WORDS Robyn Alexander PHOTOS Benoit Linero
The new Hôtel Les Deux Gares in Paris is the first hotel project to reflect the marvellous mashup that is the signature style of up-and-coming British interior designer Luke Edward Hall.
London-based artist and interior designer Luke Edward Hall is hot property in international design circles right now. Known for his fearless, exuberant interiors that confidently combine multiple eras and artistic references, he recently completed his first hotel project in Paris: the Hôtel Les Deux Gares. Les Deux Gares is the fourth hotel to be created by Touriste group founder Adrien Gloaguen, who came across the abandoned property in a narrow alley of Paris’s 10th arrondissement between Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est with his friend Antoine Raccat. The duo knew right away that they wanted to redevelop it together, and that Luke Edward Hall was the right designer for the project. After a complete renovation, the hotel spaces now reflect a mashup of eras and ideas. The interiors are the opposite of discreet or lowkey: the lobby, for example, combines emerald-green walls with a black-and-white marble floor, gilt furniture, giant mirrors, and Warhol, Hockney and Cocteau exhibition posters. It’s all mixed together with an almost nonchalant air, resulting in an atmosphere of relaxed elegance.
But the real secret to the attraction of this look is the fact that it’s anything but casually created. “I love listening to stories from the past, and feeling as though I’m entering another, more elegant era,” says Luke. Having graduated from Central Saint Martins, the designer founded his own studio in 2015 at the age of 26, and his approach to interior design is about avoiding the obvious path. “I start projects by leafing through old books and magazines; then, I visit galleries and museums,” he says. “I allow myself the time to dream and invent stories.” Luke draws, paints, collaborates with brands, stages interiors, writes a weekly column for FT Magazine, and creates fabrics, furniture and accessories.
In the 40 guest rooms at Les Deux Gares, Luke has used mismatched geometrical rugs, headboards boasting broad stripes, classic Tulip tables, fringed velvet chairs and ’70sinspired lights. And did we mention the bright, yellow Art Deco bathrooms, which sport mint-green, baby-blue and pink fittings? “It’s this combination of styles that, I hope, will intrigue guests”, Luke says.
Across the street, the hotel’s café continues the story. One of the unique colours of the guest rooms – cherry red – is prevalent here, and is mixed with the codes of traditional Parisian cafés: cement tiles, Thonet chairs and seats with bold stripes, as well as a banquette and bistro tables in stained wood. “Design can often be very serious, whereas I want my work to convey joy,” says Luke. And that’s exactly what he has managed to achieve at Hôtel Les Deux Gares.