What We Do
Kollath-McCann is a different kind of design firm. For over twenty years, we’ve created environments for national magazines, television programs, retail establishments, event producers, and select hotels.
A Different Kind of Hospitality
During the last ten years, we’ve been privileged to work on renovation and redecoration projects at several National Historic Site properties around the country. Along with the owners and operators of these special places, our role includes a measure of stewardship that aligns with the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm.
Whether it’s a guest room or a lobby, a restaurant or a restroom, we consider every design assignment with the same attention to detail – a thorough and respectful approach that has earned us the trust and confidence of our clients — as well as National Park Service historians who scrutinize our work each step of the way.
A Fresh Approach to Design
Design should solve problems, improve operations, and reflect a specific sense of place. We believe how a room works is as important as how it looks – a convergence of layout, decoration, and functionality. It’s about planning and implementing an entire range of operational, safety, and aesthetic decisions; it’s about working with contractors and clients to make things happen within a set schedule and budget.
We bring a unique set of credentials to each project, drawing on our collective experience in teaching, television production, art history, journalism, floral design, textiles research, public relations, event planning and more. We offer no cookie cutter, by-the-numbers designs. The concepts we develop are the result of homework – hours and days spent researching photo archives and studying antique postcards with a magnifier to decipher textile patterns and other details nearly lost to history. That’s not decorating – it’s design forensics. And while we aren’t trying to recreate the space as it once was, the information we glean from our research keeps us mindful of the original intent and helps us build interpretive value into our designs.
Is it Good for the Guest?
Making a space attractive is just one component of a successful design. The time we spend working to understand what a place once was — and what makes it tick – will enable us to help you make it better for your guests. While maintaining the integrity of a room’s architecture and history, we’ll find a better way to integrate that trash receptacle, suggest changes that eliminate a housekeeping burden, and build outlets and USB ports into new bedside stands for your guests’ convenience.
Integrity, Economy, and Efficiency
Like you, we live and work in the real world, with a keen appreciation of budget and time constraints. When necessary, we can suggest ways to economize, to refresh and repurpose existing assets. Often, the solution for reviving a tired space isn’t to add things, but rather to remove them – to edit a room by stripping away layers of unsuccessful or inappropriate décor to restore a measure of clarity.
For any design to be successful, it’s critical that a space both inspires and properly serves the people who use it. Our reputation is built on doing the right things. We enjoy our work. We’re good at what we do. And we can help you.
Most projects start with a phone call. There’s no charge for that first exchange, and our fee for an initial site visit and consultation can be deducted from our design fee if the project goes forward. • On large projects, we can provide start-to-finish service from design planning through the placement of furnishings and accessories. We also offer ala carte services if you need assistance selecting a color scheme, purchasing new upholstery, or specifying carpet or draperies. • We can work with you or your purchaser, or we can purchase goods on your behalf.
After arriving at an agreement, we can:
- Help determine project goals and objectives
- Generate ideas for the functional and aesthetic possibilities of the space
- Allocate, organize and arrange a space to suit its function
- Create illustrations and renderings of your interiors
- Develop specifications
- Select and specify fixtures, furnishings, products, materials and colors
- Design and manage fabrication of custom furnishings and interior details
- Monitor and manage installation of the design
As producers and photo stylists, we can also document your finished, redesigned space with professional photography suitable for a magazine feature, press release, brochure, or other marketing collateral.
A Word about Holiday Decor
Richard Kollath produced holiday decorating features for books and for national magazines for many years before he began designing for hotels. New York design editors planning Christmas editions called on Richard repeatedly, relying on his fresh eye and sure hand to create tasteful designs simple enough for readers to achieve on their own.
We brought this same talent and experience with large scale holiday decorating to high end New York City retail shops, to rural country churches, and to several National Historic Site properties including The Ahwahnee Hotel, The Wawona Hotel, Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, Curry Village, The Gideon Putnam Hotel, and The Audubon Inn.
With most of our hotel clients, when it came time to decorate for the holidays, we found in crowded, dimly lit storage areas a chaotic assortment of tired fake trees, anemic wire wreaths with flattened red bows, and a variety of plastic ornaments and chipped ceramic figurines. Sprinkled throughout a hotel, this sort of random mix of materials and styles looks worse than nothing at all. Sadder still is when funds are wasted purchasing dozens of foil-wrapped poinsettias because within days, the plants often wilt or crisp, dying where they were placed — beside cold drafty doors, atop radiators, or simply from lack of water.
The solution to wasted money and bad holiday decor is a cohesive design, a new inventory of decor, and some quality storage containers — all comparatively small expenses that will be amortized over a decade of use. Contact us to let us know how we can help you.