Book Now Menu

OR CALL 020 7640 3347

Green Park Suite

9th July 2018

Words: Martin Hulbert

The spirit of The Athenaeum blends classic Britishness, luxury and a little eccentricity. I wanted all of this to come across in the designs for the new rooms and suites.

Art Deco spirit + a Royal Park

Firstly, my team and I focused on connecting the rooms and suites with the Art Deco spirit of The Athenaeum’s ground floor. As a result, we introduced details to the rooms such as squared off cornicing above the beds and bespoke designs for the desks and lamps. We chose classic Athenaeum colour schemes to capture the amazing history of the property, as well as the present day.

The amber colour scheme in particular connects the rooms and suites with the Art Deco ground floor of the hotel. By adding touches of copper to the Art Deco desks, an incredible warmth comes across. The teal colour scheme offers another version of green and blue which adds depth to the views of the park and the sky from The Athenaeum.

Park view detail 2

Green Park was a major source of inspiration for me in the new rooms and suites. The hotel is located opposite the park, with a number of rooms overlooking it. I designed the curtain textiles in the rooms to soften but not dominate the view and bring in a lot of natural light, creating a feeling of space. That’s why I chose an ivory colour, with the border line dropped low to accentuate the height of the room. The carpets incorporate a range of shades in an idea that comes from light through dappled leaves in the park. It gives a subtle feeling of the park without dictating the ambience of the room.

Park View Teal room

Original designs + celebrating craftmanship

Our choice of materials and design pieces aims to reflect everything people love most about The Athenaeum and its prized location in London. Herringbone is a core part of The Athenaeum’s identity, so we’ve used plenty of that. We have also drawn on the classic weaves as well as deep silks, velvets and leathers, creating a luxurious feeling while reflecting the hotel’s British heritage. I lined the wardrobe interiors with a linen material, to create some texture and to make the wardrobes feel plush and part of the room. I’ve also incorporated silk-covered furniture units to make the suites feel more luxurious. We introduced leather-embossed bronze rails to the walls opposite the beds, which blends classic British materials with a practical use, as it creates more storage space and offers an inventive way of hanging the television. Ultimately, it connects the rooms and suites together in a pleasing way when you’re lying on the bed.

Deluxe room

Design pieces in the rooms and suites range from the Beetle Chair by the Danish designer, GUBI, to sofas in the suites by B&B Italia. I designed the linen sheers in the rooms, but all the curtain edging was done by a one-man-band in Hampshire, Sam Boy Textiles. He’s based in a tiny loom and makes handmade braids – the type that were originally made for horses! The curtain edging adds something fresh yet traditionally British to the design. I wanted to bring accessibility and technology closer together in my designs too, so we created some bespoke charging docks for the room controls, placed on the bedside tables and on the desk. They’re really easy to use and have UK and EU compatible plugs as well as USB sockets.

Charging port side

Unconventional art + a sense of place

My team and I have also created new art pieces for the rooms and suites, which was really important to me. Art in hotels can be so boring! I wanted to create something that was fun and that people could look at for a long time. As a result, we created four new pieces of art. The idea is based on old theatre sets, which stagger back in multiple layers. They are inspired by the local area of The Athenaeum, so I did one each of Buckingham Palace, Burlington Arcade, Fortnum & Mason and the Royal Academy of the Arts (RA). Each piece is eccentric but English, local but classic, and Art Deco but with a bit of nuttiness. We’ve got everything from David Attenborough riding an elephant and the Queen with a corgi, to representations of Grayson Perry, the Rolling Stones and Einstein! The more you look, the more you see. They look back and they look forward. These pieces say a lot about where The Athenaeum is going – acknowledging the past but looking to the future.

All in all, the design aesthetic of the new rooms and suites at The Athenaeum creates a feeling of space, light and views. It’s classically English but a little eccentric, capturing a sense of place, with plenty of nods to Mayfair and Green Park. The colourways and design pieces are all about making the spaces calming and relaxing. There is colour, but it’s not too intense and it’s not saturated throughout the space. For me, this is the basis of creating a restful environment.

Green Park suite art

More in Spotlight

Henry Thomas Hope: parliamentarian, patron of the arts + the beginnings of The Athenaeum

Spotlight /

The Athenaeum started life in 1850 as Hope House, the elegant home of the MP Henry Hope. Here we take a look at the man behind the incredible property we know and love today.

Read More

The red-brick townhouse experience in London: new townhouse residences at The Athenaeum

Spotlight / Staying With Us /

Victorian red-brick townhouses form a quintessential part of London’s story. We invited the celebrated interior designer Martin Hulbert to create an experience like no other in our townhouses. Here he describes his inspiration behind the designs for The Athenaeum’s new townhouse residences.

Read More

Sir Cecil Beaton: icon at The Athenaeum

Spotlight /

Hanging on the wall of THE BAR at The Athenaeum is a photograph of a crowd of women wearing decadent ball gowns from the 1940s. The man behind the lens was Sir Cecil Beaton – an iconic British photographer.

Read More