Expect the unexpected

Arcsine has completed the Carmel Mission Inn renovation, a boutique hotel located in the beach city of Carmel-by-the-Sea in California. The natural setting and Bohemian art scene of Carmel serve as the inspiration behind the all-new common areas, including the exterior courtyard, lobby, outdoor pool terrace and the hotel’s recently opened gastropub, Shearwater Tavern. Arcsine placed particular emphasis on distinctive yet natural local materials such as chevron wood floors, hand-crafted tiles, shiplap detailing and the use of caning to create a cottage-like feeling reminiscent of the storybook setting found in downtown Carmel.

Bethany Nauret

Nestled across from the protected Carmel River State Beach off the Pacific Coast Highway, Carmel Mission Inn features a coastal palette that evokes guests’ recent travels on the winding California coastline—comprised of sandy beaches, rocky coast ranges, majestic Monterey pines and sparkling blue sea. The entry courtyard provides a lively outdoor setting showcasing bespoke sectionals and benches where people can enjoy the warmth of the strategically placed fire pits year-round. Custom outdoor light fixtures and Ethimo lanterns add a luminescent glow when the sun goes down.

Bethany Nauret

“It’s an opportunity to create a distinct story for an individual property. When working on a boutique hotel, every feature can be hand-crafted and remain unique to the location,” said Michaela Kahler, interior designer, Arcsine.

Upon entry, a floor mosaic greets guests and acts as a permanent area rug, adding an unexpected and personal touch to the lobby. Wooden reception desks with woven inserts and a moss wall created by Planted Design connect the interiors to the outdoors. Shiplap detailing establishes warmth and frame the all-white monochromatic shelving and painted stone fireplace, which acts as a blank canvas to the carefully selected eclectic mix of furniture, patterns and textures found throughout the lounge. Designed to feel like a home away from home, the furnishings and artwork fit effortlessly together, giving the impression they have been collected over time. Deep care and research went into sourcing local artwork for the hotel’s gallery walls found in both the lounge and dining room.

Bethany Nauret

“The story is all about the guest experiencing Carmel-by-the-Sea through playful elements, unexpected exploration, discovery of location and curated moments,” Kahler said. “A hidden courtyard becomes an outdoor oasis to both guests and locals alike. Whether warming up to a cozy fire with a box of smores, playing a game of bocce or lounging on an outdoor swing, the atmosphere is playful and inviting. Inside the space, a blend of playful elements, local materials and warm layered textures welcome the guest. Materials play off the elements while rich textiles and one-of-a-kind objects are discovered through vintage doors, local artwork and distinct motifs that encourage the guest to look, then look again. Unexpected moments are crafted and will remain with the guest for years to come. As guests settle in from their day exploring the coastal town’s many outdoor activities, the Inn provides a welcoming respite where they can continue to feel the charm and sense of place that is Carmel-by-the-Sea.”

Bethany Nauret
Bethany Nauret

A retro 1970s-inspired host stand and entry features custom millwork with caning and a working record player welcomes guests to the Inn’s completely reimagined 88-seat gastropub. In the main dining room, a classic geometric tile flooring expands the space while heavy-set natural walnut beams add an element of movement to the ceiling. A retractable clouded glass door allows a more intimate private dining experience within the main dining room. A custom brass light fixture serves as the centerpiece of the adjacent lounge area, illuminating the Crossville Cava Nero Greco top counter and upholstered leather-like chairs resting on the unique mosaic floor pattern delineating the bar.

Bethany Nauret

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