Along with comfort and a pleasing aesthetic, part and parcel of a well-designed modern guest room is storage. Easily overlooked for the drama of the AV solution, the luxury bed or the cool bathroom, nevertheless, somewhere to store your stuff is fundamental if guests are to enjoy their experience. Oxfordshire-based Draks has been designing and manufacturing wardrobe and sliding doors solutions for many years and now has products specifically developed for the hotel market. John Legg met Draks’ managing director James Fletcher.
Wardrobe and room-divider specialist Draks”¨ has a long and successful record in developing commercial, design-led products for the housebuilder market, across modest and more large scale contracts, for a demanding clientele. This service-oriented experience and creative flair allied to a central-UK manufacturing operation puts the business in a good position to work effectively with the hospitality market.
Having started out in London manufacturing shutter systems, Draks moved to its current premises in 2007. At this time, the shutter business was falling away to lower-cost manufacturing nations and Draks had begun to work with a German sliding door company selling wardrobe doors and room dividers.
In 2008, as the housebuilding market started to falter, Draks started to build the business it has become today.”¨
James Fletcher, Draks managing director, comments: “In 2008 the housebuilding market slowed and then came to a grinding halt, but we had other lines of business even then.
“We now work with a group well known mid- high end housebuilders and we enjoyed two or three years supplying premium products, whilst some of our competitors fell away. In fact, we are still picking up accounts today as a result of some suppliers cutting back too much, stripping themselves back to the point where they weren’t able to service this type of demanding client anymore.”
Over the last three or four years, the company has spent time to develop its products, fine tune its manufacturing facilities and the relevant supply chains and qualifications, such as FSC timber, water-based finishes, the most reliable hardware and so forth.
In so doing, the company has created its own niche – there are well-known brands which dominate the mid-market and there are bespoke joinery outfits sitting in the upper market – Draks occupies ground between those two markets. This is a territory which requires a high calibre of design and demands a highly flexible, modular, system-based solution with an efficient delivery and installation service. Draks is an aspirational, design-led offer beyond the mid-market, cheaper than bespoke joinery, and arguably better made than both.
All of the company’s products are manufactured in the UK at its Upper Heyford office and factory in Oxfordshire using European design elements which are carefully adapted to suit the UK market.
The use of aluminium and solid wood in a wide range of standard and optional finishes with a range of profiles allows designers to create bespoke solutions using the modular concept.
One of the latest introductions from Draks is Jericho, an exciting and stylish statement solution for hotels. With horizontal grooves and discreet recessed handles, the doors are sleek and modern whilst offering great versatility and an attractive price point for designers and specifiers.
Manufactured in-house, the Jericho collection can be supplied with short lead times. The flexibility of its own production process means that Draks can be made to suit the individual needs of the customer and can be designed to fit any space. An in-house spray shop using high quality finishes allows colours to be tailored to specific needs whilst maintaining the highest quality finish.
As with all Draks products, Jericho is fitted”¨by the company’s own team of CSCS registered installers ensuring complete control over delivery schedules and product quality. Jericho can be specified with a basic interior or with options such as PIR LED lighting, and a full selection of wire accessories such as racks and baskets.
James Fletcher comments: “The Jericho collection of sliding wardrobe doors is an exciting addition to our range and is ideally suited to”¨the hotel marketplace. Stylish, high quality and versatile storage is increasingly demanded by hotel specifiers at all levels and Draks is committed to delivering innovative solutions.”
Another design solution being favoured by the creative communities for upscale situations and boutique hotel designs is that of multi-functional spaces where guestroom and living spaces can be as one space – or divisible – and more adventurously, the bathrooms can become involved too in an endeavour to create a free-flowing, open-feel space.
In addition, suites focused on the business/ leisure market (bleisure) are using sliding door solutions between the private and living spaces to allow for more formal business meetings.
Again produced in-house at its Oxfordshire facility, Draks’ room dividers are simple and impressive. The durable aluminium room dividers run in a rebated track so even large doors have great stability. With the top track acting only as a guide, the dividers can be installed easily in places with problematic ceiling construction.
Available in a wide choice of mirrored, laminated and coloured glass infills, and frames with brushed, anodised, powder-coated or with a RAL colour, Draks room dividers can be designed to suit practically any size with a finish to suit any decor scheme.
In addition to Draks’ well designed products,”¨its key attribute is its customer service ethos -“¨the company works closely with its customers to achieve the desired design result, quickly, right first time and with the minimum of fuss. Add to that the ability to specify from a huge range of finishes and design combinations, and activates, specifiers and interior designers have access to a business which has perfected the art of making and supplying premium wardrobes and room dividers to the UK hospitality market.