Designer Crush: Dexter Moren AssociatesAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
As partner of London-based design firm, Dexter Moren Associates, Lindsey Bean-Pearce applies her 13+ years of industry experience to co-spearheading the company’s interiors sector. Having run projects in the UK and Europe and working in luxury residential, office design, hospitality, and leisure. Bean-Pearce worked extensively with a wide range of brands and large international operators, as well as helped to develop new brands. Recently, the designer worked on London’s new destination hotel, Vintry & Mercer. Learn more in our Q+A below.
How did you get your start in design?
I’ve always wanted to be a designer; I originally went to St. Martins to study fashion but switched course when I found making models and exploring 3D spatiality made me tick more. Fashion still influences everything I do as an interior designer, but ultimately, I am far happier designing hotels.
What are some of the biggest challenges and biggest rewards working for large international brands?
Working for large international brands is challenging for interior designers due to physical distance between the owners and the design team, making it harder to communicate effectively, there are larger teams and more people to go through. While larger brands often have bigger budgets to spend on their projects, the challenge lies in how much we can push the brand standards to bring a specific hotel its own unique identity. All designers like to break the mould a little, larger brands are always a little scared by that. Working for more independent hoteliers allows us to push the design in ways we’ve not been able to before, ultimately it is down to the trust you have with your client and how much they will allow you to push for the detail and addition of more personal touches that are not always considered or given the budget for in larger international hotels.
I like the challenge of working with both small and larger operators, design would be so boring if everyone wanted the same thing. Designing that ‘point of difference’ is what a makes a hotel memorable.
Tell us about the unique design of Vintry & Mercer and how that aesthetic came together.
As with all of our DMA Interior Design, we immerse the design in the history and locale. Vintry & Mercer is rooted in the unique story of City of London’s Guilds and The Great 12 Livery Companies that traded in the area, some as far back as the Saxon times. The Vinters and Mercers (Vintners were fine wine traders and Mercers were fine fabric traders)are two of prominent guilds of The Great 12 Livery Companies and this gave us a lot of inspirational material for the design of the hotel, we have touched on a fair few of The Great 12 in materiality and artwork also.
The interiors combine the area’s rich history with the contemporary character of the City; the charm of vintage-inspired furniture and millwork is mixed with clean, modern detailing. We created links to the metal worker guilds using specialist finishes such as antique brass and copper metal work in the sculptural staircase and joinery detailing; copper leaf and tin tiles to the ceilings; leather-wrapped niches and upholstery with studwork; and bespoke carpets and laid tile formats in herringbone and pinstripe patterns.
Room types are varied in their materiality and palette to reflect colours of items historically traded by the guilds, including claret, saffron and honey.
The merchant history is further referenced with bespoke graphic maps of the old and new City digitally printed as wall coverings with hand-drawn compass and needle with thread locating the hotel on the map and accent palm print wall coverings akin to the lining of the reimagined traders travelling trunk used to transport their goods, linking to trading routes. Herringbone patterned carpets and heavy floor-to-ceiling velvet curtains pay homage to the merchant tailors. Artwork in the guest rooms has been focused on the crests of the Great Twelve City Livery Companies, which we were granted special permission to use.
Who are some of your biggest professional role models and why?
Kelly Wearstler – for her ability to mix patterns and colours and use strong sculptural shapes in her design make her one of a kind and her work is immediately recognisable.
Patricia Urquiola – she brings an instant femininity to her design and plays with pattern and colour in a unique and beautiful way.
Paola Navone – her use of colour, scale, textures, form…she is exciting and adventurous in her designs, a real icon.
Phoebe Philo – a master in class and female form.
Vivienne Westwood – the reason I chose to study fashion at university. A pioneer and legend.
What are some of your favorite subtle design details that can help elevate the entire guest experience?
It’s all in the detail, that’s what takes a good design to a brilliant design. In the guest bedrooms, details such as under floor heating, niches for toiletries in the showers, demisters for the mirror’s, vanities with enough space for washbags, bathroom mirrors subtly elevate the guest experience.
Grandiose, oversized headboards with bespoke damask and velvet upholstery make a statement but are also fitted with built-in bespoke bronze room controls, reading lights and USB sockets to ensure that guest experiences are both practical and beautiful.
Dressing areas are a modern play on a deconstructed travel trunk, featuring scraped textured timber veneer with brass mesh panels. Carriage-style mirrors evoke the golden age of train travel, while providing a practical ledge for feminine vanities or technical devices.
Illuminated ceiling coffers make guest rooms and public spaces feel taller and lighter, which is particularly important in London hotels where typical room space is more limited than in other cities.
The hotel’s rooftop bar and restaurant, Mercer Roof Terrace, is designed to convey the comfort and grandeur of a traditional countryside orangery with a palette of weathered timbers and muted sage green and grey’s in the upholstery and millwork, with richness introduced through brass detailing and a curved Verdi Alpi marble bar. Floor-to-ceiling glazing which is fully openable and stacks to the side to allow for uninterrupted views of London’s skyline whilst the partially glazed roof floods the space with light. Planting is used throughout the hotel to evoke a feeling of calm and wellness for guests, an antithesis to the busy working city outside.
Describe your dream vacation.
By the time I have a holiday I’m just so glad to be having some rest time and being with my family that the destination isn’t so important.
However, I would absolutely love to stay at Amangiri, Utah. That is the ultimate idea of relaxation for me.
Tough question, I lived in London for years and spent most of my spare time split between different music venues (Brixton Academy, Shepherd’s Bush Arena, Koko, and The Roundhouse to name a few). The first concert I can vividly remember was The Dirty Pretty Things where Paul Weller joined the stage for ‘Gin and Milk’ at The Coronet in London.
Current celebrity crush?
Riz Ahmed (actor, rapper and activist).
Brazzaville Beach by William Boyd and The Thought Gang by Tibor Fischer.
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