Dream Destination: The Line Hotel in LA's Koreatown

Koreatown is quickly moving up the list of LA's up-and-coming neighborhoods, and the recent opening of the 388-room Line Hotel at 3515 Wilshire Blvd. is only going to boost its cool quotient. Housed in the former Wilshire Plaza Hotel, the midcentury structure was reworked in a collaboration between some of hospitality's hottest players, incuding hoteliers Sydell Group (NoMad, the Saguaro), restauranteur Roy Choi (Kogi BBQ, A-Frame) and designer Sean Knibb (A-Frame).

Expect crowds at Choi's new restaurants, Pot (serving hot pot cuisine) and Commissary (serving vegetarian fare), as well as at the upcoming outdoor pool deck and new Poketo shop that set up in the hotel. This is a design hotspot worth a visit, but in the meantime, get the inside scoop on the new digs from designer Sean Knibb. 

Q: What's the concept behind the interior spaces? 

Each guest room is made up of three boxes. We used wood in the entry, porcelain in the bathroom and concrete room for a simple, clean palate. The ash in the guest rooms compliments the stained plywood that we used in the lobby. We also designed the bed to face out for the best views and to maximize space, with a large desk that serves as the headboard. 

Q: Can you tell us about the original art in each guest room? 

The art reflects back to the recurring design theme of repurpose and elevation through substitution. Bottle Art is a porcelain work by Amsterdam-based Foekje Fleur, and is made up of three items shaped like household cleaning products. For some of the rooms, we commissioned metal seagull wall sculptures, which were inspired by the midcentury artist Curtis Jere, and each room also features one of 11 large photo prints by Kevin Hanley and an original watercolor collage by artist Claire Oswalt.

Q: What inspired the colorful textiles?

We covered the chairs in vintage serapes as a nod to Mexican heritage of California. Two poufs in each room do double-duty as both seating and luggage racks. We upholstered one in a colorful fabric for a touch of whimsy, while we covered the other in raw burlap other got a burlap treatment—a throwback to the sacking-wrapped tree roots of our landscape design projects. 

Q: What's the best room in the house?

In my opinion, anything from the 7th floor and upwards, facing North. 

Q: What's next on your to-do list? 

I designed much of the custom furniture at the Line, and will be launching a collection of furniture and accessories in the coming months (available via his showroom and website). I also designed a collection for the heritage furniture company Waring & Gillow, which was founded in England in the 19th century. It has a showroom in Vietnam and a new one opening in London later this year, where I am Creative Director.  

The Line Hotel, 3513 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-381-7411. 

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