A Decorative Response to Health and Safety

LOS ANGELES—When the general manager of the China office of Nova of California, a leading decorative products manufacturer in the U.S., sent the main office images of tissue boxes taped to the walls of elevators and plastic bottles of hand sanitizers on end tables all over offices, in hotel lobbies and in public spaces in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company decided to add hand sanitizers and UV-C sterilizers to its product offerings.

“Nova has been making decorative products for the hospitality and residential channels for more than 100 years,” said Daniel Edelist, president, Nova of California. “We are industrial designers and our training is to identify a problem and design solutions that are manufacturable.”

In January, the Nova design team was tasked with developing a series of products that would keep staff and guests safe and secure. “As always, we applied our aesthetic principles in ensuring that the products were as beautiful as they were functional,” he said. “Nova has been a valued resource to the hospitality channel for a century and we thought about how we could instill a sense of confidence in a property and offer an elegant solution to a challenging problem.”

The aesthetically designed products can help hospitality send a positive message to guest. “We have all been seeing the unattractive, plastic pump-action sanitizer bottles on every surface, plastic Purell stands, masks, plastic visors and the like, and all of these visuals serve to increase our anxiety and reduce our desire to enter public spaces,” said Edelist. “In a hospitality property or any property, it is imperative to create a beautiful and safe aesthetic that makes entrants feel comfortable and at peace. Placing a plastic bottle on every surface makes people nervous. Offering an elegant piece of furniture that is metal, solid, reliable, touchless and brand-relevant both sends a message that the property management team takes my wellness seriously and that they care about every detail of the interior design.”

Even at a time when the pandemic will be behind us, guest safety will be top of mind for hospitality. “Every hospitality location has the responsibility to keep staff and guests safe, and hand sanitizers have become an essential component of a healthy routine, as have the use of facial masks and more elaborate cleaning standards,” he said. “The use of UVC light as a means of killing harmful bacteria will become a key element in our fight against this and future viruses. We enter a guestroom now and realize how many touchpoints are involved in the check-in process, opening doors, using elevators, switching on lights and using remotes. Those properties that offer safe solutions with touchless check-in, elegant and reliable sanitization methods and UVC sterilization options will gain the confidence of a now-wary guest.”

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