SOSS Door Hardware

  • The Higher Demand of Boutique Hotel Architecture


    During the 1980s, a different breed of hotels emerged in New York, London, and San Francisco. Known as boutique hotels, they aimed to set themselves apart from overly ubiquitous big hotel chains. Rather than simply providing lodging and slapping on some amenities, boutique hotels were unique in their style and furnishings. They traditionally targeted people in 20s to 50s, who had more disposable income.

    Now that boutique hotels have become more commonplace with big chains in the game (e.g. Intercontinental Hotel Group with Hotel Indigo), the standards have gone up even more. People expect the personal attention of a small hotel combined with the amenities of a luxury brand.

    Even the very definition of boutique hotels is getting blurred. The “purists” would say that a hotel couldn’t be considered boutique if it exceeds 100 to 150 rooms. That’s due to the belief that it’s harder for a bigger hotel to provide personal experience.

    On the contrary, some would say a hotel size doesn’t play as big of a factor; it’s all about the approach and attitude. As long as hotels answer this one crucial question, they can be considered boutique. Do they entertain and delight? Whether through music, architecture, lighting, unique or specialized themes or art, as long as hotels provide one-of-a-kind atmosphere, they meet the criteria for boutique.

    Even if people disagree on the true definition, one thing is certain about boutique hotels. People want the personal experience. Every room is slightly different and not a cookie-cutter design. Only the essential amenities are provided because too many choices can actually paralyze people when making decisions. But these amenities don’t feel like the “bare minimum.”

    Detail to attention is meticulous. Take door hinges for example. Not too many people think about door hinges, but at many boutique hotels that boast contemporary interior, you’ll notice the hinges are missing.

    These “invisible hinges” are hidden when the doors and cabinets are closed, adding to the smooth and clean lines. Unless the hotels are going for the vintage or classical look, traditional hinges are bulky, take up a lot of room, and detract from the decor. Concealed door hinges solve that problem.

    Boutique hotels also meet higher standards by essentially being mind readers. They go beyond the expensive sheets and memory foam beds. Prior to check in, they’ll ask their guests what their sleeping preferences are and provide accordingly. This ensures every guest has a customized experience.

    In a nutshell, boutique hotels focus on providing quality experience at a personal level, regardless of the size. They pay attention to smallest details, like using hidden hinges on their doors and cabinets. They generally take care to make sure their interior is different and reflects the characteristics of the hotels.

    Hospitality Design Guide

  • Designing for the Disabled with Arthritis On The Rise

    37248616_sLike the rest of the world, the population in the United States is aging fast. That means more seniors will suffer from arthritis.

    But arthritis is not a condition that’s just associated with the elderly. More than 50 million people from all age groups currently suffer from this condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that by 2030, more than 67 million people aged 18 years and older will be diagnosed with arthritis.

    It’s necessary to design homes and products for these people in mind. Home design trends already indicate that there’s a strong interest in “accessible design” that can accommodate multiple generations of people living in the same household.

    Accessible Design Elements

    Not everyone has the luxury of custom-building a house for a family member who has arthritis. But some most of these ideas require a simple retrofitting.

    1. Non-Slippery Floors

    People with osteoarthritis in their knees are more prone to slipping and falling, leading to more serious injuries. Therefore, floors should be covered with slip-resistant materials like nonskid rugs. For people using walkers, low-pile carpeting prevents them from catching on deep pile and falling.

    2. Safe Stairs

    For arthritis patients, stairs or even a slight step can be dangerous and difficult. Although it’s ideal for them to stay on the lowest floor, that might not always be possible. For example, there might be no bedroom on the first floor of a 2-story townhouse. In this case, installing handrails on both sides are a must. If handrails are not enough consider installing a chair lift. Stairways should also have ample lighting to prevent falls.

    3. No Doorknobs

    Being able to open doors by turning doorknobs is something healthy people can take for granted. Arthritis makes it hard, even painful for people to turn a doorknob. A simple solution is installing a lever-style doorknob. There are many arthritis friendly door latches in the market. SOSS is a company that specializes in UltraLatch – a different kind of doorknob that doesn’t require turning or gripping.

    4. Safe Baths

    Many homes come with tubs. Tubs are great for relaxation but they’re not easy to get into and out of for people with arthritis. Step-in showers with low entry solve this problem. Grab bars in the showers and by the toilet can further help prevent falls.

    5. Accessible Kitchen

    Good kitchen design for people with arthritis includes cabinets that are the right height so they don’t have to reach up or bend down. Dishwasher can also be raised for people with back pain.

    Designing for the disabled doesn’t have to be expensive or require a complete remodel of the house. With some creativity, many places in the house can be retrofitted to include all of the design elements above. These ideas will ensure that people with arthritis or other disabilities aren’t living in pain when performing their day-to-day tasks.

  • Achieving Clean Lines with Invisible Hinges

    Too many hoteliers and contractors think 35751525_speople won’t notice a tiny design detail, but that would be wrong. Design is about how it feels as much as how it looks.

    For instance, many people choose to stay at a boutique hotel because it’s smaller, personal, and has more attention to detail.

    One of the ways a boutique hotel shows it has paid attention to detail is through an invisible door hinge.

    It’s often easy to ignore how doors and cabinets are constructed, unless people are unusually perceptive or have a lot of interest in interior design. Yet the small details often stand out in their mind; why do some doors have hinges and others don’t? Exactly when did invisible hinges become a thing?

    How does something so small and seemingly insignificant matter? That’s because a boutique hotel is expected to have a certain premium look to it. When it comes to a high-end, premium look, a lot hinges on the hinges – no pun intended.

    When people stay at premium boutique hotels, they will notice how many doors have no visible hinges – meaning when the door is closed, the hinges are perfectly concealed. As the hinges are flush with the door, this leaves uninterrupted clean lines. It’s a simple idea that has become an architectural triumph in the recent years.

    Invisible Hinge vs. Traditional Hinge

    Deciding what type of hinges to use on doors and cabinets is a matter of what design problem you want to solve. Cabinet doors with visible hinges can achieve a certain classical or vintage look, where the hinges themselves are part of the design.

    But if you want to have minimalist design, visible hinges are not the way to go. A traditional hinge can stand out and detract from the overall design. It’s often a different color from the door and draws unnecessary attention to it. It also takes up room and get “kitchen stuff” caked onto it when used on a kitchen door.

    With an invisible hinge, the door itself becomes the center of attention and decoration. It allows for continuity in design without interruption. A concealed hinge is also relatively inexpensive despite the high-end look it can achieve.

    SOSS specializes in solving design problems with a hidden cabinet hinge and door hinge, offering a variety of extra light to heavy-duty hinges that never need adjusting.

    To see even more hospitality design trends please download our free industry guide to hospitality design by clicking below.

    Hospitality Design Guide

  • Architectural Advancements That Are Helping the Elderly

    10218140_smallDesigning for the elderly is not the same as it is for people in their 20s or even those that are middle-aged.

    Although some trends indicate that homes are now being designed for people to grow old in, it is more common for seniors to move into another home when they lose their mobility. One of the options for those seniors is a senior living community exclusively for the elderly.

    When designing homes for the elderly, many architects fail to see through the eyes of the people who will actually be living in those homes. Many seniors suffer from arthritis or balance disorder. They may have issues with eye sight, hearing, in a wheel chair, using a walker or recovering from a stroke.

    But the homes are often designed without these issues in mind – that’s why there are so many senior homes with steps. Even the tiniest steps can cause problems.

    Poorly designed homes can contribute to poor quality of life. If seniors can’t navigate around their homes with ease, they can’t reasonably take care of themselves.

    Homes designed for senior living don’t always require large changes or investments. They can be simple senior living friendly design changes. Architects just need to see things a little differently. Here are a couple small ideas that have helped seniors.

    1. Step-In Showers

    As people get older, their mobility is compromised. Step-in showers reduce the risk of falls by providing low-entry. Even people in wheelchairs can easily get in step-in showers.

    2. Ultra Latch

    Ultra Latch door latches are ADA compliant senior living door latches. They’re one of the best arthritis friendly door latches currently in the market, designed by SOSS.

    Instead of a traditional doorknob that requires pulling or turning, Ultra Latch is a lever-style that simply requires you to tap, pull slightly (1/2 an inch) or push it lightly to open the door. It’s great for seniors who are suffering from arthritis or have limited dexterity in their hands for any reason, since arthritis patients often have a hard time doing tasks many of us take for granted everyday it can be frustrating.

    Ultra Latch is not only functional and practical, but also aesthetically pleasing. The best thing about it is that it can be retrofitted for all kinds of doors. So as people age or start showing symptoms for arthritis, Ultra Latch can be installed to ease the process of aging.

    Fortunately for seniors, there have been considerable architectural and technological advancements to help them stay healthy and mobile. Wearable devices keep track of heart rate in real time and keep medical professionals and the loved ones updated. Robotic technology like exoskeletons allows less mobile seniors to walk. Simple ideas like step-in showers and Ultra Latch may seem less impressive, but they make all the difference for seniors and may help them stay in their homes and independent longer.

  • What Similarities Do Most High End Hotels Share

    Hospitality DesignNot all hotels are designed the same. Some simply aim to provide a bed for the night while others offer luxury at a premium price. Then there are the ones in-between.

    People stay at high end, ultra luxury hotels for different reasons. Many travel for business. Some may be “travel hackers” who aspire to goals like getting the best deal and hacking different hotels’ reward schemes. For others, it may be a once in a lifetime experience for their honeymoon or special occasion.

    Whatever the reasons there are certain expectations when people stay at high-end hotels. Premium amenities and catering to need is expected. Since they are likely paying the premium price for their stay, they are right to expect all of those. Why do some hotels deliver while others fail?

    Successful high-end hotels, whether they are part of a chain or independently operated, all share common similarities other than their price. Here are three things high-end hotels have in common.

    1. Focus on Sleep Quality

    No matter how luxurious a hotel may be, it is not home. Even the most seasoned road warriors have a hard time sleeping in an unfamiliar bed.

    Everyone knows the benefit of getting a good night’s sleep, but not all hotels show it. This is probably the biggest thing that sets apart high-end hotels from the others - they cater to their guests’ sleep quality. They go beyond the usual Tempur-Pedic beds, expensive sheets and pillow menus; some even offer handmade mattresses.

    2. Attention to Detail

    High-end hotels provide attention to the smallest detail. This can be having a moisturizer ready in the bathroom on a cold day. When the recession hit, even high-end hotels had to cut back on some of their amenities. However, the successful ones have been able to discern which ones to keep and what they could get rid of.

    Attention to detail can show up in the most unexpected way, like invisible hinges. An invisible hinge, whether it is for doors or cabinets, creates a clean line, achieving a look that is modern and premium. Such a look improves the overall experience of the guest. The Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is one hotel that uses invisible hinges throughout the hotel.

    3. Aim to Delight

    High-end hotels are about building relationships and creating a lasting impression to bring people back again and again. Their guests are not simply warm bodies to fill their beds.

    With review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor so rampant, messing up on even the tiniest thing can make or break business. Quality hotels know this better than anyone else. Their goal is not simply to help guests have a good stay; they aim to delight.

    See what other similarities high-end and boutique hotels share in common by checking out our free hospitality design guide.

    Hospitality Design Guide

  • How ADA Compliant Door Latches Improve Senior Living Designs

    doctor discussing arthritis with patient.People with arthritis, and other debilitating medical issues need ADA compliant senior living friendly designs for door latches. They often have a hard time performing seemingly easy tasks. They can’t open a bag of chips. They only wear clothes they can pull on, because their arthritic wrists won’t let them handle buttons.

    They have to weigh the consequences of opening the door and being in pain versus just suffering through the inconvenience. This is a problem. They don’t have to eat chips or wear button-up shirts. But at some point in their everyday life, they’ll have to go through a door, sometimes more than one.

    Many doors are designed with the able-bodied in mind. Grabbing door handles and turning doorknobs are skills that come to toddlers. At age two, kids learn to unscrew jars and manipulate small objects. Arthritis or other forms of disability take away that simple power.

    Arthritis is often associated with seniors, but it’s a condition that can happen to anyone at any age. Doors can be easily retrofitted with arthritis friendly door latches. Here are some options:

    1. Doorknob Grippers

    These grippers fit over existing doorknobs. They make it easier to grasp door handles and reduce stress. Because they don’t require a special tool to install, the convenience factor is high.

    2. Doorknob Extensions

    Door knob extensions offer a 5-inch lever that goes over the existing doorknob so it’s easier to grab and pull down, instead of turning. It requires less pressure to open the door, so it’s good for people with arthritis, one arm, or those who have limited range of motion.

    3. Ergonomic Door Handles

    Traditional door knobs require gripping and turning. For very mild arthritis, doorknob grippers and extensions will do the trick. But more severe arthritis requires a different approach altogether. Many times arthritis gets worse instead of better, so skimping on doorknobs will not work. Enter Ultra Latch.

    Ultra Latch is a special type of doorknob designed by SOSS. It is ADA-compliant and only requires a simple touch; no turning required. It’s also designed to fit human hands, comfortable, and comes in different styles to match any existing door.

    Ultra Latch is ideal for senior living communities and people recovering from long-term disability. Doors that have Ultra Latch installed can be opened using just fingers, an elbow, or the hip.

    Vancouver has the right idea when it comes to door knobs. In Vancouver, door knobs are being phased out. Since March 2013, new housing in the city is required to install levers on doors and faucets instead of traditional doorknobs.

    For seniors to lead productive lives, they’ll need doors that are easy to open. It’s such a simple idea yet it’s surprising to see why most doorknobs aren’t designed to accommodate seniors or people with disabilities.

    Architects designing homes and senior living communities should take a look at the Ultra Latch as one possible solution and creating a better living space.



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