Furnz Group Limited is a leading interiors business specialising in integrating all space requirements by providing a complete service including design, custom manufacture, procurement, supply and installation. The design led interiors business has been in existence for 15 years and has been working with hotels now for about 10.

“We’re interested in the total project,” design director Maree de Latour said.

Furnz is currently working on Rydges Wellington, which is due to be finished in October. The company’s first major New Zealand refurbishment project was Sky City 10 years ago.

“The hotel market is a huge opportunity with tourism growing all the time. Auckland has a shortage of hotel rooms, same with Queenstown, and it’s only going to get worse. Hotels often want someone to come in and take away the pain of dealing with a multitude of suppliers. We provide hotels that assurity with one phone call if things need to be fixed.”

Furnz does everything from conference rooms to restaurants, and everything in rooms from carpet, lights and wall coverings to furniture, clocks, radios and curtains.

Currently, Furnz is working on a refurbishment at Radisson Blu in Fiji, having just finished The Pearl Resort. De Latour said that logistically, Fiji is very complicated.

“There’s often a disconnect between what is suitable for going into a hotel environment, particularly working in Fiji. Great design is fabulous, but the execution is so important. In Fiji, the execution is particularly difficult. People don’t necessarily understand the environment there; it’s very harsh. A lot of the products here in New Zealand that last five years might last one year there.

“We can’t do anything too trendy, but we do follow trends in a way. There’s no longer a need for big desks. There have been wireless and technology changes. You’ve got to stay up to date. We’re always looking at colours and new products,” said de Latour.

“We also ensure we take into account the housekeeping staff moving around the rooms and the ease for them to maintain the rooms.”

De Latour said lighting is really important, but often it’s forgotten about in hotel rooms.

“We work with lighting consultants to ensure we have the correct task lighting and also ambient lighting. We’re using LED lighting in hotel rooms to create better light and energy savings for the hotel.”

She said that guests’ first impressions after checking in begins in hallways.

“We tend to want to light up corridors and hallways. It makes such a difference to the feel of the hotel. I often say to hotel owners that you want your guests to feel uplifted by the feel of the hotel – brighten both the public areas and the rooms.”