NYLO Hotels has long been known as the hip boutique brand with a small footprint. But now they are starting to fill it in, and have added a gateway city to the fold. NYLO New York City will open up on the city’s Upper West Side with a nod to the Roaring 20s and the Jazz Age, as evidenced by the Stonehill & Taylor’s design.
|Suite living room|
“We were inspired by the Jazz era in New York City, especially in the immediate neighborhood,” said Michael Suomi, principal, design and marketing director at Stonehill & Taylor. “We did a lot of research into the Prohibition-era clubs in the area and designed the space to create a similarly intimate, elegant and vibrant atmosphere. At the same time, we aimed to make it comfortable and accessible.”
The hotel’s 285 guestrooms will feature a warm palette of grays, blues and other natural tones paired with pops of vibrant color from accents such as hanging lamps and metal doors on storage cabinets and nightstands.
The lobby will be a focal point. “Part of our goal with the lobby design was to create a series of spaces within a larger space,” said Suomi. “We offer guests different levels of intimacy that range from being highly social and in the middle of things to being very private, with many different opportunities for intimacy. The lobby is meant to become a living room of sorts for residents of the neighborhood, with various types of activities happening 24 hours a day.
“We incorporated materials—mainly curtains and upholstery—to make the lobby an active and fun area with good acoustics. The curtains not only provide acoustical benefits, they also help break the space into smaller event spaces. For example, the library or piano area can be curtained off if need be for special events.”
The reception area was inspired by apothecaries, highlighted by shelving, artifacts and other reminiscent elements. A reception desk made of red lacquer brings to mind a chest of drawers that pharmacies at the time used to store materials. The lobby elevator also harks back to the 1920s and is a focus for guests upon entering the lobby area.
This being a conversion project—NYLO’s second—there were some hurdles. “Because the entrance, reception and the elevators are on opposite sides of the lobby, we had to create a very clear circulation street through the space,” Suomi said. “Secondly, our design steps down toward the sidewalk to give a view onto the vibrant scene of the bar and the restaurant. We also utilized that idea to create a multi-level bar.”
There were also some pleasant twists. “We discovered a long hidden fireplace and ceiling pattern in another part of the building from one of the original apartments,” Suomi said. “We salvaged the fireplace and relocated it to the library lounge, which will also feature the original ceiling pattern that we recreated.”
Lighting also played a key role. “We used a mix of industrial contemporary and historic lighting elements that are evocative of different eras within our concept—the 1920s and the city’s timeless industrial look of today,” Suomi said.
As with NYLO’s four other hotels, artwork plays a large role. “The original artwork used throughout the lobby was created by local artists selected in a competition that NYLO organized,” Suomi said.
With color, Stonehill & Taylor, again, looked back to history. “We worked with colors and textures prevalent in the ’20s and ’30s in the interiors and on the streets,” Suomi said. For example, the design firm used a certain warm yellow that was a popular color in 1920s’ ladies fashion as an accent color throughout the lobby. “We are also re-exposing some original brick that is beautiful and really ties in nicely with the NYLO brand,” Suomi said.