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Design Notes: The Graduate

Its design is somewhat of a homage to the film. Yes, that one. The edgy, chic and controversial flick filled with contemporary glamour and the collegiate tension of seduction and societal appropriateness. This palpable tension of sophistication, beauty and whimsical innocence from the film are ingeniously translated throughout the boutique hotel sharing the film’s moniker.

I don’t know about you, but it’s been a while since I’ve been in a public place that exhibited any true original design ideas along with choices that made sense in relation to the brand and executed with some flair. Hanging out in this space was a treat filled with intriguing, fun surprises at every turn.

Here are some of my favorite design highlights from my tour:

 Lobby

Their signature colors are red and yellow which are paired with other primary colors. Bold, abstract patterns punctuate the space with red accents from the red lacquer center table to the trim on the counter. The atomic lighting fixture blends beautifully with the two U-shaped sofa seating areas anchoring the main entrance. On the way to the elevators, two green chairs stopped me in my tracks in all of their mid-century glory. Those custom jewels with forest green wool fabric and trimmed in dark wood details were outstanding.

The cluster explosion of bad ‘60s thrift store art on the wall stretching from one of the seating areas to the green chairs was another thing.  However, redemption was served when I walked towards the bar and fell in love with this wood, cocoon shaped chair that was equally a piece of furniture and work of art. Just delicious; like my drink at their ultra cool, yet uncontrived garage-themed bar, Tacocuba (which translates into hubcap).

 Bar

Taking its 5 o’clock somewhere to new heights, the bar clock was a homage to cocktail hour with a circle of the number five, except for the number three. I enjoyed a libation at their casual bar sitting in one of their ghetto-bling retro metallic gold vinyl industrial stools. These stools were a sea of monochromatic gold glitter surrounding the peso-embellished bar top. Next time you see some tire rims on the street, pick one up and utilize it as a lighting fixture. Clever.

 Floor a

What was also clever was the psychodelic trip walking down the hall to guest rooms. Color and pattern combinations made it a rebellious nod to Ivy League panache.

Room

That trip, a little bit of Alice in Wonderland meets a twisted Captain America, was worth it to reach the guest rooms. The room I entered was an interesting and unexpected mix of patterns, colors and textiles. There were three things that sweep me off my feet, i.e. the art, lamp and chair. The geometric lines of the framed art trio were mesmerizing. The chair was modern in shape and upholstered in an unexpected traditional, small houndstooth pattern. The combo was dynamite and created a cool mix of modern, throwback funk. The lamp was its own piece of sculpture with its rhythmic stack of rectangular brass gloss.

Of course the old-school notepad and no. 2 pencil stole the show for me.

When’s the last time you went somewhere that brought you joy and gave you a few good belly laughs and delighted your senses with originality and surprises? In today’s cookie-cutter world, it can be hard. I appreciate their dedication to solid design principles: 1) color, 2) scale, 3) style, 4) continuity, 5) smart risks and 6) cultural influences.

In my opinion, great design is authentic, fun and bold. So, what are you doing with your space?

GraduateSofaGraduateGreenChairs

GraduateWoodChair

GraduateBarCounterStoolsCUGraduateBarLightingGraduateBarClock

 

GraduateHallwayCarpetGraduateRoomBrassLamp GraduateRoomChair GraduateRoomArt

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