By Terry Trucco
Hotel hallways are a scene setter, a visual amuse-bouche before you dig into your room. You rarely notice them unless they’re battered or dingy or film noir scary. Usually they’re white or beige, some variant of pale.
But we’re seeing a darkening trend, walls bathed in gray, charcoal or to cut to the chase, black. The Refinery Hotel and NYLO New York are two less-than-a-year-old New York boutique hotels with dark halls. (The 11-year-old Maritime was an early adopter, sporting midnight navy halls as was the Royalton with deep gray.)
But boutique hotels aren’t the only ones going dark. Sofitel New York went fashionably gray when the halls were renovated a year ago.
More surprising are the confident smoky gray hallways in the new Courtyard Marriott Central Park, the lower half of the tallest hotel in North America and one of the first chain hotels I’ve seen go dark.
Personally, I love dark halls, and I’m surprised more hotels don’t go with them. Properly lighted, they’re glamorous and good-looking. Practical, too. I remember visiting the Standard High Line NYC shortly after it opened and seeing a painter at work, already touching up the chalky white hall.
What makes a design team go dark when they’re deciding how a hotel should look? And what words of wisdom can be passed along to those who want to try this at home? I posed the questions to Michael Suomi, Principal and VP of Design at Stonehill & Taylor, the firm behind the dark walls at The Refinery and NYLO. (more…)