‘I was thinking of the home of a collector, a bohemian Parisian who has opened his house and started taking guests,’ explains Luke Edward Hall, the English artist and designer behind the eclectically decorated 40-bed Hôtel Les Deux Gares and bistro. Sandwiched between the Eurostar and metro stops of Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est, it’s the latest affordable boutique hotel from Parisian hospitality group Touriste.
‘The idea was to redefine what a railway station hotel can be in Paris,’ says founder Adrien Gloaguen, who spotted potential in the jaded decor of the old hotel. ‘When I visited for the first time, the building was full of flowery wallpaper. Instantly, I imagined a hotel with a 1960s or 70s atmosphere and Luke Edward Hall came to mind.’
Hall’s characteristically joyful colour combinations bring a contemporary twist to bathrooms and bedrooms with furniture inspired by the neoclassical period. Vintage pieces from French and English markets sit against a backdrop of green wainscotting and toile de Jouy wallpapers in the lounge, where a leopard-print sofa and geometric flooring nod to the influence of eccentric British and French decorators David Hicks and Madeleine Castaing. ‘I wanted it to be a French and English mash-up,’ says Hall.
In the lobby, a 19th-century gilt console supports a pair of pink mid-century lamps and above hangs a mirror with a hand-drawn surround by Hall, whose sketches also adorn lampshades and walls. ‘There is a tension between colours, but also patterns and periods,’ he says. ‘That’s what makes interiors interesting – unexpected pairings.’
Across the street, the hotel’s Café Les Deux Gares speaks of the quintessential French bistro, with Thonet chairs, art deco-style lighting and a zinc-topped red bar. A tortoiseshell-effect ceiling painted by artist Pauline Leyravaud envelopes diners, as if enclosing them within a vintage cigarette case.
Hall’s first major interiors project is a flawless manifestation of his illustrative style – a blend of riotous colour and pattern. From approx £108 per night. hoteldeuxgares.com
This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration January 2021
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