Blending European, Scandinavian and Asian influences, the 121 newly redesigned guestrooms and suites in Seattle’s Kimpton Alexis Hotel also pay homage to the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
“The overall design concept of the rooms was to have a minimal base aesthetic layered with color and textures to create the modern yet rich and warm look and feel to the room,” said Sharilyn Olson Rigdon, founder and principal designer for designstudio ltd, the firm behind the $14-million renovation. “The European, Scandinavian and Asian influences share mutual characteristics, such as functionality, simplicity, clean lines, natural materials and connections to nature through texture and color. These influences overlap in the design of the rooms through their finishes and the furnishings.”
Design elements include a layering of rich dark leather with walnut and brass elements; nautical elements, such as a cool palette of grays and blues complemented by wave-like tiles, inspired by the nearby waterfront; a custom headboard angled toward the art-deco windows that frame views of Puget Sound; and accent pieces including marble bar tops and modern textile art, sweater-like fabrics and thoughtfully aged leather pieces.
“The refreshed guestrooms at Kimpton Alexis Hotel are similar to the layout of a European apartment—boasting expansive spaces, tall ceilings, large windows and luxurious wall-to-wall draperies,” Olson Rigdon said. “Classic Nordic furniture pieces such as Carl Hansen Wishbone chairs and Scandinavian-designed tables and lounge chairs are also highlighted within the revamped space, complementing the cool Pacific Northwest color palette. The Asian, more specifically Japanese, elements include the glass pendant lamp over the minibar, which is inspired by Japanese glass floats and nautical rope, as well as the black oak finishes, which are inspired by the shou sugi ban darkened wood commonly used in Japanese architecture.”
There are a number of signature moments in the redesign. “When you walk into the room, guests will immediately be captivated by the bedroom area,” Olson Rigdon said. “The design of the headboard and the materials are meant to reflect the natural woods of the Pacific Northwest, specifically Oregon Black walnut, which has a distinct dark red/brown color. Details (drawer interiors and niches) include accent colors that contrast with the wood and are inspired by the light and foliage of the surrounding area—grey skies, autumn leaves and water. A true signature moment is the fiber art piece over the bed, created by artist, Lauren Williams. The concept of the piece is a ‘canvas with movement’ with colors that reflect the local landscape. The art is made of wool sourced by the artist and custom dyed for each piece. All together these elements comprise a composition that reflects the modern, Pacific Northwest colors, finishes and textures.”
Naturally, the guestroom redesign also had to complement the rest of the hotel, something Tom Waithe, regional VP, Pacific Northwest and Mountain region, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, said the firm accomplished. “The Alexis Hotel is a historic building with a strong sense of place, and the redesign—and the property as a whole—is meant to be a reflection and celebration of Seattle,” he said. “The design team did a great job of making the new look cohesive with the existing elements, to create a modern, comfortable and sophisticated atmosphere. For example, though it shows up in different ways throughout the common spaces and fresh room design, guests will find cool blues and wave-like patterns inspired by the newly revitalized waterfront and Puget Sound, visible from the Sound View Suites. All those subtle touches blend together to tell a bigger story.”