Designing Woman


Anticipation has been growing, and, for me, seeing the finished projects is a rewarding end to such an extensive process. I’m truly looking forward to having the guests experience the design of these two visually different resorts.

Without giving everything away, I’d like to describe my personal experience in creating the hotels, and a little bit about what guests may expect. Viceroy Miami at ICON Brickell, located on Biscayne Bay in the financial district of Miami, is one part of a bigger project involving three towers (the other two are residential). The hotel design is inspired by the atmospheres in both Japan and Miami, which makes it tropical and Asian at the same time. These influences lead to an interior that resembles a colorful jewel box, embellished with fantastic details, textures, custom patterns, and stonework. The guest rooms and suites all include gracious entryways and spacious bathrooms. The hotel will have two restaurants, one on the 50th floor, which is more of a lounge, and another on the 15th floor, which spills out onto the Philippe Starck-designed residential pool deck while maintaining a separate feeling. The views from the hotel are absolutely amazing, and offer the perfect backdrop for my interiors.

 Another way to infuse your home with bold patterns is through a unique floor covering.

Unlike the colorful, detailed, free-spirited, ethnic vibe of Viceroy Miami, Viceroy Anguilla focuses on restfulness and relaxation, and is organic and textural in spirit. It’s a modern resort property, with textures and colors derived from the beach and water. Coral pink, sea glass blue, and sandy tan are used throughout the space. To break up the palette, I incorporated interesting brass accents interspersed throughout the resort and guest rooms, including a Brass Kaleidoscope and a Brass Knot, which are part of my collection at Bergdorf Goodman. The resort comprises 150 rooms plus stylish homes and villas, a spa and beachside club, and four destination restaurants. After five years, it’s nearing completion and should be open by the summer vacation season. Like in the Miami project, it’s very thrilling to see all the elements come together in such a harmonious way.

I am constantly working on design projects both on the commercial and residential side, and they tend to inform and inspire one another. In creating the looks for these two hotels, I’ve used several items from my own collections, including decorative home accessories, fabrics and trimmings, and rugs. I will continually create custom designs that are proprietary to a specific job and incorporate vintage pieces, but it’s also great to be able to offer guests an opportunity to bring some of their favorite design elements home with them. That way, they can have a constant reminder of their vacation destination in their own space.

I use fabrics from my Groundworks at Lee Jofa line in many of my commercial and residential projects. In Viceroy Anguilla, I opted to use Edo Linen, a blend of corals, purples, blues, and pinks in an undulating hill pattern. The entire line was inspired by a trip to Japan, although in some of the patterns the influence is stronger than others. Overall, I used a wide range of colors-from violets and lilacs to blues and greens to peaches and corals-and incorporated a lot of different textures. Because the tones coordinate so well, you can have a lot of fun mixing colors and patterns as you wish. My advice is to be fearless with your choices and use the fabrics in any way you can imagine: as a window treatment, on a sofa, or on the wall of a bedroom or living room like wallpaper.

Another way to infuse your home with bold patterns is through a unique floor covering, which is what I did in my recent redesign of The Tides South Beach hotel. Specifically, I used a fish-scale patterned rug in the hotel’s Coral Bar and loved the way it turned out, so I created a style called Bijoux in a different color way for my collection with The Rug Company. The collection includes eight different pieces, all featuring fluid designs with individual personalities. They can be customized for your home in any color.

One simple decorating technique is to create a focal point using a luxurious object, as seen in Viceroy Miami. Take, for example, the Mykonos Box, which has brass accents that complement the greens and blues throughout, or the oversized Marble Cornucopia-these pieces really attract the eye. This was the principal idea behind my latest collection at Bergdorf Goodman. Some of my favorite new items are the Bauble Boxes, which are one of a kind, encrusted with a variety of stones in different settings and set in brass, bronze, or silver patina. There are also some smaller and simpler stone boxes, and some great ceramic and marble pieces. Adding one or two intriguing items, such as these, is a simple way to add color, texture, and a certain dimension to a space.

People should feel inspired to achieve some of their favorite design elements in their own homes, especially since several items are now accessible to them. I hope that in visiting these new hotels, guests will come away with some sort of design knowledge, the kind of learning that happens by experiencing a beautiful and visually intriguing space.