Architecture

  • Modern vs. Classic: Fusing the Old and New in Hospitality Design

    The golden age of hotels brought us ornate and lavish features including large moldings, vast amounts of granite (among other stones), and gilded hardware. These statements of style are almost but a memory, but still have an impact on design today.

    In contrast, during the traveling era of the 1950’s and 60’s, many families would spend weeks at a time on the road. Driving from county to county until they reached a hotel or motel on the side of the road. The group would catch some shut eye and hit the road at first light to their next stop.

    This period of lodging was based around minimalistic needs and price, rather than comforts and luxury.

    The first brought sophistication and exclusivity. The latter turned hotels into an industry for all to join in. Now, it’s changing again.

    The New Era

    In the era of the millennial traveler we seemingly have a merger of the two. Business travelers still do look for a place to rest their head in between work, and families are looking to find affordable hotels.

    For some traveling Millennials old is new and a unique experience with each stay is at the top of the checklist.

    With hotels bidding for guests’ attention, it can be difficult to attract guests during the industry’s identity crisis. The solution?

    Fuse the experiences together to form a new experience for a new patron.

    Finding the Core Desires

    Fortunately, the two examples had drastically different approaches to dealing with guests. Before you think this is a negative, think again. The polarized needs help you identify what current guests want in terms of design.

    Luxury

    It’s obvious that early hoteliers focused on providing a one of a kind experience for guests. This included everything their eyes came in contact with from floor to ceiling. While most new travelers don’t want to stay in a 100+ year old hotel, you can be sure they want to feel like everything is quality.

    From the lobby to their room, everything has to be modern, clean and smooth. Spa like bathrooms, functional and beautiful furniture, and great features. They’ll also want to feel the quality in the craftsmanship. Poor quality materials and hardware can give a cheap feel to an otherwise beautiful design. One way to make your design stand out to guests is with quality door hardware that creates clean lines and adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your rooms and common areas.

    Simplicity

    On the other side of the coin, those same travelers don’t want to be bogged down with processes and other issues. Streamlining the check-in/check-out procedures, designing large open spaces meant for a laptop crowd, and always having a power supply close by will meet all of the practical needs of the passing through traveler.

    A place to grab a bite to eat near the lobby, a USB port right by the bed, and not having to ask the whereabouts of certain necessities will keep the road warriors happy.

    Connectivity

    In the golden age of hotels with the classic styles connectivity meant telegrams quickly delivered to important guests. Today it is a fast and secure Wi-Fi. Travelers today are used to be always being connected to the world around them through social media and electronic communications. A fast (and complimentary) Wi-Fi can mean the difference between a traveler choosing your hotel or not.

    If your hotel can bring luxury, excellent service, a unique experience and connectivity together you will be on the fast track to serving more guests and business growth. At SOSS we can help with the unique experience by giving you quality door hardware that appears in some of the world’s great hotels such as Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver.

    If you are interested in learning more about hospitality trends take a moment to download our free special report on the hospitality design trends.

  • Senior Living Community Design Improves Quality of Life

    Residents of Senior Living Community Enjoying Game

    First off, if you are an architect and part or all of your focus is senior living community design we would like to thank you for helping this valuable part of the population. This compliment may sound cheesy (and tie in extremely well with our topic), but it’s genuine. Thank you.

    With each and every new build or remodel, you make these buildings even more capable of taking care of the loved ones of countless families. That’s no small feat. Although, we probably wouldn’t be going out on a limb to say that you don’t often think of it that way.

    Well you should.

    Here are a few ways you are extending and improving the lives of others with your designs.

    Increased Happiness

    There are so many things that have come into play over the last decade when designing these spaces. Before a nursing home or retirement community wasn't always the most pleasant or welcoming place to spend time. Now, they are more like fine hotels or upscale communities on golf courses or with other nice amenitities.

    Things like pet-friendly design, upscale eateries, shopping nearby, activities such as golf, nature walks, swimming and other great activities and spacious accommodations are helping residents make the most of what is often times situations that can be hard on both the senior and their families.

    Increased Independence

    No one wants to feel like a burden, and whether you know it or not, that thought goes through every resident’s head when they are looking for a community to call home. Taking accessibility to the next level has allowed so many more people the chance to live a relatively independent life with minimal assistance.

    This cause is one we take seriously as well, and it’s why we designed the Ultralatch. It’s the best door entry latch on the market for the disabled. Here a list of online retailers and distributors.

    Increased Longevity

    The design elements of elderly community have never been better. State of the art nursing facilities are able to perform more procedures and keep people on property instead of costly doctor’s visits. In room accessibility for staff has never been better to give the care and attention needed at a moment’s notice. All of these improvements helps to boost quality of life and longevity for residents.

    There really are so many benefits for residents from today’s designs and it is truly exciting to think about what the future holds for the industry. If you would like to learn about other improvements and trends in senior living please take a moment to download our special report by clicking below.

  • Invisible Hinges for Quality and Timeless Design

    road signs to quality; features; reliabilitiy;  durabilityThere are tons of fads in the design industry, but SOSS Invisible Hinges aren't among them.

    In the 1970’s, it was shag carpet and yellow or brown paint. In the eighties, people were all about cold black and white. Not to mention those glass blocks were everywhere. But where are those timely aesthetics now?

    At best, in the history books. At worst, they’re getting torn down and replaced within a few years.

    When we think about our homes and properties and wanting them to last, there are two things to consider.

    1. Quality that will last as long as the foundation.
    2. Designs that are always in style.

    If you can account for these two things in your remodel or new build, chances are that your kids may want it as an inheritance, or it will be an easier sell without much staging cost involved.

    You may be thinking, “What does that have to do with invisible hinges?” Good question. If you’d give us a few moments, we’ll give you a few reasons.

    Invisible Hinges for Quality and Design

    Invisible Hinges Don’t Go Out of Style

    You know what happens when you look at those glass blocks in your bathroom with regret and disdain? You must live with them or pay to fix it.

    The same is true with hinges. Right now, brushed nickel is in, but the “farmhouse” look is coming in fast. What about mid-century modern? Could be on the horizon. These designs have certain hinges that complete “the look”, but with invisible hinges, there is no inherent look—only what they create.

    What is it they create? Clean lines.

    Which, as far as we can tell, have never went out of style. To our knowledge, no one has walked into a room and said, “I hate it. Where are all the hinges!”. We could be wrong, but mostly people are happy with everything looking so smooth.

    The look is timeless and if you want to change things up, the hinges will adapt way better than those big, black farmhouse hinges.

    Good Invisible Hinges Don’t Require Maintenance or Repair

    Ever heard something like, “Oh, the house is settling and the doors just don’t open right anymore.”?

    Yep. It’s a common myth. We say myth, because 9 times out of 10—the problem isn’t the house “settling”. It’s the hinges. Some people even buy adjustable hinges to plan ahead for this myth.

    Warning: Please don’t buy adjustable hinges. They are way more trouble than they’re worth.

    If you really want the doors and cabinets of your home to function well with limited maintenance, use quality hinges. If you want them to last for a lifetime, use SOSS invisible hinges. Our hinges are made from nice, weighty metal and constructed to keep doors hung right for decades. No settling.

    Check out our catalog for more information.

     

  • Why Tech Trends in Hotels Matter for Architects & Designers


    modern tech friendly hotel lobbyEvery architect wants to design a space that is durable and functional (not to mention beautiful). These desires are especially true in the hospitality industry. Is elegant design enough? Tech friendly hotels are non-negotiable to today's tech savvy traveler.

    Creating clean lines (using hardware like our SOSS Invisible Hinges), great work space for the busy traveler, and rooms that are simply breathtaking are non-negotiable needs in today’s hotel marketplace. But do tech trends play a part during the design?

    Absolutely. Let’s look at a couple reasons we think so.

    The Elephant in the Room(s)

    If you have spoken with anyone in the hospitality industry for more than a few seconds you may have heard the word millennial. Like it or not they will shape the way hotels are built (are already are).

    These young travelers have a different definition of luxury than previous generations. While “getting away” used to be a priority; it has been replaced with staying as connected as possible.

    The need for constant access to high tech devices is real and not just the normal things either (e.g. smartphones and laptops). Things like free HBO and Showtime are losing their appeal to the young. Instead, millennials want access to their own Netflix and Hulu accounts. Connected TV’s and more USB ports (along with other tech features) must be more than an afterthought in your next design.

    Work Gets Priority

    Travel (as we already mentioned) is becoming more connected, even to handle business. With the new generation of traveler comes a new way to work. The boundaries of business and pleasure have become blurred and more people can take care of “office” work inside the hotel that you will design.

    If that hotel makes it easy.

    Ever go in to a cookie cutter hotel and see one desk with a computer from 2001 sitting on it?

    That type of set up won’t fly. Think of a hotel that offers a smaller (but fully functional) co-working space. That’s what you should strive to create.

    Smile, You’re on Camera

    Have we mentioned that travelers want to stay connected while on the road? Because they do. Your lobbies, rooms, restaurants and every other square inch will be all over every social media platform you know about (and some you don’t). This unsolicited promotion puts things right back in your wheel house, design.

    However, you’ll need to keep the “selfie-factor” in the back of your mind while designing those spaces you would normally think go unnoticed. One Instagram post in front of an unsightly janitor closet will still show the name of that hotel to the world.

    We hope that you are looking at these technological influences for your next design, and we also urge you to consider SOSS Door Hardware to help create those clean lines and selfie proof spaces. For more information on our invisible hinges click here.

  • Invisible Hinges Are Worth the Effort and Money

    SOSS Invisible Hinges Make Clean Lines & Elegant Entryways.We may be biased, but at SOSS, invisible hinges matter to a design and build. These small items can have a big impact on the look, feel, and quality of your project.

    It may be helpful to take a look at several instances that invisible hinges make the most since. We’ll go over several of these scenarios and discuss the benefits.

    Number One: Building or Remodeling Your Own Property

    If you’re looking to build a new home that could be the last one you live in, quality is something that will always be on the forefront of your mind. Everything that you put on or in your home needs to be scrutinized.

    Sure, budgets exist. But creating clean lines and elegant entryways aren’t a place to save a buck. Spend a little extra on quality invisible hinges.

    Our invisible hinges are built to last, and once installed correctly, you will never have a door or cabinet give you problems. How do we know? Well, we’ve been making them for over 100 years and some of those early editions are still opening and closing doors 100 years later!

    Number Two: Building Luxury Property

    Nice condos, high-end apartments, or large homes are prime real estate for our hinges. People always like to “kick the tires”. And with all of the flipping and building going on, it’s kind of expected that things look nice.

    It’s the “extra mile” that really moves property.

    Laminate, or hardwood? Marble or quartz? It’s decisions like this that add to Realtors conversations with prospective buyers. Hinges can be on this list. How about doors and cabinets that are seemingly hung from nothing and will last decades?

    This could be a selling point that helps push buyers over the edge.

    Number Three: Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, and Cottage Rentals

    If you are a small hotelier looking to keep your market share, it’s the quality and look that is going to do it.

    Beyond having stellar hospitality, great food, and comfy bedding—it’s all about the style and “feel” of your location. Help it along by creating smooth, clean lines using invisible hinges. Sure, your guests won’t say “I love those hinges”, but they will absolutely love the look of your rooms and guest areas.

    They’ll also last a lifetime.

    Number Four: Replacement Doors and Cabinets

    Even if you’re not doing a full remodel, sometimes things break. This is especially true if you are using typical hinges. If they were installed improperly or just aged, doors can sometimes start to stick and drag the ground.

    If you don’t want that to happen anymore—use a good quality invisible hinge. The SOSS invisible hinges are designed and built to remain on the doors for their entire lifetime without ever dragging or sticking.

    If you’re ready to start one of these projects, or any other area that invisible hinges would be needed, take a look at our catalog.

  • Boost Your Style: Upgrade to Invisible Hinges

    Interior designer's working table, an architectural plan of the house, a color palette, furniture and fabric samples in yellow and grey color. drawings and plans for house decoration.
    Binge watching episode after episode of the many home improvement shows? Looking to sell your house soon?

    There are so many things that can motivate us to remodel our home. Big changes to the bathrooms and kitchen can have an amazing impact on the value and the speed in which a house sells. But if you do watch those improvement tv shows, they may not tell you how many small details go into pulling off “the look”.

    You see flooring and tile, but if you really want it to look as good as the camera makes it seem—you’ll have to read between the lines.

    One of those features are invisible hinges. Here’s why.

    Traditional Hinges Aren’t Part of the Picture

    Very rarely do designers and stylists plan to have hinges in their renderings. They are strictly function. No one has said, “those are some awesome hinges!”. We joke, but it’s true. If they aren’t part of the look and feel of the design, they shouldn’t be there.

    Invisible hinges (like ours) make that happen. The doors and cabinets stay functional without getting in the way of the vision you laid out.

    Clean Lines, Clean Lines, Clean Lines

    While hinges aren’t part of your vision, clean lines probably are. Making kitchen cabinets seamlessly stream along the wall, or having doors that just mesh into the rest of the wall’s design are the little things that can bring a big “wow factor” to your home.

    Remember, your friends or potential buyers will not ask you where the hinges are, or point out that they can’t see them (unless they work for SOSS). However, they will rave about the clean lines and how everything looks so smooth. You can’t create that look with a bulky hinge sticking out of those same doors and cabinets.

    Secret Rooms Anyone?

    Adding a secret room to your home is something we’ve talked about a lot. Not only is it super cool, but it’s hard to think of anything else that can get more of a reaction out of friends, neighbors, and buyers.

    Whether it’s a safety feature, a secret place for valuable, or just a cool hangout for the family—secret rooms are awesome and can add some serious character to your home.

    Of course, it wouldn’t be a secret if you could see the entrance. That’s where the invisible hinges come into play.

    In the end, invisible hinges are better for style. They don’t show up unannounced to the visual party, but function in the way you need them. If you want to seriously step up the look and feel of your home during a remodel, choose SOSS hinges to help.

  • Summer's Here! Senior Living Design for All Seasons

    senior couple enjoying a day at the lake

    There are so many nuances to designing a senior living residence, complex or nursing home for a senior living community. The care residents will need as they age, their interests, desires, the list of variables goes on and on.

    There is one element of your design that may go unnoticed in a sense. Obviously, by the title we are talking about the natural elements. Putting together a place that the community can enjoy all year round will draw attention to your design as well as keep this very special part of society happy in their golden years.

    Here are a few tips to designing for seniors in all four seasons of the year.

    Capitalize On Fall

    The fall (in most areas of the U.S.) is full of brisk, yet enjoyable days of the year. Leaves are turning and, for many, it’s a happy time before deepest darkest winter rolls in to town. Depending on where you are there are a few ways to design for this time of year. Here’s one to get you thinking.

    Tip: Outdoor fun with games. Design the area with natural wind barriers so it doesn’t get too chilly and it will be used more than in the summer.

    Bundle Up During Winter

    Winter is the no-go zone for the elderly. It’s too cold and too dangerous to get out in harsh conditions. These setbacks obviously mean the use of different design elements, but there is one you may not have thought about.

    Tip: Winter time usually causes more complaints about minor aches and pains. Blame on inactivity or the cold weather, but arthritis and other problems tend to flare up. Using fixtures that make it easier to get around (kind of like our Ultralatch) will help residents feel more independent.

    (If you’re interested in the UltraLatch, you can find a list of dealers here.)

    Be Considerate During Spring

    Spring is rainy, but beautiful. Members of the community will want to enjoy it, but medical conditions and other restraints may make the wetness an issue. Building large sitting areas with big windows will help, but you could go a step above.

    Tip: Design covered walkways and breezeways to give people either the ability or (at least) the illusion of being outside to enjoy the spring.

    Go All Out in the Summer

    The elderly tend to skew naturally colder than most able-bodied adults. There are several medical reasons for this, but we’re no doctors. What we can tell you is to make sure your ready for an outdoor party for most of the summer.

    Tip: There are obvious places where the summer is extremely hot and humid. This could be a cue for you to take the party indoors, or design shady areas to curb the heat.

  • Senior Living Design for the Needs of Residents and Families

    It’s important that design be done with both elderly residents and their families in mind. One of the worst mistakes a designer can make is to design a room that’s not functional. It’s important to realize that one of the most important features in senior living, retirement, and nursing homes are door handles. An easy to open, properly functioning door is something that should be incorporated into the design of all rooms and homes for the elderly and disabled.

    Door Handles for Residents

    Door handles should be chosen and incorporated into design with easy access being at the front of your mind. Elderly residents often times have disabilities that prevent the necessary movements required to turn a doorknob. Design should take this into consideration. One of the things that’s recommended is to get the opinion of the elderly home facility. What kinds of problems are their residents having when opening doors? What design features seem to work best? What makes things easier for residents? The answers to these questions can be invaluable information that will help you come up with the perfect design. Many residents find a door latch that uses a push/pull activation system instead of a twisting motion works better. The UltraLatch uses a push/pull activation system.

    Door Handles for Families

    It’s often forgotten, but the resident’s family will have to access the room as often as the resident. It’s important that design be done with this in mind. Door handles (like our UltraLatch) should be easy enough to operate that family members can simply open the door and walk in the room. No hidden locks, tricks, or gimmicks. It should be easy. The worst thing that can happen is blocked access due to a complicated, confusing door handle. This can be annoying and even dangerous.

    Special Door Hardware

    Special door hardware is now more readily available than ever. There are numerous options available to designers. Keep in mind that you’re designing for both the resident and their family and you’ll be able to make a good decision when choosing the best type of special door hardware. Always remember: the goal is easy access.

    The job of designing for the elderly and disabled is a tricky one. When you keep the goal of safe and easy access in mind, it becomes much easier. Use some of the ideas presented in this article to help you. Residents and their families will thank you.

  • Designing an Independent Hotel that Attracts a "Name Brand" Crowd

    Independent Hotel DesignIndependent hotels are hip, quirky, and fun. Big brand name hotels are polished, organized, and trusted. Those points are necessarily argued, but is there a way for a one-stop shop to attract and win over those guests that prefer to stay at the big names in the travel industry?

    We think so, but it won’t be easy.

    Whole teams are put together for the entire process from real estate buying, marketing and design (of course). Smaller organizations are at a disadvantage from the start, but that’s ok. Here are a few crucial tips to draw a few eyeballs and hopefully some guests onto your property.

    Smile for the Camera

    A quick search on Airbnb or any other travel site and you will immediately see a difference. A boutique hotel that looks like a hot mess here and a small chain with a bad photographer there. You’ll also notice the mundane, yet professional photos of the hospitality giants.

    By purposefully designing a few key spots, you will always have the photogenic side of your new build. Not that every part of your hotel shouldn’t be beautiful, but putting in a few spaces that will look good on Expedia will help the owner raise eyebrows as well as rates.

    Don’t Skimp on the Details

    This one is obvious. You have probably been traveling to a new area and decided to go to dinner. You walk in somewhere new and see red and white dollar store table clothes and metal chairs from Costco.

    It’ll be a while before you try something different.

    The same effect can be true for your lodging design. Boutique hotels are often rebuilt roadside motels or other abandoned buildings. This repurposing is part of the charm, but don’t mistake that as an excuse to keep those old fixtures.

    Older looking furniture, lamps, and storage will need to be updated for things with a high-end feel and clean lines. Try a professional, yet warm design in the room with invisible hinges and updated fixtures.

    Wide Open Spaces

    Our last key to attracting those brand loyal travelers is to mimic the open design of the typical chain lobby. Most of the bigger luxury hotels will have a large open style to their main spaces. Guests easily find the front desk and don’t feel cramped. Small spaces can lead to confusion and a tense feeling.

    Again, many of the remodeled independents need to be opened up from the older “cozy” lobby designs. Doing so will help you draw attention and a few more patrons from the big guys.

    If you need to create a high-end look in your independent hotel, SOSS creates the best invisible hinges in the world. Be sure to check out our catalog and our dealer page to learn more.

     

  • 3 Reasons Invisible Hinges are Safer Than Butt Hinges

    Everyone wants to live in a safe home.

    Not just safe from intruders, but a dwelling that will protect family members instead of potentially harming them; especially youngsters. Homeowners around the world are becoming more aware of both quality and safety when it comes to choosing building materials for their homes. It makes sense that even seemingly small choices (like door hardware) can make a big impact in how safe and secure a house or apartment can be.

    We’ll go over just a few reasons that invisible hinges can actually make your home safer than the traditional hinges commonly seen.

    Reason One: Harder for Intruders to Break In

    Yep, robbers and thieves can bypass locked doors if they have access to the hinges. If you don’t think it’s an issue simply watch the video below of a how easy it is to remove door with a little $3.00 tool from any home improvement store. With tons of videos like this floating around the Internet what are the chances, some of those people are thieves attending the "higher education" for their profession?

    With SOSS Invisible Hinges, there are no pins to remove because the entire hinge mechanism is built into the door frame. There is no way to access them when the door is securely locked. With a great door lock on a door fixed with SOSS hinges, it is much harder for would-be intruders to enter a home.

    Reason Two: Zero Opportunity for Snags

    If you’re moving furniture, passing another family member, or just not paying attention it’s easy to get “caught up” in a traditional hinge. The thing is just hanging out waiting to grab hold of whatever it can. Have you ever had to remove a door completely off the hinges just to move a piece of furniture through it?

    It should go without saying that using our invisible hinges means no more snagged clothes or furniture. These hinges are embedded into the door and frame and aren’t lurking to harm you or your family.

    Reason Three: Incredibly Durable by Comparison

    No matter how high-end your traditional hinges are, they aren’t built in a way that can stand the test of time. Over time, doors will droop and scuff floors. They will also not swing correctly, causing potential for harm.

    SOSS Invisible hinges, on the other hand, are made to last. Many of the hinges we’ve sold are still used in buildings over 100 years old. The steel construction will keep doors hung evenly and swinging the way they were first intended for decades.

    Safety is important. When it comes to the place you and your family are living, even the small details can make a huge impact on the safety and durability of the place you live. Using invisible hinges instead of the traditional style can be one of those decisions that make a big difference—one that you won’t regret.

    Invisible-Hinge-DG

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