When it came to designing a lifestyle hotel located in the heart of Yale University’s vibrant Arts Campus in New Haven, interior designer Cameron Schwabenton from Charleston-based design firm Cameron Stewart mixed custom and midcentury furniture with student art for a stylized yet welcoming space.
Q: How did the location impact the design of the hotel?
A: The hotel’s main clientele is affiliated with Yale and its events, so we wanted the design to be modern yet reflect its setting next to this beautiful, historic campus. We had an amazing experience collaborating with Yale’s Masters of Fine Arts students. Their incredible work really made the space. Since The Study overlooks their studio, we literally just walked the art across the street.
Q: You're based in South Carolina and this is a hotel at Yale University. How did you get involved with the project?
A: I previously worked with Paul McGowan, developer and creator of The Study brand, on another project.
Q: Tell us about the furniture in the hotel.
We chose midcentury pieces with clean lines and natural materials, which easily lend themselves to the aesthetic that we wanted for The Study—a fresh yet comfortable feel.
Q: What is your favorite design element in the space?
A: There are so many favorites, it is difficult to choose! The unlacquered brass bar is especially lovely. It has a warm, contemporary feel. The more this material ages, the richer it feels. It also reflects the light and view of the campus.
Q: What is your favorite piece of furniture in the Study?
A: I love the Anne chair designed by Ross Lovegrove for Bernhardt (seen to the left of the green sofa in the photo above). It’s exquisitely organic and simple.
Q: What was the biggest challenge with the project?
A: The biggest challenge was designing a space that could be used for both larger cocktail parties and more intimate dinners. We needed tables for dining and meetings, which could easily be stored within the space and still allow for great circulation. We designed handsome drop-leaf walnut tables, which can also connect to seat large groups. When folded, they are only fifteen inches deep and also work as nice serving pieces.
Q: What was the biggest surprise?
A: The fabric we used for the doors on the bookcase. We selected a waxed cotton fabric, and the combination of this relaxed and durable material with the walnut and brass filleted doors was unexpectedly really elegant.
Q: What projects does the firm have on the horizon?
A: We are also currently working on luxury residential projects in Baltimore, Sullivan's Island and Charleston.
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