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Boutique Design - March 2019

Published by Saigon Design Center, 2019-05-31 13:43:05

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MARCH 2019 VOLUME 15 | ISSUE 2 28 16 37 STAR TREKKERS | 16 DEPARTMENTS Boutique Design’s 2019 Up-and-Coming Hoteliers are exploring new hospi- FROM THE EDITOR | 4 tality territory with concepts and business models that boldly test the status THE BUZZ | 6 quo. Steven Wilson, 21c Museum Hotels; Marcus Carey and Damon Lawrence, PRODUCTS: BDWEST EXHIBITORS | 56 Homage Hospitality; and Peter Mack, Collective Retreats, share insights on PRODUCTS: SEATING | 62 the up- and downsides of charting a new course. EXIT INTERVIEW | 80 EAT THIS, DO THAT | 28 ON THE COVER Los Angeles’ dining scene feeds your soul, your Instagram and your inner The Boutique 18 and the child. Find out how red-hot venues Bavel, Tesse and Two Bit Circus use design Up-and-Coming Hoteliers to turn a meal into a night to remember. NEW SCHOOL | 37 The designer in this year’s Boutique 18 class is made up of equal parts deter- mination, ingenuity and profound understanding for what makes us all tick. They’re on the forefront of how guests’ needs are changing, what design will need to do to address them, and what the best tools are to make it all happen. Meet them in this collection of mini-profiles. 2 MARCH 2019

BY MARY SCOVIAK, EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL DITCH THE SAFETY NET Publisher/Vice President, Boutique Design Group THIS ISSUE IS a celebration of risk takers. think—whether that’s pleasant thoughts about Michelle Finn Leaving their comfort zones behind, what- pure beauty and humor or uncomfortable issues [email protected] ever the professional—and personal—implica- such as sex, death, gun control and racism. tions, is the thread that carries through from Editor in Chief the 2019 Up-and-Coming Hoteliers (page 16) Collective Retreats’ Peter Mack is a role model Mary Scoviak and the Boutique 18 (B18) honorees (page 37) for all those who believe they can make their [email protected] to the what-if restaurateurs and tech-savvy mark without having to cater to a mass market. entertainment entrepreneurs redefining LA’s He would have had quite a trajectory if he’d Art Director culinary/cultural scene (page 28), the pioneers stayed with previous boss, the legendary hotelier/ Kelly Farrar looking to bring cannabis-related ventures into investor Barry Sternlicht. Instead, he struck out [email protected] the mainstream hospitality industry (page 6) on his own, creating a concept that would bring and the Bulgarian immigrant who left a steady people closer to nature and what’s real. Special Projects Editor gig working on high-profile projects to start Oriana Lerner his own firm (page 80). Marcus Carey and Designers honored in this B18 class are just [email protected] Damon Lawrence, who each earned one of as fearless. It’s not easy to wake up one day and this year’s Up-and-Coming Hotelier awards for acknowledge you really don’t want to be an Associate Editor their successful launch of Homage Hospitality, engineer or that your dreams of being a balle- AnnMarie Martin summed it up, saying, “We’re risking more than rina aren’t going to come true. Nor is walking [email protected] we can sometimes stomach because this effort through the door to a client meeting solo after represents our life’s joy.” just a couple of weeks on the job. Then, there’s Contributing Editors the whole issue of fighting for design integrity, Alicia Hoisington The people featured here aren’t waiting for finding ways to proactively enhance the local Alicia Sheber change to happen in this industry; they feel a community and holding firm to your ethics. personal responsibility to make it happen. Carey Production Director and Lawrence are spotlighting the hotel indus- Yeah, risks are scary. But not taking them is Nan McDowell try’s oversight in not understanding the needs scarier still. “There have been a lot of moments of the African American travel market and not when I didn’t know what do, when it would have Production Manager bringing more diversity to their upper-level been easier not to have a controversial piece or Terri Hill management and leadership teams. give a talk,” says Wilson. “That’s why I have a sign [email protected] in my office that says, ‘Just Do It.’” (770) 291-5481 Fellow honoree Steve Wilson, cofounder of 21c Museum Hotels with his wife, Laura Lee Boutique Design Marketing Director Brown, silenced naysayers who claimed people Sandi Luppert in second-tier cities didn’t “get” contemporary [email protected] art or chef-driven fare. Their success also bears out their contention that art in a hotel setting Executive Vice President should be provocative; it should make people Joe Randall SALES Associate Publisher/Business Development Manager, Midwest/West Melani Beattie [email protected] (312) 218-5691 Business Development Manager, Northeast Michael Schneider [email protected] (212) 404-6936 Business Development Manager, Southeast Scott Rickles [email protected] (770) 664-4567 Sales & Marketing Manager Cassie Maurer [email protected] SERVICES Reprints & E-Prints The YGS Group [email protected] (800) 290-5460 Customer Service/Subscriptions [email protected] (800) 697-8859 Copyright Clearance Center [email protected] Ph: (978) 750-8400 | Fax: (978) 646-8600 CORPORATE Interim President And CEO Philip Evans Chief Information Officer Bill Charles Senior Vice President, General Counsel And Secretary David Gosling Senior Vice President, Finance Dave Sunderland Senior Vice President, Marketing Services Joanne Wheatley Vice President, Human Resources Eileen Deady PUBLISHED BY 4 MARCH 2019

COACHILLINN COURTESY OF DLW ARCHITECTS INCONSPICOUS CONSUMPTION: DESIGNING FOR CANNABIS HOSPITALITY Mary Jane got a makeover. Hello, glammed-up branding, delicious edibles, discreet vape pens and health-focused topical Cannabidiol (CBD). Find out how that new image (and the users it attracts) is shaping the look and operating model for hotels where usage is permitted. BY ORIANA LERNER Pot is not something clients want guests to feel comin’ in the air tonight, or any night. Far from being stoner paradises, the upcoming cannabis hotels (designed for fans of both non-psychoactive Cannabidiol [CBD] and Tetrahydrocannabinol [THC], which is psychoactive) will fit the substance’s new, integrated-into- the-cool-crowd vibe. Users and non-users should be able to stay side by side. “My goal is to create hotels where businessmen, conference goers, concert goers and families feel welcome, whether they use mari- juana or not,” says Roger Bloss, founder, Coachillinn, the hotel component of canna-business development Coachillin’ in Desert Hot Springs, California. Bloss is also developing several cannabis hotels. “Also, I don’t believe cannabis hotels will have an infinite lifespan. As legalization becomes more widespread (recreational use is currently legal in 10 states, one U.S. territory and the District of Columbia, as well as all of Canada and Uruguay, while unrestricted legalization doesn’t exist elsewhere), the novelty is going to wear off.” 6 MARCH 2019

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THE BUZZ COACHILLINN AILEEN CANTA CARA FEDERICI COURTESY OF DLW ARCHITECTS (COACHILLINN); COURTESY OF AF CANTA INC. (CANTA); AF CANTA INC. THE MADISON MELLE AGENCY COURTESY OF ROGER BLOSS (BLOSS); COURTESY OF THE MADISON MELLE AGENCY (FEDERICI) For now, though, site planning and layout for cannabis ROGER BLOSS hotels are a front-and-center tool for venues that appeal COACHILLINN to a broad range of guests. First step: controlling odor. Most of these venues plan to ban smoking in public areas. In the guestrooms, Aileen Canta, founder, AF Canta Inc., believes in dedicated smoking rooms (she’s one of the first industry insiders to understand and publicize the impor- tance of cannabis projects, and she’s seen how legalization affects hotels in Colorado, where she is based). “There’s a fabric that is being developed to not retain smell. But it’s still in the works. For now, it takes two days and a complete steam cleaning for the odor to go away, making this a room turnover issue,” she says. Cara Federici, ceo and founder, The Madison Melle Agency (who works as a consultant and is currently creating a cannabis retail outlet for a confidential luxury hotel), agrees, but says physical separation from the rest of the hotel is key to prevent odors from penetrating non-users’ rooms. Bloss isn’t a believer in smoking rooms. Instead, he plans large balconies where guests can consume outside, as well as outdoor public and private spaces. Since Coachillinn is located in the middle of a canna-business park, already a hotbed of dispensaries and cultivation, it’s unlikely anyone in the neighborhood would complain. For more urban hotels, though, it can be an issue. Federici says one option is vaping-only outdoor areas. 8 MARCH 2019

THE BUZZ What does all this mean for the designer? First, it means banishment of anything that screams stoner culture. No neon green pot leaves, 4/20 references and definitely no Cheech and Chong quotes. Start with the bones of a great boutique hotel. Weave in the hemp references behind the scenes, says Bloss, who’s planning hemp uniforms and sheets at Coachillinn, as well as possibly replacing concrete with hempcrete in the construction. “You can expect to see subtle references in the art, similar to the way other hotels might include local culture as an accent,” he says. Acres Cannabis, a dispensary his company operates in Las Vegas, offers a sneak peek into what the hotels’ aesthetic could be like. Starting with a look that blends its basic functions of high-end retail, open kitchen, art gallery and marijuana “farmers’ market,” offbeat touches (think the word “high” on a woman’s shirt in one of the murals) reinforce the space’s purpose without going over the top. Chandeliers and blonde wood display cases move the atmosphere upscale. That’s a key takeaway, especially for hotels that are incorporating cannabis retail. “Manufacturers create products that look and feel sophisticated and elegant, removing the stereotypes and reinventing the product through packaging alone,” says Federici. “These items will be integrated seamlessly into a hotel’s upscale retail display—on a shelf in a storefront or behind a display case. For example, CBD haircare or lip balm items would fit nicely in to an already existing retail display.” She says CBD-stocked minibars are another way to bring non-psychoactive cannabis to hotels. Bloss also points out that CBD’s reputed health-enhancing properties makes it appealing to the wellness traveler. He plans on incorporating Equinox Fitness-style luxury gyms with a focus on mind- body practices into his hotels. So, designers will need to level up these spaces—no more putting two treadmills, one elliptical trainer and one stationary bike into a small room with some free weights and calling it a “fitness room.” Finishes will need to match the rest of the hotel. Lighting and acoustics will have to be handled with the precision of a nightclub. And, that, as they say, is a tour of the high points of designing for hotels where cannabis will be used. These will certainly be some of the buzziest projects of the next few years. COACHILLINN COURTESY OF DLW ARCHITECTS 10 MARCH 2019


THE BUZZ DAVID BREEDING MADISON BREEDING SHIRLI SENSENBRENNER JESSIE ALDRIDGE INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY CORALTREE HOSPITALITY COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY DESIGNER GENES BY ORIANA LERNER Two design/architecture students share their thoughts, dreams, and the ups and downs of following in their parents’ footsteps. e classes of - will soon take their place as your next employee or golf game. Another cool thing would be to be a city planner for a mountain town BOB ALDRIDGE (ALDRIDGE);COURTESY OF COR ALTREE HOSPITALIT Y (SENSENBRENNER); COURTESY OF colleague. Before they do, we wanted to know what the industry looks like from because I love the mountains, and city planning is also one of my interests.” INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP (DAVID BREEDING); GISELLE JACKSON (MADISON BREEDING) their point of view. Boutique Design sat down with Jessie Aldridge, a freshman at Colorado State University majoring in landscape architecture, and Madison As Aldridge’s digital landscaping dream shows, tech is, obviously, a staple of Breeding, a junior at Georgia Southern University majoring in interior design. work and play. Do these emerging creatives see an analog renaissance coming? Here’s a look at what they see ahead. Not really. Aldridge believes it’s a losing battle to try to make people unplug. In his view, it’s better to focus on outdoor environments that work in reality Fun fact: both are second-generation members of the industry. Aldridge’s and on Instagram. Breeding is straightforward about her reliance on software mom is Shirli Sensenbrenner, senior vice president, design+development, (Revit, CAD and Photoshop, for example) and also how much she “craves” time CoralTree Hospitality (who you can catch speaking on creating meaningful on the computer away from work. narratives at Boutique Design West [BDwest], March - in Los Angeles). Breeding’s dad is David Breeding, vice president, architecture & design, e In other words, while robots may never become a front-of-house hotel Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group (you heard him speak on Tech and must-have, connectivity will remain a priority in design, inside, outside and Design at Boutique Design New York [BDNY] in November ). all around. While tech is an important resource for students, Aldridge and Breeding get more red up by travel. He nds inspiration in high-tra c urban In a world that’s becoming ever more virtual, one where two-thirds of high areas such as Pike Place Market in Seattle or Trafalgar Square in London and schoolers will eventually hold jobs that don’t yet exist, what still draws students urban skylines. She’s obsessed with the architecture in Quebec City. to careers with a D, tactile product? For Breeding, it was childhood vacations when the whole family would point out any damaged or messed-up FF&E at Both credit their parents for exposing them to the world of architecture and the hotel. “I got to see what being in the design world was really like and I was design (yes, they’re also aware that it can be tedious and frustrating at times). so fascinated,” she says. It was her real-world entrée into the industry, since she points out that her dad made sure work stayed “at work” when she was growing ere’s a lot to be said for the advantages of starting into an industry with the up. Aldridge’s reasons for his major are more diverse. e primary driver is his encouragement, connections and expertise of mom or dad. “I love the conversa- passion for golf. He’s been drawing golf courses since he was . Playing Minecraft tions with my dad where we can just talk until everything makes sense,” Breeding with middle school friends helped reinforce his love of creating spaces. He’s also says. ere’s also the downside. ink of all the musicians’ kids who get signed to deeply committed to using design to help stop climate change. labels, book tours and do interviews without paying half the dues most of their peers do. “It’s absolutely the hardest conversation to have,” she says. But, she Breeding’s and Aldridge’s future plans re ect two di erent options for digital stresses, making her own connections and making sure outreach comes directly natives: apply their skills in a more traditional side of the industry or incorpo- from the student goes a long way to dispel those issues. She has two internships rate them into an emerging or adjacent space. Breeding is staying put in the under her belt: one at Atlanta-based interiors rm Design Directions Intl. and family business. “ ere is just something about hotel design that has stuck with one at the Atlanta o ce of purchasing rm Carver & Associates to esh out and me since the beginning: that is the fact that you always learn something new. No diversify her own skill set and start to build a network all her own. As a freshman hotel is the same, and no project will be the same,” she says. Aldridge is open to Aldridge hasn’t yet come up against that particular hurdle. “But, my mom works working on landscapes for a hotel company, but he also has ambitions further with amazing landscape architecture companies where she’d like me to get an a eld. “My dream job would be a golf course designer in real life or even in a VR internship, which I would love,” he says, adding that because he doesn’t share her last name, people aren’t always quick to realize their relationship. £ 12 MARCH 2019

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BOUTIQUE DESIGN 2019 UP-AND-COMING HOTELIERS STAR TREKKERS 21c Museum Hotels’ Steve Wilson; Homage Hospitality’s Marcus Carey and Damon Lawrence; and Collective Retreats' Peter Mack boldly go beyond the expected to expand the boundaries of how impactful a hotel concept can be. BY MARY SCOVIAK AND ORIANA LERNER 21C MUSEUM HOTEL K ANSAS CIT Y, MISSOURI THE RINGMASTER MIKE SCHWARTZ COURTESY OF 21C MUSEUM HOTELS (21C MUSEUM HOTEL); GLINTSTUDIOS COURTESY OF 21C MUSEUM HOTELS (WILSON) STEVE WILSON COFOUNDER (WITH LAURA LEE BROWN), 21C MUSEUM HOTELS AS A CHILD, Steve Wilson used to transform his sheets Kentucky gubernatorial administrations, he leveraged into a tent, crawl inside with a flashlight and pretend to his base as deputy commissioner of public information be the ringmaster of a fantastic, color-filled circus. It to help create a new Department of Arts and later take was the perfect escape from the Bible Belt conformity the reins as executive director of a high-profile restora- expected of the oldest son of the local mayor (home was tion of the governor’s mansion. He also sharpened an Wickliffe, Kentucky) and the ongoing physical chal- uncanny knack for talent spotting. This soft-spoken lenges that plagued a farm kid who suffered from Kentuckian has made his mark on the world stage as a asthma and a variety of allergies. “My father was a fearless collector of contemporary art. He and his wife, second-generation farmer with a strong work ethic. He Laura Lee Brown, an artist and heiress of the global had his own expectations about what I should spirits giant Brown-Forman, have built a renowned become—which I didn’t share. I was dreaming of weird collection of more than 2,500 works. projects he couldn’t even imagine,” says Wilson. “It was a difficult time, but it’s part of who I am today. 21c “We only buy pieces from living artists,” says Wilson. Museum Hotels is my new circus. It gives me a platform “Other than that, there are no rules.” That attitude, and to create and to make people happy.” his second sight for finding the next name to drop, have made him a bellwether for industry icons such as Chris It would be easy to write off Wilson as just a Dercon, director of London’s Tate Modern. The museum showman. As part of his three-decade stint in various head was quoted in The New York Times as saying, “I love 16 MARCH 2019

21C MUSEUM HOTEL K ANSAS CIT Y, MISSOURI The first 21c Museum Hotel opened in 2006 in downtown Louisville. A double-size replica of Michelangelo’s “David” in front of the building embodied him (Wilson). Most people want to collect like their neighbors. He wants to the in-your-face moment Wilson has made a signature. But it’s the blend of collect things he doesn’t know yet. He’s not afraid to make a mistake.” innovation and common sense inside that justified his cred as a ground- breaking hotelier. No matter that the world had plenty of “art hotels” before this Fortunately for him, Wilson doesn’t make many missteps. Behind the art- 91-room property debuted. “We built a hotel for the artists; we weren’t simply smart trendsetter, the red glasses, the floral Gucci jacket worn at his Kentucky using art as decoration,” he says. “We named the property 21c Museum Hotel to Derby soiree and a penchant for party starting/ending tricks such as ziplining make the point that it is a museum with curated, rotating shows.” into the pond at the western Kentucky estate-like “farm” he and Brown call home is a disciplined business mind. No ego-telier, he’s clear that there’s no His choice of Deborah Berke Partners to do the design made that claim more magic in front of the house if the numbers don’t pencil out in the back. That’s than lip service. The multidisciplinary firm’s portfolio includes the Yale University what gave rise to the launch of what he sees as a “new model” hotel company. School of Art (Berke is dean of the Yale School of Architecture); New York’s Mari- anne Boesky Gallery and the Art Sanctuary at Bard College, among others. For Wilson saw that downtown Louisville needed a new economic driver. “There guests, the art is front and center. Behind the curtain, Berke’s inventive lighting was no urban culture that would make people want to live in the city,” he says. program and clever installation hardware makes it easy to change out the exhibits “So, they were moving out beyond the suburbs. Farmland and greenspaces were regularly, while her expertise in gallery interiors puts a carefully balanced seating disappearing as more and more subdivisions cropped up. Locals needed a reason mix in just the right places for optimal viewing (and discussion) and focuses on to reverse that trend. We believed the right kind of hotel could be that reason.” materials that complemented rather than conflicted with the artwork. It’s a good thing Wilson and Brown had complete faith in “a multi-venue Security wasn’t an overarching issue. “We deal primarily with new artists. contemporary art museum, chef-driven restaurant and boutique hotel.” “People We’re not going to hang a Picasso, so we don’t need the security to protect it,” practically lined up to tell us why this wouldn’t work. Bankers and investors Wilson says. In fact, 21c Museum Hotels’ penguin mascots are very much about didn’t believe there was enough interest in contemporary art in Louisville to “do touch.” Wilson and Brown bought the figures from Cracking Art at the 2005 support a concept like this,” Wilson says. “But, given our experience with groups Venice Biennale after seeing them atop various buildings as a statement about who came to us to see our collection, we knew they were wrong. Someone telling endangered species. “It was afterthought to put them in the hotels,” Wilson me I can’t do something is a big driver for me.” In this case, so was the goal: to says “We had to go back and negotiate rights for each color (every hotel has a bring art to the public in a way that’s profitable and builds community. specific shade). They’re virtually indestructible. Kids play with them. Adults Instagram them. It’s great.” Wilson knows what he doesn’t know. He tapped the award-winning, New York-based Myriad Restaurant Group to oversee the F&B operations, and liked the result so much that he hired away Sarah Robbins to be 21c Museum Hotels’ chief operating officer. Harvard University Law School alum Craig Greenberg brought the financial acumen and deal-making savvy the company needed. Initially, Wilson thought about affiliating with a brand to bridge the opera- tions/marketing piece. He soon rethought that. None of three management companies passed muster either. “We were doing things too differently from typical hotel operators,” he says. “We had no uniforms, no ribeye specials on Wednesdays. Traditional hotels lock their meeting rooms when they’re not in use; we have all of ours open. We consider them to be public space. It was a series of disconnects, so we took the manage- ment in-house.” Maybe Wall Street didn’t get what Wilson and Brown were trying to do, but Main Street and the travel media did. The Louisville property was a huge success, garnering “best of ” accolades from Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, USA Today and U.S. News & World Report, as well as earning inclusion in the Inc. 5000 list of top American entrepreneurs. Although the hometown hotel was meant to be an only child, its success soon saw siblings in seven other secondary cities. Being the first to offer something cool in markets under- served by anything but box hotels had obvious business advantages on the revenue side. But Wilson also appreciated the investment benefits. “Many of the cities we went into had federal tax incentives to get companies to invest. There were also historic tax credits. Combined, that package made it worth- while for us to go to Bentonville, Arkansas, or Cincinnati,” he says. “Craig (Greenberg) is as creative on the business side as I am on the art side. He finds the balance between being creative and spending money to get attention and being frugal enough to make the projects pencil out.” MARCH 2019 17

21C MUSEUM HOTEL K ANSAS CIT Y, MISSOURI 21C MUSEUM HOTEL NASHVILLE 21C MUSEUM HOTEL NASHVILLE Whether it’s helming a hotel company or competing on the ries haven’t been a deterrent). Now my involvement will be focused on what I MIKE SCHWARTZ COURTESY OF 21C MUSEUM HOTELS U.S. equestrian team in the pair driving event at the 2017 World love doing—purchasing art and selecting the right locations for our properties. Championships (he was 69), Wilson operates at high speed. I’d like to go international, but our agreement with AccorHotels will keep our Having mastered the learning curve in secondary cities, he set his development within North America for several years.” It was also good for this sights on making 21c Museum Hotels a lifestyle contender in the self-professed introvert. “It would be easier not to go on the TED (Talks) stage or center ring. Step one was closing deals on projects in Chicago put on funky clothes. But I feel I have a role in the community,” he says. “I’m and Nashville. Step two was to get to a point where the company always pushing myself to be that person and not get distracted and not with- didn’t have to rely on its own balance sheet for growth, especially draw,” he says. His secret sauce: “I tell myself there’s no way to turn back. Like the in Top 20 cities. sign on my wall says, ‘Just Do It.’” The man who reportedly was laser-focused enough to buy So, even while the “Death Clock” (the aka for Austrian artist Werner Reiter- $117,000 worth of art in 37 minutes at Art Basel Miami Beach er’s “My Predicted Lifetime” piece with an LED display that counts down to the applied that same filter to assessing prospective investors. His date actuarial tables estimated as the end of a 70-year-old man’s lifespan) clicks choice, and that of his leadership team: AccorHotels. “We didn’t off the seconds, Wilson says he’s “a happy guy.” “If the art in our hotels makes have to sell; nor were we in a hurry to sell. But, they got what we people think, I’ve done my job,” he adds. “I’m going to have a party the day the were about,” says Wilson. And, the acquisitive French giant clock hits zero. That will be one more naysayer I’ve proven wrong.” agreed to Wilson’s and Brown’s mandates that the properties continue to be multi-hyphenate museums/restaurants/hotels; that the couple would continue to collect and curate the art; that they would retain a 15% stake and that Wilson would be involved in the choice of development sites. Wasn’t it hard to step out of the spotlight? “Actually, it was somewhat liberating,” he says. “I was worrying about a lot of things. The thing I brought to 21c Museum Hotels was my creative ability. But, the bigger we got, the more my attention had to go to HR, balance sheets, bankers and loans. Even with all that Craig was contributing, those responsibilities weighed on me. I felt respon- sible to our 1,000 employees. I always had to be perfectly smart, had to pick the right deal, hit the right percentages. Selling the controlling stake and announcing my retirement in 2017 (Green- berg is now president and ceo, and Wilson retired from his position as chairman of the board in 2018) means I can be competing in a pair driving event rather than sitting at my desk (numerous inju- 18 MARCH 2019

THE MOOR, NEW ORLEANS THE TRAILBLAZERS MARCUS CAREY AND DAMON LAWRENCE COFOUNDERS, HOMAGE HOSPITALITY Homage Hospitality is what happens when two dent Barack Obama’s first inauguration didn’t deter outlets inside of the building and affiliation with a IMOTO.COM ( THE MOOR); KIM DAVALOS (CARE Y, L AWRENCE); IMOTO.COM ( THE MOOR) young entrepreneurs have a dream, quick-study him. “I remember seeing Thompson Hotel brand represent massive upside while providing business skills, a high DIY tolerance and no Plan cofounders Jason Pomeranc and Stephen enjoyable creative experiences for our professional B. Millennials Marcus Carey and Damon Brandman (Pomeranc’s brothers Michael and Larry, lives. The day-to-day operations, the sheer impor- Lawrence may not have grown up fantasizing also cofounders, weren’t present) that day and they tance of human capital, the interpersonal interac- about being the next Bill Marriott or Ian Schrager, knew everyone. I told my manager, ‘I want to be tions and the preservation of physical spaces for all but once they had their first encounters with the them.’ I imagined what a hotel would look like to enjoy represent the types of challenges that hospitality industry, they knew they’d found the during the inauguration of our first black president these assets have to face head-on.” right vehicle to give them the scope to test drive if the hotel was also owned and operated by a black new ideas as well as equip them with an engine person. I never believed that there was anything Like many ambitious newly minted grads, Carey that could rev up social change. else that I could do that would be as rewarding. I and Lawrence knew their path wasn’t going to be looked at the hotel landscape nationally and easy. It wasn’t just a question of putting in the time Lawrence, a Pasadena, California, native, met thought I should be able to have at least one and needed to gain experience and move “up the his future by chance. “I had every intention of going that, once I proved my concept worked, I could ladder.” There weren’t many role models. “(Black) to law school,” he says. His college career started at grow a portfolio. It’s been that simple for me.” hotel ownership is, in fact, very low in proportion the University of Louisiana, but he transferred to our contributions to the industry,” says when Howard University offered him a football Carey, who was raised in Detroit, became Lawrence. “Part of the reason for that is, to date, scholarship. He lost a year’s worth of credits in the focused on hotels through the filter of the financial hotel ownership and brand building haven’t been process, was deemed ineligible to play because of it side. He was already a man on a mission when he exposed to our community as an exciting opportu- and found himself looking for jobs (yes, more than decided on a finance major at Howard University nity. Prior to our launch, African American hotel one) to cover his academic costs. The luxury life- (the pair’s paths never crossed on campus; they ownership has been uninspired and over-indexed style brand Thompson Hotels was in the process of met serendipitously at a dinner party in Oakland, on the brand side, less on the boutique side.” So, opening Donovan House as its first Washington, California). “I chose my major because I saw the they decided to pave the way themselves. Lawrence D.C. outpost. Lawrence “was fortunate” to be hired reality that capital access has been a fundamental spent 10 years climbing the industry’s career ladder, to work on the front desk. barrier to upward mobility for people in the taking on positions in every department from sales communities I hold dear,” he says. “Relative to other and marketing to F&B and seeking out jobs with a “Being on staff at the Thompson, especially assets, hotels have an interesting mix of upside and range of major brands—The Ritz-Carlton got high during the pre-opening and opening phase, taught challenges that have always piqued the creative marks for “empowering employees to become the me so much about the industry. I was hooked,” he side of my personality. The potential for diverse best versions of themselves.” says. Even the 24-hour workday leading up to Presi- 20 MARCH 2019


THE MOOR, NEW ORLEANS THE MOOR, NEW ORLEANS Carey “got his training wheels” from stints in private equity with CCMP Capital DIY-ing the operations side without the infrastructural security blanket of a IMOTO.COM (THE MOOR) and in venture capital with SVB Capital. That gave him first-hand experience in big brand forced a lot of introspection. “For example, we had to look at how evaluating large, complex assets; creating financing platforms; and developing busi- black people travel and what impediments exist when we travel. We had to ask ness strategies to maximize portfolio performance. It also taught him how to read ourselves what opportunities there are to ensure that we can travel with our prospective deals. “I learned how to assess idea-oriented, early-stage projects,” he identity intact,” says Lawrence. Translating that mission statement into every- says. “It was perfect training for determining the potential of hotel sites.” thing the guest encounters is one of Homage’s wheelhouses. By 2014, Lawrence took the leap and launched the Homage Hospitality A seemingly rote decision such as the choice of bathroom amenities takes on brand. It didn’t exactly take off. Finding funding wasn’t easy, nor was navigating huge importance. “Black skin and hair have unique needs, so products tailored to the turbulent waters of acquisitions. In 2016, Lawrence and Carey saw that they those requirements are effectively products perfect for all our guests, not just had to get rid of their part-time job safety net (which included driving for Uber some of them,” he adds. “Our key filter is pretty straightforward—when we create and Lyft and talking up their passion project to their passengers) and stop space for those most overlooked, we’ve created space for everyone.” waiting for the perfect moment to put out their shingle. They anted up more than $100,000 of their own savings, got a boost from a few investors such as The resounding success of this “hausotel” that blends the intimate welcome Metrovation, a privately owned specialty real estate company committed to of a bed-and-breakfast with the cool of a lifestyle hotel is opening doors for this revitalizing under-utilized areas, and officially started their hotel company. young company as is the payoff for a tough apprenticeship. As Carey points out, “In the beginning, we had difficulties navigating the landscape for such a Their first lesson was about being nimble. Oakland, California, was the capital-intensive business model. We’ve definitely improved those navigation initial target for the flag’s debut. That didn’t work out at first (though an techniques along the way. One of the best moments of my job is crafting the Oakland hotel is in the works for a 2019 debut). So, they switched gears to New right pitch and raising capital.” While he and Lawrence were willing to take Orleans. Yes, the real estate is reasonable, but there is a deeper reason. “A “thin returns” on their first hotel, Carey sees the company coming closer to a fundamental part of our belief is that all people deserve quality experiences time when a project has to have the potential to deliver the more-or-less stan- that motivate and replenish them when they patronize hotels, and sometimes dard 20% internal rate of return expected from strong hotel assets. that requires meeting people where they are, geographically as well as in all other respects,” says Lawrence. In other words, it’s not flyover country. Smaller markets may have been ideal testing grounds, but Homage wants a bigger platform for its message. Oakland and a second New Orleans property The site of a 1921-era Spanish colonial house on Canal St. gave them the are up next, then California cities such as Los Angeles and Napa. Brooklyn, right foundation and right location to show off a brand that celebrates diverse Miami, and Washington, D.C. are already on their radar. They’re also looking at cultures and energized the local community—both socially and economically. sizing up drastically from the four suites at The Moor to a standard 75- to The property that would introduce Homage to the world in the summer of 2018 150-key property for future hotels. “We also believe our approach has global also gave them a reality check on how hard the hotel business can be. appeal,” says Lawrence. Watch for pins on the development map in London, Lagos, Tokyo and the Caribbean one day. With growth goals like these, It was pretty much a DIY project. “We found a few contractors to do some of Lawrence and Carey are going to have to delegate more. They’re already in talks the heavy lifting, such as the bathroom tiling and light demo, but we ended up with outside design firms for projects on their boards, and they’re shifting into doing most of the work ourselves,” says Lawrence. “As our first effort, we wanted hiring mode.  a property that was unapologetic and made a serious statement about what Homage stands for. We didn’t commission a design firm due to tight budget For right now, though, the hands-on approach is a perfect fit, even if it constraints. DIY was ultimately the right approach for Project One; the lessons means sacrifices. “We’ve had to sacrifice guaranteed income, fostering personal learned about space planning, for example, will inform us for years to come.” relationships, and even self-care at times,” says Carey. “It’s sometimes a struggle to keep things at equilibrium, and I believe we’ve just now started to figure out So did the push-pull of balancing their vision and budget. “We found out what that looks like for us,” adds Lawrence. Balance, for them, means not that, sometimes, we have to take more ( financial) risks than we think we can getting pulled off course by pressure to “keep up with the Joneses.” “Whatever stomach,” adds Carey. But, that’s not carte blanche to overspend. For The Moor, we ‘miss’ isn’t for us and we know we aren’t for everyone,” says Lawrence. “We he says they “invested heavily in design-oriented pieces and furniture that want to connect with our customers in a way that’s lean and deep.” In a world speaks to our guests’ curiosity while value engineering our comfort compo- of micro-influencers and curated living, that approach couldn’t be more timely. nents such as technology and collateral materials.” 22 MARCH 2019

COLLECTIVE HILL COUNTRY, THE IN-TENTS VISIONARY COURTESY OF COLLEC TIVE RETRE ATS (COLLEC TIVE HILL COUNTRY, MACK ) WIMBERLEY, TEX AS PETER MACK COLLECTIVE HILL COUNTRY, WIMBERLEY, TEX AS CEO AND FOUNDER, COLLECTIVE RETREATS COLLECTIVE HILL COUNTRY, WIMBERLEY, TEX AS Canvas is his canvas, and he’s painting a picture of a new hospitality 24 MARCH 2019 world. Forget what you think you know about camping from either your last trip to Coachella or a stay in a glamping tent. Peter Mack is proving that outdoor hospitality, combined with the operational and branding know-how of the brick-and-mortar hotel world, can become a flag with strong visual and experiential signatures and scalability. Currently, the four-year-old company has five properties, including a high-profile 2018 debut on New York’s Governors Island. They’re also planning to expand into permanent structures: shelters, treehouses and tiny homes. Luxury FF&E, sourced from local artisans or built in-house, creates a distinctive vibe. Being able to pack away the entire site’s buildings and furnishings alike at the end of each season ( for now, year-round stays will be possible once the shelters debut later this year) allows for annual soft- goods renovation and hard-goods rethinking (such as repainting or refinishing of bed frames, nightstands and so on). Mack’s company might be something of an outlier in its emerging sector, but the thirtysomething Starwood Hotels and Resorts alum isn’t a believer in solo projects. His core team consists of what he calls “adventures and visionaries” who each have demonstrated expertise in a field that’s key to the success of the Collective brand. Some of them, such as investor and advisor Simon Turner (yes, that Simon Turner, former president, global development, Starwood Hotels and Resorts), and Kerry Houghton, chief development officer and general counsel, bring fluent industry expertise from the cutting edge of the hotel world. Others were picked for their “special skills” in areas that are specific to Collective, such as mountain home building or construction in challenging climates. “Many of Collective Retreats’ current locations have tricky and unpredictable weather patterns, and we’ve been able to use our deep knowledge to help adapt and adjust and create amazing guest experiences,” Mack says. He’s also open about how much he had to expand his own skill set to feel comfortable launching Collective. He’s fine to jump into new territory feet first, but not headfirst. His Cornell University education and decade-plus tenure at Starwood gave him a solid grounding in the industry. What it didn’t do was give him the hands-on experience of being at a start-up. When he decided to launch Collective, mentors advised him to fix that. He did that with a stint at endurance athletics giant Tough Mudder (which also supplied key members of his Collec- tive leadership team), mastering the ins and outs of creating outdoor venues where he couldn’t control the site planning (those hills aren’t going anywhere) and building experiences. Just as he takes no chances on his own resume or his team’s, the guest experience is developed through extensive research, though he’s open to thoughtful risk-taking. “R&D is the first step—we hold focus groups, surveys, etc. putting our guests at the forefront and foundation of our process,” he says. “We anticipate what our guests are going to want next year, in five years, and beyond, in order to stay ahead of the trends and be proactive with the ever-changing whims of guest behaviors and motivations. We are always testing things in the market. Most of the time, they are right and work and sometimes they don’t, but we learn.” Good advice for life and hotels. 





TANVEER BADAL1 EAT THIS, DO THAT With the burgeoning hotel scene’s headline projects delayed or on pause, LA’s design geniuses are pouring their creativity into culinary venues that make dinner a night out in itself. Meet Bavel, Tesse and Two Bit Circus. BY ORIANA LERNER “DO YOU WANT a wine shop, panoramic mural view or VR game with that?” ask designers and owners at three of Angelenos’ most beloved restau- rants. Capitalizing on the city’s laidback sense of luxury, indoor/outdoor culture and playful approach to reinventing the wheel, Bavel, Tesse and Two Bit Circus offer way more than the noms. Here’s how the design minds behind them create transformative dining experiences that go off- menu, and sometimes off-world. Chew on this. 1 Mounting extensive greenery in Bavel's dining room on the ceiling keeps it away from excessive contact with diners and team members, which can damage plants. MARCH 2019 29

CROWD MAGNET PROJECT PARTICIPANTS BAVEL, ARTS DISTRICT BAVEL This eatery doesn’t even need signage. Just look for the queue of eager patrons that spills out GREG BLEIER CLIENT TANVEER BADAL (BAVEL); COURTESY OF STUDIO UNLTD (BLEIER) onto the sidewalk and wraps around the curve of the valet parking area. What’s so worth the STUDIO UNLTD Genevieve Gergis and Ori wait? Chefs/restaurateurs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis’ second restaurant (the husband- Menashe, chefs/owners and-wife team's, Bestia, remains a staple in the neighborhood) is one of the hottest dinner spots 2 Low, delicate backs on both DESIGN FIRM east of the Harbor Freeway (Highway 110) thanks to its hearty, un-intellectual Middle Eastern chairs and barstools create Studio UNLTD: Greg Bleier, fare (there’s no side of pretentiousness), its full-on buffet of indoor/outdoor experiences and a a clear sightline to the bar. founding principal/creative great location surrounded by the graffiti-painted buildings in the Arts District. director; Terri Robison, prin- cipal; Ania Bown and Eunice Greg Bleier, founding principal/creative director, Studio UNLTD, knew he and Gergis (she Kim, designers; Becky collaborated on the design) had to create a look that complemented the food and a layout Becheanu, lighting designer; that prevented congestion inside the building. The process started with fixing one of the Rebeka Di Palma, project structure’s technical difficulties. “Simply getting the power upgraded to support a restaurant coordinator and the adjacent coffee-roasting facility was far and away the biggest challenge,” says Bleier. ARCHITECT “It delayed the project months and became a major undertaking that necessitated a new Osvaldo Maiozzi service pole and station. The patio was a bit of an undertaking as well, due to the complexi- PURCHASING COMPANY ties of height limitations (so as not to interfere with the daylighting of the interior) and the Studio UNLTD ceiling requirements of a dining patio.” GENERAL CONTRACTOR Howard CDM With those challenges addressed, Bleier moved on to the layout. Ample waiting space DESIGN CONSULTANTS at and room at the bar is a must, but as he says, the biggest design driver is the food—and KRB Specialists (kitchen the people behind it. “Watching the team is like watching pirates on a ship working design); SHA Acoustics together. They are on display and it’s very much a show,” he says. So, the standout design (acoustic design); Steve elements, especially the extensive greenery (watered by a timed irrigation system) help Siegrist Design (landscape redirect guests’ eyes toward the action. He sees the wine counter and bar as “stages” for design) their respective team members. ART AND ACCESSORIES Antiqued Mirrors Co. All the world’s a stage, and the people merely diners? Maybe, just maybe. After all, even Christopher Perez eating a meal in a vibrantly creative area needs some performance quality. Livinglass FLOORING Fireclay Tile Howard CDM Sealed Concrete 2 Stone Source Walker Zanger FURNITURE American Furniture Mfg., Anthropologie BARCA Tile & Stone Barn Furniture Bend Goods Brothers of Industry Design Within Reach Jonathan Charles Magis Modul Marble RH Contract LIGHTING Anthropologie Alphabet Lighting Circa Lighting Etsy/Yasemin Celik Focus Industries Hydrel Winscape Intense Lighting L’aviva Home Lightolier Lithonia Lighting Pinnacle Architectural Lighting Tech Lighting Tom Dixon Tokistar Lighting Volt Lighting Group RESTROOMS Qortstone Linkasink MAC Faucets UPHOLSTERY Architex Designtex Cortina Leathers TRI-KES WALLCOVERINGS AND MATERIALS BASWA Dal-Tile Kismet Orco Pental Surfaces Portola Paints & Glazes Spec Ceramics 30 MARCH 2019

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3 Careful space planning enables guests to choose from a variety of dining experiences. It also lets them (and the team) walk through the spaces effortlessly. NATURAL BEAUTY TESSE, WEST HOLLYWOOD Some interiors embody the spirit of no-makeup makeup. last element. “I really wanted the exterior/interior wall to ALEXIS READINGER BRANDON BARRE (TESSE); COURTESY OF PREEN, INC. (READINGER) This WeHo triple threat restaurant/café/wine shop is one be a thickened masonry wall, and conceptually it is,” says PREEN, INC. of them. Sure, it’s partially owned by the iconic talent Readinger. “However, we have this earthquake rule in Cali- management firm, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), but its fornia that will not allow for full-height, unreinforced PROJECT PARTICIPANTS emphasis on tactile, inventive surfacing use and appealing masonry walls. In order to save time and money, we had atmosphere is Cali cool, not cinematic conceit. Alexis to forego our architectural truth and apply our bricks as TESSE DESIGN Readinger, principal, Preen, Inc., and the team of chef veneers inside and out. The actual material was easy, local, CLIENTS CONSULTANTS Raphael Francois and restaurateur Bill Chait were fine affordable and with a company that uses lower CO² Bill Chait; Jordan Integral (MEP with bypassing the accessory obsession and focusing on cement.” A little sleight-of-design-hand was also required Ogron; CIM Group design); KRB materials that felt good to touch, sit on and experience. to bring the former Fred Segal café in line with Tesse’s and Creative Artists Specialists (kitchen brand. Earthier tones evoke the California landscape. Pink Agency (CAA), design); Lightgreen Having an expo kitchen in the middle of the dining terra walls are a subtle nod to wine-lover conversations partners (lighting design) area both reflects Chait’s carefully-planned, offbeat about terroir and a perfect lead-in to the pebbled walls in DESIGN FIRM CEILINGS layouts (he’s driven to develop the perfect floorplan, the actual wine shop. Preen, Inc.: Alexis Indoteak according to Readinger) and the team’s desire to keep the Readinger, principal; FURNITURE vibe more relaxed. The seating options offer just the right For Readinger, it’s keeping a consistent mindset about Behnoud Najafi, Artisan mix of privacy and interactivity for a venue where diners design that makes integrating different spaces possible. project manager Jecco could be there for work or play. Shared bar loveseats with She cites the example of a verdura brooch that came up ARCHITECT LIGHTING tea height tables attract the social butterflies, while more for auction during her stint working at Sotheby’s during Osvaldo Maiozzi Clarte secluded booths appeal to diners who’d rather stay with college. The brooch was designed to resemble a bunch of PURCHASING Marset their own group. grapes, and the diamonds that made up the “grapes” were COMPANY Optic Arts selected to imitate real-life light and shadow, from the Preen, Inc. WALLCOVERINGS Keeping the visuals grounded creates a seamless whole greyest ones to the clearest. “All of the diamonds had GENERAL AND MATERIALS across both of those experiences, as well as throughout all value. Every material has intrinsic value. The beauty is in CONTRACTOR Heath three venues under the Tesse umbrella. Wood ceilings, a how they are put together and how their combination Barling Construction tiled bar, streamlined furniture and a spectacular interior creates an ethos that is of the place, the project and the wall that looks like clever brickwork reinforce the “real- people involved,” she says. ness” of the space. Shh, though, there’s a secret about that 32 MARCH 2019


4 CREATIVE FORCE TWO BIT CIRCUS, ARTS DISTRICT Sci- just got real: VR experiences are on the menu at this former board with it. To balance it out, we brought in a third aesthetic HECTOR ALVAREZ COURTESY OF TWO BIT CIRCUS (TWO BIT CIRCUS, ALVAREZ) apparel warehouse, along with arcade games and updated midway- pillar based on an industrial look and feel,” he says. Cue natural TWO BIT CIRCUS style eats. It doesn’t just bill itself as the world’s rst micro amuse- wood (or a simulated nish if necessary), neutral or warm incan- ment park. It proves it, subdividing a massive space into a descent lighting with colored spotlights to distinguish di erent PROJECT areas and a major centerpiece bar. at last one was a test of will- PARTICIPANTS nd-century spin on the circus for those who like mashups, hands- power and invention—placing it as desired in the middle of the on activities and tech just as fun. After all, LA is home to the brains space required extensive trenching to run plumbing and beer lines TWO BIT CIRCUS behind some of the lm world’s most memorable geek moments from the kitchen at BC’s east end. Putting a robotic bartender, CLIENT (think about the green screen work on your favorite movie). Gearmo del Pouro, behind the counter at his own bar to the west TWO BIT CIRCUS of the carousel one also took some extra forethought. Like most DESIGN FIRM How did the team create this haven of both nerdiness and bots at this point, he’s a little clumsy, so built-in a ordances keep TWO BIT CIRCUS: Hector cool? ey’d actually developed and honed the brand through him from accidentally beaning his customers. Alvarez, creative director pop-ups long before it had a permanent space, but when they found this building in , they expanded the brand language to Alvarez himself had to be a lot more precise in his space plan- 4 Greatest Show on Earth: include environmental design. en, they added in layers of inte- ning beyond that beverage hotspot. Unlike a lot of gaming loca- Theatrical is the name rior-speci c detail. When they sat down to envision the venue, tions, the experiences at BC aren’t in an isolated, quiet room. of the game when a everything from “dazzle camo” (the geometric pattern that is carousel-inspired bar their version of circus stripes) to their signature palette was ey’re located in the middle of what is e ectively a nightlife spot is a venue centerpiece. already set. ose colors are: Not Black, Clown’s Blood, Mohawk with all the noise and (com)motion that implies. “ roughout the Grab a seat on the Red, Tealio Iglesias, Ally McTeal, Cheese Product and Not White, venue design process we made constant tradeo s between enter- hindquarters of a as listed in their brand guidelines, along with the RGB, Hex, tainment density, electrical requirements, and sound intrusion,” carousel horse for a CMYK and Pantone values for those shades. says Alvarez. “For those games that we developed in-house, we subversive perch. could make subtle design modi cations to better suit the venue. “We understand that Clown’s Blood is extremely hazardous to For the rest, we’ve been fortunate to have good relationships with source, so for non-paintable items and surfaces, we try to look for vendors; sometimes a minor tweak to a game experience can opportunities to do four-color substrate or decal printing that have major impact on the overall feel of the space.” And, some matches our color values,” says Hector Alvarez, creative director, Two can be in a more open space as long as the infrared motion Bit Circus, tongue rmly in cheek. If nothing is an exact match, sensors from one game don’t cause havoc with another, players they’ll just do their best—Alvarez notes there is usually something have good headphones as part of their headsets and there is pretty close. If a perfectionistic match for a certain shade of yellow adequate line-of-sight blocking. seems a little cheesy to designers, well, it did to Alvarez as well. If there were a behind-the-scenes for these restaurants, the “We knew right from the start that both circus and videogame talking heads would agree that eating in Los Angeles is about taking culture would heavily in uence our theming, but we were also a big bite out of the life that diner is living at the moment. Yum! £ very deliberate on making sure we didn’t go too literal or over- 34 MARCH 2019

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NEW SCHOOL This year’s Boutique 18 honorees are using lessons learned from mentors, travel, activism and tough days on the job to create innovative work and develop management processes that will win top marks for being best in class. BY ANNMARIE MARTIN AND ALICIA SHEBER BOUTIQUE DESIGN’S 2019 class of Boutique 18 (B18) brings together rising These fresh voices do just that while recognizing their impact within a larger stars from all sectors of the industry. The impact of their work, the innovation team. If they were to give an acceptance speech at the Academy Awards, they in their ideas and their sheer grit in pulling that through to execution has made would surely encounter the cut-off music playing over their lengthy thanks them standouts in a densely crowded field of talented professionals on the move. to all the people who have gotten them to where they are today. And the next They’ve made their voices heard from platforms and positions that span the few pages prove that, as honorees also honor the people who have had a hand spectrum from the small, start-up design studios to mid-sized firms punching in seeing their headshot featured on a cover of a magazine this month. Katie above their weight, and global giants on both the design and hotel brand sides. Kelchner, design manager, Embassy Suites and HGV, Hilton, sums it up well. Principals, project managers, senior designers—all kinds of titles made the cut. “You never do anything alone. I compare designing a project to making a movie, except at the end of a movie there’s a list of every person that contributed to From their educational backgrounds to their roles and responsibilities, making it,” she says. “Life is a team effort. There are people who have helped get the B18 definitely is not about sameness. There’s no template for what makes you where you are today and will help get you where you’re going in the future. someone the designer most likely. But, what they do share is the “and” on their For me, the list of those people is endless, and I hope that I’ve paid it forward.” resumes. Delivering great concepts is just a piece of the recipe for success. As these creatives prove, designers have to go beyond that to master technology, In fact, the reason B18 was created is deeply rooted in this idea of paying it branding, market psychographics, wellness, operations and even core issues forward, of recognizing what these change-makers of our industry contribute to based around community planning and development. Then carry that on… it, how they put forth their best every day to make projects shine and work to take design to new heights, but also what they give back to their teams and clients. That doesn’t mean the lessons they learn driving that road always come without pain points. But the designers featured in these pages realize it’s how That’s why the stories of the 18 designers you will read over the next few pages those issues are responded to that opens up worlds of possibility as well as were chosen by leaders in the hospitality design community as a new school of professional—and personal—growth. As Natalie Sheedy, president, Sheedy/ talent with a curriculum from which even the most seasoned designer can learn. DeLaRosa Interiors, puts it: “Own it.” Own the mishaps just as much as you own the successes. To find out more, check out the expanded Boutique 18 coverage on MARCH 2019 37

UP-AND-COMING DESIGNERS FIRST PINCH-ME PROJECT: The suites at Margaritaville Island Hotel, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It was surreal to join well-respected peers at Boutique Design’s Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design in New York (the project was a finalist in 2016) and know our work was recognized as one of the industry’s leading designs. MOST CHALLENGING DAY ON THE JOB: My JORDEN ADAMS SUMMER BAY ORLANDO BY EXPLORIA RESORTS, FLORIDA first week at Design Poole, I went solo to run a meeting at an architect’s office for a project I knew Director of Design little about. I’ve grown leaps and bounds because Design Poole Inc. of Trisha’s (Poole, principal, Design Poole Inc.) confidence in me from the beginning to handle any situation. Our team shares teaching moments, so we all become better at what we do. WORK IN PROGRESS: A dual-brand property HER TO-DO LIST FOR MOST CLIENTS: Cut the technology lag time. I COURTESY OF DESIGN POOLE INC. (ADAMS); MARK BALLOGG (SUMMER BAY ORL ANDO BY EXPLORIA RESORTS); in Atlanta’s Centennial Park; partnering with a make every effort to share this knowledge with clients; however, COURTESY OF WATG (AHMED); COURTESY OF VICEROY HOTEL GROUP (VICEROY AT OMBRIA RESORT ALGARVE) prominent brand for a Designed Space for Boutique sometimes the associated investment is a speed bump we can’t get Design New York 2019; two hotels with an Orlando over. Guests demand personalized convenience and don’t want to call entertainment company, the first of which will housekeeping from a land line for towels—they just want to ask Alexa. open this summer. GEEKING OUT ON: Oculus glasses. We recently started incorporating them into presentations to show clients how spaces look and feel through virtual reality. It would be fun to have a reMarkable tablet, a digital version of paper and pen, and AirPods, too, but my track record with headphones isn’t great! ANISAH AHMED VICEROY AT OMBRIA RESORT ALGARVE, PORTUGAL WORK IN PROGRESS: Viceroy at Ombria Resort in Portugal’s Associate and Senior Designer Algarve region; Omni Homestead Wimberly Interiors, a studio Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia; and the Four Seasons Cartagena of WATG in Colombia. ADVICE FOR THOSE STARTING OUT: Pay your FAVORITE PROJECT TO DATE: Rosewood Baha WISH-LIST CLIENT: Someone who gives me dues and learn from all experiences and people, Mar, Nassau, The Bahamas (a finalist in Boutique total freedom to design with an unlimited whether a leader in your studio, a vendor or a Design’s 2018 Gold Key Awards for Excellence budget, has great taste in books, art and client. Be open to different design processes and in Hospitality Design). We had an accessories fashion, and understands what it takes to communication methods. Making mistakes is part budget, which doesn’t happen often, and I loved create great spaces. Also, Kate Middleton of our job, but how you handle and learn from them styling each space to bring our design intent (Duchess of Cambridge). makes all the difference. to fruition. 38 MARCH 2019

UP-AND-COMING DESIGNERS FAST-FORWARD: Co-working spaces get guests out of their rooms and into our lobbies and common spaces. We are studying how within our hotels’ existing framework we can create environments conducive to various work styles through furnishings and technology, as well as ways to monetize under-utilized areas and meeting spaces. WORK IN PROGRESS: Signature Inn, Bend, Oregon; ANNA BOGLER THE CRAWFORD HOTEL DENVER UNION STATION, COLORADO Signature Inn, Temecula, California; Hotel RL, Miami; Red Lion Hotel, Port Angeles, Washington. Director of Interior Design RLH Corporation IF SHE WEREN’T A DESIGNER SHE’D BE: Pursuing my aspiration to be a large-scale installation and interactive sculptural artist. SPECIAL SKILLS ALREADY IN HER TOOL KIT AND WHAT SHE’D LIKE TO ADD: I’ve developed an empathetic COURTESY OF RLH CORPOR ATION (BOGLER); ELLEN JASKOL (THE CR AWFORD HOTEL DENVER UNION STATION); understanding of end-users’ and owners’ requirements, expectations, limitations and concerns. COURTESY OF STONEHILL TAYLOR (BULL ARD); DAVID MITCHELL (THE VANDERBILT) I’ve also learned how to listen with a view to uncovering the opportunities and constraints that balance everyone’s needs. I’m working on nurturing my bravery. If I don’t challenge the status quo and push our design teams to rethink how guests interact, engage and experience our brands, it’s a disservice to our owners. Don’t tell people your dreams, show them. ABBY BULLARD THE VANDERBILT, WESTBURY, NEW YORK HER TRADE SECRET: Living in New York, I’m surrounded Associate by trends and influences. Stonehill Taylor Fashion shows especially help me forecast color WHAT STARTED HER CAREER PATH: Building Resort & Spa, Cedar, Texas; AC Hotel, Greenville, and pattern trends. Even a custom dollhouse shingle by shingle as a South Carolina; Autograph Collection, Pittsburgh, the shapes, forms and little girl ignited my fascination for creating 3D Pennsylvania; restaurant/bar, New York; Hyatt stitching details of blouses environments people enjoy. Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, Bonita and blazers inspire my Springs, Florida; 450-unit, new-build luxury designs. JW MARRIOTT STARR PASS timeshare in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NIGHTMARE MOMENT: When WORK IN PROGRESS: Hyatt Regency Lost Pines the contractors didn’t show up for a hotel lobby installation. I worked straight through to the next morning getting furniture, books and accessories in place for our client review. COMMUNITY CHAMPION: I often reach out to local vendors to understand how we can celebrate regional talents and fold their art and products into each project. 40 MARCH 2019


UP-AND-COMING DESIGNERS BRAVE NEW WORLD: Helping launch our first ALEXANDRA THE ST. REGIS TORONTO U.S. office was an amazing opportunity. I really BRUEMMER didn’t know what I was signing up for, but the founding partners trusted me. I was thrilled to Director, West Coast join such a global, dynamic firm and immerse DesignAgency myself in Los Angeles’ creative scene. With bringing in new business, finding new talent, ADVICE FOR NEWBIES: Find the right studio with WORK IN PROGRESS: New Hollywood and keeping clients happy, and monitoring projects’ good chemistry. Bouncing around a bit is OK if New York locations of NeueHouse; a financial health, I’ve learned more in the last you give it an honest try. Being a designer isn’t as mescal bar at Park MGM Las Vegas; three years than the first eight years of my career! glamorous as many think, so work with those you a confidential Pendry Hotels project; We’ve worked really hard, but when a tight and admire and trust, and leadership who pushes you Joie de Vivre Hospitality project, talented team unites under pressure, amazing toward something fantastic. Seek senior mentors San Diego, California. things result, including collaborations with great who will share knowledge, experience and contacts. brands on incredible projects. GOOD DESIGN IS GOOD BUSINESS: Everything begins with design that supports clients’ business plans. Seat counts, the placement of the hostess stand and the location of points of service impact operations, and therefore, a restaurant’s success. Going beyond logistics to enhance the desired experience also increases the value of our clients’ brands. For The Dalmar, Fort Lauderdale, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, we developed the naming and brand identity along with the interiors, resulting in a stronger, more cohesive concept. AMY CHEEKS HYATT CENTRIC ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA WORDS OF WISDOM FROM CLIENTS: Embrace COURTESY OF DESIGNAGENCY (BRUEMMER); BR ANDON BARRE (THE ST. REGIS TORONTO); the unknown and remain patient when working COURTESY OF NEL SON (CHEEKS); DR AGONFLY IMAGE PARTNERS (HYAT T CENTRIC ARLINGTON) Director, Interior Design diligently toward goals. We may not have all the NELSON Worldwide answers today, but if we don’t rush the process, we will achieve great end results. WORK IN PROGRESS: A midscale, dual-brand millwork and finishes throughout. Lobby zones hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood feature seating types signature to each brand, FAVORITE PROJECT: Converting an existing hotel Suites at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. We’re with modular elements and workspace areas to the Hyatt Centric brand in Arlington, Virginia, marrying each brand’s signature elements and relevant for Hilton Garden Inn, and residential- let me do what I love: source interesting art and amenities within shared spaces while also style furniture around a fireplace representing design custom carpet patterns and colors. The designing for full-service guests with upgraded Homewood Suites. project team complemented each other, which made the process even more fun. Some brought technical expertise or an eye for beautiful details, while others contributed amazing presentation skills. The leaders gave the designers freedom to explore and come up with creative solutions, resulting in a vibrant and a bit eclectic hotel. BIGGEST LEARNING CURVE: I’m not the most boisterous person in the room, and loudly expressing opinions is not my forte. Working with trusted colleagues and being as prepared as possible allows me to voice my thoughts and be heard. 42 MARCH 2019


UP-AND-COMING DESIGNERS ENVIABLE EXPERIENCE: New York-New York Hotel, Las Vegas; WATERMARK Baton Rouge, Autograph Collection, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel, Louisiana; Kimpton Aertson Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee; The Alexander, A Dolce Hotel, Indianapolis; Loews New Orleans Hotel, Louisiana; Hyatt Regency Houston/ Galleria Hotel, Texas. IF NOT AN INTERIOR DESIGNER, HE’D BE: Probably a wealthy computer engineer who hated his job. FAVORITE TECH TOOL AND WHAT’S ON HIS WISH DOUGLAS DETIVEAUX KIMPTON AERTSON HOTEL, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE LIST: My iPad Pro and Apple Pencil truly rejuvenated Senior Interior Designer, my appreciation for sketching, which happens Associate more often now when giving direction to younger Gensler designers. Transportable digital drawings that could be unrolled in client meetings haven’t been invented explore ideas, create custom solutions and apply NEXT HOT TREND: We’re currently testing FEATHER AND T WINE PHOTOGR APHY (DETIVEAUX); ANDREW BORDWIN (KIMPTON AERTSON HOTEL); COURTESY OF yet but would be hugely beneficial for visually new design principles for every client. the limits of smaller room sizes in VISION HOSPITALIT Y GROUP (EWING PARROTT); STREETSENSE (KINLEY CHATTANOOGA SOUTHSIDE) communicating design concepts and solutions. the U.S. I’m also fascinated with the WORK IN PROGRESS: Interiors of the four and idea of designing a hotel in orbit. AHA MOMENT WHEN HE DECIDED TO BE five-star hotels at Manchester Pacific Gateway San Accommodating groups at zero gravity Diego, California; Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & would be challenging, but we’ ll cross that AN INTERIOR DESIGNER: After one too many Spa, Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico; avid hotels space bridge when we get there. uninspiring calculus classes studying computer prototype (InterContinental Hotels Group). engineering at Louisiana State University, I decided to follow my passion for interior design. I don’t like doing the same thing twice. Hospitality lets me KINLEY CHATTANOOGA SOUTHSIDE, TENNESSEE AC Atlanta Perimeter; various Hilton and Marriott hotels ASHLEY EWING (confidential). PARROTT BEST LESSON: No one person is Director of Brand Strategy, an expert in everything. I owe a Boutique and Lifestyle Hotels great deal of my knowledge and Vision Hospitality success to working with brilliant Group/Humanist teams with diverse demographics and knowledge. COMMUNITY-MINDED: People in secondary and Community engagement in the design and tertiary U.S. markets are searching for “big city” development process is also a primary focus. THE NEXT WAVE: Bespoke travel vibes. In launching our new Humanist lifestyle with customizable experiences portfolio, we aim to foster economic growth by WORK IN PROGRESS: Kinley Downtown will be an important differentiator introducing creative brands and designs in small Cincinnati; Kinley Chattanooga Southside, as supply increases. From and mid-sized cities’ emerging neighborhoods. Tennessee; The Grady Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky; flexibility in guestroom layout and furniture functions to pre-arrival communication about concierge service for meals and excursions, customizable mini- bars, and preferences for turn-down music, modern travelers are looking for personalization. IF SHE WEREN'T AN INTERIOR DESIGNER SHE’D BE: A political activist. 44 MARCH 2019

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UP-AND-COMING DESIGNERS DIVING INTO: Holistic lifestyle hotels, with spaces that have more than one goal. They can be purposed for wellness or co-working or setting up an art festival on a Saturday. We’re seeing a lot of interest in that, and it’s about time. Maybe the lobby can shift from having a yoga class in one section in the morning to having a local wine and cheese tasting event in the afternoon—events that engage the community and allow people staying there feel more a part of the community. THE AHA MOMENT WHEN SHE KNEW SHE MOLLY FORMAN HILTON GARDEN INN ANNAPOLIS DOWNTOWN COURTESY OF //3877 (FORMAN); COURTESY OF HILTON GARDEN INN ANNAPOLIS DOWNTOWN (HILTON GARDEN INN ANNAPOLIS DOWNTOWN); COURTESY OF TIHANY DESIGN (GENOVA); GEORGE APOSTOLIDIS (BAR BOULUD) WANTED TO BE A DESIGNER: I started studying Interior Designer ON THE BOARDS: Full-service Marriott ballet at a young age. Until I was 14, I thought I’d //3877 in Springfield, Massachusetts.; be a ballerina. My mom told me, “You know you’re Hyatt in National Harbor, Oxon Hill, not going to make any money, right?” She was a in how thorough we can be in the Maryland; Cranes, a restaurant in purchasing agent, and when I was in high school, beginning phase. It also helped us Washington D.C. she took me to a model room review. It was in that realize faster the constraints that moment that I decided I wanted to do interior might be put on your space plan in design, specifically for the hospitality industry. It that initial phase when you think was the first time I’d ever really seen the opposite the sky is the limit. side of what she did—the people who were envisioning and designing these spaces. MOST TRUSTED TECH TOOL: 3D scanner. Bringing that to sites has made a huge difference WORK IN PROGRESS: A five-star Istanbul hotel opening 2020; re-designing Michelin- starred restaurant, Vernick Fish, Four Seasons Philadelphia, spring 2019; Co.De the first-ever Italian design museum on a cruise ship, for the Costa Smeralda, November 2019. ALESSIA GENOVA BAR BOULUD, MANDARIN ORIENTAL BOSTON WORDS SHE LIVES BY: Adam (Tihany, founder and principal, Tihany Design) Studio Director/Senior always says, “Let’s cross that bridge when Designer we get there,” which not only applies to Tihany Design unforeseeable design challenges, but to the little things as well. Never waste your time SPECIAL SKILLS: My Italian background is not really a WHAT REVS HER CREATIVITY: Simply paying attention jumping over hurdles unless they really exist! skill, but it provides perspective for my life and design to the daily routine can be surprisingly inspiring. decisions. It plays a major role in shaping my career Everything is design, so your passion becomes not LIFE-CHANGING PROJECT: Designing and the way I approach each project. The Italian just about your job, but your life. I also draw a lot of simultaneously the Four Seasons model of organization, quick thinking and natural inspiration from dining out because it’s never just Jumeirah Beach’s penthouse and a private instinct for solving problems helps me encourage the about the meal, but the whole experience—and that is villa in the area opened my eyes to the best creative process from our design team. something we really focus on with every project. differences between creating spaces for wide audiences and curating what we believed felt like “ home” for our client’s daily life. 46 MARCH 2019

UP-AND-COMING DESIGNERS THE MOMENT SHE KNEW SHE WANTED TO BE HAMPTON INN CHICAGO MOTOR CLUB A DESIGNER: When it was time for college I was choosing between graphic design and interior design. I found these old floorplans I drew for houses when I was a kid. I also used to play around on a CAD system my dad had installed on our home computer. So, while my friends were drawing unicorns, I was drawing floorplans. It just made sense to choose design. FAVORITE TECH TOOL: Google’s 3D painting app ERIN HECKERT Tilt Brush. It lets others put on 3D goggles and experience a room when it’s still pretty preliminary Director, Gettys One and rough, before you get into full VR renderings. The Gettys Group WORK IN PROGRESS: Dual-brand Hyatt House and Hyatt Place, Indianapolis; TownePlace Suites, Nashville. IF SHE WEREN’T A DESIGNER SHE’D BE: A THE NEXT BIG THING—AND THE CHALLENGES IT POSES: COURTESY OF THE GETTYS GROUP (HECKERT); KENNY KIM PHOTOGRAPHY (HAMPTON INN CHICAGO MOTOR CLUB); stay-at-home mom living on a farm with a small COURTESY OF BRITTNEY HEPLER (HEPLER); COURTESY OF MARRIOTT INTL. (SHER ATON PUBLIC SPACE PROTOT YPE) shop. I taught myself to do a lot of the traditional Communal hotels such as Motto from Hilton. There crafts such as knitting, embroidery, quilting and will be spacial concerns with getting that many gardening. So, if I didn’t do this, I’d try to make a rooms to connect. We’ ll have to get creative on how living off doing that—the simple life. to get people out of their rooms. my hands in mixed reality prior to 3D printing is really exciting. BRITTNEY HEPLER SHERATON PUBLIC SPACE DESIGN STRATEGY TOUGHEST DAY ON THE JOB: This past summer while setting up our Senior Design Manager, immersive Sheraton unveiling in Times Global Design Strategies Square. It was the first temporary Marriott International event I’ve done—and at 4,200 sq. ft. to boot. There were multiple high PRACTICING PROACTIVE DESIGN BY: Studying work on the brand’s transformation; additional stress days, rapid fire decisions, and how far-reaching digital platforms can integrate design strategy work on our Delta brand. me standing in the middle of 42nd into and enhance our physical environments Street in the pouring rain directing my to create a more holistic experience and enable MOST ASPIRATIONAL TECH TOY: I haven’t had a movers through traffic. socialization, productivity and personalization. chance to play with it yet, but I’m dying to get my hands on Gravity Sketch, which tracks your movements so IF MONEY WERE NO OBJECT: If WORK IN PROGRESS: Renovating our Sheraton you can design directly in VR. My team focuses on a lot I were designing something test lab property in Phoenix and continuing to of product design, and the thought of sculpting with to fit what the inside of my brain looks like, it would be a renovated 1960s roadside motel or a Catskills summer camp turned high-tech health retreat with “smart bungalows.” I love antiques and places that celebrate their past. Spinning that together with a layer of technology and personal development is really appealing to me. 48 MARCH 2019

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