Loving the design details of Unscripted Durham? Check out our chat with the hotel’s designer Kevin Corn and learn about the artists and historical details that inspired the hotel’s super chic yet accessible vibe.
Unscripted Durham is very inspired by mid-century design. Can you tell us about how the design language of that period is reflected across the property? The design selections were really driven by the hotel’s architecture. We wanted to blend elements from various decades to create an eclectic modern mix of furniture, accessories and art that reflect the designs of the era. The Raleigh-Durham area has a history of mid-century architecture, but I didn’t want the hotel to be a museum to midcentury design, but rather a place where familiar pieces create a relaxed mood.
Where did you look for inspiration
Where did you your design process begin? We really started with the car culture of the 60s. It was a time when highways and interstate travel were starting to happen and families were vacationing with their cars and staying at “motor hotels”. It was exciting to get in your car and just go! Many of the motor hotels of the period were meant to be fun and memorable for both adults and kids. Interestingly, most of the motels were individually owned and were often unique in their design. The owners often provided something memorable, which in turn brought return travelers year after year. We wanted to recreate that experience.
How do you see Unscripted Durham adapting to its home city? Are there any particular elements you added in homage to Durham specifically? North Carolina has along history of supporting artists, beginning in the 1920’s. I felt it was important to include local and regional artists’ work in the hotel’s design. This is something that will continue as the hotel settles in and we form more relationships with Durham’s creative community.
What are some of your favorite design elements of the property? I think the wallpaper in the guest rooms is pretty great. The bold colors of the graphics can be seen from the street and make the hotel feel like a place that I’d want to explore. My inspiration for the graphics came from the David Hicks patterns from the 60s and 70s. His projects were always bold and luxurious at the same time. Often his projects were restaurants, nightclubs and gaming rooms and I love how his style feels like playrooms for adults. Of course, the Patio (pool deck) is a huge highlight for everyone
Your website mentions that all of your projects speak to a “return to gracious living”. How were these philosophies reflected in Unscripted Durham? I like to encourage my clients to slow down and create their own memorable experiences in their homes. Designing a place where guests and visitors can slow down and notice the details of the hotel was important to me.
What does great hospitality mean to you? I think that great hospitality starts with being comfortable and having a relaxed, inclusive atmosphere for guests. I wanted to provide spaces and rooms where conversation and memories can happen.
Check out more of Kevin Corn’s amazing designs at his website by clicking here.