Last month, I had the great pleasure of visiting Marriott International Headquarters in Bethesda, MD. A coworker introduced me to her neighbor, Linda Milburn, a buyer for Marriott International and she graciously gave us a tour of the design department.
Let me just tell you that I felt so alive in that environment. If only there weren’t so many miles and so much traffic in between me and Marriott International, I’d be applying today.
Linda, studied home economics (family and consumer sciences now for you youngsters) and she worked various jobs before coming to Marriott International. She has worked for Marriott for 34 years. What I learned from her that day was that hotel furniture does not come off the shelf. The pieces you in see hotel rooms are all custom made. As a buyer of wood products like any wood table, chair, cabinet, headboard, dresser, nightstand, or TV mount, she translates the designers ideas along with the manufacturers. As a designer, I know that we can come up with some pretty crazy ideas and for Marriott, Linda and her fellow buyers are the ones that help make those ideas a reality.
Linda works with all the hotels brands which include the new Moxy Boutique Hotels. That day we got to take a look at a mock up of the new brand, Moxy. We also got to tour the “Underground” where Marriott has actual rooms set up in the style of each hotel brand like Residence Inn and AC Hotels. We got a look at some prototype rooms (the yellow one) that were just FABULOUS! My favorite part had to be the Willy Wonka quote on the wall, the design workroom, the sheep and a long wall display of inspirational quotes. There were even inspirational quotes on the elevator doors. There was just so much to see and fabulous furniture and accessories and design. Even the cafeteria was gorgeous and beautifully designed. This trip was amazing and I could just feel my creative energy about to burst. I LOVE a great hotel room but I never put much thought into the design until now. I’ll never look at hotels the same way.
Thanks to Linda and Wendy for giving me this opportunity.
Stay classy and stay Marriott!