IDRU: March – London Design Week, Olga Polizzi and Rocco Forte Hotels

Interior Design Round Up has been shortened to IDRU.

The highlight of this month was, of course, London Design Week! Although this took place on my doorstep, at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, I unfortunately wasn’t able to go. Trade dates were 8-10 March and the show opened to the public from 11-13 March. In this post, I’m going to be talking about hotelier Olga Polizzi, who gave a speech at London Design Week that inspired me to go and explore the Rocco Forte Hotels.

Olga Polizzi of Rocco Forte Hotels

I read that Olga Polizzi gave a speech about her process of hotel design. I would love design commercial settings like hotels, bars and restaurants, so this would have been a great talk for me! Hearing this, however, led me to go and explore the Rocco Forte Hotels website. And all I can say is, wow.

The hotels are honestly what dreams are made of! If you’re picturing yourself in a beautiful dress, wandering through the hallways of a very grand and decadent building, then The Balmoral, Edinburgh is perfect. Or, if you see yourself lounging in a king sized bed wearing a silk dressing gown (I often do), then the suites at Brown’s Hotel, London are ideal.

The interior at Brown’s Hotel was designed by Olga herself and effortlessly “harmonises stunning period features with contemporary flair.” As an English graduate, I can’t help but gush over the fact that Brown’s Hotel has its origins in Lord Byron’s history. It was his butler, James Brown, who acquired it in 1837 and expanded it to create Brown’s Hotel in 1838. The literary links continue, as the hotel has had George Orwell, Agatha Christie and Rudyard Kipling, who started The Jungle Book during one of his stays there. Agatha Christie is said to have based At Bertram’s Hotel on Brown’s and Stephen King supposedly started his novel Misery, whilst sat at Kipling’s desk there!

Deluxe Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London
Dover Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London
Dover Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London

The rooms are interesting because they’re a mix of traditional and contemporary design. The cornice and colour scheme in the Dover Suite above feel Georgian, yet the furniture and ornaments are very much contemporary.

Hotel de Russie in Rome, another Rocco Forte Hotel is the perfect luxury getaway. I love the Nijinksy Suite at this hotel. The patterns, fresh, light colour palette and gorgeous Italian views really make it the type of European getaway I picture when I close my eyes.

Nijinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome
Nikinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome
Nijinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome
Nijinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome

Finally, perhaps the dreamiest of all, is The Westbund Hotel, Shanghai. The luxury, futuristic feel of the hotel’s bars and restaurants is incredible. The rooftop bar sits on the 59th floor and offers panoramic views of the West Bund. There’s also n Italian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant and a British tea room.

The Westbund Hotel, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel, Shanghai

Plus, the ceiling on this spa would honestly make me feel like I had left reality completely and entered heaven. It’s almost as if this whole room sits amongst the clouds…

The Westbund Hotel Spa, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel Spa, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel Suite, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel Suite, Shanghai

I won’t pretend as if any of the rooms I’ve mentioned in this post aren’t wildly unattainable. All of this superior, considered design comes at a very high cost. The Kipling Suite at Brown’s Hotel starts at £4,200 a night – definitely not pocket change!

Kiping Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London
Kiping Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London

Interior Design Round Up – February

I want to start off by showcasing this gorgeous guest room at the Santa Monica Proper Hotel. Designed by Kelly Wearstler, this monochrome room is just beautiful. The colour scheme may look simple, but working with different textures, tones and tints of the same colour actually makes this room quite visually complex. It’s a really great way to keep things simple (ish) yet still create a really impressive interior. You can read more about Kelly Wearstler’s commissioning of the Proper Hotels & Residences here on the Interior Design magazine website!

Talking of colour, I want to mention that Dulux’s colour of the year is stunning! I absolutely love it. It’s called Tranquil Dawn and is supposed to represent that moment of calm that we are all seeking in a world full of chaos. It started out with the idea of humanity and what it means to be human and was refined and developed into this meaning. I really love the story behind this colour and I think it is also such a beautiful one. Unlike Pantone’s, which I talked about in January’s round up – I don’t really like that one!

Dulux Tranquil Dawn

Next up, I want to showcase this really unique pendant light fixture that I found whilst sourcing. The below pendant is by Seattle based manufacturer Graypants and is crafted by hand from recycled cardboard. Yet, it looks incredible! It’s warm, textured and definitely a striking standout piece to use in a design scheme. All of the lights are precision cut with a laser, use non-toxic adhesive, and all have been proofed with a non-toxic fire retardant. These are part of the Scraplights range and you can get them in different shapes. I love finding pieces that are beautiful and environmentally friendly!

Graypants Products ScrapLights Natural
Graypants Scraplights

Also interesting was this read from The Guardian (who I interned with – yes, I have to throw that in there at every opportunity possible thank you!), discussing how it is possible to liven up a property that you rent. Obviously follow the rules set out by your landlord, so as not to breach your contract, but this South London (Crystal Palace) interior is colourful and personal and you would never guess that the tenant doesn’t own it.

The artist, Anna Jacobs, who owns the house also produces some beautiful homeware which you can have a look at on the Anna Jacobs Design website here. Her pieces are really colourful and in the article she talks about how colour effects her mood and why it’s therefore important to her to have lots of it around. You can also browse the rooms in her home on her Instagram account.

Anna Jacobs House
Anna Jacobs Website

Finally, I have to mention The Wing London, Oxford Circus. I’ve been seeing this advertise all over my Instagram. If you haven’t, then it’s a co-working and community space for women. The first Wing opened in New York (the coolest, chicest city ever) in 2016 and now we have one here. It’s a private club, uniquely and brilliantly designed of course. Women use it for running their own businesses or just to be part of a community of empowered and elite women who inspire each other. I say this as if I’m a member myself, which I’m not, but perhaps one day. You can glimpse some of the room below and find out more on their website.

The Wing, London
Roof Terrace at The Wing, London