Hart Shoreditch Hotel London is housed within a handsome new-build property just moments from Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane. Taking its name from a previous occupant of the site – The Harts, a cabinetmaker in the 1800s – the hotel honours the neighbourhood’s rich artisan heritage.
Fabled Studio was given carte blanche on the interior design, and has made use of this complete artistic control to veer away from the expected East London aesthetic. The fresh and well-appointed interior instead makes use of texture and bespoke design details.
“We very much wanted to tell the more intricate and subversive stories of East London through our design,” explains Fabled Studio’s co-founder, Steven Saunders. “Our interior palette draws inspiration from the past industries of Shoreditch, with notable furniture and cabinetmakers, iron foundries and tanneries all coming together to influence the concept and materiality of the F&B spaces.”
“The bedrooms and public thoroughfares were designed with the influence of the Huguenots, the French protestant lace makers resident in Spitalfields in great colourful townhouses”
These artfully interwoven stories emerge in everything from the striking wrought iron staircase to the bespoke statement mahogany lighting, which has been designed to replicate cabinetmakers’ boxes. Even the subtlest of material choices and textures pay homage to this storied past.
“With our studio being resident in East London for many years, we wanted to dig deeper under the surface of our neighbourhood to tell stories that are much less told,” says Steven.
“The bedrooms and public thoroughfares were designed with the influence of the Huguenots, the French protestant lacemakers resident in Spitalfields in great colourful townhouses – their lace patterns, synonymous with the Berber tribes’ al sadu weaving techniques, were imbued subtly into our scheme.”
As well as a local vernacular, the interior incorporates an influence of contemporary Dubai, in tribute to the hotel’s owner. The fresh, modern feel blends with white rendered textures and geometric patterns that bring the sandstone walls of Old Town Dubai to mind.
Fabled Studio was conscious that the hotel should be a social, inviting place for guests and locals alike. As such, the ground floor lobby, bar and restaurant areas are open plan. The decision was made to move the check-in desk to one side so that while it is visible, it does not interrupt the flow and informal feel of the space.
From the team behind acclaimed London restaurants, Yosma and Hovarda, ground floor restaurant, Barboun, serves up Eastern Mediterranean fare. The space has been designed with a furnituremaker’s warehouse and showroom in mind. Handcrafted oak and sapele timbers, as well as mortise and tenon, dovetail and halving joints on each piece of furniture or joinery, are a celebration of craftsmanship.
Adding another dimension to the hotel’s F&B offering is Tavla. This experiential all-day bar invites guests to listen to vinyl DJs or enjoy a game of backgammon with a barrel-aged cocktail.
“Our interior palette draws inspiration from the past industries of Shoreditch, with notable furniture and cabinet makers, iron foundries and tanneries all coming together to influence the concept and materiality of the F&B spaces”
The guest accommodation, meanwhile, presented a real challenge. Thirty-nine different room types had been assigned by the time of Fabled Studio’s appointment, all with varying footprints and ceiling heights to contend with.
Fabled Studio has opted for a muted, elegant colour palette, complete with copper mirror accents, deep green leather detailing and simplistic, modern furnishings. The bathrooms take on a warm, urban feel, with concrete vanities, herringbone flooring, bold geometric tiling and pared-back brass detailing.
“The materiality of the rooms is a totally new aesthetic – we are not trend-led on our design approach, moreover we let the stories we want to tell shine through and dictate the palette and details,” says Steven.
“A dragged whitewashed texture is wrapped across each headboard wall, reminiscent of the stone walls of Old Town Dubai. The vertical striations echo the pattern in the custom woven jacquard drapes we designed for each room.”