Read below the five inspired ideas Clever took from the Russell.
“Housed in an erstwhile Presbyterian church constructed in 1904, The Russell—the newest boutique hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, which opened in June—is at once completely modern and honoring of its historic setting. Nashville-based Powell Architecture + Building Studio devised a plan to preserve characteristic details of the original structure in the 23-room boutique hotel, while injecting the vaulted space with vibrant colors, modern lighting, and a distinct point of view.
The process was far from the ground up—the exterior remains relatively intact, and wooden pews from the original sanctuary have been repurposed as headboards. Perhaps the most striking preserved detail is the pair of 16-foot stained glass rose windows, which cast the lobby in a rosy glow.
When we first spotted the project, we were inspired at how the design team made great use of the building’s many quirks. Here are five of the design ideas we’re stealing from The Russell to brighten any space.
1. Hardwood floors don’t have to be monochrome
If you’re not thrilled with with your current hardwood floors, try adding paint color to the edges of the room. In The Russell’s lobby, a mix of shades complementing the space’s furniture brightens individual planks of the herringbone floor pattern. There’s no need to be an artist to execute this, just remember to use primer.
2. Superlong curtains add height and texture
Floor-to-ceiling curtains can transform a space without the need to change anything structural. In the hotel’s lobby, long drapes tower above the phone booth doorways they’re designed to shield, making the ceiling seem miles away. The rich turmeric shade deepens the existing wooden accents with a youthful twist. This is also an easy strategy for hiding unsightly odds and ends—and is less predictable than a glammed-up folding screen.
3. Brown furniture can still feel modern
We’ve all done it: passed up dusty family heirlooms for modern Scandinavian basics. Though antique wood furniture has been cast off by younger generations of late, these essentials can still work in an of-the-moment interior. Whether you scour your aunt’s attic, a flea market, or auction, these pieces can come at a steal and add character to a (perhaps too Pinterest-y) space. Mixed with punchy tiles, heavy mirrors add authority—not stuffiness—to The Russell’s baths. In the lobby, the antique-style bookshelves paired with a stark white table prove this is a mix any millennial-mod space craves.
4. Statement lighting is worth the splurge
Spring for mega-futuristic lighting to brighten a space with old bones. The Russell has its fair share of enviable fixtures that feel zany but upscale: an iridescent pendant, orblike table lamps, one helical orange twist.
5. Pastel paint can turn eyesores into accents
What should you do with architectural oddities that are too expensive to remove and too awkward to hide? Slick down metal beams, nuts, and bolts with a coat of your favorite statement color for a budget-friendly solution. (Even in the age of the chic warehouse, structural beams aren’t always your friend.) In The Russell’s common space, the metal ceiling and wall beams are swathed in a coat of pale teal.