Nov 08, 2021

Talking Trim with Rebecca Graham

Rebecca Graham is the Senior Design Director at AJ Capital Partners. She oversees the design, development, and execution of a range of projects across the Graduate Hotels and AJ Capital Partners portfolios. Since joining the firm in 2019, Ms. Graham has played an instrumental role in the design execution of nine Graduate Hotels properties, as well as design development and execution of more than a dozen forthcoming hotels. We sat down with her to discuss her approach to using trim in her work. 

Photography: Billal Taright


Samuel & Sons: What aspects of a project inform your approach to the design process? 

Rebecca Graham: Our process always starts with researching the specifics of the location, building/architecture, history, geography, notable individuals and stories about the town/area and we begin crafting the stories we would like to ‘tell’ with our design. We then look for imagery that speaks to these stories and visually communicates our intent. As the design develops, we consider the expectations and profile of the guests, the operational considerations of the brand and any other functional requirements such as seat counts in food and beverage outlets and ADA or code guidelines.

S&S: What does the introduction of trim bring to a hospitality design?

RG: Including passementerie in our designs is essential. Beautiful and classic trims as well as unique and unusual designs add a layer to the palette that shows attention to detail and adds a necessary level of luxury. They can transform a run of the mill hospitality project into a curated residential feeling experience. Samuel & Sons has thousands of options that are rich and traditional to clean and modern and everything in between.

S&S: Do you have a favorite pattern or application—a go-to trim in your design repertoire?

RG: I like to work a bullion fringe in whenever possible.

S&S: Tell us about a recent project and where trim made an appearance in your design.

RG: The Rusacks Hotel is located on the 18th green of The Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland, otherwise known as ‘The Birthplace of Golf’. The iconic beach featured in the award-winning film ‘Chariots of Fire’ is yards from the property. The original part of the hotel opened in 1887 with an addition of 44 guestrooms and a rooftop restaurant completed in 2021. For this project, we selected several Samuel & Sons products and utilized them in key places throughout the hotel, including guestrooms, suites and public spaces.

S&S: Was there a particular standout, trim- focused moment inside The Rusacks Hotel?

RG: The lobby drapery trim was a particularly challenging selection. We showed an antique trim in our rendering that was from a magazine, and we could not find anything. We came across one of your onion tassel fringes to accent the wool herringbone patterned fabric and it is absolutely perfect.

S&S: How has Samuel & Sons proven a valuable resource when working with your contract/hospitality clients?

RG: Hospitality design seeks to create unusual, special and often residential feeling environments that are comfortable for guests and visitors as well as interesting places to explore and discover. Incorporating trim into a design elevates a normal and un-special project into something unique and special. Samuel & Sons has so many amazing products, it can be difficult to narrow down and make a selection. Their customer service and sampling capabilities are exceptional, and they also have custom capabilities as well, which many trim companies cannot offer, and we seem to always be in need of.

Watch the full interview with Rebecca Graham:


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