Time for unique hotels
here was a time when travellers enjoyed the security of finding the same hotel room in Shanghai as in Wisconsin. Now, however, while global chains remain leaders in offering standard comfort and services, most modern travellers are looking for a unique experience.
A hotel can be special because of the building. It may be unique because of its location or views. It can also be unmistakable as a result of the atmosphere inside – not necessarily because the reception looks like a bar and the lifts are illuminated by a light projector, but, because each room is different, and the public areas surprise guests through original pieces or a new sense of style.
Colonial, Carmen Miranda style
The closest Dimore Studio has come to creating a style for a holiday resort was its involvement in Casa Fayette, Guadalajara (Mexico). Rather than abandoning its use of sumptuous materials and 50s-inspired furniture, the studio combined them with tropical prints.
Interior design applied to the hospitality industry is currently a creative laboratory and a showcase for trends that will later be copied in homes and offices. Dimore Studio, Milan, established by Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran, is partly responsible for this change in the internal aesthetics of hotels, after working their magic in shops and private residences.
Since their first project, involving a light installation in the restaurant at Public Chicago hotel, they have applied their style, which they define as “reminiscent of past times, with a contemporary air,” to establishments in Rome, Milan, Paris and Mexico. They create intimate settings that evoke a different aesthetic, by mixing styles, textures, light and darkness, with a result that is always elegant. “Colour is the thread that ties our hotel work together, but we also mix different pieces, materials and objects,” the designers say.
They don’t like the term ‘vintage’ because they use antique and modern objects: from a 70s print, to a 50s chest of drawers, or a contemporary lamp. They use characteristic objects from a certain period, to create timeless settings. According to Salci and Moran, “In hotels, we want to convey a sense of luxury and warmth, and create a space you could live in.”
One of their latest projects was Hôtel Saint-Marc, Paris. Rather than trying to imitate the style of the time it was built, they have transformed this 18th-century palace near Ópera Garnier into a timeless setting, with Art Deco curtains, velvet chairs, rugs, glass chandeliers and brass headboards. Luxury and originality combined.
But, this is nowhere near as luxurious as the mink sofa they designed for the VIP apartment for guests at Palazzo Fendi, Milan. In this Italian city, where their studio is also located in an 18th-century palazzo, the designers took on the challenge of updating an establishment open for 150 years, the Grand Hotel et de Milan, a family-run hotel, with a traditional clientèle. “Working in hotels and restaurants lets you be as creative as you want, because you’re trying to create spaces that people wouldn’t normally have in their homes,” they explain. The result: hotels where you can dream of how you would like to live.