For the redesign of the Hollywood Hotel, designer Katy Naghavi appropriately took inspiration from a local inspiration: a script. “The hotel president and director wanted us to create a screenplay to identify the personality and character of the property,” says Naghavi, principal of Beverly Hills-based Atelier Katayon. Following a jetlagged traveler from the airport to a “fresh, luxurious, and cosmopolitan” hotel, the script “gives you a sense of place,” she adds. “[Hollywood] is a sensitive concept, and you really have to be careful with how to design it and how to create it.”
To blend the glamour of classic Hollywood and the chicness of modern LA, Naghavi drew from designers like William Haines and Dorothy Draper. At the height of their popularity in the 1920s and 1930s, chinoiserie and the Hollywood Regency look dominated interior design. “Those are the main inspirations, but Hollywood is such a trend,” Naghavi explains. “You can always bring in your own new look.”
Photographs of local boutique displays adorn the guestroom walls; the words, “Love is Free,” cover the windows in the photos like graffiti. “The fashion and the writing brought in that cutting edge look-mixing new with old,” says Naghavi. A vintage, 1930s French clothing rack makes up for a lack of closet space, while parchment finishes, a Billy Haines-inspired horsehead lamp, chinoiserie pillows, and pagoda-style nightstand lamps also hint at the decade.
“We mixed finishes to create an eclectic pattern that’s not all matching,” Naghavi says. Hexagon floor tiles in the bathroom and in the corridor, as well as antique driftwood finishes on the cabinets, reference the hotel’s Californian and Spanish architecture. “We tried to repeat these little elements throughout in different languages,” she adds.
The hotel owner, Jeff Zarrinnam, also pressed for repetition of the hotel name. “A lot of Europeans come to stay in the hotel, and they like seeing the Hollywood name everywhere,” Naghavi explains. In the previously empty courtyard area, stools mimicking director’s chairs surround the redwood bar and feature the embroidered logo. The Caesarstone bar is lit from above by large, wicker lanterns and string lights. “It’s a secret garden away from the busy urban street and Hollywood action,” she adds.
The courtyard’s secrecy is also felt in the eight-foot-wide corridors, which use hexagonal carpet tiles and a dark palette. “They felt like they were bowing out from you,” explains Naghavi. Dark wall wainscot paneling, ebony doors, dimmed lighting, and eclectic studio art complete the moody look. “We wanted to make the corridors more intimate,” she says. “You don’t want to have a massive corridor and then small rooms.”
Up next: the lobby. “We want it to have a dramatic ambiance,” says Naghavi. Arches, draperies, and large lanterns will complement a fireplace, fashion artwork, and strategic lighting. “The look will be simple and strong with touches of the Hollywood atmosphere,” she says.