With 'renew, repurpose and replenish' at the heart of her work, award-winning interior design consultancy Rachel McLane Ltd has just completed the Bike & Boot – Scarborough’s newest hotel.
As well as the design and fit-out of the 65 bedrooms, Rachel's Yorkshire-based designers have created eye-catching common areas including the bar, residents’ lounge, film club and restaurant.
"We were fortunate with the Bike & Boot as the building was once a row of Georgian terrace houses and retains much of the original architecture. Even now, the envelope of the building remains true to its heritage," said Rachel, who heads up a close-knit team of specialist designers experienced in concept design, design detailing and space planning for the hotel, residential, retail and leisure industries.
"It made no commercial sense to strip back and replaster the walls. Rather than hiding the faded grandeur of the original building, we have worked with it and given it a new lease of life.
"My attitude is not to be overly precious; interior design is not about me forcing my ideas onto a client and their customers. Instead, it is about creating something that works for them and enhances their business. It is about producing the best solution we can, for the budget – and that does not mean holding back on quality or design. Good design does not have to cost the earth."
Striving to be local as far as possible, Rachel employed craftsmen and suppliers from the area who were passionate about harnessing their skills to revitalise this once grand feature of the Scarborough seafront. This work has included bespoke case goods, re-upholstering furniture, sourcing local photographs for bedroom doors, creating graphic blinds using original railway poster designs and producing wall mounts featuring bicycle seats and handlebars instead of the traditional taxidermy heads. Other bespoke items in the hotel on Cliff Bridge Terrace include clocks made of brightly coloured bicycle bells and flip flops. Bespoke lighting was created from old bike wheels and crates, and a bespoke handle for the residents’ lounge is based on the ampersand between the 'Bike' and 'Boot'.
A Georgian inspired colour palette was used to paint over the old anaglypta wallpaper giving the rooms a new identity and feel, and the team also designed and commissioned wallpaper based on activity maps of the area and recreated posters of original postcards of Scarborough from its heyday as a fashionable spa resort.
The design and installation of the Bike & Boot's new hotel bar shows all of the company's green, recycling values coming through by giving a second life to the metal back-bar of an old venue in Leeds at the same time as commissioning a Harrogate based company to produce the joinery elements to Rachel McLane's designs.
"If you have been walking or cycling all day, you want to be able to relax and feel at home," said Rachel. "The team sourced the bar furniture with that in mind - some of it was new and some of it was pre-loved and repurposed. An old chair can be upholstered by a skilled tradesman, and by choosing fabric of the right quality and design, the result looks great and provides the luxury of comfort.
"Renew, repurpose and replenish is an ethos at the heart of our work. I believe in avoiding sending things to landfill or bonfires whenever possible, and I am glad to say we have done our little bit with some of the bar and restaurant furniture at The Bike & Boot. This has also helped to reduce our carbon footprint in shipping in new products," added Rachel, who worked on the concept of the Bike & Boot for two years with its directors Simon Kershaw and Simon Rhatigan, and for the last nine months with the local refurbishment contractor Infiniti Roofing & Construction.
"We are thrilled with what we have achieved with the Bike & Boot. From a design perspective, it is all in the detail and we certainly had fun with this project."
Imbuing the hotel with a sense of fun is also a key unique selling point of the Bike & Boot which can be seen in a feature light in the hotel reception made from several pairs of boots that have racked up a few thousand miles between them!
Rachel McLane Ltd and The Bike and Boot would like to thank Scarborough Museums Trust for the use of images from the Scarborough Art Gallery's collection.
The Bike & Boot will open on July 20th;