Travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and you’re likely thinking about Cajun and crawfish, slow days on the bayou, and southern hospitality. These are just a few things JAI had to consider when beginning the design process for the Baton Rouge Courtyard by Marriott.
Sharli Young was the lead designer at JAI for the Courtyard project. I asked her to share what influenced her design:
Sharli: When I start a design project, I want to understand the culture and distinctive flavor of the location. Then, I interpret my findings into my design in a fresh, modern way while maintaining the hotel brand identity.
Choosing a color palette for the Baton Rouge project was fairly obvious. Baton Rouge is nicknamed the “Red Sticks” and is known for crawfish, so I felt shades of red and orange had to be part of the schematics while not overwhelming the design. I relied on warm neutrals to serve as a backdrop for pops of color and selected black as an unexpected accent that grounds the overall design.
Baton Rouge has a rich history so I wanted to include a nod to the past, but combine it with the optimism of the future. My furniture selections featured sleek lines and fabrics mixed with midcentury modern legs or shapes. A retro modern look mixes the clean lines of modern design with tradition and familiarity. This translates into an atmosphere that is comfortable and inviting. I also included an art wall in my concepts that will be featured near the business center. Displaying artwork from local artists will visually tell the story of Baton Rouge in a fresh way.
There is often some design element that inspires other aspects of the overall design. I fell in love with a wallcovering that will become a focal point when guests first walk into the hotel. It has the state outline and will be located behind the registration pedestals. Featuring this unique piece led me to the inspiration of the lines and geometry of maps. Geometric shapes, grid patterns and sharp angles played perfectly into the modern comfort design aesthetic, so I strategically carried them into fabrics, furnishing and lighting.
The Courtyard caters to business travelers; therefore, I had to consider spaces that could be used for informal meetings as well as for lounging together or alone with a laptop or tablet. The bistro and coffee bar allowed me to incorporate rich, warm wood tones in a casual, relaxed atmosphere that is perfect for both dining and working. I carried the same feeling into the pool deck, where guests can either work or relax in a beautiful, thoughtful setting.
Overall, my goal was to successfully represent the Courtyard brand’s modern interiors with a warm color palette of dark woods, rich textures and unique graphics & artifacts. Together these elements provide the guest with many comforts of home while also engaging them with the destination, whether they have time to see the city or not.
No matter what brand of hotel we are designing, JAI seeks to create inspired spaces that make travelers feel an emotional connection to the space while they are away from home. We realize the interiors can potentially influence the guest’s first impression as they enter the lobby, so we take that responsibility very seriously. Our hospitality clients trust us to give them the freshest yet most timeless designs and that is what we strive to deliver.
The Courtyard by Marriott, Baton Rouge, broke ground in September 2016 and is scheduled to open late 2017.
Are you a hotel owner who is in need of an interior design firm? If so, let’s talk!