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24 Feb 2023

Sneak preview of The Lobby at HRC, designed by Design Command

Sneak preview of The Lobby at HRC, designed by Design Command

Each year HRC works with innovative design partners to bring to life features, stages and networking areas at the show. This year we're working with Design Command to bring to life The Lobby - an area for hospitality and foodservice professionals to meet, eat, network and business. 

Tell us a bit about Design Command, what work do you do in the hospitality sector?

Design Command is a multi award-winning London and Hertfordshire based Interior Architecture Studio founded in 2013 by Clare McDonald. Our experience in hospitality design stems from the development of the Wildwood restaurant brand, leading to a partnership on over 40 restaurants. Wildwood Liverpool won the Best Overall Restaurant in Another Space award at the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards in 2016.

Key brands we have designed for include Accor, Hyatt Regency, Dim T, Wingmans, Collegiate AC, Mount Anvil & Landmark.

We won the Best Restaurant Design of the Year award at the SBID International Design Awards in 2021 for Mickeys Beach - part of the Michael Caines Collection.

We have recently been selected as one of the TopID firms for 2023 by NEWH.

Since its inception, Design Command has quickly grown, with our designers working on bars, restaurants and hotels across the United Kingdom and Europe.

Why have you decided to join HRC as a design partner for 2023?

We exhibited at HRC in 2022 and were impressed by the show and the connections we made. We knew we wanted to showcase our services again this year so were very excited when we got the fantastic opportunity to become a design partner by designing one of the networking areas. We look forward to sharing our design and connecting with this year’s visitors from the hospitality industry.

What was the brief for the Lobby, and how did you approach the design?

We were asked to design a dedicated space created specifically for networking, hosting meetings and relaxing whilst at the show. Whilst designing the Lobby space we wanted to create an environment that brings the outside in and hugs you.

The idea was to design an effective networking setting built around a central bar to encourage interaction and give the impression of the space being restorative.

We added soft textures with sheers draped around the space to create a comforting vibe.

The choice of botanical prints and zen-like landscapes should contribute to the naturalistic, calm atmosphere of this area.

A hug makes you feel secure and comforted which strengthens social bonds. Our ambition is that the Lobby design will achieve this too.

Design Command The Lobby

Where do you find design inspiration, and how do you learn about the latest trends and materials?

We are lucky to have access to a great range of suppliers and trade fairs which of course will influence us in our design process but it’s not always about following trends. Inspiration can be found in the building, its location, your own lifestyle and interest. Unique design can be created by combining these elements.  Each project we work on is unique and we would draw our main inspiration from a combination of the building’s architecture, site location, client’s vision and the operator’s requirements.

Tell us about the design for the Lobby, are there any suppliers you’d like to shout out?

With the Lobby being located at the very heart of the show we wanted to create an inviting space that people would want to use to sit and relax.  We are lucky to have been working with many suppliers that have helped us bring our design to life. Suppliers include Swyft Home, Panaz, John Lewis Textiles Factory - Herbert Parkinson, Tektura, AEL Solutions, Chelsom, Qraft, T&G Woodware and Fredericks of London.

Design Command The Lobby

How has sustainability informed the design?

Sustainability is important to us in every project we undertake. We look for suppliers producing sustainable products and like to utilise local businesses where possible in the sourcing of design elements. With the Lobby design we sought to work with suppliers committed to reducing their impact on the environment. For example, Swyft as they minimise their impact on the environment as best they can with products that are made from traceable, sustainable timber. The furniture and lighting from the lobby will also be returned and reused.

Find out more about Design Command at

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