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Hi Jill, tell us, how did you get into interior design? Has it always been the dream?

I studied a BA (Hons) degree in Interior Architecture and Design at Nottingham Trent University. I wanted to be either a clinical psychologist or a designer from the age of 11, but design won through!

What was the Sequoia team’s starting point in the design process and what did you ultimately want to achieve?

We began with the existing architecture and design. We wanted to create a series of relaxed and informal spaces which can be used differently at different times of the week by both individuals and larger groups. It’s important to create a seamless guest experience and be true to the overall hotel brand.

What was your thought process behind the colour scheme?

We wanted to steer away from the very generic and super neutral colour palette normally used within spa lounges and instead add some colour, but keeping the tones soft, natural and warm.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Inspiration can come from all sorts of places and in different ways for each project. Sometimes it comes from the context of the site, such as the architecture, landscape or history of the building, and other times it can come from the subject matter or purpose. Inspiration can also stem from something as simple as an amazing material or piece of furniture.

Were you given a blank canvas or a strict brief for redesigning Sequoia?

We worked closely and collaboratively throughout the design process with the team at The Grove. They had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve. With that said, there are still many different directions that we could have taken with the design so it definitely was a creative process and not strict!

Which area are you most looking forward to seeing the final result?

It’s very hard to choose! The wallpaper in the Garden Room and Pantazi is amazing, and there are some beautiful pieces of furniture like the B&B Italia Crinoline High Back Armchair and Bubble travertine side table. The new ladies’ heat experience includes a hot tub set within seamless plaster walls and floors with back-illuminated onyx panels, which should be a great addition to the whole spa experience.

What has been the biggest challenge to face the team so far?

We’ve had a few challenges thrown our way, but nothing we’ve not been able to resolve! Firstly has been the issue of space as we are trying to make a lot out of a very small area. Secondly, there are ongoing issues in the industry at the moment, such as the long lead times on materials and furniture etc. And finally, it’s been a bit of a challenge to blend the new design with the existing design and still ensuring the seamless guest experience remains.

What has been the biggest or most unusual project you personally have worked on?

In my career I’ve worked on a wide range of projects – from the focus upon teeny tiny spaces, all the way to large hotels. In terms of the most unusual project I’ve worked on, I’d have to pick the aquarium. Instead of designing interiors for the visitors we were designing the interiors for manta rays and jellyfish!

The brand new Sequoia spa is set to be unveiled at the end of April 2022.


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