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Room to improve: 7 hotels we’re taking design cues from
Image / Living / Interiors

@edennairobi

Room to improve: 7 hotels we’re taking design cues from


by Sarah Finnan
14th Jan 2024

Stuck in a bit of a design rut? These boundary-breaking hotels will help get those creative juices flowing again.

Knowing where to turn to for design inspiration can often be the hardest part of any interior project – especially if you’re not into whatever aesthetic du jour is doing the rounds on Instagram. 

Minimalism has been replaced by maximalism. All white is no longer the go-to and most people want houses that resemble indoor greenhouses rather than actual human living quarters… well, according to social media, at least. 

Trends, however, come and go and there’s no point in just jumping aboard a bandwagon for the sake of it. Interior design projects can be expensive and not many people have the time, patience or budget to adhere to such regular fluctuations in popular opinion. 

So, how do you avoid this? Spend some time researching what it is you like – even if it’s not necessarily the “in” thing. Clashing patterns, bright paint and statement artwork can all make it seem like you know what you’re doing and hotels are a great place to turn to for ideas on what does/doesn’t work. 

Here are seven hotels we’re taking our design cues from. 

Makoto Miami 

This one technically isn’t a hotel, but it’s too good not to include so allowances had to be made. Arriving in Miami Beach over a decade ago, Makoto has spent the guts of 10+ years cementing its status as one of the area’s best sushi restaurants. Recently finding a new home on Bal Harbour’s third floor, the place has undergone a complete transformation – trading its dark, rustic interiors for warmer, more pastel colours instead. Architect, designer and scenographer India Mahdavi was brought on for the project, describing the result as “a more feminine experience of Japanese dining. At the crossroads of cultures.” 

Claridges Hotel 

The art deco hotel in the heart of Mayfair, Claridge’s is the self-proclaimed ultimate in British service and timeless glamour. Always looking to the future when it comes to design, the hotel continuously embraces new visions and voices with past collaborators including the likes of Diane Von Furstenburg, Veere Grenney, Guy Oliver, David Linley and Bryan O’Sullivan amongst others. The above suite is one of Bryan’s latest masterpieces, which uses bright, statement colours to bring character to the otherwise simple decor. 

The Connaught 

Another hotel in which Bryan O’Sullivan’s artistic influence can be seen, The Red Room at The Connaught was even awarded Best Interior in the British GQ Magazine Awards. A hideaway that guests can only discover through a velvet-curtained doorway from the hotel’s champagne room, this cocooning space showcases a collection of creative works in red by four female visionaries and the soft-hued palette allows the art to sing. 

Eden Nairobi 

Family home-turned-art-filled boutique hotel, Eden is the physical embodiment of the creativity that takes place inside fashion designer Anna Trzebinksi’s brilliant mind. A colourful pastiche of antiques and artwork (as per Condé Nast Traveler), the property comprises nine different rooms spread across the main house and the studio of Anna’s late husband, artist Tonio Trzebinski. The decor is rich yet rustic, and each room is filled with Trzebinksi family artwork, interspersed with personal mementos, contemporary African literature and wooden tribal headrests. 

The Pinch Charleston

A luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Charleston, The Pinch combines comfort and sophistication with a smidgeon of southern charm. The work of New York architect Morris Adjmi and hospitality Method Co, the hotel is housed in a 179-year-old building in the city’s historic district. Dashes of Victorian heritage blend with mid-century modern comforts throughout the building with features such as busy, eye-catching wallpapers, plush sofas and parquet flooring amongst its most notable design elements. 

Sommerro House

The former headquarters for Oslo Lysverker – the city’s electrical company – Sommerro House is Norway’s first art deco hotel. Inspired by the building’s powerful past, inside you’ll find over 200 rooms ranging from cosy loft spaces to lavish suites. Each room layers Norwegian functionalism with rich art deco details, bespoke furnishings and curated artwork that nod to the building’s brilliant history. Think warm colours, contrasting textures and beautiful light fixtures. 

The Dean Galway 

One of Galway’s newest hotels (and rumour has it, hottest, too), The Dean is the City of Tribe’s first design-led hotel… and it doesn’t do conventional, in any sense of the word. Offering super comfortable bespoke rooms, the interior incorporates some of the locality’s unique historic structures including a portion of the Galway to Clifden railway tunnel (built in the 1980s) and a two-storey building dating back to the 1820s. Take your cues from their design team and be brave with your bedroom paint/headboard choices. 

This article was originally published in June 2022.