Back in 1999, Alex Calderwood inaugurated the Ace Hotel and forever changed our perception of what a luxury hotel could mean. Set up in questionable city structures, Ace appeals to the creative section. Over the latest decade, Ace has extended transversely America, and swathes of similar boutique offerings have appeared. Another new addition to the section is Hi-Lo Hotel in Portland, which ensures a similar sort of calm, comfortable version of the luxury hotel.
Local interior designer Jessica Helgerson is responsible for six-storey, 120-room luxury hotel’s public spaces, including interior architecture, finishes, and furnishings for a large lobby lounge with reception, lobby bar, several meeting and event rooms, a fitness center and bathrooms.
“When we first visited the space it was basically gutted, a beautifully dusty space with raw concrete columns and concrete floors bathed in soft natural light,” she explains. “We decided to preserve and celebrate this rough, chalky, unfinished shell – the low – while bringing in soft, sensual, elegant, playful furnishings – the high.”
For Jessica, low indicated raw. Original concrete columns have been left in their raw state, rough and warn brick walls have been maintained, and brand-new concrete architectural walls have been left incomplete.
Decorative details and embellishments make up the essential component of the luxury hotel: curved sofas in forest green velvet, live edge ash and walnut tables feel expensive but also address to the site’s Pacific Northwest area. And spaces change quickly from ever-so-slightly formal to comfortable and resting too – there are low, cushy sofas and rocking couches, as well as a large table with unique seats or benches.