We are delighted to introduce Gareth Humphreys, the interior architect who has been responsible for creating the look and feel of the stunning new look Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa.
He tells us about his passion for design and how he chose the various elements and blended them to achieve not only a luxurious place to visit, but a calm, relaxed atmosphere, perfect for a Lake District getaway.
Early Passion for Design
When did your love of Interior Design start?
As a son of an architect, I remember design discussions we had. From a very early age I was often holding the end of a measuring tape on a building site. My interest was piqued from then on.
I enjoy all forms of design - architecture, product design, furniture, ceramics and textiles - but decided to qualify as an interior designer. Probably a better description is interior architecture as this encompasses all aspects of design and relates more to the built form and spacial analysis rather than just decoration. I’ve been doing this now for over 30 years.
Low Wood Bay and a Good Mannered Design
What aspects of new Low Wood Bay are you most pleased with?
We completed the re-design of the original hotel bedrooms last year. Concentrating on the existing architecture, we were ‘respectful’ to it and adopted a ‘good manners’ approach to design, combined with a response to the magnificent location. Examples of that would be the carpets which are custom designed with ripples and serpentines swirls, subtle wave textures to wall coverings, shimmering bedspreads and soft furnishing fabric inspired by waterfalls and dry stone walling so common in the area.
Blue Smoke restaurant was completed just after the original bedrooms. The concept there was conceived by taking inspiration from the Low Wood Bay area. We studied the colours of the pebbles, reeds and driftwood washed up on the shore. These inspired the colours, tones and ambience of the restaurant, combined, of course, with a theatrical yet functioning flame grilled cookline.
Blue Smoke - Cooking on Wood
The Rum Room
Initial concept drawings of Blue Smoke on the Bay
We have formed a series of varying spaces from secluded booth seating, theatre cookline seating to the quieter lake room and rum room dining with a view of the lake. The conservatory gives an indoor/ outdoor feel. In addition, we were able to provide an outside dining area complete with firepits which maximises the enjoyment of the Lake District experience.
The Atrium which makes the most of the stunning lake views
The Atrium was a collaboration with the architects. They designed the space, and we then had the task of making it a welcoming area. We made full use of the views across the lake, and to complement the juice bar we introduced a fresh green real moss wall, with pure white counters and copper panelling. This reflects a fresh healthy concept.
Normans - Healthy Snacks for a Healthy Lifestyle
The Spa at Low Wood Bay
And the inspiration for The Spa?
Initial ideas board
Again we took inspiration from the existing architecture and its location. Formerly a coaching inn and stable, we were able to retain some of the original features such as the hay racks and rough stone walling. Together with the marina, which can be seen from The Spa, we formed a vocabulary of shapes based on boat hulls for the seating area in Reception and also in the treatment room shelving.
Reception at The Spa - remarkably similar to the concept drawings
Initial concept sketches
We utilised materials such as reclaimed timber which was sourced from old barns. This was used it for cladding, furniture and shelving. We added large format tiles which give the appearance of rusting metal panels. Areas have been subdivided with twig screens using locally felled silver birch trees. This help to zone areas but maintain views through. Totem fires have been incorporated for a welcome warmth and focal point. Use of the rough, characterful, reclaimed wood, the rusting tiles and peeling bark of the birch trees forms a natural contrast.
The Hidaway - our luxurious private retreat for two
Original mood board for The Spa
The challenges of hotel design are both wide and varied. We have worked on various English Lakes hotel projects over twenty years and we collaborate closely in terms of the aesthetics and the operational requirements. Design is a team based activity and the results are always a success due to our close working relationship. All of the completed designs have had great involvement from the teams at the hotel. Their close input throughout the design process is invaluable. At the end of the day it must be aesthetically pleasing but must work operationally!
Good for You, Good for the Environment
We gave you an environmental challenge, how was that?
The whole scheme is balanced to complement the environment and offer a luxurious experience. We try where possible to specify local and relevant materials, also local trades. Many of the materials we have used have been chosen not only because of their relevance to the visual design, but also to support local industries. Examples of this are the carpets which are made from pure undyed Herdwick sheep; bespoke bedroom furniture, designed by ourselves, but manufactured by local craftsmen. Just a couple of examples, but demonstrate our approach to materials wherever possible.
Book your Low Wood Bay Spa Experience Now
The 'phone at The Spa at Low Wood Bay is ringing and they are now taking bookings for Spa Days and Treatments. Give us a call 015394 39303.