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HI Connect® Designer Spotlight - Pam Durante of Atelier Durante Interior Design

Today we speak with Pam Durante of Atelier Durante Interior Design, as part of our series focusing on the hospitality designers, architects and purchasing pros participating in HI Connect® Design 2014.

Friday, March 14, 2014
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Atelier Durante Interior Design, PLLC
Atelier Durante Interior Design, PLLC
Contract Interior Design firm
HI Connect®®
HI Connect®
Experience a Design Revolution

We’re getting ready for our BIG event HI Connect® Design coming this April 2-4, 2014 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN. Act Now and register to be a part of this amazing event
We’ve got dozens of built out fully constructed out vignettes created by the vision of leading hospitality designers, architects and purchasing pros. And those in attendance will get to step into their master creations, get a tour and see products in the content in which they belong; in a real hotel environment!

HI Connect® Design offers attendees an incredible opportunity to view, first hand, original concepts designed by industry designers and purchasing companies in collaboration with suppliers shown in context within a real environment of a guest room, bathroom, 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® 2014 we’re interviewing the people that are bringing their creative vision to life. Read the story below, or for a more fully in-depth interview listen to their story below.

Act now to be a part of this game changing event. For more information relating to this unique and dramatic experience at HI Connect® Design, this April 2-4, 2014 visit HI Connect® Design to learn more and register for this unique event that sets the new standard in hospitality tradeshows. Or call 631-424-7755 x150 for an immediate response.

For today’s interview, Editor-In-Chief Glenn Haussman speaks Pam Durante of Atelier Durante Interior Design who is creating an Upscale Guestroom during the three days of HI Connect® Design.

Glenn: I love the Upscale guestroom concepts. One of the things that you think about when you’re doing designs every day is you want to bring a little bit more sustainability to your projects. Where do you feel about sustainability these days?

Pam: Well, I think that it’s been happening for quite a while, but I think you know finding it happening more in hotels. I’m not doing a sustainable room, but I just automatically try to use sustainable practices wherever possible.

Glenn: Well, what I see a sustainable room being is the concepts of tomorrow, what I see what you’re doing is what people are really implementing today. Because sustainability shouldn’t be in a separate category anymore. I think sustainability should really be about what you’re doing in a day-to-day basis to kind of take away some of that effect on the environment.

Pam: Yes, well what I’m thinking, It doesn’t leave an imprint on the earth. One of the products that I’m using in the room is called Xorel and it’s from Carnegie Fabrics and their products are, their fabrics are not only beautiful, they’re very intelligent and it’s actually sugar cane based.

They develop a nylon thread from the sugar cane and then they do all different types of weaving. They have several different applications that they use this in.

Glenn: That’s pretty cool. So you could use it on all the surfaces that have a fabric in the room. What kind of surface are you looking for, pillows or?

Pam: Well, I’m actually using that probably to trim certain things around the edges of furniture. Not necessarily like where you’re putting your head on it because it’s not really soft. It’s kind of a little bit strong. But there’s many places that you could use this. It’s very good for upholstery.

Glenn: Yeah, I guess that makes sense because that’s a lot of wear and tear on the upholstery.

Pam: Right. And wall coverings. It’s great as a wall covering. But I’ll be using it in an upholstery application.

Glenn: Excellent. I can’t wait to see. And I’m not gonna ask you too many questions about that because you’ve gotta come down there guys and check out HI Connect® Design 2014. Make sure you go to HI Connect® Design.com to see some of the great pictures from last year. Alright, but sustainability, how did consumers feel about it these days?

Pam: Well, I think that in general, people are trying very hard to be more conscious of this. It starts out with recycling within your own home, your water consumption, products that you use that have low VOC’s so when you specify paint, when you look for paint, you should look for something with low VOC’s. And I think the public is really being educated on this constantly.

Glenn: Yeah, I think so, too. And I think it’s one of those things that are really gonna start to become increasingly important. And one of the things that you’re doing, I think with sustainability, is showing that it can be really used in a practical sense, in an everyday basis. Is there a real price differential between traditional fabrics and these or is it really starting to even out?

Pam: Well, I think that it may be a little bit more expensive but when you’re working on an upscale room, it’s probably, it will work out perfectly within that budget’s mindset.

Glenn: Especially when it’s part of the hotel’s overall story, I think. And you can definitely justify those kinds of costs if you’re trying to take that particular focus. But again, I think we’re gonna see a lot more products really working that in. I see a lot of companies like Simmons bedding for example that’s gone through a lot of pains to go through and figure these things out.

And they’ve got very, very little waste now at their factories, which is absolutely amazing to me. And then there are other, even additional companies that I see that are saying hey, we make this product. Let’s go to all the companies that make all the subsets of the product and make them be responsible as well. Are you seeing an increase in that as well?

Pam: Yes, actually one of the other products that are in my room is from Interface Floor and I’m probably going to be using one of their carpets that’s called Net Zero and it’s actually made from the nets that have been left behind on the beaches in the Philippines.

Glenn: Well, that’s interesting.

Pam: It’s very interesting. It’s a very beautiful product, too.

Glenn: Huh. Well, I definitely want to take a look at that. Now, you know one of the things that you’ve been doing is you’ve been doing this for a little while. You know, must be 20, 30 years so you started probably at birth with this business, right?

Pam: Yes.

Glenn: But you had a long rich history of working on a lot of luxury hotels here in New York City and even at the early days of the boutique hotel movement, right?

Pam: Yes, yes.

Glenn: So first tell me a little bit about the luxury hotel experience and what some of the things that you worked on there.

Pam: Well, I’ve always been in the luxury hotel business. I worked on the Regency Hotel on Park Avenue, Stanhope Hotel on Fifth Avenue, and Gotham Hotel on Fifth Avenue, which is now The Peninsula. And then I guess probably my biggest claim to fame is that I worked for Ian [Shrager?] and Steve [Rubell?] when they were starting out doing the boutique hotel.

Glenn: Wow, so tell me what that experience was like. I mean that’s something so completely different. You know, cut your fabric in the luxury business and now this is something completely different. So did you get it? What was your role in it and what happened?

Pam: Oh, well I was the project manager for all the FF&E and I worked with Ian Shrager very closely and he’s a great guy but he doesn’t stand for any mediocrity so everyone around him really needs to be up to par.

Glenn: So how did you guys go ahead and share ideas back and forth to create these hotels?

Pam: Well, Ian Shrager brought in top interior designers and we worked along with them on the project. So I mostly worked with [Felipe Starkoft?] in Paris.

Act now to be a part of this game changing event. For more information relating to this unique and dramatic experience at HI Connect® Design, this April 2-4, 2014 visit HI Connect® Design to learn more and register for this unique event that sets the new standard in hospitality tradeshows.

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