Hospitality Lighting Designer Of The Year 2017


Why Hiring a Hospitality Architectural Lighting Design Specialist is Crucial. By Marianna Holoway.

For millions of people, dining is more than eating out. It’s a kind of hobby. They want an unforgettable experience away from home. They don’t want to feel at home. Restaurant interior and exterior design is a part of that impressive experience.Please note that the number of these people will increase in 2018. Well – design restaurant interiors donate to the success, and the profits, of any dining formation. Planning your restaurant interior design begins with market research, continues with understanding market trends and concludes with strategic execution. 

Within a restaurant or dining establishment the customer always comes first. Customers should be able to experience excitement, well-being and gratitude from the food, establishment and their accompanying guests. Contrary to what one may think, numerous factors contribute to customers overall dining experience, and many of these factors are design-related elements.

Ironically, lighting is one of the most underestimated design elements within an establishment, but it has the greatest impact on customers’ dining experience. So, why is lighting too important?


Studies have shown that customers are seeking a different experience when dining out. Rather than the in-and-out “fast-track” dining experience, customers are now looking for a “time-using,” more emotional, social dining experience. Dining out should appeal to all senses, not just the taste of the food. Lighting is designed primarily for the customers, not for the establishment.


Similar to how lighting can set the mood, lighting can also increase restaurant sales. By properly setting the mood, lights influence customers to enjoy a lengthy dining experience, which will hopefully lead to a larger order, too. The longer customers spend in an establishment, the more likely they are to spend more money. Proper lighting can also help sell products by making the food look more appealing. For greater effect, lighting should be placed in areas where it can dramatically accentuate bar and food items.The goal of any well-designed casual or fine-dining restaurant is to provide a welcoming, relaxed environment in which guests can enjoy the food and leave with all senses satisfied. Lighting is an important component of the restaurant’s overall design aesthetic and an important tool in reaching that goal.


Preparing high quality food in poorly lit kitchens can be quite a challenge. In order for kitchen staff to make quality food in a timely manner, and make it look like a work of art, proper lighting is essential. Keep in mind that kitchen-area lighting needs to accommodate the safety of the staff and food.


Lighting within a restaurant should always serve a functional purpose. Restaurants contain different areas that are essential to the establishment’s overall functionality and customer experience, such as waiting areas, dining areas, and the bar area. All areas should have different lighting to reflect the purpose of each area. For example, isolated sit-down areas within the establishment should have darker lighting for a more intimate feel, whereas the waiting area should have brighter lighting for a more inviting feel. By differentiating space within the establishment, it’s likely that it the space will look larger in size, more accommodating and inviting.

Marianna Holoway Custom Architectural Lighting Designer.

Lighting design is the most powerful MARKETING asset in any type of a hospitality, project you might have.

The revenue the right lighting scenario can cause is immense.

I dedicated all my life studying architecture and interior design. It took me forever to study lighting design. What I still don’t understand is why people are hiring the most qualified architects and interior designers and why they pay for luxurious interior design materials, ( expensive marbles, mosaic, leathers, Corian, Swarovski, art work e.t.c ) if they are not planning on hiring a lighting designer to make sure that all those luxurious visual” stimulations ” would be perceived in their eyes and the eyes of their customers, they way they should?

So it became my passion. My addiction. To educate my clients and to illuminate correctly their businesses. I turned to be a great Marketing asset and a powerful weapon in what they are trying to accomplish. Success in every possible way.

Marianna Holoway

Architectural Lighting & Interior Designer

Why Are Casinos Designed The Way They Are ?


Why Are Casinos Designed the Way They Are?

Hospitality Design

You walk into a casino and find yourself lost in a maze of flashing slot machines, Blackjack tables, exuberant Craps players, and scantily clad cocktail waitresses. Are you confused and scared? Or are you excited and ready to pull out your wallet?The way that casinos are designed has become a topic of significant interest, and many of the classic theories about how casinos should be laid out have recently come under significant scrutiny. The result is that casino layout theory is evolving – with the goal of encouraging more gambling while ensuring everyone has more fun.

Many Players, One Casino

A casino can’t be designed and built for just one person. It has to serve the needs of thousands of visitors every day, from confused newcomers who’ve never dropped a quarter into a slot machine to cash-laden “whales” looking to play high-stakes table games for hours.As such, when imagining a new casino, designers take the approach of segmenting all the possible customers they might attract and trying to create a design that works for all of them.For example, a casino may identify three primary customers: High-rollers who want to bypass slot machines and other distractions, casual gamers passing by on the street who are looking primarily for the comfort of slots, and hotel guests who frequently pass through the casino on the way to their room.The casino has to “work” for all of these players so they don’t take their business elsewhere.
All manner of variables are taken into account, including what’s visible above the level of the banks of slot machines, where crowds tend to gather, ambient noise, and even aromas in the casino. The tiny details matter.

For example, studies have found that women are more comfortable gambling where crowds are smaller. One theory suggests that they tend to feel nervous while playing if they think they’re being watched.
Designers map out the routes each of these customer types might take as they move through the floor – as the high-rollers walk toward the poker room, or as hotel guests make their way to the elevators.

That map is then tweaked to create the maximum amount appeal for each customer. The hotel guests may encounter a variety of game types, showcasing what the casino has to offer, while the casual gamer off the street quickly encounters the flashiest slots without having to walk very far. This leads to the second major step of the layout process: How you design a floor that entices customers to keep venturing inward and away from the exit.
From the Maze to the Playground

In the 1990s and early 2000s, when Las Vegas was experiencing its first throes of renaissance and massive gambling palaces were being opened on The Strip, casino designers widely adopted a theory known as the maze layout.The idea was that a casino should quickly suck a player in, then make it incredibly difficult to leave. The maze concept was widely adopted and rapidly entered into the mythology of Vegas pop culture. This is why there are no clocks on the walls and no windows in casinos, it was often said, to keep you confused about the time.But the maze layout could be seen best on the floor itself, with slot machines arranged not in neat rows as they were in the 1960s but rather in haphazard curving arcs. A player that entered here would have to spend several minutes winding his way out – and hopefully dropping a few extra bucks into machines along the way. The overarching ideas of the maze are that the exits are hidden through spare signage and that, no matter where a player is standing, he should see a variety of gaming machines or tables.

As 2010 drew near, casino layout theory got its first major revision in decades, thanks to the opening of higher-end establishments like the Bellagio and the Wynn. The low ceilings of yesteryear were raised to the sky (often with the sky literally painted on them), and the maze was scrapped in favor of smaller groups of machines with more open space around them. When a player came through the door, he no longer saw slots. He saw sculptures and sunlight, and wide avenues leading to the gaming tables.This concept has become known as the playground, the idea being to turn the casino from a place of confusion and apprehension and into a high-end palace where players could feel comfortable and excited, surrounded by opulence in every direction. The casino evolved into an inviting spa experience – the kind of place where you don’t mind spending money even if you know the odds aren’t really in your favor.
The playground design has proven incredibly successful at encouraging players to gamble, and designers have learned some powerful psychological lessons along the way. Players who are more at ease are happier when they win, and they’re more understanding when they lose – all of which convinces them to bet more.

Slot Machine Layouts

The most critical aspect of any casino layout today involves slots. In the 1970s, slots earned about 40 percent of casino floor revenues. Today that’s up to 71 percent, and gamers bred on iPhone games continue to vastly prefer playing machines (including video poker and blackjack) over traditional table games – even though the odds aren’t as good. In most casinos, slots now outnumber table games by well over 10 to 1.
The success of slots has been driven in large part by the advent of touchscreens, which have allowed designers to create a wild array of themed slot machines, often following along pop cultural lines. Today a casino no longer needs to have 300 identical machines. Now it can have four or eight units selected from dozens of different types of machines. This gives the consumer vastly more variety and more impetus to stick around and play different types of casino games. The psychology is a simple one: If “Wheel of Fortune” doesn’t pay off, maybe “Money Madness” will.
Variety in turn lets casino designers arrange machines in smaller groups. The result has been a shift away from long rows and toward smaller clusters of machines, which can be clustered in a circle or a smaller row. This design lets players see a wider variety of games from any vantage point, giving them more choices and more options to spend. Grouping slots has also been found to make playing them more social, mimicking table games.Groups of people – particularly younger gamers venturing out as a group – can all gather around in a circle and play together, increasing camaraderie and making the experience more fun.

Table Game Layouts

Designers have less flexibility when positioning table games, which are traditionally placed together in the middle of the casino where they can be centrally managed and secured. These games aren’t of much interest to casual gamers, and regular gamblers will gravitate here anyway, so placement isn’t that critical.
Clustering table games in a group does have other advantages, though. Table games such as Blackjack are often rowdy and noisy, particularly when someone’s on a hot streak (see also our article about Blackjack Etiquette), which generates energy and creates a partylike environment. Having these games centrally located allows that energy to spread out, drawing in new players.

Also, the experience of gaming itself is contagious. The higher the number people that are playing at a table, the more likely it is that more people will want to play at that table. Empty tables don’t draw in customers, nearly full ones do. The next time you walk into a casino, pause for a moment and think about why it was designed the way it was. And drop a chip on red for us!
Maximizing Your Slot Payouts. Is there a “best” place to play slots in a casino? While numerous urban legends claim that the machines by the front door or the slots in the very back of the casino are the best, the reality is that the loosest slots are likely to be randomly scattered throughout the casino. There’s no way of knowing, unfortunately, and you’re usually best off playing where you feel most comfortable and where the cocktail waitresses can easily find you.Slots have less favorable odds than most table games, but they have an advantage by providing lower stakes and the opportunity for a huge payoff that you can’t get in a table game. That said, don’t get blinded by those big jackpot numbers on progressive machines. The higher the jackpot, the less likely it is to come up. Don’t overlook low-jackpot machines, as those prizes have easier odds at winning.It’s well known that playing multiple coins per spin generally opens up the option for bigger payouts, but this can quickly drain your bankroll. A penny slot that lets you bet a thousand coins at once is the same as playing a pricy $10 machine. Instead, look for slots that let you play a varying number of coins but which don’t penalize you if you only play one. That is, where you can still win a proportional part of the jackpot on a singlecoin bet.

This way, you can vary your bets just like you would at a table game.

Work for Money Design for Love


Everyone is capable of pursuing his or her dream job. Don’t find yourself jumping at the first “get rich quick” option you see. Money is not the golden ticket to happiness. In fact, statistics show that those who pursue money over passion are less successful in the long run. Waking up every day excited to go to work by living your dream will pay a lot more than just money. So, how do you obtain your dream job?

The first step is finding something that you love to do so much that you would gladly do it for free. Then, learn to do it so well that people will gladly pay you for your services. John C. Maxwell said it best,” following your passion is the key to finding your potential”. You will not achieve the later without pursuing the former. When you are pursing your passion, your potential runs on a full tank of drive and creativity. You will have more faith in what you do, you will take more risks, you will have a greater drive to meet accomplishments, your passion will be an instantaneous motivator to others, your stamina will not go unnoticed and you will cause others to want what you have. You will not only be doing what you love but you will also be generously contributing to the world and that will put a smile on your face.


What is Design? Design could be viewed as an activity that translates an idea into a blueprint for something useful, whether it’s a car, a building, a graphic, a service or a process. But the important part is the translation of an idea. Scientists can invent technologies, manufacturers can make products, engineers can make function and marketers can sell them, but only designers can combine insight into all these things and turn a concept into something that is desirable, viable, commercially successful and adds value to peoples lives.

Good Design begins with the need of the user. No design, no matter how beautiful and ingenious, is any good, if it doesn’t fulfill a user need. Finding out what the customers wants is the first stage of what inquiry with the mixture of creativity and commercial insight. Some believe that design doesn’t have to be new, different or impressive to be successful, as long as it’s fulfilling a need, but I learned through the years ideas that may seem strange are worth exploring and the commonsense solution is not always the right one. Designers, unlike artists, can’t simply follow their creative impulses. They work in a commercial environment, which means there is a huge number of considerations that coming to bear on the design process.

Designers have to ask themselves questions such as; is the product or the concept they’re creating really wanted? How is it different from everything else on the market? Does it fulfill a need? Will is cost too much to manufacture? Emphasis on the customer makes design a formidable weapon for any business. Companies have often designed their way out of failure by creating a concept that serves the customers needs better than its rivals.

Putting an emphasis on design brings creativity into an organization and increases the chance of producing market- leading, products and concepts. As the sophistication of the customer and global competition increases, this becomes more and more valuable. Businesses are finding that they can no longer compete just by slashing prices. Innovation in the form of design is the key to success.


Creativity and innovation requires intensive research and planning more than the traditional projects, because the innovative process aims to provide creative solutions that were never there for the current problems. In order to achieve this part of the research stage, a design thinking process should be implemented before starting innovative projects. Applying this process can help the team to analyze, brainstorm and develop creative concepts for the team to follow. They share ideas and creatively collaborate by putting all the creative minds together inside one design thinking process.


A meta-analysis by George Feist showed that creative people tend to be more open to new experience, less conventional, and less conscientious more confident, driven ambitious, dominant, hostile, and impulsive. Researchers of creativity also see creative people becoming experts in their field, who own the ability as well dedication to problem solving. An enemy of creativity is the pressure of time. When we are pressured to quickly produce a design, it is hard to foster original thinking. When we are pressed by time, we are extra alert and focused on appropriateness resulting in a safe, but not so creative outcome. When we feel free, we have a better change to be a creative person.


Clients with a powerful budget have a list of specific item requests designers must work with. While our creativity and the reason for earning the work order is very much expected, usually we do not have an unlimited freedom to go ”wild ” and present a truly unique artistic design proposals. No matter if we are hired to create contemporary, traditional, or anything between, we most likely designing by obeying established “classical” rules. When we have a constrained, challenging budget to work with, our clients are more open to look at alternatives, even unconventional options and ideas we are willing to present them, as we meet their budget, and create a usable and attractive space. Instead of feeling “trapped” and limited by the tight financials, we should embrace the opportunity of thinking outside the box, and unleash our creativity, to design something unusual and extremely unique.


Creating The Perfect Nightclub

One of the most competitive and open-minded industries in the entertainment world is the designing of nightclubs. Creating the perfect nightclub is a passion of mine. Nightclubs and similar entertainment venues, for the majority, create a sense of identity through the renovation of existing buildings and focus more on the aspect of interior design. The definition of a nightclub can vary from person to person but in overall aspect, a nightclub is a venue providing space for music, dancing, beverage consumption and social interactions.

It is a social gathering, an experiential and memorable place, and a place of escape and excitement. Most nightclubs are very seldom thought of through architectural expression, the progression of space, and flexibility. I feel that clubs should be an experience from not only inside the walls of a building but forming a palette of experiences before entering the main space.

In order to start designing a club, the architect should know that those places are to be flexible and kinetic. Club LED RGB lighting, club effects, visual stimuli are the most important weapons a designer can use to accomplish a project like this. Club lighting is an art mixed with the science of technology. It’s an expression of the designer and what they feel is appropriate for the area.

Artistic expression of a creative mind is the embodiment of a light show. This is the future of club lighting, being able to recreate that vision with lighting. Being able to visualize something in your mind and then being able to create that vision with lighting. To be able to have complete control over the environment is an awesome power.

Knowing exactly what effect you want to create at the touch of the button, to be able to execute your vision in an instant, these are the things that make the lighting great. Nightclubs are not usually programmed in a cue-to-cue format; they are free form with a purpose. For those not familiar, it is like having as many busk pages as possible, similar to a festival setup. There are subtleties that can be taught and innate qualities that emerge when the appropriate time comes along. The operator does not know what song is going to be played next. Running lights in a club is like being on a roller coaster in the dark. Being able to anticipate the next move, the next beat, and next break, these are things a designer should have in their palette of inspirations.

It can really be a daunting task trying to stay on top of technology. Being cutting edge is a difficult line to walk. My clients typically ask me if they will have the best lighting system I’ve ever designed. My answer is almost the same, “It will be the best system I can design for the area. Something about square pegs and round holes comes to mind, you can’t make things fit where they don’t belong.

When I’m designing a project my primary purpose is to create a system that can inspire, provoke and evoke anything to make you feel something. A lot of that has to do with the individual operating system in which I custom create for each project. A very strong design concept to surround the whole lighting procedure is among my priorities.

A new trend to set in the nightclub business is the additions of VIP rooms and other limited access rooms to create a sense of luxury. I feel that VIP spots should be linked and set at higher viewing areas. This gives the spectator a choice of observation, music, and atmosphere. Being able to have choices is very important in the nightlife industry because it makes people feel more important and more aware of their surroundings. Ambiance creates the atmosphere and sets the mood in VIP rooms, making the decor scheme imperative.

Nightclubs can and should break the barrier of tradition and create flexible kinetic spaces that allow diversity of functions to take place during the nighttime hours. It is a place of continual adaption to the world around. Nightclubs can and should create new experiences and amplify the senses through audio, visual and thermal systems. By creating spaces for experiential quality, one would be able to attain the sense of drama, excitement, anticipation, energy, mystery, and suspense. A series of spaces can act as a foreground or background element and allows these areas to interact, teach, lead, follow and transform the realms of the social environment.


Recently, I found Sugar design Bookabout a cookbook that you can actually eat after you’re done reading the recipes inside, which to me sounds pretty much like the best idea ever. Inspired by this elegant and — let’s face it — kind of crazy book, I went hunting for other wildly unusual book designs, from the edible to the mechanical to the technically alive. True, we mostly think all books are little objets d’art, but these go above and beyond the normal standards, each one an innovative and interesting piece of design as well as a functioning book. Check out my gallery of some of the most crazy design ever to be applied to books, and let me know if I  missed any cool ones in the comments!

A special edition edible cookbook from German design firm Korefe and Gerstenberg Publishing, the recipes are printed on fresh pasta pages that can be baked into a delicious lasagna!!!!!!!!!!

The Mirror Book, by John Christie and Ron King, and published by Circle Press in 1985, is exactly what it sounds like. It comes complete with a pair of white gloves for smudge-free handling, and it’s meant to be a book about self discovery: “as one turns the pages, hands are reflected, and on looking closely, our own faces. In the act of turning, the self-image becomes distorted. Here the book is the entrance key to a world of self-contemplation, and, potentially, self-knowledge.”Speaking of edible books, Design Criminals is another tome you can nibble — only this one is an art book made entirely out of sugar and printed with vegetable ink. The book won designer Andreas Pohancenik a nomination for the prestigious Brit Insurance Design Awards.

A glow-in-the-dark book by Croatian designers Bruketa&Žinić that can only be identified at night — in the light, it looks like a plain white journal.

I so much like when designers are flying away from the normal forms and shapes.


Dark Light Design BookMirror Design Book

Lasagna Design book

Winery Bar Cellar, Magical Drinking and Dining Experience


The perfect restaurant and wine bar should feel like a luxurious and special place to unwind. It should be stylish, inviting and at the same time functional. At this winery bar cellar you will enjoy a magical drinking and dining experience. Cellar Bar has all expectations covered, with an inviting design, beautiful features and a soothing ambience, plus some added surprises. Designing the Cellar Bar was a team effort between designer Marianna Holoway with the substantial involvement of the clients. The result of this collaboration, is a bar that’s a real gem shining bright in its beautiful home city of Alex/polis Greece.

Winery Bar Cellar

Winery Bar Cellar

The space feels special as a result of the atmosphere that the design effortlessly creates, like the calm River Evros that flows very close to the city. On the surface this space seems simple and calm but behind the surface and reflected on the ripples of changing atmosphere are exciting hidden depths. The stunning design is the result of a lengthy development process, during which both the space and the architectural concept developed in parallel. One very clever aspect of Cellars design is that it simultaneously combines the restaurant and wine bar by dividing a single space into two clearly distinct areas, both in terms of materials used and atmosphere. In the sumptuous wine bar, hot-rolled steel has been used on the wall, floor and ceiling and for the construction of the wine bar counter and the wine storage wall. The striking glass window front floods light into the space by day whilst the muted warm materials and colours used in the design make the most of twilight light as it darkens into night.

In the restaurant, ensures a luxurious dining experience. The gorgeous colour palette gives the space a stylish bold moody feel better of the contrast with the black paint. In the main restaurant area, original features such as the stunning parquet floor have been lovingly preserved, creating a grand yet homely milieu. This is luxury turned up a notch. On the wall opposite the restaurant‚ is a surface covered along its full width with mirror panels. These mirror panels, mounted at an angle, correct the inclination angle of the rear wall and at the same time reflect the special panorama of Pest seen from the restaurant whilst elongating the room. Masculine elements such as the sturdy bar and robust but beautifully designed seating compliment design flourishes such as the use of metallic’s and lighting to add subtle sparkle, enhanced in the mirrors’ reflection, adding to the overall atmosphere.

Winery Bar Cellar

Winery Bar Cellar by Marianna Holoway

A vitally important element of the interior design, as with any interior design, is the lighting concept. This bar is all about atmosphere and the use of light is central to the design. The mirrors and windows make the space feel airy and comfortable at the same time as clever technological inclusions add an extra dimension. The lighting of the bar consists of two parts; one serves to highlight consumption surfaces, which was solved by the use of spotlighting in order to sufficiently highlight both the bar counter and the tables. The other part consists of 80 hanging lights on the ”bourgeois” side, the main function of which is to set the atmosphere and provide general lighting. The entire building is connected to an intelligent regulation system, which allows for the setting of the lighting, music, temperature, or even ventilation according to the time of day, season, or even mood. This is truly thoughtful design.

The end result of the combination of the fairy-tale world from designer Marianna Holoway is a colourful new venue on the gastronomic scene of Alex/polis . Who wouldn’t want the privilege of experiencing dining at the Cellar Bar.

You will find more images of the winery bar cellar here.

Please share and comment below…I adore your participation!!

Guess Shoe Store


This unusual Guess shoe store in Greece skillfully exhibits one of the latest trends in shoe store design and in architecture. It creates a distinctive contrast of a white background color with bright colors of the product itself and or small pieces of furniture and design elements. Creating this color contrast provides an excellent display of the product making it a part of the overall design. The store Guess was recently completely remodeled and

rebranded. The inspiration for the design came from the movie Diamonds are Forever.

Design is a passionate process. Long before any project starts Marianna Holoway is ready to explore ways to turn unstructured creations into FUN-structured opportunities. Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When she creates a project she does it all with passion.

Guess Shoe Store

Guess Shoe Store

The word focus creates fear in many people because it means that they have to control their desires, but for Ms. Holoway the ability to focus on a project helps to create a good working solution in an appropriate amount of time using a suitable amount of resources.

The outside of the building reminds you of a shiny white jewel box. Small elements such as the door handles in a shape of large candy canes add to the overall design theme. There are almost no sharp corners on the inside. And even the images on the walls have a white background with the brightly colored products being a main focal point. The storefront window displays random patterns making it look like Christmas decoration of snowflakes that adds a festive feel to the overall ambiance. Class panels are applied to the ceiling reflecting the light fixtures and making the space to continue beyond the walls. Bisazza mosaic tile was used on the walls. The leather floor was left unfinished but polished. What a creative way to save money on finishes while still making it look great!

See more imgages of this Guess shoe store and other Marianna Holoway Designs.