ACHICA About Town: Hotel interior ideas to inspire

Graven Images’ Glasgow studio is home to architects, interior and exhibition designers and 3D artists, and for almost 30 years the company has been creating awe-inspiring hotel room schemes around the world. We look at some of Gravens' most recent projects and indulge in our favourite design ideas that will add a sense of adventure to our own interiors...


The climate and environment of Kuwait were key in Missoni’s choices of colour palette and motif for this hotel. Bright colours, floral patterns and the desert environment all played a part in bringing the look together. What was essential for Graven Images was to take the glamour and richness of the Missoni fashion world and make it tangible within the hotel context and to be a reflection of the Missoni personality – bold, confident and international. Referencing the group’s fashion background throughout, Graven Images created spaces as atmospheric and exotic as fashion shoots and film sets. The Missoni brand is iconic and instantly recognisable and Graven stayed true to the company’s ethos by combining the vivid colours and textures with a series of strong geometric architectural interiors. And as this shot (above) brilliantly shows, not all walls have to be white. Mixing and matching ‘sweetie’ shades on your walls provides a brilliant backdrop for colliding (not clashing) patterns.

[Image: Gerry O'Leary]


Injecting a shot of glamour into the often rather tedious world of air travel, Graven Images took a former airline lounge at Glasgow Airport and transformed it into series of smaller spaces including this unique Glenlivet Whisky Snug (below). Showcasing the finest single malt Scotch whiskies, the interior of the bar and snug features crystal decanter light shades by Lee Broom and spindle back chairs by Patricia Urquiola matched with Graven’s Harris Tweed lamp shades. Get the snug look at home by using ‘faux wood’ wallpaper and panels to create a feature wall and Decowall has a wide range of wood-effect self stick wallpapers. 

[Image: Renzo Mazzolini]


Paying homage to Chicago's reputation as the birthplace of the modern skyscraper, the Radisson Blu Aqua was kitted out with features and materials reflective of the city. Steel was weathered to gain the precise orange patina to contrast the warm grey polished concrete and reclaimed brickwork found throughout the hotel. Other materials evocative of the city include Corten steel, Krion and weathered oak which will all naturally gain luster and patina over time. Across the lobby, a wall-to-wall screen of interconnected Egyptian brass medallions, produced by design company Randa Fahmy, hangs in front of a mirror that serves as a curtain for a dramatic, 50-foot-long fireplace. Delicate overhead teardrop light fixtures cast a glow on gold elevator doors as well as an oversized handmade rug that offers an abstract aerial depiction of Chicago, as imagined and drawn by Graven Images. Back at home, you may not be able to accommodate a 50-foot fireplace in your own living space but there are a number of flueless gas fires that will easily fit it on the wall, much like a TV. Ekofires has a range starting at around £355. 

[Image: Teviot Creative]


Graven Images designed everything in Edinburgh's Tigerlily boutique hotel, right down to the menus and room keys. Fronted by a traditional Georgian town house façade, the interior is contemporary and fresh. The bedrooms and bathrooms are sumptuous and the hotel features two bars, a spacious restaurant as well as a club called Lulu in the basement, all designed by Graven. The bedroom shown here is a good example of ‘minimal maximalism’ where the same fabric has been used throughout the room at various levels and for different finishes. Matching curtains and upholstery is kept modern by being used as a focal point in an otherwise neutral space. When walls are plain you can afford to be extravagant with your prints. Sanderson has a fabric for every room, from discreet damasks to bold 50s motifs.

[Image: Renzo Mazzolini]

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Steven Short, Guest Editor

View all posts by Steven Short, Guest Editor