of built out fully constructed out vignettes created by leading hospitality designers, architects and purchasing professional. And those attending HI Connect® will get to step into their master creations, get a tour and see products in the context in which they belong; in a real hotel environment!

HI Connect® offers attendees an incredible opportunity to view, first hand, original concepts designed by industry designers, architects and purchasing companies in collaboration with suppliers shown in context within a real environment. You’ll see guest rooms, bathrooms, and public spaces such as Bar/Lounge, Spa/Fitness to name a few. This is a truly the most collaborative effort ever at any hospitality event.

As part of our countdown to HI Connect® 2015 we’re interviewing the people that are bringing their creative vision to life. Read the story below, or listen to their story.

Act now to be a part of this game changing event. For more information relating to this unique and dramatic experience at HI Connect® experience March 25-27, 2015, visit our dedicated website to learn more. Register now for this unique event setting a new standard for hospitality tradeshows. Or call 631-424-7755 x150 for an immediate response.

For today’s interview, Editor-In-Chief Glenn Haussman speaks with Pamela Durante of Atelier Durante Interiors who is creating a Boutique Guestroom during the three days of HI Connect®.

Glenn Haussman: Pam, I like what you're doing. You're doing a boutique guest room but you're approaching it kind of from a little bit different of an angle. You're really focused on, I think, what a lot of us in the world focused today is branding and the importance of branding in today.

Why do you think branding is so critical these days?

Pam Durante: Well, I think people identify product and everything – the actual brands, actual logo – and you can see a symbol somewhere and you know whose it is without even necessarily seeing the name of the company anymore. It’s a lot of initials now and symbolism.

Glenn Haussman: That’s right.

Pam Durante: So I’m sort of trying to maybe incorporate into this space a little bit.

Glenn Haussman: Right.

Pam Durante: My room might almost appear a little narcissist in a way but –

Glenn Haussman: [Laugh]

Pam Durante: But it’s really about the branding. And some it’s very subtle. Some it’s very blatant and some of it’s very subliminal and ah –

Glenn Haussman: So let’s get into that, but before we do that I do want to share with people a little bit about branding and why branding is so critical. Branding is really a shortcut, I think, for people to understand the essence of what a product is. A brand is also a promise; something that works really quickly so you don’t have to explain what it is. We see that Starbucks’ logo somewhere and we know exactly what we're going to get and what the emotional connection is we have to that brand. Right?

Pam Durante: Yes. Definitely.

Glenn Haussman: Yeah. So when you see that sort of stuff it really makes you understand why branding has become so important. And I think that there are two things now going on in the hospitality industry; a heightened sense on branding by large companies, and then a much smaller sense of branding – taking it down to almost the single property level. And I think that that’s really what the difference is these days between boutique guest room hotels and regular mainstream hotels, because I think you and I both kind of believe that the design elements of it are starting to get blended between the two, right?

Pam Durante: Yes, definitely. I mean as we just said, it’s hard to distinguish between an upscale guest room and a boutique guest room these days. They're very similar.

Glenn Haussman: Yeah so it’s hard. It’s hard then to tell the difference between a regular hotel room and a boutique hotel room if you just look at it as a picture without any sense of clues as to what one is to the other. So when you're talking about branding, and you want to get people to come to your hotel, they need to have that emotional connection with the brand.

They need to understand what that brand stands for so they can take that shortcut and book the experience that they want to have. And I think that’s the concept that you're kind of playing on – utilizing branding in order to bring home a point and a sense of energy and a vibe.

So now you said blatant, subtle, and subliminal. What does that mean in terms of creating branding for a hotel room?

Pam Durante: Well, I guess if you come to my room you'll see some of those – the principle applied there. Some things as a logo might be repeated in a carpet, or it could be part of the woodwork. Some lettering could be on a product that you don’t really look at it and understand what it is quite frankly, at first, and then when you walk away later you're, “Oh, that’s with that relationship.” And so there’s a little bit of that going on.

And then there’s – some of it’s subtle and some of it’s very blatant, right in your face and then others is very subliminal. [Crosstalk] What you saw.

Glenn Haussman: Yeah, what makes you take the approach to break it up into these three different components? What kind of story are you trying to tell that way?

Pam Durante: Well, my room is – I just wanted to incorporate different ways that you could put your branding together in a space. So I’ve sort of combined a lot of them in one space, and you wouldn't necessarily have to be using all of these but just know I’m using different ways that you can get your brand across and maybe select one or two of them or use all of them in my space.

Glenn Haussman: I like the idea of it being subliminal as well and being built into the carpet. I remember the first time I went to the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, for example, you look at the wallpaper in the bathroom. It just looks like wallpaper, but then you get closer to it and then all of a sudden you realize there’s an imagery of it like of a black and white kind of a pin-up girl type of style thing. And you wouldn't notice that unless you take a close look at it. So that’s kind of some of the tricks that you're talking about playing with.

Pam Durante: Well, actually one of them is in my wallpaper so when you come you will – that’s the one that’s a little more subliminal but it’s there. There is something happening there, just wondering if people will pick it up.

Glenn Haussman: That’s fun. It’s going to be like the hidden Mickey’s at HI Connect® or something like that. You’ve got to come and check that out.

Pam Durante: Right.

Glenn Haussman: And I love that you're doing this idea because branding has really become such a central theme in our way of connecting with brands out there. And how important are brands to you in your life?

Pam Durante: Well, I have more logo on everything that I can think of. I have a bag that I carry that has my logo on it. I have my iPhone has a cover that has my logo on it. I have little sticky notes that have my logo everywhere. So as many places as I can incorporate it, I do. And it’s just constantly just sending that same message and wherever you can, whenever you can.

Glenn Haussman: Great. I totally agree. I think that’s what it’s all about, and that is the future. And for those of you listening out there, if you're not putting enough emphasis on your branding, you're making a big mistake. Major companies are doing it. It’s the best way to get that message across. And if you think back 10, 15 years ago the only place that was really branding was on your soap and shampoo and you were like kind of hoping that maybe people would take that soap and shampoo so they’d be reminded of that experience when they go home.

So I think that that is kind of the notion that you need to play with when you're designing your own hotel – where can you put in that branding? Where can you re-emphasize the experience through that shortcut?

And, Pam tell us a little bit about, overall, what your look is going to be in this vignette? What kind of style is it done in?

Pam Durante: Well, my design tends to be modern with – well, actually it’s a little bit more artistic with a modern twist with it. And there’s usually always something that’s a little bit French going on. And I actually have Napoleon making an appearance somewhere around the room and some of his symbolism has also been brought forth in the room as well.

So there’s a little bit of a parallel going on. This was happening a long time ago and it’s still happening now and it’s very effective and it lasts forever.

Glenn Haussman: Nice, and that’s what it’s all about – laughing forever. And speaking of laughing forever, HI Connect®, March 25 through 27 – best event of the year. We're going to be around forever. And yes, I’m that bold. That’s our brand. It’s going to happen. Come see Pam Durante’s brand. Pam, any final words before we wrap up this interview?

Pam Durante: Well, there are a lot of unique things that have been created for this space. I’ve really enjoyed working with the entire team. I look forward to it. Some of them I have not met yet so this is such an interesting way to go about this. And I really think everyone – there’s some really new product come out from my space in particular, and I think everyone should come by and see it and we can tell you a little bit more about it.

Act now to be a part of this game changing event. For more information relating to this unique and dramatic experience at HI Connect® experience March 25-27, 2015, visit our dedicated website to learn more. Register now for this unique event setting a new standard for hospitality tradeshows. Or call 631-424-7755 x150 for an immediate response.

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