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A Texas Hotel Rooted in Nature

The Westin brand has a commitment to biophilic design, so it’s no surprise that the renovation of the Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport was inspired by nature.

Specifically, the C+TC Design Studio team—which included Principal Billie Thorne and Senior Interior Designer Kara Solano on interiors, as well as Principal William Cox and Senior Project Architect Harrison Boyd on architecture—researched the local DFW area landscapes.

“Our main inspiration was ‘The Cross Timbers,’ a mosaic of landscapes from thick forests to open prairies connecting Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas,” Solano said. “The Cross Timbers provided many textural and pattern influences as well as design features like the entry chandelier giving guests the feeling of walking under a tree canopy upon arrival. Just as The Cross Timbers connected states, we could not ignore the airport location and notion of connectivity between people and places. This idea of connectivity provided an extra layer of inspiration for feature art pieces and millwork located in key spaces such as behind the front desk.”

Indeed, the three-dimensional wall feature in the lobby abstracts an aerial view of the local landscape, while the circular-lit rings in the hanging light installation reference the osage orange fruit commonly found in the area. Both pieces were designed by C+TC Design Studio in partnership with other manufacturers.

According to the design team, the arrival experience is one of the most iconic in the hotel, serving as the hotel’s most “Instagrammable” moment.

Overall, the renovation included 506 rooms, including 28 corner suites, 28 corporate executive suites and two presidential suites; the restaurant and bar; and the fitness center, among other public spaces. The team also created a new 2,955-sq.-ft. Westin Club lounge, one of the largest in the DFW area.

Westin Club lounge

The design team noted that prior to the renovation, the hotel had a dated, traditional feel with dark wood tones and closed separate spaces. “Ownership provided C+TC Design Studio a great opportunity to reconcept the entire lobby level, which allowed us to open the lobby to the restaurant and bar, update the palette with lighter finishes, and furnish with modern FF&E,” Solano said. “The hotel now has an inviting atmosphere full of artistic and locally inspired vignettes, providing an oasis for guests.”

The renovation’s goal was to energize interior spaces to represent Westin’s brand, the airport location and its Texas roots. Gold and deep green accents derived from the local landscapes of prairies and woodlands and cognac leather textures representing the cowboy culture of the area are layered on top of contemporary, warm grey backgrounds and implemented throughout the interior spaces.

Cohesiveness was important. “We like to make sure the narrative is carried out in multiple layers and continues throughout the project,” Solano said. “Some parts of the narrative appear more literal but most are subtle details that provide richness and sophistication.”

For instance, she noted, “The desire was to keep the existing bar location, but we were able to clad the bar face with new millwork and custom-etched leather panels that reference the rugged rock formations in The Cross Timbers and contrast the other more refined finishes in the space.”