The Secrets of a New Portland Hotel's Room Design

The minds behind Hotel Eastlund reveal the art of creating memorable spaces.

By Rachel Ritchie October 5, 2015 Published in the Design Annual: Fall 2015 issue of Portland Monthly

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MYSTERY “We found something really interesting with this pattern of abstracted letters. People always want to know what the headboard says. They’re seeking something out, and they’ll remember that.”

STORY “The pattern on the curtains is an abstracted aerial photo of the neighborhood while the hotel was being built. You probably couldn’t pick that out, but it was what inspired us. That’s subtle but important—it takes that personal story and abstracts it.”

Image: Dan Tyrpak

The thing about hotels: they need to feel like home. More specifically, a six-story building packed with 168 rooms needs to somehow, magically, approximate the comfort and intimacy of your own space (only cleaner). And with hefty budgets and tight timelines, hotel designers must accomplish that goal with great efficiency. The Lloyd District’s new Hotel Eastlund, a high-end boutique venture from the former owners of Hotel Modera designed with midcentury flair by local firm Holst Architecture, offers a nice study in modern hotel aesthetics. “It’s about getting people excited about a room they’ve been in countless times,” says Holst project manager and designer Kevin Valk. “You try to find those points of interest for people, and keep them engaged.” Here, Valk and project architect Rachel Brand break down a single room.

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SIMPLICITY “With a 275-square-foot room, we keep things really simple. Paint has the most flexibility of all. Furniture has the least flexibility, then fabrics, then paint. You can really respond and modify with paint colors as the room comes together.”

REFLECTION “Throughout the room, there’s a theme of reflection, from the windows to the plastic laminate above the headboard to the shower’s glass tiles. The lamps also continue the theme, and add a bit of transparency. It opens up the space.”

Image: Dan Tyrpak

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CONTINUITY “Views are really important in this hotel, but a lot of the time the shades are closed. The compelling pattern and pop of color in the curtain creates continuity from the day to night experience.”

EVOLUTION “Hotel rooms change over about every five years, so we wanted to create the possibility for change. If you set a neutral palette, you can switch out small elements like lamps and pillows and fabrics and really transform a space.”

Image: Dan Tyrpak

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