California interior style – The Line Hotel

1/19/2016 06:00:00 am HELEN STILES 0 Comments

Yesterday I went to Top Drawer, one of the UK's main buying events for gifts and homewares. It's a huge event held at Olympia in London where retailers (and some members of the public) go to source stock for the coming season. I'm really excited about some of the fab things that will hopefully be coming to the Hide & Seek store soon! But more than that, I came away really inspired by some of the companies, craftsmen and women I met. There really is an amazing amount of talent out there, and people who have taken the plunge and turned that talent into a business. I spoke to several first-time exhibitors too, which made me feel slightly less like the new-kid-on-the-block. (I'm planning my first trade fair with Hide & Seek this Spring – so it's nice to know that others have done it and survived!)

Anyway, as it's the start of my first full year trading, I've been really focused on planning for the year ahead and developing the Hide & Seek brand. I'm determined to stay true to the 'East End meets West Coast' aesthetic that I love, (East London meets West coast California that is). So to kick things off, I thought I'd share a really inspiring Californian hotel that opened 18 months ago: The Line.

The building is a high-rise block built in 1964 in the heart of LA's Koreatown. The new owners invited a landscape designer, Sean Knibb, to renovate the building (surprising perhaps, but it's paid off!) I can't think of a better way to sum up California's laid-back, eclectic, collected style than Knibb's description of what he wanted The Line to become: 'A true California hotel with a mix of surfing, skateboarding, Spanish colonial style, Latino cultures.'

I love the eclectic mix of materials, styles and genres that is typical of good Californian design. In the bedrooms, raw concrete walls contrast against warm wooden shelves. The cool, masculine-looking mid-century inspired arm-chairs are upholstered in colourful Mexican serapo textiles.  Ethnic rugs define the seating areas.

I love the cool ceiling lights that hover over the lounge areas, looking slightly industrial yet refined, with their rather 1960s tomato-coloured linen shades. And then the huge tufted sofa with its nonchalantly unfinished upholstery – it's unexpected but it really works.


The whole look is understated, authentic and totally appropriate to the location. But there are several tricks that can be easily borrowed for your own home, try these:
- Mix in some global textiles with your plainer neutrals (afghan rugs, kilim cushions or ethnic upholstery all add a well-travelled touch)
- Upholster a piece of furniture in a fabric that contrasts with its shape (something floral or feminine on an angular chair, or graphic and masculine on a curvy sofa for example).
- Make it imperfect: you might not have concrete walls, but there are plenty of very convincing wallpapers that mimic the effect of raw materials such as concrete, stone, rusting metal or distressed wood.
- Add something industrial: there are plenty of industrial-style lights on the market, or why not add metal vases or wall art?
- Add a piece of oversized photographic art – brilliant for taking you somewhere else, and easy to change with the seasons.

Ahhh, California...I feel a trip beckoning. Might just have to book myself in to The Line! 

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