2019 GOLD KEY AWARDS
BEST GUESTROOM MIDSCALE
THE WHEELHOUSE HOTEL
THE DESIGN FIRM: Curioso, Chicago
THE MUSE: A life well lived, elevated by the pure Americana of its neighborhood just one block from Wrigley Field. “We started with great bones—a classic Chicago greystone building, where guests could feel like they’re staying at the home of a good friend,” says Nina Grondin, partner, Curioso. Each of the hotel’s 21 rooms is accessible via an actual key.
THE MAGIC: Hiding some subtle Easter eggs for the die-hard baseball fans like historic paraphernalia and hand-painted portraits. But the spotlight needed to remain on the intricacies and intimate details that inevitably shine in anyone’s home. This one just so happened to belong to a character the team loosely based off William Wrigley, founder of the famed chewing gum empire and former owner of the Chicago Cubs, a lover of baseball and the arts as well, “with a bigger-than-life personality and a clever sense of humor,” Grondin says. From there, they asked themselves, “What’s it like to spend time in his personal space?”
THE MAVERICK MOVE: Monochromatic color palettes that instigate the 9-year-old snoop in all of us. “We loved the idea that you may be staying in a blue room, but you may catch a glimpse of a coral room as you pass down the corridor,” Grondin says. “Hopefully this will catch your attention, stop you in your tracks and inspire a little curiosity. Maybe you’ll even poke your head through the door just to take a peek. We love the idea of curiosity and exploration, a feeling we’ve all had when visiting someone’s home for the first time. It’s simultaneously a little naughty and a little exciting.”
THE MESSAGE: Tell the story of a life—not just a culture. This makes curation more meaningful, and perhaps more emotional. Detailed door and window trims are paired with mosaic tile and bold corridor carpet. Clever signage and found, as well as refurbished, one-off pieces are scattered throughout as a collection of memories.
PHOTOS: DANIEL KELLEGHAN