The dreamy – and surreal – renovation of the historical The Colony Palm Beach Hotel was assigned to Kemble Interiors by the co-owner Sarah Wetenhall.
The historical The Colony Palm Beach Hotel opened up its doors to the public in 1947. Located in the south of Florida, it is known as “the pinkest hotel in Palm Beach”.
Sarah Wetenhall who co-owns the hotel with her husband Andrew, decided to pursue a renovation right after the Coronavirus outbreak and the mandatory closure for hotels.
For Sarah Wetenhall hospitality is all about first impressions, therefore she considered it mandatory to renew the hotel lobby. Her kick start was a The Colony Hotel vintage postcard.
Wetenhall got mesmerized by the black and white vintage postcard, so she decided to recreate the tropical atmosphere of the early days. In order to represent the fauna and flora of the Sunshine State, she assigned the project to Kemble Interiors. The interior design company is run by Mimi McMakin, who is a native Floridian. Certainly, she would be the right person for the project… And she did.
Old Lobby of The Colony Palm Beach Hotel
Before the renovation, Sarah Wetenhall felt that the hotel lobby was just it, a beautiful and exquisite hotel lobby. Although green was the predominant color, it wasn’t Floridian enough, which is the same to say that it wasn’t tropical enough. Neutral and peach hues compounded the color palette as well. The furniture was mainly Art Deco and contrasted with the beige tiled floor.
New Dreamy and Tropical Lobby
The pinkest hotel in Palm Beach is now even pinker. When Sarah Wetenhall teamed up with Mimi McMakin from Kemble Interiors, she intended to transform the hotel lobby into a welcoming living room, a place where guests wouldn’t simply pass by it. In order to achieve that, they decided to add more furniture to the lobby – now we can find several places that invite guests to sit in and enjoy the room for a while.
Mimi McMakin also adorned the room with vintage, mid-century and modern exterior seating furniture. The hotel lobby definitely owns the tropical – and luxurious – feeling of Palm Beach.
The renovated lobby also keeps its Art Deco chandeliers and has a major comeback – the original black terrazzo floor. As result, the pink walls stand out even more.
de Gournay wallpaper
With the handpainted wallpaper that was commended to de Gournay, the goal was to create an aesthetic experience and to capture the Floridian spirit. The vintage postcard which the hotel owner found was the inspiration for this pink, dreamy and tropical wallpaper. It provokes an immersive, almost psychedelic, experience.
On the walls, we can picture flamingos, alligators, turtles, beasts, pets, and several exotic plants and trees. And, of course, the iconic spider monkey mascot Johnny Brown. All this leads us to feel like we are in a warm, funny, and surreal world. A true escape.
Refresh of other spaces
Wetenhall and McMakin also renovated other spaces at the hotel, such as dining rooms, bedrooms, and villas. The heiress to Esteé Lauder, Aerin Lauder, joined them in this task. Aerin took control over the AERIN villa Jasmine renovation.
In case you want to discover more incredible hotels, we invite you to read our top design hotels to travel to.