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Alloy Alloy: Metalwork in Design


I think it’s so important to shine light on the different textures and materials we use in the hotels and in my wider design work, from beads to stones, we aren’t fussy as long as it’s creative. Metal is one such material we would like to shine a light on, with all its versatility it is an essential element to the many finishes we work into the makeup of a space.

When one thinks of metal it has such industrial connotations, evoking thoughts of construction or perhaps your kitchen pots and pans, but to me its malleable, lustrous and tonal qualities provide such an excellent tool to create beautiful craftwork. Here are some of my favourite pieces…

Take a Perch

When I designed the lights in the orangery at The Whitby Hotel, I was inspired by a Parisian brasserie and wanted something grand, timeless and classic. But even when I have something grand in mind, I can’t help but let my sense of humour come into the mix. Almost as an afterthought when installing this space, I decided to hang these mixed metal parrots and toucans in amongst the glass votives, bringing in a quirky and almost ridiculous twist. I found this collection of witty brass and copper Sergio Bustamante sculptures in an old Somerset antiques warehouse and was itching to use them the moment I purchased them. Here at The Whitby Hotel they are an excellent addition to the indoor outdoor feel of the orangery.

Around The World

One of my favourite pieces at Ham Yard Hotel has to be this painted tin craft piece. It’s so brightly coloured and folk like. This piece meets you as you are about to enter the traveller’s treasure trove that is the Drawing Room, and this gorgeous little piece is the perfect introduction to that feel and mood. The artwork depicts a round shape of people from all corners of the earth in bright outfits and it’s just so much fun.

These little tin figures have been painted and tied onto the metal frame with visible metal twisted rods. I really enjoy when you can see how something is held together and it forms part of the artwork itself.

Metallic Garden

Also at Ham Yard Hotel in our shade bar sits this wonderfully whimsical floral hot air balloon light. Some of the metal has been painted and in other places embossed to create this magical gigantic sconce. It’s so layered and textured and adds a powerful focal point to that end of the room. The detail in this piece is just magnificent.

Miniature Galaxy

In the Araminta Room at The Whitby Hotel the walling is lined with my Mythical Land and a mirror wall. Set onto both of these surfaces are these antique miniature star beam galaxy sconce lights. This tonal bronze is a wonderful injection of sophisticated sparkle in this events space. I love how different they all are but they definitely read as a collection. The craftsmanship is brilliant especially on the metal beams of sunlight that protrude from the central orbs. Each one showcases an array of metalwork techniques and they are a pleasure to enjoy close up or as a fun detail in the wider scheme.

In Bloom

In the Lobby at Charlotte Street Hotel sits a grand antique fireplace. It is flanked by two metal vases with sprouting blooms. I find them so charming and a delicate injection of fun that grows beyond the confines of the artwork itself. The dancing shadows on the wall behind create added texture and layering. There is something so clever about the delicacy of these pieces being born out of something seemingly as harsh and strong as metal.

An Elephant Never Forgets

This suite at Crosby Street Hotel is home to this beautiful metalwork elephant table. Its elegance, opulence and craftwork is just amazing and makes for a talking point in the room.

I hope this post inspires you to enjoy metal craft work and the unexpected joy it brings. Beauty truly can be cultivated from any source point.

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