AHL INSIDER 5.11.21

Luke Edward Hall

Artist, Designer and Columnist

Luke Edward Hall

There are few things, if any, that creative polymath Luke Edward Hall cannot turn his hand to. Since founding his studio in 2015, he has applied his exceptional eye and distinct style to a myriad of commissions from interior design to fashion, illustration and product, collaborating with iconic brands including Burberry, Lanvin, Richard Ginori, Svenskt Tenn, and Habitat to name but a few. In 2019 teNeues published his first book Greco Disco featuring several of these projects alongside pages from Luke’s scrapbooks and inspirational ephemera. The same year Edward Hall joined the Financial Times as a weekly columnist in FT Weekend. For his most recent, and perhaps most ambitious project to date, Hall oversaw the complete renovation of the 33 bedroom Hotel Deux Gares in Paris as well as its café across the street. AHL’s UK and Culture Editor, Caroline Lever, caught up with him to find out more about his latest endeavor.

– follow Luke –

Share this Story

Caroline Lever: Hotel Les Deux Gares is your first hotel project.  How was this different to other projects you have worked on?

Luke Edward Hall: It was my first hotel project, so very different. I had worked on small pop-up interior projects including a private dining room for an art fair, but this was a huge step up. I was working with a team in France, sourcing items out there from companies I wasn’t familiar with and thinking about architecture in a way that I hadn’t had to consider before. It was a real learning curve.

Caroline Lever: You had a hand in everything from the art direction, branding and design. How did you find working at this scale?

Luke Edward Hall: With all of my projects I love getting involved with the details, big and little. With the hotel I had the brilliant opportunity to work across the whole project, from naming the hotel and the café to designing stationery, as well as, of course, the interiors. I involved the Brooklyn-based designer Zan Goodman who designed my book, Greco Disco, on the art direction, and I had a lot of fun thinking about uniforms and drawing motifs for the hotel writing paper, café awnings and more.

 

Café Les Deux Gares
Café Les Deux Gares
Café Les Deux Gares
Café Les Deux Gares

Caroline Lever: What was the starting point when thinking about the design?

Luke Edward Hall: I imagined the building belonging to a Parisian collector who has spent his life travelling and has now decided to open his home to guests. I envisioned a striking mix of colors and patterns, and antique, vintage and contemporary furniture. A sort of new French style, inspired by the past and filtered through an Englishman’s eye for color and pattern.

Caroline Lever: How did this relate to the history of the building and the city?

Luke Edward Hall: Thinking about this idea of an Englishman in Paris, I looked to two of my favorite English and French design heroes — David Hicks and Madeleine Castaing for inspiration. There are little homages to them dotted around the hotel — geometric carpets, leopard print fabrics and ebonised antiques. Of course, the hotel sits between two railway stations, hence the name (it’s also the name of the street), so I spent time looking at grand old railway station hotels, too.

Caroline Lever: What are some of your favorite features of the hotel?

Luke Edward Hall: I love the electric pea green lobby with its eclectic mix of furnishings: a 19th century French giltwood console table, a pair of cobalt blue Space Age chairs and a William-Kent-inspired mirror, decorated by me. I also love the gym, which is underground and could have been quite depressing. To counteract this I installed a red and white checkerboard floor and psychedelic floral wallpaper from Svenskt Tenn.

Hôtel Les Deux Gares
Hôtel Les Deux Gares
Hôtel Les Deux Gares
Hôtel Les Deux Gares

Caroline Lever: Please can you tell us a bit about your use of color and pattern?

Luke Edward Hall: Color to me is all about optimism. I want people to walk into the hotel and feel full of joy. There are a lot of bland, beige hotels out there and I wanted our one to be the opposite. In fact there are no white-painted surfaces anywhere in the hotel. My work is all about juxtaposition and mixing things up – I love the tension created when two unusual colors are placed next to each other, or a floral fabric, say, with a bold stripe.

Caroline Lever: How can the design inform the atmosphere and guest experience?

Luke Edward Hall: I wanted the hotel to feel very comfortable – guests are invited to spend time in the lobby sitting room with piles of books and magazines. I wanted squishy sofas and reading lamps, not the hard, unwelcoming furniture you might often find in a hotel.

Caroline Lever: Who do you admire — dead or alive — most in hospitality/ design?

Luke Edward Hall: David Hicks because of his insanely delicious color mixes. Cecil Beaton because of his romantic heart and eye for heart-stopping beauty.

Caroline Lever: We have all spent a lot of the last year dreaming about travel. Where is on your bucket list?

Luke Edward Hall: I’m craving an adventure to a place I haven’t been before. Wyoming, for example, is high on my list. I want to do a proper cowboy holiday! I’m also desperate to do a tour of King Ludwig II’s fantastical castles in Bavaria with all their swan motifs and magical stage set-like interiors. Ludwig is a real hero of mine…

Share this Story

More Culture

Scarlet Envy’s NYC Pride Guide

The superstar gives us the T on NYC Pride this year

tell me more ›

Gabriele Salini

Palazzo Daniele's Gabriele Salini in conversation with Ruby Kean

tell me more ›

10 Events to Celebrate Juneteenth This Year

From brunches to block parties, our roundup of how to celebrate the newest national U.S. holiday

tell me more ›

How to Own Your Morning and Elevate Your Life

Alaska Gedeon's guide to early rising — at home or on the road

tell me more ›