Crochet: How to wear the beachy summer staple
Crochet: How to wear the beachy summer staple

Sarah Finnan

Meet IMAGE staffer Megan Burns, hockey player and editorial powerhouse
Meet IMAGE staffer Megan Burns, hockey player and editorial powerhouse

IMAGE

The top tech investments to help keep your life on track
The top tech investments to help keep your life on track

IMAGE

This charming Cork cottage is on the market for €450,000
This charming Cork cottage is on the market for €450,000

Sarah Finnan

Social Pictures: Jameson’s tenniscore summer soirée
Social Pictures: Jameson’s tenniscore summer soirée

IMAGE

5 inspiring self-help books that will change your life
5 inspiring self-help books that will change your life

Jennifer McShane

Changing the script: Claire Mooney and Nell Hensey of Pure Divilment Pictures
Changing the script: Claire Mooney and Nell Hensey of Pure Divilment Pictures

Meg Walker

Four expert-approved ways to pay less tax
Four expert-approved ways to pay less tax

Nick Charalambous

This Monkstown home is a serene dream, yet still perfectly suited to the demands of family life
This Monkstown home is a serene dream, yet still perfectly suited to the demands of...

IMAGE Interiors & Living

Crossing: Director Levan Akin on his new film, patriarchy and the importance of family
Crossing: Director Levan Akin on his new film, patriarchy and the importance of family

Sarah Finnan

Inside Ireland’s first Pride-themed hotel room

Inside Ireland’s first Pride-themed hotel room


by Sarah Finnan
26th Jun 2024

Already establishing himself in the fashion world, Colin Horgan is expanding his creative horizons yet again, recently adding interior design to his long list of talents. Tasked with creating Ireland’s first Pride-themed hotel room, the Kerry native brought his distinctive style to the project, with the end product being a cosy space that celebrates the vibrant spirit of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Staying in a hotel is always a luxury, what’s your favourite thing about a night away?

For me, it’s the sense of escape and the opportunity to experience a space that’s both inspiring and revitalising. There’s a unique thrill in stepping into a beautifully designed room that reflects a different world, particularly one that merges comfort with style. It’s a chance to break free from routine and indulge in an environment where you can explore the hotel’s surroundings to enhance your stay. From the luxurious bed sheets that promise a restful night’s sleep to the curated art and design elements that ignite creativity, a night away in a hotel becomes an immersive retreat for me. It’s also about the holistic experience – where ambience, design, and service come together to provide a haven that feels both exclusive and personal.

Talk us through the mood board for the Love Out Loud Room, Ireland’s first Pride-themed hotel bedroom at the Hard Rock Hotel Dublin.

The mood board for the Love Out Loud Room is an expressive blend of bold aesthetics, deep colours, aimed at creating a space that is both inclusive and meaningful. When creating the concept for the room, the initial design draws significant influence from my own studio, where black interiors create a dramatic and sophisticated backdrop. In addition to that, the vibrant and eclectic atmosphere of the Mother Nightclub in Dublin has played a crucial role in shaping the room’s energetic and welcoming vibe. I was able to get original photos of the Mother Nightclub space shot by Babs Daly (which was located where the Hard Rock Hotel Dublin reception area stands today) so it all just felt right! These influences come together to craft a space that is unapologetically expressive and deeply connected to the LGBTQIA+ community.

The colour palette revolves around rich, dark hues, particularly deep teal and black, which set a striking and elegant tone. These colours are complemented by pops of neon accents, inspired by nightclub aesthetics, to infuse energy and vibrancy into the space. The neon ‘Love Out Loud’ sign is a focal point, symbolising pride and the celebration of love in all its forms. Luxurious textures play a pivotal role in enhancing the room’s ambience with signature touches from my own brand such as contrast stitching from one of our big showpiece garments. The bed features plush velvet in deep teal, creating a sense of opulence and comfort. The use of bonded cottons that are padded and sleek silk organza pillows adds layers of tactile richness, inviting guests to relax and unwind. 

The ingredients of a good hotel room are… a good bed because comfort is paramount for me. A bed that offers luxurious support, from plush cushions and pillows to crisp white sheets, will ensure the best and most restful night’s sleep. I also think lighting can be a key component of any hotel room. Simple but effective lighting can really set the tone. It uplifts the space and makes the eye move to the other textures within the room. 

My sleep essentials are… a combination of comfort items and practical accessories that ensure a restful night, even if out partying the night before!

Here’s what I always make sure to have: 

  • A good pillow is essential for proper neck support and comfort. I prefer a mix of firm and soft pillows – like the plush velvet ones in the Love Out Loud Room – to find the perfect balance for a restful sleep. Controversial but I prefer a good firm mattress as I feel I mentally sink into a bed more than physically.
  • I really can’t bear silence, it terrifies me – so I use white noise to help me get into a deep sleep. Sometimes if I really want an insanely deep sleep, I have no problem putting in AirPods, which my partner prefers!
  • I personally love freezing cold cotton sheets and then a cosy duvet which makes a big difference. High-thread-count cotton sheets, help regulate me from getting too hot and are super comfy against the skin.
  • Not necessarily essential, but from time to time, I use the This Works sleep spray. I try to avoid it in hotels because I really go into a zone where not even an alarm can wake me!

Whether it’s the luxury of a well-designed hotel room or my own bedroom, having these items makes all the difference in achieving quality sleep.

What are your top tips for creating impact when designing your own bedroom at home?

Creating impact in your bedroom involves making decisive choices that reflect your personality and create a harmonious and comfortable space. Here are some of my tips to help you achieve that: 

  • Decide on a style that is reflective of you. Whether it’s industrial, minimalist, modern, or something else, having a clear idea will guide your decisions. Even having an A3 sheet of paper with a collage of ideas will help with focus and stop you from deviating when browsing online and in stores. 
  • The bed is typically the focal point of a bedroom. Invest in quality bedding, pillows, and a headboard that complement your style. Consider adding a statement piece like an upholstered headboard or a decorative bed frame, but don’t overcomplicate it. 
  • Once you have decided on the bed, then work outwards from there on a colour palette that promotes relaxation and suits your taste. Soft neutrals, soothing blues or greens, or warm earth tones can create a serene atmosphere. The Love Out Loud room has a feature wall but if you are too nervous to make the jump, colour can be added through accessories or artwork for personality. 
  • Lighting sets the mood in a bedroom. Incorporate layers of lighting with overhead fixtures, bedside lamps, and possibly accent lighting that can be placed behind mirrors to make it a standout feature. 
  • Looking at your mood board, try and mix textures to add depth and interest. Incorporate soft textiles like shaggy rugs, throws, and curtains to create a cosy atmosphere. If space allows, why not incorporate statement furniture pieces, such as an antique dresser, a vanity, or a stylish occasion chair to anchor the room and reflect your personal style. This can also be achieved with artwork, photographs, or decorative items that speak to you. 
  • Lastly, infuse your personality into the room with items that are nostalgic or meaningful to you —a favourite coffee table book, a magazine collection or vinyl records can really make your bedroom feel more authentically yours.

 

My favourite pieces in the Love Out Loud room are…

  1. I can’t start this off without talking about the ‘Love Out Loud’ sign. It’s a bold statement piece that embodies the room’s theme of celebrating love and pride. It adds a vibrant and modern touch to the space. It was custom-designed for this room and created by a company here in Dublin called Club Neon – Sean, the owner, is known for his unique and high-quality neon work. The sign serves as both an art piece and a source of ambient lighting, creating a dynamic and welcoming atmosphere. It’s a visual representation of the room’s ethos, encouraging guests to express themselves freely. 
  2. Another favourite piece is the headboard of the bed. It provides a striking focal point and features a rich teal velvet fabric that I purchased from Capel Upholstery. I then customised this with intricate textural patterns that add depth and sophistication to the room. It’s a nod to the DNA of my own brand, which is known for eye-catching contrast stitching. 
  3. We created the scatter cushions in my design studio in various shades of teal and hot pink. They add layers of comfort and style to the bed and complement the furniture. They’re a tactile luxury but also bring in pops of colour that reflect the vibrant energy of the Pride theme, making the bed inviting and visually appealing.
  4. I also love the recessed tracking lighting within the room. It’s subtle yet effective, enhancing the room’s ambience without being overwhelming. Good lighting is crucial for setting the mood. The combination of recessed ceiling lights and adjustable track lights allows for flexible lighting options, perfect for creating a cosy or lively atmosphere as desired. 
  5. The panelled wall in the Love Out Loud room adds a touch of elegance and creates a sense of intimacy within the room. It also adds a layer of architectural interest, making the space feel more intimate and thoughtfully designed.

Each of these pieces was chosen not only for their aesthetic appeal but also for their ability to contribute to the room’s overall narrative of inclusivity, pride, and luxury. Together, they create a cohesive and inviting space where guests can feel both celebrated and at home.

From €229 per night including breakfast. For the month of June, pick up a limited edition Pride Tote Bag designed by Colin Horgan, €25, including a bottle of bubbles and chocolates, with all proceeds from every bag sold going to the hotel’s Pride charity partner GCN, Gay Community News, a free information service paper and website for the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland since 1988. hardrockhotels.com/dublin.