Friday, June 24, 2011


After a crazy whirlwind trip to good ole' NYC to visit a whole lot of friends and relatives, I am installed in Norway visiting a whole lot more relatives and just plain relaxing.  So much so, that my lovely intern is even supplying a blog for me this week.  Isn't that wonderful of her?  She is such a great help.  But never fear, there are lots of photos of charming Norway on their way.

And here is Shelby!

My name is Shelby Groves, and I am a senior Interior Design student at The Art Institute of Salt Lake City. I have had the pleasure of not only having Christa as a teacher for several classes, but I also have the pleasure of interning for her and working on projects with her several days a week for the past few months.

My biggest design studio at The Art Institute has been Hospitality II Design. The assignment was to design a hotel in a city of my choice. I chose Portland, Oregon because of its charming, growing personality. Portland is a beautiful city that has so much potential in the design world. The people of Portland thrive off of their local culture and amenities to make a living. They believe in buying, selling, and working primarily local so that their economy can grow and help all involved, which is where I took some of my inspiration for the project.
The idea of "Going Green" or being environmentally friendly comes up more and more these days, and is becoming a leading issue in the world of design. Another great thing about Portland, is that they are aiming for "Green", whether that is in their plethora of organic foods and farmers markets, or their wide range of businesses that provide products and professional services on being environmentally friendly; they are on their way to being a city that truly cares about our environment. This idea of going green also was helpful in giving me inspiration for this project.

Concept Board:

Another main inspiration was texture, something as a designer, I love. There is nothing better than the capability to feel different textures. Every item we are around every day has its own qualities - Color, Texture, Shape, Size, etc - all which are important aesthetically. But for me, texture is where I find a lot of my ideas for projects and designs. My love of texture often roots straight to nature. Nature carries a mass amount of textures; they vary from fresh leaves, to rocks, to the bark on a tree, to even the water of a rushing river, and far beyond. The great thing about Portland is that there is a lot of nature and natural elements available locally, so this sparked even more ideas and inspiration for my hotel design.

Fashion was another major inspiration. A partner and coexisting design industry is where I also tend to go for inspiration. Fashion itself is often inspired by an array of things, and I find it so interesting to pull from an article of clothing and each aspect that it includes.


I used a juxtaposition of textures and colors to create a very hip and chic hotel design that consisted of a main lobby, cafe/coffee shop, high end boutique/gallery for local artists and designers, high end restaurant and bar, as well as a collection of standard hotel rooms, and suites, with a roof top pool, garden, and restaurant. The main focus of this design was on the Lobby and main public spaces.

For a large impact as you walk into the space I created a "chandelier sea" using only hot pink chandeliers to add an overwhelming pop of color. I contrasted that color with more neutral furniture and accessories - sticking with mainly white, black, grays, and browns; with pops of color here and there through throw pillows, etc. But not to bore the space I used a custom patchwork cow hide rug to add some movement and variety to the lobby floor to offset it from the recycled barn wood flooring - this also added another level to the juxtaposition of textures within the space. This cowhide aspect was also carried through each room in some way to unify the space as a whole - Some of the seating within the cafe was covered with cowhide, some of the ottomans in the bar were covered with cowhide, and each guest room and suite had either a cowhide rug, or a cowhide throw. I also used an oversized hot pink crown molding above the lobby and throughout the bar to carry through some of that striking color.

Accents of color were also added through contemporary wall paper, lighting, and accessories. Each room had eclectic wall paper incorporated either on the walls or a unique spot such as the café cash wrap and bar to create more of an eclectic, yet chic look and feel.

Combining local culture, texture, and color I was able to come up with a very unique and believable space that could likely exist and succeed in the heart of downtown Portland. I would not have been able to come up with this space, and grown as a designer without Christa. She was such a great mentor throughout the entire design process for this project, and gave incredible suggestions and constructive criticism as I worked to piece this project together. She continues to be a designer that I look up to and will always be inspired by. I had so much fun in designing this space, and cannot wait to expand on the project and actually design the entire space for my future portfolio.

((Isn't she a sweetheart?  And so talented too...I can't wait to watch her design career develop!
Thanks Shelby!))

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