Boutique Design - September 2017 - 54
2 Layering lighting
and mirrors around
the bed offers both
superior task lighting
and a visual anchor to
the wall. Wall-mounted
3 A dramatic shift from
deep tones to pastels
emphasizes the sense
of discovery in moving
from the guest room
to the bathroom.
draw the eye through
the guest bath.
Experimental Cocktail Group
CHZON: Dorothée Meilichzon,
boutiquedesign.com September 2017
What's cooler than being your set's guide to what's new and next? Nothing, if you
ask Dorothée Meilichzon, founder, CHZON. For this 18-room hotel (a London
outpost from Paris-based restaurant, nightclub and hotel operator Experimental
Cocktail Group, which has the Grand Pigalle hotel in Paris to its credit, along
with another soon-to-open hotel, Hotel Grands Boulevards, in the City of Lights),
formerly two townhouses in the Covent Garden neighborhood, you'd have to
know what you're looking for even to ID the door.
Every piece of the interior design is set up to save the best for the guest, not
the casual passerby or anyone looking for quick-hit moments. Meilichzon crafted
the design journey to pull guests into the experiential aspects of the hotel-in
other words, you have to spend some time, not just take a great selfie. That starts
with Meilichzon's decision to de-emphasize the arrival experience in favor of the
slow-burn impact of an F&B outlet.
"The public area layout is typical for London-very long and a bit narrow-not
easy to work with for a restaurant, but we decided to do a very open space, with
reception just as part of the restaurant," says Meilichzon. Adding elements of
biophilic design (using natural elements and research into human behavior to
make guests feel "at home" in a space) such as herboriums, greenery and terra cotta
keeps the focus on setting the mood, not the scene. Having guests practically check
into the restaurant also invites them to linger and fully experience the public space.
Meilichzon maintains that attitude in the guest rooms, but amps up the palette
and design details to make them the real focal points of the hotel. The "wow" inspiration board of architectural facades, playful tones and cheeky riffs on shape and
proportion defines the private spaces, not the public ones, here. Massive headboards behind each bed mimic the facades of nearby structures. Bold colors and
textures, as well as 1970s-inspired accent pieces, offer a wry modern twist to the
historic references those buildings imply. And, as the extensive use of mirrors both
around the bedheads and by the vanities make clear, it's the guest who's the star.
Did being in the know ever look better? Non, merci, as this proves.
K AREL BAL A S