“Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York.”
– Alicia Keys

On a recent visit to one of the greatest cities on the planet, I spun in circles snapping photo, after photo, after photo. What inspires me you ask? New York City inspires!! It inspires all ages and all senses on many levels. From FAO to the “Tatute of Liverty,” my 5 year old and 4 year old soaked it in and were immediately seduced by the energy of NYC.

FAO to the "Tatute of Liverty"

FAO to the “Tatute of Liverty”


One great source of inspiration for me as a designer is hotels; hotels done well and done right. My wonderful husband indulges my desire for hotel inspiration and spoils me with some of the greatest around the world. On this visit to the city he thought it would be interesting to try The Algonquin Hotel, as it had been renovated since our last stay.

The hotel originally opened in 1902 and quickly became home to the infamous Round Table of literary geniuses and home to the likes of Dorothy Parker. ‘The Gonk’ is an iconic, historic midtown hotel (I sound like I’m writing a commercial for the hotel, so I will get to my point). When he first told me it had been acquired by Marriott and renovated I cringed. Renovating an iconic, landmark property is a big responsibility. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.  The designers did a great job giving the spaces a modern update while staying true to a New York City classic. In general there was a soothing color palette with an interesting use of some strong black and white elements, successfully softened with some bright colors and welcoming fabrics and contemporary furniture.

I wanted to share my two favorite elements. First the headboards are large screens (probably 84” wide and 9’feet tall) with black and white images of ‘old’ Manhattan, that you can illuminate or put to rest with the touch of a finger.

Secondly, the bathroom tile. They successfully updated the bathrooms with a very slick almost techie feel with a modern ceramic tile, black granite sink basin yet very cleverly toned it down and gave it a timeless aspect by introducing a tile accent that is a somewhat historic element from the original marble tile floors in the lobby of the hotel. Well done!!

Original lobby floor to the shower wall.

Original lobby floor to the shower wall.