HD Talks

Hotel California

Posted by on October 7, 2015 in Projects | 0 comments

Last week, managing editor Katie Kervin and I absconded from the East Coast, leaving Joaquin’s threat in our rearview mirror, for the easy living of the West Coast. Call us bicoastal, jet setters, or just lucky but we found ourselves in some of the best parts of California. Katie, an amateur sommelier if there ever was one, traveled to San Francisco for the debut of the redesign of the Palace, A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco (also visiting Napa Valley), while I spent my time in LA in close proximation of celebrity culture like I was a Kardashian.

In all honesty, the Garland, located in sunny North Hollywood, is an homage to the area’s glamorous past. With Universal Studios nearby, the hotel celebrates its entertainment culture while offering a family-friendly vibe and a bit of nostalgia. Indeed, the hotel has a rich history of its own. Developed in 1972 by Fillmore Crank for his wife, actress Beverly Garland, the hotel became an oasis for movie stars like Dolly Parton and John Wayne. Continue reading →

New York State of Mind

Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

Some of the great philosophers of our time have espoused the glory of New York City. “It’s been waiting for you,” Taylor Swift tells us. It’s known, despite serious grammar issues, as “the concrete jungle where dreams are made of,” and ubiquitously decreed:“If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere,” thanks to Beyoncé’s husband/Alicia Keys and Frank Sinatra, respectively. Who am I to argue with that?


A packed house at CitySCENE: New York. Photo by Brennan McKissick

And New York truly is that great as evidenced last night during our CitySCENE: New York networking event at the High Line Hotel, where some of the most talented and ambitious in the industry came out to mingle with their peers. These movers and shakers made the UN General Assembly seem like amateur hour. (Sorry, Obama, Putin, and Castro).


The Refectory at the High Line Hotel

Of course, the Roman and Williams-designed boutique property, a former 19th-century seminary, wasn’t lacking in design details either. Continue reading →

Airbnb Embrace

Posted by on September 23, 2015 in Events, Trends | 0 comments

A few months ago, I was invited to participate in an NEWH Northwest chapter panel discussion—held at the newly revamped Hotel Vintage in Portland, Oregon, designed by Dawson Design Associates—on Airbnb. I know, it’s a company that may seem like the mortal enemy of the hotel industry (and therefore the hospitality design industry). But some of my fellow panelists had surprising perspectives. We talked about changing guest preferences, the Millennial traveler, and whether or not hoteliers should view Airbnb as a true competitor.


The entrance to the Hotel Vintage in Portland, Oregon, recently redesigned by Seattle-based Dawson Design Associates.

One panelist, Bashar Wali, who is president of Portland, Oregon-based Provenance Hotels, spelled out his thoughts in a manifesto of sorts on why he actually welcomes Airbnb. Here are some excerpts:

“I am a hotelier. Everything I know and everything I do is focused on creating transcendent experiences for the guests who stay at my hotels. Continue reading →

The Magic Behind Design

Posted by on September 16, 2015 in Trends | 0 comments

When I saw Taylor Swift this summer during the East Rutherford, New Jersey stop on her 1989 tour, where she paraded out a gaggle of models and sang “Jealous” with Nick Jonas, I figured that I had cashed in all my goodwill. Would I ever see a powerhouse at the top of their game again?

Enter David Rockwell, founder and president of the Rockwell Group, and Marcel Wanders, renowned Dutch designer and co-founder of Moooi: two prolific designers at the top of their game, both innovators in their fields who evoke whimsy and thoughtfulness in their designs. In the same way I unabashedly enjoyed T. Swift, I had the same fan girl moment when I got to hear Rockwell and Wanders speak during an event sponsored by WantedDesign and Surface magazine.


New York co-working space Neuehouse, designed by Rockwell Group, highlights impermanence with chandeliers that lower to signal the shift in the day, and movable food carts for added flexibility.

Continue reading →

High Times

Posted by on September 9, 2015 in Trends | 0 comments

In our September issue, out now, we took a look at how the hospitality industry is influencing other types of design, whether it’s co-working spaces, tiny houses, or marijuana dispensaries.

I know. I know. I, too, was a little wary of that last one. Although marijuana is legal in Washington state and Colorado, it still connotes something illicit. But there are a handful of design firms changing that image, just as marijuana laws change around the U.S.

And it’s a good thing. As marijuana becomes more mainstream and retail owners look to attract new clientele, design is an important element to relay the comfort, ease, and carefree nature associated with marijuana culture.


NuVeda’s exterior will be clad in Brazilian walnut and glass.


One of those firms is Las Vegas-based Bunnyfish Studio, which has been pursuing these types of projects for years, says partner Craig Palacios, though he’s also been picky about which ones they choose. Continue reading →