When I met Laetita (who owns FabGuest) I was amazed at her capacity to take on such a huge project on her own – she had done many renovations, but nothing quite on this scale.
Originally I was asked to provide the art for the hotel but I was soon asked to be more involved. I came up with a concept including making all the bespoke items for sale. Then my role grew – making more items with different artists. In the end I helped design and manage the whole thing.
The goal was to create a comfortable, stylish, upbeat slightly playful feel, but already knowing that behind whatever door you chose to open the room would have something different to the others, but always high spec, super comfortable beds, and some cutting edge design! I really wanted to carry this design ethos right through the house, even to the emergency signs on the back of the door- no laminate for me! They were designed by a graphic artist and then printed locally before being framed in oak- works of art in their own right.
Part of the brief was that everything and everyone had to be local (not easy unless you like driftwood sculpture) but I have a strong network of outstanding artists around Brighton. Quite a few I got to produce stuff especially for the house, and each one has excelled in what they do (screen print, woodblock, paper cut etc.)
The architect plans had created really interesting modern wetroom’s, curved walls, very contemporary Formica covered over height doors, but the house lent itself to somehow keeping its heritage amongst all the high spec bits. So I saw in my mind alongside all these super slick lines, some really lovely lived-in battered furniture – a bit like the house itself.
I learnt a lot about ducting, architrave, extractors and stair carpet along the way(!), but each obstacle only brought on a better and more interesting solution, down to the bathroom waste bins being 1970’s dead stock enamel bread bins.
I’ve spent much of my working life – and quite a few vacations – travelling to some of the world’s best hotels and luxury apartments, I was inspired not just by what I’d experienced in places like New York’s ACE, LA’s Standard or London’s Shoreditch House but also by what I hadn’t seen.
Seeing my ideas rendered so beautifully in the end result has been truly fulfilling. Continue Reading for more images, or visit the Fab Guest website.