Boutique Design - January/February 2016 - 20
The GraduaTe OxFOrd hOTel
Graduate Hotels: Andrew
Alford, chief creative officer;
Marli Jones, senior designer
Rows of books undeRneath the check-in desk illustrate the collegiate theme
behind the Graduate Oxford Hotel with A+ clarity. But, making the grade for a legible
design narrative was just one part of the coursework for Graduate Hotels' chief
creative officer Andrew Alford and his team. The rest? Branching out into variations
on the typical slew of reference points for an Oxford, Miss., hotel.
"We're a block away from the (well-known) Lafayette County courthouse and we
could have easily done a local reference with a big photo of it," says Alford "But-and
this is a very Beavis and Butthead way of putting it-anything that obvious is like
getting a tattoo of your bum on your bum."
So, he bypassed the landmarks and went straight to the streets to realize his
vision of eye-catching chic. The elegant "Southern preppie" vibe of the inhabitants
was a jumping off point for handsome furniture pieces and plaid textiles. Local
culture gets the undercover treatment. A small floor detail makes a clever subtle nod
to the local phrase "hotty toddy" (a regionalism of hoity-toity) with an installation of
So, what's next for the designers behind themed hotels once the story is told?
Making in your face design that stands out on its own. The pink lobby floor and lime
green chairs are a tribute to local street style, not Ole Miss. Designers will get to make
these projects their toy boxes-and who wouldn't want to play along?
boutiquedesign.com January + February 2016
2 Plaid and polka dots come
together for a quirky statement.
A dark wall offers visual balance.
Julian Coyle Art Associates
CHRISTIAN HOR AN PHOTOGR APHY (GR ADUATE OXFORD); COURTESY OF GR ADUATE HOTEL S (ALFORD)