top of page

How to communicate your brand in the physical environment for hospitality and home.

How do you measure success when designing a space? There are many easily quantifiable considerations: schedule, budget, program requirements, functionality, and safety, but it is also very much about how the space makes you feel. Study after study shows that a well-designed space has a huge effect on our health, happiness, productivity and overall quality of life. Now more than ever, amidst massive change for so many of us, finding happiness and solace in our surroundings is top priority. Creating a positive environment in your own home, taking cues from hospitality settings, can have measurable effects. In our experience, for both hospitality and residential design, the key to success lies in understanding your brand.

FAM Design is a full-service design studio offering creative thinking and strategic solutions for commercial, hospitality and residential spaces. Founded in 2020 by architect Frank Mataipule and interior designer Megan Freckelton, with more than 35 years of combined experience in architecture, interior design and creative work, our diverse portfolio includes both commercial and residential projects with an emphasis on boutique hospitality and residential. Our body of work consists of concepts rooted in a holistic approach – the brand, personal or professional, fully incorporated into the physical space and the philosophy that a space should evoke a feeling.

We believe design is storytelling and with every detail an opportunity.

What is “your brand”?

“A brand is the way a company, organization, or individual is perceived by those who experience it. More than simply a name, term, design, or symbol, a brand is the recognizable feeling a product or business evokes.” -Ignyte Brands

“It needs to be an authentic manifestation of who you are and amplify what you believe.”

– Tim Salau

To summarize – Who are you? What do you believe? How do you want to feel? Tell a story.

How to find your brand:

Here at FAM, after covering things like program, schedule, budget, etc. we start every hospitality project with a creative session with an agenda that looks like this:

  • research review

  • what it is/what it isn’t

  • design drivers

  • concept statement

We start every residential project with discussion that looks like this:

  • tell us about yourselves

  • five adjectives to describe the goals of your space

  • five adjectives to avoid, things that you love and hate about your current space

  • big dreams

And we start every branding session with this agenda:

  • mission/vision

  • brand adjectives

  • visual inspiration

  • tone of voice

  • style guide discussion

At the core – once you have established who you are, what you believe, how you want to feel and what story to tell, it creates the “filters” to be used throughout the process. A successful process checks back with these core items with each decision to ensure the goals are being met.

How to implement your brand:

When making architectural decisions, how do the factors support the brand - connection to the outdoors, natural light, line of sight, form (angular vs. organic), proportions, details, etc. How can interior design communicate your brand – flow, materiality, light levels, furniture and lighting style, art and accessories. And how can environmental graphics and brand collateral enforce your brand – custom signage, custom art/graphics/wallcovering, wayfinding, printed collateral. (Non-requested plug-) and a big thanks to Black Hound Design for being our long-time collaborative creative partner, without them many of these details wouldn’t be possible to execute.

Case Study: FAM Client - Punch Bowl Social

Who they are: Eat, drink, social “We’re all about experiences and connecting to fellow humans whether it’s with our feet up or while we get down.”

What they believe: “Our goal is to encourage human interaction inspired by the Victorian-era tradition of gathering around a bowl of punch. And with our dirty modern design, craft cocktails, scratch-kitchen food and endless entertainment options, it is truly real world funning and discovery on a whole new level.” A design-forward environment rich with a sense of discovery.

How do you want to feel: “Punch Bowl Social is a place where guests are treated like rock stars and rock stars are treated like guests. All fun hunters and foodies are welcome and invited- regardless of color, class, creed, gender, orientation and karaoke ability.” Welcome, inspired, energized.

Tell a story: Each location is designed differently, and the design concept is based on the history of the city, neighborhood and/or building.


The lower level of this location is a tribute to the concept of speakeasy, something prevalent in Chicago in the 20’s, and is completely different than the rest of the restaurant. Designed as a vintage style Laundromat, complete with a wall of colorful washing machine fronts (custom made by Black Hound Design,), materials often seen in these spaces, such as classic wood paneling, pastel vinyl tile, colorful plastics and metal detailing were used.

The larger upper floor of the building takes cues from 1930s Chicago jazz and the glam fashion of that era. Tailored, menswear inspired plaids, tweeds and leather detailing are used throughout. Heavy use of brass accents are a nod to jazz instruments, as well as a vintage, polished aesthetic.


Located in the Deep Ellum neighborhood, an area with a rich history of live music, this location took cues from those musical styles as well as the prevalent railroad presence for design inspiration.

A custom toile wallcovering features illustrations of prominent jazz and punk musicians that frequented the area, as well as Deep Ellum landmarks of today. The Diner features a functioning toy train chugging on tracks installed above seating and the custom booths were inspired by classic train station detailing.


Located in the former Stapleton International Airport air traffic control tower in Denver, as much of the original building was kept as possible - existing pre-cast concrete panels, which were carefully removed to add new structure during construction, were then re-attached where many are now a key design feature inside the building. Vintage baggage tags that had been collected by a Stapleton International Airport employee clad the restroom partitions in the 1st level Restrooms and in the diner, if you push together the tables, the graphics on the tabletops create the Stapleton Airport runway map.​​ The host stand is a vintage travel trunk and the light fixture above is constructed using vintage plane cockpit dials. The air travel and mid-mod style is apparent throughout the space.

Case Study: FAM Client – Park Hill Residence

Who they are: a design-forward family with three young boys, who love to entertain both inside and out.

What they believe: Balance and contrast are so important - celebrating the historic details while introducing the bold, modern and whimsical personal style.

How do you want to feel: Comfortable, inspired, personally connected.

Tell a story: The history of the family and the historic home.


The open plan and multiple seating areas of the kitchen makes the space flexible for entertaining or homework. A classic approach was taken in designing the cabinetry but an unconventional twist was taken in painting the top row the same color blue tone as the ceiling. Bright and modern (perhaps whimsical,) touches were added with the accent tile at the range and the dining room chairs. The custom table (by Black Hound Design) adds a contrasting rustic touch and the chandelier over the island is made of removeable sheets of paper for the young family to personalize over time.

In the office, located in the attic space, we created a custom wallcovering for the client. Using a classic toile layout, the client provided us with 7 elements to be incorporated and we worked with an illustrator and graphic designer to create the pattern.

Case Study: Client – Argyll*

(*While at OZ Architecture)

Who they are: A restaurant serving elevated modern pub fare with a focus on an extensive, unique whisky list and local beer offerings.

What they believe: A neighborhood gathering place for all occasions.

How do you want to feel: Like a whisky hug, comfortable, friendly and special.

Tell a story: The design concept celebrated the Thompson family crest, using elements of the crest as inspiration for all of the unique design details throughout.


Custom elements included a wall of vintage flasks behind the host stand, the large booths were framed by wall cladding of leather belts and the whisky collection was kept in lit cabinets constructed of reclaimed windows. A community table connects the two columns at the heart of the space, near the open kitchen. Soft seating was used throughout to encourage long evenings of dining and sipping whisky with friends.

Case Study: FAM Client – Sunnyside Home

Who they are: A well-traveled couple who enjoys entertaining, cooking and appreciate inspired design.

What they believe: A home should be comfortable, welcoming and engaging.

How do you want to feel: Serene, relaxed, familiar

Tell a story: Pay homage to their life and what their values are

PHOTOGRAPHY: LD Construction

The modern lines of the interior architecture create the perfect stage for the incredible collection of art and artifacts the owners have collected during their travels. Here we played with the contrast between the clean white walls and the soft, textural window coverings, pairing that with a modern fireplace, created an inviting gathering area perfect for entertaining or a lazy Sunday afternoon alike. The large expanse of glass creates a sense of an indoor/outdoor living room and the pops of color speak to the their radiant personalities.

Our approach using extensive research, brand discovery and storytelling has been well-received by our clients and proven to be an extremely valuable tool in creating spaces that foster positive experiences.

Check out FAM Design on the web, and on insta at Link: FAM

bottom of page