Updating interior furnishings is the icing on the cake for extensive renovations and redesigns at club and resort properties.
Take a seat and lend an ear: Creating a comfortable space that is conducive to socializing and extended visits has become a must for any club or resort property. While newly expanded facilities are important for creating positive, lasting impressions, cozy seating and eye-catching décor often dominate members’ first introductions to the club. As a result, finding the right places to display distinctive indoor furnishings now ranks high on managers’ to-do lists.
Another Place Like Home
As part of the first phase of a two-year, $30 million renovation this past January at Quail West Golf & Country Club in Naples, Fla., the lobby, wine bar, card room and gathering room were all outfitted in a style that General Manager Tony D’Errico describes as “contemporary, but transitional enough to blend nicely with existing architectural features.”
|SUMMING IT UP
• Furnishings should reflect the club’s overall design, yet be comfortable for regular usage.
• Neutral color palettes offer a consistent look for a club that can be enhanced by pops of color in accent pieces.
• Treating furniture for wearability ensures longevity and reduces the possibility of repair or replacement.
Quail West underwent a redesign to better appeal to the tastes of its expanding membership and increase the functionality of its space while remaining stylish. And new furnishings and décor played critical roles in achieving these objectives.
Upon entering the lobby, visitors are now greeted by a centrally located fire-and-water feature that serves as a strong focal point, while cozy couches let guests relax in a comfortable atmosphere. Just off this space is the wine bar, outfitted with a mix of high-top and low-slung chairs around hardtop tables. Fabric colors include blues, grays and whites, which “work exceptionally well with the rich wood casework and stone surfaces,” D’Errico says.
Because of these new touches, D’Errico believes the club meets its members’ expectations.
“Members want a current look for their club, as is evident by the demand for new construction and remodeling of homes,” he notes. “Members consider these spaces as extensions of their homes and enjoy entertaining guests here as well.”
Silver Creek Valley Country Club in San Jose, Calif., also recently underwent a clubhouse-wide renovation. The facility’s two-year project was completed in two phases (upstairs in 2015 and downstairs last year), and the club now boasts new furnishings throughout the common areas, including the casual lounge and bar area.
In one portion of the member lounge area, blue upholstered chairs and leather couches are tempered by a custom leather-panel wall treatment. Another lounge area features blue seating, a low coffee table and a stylish area rug.
“Spaces had to remain flexible for multiple usages, so we tried to not do a lot of built-ins, with the exception of some banquettes and booths, to get a cozier feel,” explains General Manager/COO Alan Deck.
All of the furnishings were custom-built for the club. Tile flooring that resembles wood was selected for its durability, as were fabrics that won’t stain or wear easily. “Most of these [fabrics] should last five to ten years, depending on the item,” adds Deck.
|Establishing Ground Rules
Maintaining new furnishings is a job in and of itself. Clubs must put a cleaning plan in place to ensure the upkeep of these long-term investments.
At Quail West Golf & Country Club in Naples, Fla., some of the lighter fabric colors pose a challenge to keep clean, but the wood-frame chairs and wipeable seats are easier to maintain, says General Manager Tony D’Errico. The new furnishings and rugs have all been treated with a stain-resistant coating, to minimize wear and tear.
Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla., schedules daily maintenance of its furnishings. In addition, an outside company is contracted to perform a deep cleaning on a monthly basis.
At The Cape Club Resort in Falmouth, Mass., all furniture has been treated for wearability and ease of cleaning. Based on the current usage rates, the club predicts the upholstered pieces should remain in good condition for five to seven years, and replacement/repair fabrics have been set aside in case the furniture wears out before then.
A variety of lighting choices were selected not only for aesthetics, but to best fit their respective environments. In the casual-dining areas, LED candelabras and chandeliers provide atmosphere during candlelit dinners, while in the lounge, LED wall sconces are a practical choice for reading or relaxing with friends. Electronic shades were added to help control the amount of outdoor light coming into the room, especially during sunsets.
Although some portions of the clubhouse, including back-of-house food- and-beverage areas, required structural changes, other spaces, such as the banquet space on the main level, did not. Deck credits this decision for helping to reduce downtime while creating an entirely new look for Silver Creek Valley.
“The new look has transformed the spaces into comfortable areas that all levels and ages of membership enjoy using throughout the seasons,” says Deck. “It has definitely been a positive upgrade for the club.”
Members of Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla., are now enjoying the spoils of the property’s new $50 million golf and activities center. As of this past March, the bustling facility boasts all new furnishings throughout its 153,000 square feet, comprised of concept restaurants, outdoor patio dining, locker rooms, and an activity ballroom.
At first glance, the center’s lobby makes a dramatic statement in a palette of cobalt blue, brick red, taupe and silver. Custom-designed furnishings include chairs and couches in different textures, including raw silk, woven-weave textured wool and taffeta, while the carpeting is a 100% wool contemporary pattern designed to blend in with custom-built cabinetry and millwork.
Floor-to-ceiling windows afford ample illumination, along with custom lighting and decorative wall sconces in the lobby. The walls are adorned with artwork featuring bright pops of color, adding to the contemporary look and feel of the club.
“The challenge is to create beautiful and memorable interiors without going too far in making a statement,” says General Manager Matthew Linderman. “We achieved this by introducing new accent colors and architectural features as you move from the lobby to the restaurants, and from the locker rooms to the golf shop.”
Although Boca West’s renovation was not a furnishings-only update, disruption for members was minimal, as it occurred during the club’s shoulder seasons. With such attention to detail and regular care, members have been more than pleased with the changes. To maintain member satisfaction, Linderman believes regular updates like these are vital to the club’s success.
“Clubs have to remain relevant by creating new and exciting venues for their member’s enjoyment,” he says. “Maintaining the property on a daily basis after rebuilding and renovating is key.”
A Breath of Refreshed Air
At The Cape Club Resort in Falmouth, Mass., a club-wide update with all new furnishings occurred last year. “I had informed the team that all existing furnishings were well past their use and had to be replaced 100%,” says Managing Director Ami Milano.
In keeping with the goal of the project—“to bring the ‘old clubhouse’ into the current style, so it would be competitive with other clubs,” says Milano—the property worked with a design firm to develop a full color and design schedule for each area of the club, including the hallways and lounges on the first and second floors.
Awash in a vanilla color palette, the hallways are now outfitted with dark brown, patterned wing chairs that serve as accent pieces and bring color into a neutral hallway. Custom-made chandeliers were designed to be large in scale, but not in height. Stone tile flooring was selected for its wearability and ease of maintenance.
In the lounges on both the club’s first and second floors, furniture was selected for its high-grade, fire-rated fabrics, in a blend of nylon and wool. Once again, a neutral color palette was implemented, not only to complement the wood wall paneling, but to appeal to both genders.
Probably one of the most overlooked, yet vital components of the redesign was the carpeting in the hallways and lounges. A custom-made commercial nylon carpeting was installed for its scale and neutral color, ensuring its ability to withstand wear and tear.
While these touches may appear minimal at first glance, Milano believes they are well worth the investment. “The new furnishings throughout have had a huge impact on the new Cape Club image,” she says. “This upgrading was long past due and needed for the club’s success.”